an latha mu dheireadhRead Now
Chan eil airson am blog seo, tha mi a dol a cumail air adhart ris a seo ach chan eil mi a gealtainn gum bi mi a' sgriobhadh a h-uile latha.
not for this blog, I am going to keep going with this but I am not promising that I will be writing every day.
Ach 's e seo an latha mu dheireadh aig Mìos na Gàidhlig. Mìos math a bha ann da-riribh. làn Ghàidhlig, spòrs agus cairaidean ùr.
But this is the last day of Gaelic Awareness Month. It has been a good month indeed full of Gaelic, fun and new friends.
here is a wee video that I made today.
Tha laithean math ann agus laithean nach eil cho mhath
Chan eil smaointinnean glè inntinnach agamd an-diugh. Mar sin, seo agam dhuibh. Tha mi an dochas gum bidh smaintinnean nas fhearr agam am maireachd.
Tha sinn faisg air deireadh Mìos na Gàidhlig. Tha mi an dochas gun robh mìos math agaibh uile.
Cumaidh mi am blog seo a dol as deidh Mìos na Gàidhlig.
agus seo fluraichean dhuibh :)
Mind the gapRead Now
Bridging the gap between being a learner of a language and a speaker of a language can be difficult. To go from translating to speaking naturally is a major goal for most learners and one that most teachers have for their students.
Here are some of my thoughts and ideas on how to tackle this challenge. Please share your idea especially things that have worked for you in the comments.
1. Don't worry: The more important it is to you to become fluent the easier it is to worry about how well you are doing and how quickly you are learning. But the worrying can make it harder to learn. So if you find yourself worrying take a time out and do whatever you do to calm down: meditate, yoga, a walk in the woods, go to the gym, watch a silly youtube video and relax and trust yourself.
2. Believe in yourself! : Here is the thing about this, if you tell yourself that you can you will find a way to get to the level of Gaelic that you want, the opposite is also true. We all have times when we feel discouraged and frustrated but don't let those feelings become a habit.
If you find that you are often thinking "I can't do this" or "this is too hard" you can start to turn your thinking around. Start by adding 'yet' or 'right now' to these negative thoughts so they become "I cant do this yet" and "This is too hard right now".
2.5 Be kind and be curious: The next step is to be kind to your self. What ever level of Gaelic you have now is ok. Take a look at all the things you have learned. Remember when you didn't know any Gaelic and see how far you have come. It can be fun to get out the fist Gaelic materials that you ever got or go back to where you first saw or got interested in Gaelic. Remember what it was like the first time you heard Gaelic. Tune into the excitement you felt and also see how far you have already come.
Now it is time to get curious. Yourself is the most fascinating thing in the universe. You wouldn't believe how much there is to discover when you start being curious about yourself. Be curious about how you learn. Does it work best to hear new words, to see them written, to write them yourself, to see a picture of them? Do you learn best by finding out about the hows and whys and really getting into the grammar or is it easier for you to learn whole phrases? But don't stop there. Be curious about how you think. Be curious about what associations you have and are making for words and phrases. Be curious about how you are feeling about different things you are learning. If you are getting frustrated, be curious about why?
Check out your own beliefs. I don't mean religious beliefs but the little everyday ones that most of the time fly under our radar. Ones like "I'll never be a native speaker so why should I try" and "I'll never be good enough" some may be about Gaelic in particular but some probably are happening in many areas of you life. Once you see them it is way easier to not believe them. When I find these guys lurking around I like to say "I see you now and I don't have to believe you" it doesn't mean that they don't come back but when they do I can say "I know you and I am choosing not to listen to your spiel today". The less you listen to them the weaker they become.
3. Take small steps and celebrate small successes: This is the thing where instead of writing "clean kitchen" on your to do list you write "put dishes away, wipe down counters, clear off table, sweep floor". You want to get to the feeling like you have gotten stuff done as soon as possible. So on your Gaelic to do list don't have "Become fluent Gaelic speaker" you won't get to the fun part for a while if you do that and most likely you'll get discouraged. Go for something you can feel good about today like "today I will learn 3 new Gaelic words". Make sure your goals are achievable in whatever time frame you set. I'd recommend keeping it to a week or less.
Remember to be kind and curious so if you don't make a goal be kind, it is ok and then get curious. Why didn't you make the goal? Was the goal too big, the time too short? Did something happen to keep you from your goal? Sometimes things happen so be kind and also be looking out for those sneaky beliefs, sometimes they derail our plans. Again be kind, this (as far as I can tell) is just part of being human but be curious and see what the belief is and then be creative about how you can detour yourself around this belief next time.
Really celebrate the successes not matter how small. What ever it is that you do, have a cookie or tell a friend or do a happy dance, do it. Success is great, be proud of yourself and feel good.
4. You don't have to be fluent at everything all at once: Trying to tackle the whole language at once is huge. Pick one thing that you are going to work on, say it is telling time in Gaelic, practice it a lot. Every time you look at a clock say the time in Gaelic. Practice asking what time it is and listening to the time being told. Get really good at telling time. Get to the point where telling time in Gaelic is natural for you. Great now you can fluently tell the time in Gaelic. Work on one thing at a time and build up fluency in different areas one at a time.
