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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish for Beginners: a Wise Buy
This is a great book for those who are totally new to the Irish language. It gives a break-down of all the important areas of conversational Irish like, shopping, telling the time and saying 'hello', just to name a few. The book also has pages on basic Irish grammar and on Irish pronunciation, which is a definite must for a book that aims to teach Irish. The book is...
Published on 3 Nov 2009 by Tomás O'Leery

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very so-so
This was what I used the first time I approached learning Irish and, whilst it's not a 'bad' book, I've dropped it in favour of a whole lot of other stuff.

These Usborne books are part of a series (I have the German one also) which appear identical in content and illustration apart from the text of the language concerned. They seem to aim at getting you to just...
Published 4 months ago by M Banahan


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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish for Beginners: a Wise Buy, 3 Nov 2009
By 
Tomás O'Leery (Galway, Republic of Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
This is a great book for those who are totally new to the Irish language. It gives a break-down of all the important areas of conversational Irish like, shopping, telling the time and saying 'hello', just to name a few. The book also has pages on basic Irish grammar and on Irish pronunciation, which is a definite must for a book that aims to teach Irish. The book is altogether fun to use and doesn't weigh you down with too much at once. The biggest plus of the book is the accompanying audio CD. This disk has two native Irish speakers that go through each page's dialogue so that you can hear someone speaking it properly. You can read along whilst you listen to familiarise yourself with written Irish. The disk really completes the book, as one of the hardest areas of the Irish language to learn and understand is, pronunciation. The book also has, on most pages, an activity to help reinforce what you have just learnt (don't worry the answers are in the back just in case you're not sure). I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to keep the Irish language alive, but doesn't know where to start.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish for Beginners, 19 July 2010
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This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
I read some of the reviews for other Beginners books, and choose this one as it had previous good reviews.
The links to the internet also for the lessons are excellent, I would have no hesitation in recommending this for anyone who wants to learn basics, and is great for all ages.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for a 7 Year old, 12 Feb 2010
This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
My 7 year old really enjoys this. He's very keen to learn and the fact that it comes with a CD means he's not pestering me constantly about pronunciation. Illustrations make it more enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very so-so, 11 Jun 2014
This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
This was what I used the first time I approached learning Irish and, whilst it's not a 'bad' book, I've dropped it in favour of a whole lot of other stuff.

These Usborne books are part of a series (I have the German one also) which appear identical in content and illustration apart from the text of the language concerned. They seem to aim at getting you to just about survival-level tourist basics, which works ok in countries where English is definitely a second language if it exists at all.

For an English speaker visiting a country like Italy or Germany you will at least get a nod from the locals at your attempt to speak their language before they decide whether their English is better than your German/Italian/whatever and then switch. So a survival-level command of the language has some use. Also in those countries, an ability to read things like bus and train timetables may be a necessity. And, occasionally, you may in the remoter parts bump into someone with whom you *have* to use your basic skills, at which point this level of language ability becomes highly relevant and not just nice-to-have or a courtesy.

In Ireland, that's not actually very useful. If you use this book to get you started you will indeed be able to use simple phrases, count, tell the time and ask directions and that will earn you a bit of praise and a surprised raised eyebrow if you do bump into anyone who is a native speaker. For general tourism purposes that's of no conceivable use though, as you have to actively hunt out an Irish speaker and it would be a considerable surprise to find anyone in the hospitality industry or even the remote countryside who has more than a few words of the language themselves. The last monolingual Irish speaker is long-gone. To see what I mean, look on youtube for the humorous but accurate short film 'Yu ming is ainm dom'.

Tourist-level Irish is really not a relevant goal. As a quick introduction to Irish this book will do, but there are numerous online resources easily available that are its equal or better.

The main reason for learning Irish is probably going to be a fascination with and a love of the language just for the fun of it. That's not what this book is aimed at. If you work all the way through it and still love the language you will be desperate for more and it will stop at about the point where the language starts to get really interesting!

So for those reasons, three stars only. The book itself is not flawed, but it's probably not what you are looking for unless you specifically want a quick toe dipped in the water and don't really want to go far with it.

The CDs of spoken Irish that this comes with are very handy. YOU CANNOT LEARN IRISH BY READING IT, certainly if you are a native English speaker. It's ESSENTIAL to listen to the sounds and read the written language simultaneously, as the spelling is disastrously misleading until you have learned that English pronunciation rules bear no obvious relationship to Irish, much, much more so than most other European languages. That earned my review at least one and maybe two extra stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irish for beginners, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
It's my native language and i thought it was important to try and learn a little of bit of it, to help keep the Irish language alive. It's useful for anyone wanting to learn some basic sentences and grammar. I would definitely recommend to anyone with any interest in the language and the culture of Ireland.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginners Gaelic, 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
Brilliant for sorting out the pronunciation of Gaelic ! We're all different, but this book and CD is helpful if you listen many times to the CD a section at a time, then sit and study the two-page layout accompanying each segment on occasions to reinforce the spelling of the words in your memory. Progressing through, the grammar is introduced clearly, but it is vital to get each section totally under your belt before moving on. This slim book is deceptive in that a contains a fair amount of knowlege.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not for beginners, 31 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Paperback)
We decided to learn a few phrases of our native language so bought this book. It looked childlike which appealed to our level of expectation. Inside there are no phonetics and the layout of the book it hard to understand. Can't see us using it and we have already been getting phrases off the internet which are free and have the phonetics available. Disappointing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult language!, 2 May 2011
By 
Mr. H. S. Arloff "Steve Arloff" (Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
This book and CD is a generally good & fun introduction to the complexities of the Irish language but there are some flaws in the explanations. What it makes you realise is that 'latin' based languages are "easy" once you've mastered one of them, eg: Spanish is much easier if you already know French, just as any slav language is easier if you know one of them - the one you know acts as a 'key' to the others. As far as I can see NOTHING (even Welsh or Scots Gaelic) can help when it comes to Irish though I could be wrong there. However, it should be fun trying it out when we go there next Sunday!Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and cute graphics, 23 April 2014
By 
Julie Appleton (Mona Vale, NSW, AU) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
Usborne repeatedly present information in the best way. The CD and book work together well, and have links to online helpful sites. Irish is never going to be that easy, but this is a good kick start. The audio presentation is useful too in that it has 3 people in the script and we hear a male and female voice presenting Gaeilge.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thankyou.:), 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Paperback)
I would like to thank you for your brilliant service.I ordered a book on learning Irish Gaelic on Friday and it was delivered by the Postman the very next day and I have to say the service is amazing and I look forward to shopping more with you when funds permit.:)
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Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners)
Irish for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) by John Shackell (Paperback - 31 Aug 2001)
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