Tá mé ag foghlaim Gaeilge; tá uaim scríobh postálacha blag as Gaeilge, ach níl mé oilte ar labhairt nó scríbh as Gaeilge go fóill. Tiocfaidh sé le tuilleadh cleachtaidh.**
I have definitely fallen off the blog wagon; as you may or may not know the past year has been quite difficult for me personally, far beyond being an American living in Biff Tannen’s timeline these days. Blogging definitely was pushed to the bottom of the formidable stack I must balance but in hindsight I think the practice of writing is beneficial matter what it’s about so I will carve regular time out to do it.
Tá mé ag foghlaim Gaeilge
This post title and opening is in Irish; I am learning Irish and trying to immerse myself as much as one can outside of a Gaeltacht. There’s quite a few reasons for this:
- The most acute trigger is that I have been doing some genealogy and encountered family records written in Irish. I couldn’t recall enough of the class I’d taken while in college and got pulled in wanting to brush up.
- Language learning is really fun, and Irish is of course part of my heritage and I would love to be able to teach my kids some since it’s theirs, too.
- One of the main reasons I took Japanese in college for 2 years is because I wanted to better understand how kanji worked and how to write them. With Irish, I want to understand how to pronounce words, because from a native English speaker point of view they sound very different than they look!
- Right now appears to be an exciting moment for the language; it has shed some of the issues that I think plagued it during ‘The Troubles’ and you can actually study and speak it now without making some kind of unintentional political statement. There’s far more demand for Gaelscoils (schools where the medium for education in all subjects is Irish) than can be met. In the past year, the Pop Up Gaeltacht movement has started and really caught on, a movement run in an open source fashion I might add!
- I am interested in how the brain recovers from trauma and I’ve a little theory that language acquisition could be used as a model for brain recovery and perhaps suggest more effective therapies for that. Being knee deep in language learning, at the least, is an interesting perspective in this context.
- I also think – as a medium that permeates everything you do, languages are similar to user interfaces – you don’t really pay attention to a language when you speak it if you’re fluent, it’s just the medium. Where you pay attention to the language rather than the content is where you have a problem speaking it or understanding it. (Yes, the medium is the message except when it isn’t. 🙂 )Similarly, user interfaces aren’t something you should pay attention to – you should pay attention to the content, or your work, rather than focus on the intricacies of how the interface works. I think drawing connections between these two things is at least interesting, if not informative. (Can you tell I like mashing different subjects together to see what comes out?)
Anyway, I could go on and on, but yes, $REASONS. I’m trying to learn a little bit every day rather than less frequent intensive courses. For example, I’m trying to ‘immerse’ as I can by using my computers and phone in the Irish language, keep long streaks in the Duolingo course, listen to RnaG and watch TG4 and some video courses, and some light conversation with other Irish learners and speakers.
Maybe I’ll talk more about the approach I’m taking in detail in another post. In general, I think a good approach to language learning is a policy I try to subscribe to in all areas of life – just f*ing do it (speak it, write it, etc. Do instead of talking about doing. Few things infuriate me more although I’m as guilty as anyone. 🙂 ) There you go for now, though.
What else is going on?
I have been working on some things that will be unveiled at the Red Hat Summit and don’t want to be a spoiler. I am planning to talk a bit more about that kind of work here. One involves a coloring book :), and another involves a project Red Hat is working on with Boston University and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Just this week, I received my laptop upgrade 🙂 It is the Thinkpad Yoga X1 3rd Gen and I am loving it so far. I have pre-release Fedora 28 on it and am very happy with the out-of-the-box experience. I’m planning to post a review about running Fedora 28 on it soon!
Slán go fóill!
(Bye for now!)
* Every beginning is weak.
** I’m learning Irish; I want to write blog posts in Irish, but I don’t speak or write Irish well enough yet. It’ll come with practice. (Warning: This is likely Gaeilge bhriste / broken Irish)
I did not realize that you had a rough year; I hope things are improving for you. I think it’s great that you’re immersing yourself in Gaelic. I’ve wanted to learn it for a while for $REASONS of my own, but I haven’t made it a priority. I used to be fairly good at reading and writing French (I was never very good at speaking or hearing it), but I haven’t had occasion to use it over the last 16 years, so I’ve forgotten almost all of it. Alas.
Talk about serendipity–I came across this while following up on notes from your RedHat colleague Dan Walsh’s containers talks at RMACC. Github link to the coloring books -> GH user profile -> blog -> here. I too had decided some months ago to take up Irish, though for no more profound reason than arbitrary interest. Will be interested to follow your progress!