Cumann Gaeilge na hAstrile

Downloads page

This is where you can download useful documents and learning aids for students of Irish. In a couple of places, for copyright reasons we link to external sites but everything listed here is (a) free of charge and (b) voted as useful by our members. Mar sin, bain sult as !

Software

Every student of Irish needs to know how to type a fada on a computer keyboard. You will need it for emails and posting to facebook as well as composing documents for class assignments etc. The software provided here works by enabling the tilde key as a hotkey for fadas. Tilde is the wee squiggly symbol directly above the tab key. The software comes in two flavours. Fadas 4 works before you actually type the intended vowel and Fadas 5 works after, so just use whichever one feels most natural. Download either one and then make a shortcut to it on your desktop.

Nowadays you can use Irish for various functions on your computer. See our newsletter issue 46 for a guide to what is possible.

Did you know ? Mobile phones and tablets with touchscreens can do a fada very easily. Just press the letter long enough to bring up the list of possible accented characters. Our newsletter issue 46 had a list of abbreviations for sending SMS messages in Irish.

Did you know ? Samsung mobile phones have Irish already built in as a language option and they have done so for some years. This is not an app, and you don't have to install anything. It's part of the phone itself and works straight out of the box, so full marks to Samsung. Other manufacturers please take note !

Official Standard

There has been an official standard in existence for Irish since the late fifties. The two most recent editions were reviewed in our newsletter in issue 46 and in issue 55 respectively.

The standard itself can either be purchased in printed form from bookshops in Ireland or downloaded here for free.

Long reads

The Common European Framework (CEF) seeks to harmonise teaching of European languages by providing a “common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. Here is a 264 page document that explains how it all works. It sounds dull but is really quite interesting and any adult seeking to learn another language would benefit from reading it. The TEG exams (see below) are derived from the CEF guidelines.

Alternatively just look at the self-assessment grid to see how you compare.

The Irish government has also produced a 20-year strategy for the Irish language covering the period 2010 to 2030, so we are now nearly half-way in and looking for signs of progress.

In the meantime, Julian de Spáinn of Conradh na Gaeilge has produced his own Vision For The Irish Language which is well worth a read.

Educational aids

The textbook “Progress In Irish” is very popular with adults but it has no table of contents or index, so we compiled one for learners. . Sound files were created by our fellow Gaeilgeoirí in the USA along with answers to all the translation exercises in the book.

The two textbooks entitled “Gaeilge Gan Stró” are proving very useful in our classes. Here is a track listing of the CDs for the beginners book and here is another one of the CDs for the lower intermediate book.

The Irish verb glance card which is available from educational booksellers is aimed at beginners but unfortunately comes with no instructions so here is a quick guide. Once you get up to speed you may want to think about extending the possibilities.

When the article precedes a noun in Irish then changes known as initial mutations can take place. This diagram explains everything.

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