GRÚPAÍ COMHRÁ

Cuireann sé áthas orm go bhfuil cuid mhaith grúpaí comhrá ag teacht le chéile le Gaeilge a labhairt i dtithe, i gcaifí, agus i dtithe tábhairne i nDoire. Tá sé an-tábhachtach úsáid a bhaint as an teanga taobh amuigh den seomra ranga. Níl brú ar bith ar dhuine ar bith agus is féidir leis an fhoghlaimeoir cúpla focal a úsáid gan stró a chur air féin. Ní fhaigheann a lán daoine caoi le Gaeilge a labhairt go rialta i saol an uile lae sa chathair bheag Ghaelach seo. Nuair a thagann grúpa le chéile in áit phoiblí, feiceann daoine go bhfuil an teanga beo. Tá na grúpaí seo neamhfhoirmiúil: níl ceachtanna Gaeilge i gceist, agus níl an comhdhéanamh de réir eagair. Ach, sin ráite, tá ábhar de shórt éigin de dhíth orthu le comhrá a dhéanamh. Dá bhrí sin, bhí mé an-sásta nuair a dúradh liom ar na mallaibh go mbaintear úsáid as an cholún seo i ngrúpa amháin ar a laghad. Dála an scéil, chuala mé go mbaintear úsáid as i ranganna éagsúla – i Meiriceá fiú! Mar sin, nuair a fheicfidh tú mé, crom do cheann, beannaigh dom, nó lig glúin fút.

Ach tá a lán ábhair eile ann. Molaim go spéir an nuachtán ‘Foinse’. Faigheann tú an páipéar iontach seo saor in aisce leis an ‘Irish Independent’ gach Céadaoin. Chomh maith le cúrsaí reatha, faisean, sport srl., tá leathanaigh den scoth ann d’fhoghlaimeoirí. Tagann ‘Gaelscéal’ amach gach Aoine, agus foilsíonn siad cuid mhaith alt a bheadh úsáideach fosta. Is féidir duilleoga dátheangacha a phiocadh suas saor in aisce sa Chultúrlann – faoin Chultúrlann féin, faoi chúrsaí Gaeltachta, faoin Ghaelscolaíocht,srl.. Bheadh grúpa ar bith in ann úsáid a bhaint astu, agus bheadh an foghlaimeoir aonair ábalta snas a chur ar a chuid Gaeilge dá léifeadh sé iad.

CONVERSATION GROUPS

I am delighted that a good number of conversation groups are coming together in houses, in cafes and in pubs in Derry to speak Irish. It is very important to use the language outside of the classroom. There is no pressure on anyone, and the learner can use a few words without stress. Many people don’t get a chance to speak Irish on a regular basis in this little Irish city. When a group gathers in a public place, people see that the language is alive. These groups are informal: there are no Irish lessons involved and there is no formal structure. But, in saying that, some material is necessary for conversation. So, I was delighted when I was told recently that this column is used in at least one group. By the way, I heard that it is used in various classes - in America, even! So, the next time you see me, bow your head, salute, or genuflect.

But there is other material available. I strongly recommend ‘Foinse’. You get this marvellous newspaper free with the ‘Irish Independent’ every Wednesday. As well as current affairs, fashion, sport, etc., it contains some excellent pages for beginners. ‘Gaelscéal’ comes out every Friday, and they publish a good number of articles that would also be useful. You can pick up bilingual pamphlets free in the Cultúrlann – pamphlets about the Cultúrlann itself, about Gaeltacht courses, about Irish medium education, and so on. Any group could make use of them, and anybody learning on his own could improve his Irish if he read them.