For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

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Rivaldo
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For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby Rivaldo » 2013-11-24, 19:23

Hi,

For an interest in Celtic Paganism, Wicca, Celtic Mithology and those matters, which of the old celtic languages would be more adequate for a person to study?

Thank you.

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby księżycowy » 2013-11-24, 20:52

As far as Wicca, as I understand it, there is not specific Celtic language in use. Old or new.

But for some writings in a Celtic language on early Celtic religion and mythology, I'd say go with Old Irish. As far as I'm aware it has the largest body of literature of all the medieval Celtic languages.

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-11-25, 1:45

Wicca was made up in the 20th century by some English guy, so I suggest English for that one. For Celtic mythology, maybe try Old Irish.

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby Rivaldo » 2013-11-25, 13:21

Hi,

Thank you. My interest would be more of reading about Celtic Mithology, folk culture in the original languages.
The recommended one would be Old Irish and not Middle Irish, right? I got a little confused about the distinctions when reading about it.

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby księżycowy » 2013-11-25, 13:32

There is some stuff written in Middle Irish, but seeing as there are few textbooks for learning Middle Irish, I'd say go with Old Irish. There aren't many textbooks for OI either, but they are easy to find and buy. There also are some free online lessons for it.

If you need links or recommendations, just ask.

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby linguoboy » 2013-11-25, 14:45

Rivaldo wrote:The recommended one would be Old Irish and not Middle Irish, right? I got a little confused about the distinctions when reading about it.

If you can read Old Irish, then Middle Irish won't pose much difficulty. It's, if anything, simpler.

If Old Irish kicks your butt (and it's happened to the best of us), there's always Middle Welsh.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby Rivaldo » 2013-11-25, 18:14

Thank you, than it seems it's definitely Old Irish.

Anynone here have read those literatures and have a special taste for something around it?

I found a book on the library which at a fist glance seemed good, "A first old irish grammar and reader" Kim McCone

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-11-25, 20:39

You might try this course, which I think is quite good (though I have yet to give it a thorough test myself).

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2013-11-27, 23:01

David Stifter's "Sengoídelc" is probably the best way to learn Old Irish. I, at least, failed with every other book, but with his I can read the Táin now comfortably enough.

Middle Irish is, as linguoboy said, a good bit easier than Old Irish. In fact Middle Irish literature is often consists of people trying to write Old Irish and making mistakes rather than writing in genuine Middle Irish. Liam Breatnach's article in Stair na Gaeilge in ómos do Phádraig Ó Fiannachta is basically all you need after you know Old Irish to read Middle Irish (although that book is written in Modern Irish!).

Although I should say, Old Irish is quite hard, I'm glad I knew Modern Irish as well when I tried to learn it. A competent linguist who knows Sanskrit, Old Irish, Latin and Ancient Greek told me that Old Irish and Sanskrit are quite a bit more difficult than Latin and Ancient Greek, and he personally found Old Irish the hardest.

EDIT: I should say that I also learned Classical Irish before Old Irish, which really helped, especially with the nominal system.

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby Rivaldo » 2013-11-28, 10:41

I've studied an amount of old greek, latin and sanskrit. And the last one really hit me, it's the toughest indo-european language I've touched yet. When I read people talking that Old Irish was very difficult, I was wondering a little frighten "It gets to be so difficult as sanskrit?" lol.
At least Old Irish uses the latin alphabet(or can reasonably be learned on(?)), what can be of a great help already.

I'll look for the book you've mentioned.

What about literature, what specially you people have liked about it's texts?

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2013-12-27, 11:11

Rivaldo wrote:What about literature, what specially you people have liked about it's texts?

The Táin is pretty cool and other myths and stories like the story of Aislinge Meic Con Glinne, also the legal tracts are very interesting.

What literature have you read in Ancient Greek?

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Re: For Celtic Paganism, Wicca, which language?

Postby Rivaldo » 2014-01-10, 22:30

Nice texts to start :)

In greek I've not read documents and letters, althought nowadays I think this is a very interesting kind of text.
I've read a bit of the more famous texts like homer and hesiod, plato, aristotle, etc.

I liked a lot Theocrite, which is not a very famous author. I also have much interest in Plotin.

I found Hesiod very good, Plato, in general, an interesting author, and also Herodoto is one I like. The only full surviving poem of Sapho is also great. Those are my opinions of what I've read of greek literature.


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