My weekend exploits at an amazing festival (or: nah nah-nah nah nah!).

Brían Ó hAirt

I’m in my third week here in Conamara and for those of you who don’t know, Conamara is a region that stretches (roughly) from west by northwest of Galway town to Leenan along the coast and is bordered on the east by Loch Corrib and Lock Mask. I was supposed to go out to Carna for a spell to visit with Mícheál Ó Cuaig but he has surgery on his leg and I thought it best to leave him to recover without a stranger in his house! I’ll likely take a visit out to see him for a day or so this week. So, right now I’m staying with Mícheál Ó Conghaile in Teach Mór Thiar, which is situated just west of Indreabhán and just south of An Lochán Beag. He’s a lovely dry house that looks south onto Galway Bay and on clear days (and not so clear days)…

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No, I have not forgotten how to type.

Brían Ó hAirt

Another long silence and my apologies. Traveling around Europe while having fun is simply not conducive to keeping up on my blog. It has been three weeks since I posted last and in that time I have traveled to the Isle of Man, London and Berlin bookended with stays in Conamara (western Co. Galway). I’d like to focus on the Isle of Man in this post. Adrian Cain from the Manx Heritage Society brought me over to experience the community there and give insight in the Language Hunting. I flew on a prop jet from Dublin, which only took 45 minutes and as the plane descended onto to the island we passed through heavy fog. As legend has it, Mananán Mac Lir, the sea god, pulls his misty, foggy cloak around the island to protect it from invaders (some help that was!). The fog soon parted and there below us…

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Sorry for the silence!

Brían Ó hAirt

I must first apologize for the silence as of late as I have been sick. In fact, I’ve been sick since right around xmas and since I’ve been traveling for nearly as long, my poor little immune system couldn’t keep up the fight. I’ve had an unrelenting cough ever since I struggled back to life after my bout with flu in the States. That progressed into a sore throat and another bout with the flu! I swear to you that I’m not usually sickly. I think it all comes down to traveling on public transportation, visiting primary schools, and the unseasonably cold weather we’ve had here. I am, as they say, “ar dhroim na muice” but likely need to be cautious and literally stay in this warm and dry house that has been offered to me by my great friend Micheál out in Conamara in a town called Indreabhán. Needless…

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From Dr. Hart. 😉

Brían Ó hAirt

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/12/24/121224fa_fact_foer?currentPage=all&mobify=0

This was an interesting read! Aside from the drama, the mention of two linguistic theories really lit a fire in my mind–those of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which suggests that language shapes our experienced reality and the Conceptual Metaphor theory established by George Lakoff at UC-Berkeley, which states that the way we think and act is metaphorical in nature.

I’ve been thinking much on the extent to which the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis applies in Irish (most linguists would accept a “weaker” understanding of it). Recently, I’ve taken on the project of collecting “language softeners” (i.e. you know, on that same note, if only, etc.) and a third of them have no equivalents in Irish–neither in language NOR feeling in many cases. HOW CAN THIS BE?!? Well, it just is. Sin é! Having read the article mentioned above, I continued with how Irish shapes an understanding of things and to the extent…

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Extended Deadline for Purchasing Tickets to the Irish Language Learning Weekend Workshop

cc sergey vyaltsev

Good news! We have extended the deadline for purchasing tickets to our very exciting  Irish Language Learning Weekend Workshop from Friday 11/2 to Wed. 11/7. We are hoping that the extended deadline will make it possible for more people to attend this event. Also, the price to attend workshops such as this is usually between $250 and $300, so it is important that you jump on this opportunity to attend this event for only $50- $100. We can also work with people who live outside of the Portland or Aurora, OR areas to find accommodations for the weekend. I/f you have any questions regarding this event, please email us at caitlyn@languagehunters.org.

Coming Up Soon: Irish Learning Weekend Workshop

The much anticipated Irish Learning Weekend Workshop starts on Friday Nov. 9th (just a week and a half away)! This weekend will feature our fluent Irish speaker, Brían Ó hAirt and will focus on an immersion game play setting, also known as Language Hunting!

To order tickets for this event and for more information, please visit http://guestli.st/124860 Tickets must be ordered by midnight on Friday Nov. 2nd.Image

环境的影响 (The Impact of Environment)

这星期,Willem,Language Hunters的公司总裁,去俄勒冈州的海边出席一个会议,所以我需要自己教我们Language Hunters俄语和爱尔兰语课。我教的学生是差不多六到十二岁,都很想要学新的语文。这星期真的给我看环境真的对 Language Hunting 有很多影响。

教俄语课的时候, 我跟西班牙语和音乐老师需要都在一个课堂在一样的时间教我们的课,所以我们的环境一点热热闹闹。因为我们的环境是这样的,我的学生一者在看右边或者看左边很少时间在看我想要给他们看的东西。我问为什么他们一者看左边一者在看右边的时候,他们给我说是因为我们的环境是热闹的。我这样学到环境对Language Hunting 有很大的影响。

This week, our other Russian teacher is attending a conference on the Oregon beach, so I am solo teaching the Russian classes Language Hunters is providing to a local private school. The children in this class range in ages between six and twelve, and they are all very excited about learning a new language. This week of solo teaching has really taught me how much of an impact an environment has on Language Hunting.

While teaching Russian class, I noticed that there was a direct correlation between how quickly the students were able to pick up new material and how quite and focused their surroundings were. When the music class took a break, the kids were able to absorb the new Russian ideas much more quickly than when the music class was playing. Similarly, when the near-by Spanish class was playing a loud or active game, my students became distracted, as did I.