Read on!

I keep on saying that Irish speakers don’t read. If people don’t read and write, a language will not develop.

I keep on saying that Irish speakers don’t read. If people don’t read and write, a language will not develop. But I have to admit that reading in Irish does present the beginner with problems, although Irish spelling is not as difficult as English spelling. It becomes more difficult when the teacher doesn’t point out the connection between the spoken word and the written word in Irish.

But help is at hand for those who have difficulty. There are lots of books on the market now that have CDs going along with them: it is easier to concentrate on the written word if you are able to listen to the text at the same time. It does the adult beginner no harm to start at the bottom with children’s books. {I think ‘Micí Moncaí’ is great.) These books are intended for primary school pupils of course, and they are very useful for parents with little Irish who want to help their children. There are short stories and poetry anthologies with CD’s for those with better Irish. You can get advice and help from your local library.

Foras na Gaeilge has provided a new resource for readers. (‘What is this?’ you say to yourself, ‘Is he praising Foras na Gaeilge? Call the doctor!) The service is called ‘Léigh Linn’, or leighlinn.com. There are two books on the site at present- ‘ Buille Marfach’ by Anna Heussaff and ‘Rún an Bhonnáin’, by Proinsias Mac a’ Bhaird. Anna is from Dublin. She has published five novels and her writing is in great demand. Proinsias is from Aranmore. He teaches in Letterkenny. The authors read the texts and Alan Titley does a commentary. But read a chapter first before you listen to Alan’s commentary if you don’t want to spoil the story for yourself. So go to the computer, or get out your tablet or your mobile. Who said that Irish is an old-fashioned language?