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Team Celts, TAC 2014

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Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
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 Message 1 of 69
13 December 2013 at 11:19pm | IP Logged 

Céad míle fáilte (Ir: "a hundred thousand welcomes") to our TAC 2014 thread for Team Celts!

Are you sitting comfortably around the fire, a flicker of eager faces, some new, some known, waiting in the enveloping darkness of December? Perhaps you already have stories too tall to tell, or rather seek the company of a wee dram and a good tale to keep out the cold...well, then I'll begin.

In 2013, 15 members of the Forum gathered together to form the first ever Celtic team in the TAC challenge: Clan Lugus. Our idea was to raise awareness of Celtic languages and culture, support each other in our studies, and share experiences and knowledge to help everyone move several steps closer to completing our goals. Altogether we studied a variety of languages (e.g., Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton) across levels ranging from complete beginner to advanced fluency, and collected some great tips and links to resources by native speakers, as well as from fellow members, passing guardian angels, and other blithe spirits and welcome visitors to our team blog.

Some members finished off whole courses or otherwise made real strides forward and levelled up significantly, driving the team forward and giving us all hope on darker days. Others visited or immersed in native-speaking areas like the Gaeltacht in Ireland and allowed us to share vicariously in their vibrant experiences on their return. The most important thing, however, is that the journey was a good craic (Ir: "good fun", "a good time), and I think we did a seaworthy job of maintaining a strong sense of identity and team spirit throughout the challenge.

Now we're fast approaching the start of 2014 and several members have already shown renewed interest to follow in these fledgling footsteps. It would be great to have a continued presence in the TAC after all the good groundwork we put in last year, and I'd like to call out to anyone who might be interested in studying a Celtic language next year to think about joining our little clan once again. All you need to do is post a comment on the TAC 2014 sign-up thread to say you'd like to join Team Celts, and just post a little introduction here to say "hi" to everyone and share something about your background and goals.

I also have a few ideas to get us all started, change things up a bit, and hopefully make next year all the more interesting:

- A shared online document of resources for Celtic languages that is quick and easier to access/edit (e.g., Google Doc, Wikipedia page, external language blog).

- A short profile of one of the six Celtic nations every two months (i.e., Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Breton, Cornwall), or perhaps even just an interesting aspect of the highlighted country's people and culture, and of course a cool picture to go with it.

- Quarterly challenges (another little thought: perhaps these could coincide with the Six Week Challenges on the Forum).

- More regular team updates (e.g., monthly summaries, like little sections in traditional newsletters).

- Group collaboration on other useful projects (e.g., building dialogue islands, aligning texts, translations).

- Meetups on Google Hangout for the brave at heart!

Please feel free to add any suggestions, or comment and expand on any of the initial ideas above; the more the merrier. And most importantly, whatever path you choose to tread or mountain you're determined to conquer, go n-éirí an bóthar leat (Ir: roughly "may you succeed in your journey", "good luck")!

Our team members are:

Indíritheach (studying Irish)
jeff_lindqvist (studying Irish)
Lassus, previously known as Josquin (studying Irish)
liammcg (studying Irish)
Sabrina VG (studying Welsh)
sctroyenne (studying Irish)
Teango (studying Irish)
vermillon (studying Breton)

Edited by Teango on 16 May 2014 at 8:38pm

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Super Polyglot
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 Message 2 of 69
13 December 2013 at 11:27pm | IP Logged 
Won't be on the team next year, but for a way to end 2013 - please see my log, as I will
be interviewed on my learning of Breton this weekend (if all goes right).

A hearty cheers to all my former teammates. Trugarez dit!
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 Message 3 of 69
13 December 2013 at 11:43pm | IP Logged 
Great ideas, all of them! Some of our weekly assignments are more or less short monologues on certain topics, so I'll post them in my log along the road.
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 Message 4 of 69
13 December 2013 at 11:49pm | IP Logged 
Excellent introduction as always, Teango. Thanks for taking the time to lay the
foundations of what I'm sure will be another productive year of the TAC for Celtic us
enthusiasts! You have some good ideas there and I'm looking forward to hearing more
about them come the New Year.

