Looking Back: The First Half of 2013

 

Ballyvaughan Road at Twilight
Sometimes, when you’re on a journey, it pays to look back and see how far you’ve come!
Photo: Ballyvaughan Road at Twilight, 2008 by Audrey Nickel

The first half of 2013 has come and gone! Here’s a look back at this year’s blog posts to date. There’s something for every Irish learner here: book reviews, grammar tips, lessons on cursing, and more!

Some posts fall into more than one category, so expect some duplication below.

Language Learning Tips

The Myth of Perfection Why focusing on “being perfect” can actually inhibit your ability to learn.

Keeping it Real: Assessing Your Progress with Irish Gaelic This post discusses the importance of periodically looking back at your accomplishments, especially when you seem to have hit a plateau.

A Few Rules for Learning Just About Anything Yes, you can learn just about anything you want to learn (and no…you don’t have to be especially “talented” to do so!). Here are a few simple rules to help you achieve your goals.

Word Building in Irish Gaelic Learning to spot the patterns of suffixes and prefixes that help you “build” new words from the words you already know.

Resources

Book Review: “How to Learn Any Language” A review of Barry Farber’s landmark book  “How to Learn Any Language, Quickly, Easily, and on Your Own!”

Points of grammar and vocabulary

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Talking about winter weather in Irish Gaelic.

The Only Irish-Speaking Poodle on the Block Tips on training your dog in Irish!

The Problem of Being (In Irish Gaelic!) Looks at the two essential (and not interchangeable) forms of the verb “to be” in Irish Gaelic.

How to Say I Love You to Your Irish Valentine Irish terms of endearment for Valentine’s Day and every day! Includes audio.

Tea and Grammar Part 1: Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs The “Tea and Grammar” series of blog posts is intended to demystify basic grammar terms. This first installment defines the three most basic building blocks of language: Nouns, Pronouns, and Verbs.

Tea and Grammar Part 2: Adjectives and Adverbs This post talks about the “Two Adds,” adjectives and adverbs, and how they enrich your language.

Tea and Grammar Part 3: Prepositions This third installment in the “Tea and Grammar” series talks about prepositions…what kinds there are, and how they’re used.

Lesson Highlight: Irish Gaelic Terms for the Family This post highlights Bitesize Irish Gaelic’s lesson on terms for the family. Includes a mini-lesson, complete with audio.

How to Cuss Like a Leprechaun Silly title, great content! If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to swear in Irish Gaelic, here’s your chance!

Saying “Hello” in Irish Gaelic This post talks a little about the importance of knowing basic greetings, and links to a free Bitesize Irish Gaelic introductory lesson series.

Lesson Highlight: The Days of the Week in Irish Gaelic How to say the days of the week in Irish (with audio).

How to Say “Thank You” in Irish Gaelic Being polite is easy in just about any language! Here’s how to say “thank you” in Irish (with audio).

Word Building in Irish Gaelic Learning to spot the patterns of suffixes and prefixes that help you “build” new words from the words you already know.

Up, Down…In Irish, It’s All Relative! Expressing the concepts of “up” and “down” is a bit more complicated in Irish than you might think! This post will sort it out for you.

Lesson Highlight: Word Order in Irish Irish is a VSO language. Do you know what that means? Find out in this post on word order in Irish (with audio)

Location, Location! Compass Points in Irish How to say North, South, East, and West in Irish Gaelic.

What’s in a Name? Interesting Animal Names in Irish “Little wild ox?” “God’s little cow?” Irish has some very interesting, descriptive, names for some members of the animal kingdom. Check out a few of them here.

Lesson Highlight: Meeting and Greeting This snippet from one of Bitesize’s early conversation lessons, Meeting a Stranger, gives you a feel for how the conversation lessons work (as well as an opportunity to say “hello” and to introduce yourself in Irish!).

How to say “Good Morning” in Irish Gaelic Three ways to wish someone “good morning” in Irish Gaelic (the perfect antidote to the stereotypical, but inaccurate, “top o’ the mornin'”!).

Tea and Grammar – Part 4: Possession If you think “possession” has something to do with The Exorcist, think again! This post goes into the various ways we talk about the relationships between things, including possessive adjectives, the genitive case, and possessive pronouns.

Good, Better, Best: Comparisons in Irish You know how to say that something is “good,” “tall,” “nice,” etc. in Irish. Now here’s how to say it’s “better,” “taller,” “nicer,” etc.

Basic information about the Irish language

The Gaelic You Already Know (Yes, You Do!) English words that are derived from Irish, and from the closely related Scottish Gaelic.

Irish: The Language That Refused to Die About the Irish Gaelic language’s influence on Hiberno-English: the dialect of English spoken in Ireland.

Irish Gaelic: To Dialect, or Not To Dialect Irish Gaelic has three main dialects. How important is it that you choose one? And does an insistence on dialect purity help or harm the language?

Urban Irish: Blight or Blessing? This post talks about the phenomenon of “Urban Irish,” discusses some of the controversy around it, and invites discussion on the topic.

