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A magical vision is hidden in the Irish language – we need to rediscover it

The Irish language  derives from a world in which the unseen is as real as the seen. Photograph: Istock

Photograph: Istock

“…there are some truths about the language that need to be acknowledged, though the grammarians and language academics might not agree. 1 Irish derives from a world in which the unseen is as real as the seen; 2 it acknowledges the existence of other dimensions; 3 it is based on an understanding that nature and the land are vibrant, sentient beings; 4 at its most potent can be a language of incantation, meaning that it has (or might have) the potential to summon up wishes, behaviours, people and things…”

Read the full article here:

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French Podcast #2: Confession d’une Buveuse de Thé

Dear Friends,

You will find here my long overdue 2nd podcast. I got a better microphone so the quality of the recording should be much better (at least it sounded better on my computer).

In terms of vocabulary, I think the level is intermediate. However, there are some expressions and sentences’ constructions that I think, are more advanced.

For those of you who missed the first one, you can find it HERE.

How to make the best out this podcast: you can have a 1st listening to get the gist of it, during a 2nd listening you can try to write down words and/or sentences that you recognize/understand. After a 3rd listing, you can try to translate what you heard. You can also, alternatively, use this podcast as a dictation (which is an excellent exercise).

To help you understand better, here’s some useful vocabulary (I didn’t include words that, I think, should be known and others that can easily be guessed):

Le thé: tea  –  un souvenir: a memory  –  l’enfance: childhood  –  se préparer: (in this context) to prepare for oneself  –  réutiliser: to reuse  –  un sachet (de thé): a teabag  –  deuxième: second  –  fort(e): strong  –  le matin: the morning  –  thym: thyme  –  romarin: rosemary  –  le miel: honey  –  éviter: to avoid  –  attraper: to catch  – une boisson: a beverage  –  vivre: to live  –  sans: without  –  un buveur/une buveuse: a drinker  –  quelqu’un: somebody/someone  –  le quotidien: everyday life  –  soi: oneself  –  le monde: the world


Enjoy ;).

Continue reading French Podcast #2: Confession d’une Buveuse de Thé

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Introducing French Podcasts (Coming Soon)

I’ve been teaching French for years now, and I’ve noticed that most methods seem to miss the essential point of learning a language, which is: communication. And communication is not a one-way street, it’s about understanding as well as being understood.

Most folks get comfortable with writing and reading, but when you start engaging in an actual conversation, that’s where things start to get challenging. I would say that if you can manage to start thinking in French, then things should get smoother. The other tip I would give is not being afraid to make mistakes, take a chance – after all you’re learning a language – nobody’s going to make fun of you. And if you’re wrong, you will learn something.

As my dear students (and God knows that I challenge them all the time) are becoming more fluent in conversation, they still admit that the listening is their weakness. I admit that French people can talk fast (and I think it’s the same goes with any natives speakers in their own country) therefore I try to speak a little bit slower and in a comprehensible manner. With that in mind, I’ve decided to record some French podcasts.

What will they be about? Well, most likely topics of my own interest: literature, art, folklore, herbal medicine maybe, European myths & legends, maybe some of my own writings and projects as well…Whatever strikes my fancy! I plan to indicate whether my podcasts are for beginner, intermediate and/or advanced students.

How to use them? I would, of course, recommend a first listening to get a gist of what the podcast is about. A second listening should allow you to be able to catch some words and sentences. With a third listening, maybe you can start translating some of it. You can also use those podcasts as dictations: you write down what you hear and understand. Rereading your notes should allow you to self-correct some grammatical and conjugation mistakes. I will prepare a written transcript that I will be willing to email to folks who request it via email or private message.

For each podcast, I will prepare a written transcript that I will be able to email to folks who request it via email or private message. Subscribing to my blog is optional, but would allow you to not miss any podcast (I’m thinking about doing it on a weekly basis for now, but things might change over time).

I also plan to work on my own French learning method (that I hope to be able to use for my classes in a near future) based on TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling), in which language, art, and tales can coexist harmoniously…But that’s another story ;).