Léamh: Learn Early Modern Irish began as a digital humanities project at the University of Connecticut. Originally funded by a seed grant from Connecticut’s Humanities Institute in 2012, the project was envisioned as a means to facilitate the greater use of early modern Irish sources in scholarship across fields and disciplines. In the absence of learning materials – grammar, dictionary and guide – acquisition of Early Modern Irish has always been difficult. Léamh is intended to address that absence by offering guided translations of a wide range of texts and genres, a grammar with basic paradigms and descriptive summaries, and a searchable reference glossary. The site also offers tutelage in reading manuscripts through means of a stand-alone guide to paleography. For a bit of background on the project and its goals, have a listen here:
Helping People Get Started with Early Modern Irish
Léamh was begun by non-specialists wishing to help others like themselves gain confidence in reading original-language sources. As such, it is constructed to harness both the insights of learners and the expertise of specialists in the pursuit of optimal learning outcomes. To understand what newcomers to Early Modern Irish might find difficult or confusing, it is necessary to ask them. Thus, each sample text on the site is analyzed and translated by specialists and non-specialists alike. Specialists provide explanation, context, accurate translation, and learning tips and pointers; readers of “intermediate” level work through the texts and identify questions and areas of confusion, which are shared with scholar experts whose responses to those queries form part of the “General Guide” and “Detailed Guide” tabs.