This month I am focusing mainly on improving my Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig). I’ve been listening to Gaelic radio, reading various things in Gaelic, writing and recording things every day in Gaelic on my other blog, and speaking and singing to myself in the language. I plan to make another animation in Gaelic sometime this month (you can see the first one I made on YouTube), and will make one in Irish soon as well. I might even try to write a song in Gaelic. I have yet to meet with any other Gaelic speakers or learners round here, but hope to find some who are willing to chat with me.

I’m really enjoying it and I think that Gaelic is one of my favourite languages at the moment – I particularly like the sounds of the language, and the more I learn it, the more I like it. I have no practical reasons for learning it, and this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I would like to become as fluent in Scottish Gaelic as I am with Irish and Welsh, and if this takes longer than a month, I will continue with it and not switch my focus to another language at the end of this month.

Are you learning, or have you learned, any languages just because you like the sound of them, or because you find them interesting?

This entry was posted in English, Language, Language learning, Scottish Gaelic.

6 Responses to Gàidhlig

  1. joe movk says:

    Gaidhlig too is top on my list, largely for how it sounds – Irish grammar is perhaps more interesting, but when it comes to hearing the language spoken, there’s no comparison. I too am trying to get a fluent as possible in all the Celtic languages – working on Cornish at the moment – just did seven lessons (mostly revisions) on a six hour flight from Boston to Madrid – another seven on the remainder of my trip, I hope.

  2. Syntax says:

    I also find the sounds of Gaelic to be seductive but I have to put it on the long finger due to time constraints. Northern Sámi is another language in the same boat for me. Most of the languages I learn I have no practical need for them, I just like them very much.

  3. Simon says:

    ‘Put it on the long finger’ ? – haven’t heard that one before. Is that like putting something on the back burner?

  4. Rauli says:

    Basically all my languages I have studied because I like how they sound or look. On my last year of high school I suddenly realized I wanted to go to university to study Latin. I had been interested in it for a while, but had never studied it before. I minored in Classical Greek and as I studied it, I actually started to like how it sounds more than Latin. I also liked the devanagari script, which made Sanskrit my other minor subject.

    As a teenager, I read a Serbo-Croatian phrase book just because it sounded interesting. I also dabbled with Swahili and Old English and whatnot. In school I studied German for a while. On the first lesson, the teacher asked everyone why we decided to study German, and when a girl said she thought German was a very important language in international business, I was so embarassed when after her I said I just liked how the language sounds.

    At the moment, I’m pretty serious about studying Japanese, but I just never seem to be able to make me actually study. I just read blogs with a dictionary, which has made me better, but I really should read some grammar and vocabulary.

    None of my languages have ever had any other meaning but to bring me happiness. I love to find curious grammar constructions, like the fact that there’s a past tense for Japanese adjectives. Sometimed when I bump into a particularly beautiful word, it feels amazing. I also love etymology, and like to compare similar words in related languages, like I did on this page.

  5. Mark says:

    ‘Put it on the long finger’ is a not-uncommon phrase in Ireland, and it does mean ‘put something on the back burner’, and more generally means ‘to put something off, to procrastinate, to leave aside for the moment’. It is the equivalent of the Irish idiom cuir … an méar fhada, which you presumably haven’t yet come across in your Irish conversations. Example: Stair Nuair a tháinig na sé choilíneacht Astrálacha le chéile sa bhliain 1901 le tír neamhspleách a bhunú, cuireadh ceist na príomhchathrach ar an méar fhada’ (an example I just googled up from here: http://www.potafocal.com/Search.aspx?Lang=ga&Text=m%C3%A9ar+fhada – in fact, it took until 1908 to settle on Canberra because of the arguments between Melbourne and Sydney!)

  6. Syntax says:

    Thanks Mark. Yes, that’s it. I wasn’t aware it was an Irishism. In fact, like many expression I use, it is only in my 20’s that I have come to realise that they lack currency outside Ireland. ‘To have’ a language, rather than ‘to speak’ one. For years I used to say ‘Ich habe ein bisschen Deutsch’ because of the Hiberno (which I thought was standard English) ‘I have some German’. It was only when I was 20 that I learned it was an Irishism. They don’t teach you these things in English class in Ireland, ie. what’s specifically Hiberno.

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