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24 Reviews
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, rather dry, but the best of the bunch
Although by no means perfect, for me this is the best of the three main self-tuition Gaelic books. Although rather slim, and still without a CD at the time of writing this review, the book is beautifully presented and very clear. Also it has a huge advantage over the other books: the main vocabulary lists have pronunciation, rendered using the International Phonetic...
Published on 29 April 2010 by Gołębnik

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad
the trouble with learning new languages is that when you're reading it you really need to have the pronunciation next to the words to begin with I feel. The CD is pretty dry and could've been done a bit better its just a case of someone saying the word once and then you repeat, quickly, before the next word is spoken. Not many other Gaelic books out there and while this...
Published 23 months ago by Blackiegray


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, rather dry, but the best of the bunch, 29 April 2010
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Gołębnik (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Although by no means perfect, for me this is the best of the three main self-tuition Gaelic books. Although rather slim, and still without a CD at the time of writing this review, the book is beautifully presented and very clear. Also it has a huge advantage over the other books: the main vocabulary lists have pronunciation, rendered using the International Phonetic Alphabet. For this alone I give it five stars, although annoyingly pronunciation is not provided for words which are introduced outwith the vocabulary lists.

Explanations of grammar are also very clear and comprehensive. If, like me, you like grammar and are not scared of rules, this book is easily the best. On the downside, it is rather dry, and less well suited to people who learn languages more by `absorption'. It is probably the best grammar reference available for Gaelic though.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Efficient and comprehensive introduction to Scottish Gaelic, 12 May 2010
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R. WEST-SOLEY "Rich West-Soley" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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Excellently laid out and very clear to follow, you won't get a more solid (and concise) introduction than this to Scottish Gaelic. Be aware, though, that it is straightforward and academic in style, covering grammar and core vocabulary efficiently without the 'frills' of other communicative courses. That said, the grammatical rules are presented extremely clearly and comprehensively. Pronunciation guides in IPA given for (almost) all new vocabulary, although an accompanying CD is available for extra support. A great primer for anyone interested in serious study of Gaelic.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and comprehensive, but heavy going, 13 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) (Paperback)
So far I've got as far as Chapter 5 of the 12 chapters. The book is, as the title of this review states, very good and comprehensive, but you do need to be dedicated to get through it, and it is heavy going. Despite having the IPA pronunciation for many of the words, the Audio CD is invaluable for learning `true' pronunciation. Even so, the two main speakers do have different pronunciation (not surprising if you consider all the regional variations of English pronunciation), and there aren't that many audio examples to follow.

I've found that I do need another source of written and spoken Gaelic in order to give more examples of pronunciation, and to have more text from which to learn. The BBC's "An Litir Bheag" is a very good tool for this, with well over 300 five-minute MP3 clips of (slowly) spoken Gaelic, together with transcriptions and partial translations. After a while you can start picking out words from the audio and recognising the grammatical constructs in the associated transcriptions.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive but doesn't follow a logical order, 17 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) (Paperback)
This is very detailed as an item - I bought the version with the audio CD - but it is very heavy on the grammar and using grammatical, confusing phrases - (lenition, slender consonants, initial mutations etc.).
I would have liked to perhaps started off with simple things like numbers, months etc. but it dives straight into phrases and it lacks a detailed and/or structured approach to any vocabulary, with small group seemingly added on to the end of each chapter.
Will be hard work to follow over 12 weeks (especially as most people will not have anyone to 'bounce' conversation off) but it certainly is a detailed and comprehensive book.
*Only* buy with the version with the audio CD - otherwise you are wasting time, effort and money
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad, 28 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) (Paperback)
the trouble with learning new languages is that when you're reading it you really need to have the pronunciation next to the words to begin with I feel. The CD is pretty dry and could've been done a bit better its just a case of someone saying the word once and then you repeat, quickly, before the next word is spoken. Not many other Gaelic books out there and while this one isn't perfect, its still worth picking this up and buying a separate book to help remember how to actually say the words.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this without reservation!, 23 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) (Paperback)
I've always had a strong interest in languages. I'm an English speaker (from Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and learnt French and German in school, which I've mostly forgotten, and have since taught myself to speak pretty good Spanish.

