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Preferred Dialect?


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When getting started with learning Irish Gaelic, I gathered several resources which included courses teaching Standard Irish Gaelic, as well as, the Munster, Connacht and Ulster dialects. Of the different forms, I've found Standard Irish Gaelic, created as a compromise between the dialects, to have the easiest to understand orthography and to be the most approachable, overall. When considering the traditional dialects, I've found each have aspects and characteristics that make it harder or easier to learn.

Which dialect do you speak or study?

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  • 7 months later...

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I am learning to read and sign in the Standard Irish Gaelic. I can't hear, for the most part, and so learning to speak the language would prove to be a fair bit trickier.  It's extremely difficult for me to hear all the little nuances of pronunciation with a language now. So, I content myself with learning to read and write in them...makes it fun for reading old manuscripts in the language they were written in.

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  • 1 year later...

When I first started learning Irish (self-taught here) the dialects were so incredibly overwhelming. It almost put me off learning the language. It helps to remember that every language has dialects - English on its own has hundreds. Rather than give up I told myself "It's only three, I can do this."

I find Ulster the most beautiful to listen to - it has a light, musical sound to it, as opposed to the thick, sometimes surly sounds of Connacht. Ulster was my initial goal because it was simply the prettiest, but then I realized most of the resources for learning (especially visual/spoken media) are in a Connacht, or at least a mixed/standard variety. TG4 is my favorite resource (especially watching Ros na Rún) and I've unintentionally learned mostly Connacht. When attempting speaking myself, it just comes out that way because it's what I'm most used to hearing.

The beauty is I appreciate all the dialects now, and find Connacht just as lovely as Ulster (in a different way). I will say that Munster grammar still trips me up from time to time and is probably the most frustrating for me. 

Edited by Saoirse
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