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PostPosted: Sat 21 Oct 2017 11:46 pm 
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I'm now learning Connacht Irish and teaching it to my 2 year-old son. My main tool is books with CDs where a gaeltacht-native reads the songs/stories. I got a few book+CD sets, and then some more, and sometimes I'm happy with them, but sometimes there are quality issues and I wonder if Ulster or Munster Irish has better materials. At my stage it's not too late to change dialect.

I had a look around and below are my findings, but I'd like to know: did I miss much? Could someone using book+CD sets be better served by what's published in Ulster or Munster?

For Connacht Irish, Futa Fata have 4 songbook+CD sets (I have 2 of them, each has 30 mins of songs) and some storybook+CD sets (I have 1, the CD has 10 mins of audio), and CIC has Déan Dráma 1, 2, and 3, each with 2 CDs of childrens songs, as well as various child-friendly music CDs like Amhráin na Nollag that come with the words in the inlay. And there's at least one older songbook+CD set, Maidin sa Naíonra, that might be Connacht Irish.

In Ulster Irish, there are 3 songbooks+CD by eabhloid.com (I have one, Ící Pící, with 60 minutes of songs, plus English translations).

And Munster Irish, for songbooks+CD, has Rabhlaí Rabhlaí and Bróga Nua, and for storybooks+CD, has Scéilín ó Bhéilín.

So it looks like I should stick with Connacht Irish, but are there collections of book+CD sets that I missed? I don't know what dialect is used for Dreoilín, Dreoilín or Scéilín Scéilín. The latter isn't any any online shop I checked anyway. Amhráin do Pháistí is probably Standard Irish.

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct 2017 6:37 pm 
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Thank you for your work in this important field -- I hope I remember to reread this post when I have children.

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PostPosted: Sat 28 Oct 2017 1:07 am 
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Cúmhaí wrote:
Thank you for your work in this important field -- I hope I remember to reread this post when I have children.

And thanks for the acknowledgement. Honestly, it's a lot of work but I have to do all this research before I make my own purchases anyway, so I'm glad I can put it together online and contribute in my own little way to helping others if they want to learn Irish. I'm going to be getting more CDs this month, so I'll post some kind of review or comparison then.

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov 2017 7:06 pm 
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Long story short, I bought 19 things, for a total of about 25 CDs. I'm going to do an in-depth review but here's a very quick overview in case anyone wants some recommendations right now.

The top 4:
  • The best of the lot is Ceol Leat. It has Irish versions of loads of well-known children's songs, or new Irish songs set to the same music. There are English translations on the same page, there are action songs, songs about things kids do (eating, brushing teeth, etc.), and the track number is given on the page. Ulster Irish.
  • A close second is Bróga Nua. Very similar, but using original and traditional songs instead of Irish versions of popular songs. Both approaches have their advantages. I'm rating it slightly lower than Ceol Leat because Bróga Nua seems a little simpler, a little more repetitive. Standard Irish.
  • In third place is Ící Pící. More advanced than the above too. Ulster Irish.
  • Maybe Gugalaí Gug would be in 4th. There are some nice songs on this (although I didn't like them at first). Negative points are that there's only 30 minutes of audio on the CD, and when you skip the stupid songs there's only 23 minutes worth listening to. And some of the songs are just two verses repeated three times. This book+CD comes in a standard ("10th anniversary") version and a newer bilingual version. The bilingual version is harder to find but definitely more useful. Connacht Irish.

I had to give up on focussing on Connacht Irish. There's simply too little available in Connacht Irish, it'd be impossible to get sufficient exposure to vocabulary etc.