Useful stuff

The Only Irish-Speaking Poodle on the Block Tips on training your dog in Irish!

Fluency: What Is It, and When Do I Get It? Defines “fluency” and discusses factors that may influence how quickly you get there.

First Names in Irish Gaelic Irish names are hugely popular. Does your first name have an Irish form? Why, or why not?

Our Fada: The Importance of the Accent Mark in Irish Gaelic Think that accent mark is just there for show? Think again!

A Few Rules for Learning Just About Anything Yes, you can learn just about anything you want to learn (and no…you don’t have to be especially “talented” to do so!). Here are a few simple rules to help you achieve your goals.

Irish Gaelic: The Problem of Phonetics This post discusses the challenges of trying to render the sounds of Irish correctly in print for English speakers who just want to know “How do I pronounce that?”

Twenty Questions for Irish Beginners How to play the game of “Twenty Questions” in Irish with your class or study group, even if you’re all beginners!

Music

Irish Gaelic Songs for St. Patrick’s Day Why sing music hall songs on St. Patrick’s Day when you can sing real Irish songs in Irish Gaelic? This post gives the lyrics, with pronunciation and links to audio, for two wonderful Irish songs for St. Patrick’s Day: One sacred and one secular.

An Irish Song for the First of May Describes some Irish May Day traditions, and gives the lyrics (with pronunciation) for, and a link to a recording of, the traditional May Day song “Thugamar Féin an Samhradh Linn” (“We Brought the Summer With Us”)

The Road to Lisdoonvarna Video with Irish Words (in English and Irish) written by Irish singer Mary Murphy to the well-known  traditional jig tune (accompanied by a fun video!).

The Harp that Once Through Tara’s Halls… A brief article about the harp as Ireland’s most enduring symbol, particularly the traditional wire-strung Gaelic harp.

From Chicken Noodle Soup to The Spotted Worm: Misheard Song Lyrics Has your brain ever supplied really weird English lyrics for a song in another language?

Cultural and seasonal posts

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Talking about winter weather in Irish Gaelic.

St. Brighid’s Day: Comes the Irish Springtime St. Brighid’s Day (February 1) is the first day of spring in Ireland! Who was Brighid (or Bríd), and how can you observe her special day?

How to Say I Love You to Your Irish Valentine Irish terms of endearment for Valentine’s Day and every day! Includes audio.

Celebrating the Irish Language: Seachtain na Gaeilge Did you know there’s a two-week long, international celebration of the Irish language every March? This post tells you a little about it, and how you can get involved.

Irish Gaelic Songs for St. Patrick’s Day Why sing music hall songs on St. Patrick’s Day when you can sing real Irish songs in Irish Gaelic? This post gives the lyrics, with pronunciation and links to audio, for two wonderful Irish songs for St. Patrick’s Day: One sacred and one secular.

St. Patrick: Who Was He (And Why Do We Care)?  A look at the historical St. Patrick and explanation of some American traditions around his feast day.

Separated By a Common Language Words in English that can trip up visitors to Ireland.

An American Tourist in Ireland The joys of exploring differences (and similarities!) on a visit to Ireland.

The Irish Language Banned Once Again! Yes…it’s our April Fools’ Day post!

An Irish Song for the First of May Describes some Irish May Day traditions, and gives the lyrics (with pronunciation) for, and a link to a recording of, the traditional May Day song “Thugamar Féin an Samhradh Linn” (“We Brought the Summer With Us”).

The Harp that Once Through Tara’s Halls… A brief article about the harp as Ireland’s most enduring symbol, particularly the traditional wire-strung Gaelic harp.

Other stuff

A Linguistic Love Affair: The journey of an American Irish learner, who first fell in love with the Irish language in 1974, at the age of 13.

2013 Gaeltacht Summer Awards Announced: Details on applying for the Fulbright Commission’s Gaeltacht Summer Awards, which allow U.S. citizens to study Irish in the Gaeltacht.

An American Tourist in Ireland The joys of exploring differences (and similarities!) on a visit to Ireland.

Profile: An Irish Learner in Italy: The first of a series of interviews with Irish language learners. Meet Fabrizio, a native of Rome, Italy, and an Irish learner!

Profile: An Irish Learner in Russia: Meet Marina…an Irish learner who lives in Russia!

Profile: An Irish Learner in Brittany: Meet Loig: A long-time Irish learner and fluent Irish speaker who lives in a Celtic region of France. He has some good advice for new learners.

Urban Irish: Blight or Blessing? This post talks about the phenomenon of “Urban Irish,” discusses some of the controversy around it, and invites discussion on the topic.

Previous archives

Looking Back: An Irish Blog Year in Review: All the posts of our first year of bi-weekly blogging about the Irish language, March, 2012 – March, 2013, organized by category.

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1 thought on “Looking Back: The First Half of 2013”

  1. What a huge collection. Nice one, I hope active learners will get some good tips looking back at these.

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