Learning Gaelic at University of Edinburgh | Ag Ionnsachadh Gàidhlig aig Oilthigh Dhùn Eidinn – Francis

What Gaelic course are you doing? Full name of course? Duration? How far into course are you?
I’m taking the Languages for All course, run by the Office of Lifelong Learning at the University of Edinburgh. It runs during semester time at the University. I’m just starting my third year on the course.

Why did you choose this particular course? Why does it suit you?
I had originally intended to take an Ùlpan course, as I’d read good things and heard positive feedback from friends about it. However,  I couldn’t find one  at a convenient time, so I thought I’d have a look for an alternative.When I saw that Edinburgh University ran a course, my initial concern was that it might be too academic – more like how I remember languages being taught at school. I signed up anyway, and I’m glad that I did because the course really suits me as a learner. It is more of a ‘traditional’ language course, I suppose (the ins and outs of grammar, vocabulary etc) but we’re free to ask as many questions as we like, and very often the shape of the course has evolved throughout the term as the class has expressed a desire to look at certain areas.

There are lots of opportunities for conversation each week, we do reading exercises, translation (Gaelic-English and English-Gaelic) and there’s at least one song a week. A big mix of stuff.

What time commitment is there?
The class is 2 hours long and there’s often some homework that might take an hour. But as with any class, if you can put in more practice through the week it will probably help you to pick it up quicker.

Why would you recommend this course?
I really enjoy the course and it suits the way I learn.  The teaching has been great and really made me feel that I can achieve my goal. In the years that I’ve been going, there’s always been a really good rapport in the class and we always have fun – for me, that makes learning easier and the social aspect is motivating too.

The materials are well structured and build nicely, so before long you can actually say quite useful things. Getting a good foundation in the grammar also makes it easier to experiment with things you’ve not directly covered in the class.  It allows you to work stuff out for yourself (or give it a good shot, anyway!).

Is this the only course you are on or are you learning Gaelic in a different way as well?
It’s the only course I’m taking but I have the opportunity to use Gaelic every day and I think that’s a great help.  I find that watching Gaelic TV (BBC Alba) and listening to the radio (BBC Radio nan Gaidheal). are a good way to get used to the sounds of the language.

Dè an cùrsa a tha thu a’ dèanamh? Ainm slàn a’ chùrsa? Ùine? Dè cho fad’ a-steach dhan chùrs’ sa tha thu?

Tha mi a’ dèanamh a’ chùrsa Cànanan airson nan Uile air a ruith le Oifis Foghlam Buaine aig Oilthigh Dhùn Eidinn. Tha e a’ ruith rè teirm an oilthigh. Tha mi aig toiseach an treasamh bhliadhna agam.

Carson an do thagh thu an cùrsa seo? Carson a tha e a’ tighinn riut?
Bha dùil agam an-toiseach cùrsa Ùlpan a dhèanamh oir chuala mi naidheachd mhath mu dheidhinn bho charaidean is bha deagh chliù aige. Mar a thachair e, cha b’urrainn dhomh a lorg aig àm fhreagarrach is mar sin dheth, shaoileam gun lorgainn rudeigin eile.Nuair a chunnaic mi gu bheil cùrsa aig Oilthigh Dhùn Eidinn, bha iomagain orm an-toiseach gum biodh e tuilleadh sa chòrr sgoilearach – mar a bha cuimhn’ agam air foghlam cànain sa sgoil. Co-dhiù, ghabh mi ris agus s’ math gun do ghabh oir tha e fìor fheumail dhomh mar neach-ionnsachaidh. Saoilidh mi gu bheil e nas coltaiche ri cùrsa ‘traidiseanta’ (gràmar, briathrachas msaa) ach tha sinn làn di-beathte na thogras sinn de cheistean a chur agus gu tric tha an cùrsa air atharrachadh rè an teirm gus raointean sònraichte a sgrùdadh, a-rèir miann a’ chlas

Tha cothroman-còmhraidh gu leòr gach seachdainn, nì sinn leughadh, eadar-theangachadh (Gàidhlig-Beurla is Beurla-Gàidhlig) agus tha co-dhiù aon òran gach seachdainn. Saoghal bràth de nìthean.
Dè an ùine a dh’fheumas tu cur seachad? 
Tha an clas fhèin 2 uair a thìde agus gu tric tha beagan obair-dachaidh a ghabhas uair a thìde ri choileanadh. Ach, mar a th’ann an clas sam bith ma chleachdas tu an cànan tron seachdainn, togaidh tu nas luaithe e.

Carson am moladh tu an cùrsa seo?

Tha an cùrsa a’ còrdadh rium agus tha e a’ freagairt mar a tha mise ag ionnsachadh. Tha an teagasg air a bhith fìor mhath agus thug e orm faireachdainn mar a b’urrainn dhomh a thoirt gu buil. Sna bliadhnaich anns an robh mi ga fhrithealadh bha deagh chraic sa chlas agus tha daonnan spòrs againn – dhomhsa, tha sin a’ ciallachadh gun ionnsaich mi nas fhasa agus tha an taobh sòisealta na bhrosnachadh cuideachd.
Tha na goireasan air an eagrachadh gu math le ceumannan freagarrach is mar sin, chan fhada gus an urrainn dhut abairtean feumail a ràdh. Ri linn a’ bhun-stèidh sa ghràmair tha e nas fhasa rudan ùra fheuchainn nach d’rinn thu a dh’aona-gnothaich sa chlas. Tha e a’ toirt a’ chomais dhut rudan obrachadh a-mach air do cheann fhèin (no feuchainn co-dhiù!).

An e seo an aon chùrsa a tha thu dèanamh no a’ bheil thu ag ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig ann an dòigh eile cuideachd?
Se an aon chùrsa a tha mi a’ gabhail os làimh ach tha an cothrom agam Gàidhlig a chleachdadh gach là agus saoilidh mi gu bheil sin na chuideachadh. Nam bheachd, tha coimhead telebhisean na Gàidhlig (BBC Alba) agus èisteachd ris an rèidio (BBC Radio nan Gaidheal) nan dòighean matha gus eòlas a chur air fuaimean a’ chànain.