4.5 Use the Gaelic you know: You know a lot of Gaelic words, even if you have only just begun to learn. But you might not be able to put them into Gaelic sentences just yet. Don't worry, start by using them in English sentences. Use them whenever and where ever you can. If you are learning food words make your shopping list in Gaelic and as you pick up the things in the store say the word. When you see something you know the word for in Gaelic say it. Go to the park, if you say hi to a dog say "hello cù" or if you have learned about the vocative "Hallo a' chù" touch a tree and say "craobh" if you know a bit more Gaelic add some descriptions like "craobh mhòr". Practice on you pets, they don't mind. Tell them "Madainn mhath" in the mornings ask them how they are. Be creative and use the Gaelic you know every chance you get.
5. Have fun!!!!!: This is super important. Play games, do silly things however you like to have fun use Gaelic. If you are learning Gaelic with someone else do lots of fun things together in Gaelic. Say nice things to each other in Gaelic. Go to the zoo and practice your animal names, play charades in Gaelic, go for a Gaelic only hike, go out for coffee in Gaelic.
6. Connect with others who are learning: In person is great but these days there is Facebook and Skype and e-mail so if there isn't anyone in your area you can connect with others. Gaelic is a language and so it is good to use it to communicate with others. Check out local groups, or national groups for events and people you could connect with.
7. Don't be afraid to make mistakes: There are really two parts to this. Firstly mistakes are going to happen and it is ok. It is great to get out there and try things out in Gaelic and if you don't get it right it is fine and it can be a great way to learn. The second part is be upfront and honest with people about how much correction you want in any situation. If you are getting together with someone for a Gaelic chat and you just want to talk without being corrected let them know. Also if you do want to be corrected let people know that too.
Again please share any ideas and/ or successful techniques in the comments
Tha mi sgìth. Tha an t-àm ann a dhol dhan leabaidh.Ach bha mi airson aon bhrath bloga eile a sgrìobhadh mus teid mi dhan leabaidh agus seo an cuspair: Càirdeas
Mar a tha fìos agaibh, chan eil mòran aig a bheil Gàidhlig. Bhiodh feadhainn ag ràdh nach eil gu leòr dhiubh ann. Tha mise lan dochas ma tha. Ach b' fheudar dhuinn a bhith càirdeil ri cheile agus rinn fhìn cuideachd. Is fheàrr dhuinn taic a chuir ri cheile gus am bidh sinn uile nas soirbheachaile. Bidh e math airson a'Gàidhlig agus bidh e math dhuinn.
Seo am bogha-froise a bha ann nuair a bha mi a' tighinn dhachaidh an-dè. Abair fàilte mhath a bha seo. Bha feum agam stad trì tursan airson na dealbhan a thogail. Am faca sibh rudan breagha an seachdain seo chaidh?
An Eala Bhàn (the White Swan)
written by Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna of Noth Uist in WW1
Air an RadioRead Now
Bha mi a' siubhail, sin as coirreach nach do sgrìobh mi brath-bloga o chionn trì laithean.
Bha mi a' siubhal oir chaidh mi air an radio. Bha mi a' bruidhinn air Gàidhlig agus air a' phròiseact agam.
Chòrd e rium gu mòr a bith air an radio cha do rinn mi sin bhon a bha mi ann an oilthaigh agus bha na daoine sin cho chardeil,
Ma tha sibh airson eisteachd ris a' phrogram bidh e ann airson dà sheachdain ann seo (cliog air audio archive May 25) KRCC Celtic Show
I was traveling, that is why I didn't write a blog post for three days.
I was traveling because I went on the radio. I was talking about Gaelic and about my project.
I enjoyed being on the radio immensely, I haven't done that since I was in college and the people on the show were so friendly.
if you want to listen to the show it will be available for two weeks here (click on audio archive May 25) KRCC Celtic Show
Beginings againRead Now
Tha mi air a bith a' smaoineachadh air tòiseachaidhean. How so many things start from almost nothing and then go on to be big things. Even an elephant started out as two cells. Some of the ideas that we don't even think of as ideas because they are such a part of our live were once just a spark of curiosity. Enough of those tiny sparks and society begins to change our view of the world and ourselves shifts little by little until we are in a whole new place.
I can remember a time when I didn't know where Scotland was didn't know that Gaelic existed. Now it is a language that I speak everyday. I can't imagine my life now without it.
I don't remember what the exact beginning was, the very first tiny thing that started my life down this road. I remember some of the mile stones along the way but not that first tiny spark.
I don't know what that spark might be for someone else. What the tiny thing is that might make take their life down a different path, a path that might include Gaelic. But I figure that in order for someone to travel down that path there does need to be something. And I think that Gaidhlig is beautiful and precious and worthy of acknowledgement and support. So if I can share that with people even if it is just a comment at the gas station across the pumps or a flyer left in a hotel lobby or an overheard conversation it could be that spark and who knows what that might grow to be. That is my inspiration for this project.
I was thinking today about months in Gaelic, which I admit I sometimes still struggle to remember except for May, An Cèitean. And so at least for spring and summer months May is my reference point. And I began to wonder about why it was that May sticks in my mind so well. And I began to sing and just off the top of my head I came up with three songs that have Cèitean in the first verse.
Then came the ceist to my mind, I wonder if that is why May was chosen for Mìos na Gàidhlig?
Here are the ones I could think of. Do you know any more? If so share them in the comments
Caroline has been involved with Gaelic for more than 18 years. She has degrees in Celtic Studies and Gaelic Medium Teaching.