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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
27
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2010
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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on 12 February 2010
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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on 31 August 2013
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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on 18 March 2014
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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on 17 February 2016
Brilliant! Well put together and very useful as a revision tool to complement my beginners class, although the artwork is quite childish.
I love the looks I get from fellow commuters when I pull it out on the train :-)
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on 7 December 2014
At the end of this book you still know very little Irish. I went through the lot and am still struggling to help my 9 and 10 year old with their homework. There are quite a few little mistakes in this book as well, like forgotten fada's. If you're trying to learn the right spelling, this isn't helpful either.
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on 31 March 2014
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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on 24 February 2015
This is an easy,fun way to start learning Irish.The course avoids unnecessary grammatical complications and,by emulating real-life everyday situations, encourages the student to speak Irish from the very first lesson. Usborne is a market leader in this area, so if you want to learn Irish, start here

Tus maith leath na h-oibre ( A good beginning is half the work)
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on 11 June 2014
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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on 23 April 2014
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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