I've been fascinated with Scottish Gaelic for years, mainly as a result of my many trips to Scotland. I've always been slightly frustrated by my inability to pronounce place-names ("Cnoc an Leothaid", "Stac Pollaidh" etc), which was possibly my main motivation to learn Gaelic. I also have some Scottish heritage and would love to discover that I'm a Cattach, or that my ancestors were from Caithness!

I've been using this book now for several months. I find it very comprehensive. Learning Gaelic is difficult but, if you're prepared to persevere, you'll make progress with this book. The CDs are invaluable, essential really, because pronunciation is difficult for a native English speaker. The content of the CDs is basically every Gaelic word in the book, read out in order which I think is a really good, straightforward idea. If I have any criticism, the book could do with more exercises but I truly think this could easily fill a supplementary volume (authors take note: there's another book in it for you!)

Also, to make any realistic progress, you'll need other resources. The best thing would be a Gaelic-speaking next-door neighbour but, failing that, there's loads of stuff on the internet: for example, search for "An Litir Bheag" which is good for beginners.

It still amazes me that it's possible to buy a book for about £15 or whatever and learn something completely new. It's almost miraculous. This book achieves this and, despite my minor criticisms, I can't give it fewer than five stars.

If you're at all interested in learning Scottish Gaelic, buy this book. It'll do you for life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't like the style, 15 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) (Paperback)
Having previously used mainly audio based products for learning other languages I don't like the way this book is structured.

It's uses too many terms like 'indefinite pronouns', 'dipthongs', 'broad consonants', 'slender consonants' and so on - and that's within the first few pages. The audio CD is hard to follow with the book, and the first CD at least is just one long track, you can't easily skip forward and back to bits you want to repeat.

I've used Paul Nobles CDs for French and German and it's a shame he doesn't do a Ghàidhlig one because I prefer the learning styles without making use of complex terminology that means little to people in the real world.

A shame because I'd like to keep learning but the style is off putting.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy heavy grammar-orientated approach, 17 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) (Paperback)
Whaaat??? I can not understand why this book is rated so highly by other users. I find it next to impossible to use this book, even though I am an experienced language learner, and have achieved fluency in some languages. Layout and so forth look inviting, but when you get in to the actual learning, it's very difficult to make progress. There is not enough information or exercises for each new piece of language that is being learnt, and the book throws in quite minor points along with the major learning blocks. An example of this is the concept of 'I have only' which is introduced in chapter 1, along with one of the verbs 'to be'. I learnt to ignore these more minor points, and concentrated on the major learning blocks in each lesson. When I got to lesson 3 I was presented with a list of 45 verbal nouns. What am I supposed to do? Memorise them? There was one short translation exercise that tested a few of these. I've since switched to an old copy 2003 of the Teach Yourself series, along with the accompanying CDs, which I find to be more user-friendly. I also have a copy of the Aberdeen course, Progressive Gaelic 1, which again is a much better option for self-learning, even though it is intended as a classroom-based course. I have given this two stars because I still listen to the CDs, which I find can be helpful to reinforce things that I have picked up elsewhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaelic book for Beginners, 3 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) (Paperback)
This book is a great book for those wanting to get started with Gaelic, easy to read and understand for the new learner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 20 Mar. 2014
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I have gone through this quickly to begin with, not an easy book and I am sure there will be easier language course books out there somewhere but this is good and once I begin properly to study I am sure I shall be recommending this to others who want to learn this historical language...
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Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD)
Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks (plus audio CD) by Iain MacAonghuis (Paperback - 15 Sept. 2008)
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