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Posts Tagged ‘Gaelic’

Polish & Gaelic

Babunia's Bookshelf 2008

I’m working on my Polish again, which is something I have been doing for the last 4 years or so. It’s proving to be a tricky language to learn, but what I do know is that if I look angry and speak in a fairly stern voice, I can sometimes pronounce the words correctly – even the most heartfelt words sound proper that way! My inspiration to try and pick it up again has come from my dad, who lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He recently decided to sign up for Gaelic lessons. He grew up in a home where Gaelic was spoken often, if not always (his mom, my grandmother, grew up in a home where it was the only language spoken!).

The teaching style for these lessons totally suit his learning style. It’s called TIG (Total Immersion Gaelic) and from what I understand it is conversational Gaelic and their classroom is anything but traditional! About 10 local community members all meet once a week at one of the student’s homes, where that student hosts the class for the day. Everyone arrives around 10am and is welcomed into the home with a hot cup of tea and a plate of biscuits. The instructor then begins the lesson, which lasts all morning until the host student makes lunch for the group at noon and they finish up the conversation around 3pm.

My dad told me over the weekend that he just got his recorder, which will allow him to tape the lesson so he can study throughout the week. He also uses the tapes to teach my mom what he’s learned and has been teaching me key phrases and words when we chat over the phone. It turns out that one Gaelic phrase that most East Coasters know, ‘Puck-Ma-Hon’ which translates into ‘Kiss My Arse’, actually sounds more like ‘Scraep-Ma-Hon’.

Like I said, he’s been teaching me key phrases!

Dad mixing up hot drinks at our family's Annual Boxing Day Brunch.

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