Blas na Gàidhlig: The Practical Guide to Scottish Gaelic Pronunciation Hardcover – 31 Mar 2011
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A truly brilliant book on what - until now - has been a difficult topic for learners and teachers alike. Michael Bauer has taken what is a very complex subject - the pronunciation of Scottish Gaelic - and presented it in a lively, witty and informative way. With this authoritative book, even those with little or no knowledge of concepts such as the Phonetic Alphabet will discover exactly why the sounds work the way they do. It will help learners unlock that elusive door to understanding and speaking the language well. And it will be invaluable for Gaelic teachers who have become accustomed to a feeling of dread in response to that inevitable question regarding some matter of pronunciation - "But why?" Ishbel Murray, Gaelic Immersion Course Teacher, Stow College Glasgow
From the Back Cover
Most learners of Gaelic - and native speakers in particular - agree that having a good accent is very important. Ditto for people who teach Gaelic to adults and need to be able to explain a thing or two about pronunciation. But how to get there is not always so obvious.
This is where this book, its many sound files and more than 120 sets of exercises come in. It will take you - whether you're a complete beginner; a semi- or fully-fluent learner; or an interested native speaker - on a fascinating journey through the gubbins of this intriguing language. All you need is a thirst for knowledge because great care has gone into making a complicated topic as accessible as possible to everyone.
In a way, it will be your resident Gaelic granny. Always there for you, never makes you feel stupid, full of anecdotes, flawless Gaelic and even some home baking. Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh!See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It has a logical progression but the nice thing is that you can also just jump somewhere, our night class teacher was trying to explain something about aspiration but left everyone a bit confused. So I looked it up and had a couple of epiphynies. I took it in to show her and she says she's got to get one herself, she says she can say everything right but doesn't know why or how to explain it,
There's also loads of sound files to go with the book on the publishers webiste which makes it even better. It sounds expensive but when you realise how much you're getting, it's money well spent. No regrets and I recommend ti to any learner!
Part 1 is a short explanation of the importance of acquiring good pronunciation; Part 2 decribes, one by one, all Gaelic vowels and consonants (the sounds, rather than the letters; to make this part more digestible, there are a few pieces of related trivia scattered around). Part 3 explains how these sound interact with each other: this includes intonation, word stress or sounds disappearing in fast speech as well as single and jumping lenition, slenderization or preaspiration. Part 4 then looks at how these sound are put into the Gaelic spelling system.
The two most important appendices are a 'Wordlist' with pronunciations given not only for the basic forms, but also for genitives and plurals, comparatives, verbal nouns &c, including more detailed tables for irregular verbs. The other is a 'Guide to Reading Gaelic', about 250 rules following which one can, going letter by letter, 'reconstruct' the pronunciation of a particular Gaelic word from the way it's written.
The author managed to write a book that is quite enjoyable and highly informative at the same time, while the sound files leave no doubt about how should a particular phonetic transcription really sound. I should especially recommend it to everybody who studies Gaelic without the possibility of being in a regular contact with a native speaker always at the ready to point out the mistakes a learner will inevitably do.
(One warning, though: if your native language isn't English, brace yourself for finding out about a thing or two you're doing bad in that language as well.)
Great strides have been made in the teaching and learning of the language over the last decade or so, fuelled by the commitment of individuals against a generalised official indifference or actual animosity to the language. This has formed a wealth of new teaching materials to the point where learners are actually faced with the choice of course they wish to follow; not so long ago they would have had very limited choice of finding a course at all! Books on grammar, dictionaries etc. now abound. But should a daring learner make an attempt at a book on the phonology of the language (which has been isolated to the advanced academic study of specific dialects) picking up a book and trying to understand the highly technological and "archane" language of phonology, they are more likely to baulk at the contents and rush back to a book on grammar for comfort!! There simply has not been any serious books on the sounds of the language for learners - until now! Blas na Gàidhlig fills that gap. I am certain it will forever go down as a mile stone in the teaching of Gàidhlig.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An incredibly detailed book, but with several shortcomings. First, who's it for? Not the general public, because it's way too complex for anyone without linguistic competence. Read morePublished 5 months ago by E W
For learners with no reliable access to a native speaker this book is a godsend. Transformed my ability to create authentic gaelic pronunciation, and to understand how to get from... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mizswamp
A very comprehensive and phonectics based view of the language.Published 23 months ago by Mr. John Robinson
as we are trying to learn gaelic for to teach the grandchildren it was too heavy going an we did not understand it we thought it was going to be like a phrase book and because of... Read morePublished on 10 May 2013 by Amazon Customer
I'll start by saying that, as an English-speaking native Scot who decided on a whim to finally make an effort to learn this language, this book is exactly what I was needing. Read morePublished on 14 April 2013 by Mabassa
Getting the sounds of Scottish Gaelic right is not easy. Not only will native speakers not trust you enough to talk to you, but neither will some interested non-Gaelic-speaking... Read morePublished on 23 May 2012 by downunder