Here are notes about other CDs, in no particular order:

  • Déan Dráma 1 - This is a set of three musical plays designed to be performed by a class. I decided I could ignore the plays and just sing the songs on the 3 CDs but when I got it the songs were far too simple and repetitive. Probably great for a teacher who has to get a whole class to memorise a few songs without going mad. But for my purposes they're too simple. Also, the CDs only have about 7 minutes of music each.
  • Ní Thuigimse daoine fásta - From the same authors as Ící Pící, and that's the reason I bought it, but I don't like any of the songs on this CD yet and I find the accent much harder to understand. I don't know why that is. The publisher also has a third book Báidín Fheidhlimidh. If I knew it'd be like Ící Pící I'd definitely get it. But there's a risk it's like Ní Thuigimse daoine fásta, so I won't risk my money.
  • Peigín Leitir Móir - Same publisher as Gugalaí Gug, and similar style. Some very nice songs but it's a pity there's only 29 minutes of music on the CD and only 19 minutes after you delete the stupid songs. What makes this book+CD worthwhile is that it's one of the few CDs in Connacht Irish and 19 minutes of nice songs is better than nothing.
  • Bliain na nAmhrán - same publisher as the above, but using original songs instead of traditional songs and I haven't found a single song I like. The publisher has a fourth book, Ceol na Mara, but it also has original songs, so it's probably the same as Bliain na nAmhrán. I won't be buying it.

There's about ten more that I haven't mentioned but one reason is that I'm still listening to them all and the others haven't stood out yet, and another reason is that the others are mostly older or less colourful and people probably aren't too interested in buying them anyway.

If anyone has a question about any specific CD, post it here, there's a good chance I have it.

There are a few that I won't be getting because they're out of print and out of stock everywhere, including CDs that people here recommended, unfortunately: Suantraí, Codail A Mhuirnín, and Rabhlaí Rabhlaí.

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Last edited by Our man in Brussels on Thu 30 Nov 2017 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov 2017 8:17 pm 
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Here are some more suggestions - on the CD Flame of Wine recorded by Lasairfhíona there's her version of 'Damhsa na gCoiníní'. I don't know if you can still get access to it but if you sign on to Des Bishop's Irish course online at Lurgen.biz, they had an online songbook - Cas Amhráin - where you could click on the verses to listen the singer and read the lines of the song. There was an excellent version of Im Bim Baba Ró, among others. Mercier published a songbook for children with that title, which was compiled by Nóirín Ní Riain ISBN 0 85342 804 2 - I think it's out of print now but I could probably send you a copy of it if you wanted.

I've just looked and the CD Codail A Mhuirnín is apparently still available from schoolbooksireland.ie - there are three titles taken from it on YouTube (CelticFan 12011) that you can download - Codail, a mhuirnín, codail a stór, Dún do shuile and Mo chaora bhán, mo chaora bhán.


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PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec 2017 12:53 am 
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franc 91 wrote:
Here are some more suggestions - on the CD Flame of Wine recorded by Lasairfhíona there's her version of 'Damhsa na gCoiníní'. I don't know if you can still get access to it but if you sign on to Des Bishop's Irish course online at Lurgen.biz, they had an online songbook - Cas Amhráin - where you could click on the verses to listen the singer and read the lines of the song. There was an excellent version of Im Bim Baba Ró, among others. Mercier published a songbook for children with that title, which was compiled by Nóirín Ní Riain ISBN 0 85342 804 2 - I think it's out of print now but I could probably send you a copy of it if you wanted.

I've just looked and the CD Codail A Mhuirnín is apparently still available from schoolbooksireland.ie - there are three titles taken from it on YouTube (CelticFan 12011) that you can download - Codail, a mhuirnín, codail a stór, Dún do shuile and Mo chaora bhán, mo chaora bhán.

I listened to these and Lasairfhíona just now on youtube, but the style of singing is too advanced :-/

I'm looking for songs a 2½-year-old could sing along to, so that my son will actively use the Irish he's learning. I'm looking for learning materials rather than something nice to listen to.

The more recent books like Ící Pící, Gugalaí Gug, and Peigín Leitir Móir fixed this by having half the songs sung by kids - and just in a normal, casual style. The songs in Ceol Leat and Bróga Nua are sung by an adult, but again in a normal, casual style, the way an average teacher of young kids would sing when teaching a song to a class. The focus is on making the songs easy for a young kid to copy.

(lurgen.biz doesn't seem to be working; and http://www.desbishop.com neither.)

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