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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 March 2017
I'm giving this three stars because I think it will be useful for some people, however, for me it was difficult to pick up the language using this book. It's very strangely laid out and after lesson 1 the cd doesn't leave room for you to repeat the words and try to pick up how to pronounce words properly. It is very technical so for me, (who doesn't know the difference between a slender or a broad consonant) it was a lesson in what different english terms were before i could even begin to understand the gaelic! I got more use out of youtube and the LearnGaelic.net website
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on 17 November 2011
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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VINE VOICEon 12 May 2010
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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on 23 February 2013
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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on 13 June 2012
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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on 22 May 2017
there are no official Gaelic grammar books in print - but this book acts as a brilliant grammar guide - and it probably better used for that (if wanting to learn the language the language to speak - I would rather recommend Colloquial Gaelic where you will get real spoken Gaelic as really used by people - but you must really get the CDs for it as well - though it is skewed very much to Lewis Gaelic). The official book for Gaelic grammar was Gràmar na Gàudhlig - but it s out of print. But I'd say that this book is better for Gaelic grammar to be honest (try and find the form of the genetive plural of nouns (which is quite easy actually) in Gràmar na Gàidhlig and it will drive you to distraction but in Gaelic in 12 weeks it will be quite easy. So use it for a good indepth description of the grammar of Gaelic but for actually speaking - use Colloquial Gaelic!
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on 13 May 2016
This probably goes to much into the grammar of gaelic and has tended to put me of actually learning the language as this book makes it look very complex to learn, Im sure the book is very well written and great for someone that wants to study more deeply the grammar but the book is not fun which is a great shame.
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on 8 July 2014
Very good. However, it's not an easy language and the title is ridiculously optimistic. Something more like 'Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Months if you're lucky' would be more like it.
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on 29 April 2010
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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on 28 June 2013
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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