On Sun, 7 Jun 1998, Clan Buchanan wrote:
> I have been going over the gaelic lessons Neil was kind enough to put up
> on the web. Yes Neil has some redeeming qualities
Ah, you are a master of understatement.
> and I must say I appreciate his efforts in this regard. However
> studying a language through text alone is frustrating because of my
> lack of knowledge where pronunciation is concerned. I am curious if
> anyone knows of any books or perhaps audio tapes that focus on the
> pronunciation aspects of the Scots Gaelic?
I never bothered to put together a complete pronunciation guide for
SG, but I can compile a rough guide if you like. Then when you hear SG
spoken you'd know what to expect. The best book and tape set is Hugo's
SG in Three Months, but you have to be ready for the grammar-focussed
approach (i.e. it'd help if you've previously studied another language).
If not, Teach Yourself Gaelic also has a tape set; the book is extremely
user-friendly but not very logical, I think that the Hugo set would work
well with the TYG book on its own. Also good is "Everyday Gaelic", which
has English phonetic transcriptions of hundreds of Gaelic words.
> I must say I am rather daunted at the moment in regards
> to the complexity of this language.
You get used to it tho'. The most difficult thing at first for an
English-speaker is the lack of recognizable vocabulary -- French, Spanish
and Italian are all much easier to learn for that reason. But Gaelic
grammar is actually simpler than that of the Romance languages, and more
consistent than that of English.
> I have talked to people who speak English as a second language and
> they have told me English was very difficult to learn fluently....but I
> have to believe Gaelic is much more so. Either that or I am getting
> so old that my language skills are lacking...nah that couldn't be it!
> =o ) Maybe I should have my 9 years old study it and then teach me!
> Any suggestions would be much appreciated as I would really like to
> pursue this.
My advice is to read Gaelic texts where possible -- the "West Highland
Tales" series is especially good as the Gaelic is very simple and
colloquial. Song lyrics that come with Gaelic CDs are also very useful.
If you're just digging in to my lessons you'll find that there are simple
Gaelic readings starting with proverbs in lesson five; later readings
include songs and a folktale.