OIDE – Teanglann Ar Líne (Online language Lab) – is a unique and innovative online language lab that is being developed on an ongoing & voluntary basis by Col. Lurgan. An IOS / Android and desktop version are being currently (March 2017) being finished and will be available in the App Store / Play Store.
The very best exercise to hone & improve pronunciation, intonation, rhythm & flow of spoken Gaeilge is to listen to and repetitively practice native speaker dialogue. The parroting of accent & inflection may initially feel silly but this is due to self-consciousness and will quickly pass as you become familiar hearing your own voice speak as Gaeilge.
The more focused listening and repetition you do, the more comfortable you become with the phonics and sound patterns. The best way of doing this is by recording your own speech. Recording yourself and listening back is a great way to hone in on your strengths & weaknesses. If you cannot hear your pronunciation problems, it’s difficult to correct them.
Conversation Is King:
Focus on becoming conversational. Working and practicing with real conversation leads to real progress. OIDE sets out to highlight authentic conversational materials and keeping coursework relevant to communication needs.
You don’t need to know everything right away as you can quite readily get by on the basics you already have while expanding your conversational skillset as you proceed with coursework.
Prioritise functional dialogue.
Concentrate on everyday exchanges as these can be put to immediate use. Learn by heart the basic Q&A constructions of simple chit chat such as:
The most common 1,000 words account for 80% of all spoken communication. You already have more than enough vocabulary to get by and fundamental grammar will get you speaking basic sentences right away.
|Ce’ chaoi (How)?||Céar’ ‘tá (What /What’s)?||Cá ‘il?(Where)?|
|Cé leis (Who’s)?||Céard a (What did/would)?||Ab ‘in?( Is that)?|
|Cé dhó (Who is it for)?||Céard a (What did/would)?||Ab ea? (Is it?)?|
|Cé aige (Who has)?||A’ raibh sé Was it/he)?||Cén fath? (Why}?|
|Toram (Tabhair dhom)||Gimme (Give me)|
|Cá ‘il tú? ( Cá bhfuil tú?)||Wher-Ya At – Where are you?|
|Ce’ chaoi (Cén chaoi?)||How-ya-doin’?– How are you doing?|
|Céar’ tá tú ‘g iarra’?||Wha-da-ya want ? – What do you want?|
Pronunciation, intonation, rhythm & flow:
We don’t speak word by word in the way that language is learnt from a textbook. We communicate in word chunks where spaces between many words disappear. A common fault is to focus on specific words instead of on the rhythm and natural flow of speech. Imitating native speakers is the best thing you can do to program your pronunciation.
Mimic Sound Morphing & Connected Speech:
Native speakers (in all languages) cut, mix, leave out sounds when they speak informally. OIDE focuses on several prevalent examples as spoken in Conamara. Mimicking these gives maximum return for minimal effort.
Pay Attention To “Foreign” Sounds:
Gaeilge has several phonemes (sounds) that are absent from English. These are the characteristic sounds & pronunciations that make Gaeilge unique in the same way that French phonics define the French language.
An example being the “ch” sound as in “chuaigh / chonaic / amach / oíche” which English speakers instinctively sound as a “k” while German speakers already have that sound, as in “Bach” and “ich”
OIDE highlights the most prominent differences.
This year’s version of OIDE has an exciting new feature where learners can record their own voice overs for specially prepared native speaker videos.
OIDE has an inbuilt tutor/teacher console that allows students audio work to be assessed and feedback given. This will come into play during the summer courses where students recorded work will receive feedback. Col. Lurgan will provide the tablets on which students will undertake their recorded work.
Logging into OIDE:
Students along with parents/ guardians will be forwarded login details. OIDE will be available for download from PlayStore / iTunes and a desktop version will be available here on our website.