6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Best Way to Start Learning Irish,
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This review is from: Gaeilge Gan Stro! - Beginners Level: A Multimedia Irish Language Course for Adults (Paperback)
This is a wonderful way to start learning Irish as an adult. The themes throughout the book are those which would naturally occur in general conversation and the setting is always entirely relevant to daily life. At the same time, the approach to grammar is much more relaxed. As a result the intention seems to be to instil the patterns of the language by hearing and seeing them in action. Occasionally you are left wondering why a phrase is worded in the way that it is: and this is probably the sort of question that is best left to a more rigorous course.
After doing all the lessons and exercises, I can say that I've got a good general understanding of how Irish works, and - with plenty of revision - a fairly useful vocabulary to practise with. The sounds of Irish words, which are often reported to trouble beginners, are sorted by the 4 CDs covering all the words and dialogues. These are recorded by native speakers, and they include interviews with interesting Irish speakers, unconnected with the course as such. Dialogues however are spoken at regular conversational speed and I needed plenty of re-listening to detect all the words and to hear how they were pronounced in context.
There are two very good indexes at the back on topics and grammar. As you work through the book, you really need to make your own vocabulary list for revision purposes. The exercises are a mixture of spoken and written questions: the answers to the latter are all given in a Key section at the end. With each lesson there are hints for the learner and there is a wealth of information about where further study, reading and contact can be made with the language.
I highly recommend this book to all enthusiasts of the language and I look forward to attempting the follow-up Lower Intermediate book in this series.