As for Munster texts, as least those by Ua Laoghaire, I’d recommend starting with Sliabh na mBan bhFionn
with notes by An Lon Dubh. It uses a bit more archaic language than the other texts, but it is much shorter, it is mostly straightforward, and the notes are very helpful. It was the first longer text in Irish I managed to read. I’d recommend it to anyone starting to learn reading Munster.
As for Mo Sgéal Féin
, I don’t really think that Mo Sgéal Féin
is that much easier (AFAIK it uses less idioms and colloquial language, but it’s still Ua Laoghaire’s Cork dialect), while Séadna
has IMO a very big advantage in the form of notes by An Lon Dubh on Séadna thread of the Irish Language Forum
(you can find the notes directly here
as the CaibidealX.pdf files) and the whole text with vocabulary and notes on the corkirish blog
, and also there is a good (approved by Ua Laoghaire) English translation
(you can download it as a pdf as well), which all help a lot with reading. I think with Mo Sgéal Féin
one doesn’t have such help on the Internet, so even though the text might be easier, it isn’t necessarily more accessible.
I myself have been reading Séadna for over one and a half year with long pauses (I read a chapter or two during two weeks or so, then I lose interest for a few months, then I come back… I keep my notes from reading, so I always can fairly easily come back). It had been really hard at the beginning, I often needed over an hour to parse and understand a single paragraph, and a lot of searching through the notes, teanglann.ie, Wiktionary, etc., but after a few chapters it gets much easier. Also always I can consult the English translation to see if I understand everything correctly.
I’ve read 8 chapters, and the last few ones were pretty easy as the grammar goes – I mostly needed help with new vocabulary. The fourth chapter was the hardest, but probably because I just started it exactly when I got tired of reading Irish the first time, and lost motivation halfway through it.