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Turas Teanga [Irish] [Paperback]

Eamonn O Donaill
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 14.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD 24.00  

Book Description

1 Jan 2004
Turas Teanga consists of 20 units, each representing material contained in a single programme. It is illustrated with cartoons and photographs featuring series presenter, Sharon Ni Bheolain. The book is presented bilingually. In addition to the main instructional text, there are boxed features on useful information such as common greetings, the various ways of saying 'where are you from' in Irish and other such common phrases of language. Turas Teanga will be one of RTE's most important television series in 2004 and the book, will be an invaluable resource.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd (1 Jan 2004)
  • Language: Irish
  • ISBN-10: 0717137430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0717137435
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 856,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Eamonn O Donaill is originally from the Donegal Gaeltacht of Gaoth Dobhair. He spent six years (1996-2002) working as Director of the Department of Modern Irish's Language Centre, UCD, and now works as a language consultant. He was language coordinator of the television series Now You're Talking, which was broadcast by the BBC and RTE in 1995 and aimed at learners of basic Irish, and author of the book which accompanied the series.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For intermediate learners! 16 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback
This multimedia course is geared towards those who most likely have had Irish in school years ago. It is not meant for beginners: to quote the back cover: but "at those who have studied Irish in the past and understand a great deal of the language, but have had few opportunities to use it in recent times." As one who has picked up much of his Irish by study outside of Ireland, I found this course relatively useful.
It fills a niche left so far empty. While beginners can select from O Siadhail's formidable "Learning Irish," the Teach Yourself Irish series, or Transparent Learning's "Irish Now?" CD-ROM, to name the three usually found easily around the world, after this, what next? The three videos record the 20 tv programs broadcast originally on RTE; these are pretty fast paced. There's a helpful website link via RTE for learners that explains more about the workings of the language as a refresher, as the intent of this book+video is to sharpen conversational skills and not grammatical book-learning. The book itself is designed to be used with the videos, although it can be bought separately. The book has CD exercises that the video does not. The videos overlap with but do not duplicate most of the textbook.
Here are the differences. The chapters in the book start with learner's tips, go on to dialogues, follow with activities for practice (if you don't have sufficient basic comprehension already, you need to review, as they move briskly), a glance at key phrases or idioms, a bit of grammar, a reading text, and a review. Answers to the exercises are appended.
For the videos, the dialogues are acted out--this is very helpful, as three conversations are given, one each with Munster, Connacht, and Ulster accents (and dialectal usages once in a while).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely helpful 7 Jan 2012
By NMc
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I got the c.d's and the book together and found them a great way to get back into the language. They helped me to realise how much I still knew from school and how much I needed to learn. Audio was great for learning to speak the language. If u don't have any Irish at all it may be harder to start on this. Think it helps to have some basics first.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Video, CD, book: how they all sort out for Irish learning here 11 Mar 2007
By John L Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This multimedia course is geared towards those who most likely have had Irish in school-- and I mean in Ireland-- years ago. It is not meant for beginners. I quote the back cover: but "at those who have studied Irish in the past and understand a great deal of the language, but have had few opportunities to use it in recent times." The "great deal" is the clincher. If you have not attained a past level of at least upper-intermediate fluency in speaking, listening, writing, and reading, you will flounder. Therefore, as one who has picked up admittedly less than "a great deal" of his smallish Irish by study outside of Ireland, I found this course more marginally but still relatively useful.

Why? It fills a niche left so far empty. It's arguably the first comprehensive multimedia learning platform oriented-- as its presenter, participants, and preparers show-- to Irish in its native habitat, as in our 21st century. (The author also wrote a useful "Teach Yourself Irish Grammar" in 2005; I review this and two other grammars, Donna Wong's "Learner's Guide to Irish," and Nollaig Mac Congáil's "Irish Grammar Book," on Amazon, as well as some of the other titles mentioned in the review you're reading.) While beginners can select from O Siadhail's formidable "Learning Irish," the Teach Yourself Irish series, or Transparent Learning's "Irish Now?" CD-ROM, to name the three usually found easily around the world, after this, what next?

The three TT videos record the 20 TV programs broadcast originally on RTE; these for learners will seem fast-paced. There's a helpful website link via RTE that explains more about the workings of the language as a refresher, as the intent of this book + video is to sharpen conversational skills and not duplicate grammatical book-learning. (Wong, Mac Congáil, and TYIG can all help the latter need.) The TT book itself is designed to be used with the videos, although it can be bought separately. The book has CD exercises that the video does not. The videos overlap with but do not duplicate most of the textbook and CD.

Here are the differences. The chapters in the book start with learner's tips, go on to dialogues, follow with activities for practice (if you don't have sufficient basic comprehension already, you need to review, as they move briskly), a glance at key phrases or idioms, a bit of grammar, a reading text, and a review. Answers to the exercises are appended.

For the videos, the dialogues are acted out--this is very helpful, as three conversations are given, one each with Munster, Connacht, and Ulster accents (and dialectal usages once in a while). This feature aids a learner's ear for the crucial differences in stress and grammar that arise and challenge you once you leave behind "caighdean" or standard "school" Irish. These differences are rapidly commented on by Sharon Ni Beolain, the affable host, but you need to understand the bulk of the basic conversation on your own first. What's explained are the more subtle points that a teacher or tutor would comment upon. There are other video features not in the text. For me, this lack of integration is a definite shortcoming of the text proper.

Why? The most glaring and frustrating instance is when you get a "soundscape" of "everyday" conversation ambiently recorded. I know immersion is the reason. But it is often hard to hear the details of what is said or likely mumbled-- and as no captions are available and no text is offered, you cannot advance much in your comprehension. The visit made by the host to native speakers is only alluded to in the text by a picture and caption; again, with only an English caption provided for the conversation, it helps comprehension to a degree, but it would have been much better if the videos had always provided both English and Irish captions that a learner could switch between for self-study. Irish captions, in fact, are rare, when I expected them to be parallel to the English option. This lack is the worst shortcoming that I found in the videos. Repeated viewings enable one to better "hear" the Irish, but for words or phrases you're still unsure about, there's no text or any way to verify or correct your mental version of what you think you're listening to.

A similar shortcoming exists with the enjoyable "reality show" that brings together six people to see if they'll divide into three couples, as they compete to find romance and to win a house in the Gaeltacht of their choice! This offers a great chance to accustom your ear to the various dialects and accents, but with only English as a caption, this falls short of its potential. I have to admit that the graphics for this currently "up-to-date" video series look surprisingly shoddy, and that in a few years the haircuts and fashions will be terribly if amusingly dated!

All in all, there's finally a choice on the market for intermediate learners, and for that RTE is to be commended. Four stars for effort; three for execution? But the lack of a total match between textbook and videos, as well as the absence for the most part of Irish captions added to not any captions in large segments does mean that you will have been expected to have a sharp ear for mastering the Irish you hear but will not be able to read-- neither on the video nor on the page.
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