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Colloquial Irish: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series) Paperback – 7 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; Bilingual edition (7 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415381290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415381291
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,152,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Thomas Ihde is currently director of the Institute for Irish-American Studies at Lehman College, CUNY, New York. His current research focuses on Irish language materials development and bilingual acquisition. His previous publications include a book on the Irish Language (1994, Bergin and Garvey).

Maire Ni Neachtain, a native Irish speaker from West Galway, teaches language, literature and linguistics at the Department of Irish, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Dr Roslyn Blyn-LaDrew currently teaches Irish at the University of Pennsylvania, and was previously President of the North American Association for Celtic Language Teachers.

John Gillen, a research fellow at the Institute for Irish-American Studies, has taught Modern Irish and Old Irish for the New York Gaelic Society, and currently works at Hostos Community College, CUNY.



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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gwilym on 20 May 2008
Format: Paperback
Long overdue, Colloquial Irish has finally been published. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a big disappointment. In recent years, Routledge has turned to publishing shorter and shorter books in the Colloquial-series, giving its readers ever less value for the money. For some languages, the person interested in learning it may not have a choice, but that's not the case for Irish. Small as it may be, there are some excellent courses and this new course is nowhere near them.

For some reason, the authors decided to pick the Irish dialect of Cois Fhairrge for this book. That's a brave choice, given that a very good and extensive Irish course (Learning Irish) focuses on exactly the same dialect. So, the learner eager to learn Irish (or Cois Fhairrge Irish in particular) has got two courses at hand, which one should he pick? My answer is Learning Irish, for the following reasons:

- Learning Irish is by far the more extensive of the two courses. While Colloquial Irish will only give a vocabulary of about 800 words, Learning Irish will see to it that you finish with around 2.500 words.

- The grammar is explained in great detail in Learning Irish, making sure that the reader really learns it and reducing the risks for misunderstandings. Colloquial Irish gives a much more rudimentary grammar presentation, and the likely result is that the reader will be more confused than helped. If not in this book, then at least by the time he goes to the Gaeltacht and tries speaking Irish only to discover that he doesn't know all those things Learning Irish would have taught him.

- There are many more excersises (with answers) in Learning Irish, so the learner really has the opportunity to practice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Crisdean on 22 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I disagree with the other reviwer that "learning Irish" is better. Learning Irish is very good - but heavy going - especially if you have no linguistic experience, Yes Colloquial Irish is shorter (noted by another reviewer) but it is good "bite" size normal spoken Irish using the Cois Fharraige (West of Galway city) dialect. I prefer to learn a dialect than "standardised school Irish". I'd have preferred to learn the Mayo dialect as that is area that family come from - but this is about as close a course I'll get. The colloquial series does always teach you the language as it is used. Having lived in Iceland where I learnt Icelandic, I was impressed by their Icelandic course. I speak Scottish Gaelic and so looked at their course on it - it is good (though weighed to Lewis dialect). Recently I went to Berlin and used colloquial German - and it the language and cultural tips made a huge difference. And it is the same with the Irish course; you get the language as spoken. If get to the end there is no reason why people can not then go onto more advanced courses (any chance of brining out a (further Colloquial Irish?). I also appreciated the section at the back explaining dialect variations of topics in each chapter.

Colloquial Irish is very good. Learning Irish is also good - but is extremely heavy going and would be off putting for many people. Colloquial Irish also introduces people to normal language situations - and does not set scenarios and language just in rural settings and talking about rural issues
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By Llanddwyn on 10 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good course but really needs to be included as part of a learning scheme. I also purchased separately the accompanying CD which is essential to learn pronunciation. As a Welsh speaker, a lot of the vocabulary becomes intuitive due to similarity in words, also sentence construction in the two languages is similar which helps.

I think a learner would struggle with the book alone although it provides an excellent text book to accompany a more formal class environment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Caroline Oceana Ryan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent beginners course, best used in conjunction with its companion CD, for help with pronunciation.

I had the privilege of taking a beginner's course in Irish with one of the authors, Dr. Roslyn Blyn-LaDrew of the University of Pennsylvania, and can safely say there is no better instructor in the language this side of the Atlantic.

The book gives an easy conversational introduction to a fascinating, very old language, and offers a vital inroad to appreciating Irish culture.

- Caroline Oceana Ryan, author - AN OLD CASTLE STANDING ON A FORD: One Yank's Life in an Almost Peaceful Belfast (Eloquent Books, 2010)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not a real course 12 Aug. 2014
By Gwilym - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Having had the pleasure of learning Irish before this book was first published, I've never used - but as I've taught Irish I have of course looked at it, just as I have looked on all other Irish courses.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book. In comparison with many other Irish courses, it is far too limited and disorganized. If you're not really interested in learning to speak the language, this little book with its roughly 700 words and somewhat confusing explanations will probably do fine, just as any other course would.

If you're serious about learning Irish, I would recommend either Learning Irish or the old Teach Yourself Irish by Myles Dillon (do NOT buy the new version by O'Se). Both of those courses give a much more detailed and structured description of how the language works, and both contain more words (Learning Irish is more than twice as extensive).

In short, there is no situation where I could recommend this book. If you only want a phrasebook, there are cheaper options. If you want a real course, this course is far too limited. If you already know the Colloquial series, do not expect this book to be as extensive as other courses in the series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Its okay 1 April 2014
By Will Murray - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think it's suppose to come with the CDs. Mine didnt and they would really help. Where can i get them?
A welcome edition for the beginning learner 19 Jun. 2014
By John C Faubion - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was lovingly created for the beginner of modern Irish. Everything is covered in this text. A welcome edition to any library of modern Irish.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Back to the roots 1 Jun. 2013
By Ronda Barney - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for a Christmas gift for a family member who is very into their ancestry turned out to be a great book.
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