Customer Review

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Redundant from the start, 20 May 2008
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This review is from: Colloquial Irish: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series) (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.

Having worked my way through Learning Irish, I went to Ireland and managed to live in the Gaeltacht for many months, speaking only Irish. Of course my Irish improved a lot during my time there, but I would never have come so far without the very solid foundation Learning Irish had given me. Colloquial Irish is much to short and basic to come anywhere near that.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Oct 2011 17:52:25 BDT
Tenneral says:
This is a truly helpful review. I was seriously thinking of getting Colloquial Irish although I have Learning Irish too, and I was not sure which one to try first. The review clearly decides me on Learning Irish - not only more thorough but clearly splendid value for money. I only wish I can one day achieve the reviewer's command of Irish!
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