Just a brief introduction: My name is Liam, I'm 21 and come from the west of Ireland. I
was raised in a monolingual home though my mother is a native speaker of Irish! I
started learning Irish 'properly' when I was 16 having sat through classes the previous
ten years without gaining any competence. Though I'm now very competent, I'm ALWAYS
looking to improve. Last year I took up Scottish Gaelic for our TAC team and enjoyed
the experience immensely. I've left Gaelic to the side for a while so that I can
concentrate on other languages, namely French and German (and Irish I suppose!) but I
will be dabbling with it throughout the year. I'm also likely to mess around with Welsh

Finally, I'd like to encourage all forum members studying a Celtic language to take
part in our team, particularly those new to TAC. I can assure you that it is an
excellent way of making contact with like-minded individuals and a useful source of
motivation when one is feeling frustrated with any aspect of study. Sláinte!

Edited by liammcg on 14 December 2013 at 12:08am

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 Message 5 of 69
13 December 2013 at 11:57pm | IP Logged 
Great intro as usual, Teango! :)

I'm looking forward to being on the Celtic Team again, especially if those ideas of yours become reality. I can't wait to work actively on my Irish again.
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 Message 6 of 69
14 December 2013 at 12:41am | IP Logged 
I'm personally uncomfortable around the concept of challenges and teams (perhaps a
reaction to the trauma of having gone to British schools....), and generally prefer to
plough my own furrow.

But I'm happy to encourage the study of Celtic languages, and will look upon Team
Celts, from a slight distance, perhaps from the adjoining bar parlour, with
affectionate interest, drinking to all of your health on a regular basis... :-)

On the subject of Google+ hangouts, I'd certainly encourage them. Some of us from the
SSiW crowd have been meeting on a fairly regular basis that way, and although there are
technical problems sometimes, and G+H can be as annoying as it can be surprisingly good
sometimes, it's worth the effort. One tip, probably fairly obvious, is to use
headphones/earphones rather than speakers. I tried with in-ear sports earbuds (borrowed
from my MP3 player, and that seemed to be a better aural experience than with
headphones even (I suspected a slight sound "leakage" from the phones....not 100% sure
about that.

I also suspect that a microphone that is fairly close, but not too close, to your
face/mouth works a bit better than one further away.

Another tip is to make sure you have the latest Google Talk Plugin.

One slightly annoying thing is that there seem to be no way of checking the sound setup
in advance, on G+, in the way that you can do a test call on Skype. Another thing is
that G+ takes control of the volume setting for your microphone. There is a way around
that, but it means a registry edit.

Pob lwc a hwyl fawr.
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Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
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teango.wordpress.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 7 of 69
14 December 2013 at 4:36am | IP Logged 
Guys, I just have to repost this from the "The role and usefulness of Irish" thread:

Gallo1801 wrote:
Have y'all seen this school that makes Irish covers of pop songs?! They are aweseome.
Some of the songs I like better in Irish.

TG Lurgan

It's like Christmas has come early! (here's a direct link to some of TG Lurgan's music videos in Irish, many of which have accompanying lyrics, and that's just scratching the surface: here are a couple of further links to the school behind this and their inspiring projects).

Edited by Teango on 14 December 2013 at 4:58am

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 Message 8 of 69
14 December 2013 at 9:25am | IP Logged 
Thank you for the lovely introduction! I'm very excited to be joining you all this year
as my goal of finally learning Irish is actually happening! I made several false starts
with the language because I found it intimidating at first and got sidetracked with
other language projects but I finally decided to get serious around October once I had
discovered Gaeilge gan Stró. Since then I've been working through that and Learning
Irish now that it's not nearly as intimidating for me. I attended an immersion weekend
with Language Hunters in Portland which gave me a lot to think about in my approach to
language learning. I'm looking to attend their summer 5-day session if they have it
again (and if the logistics work out that would allow me to go). It's quite an up and
down struggle, learning Irish, but I just need to turn on some Aifric to feel
optimistic again.

I love the idea of having mini challenges and group activities. I find the team spirit
is really important when learning a language such as this. The speech community is so
small compared to other languages that you really just have to go out and create your
own if you want to get practice. Also, it's not easy and having support can be vital to
keeping spirits up. I joined a local study group through Meetup and it's so great
seeing everyone pooling their resources and expertise to help each other in our crazy

I look forward to learning with all of you!

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