Emma and Ben from Bitesize Irish answer your Irish language questions questions live on YouTube! July’s Q&A was all about the biggest challenges that you encounter when learning the Irish language.
Question: How do you pronounce consonants When speaking irish?
Scarlett said: “My BIGGEST confusion comes from the CONSONANT sounds. Is there somewhere where I can learn the phonics and sounds of Gaeilge? Does Bitesize offer courses and lessons in that?”
Jump to 1m15s in the video for a discussion! Some of Scarlett’s confusion seemed to relate to the way that different sounds are pronounced in different dialects of the Irish language. The ins-and-outs of this topic are explained in the dialects module of our Aistear Reference Pack: https://aistear.bitesize.irish/reference-pack/dialects/
Ben gives specific pointers on pronunciation in Bitesize’s weekly hour-long scripted live conversation practice session, Bitesize Beo. You get opportunity to ask questions live and in person with Ben about any sounds that you may be having difficulty with!
You may also enjoy Bitesize founder Eoin’s ‘Crack Irish Pronunciation’ course, where he gives valuable pronunciation tips and explains specific rules relating to Irish language pronunciation.
But you have to be a member to access these! Sign up to either Explore or Grow membership to access Aistear and to learn the Irish language at your own pace.
If you’d like to get nerdy right away www.fuaimeanna.ie is an excellent free resource that lets you identify and compare the constituent sounds of words in the Irish language.
Related beginner’s question from Seán Gearóid
Seán Gearóid asked: “Is there is currently available a set of simple Irish language story books just like the ones we had in English at primary school?”
Ben recommends the book series ‘Abair Liom’ which can be purchased online at www.siopaleabhar.com, and explains that websites such as www.leighleat.com and www.leighanois.com offer similar online learning resources for children and beginners for free. For more details drop into the Q&A at 8m15s!
How can I practise the Irish language if I have no-one to practise with?
Stephanie says: “My biggest challenge is not having anyone to practise with. I’ve never spoken to a person in the Irish language and would love to do so on a regular basis.”
Ben’s live scripted conversation session Bitesize Beo gets you chatting with fellow learners once per week, while Emma’s monthly Cogar Mogar video call lets you read aloud and ask specific grammar and pronunciation questions as they arise.
If neither of those suit, check out www.peig.ie to see if there are Irish language conversation groups or in-person classes taking place in your area. You never know!
I have difficulty hearing words, I just hear sounds in Irish
Carol finds it difficult to pick out the individual words when trying to comprehend spoken Irish language. Jump into the discussion at 21m00s to hear Ben and Emma’s tips on techniques and resources to help you overcome this challenge when learning the Irish language!
I’ve tried in-person Irish language classes and others, but I don’t get enough repetition
Not all learners enjoy repetition, but as Ben explains at 26m32s it is certainly an effective approach to learning! The beauty of Bitesize’s self-study platform is that you can repeat lessons as often (or as little!) as you like ag do luas féin’(at your at your own pace).