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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov 2015 1:33 pm 
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Our man in Brussels wrote:
Oh. This is important. Can you give examples of what programs (or people) to look for or avoid?

Actually, since other learners should be interested in this, and since it's not specific to this thread's topic, maybe it would be best to reply in a new thread "Which TV/radio programs have Gaeltacht accents". (I hope you have time to reply, but input from others is of course just as welcome.)

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov 2015 2:30 pm 
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What I find very useful for listening to and comparing different accents (the main three anyway) is the online Teanglann Dictionary as well as the Foclóir one that goes with it and of course there's Forvo with our own Conamara star doing the necessary. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov 2015 5:50 pm 
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franc 91 wrote:
What I find very useful for listening to and comparing different accents (the main three anyway) is the online Teanglann Dictionary as well as the Foclóir one that goes with it and of course there's Forvo with our own Conamara star doing the necessary. ;)


:D


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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov 2015 9:01 pm 
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Our man in Brussels wrote:
[*]As said elsewhere, I think it's a pity he uses non-standard spelling for some Irish words without informing the learner. It's going to make it difficult for me to read books,

It really isn't. Most native works use a lot of non-standard spellings.

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And it's not even consistent. Some words are written in standard spelling with a note about Cois Fharraige pronunciation (ex: he writes "oiche", which is standard spelling, and notes it's pronounced "í") and other words are written in his own spelling (ex: instead of the standard "urlár" and "arís", he writes "orlár" and "aríst") without any indication which words are in non-standard spelling.

That is actually the way native speakers write and speak, genitive used, then not used, grammar works one way, then another way, word is pronounced one way then another way.

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[*]The vocabulary list says the plural of fuinneoig is fuinneoga (page 10), but for translation exercise number 2 of lesson 7, "There are nice big windows here", the book says the answer is "Tá fuinneogaí móra deasa anseo". (It seems he can't make up his mind whether to use his own non-standard spellings or not.)

Several words in Irish have free-form plurals, with native speakers picking one on the fly.

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[*]His pronunciation symbols are not very useful. I'm just ignoring them so far, and I've read that others do too.

Since there has been a bit of discussion on this, these symbols are not Ó Siadhail's, they've been in use since the dialectal studies texts of the 1940s, I think it was Ó Cuív who created them.

Learning Irish is not a great book, but it is a realistic book in how Irish is used. The reality of Irish is not like French, but like learning Serbski or Breton, there is no smooth account of the language. My personal view, having become fluent in Irish and read virtually every learner's book there is, is that Ó Siadhail's book and the old TYI and Buntús na Gaeilge are the only ones that actually teach the language. (And even Buntús na Gaeilge makes significant compromises). I too thought that other books were pedagogically superior/more fun, but in the end, what they taught was not really what I found in any long native work or heard in the Gaeltacht.

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov 2015 6:20 am 
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An Lon Dubh wrote:
Ó Siadhail's book and the old TYI and Buntús na Gaeilge (...) are the only ones that actually teach the language.

If someone didn't have a dialect preference, and wanted to achieve an advanced as possible level, how do you think BnG (parts 1+2) and the old TYI compare to Ó Siadhail's book?

I see the books and audio for both are online. BnG looks particularly good, but it doesn't have the answers to the exercises. Not sure how big a problem that is.

(My complaint about Ó Siadhail's fuinneogs isn't that he switched between two variants, but that he said one spelling was the spelling and then later said something else was the spelling, without explanation. But his spelling is a minor problem compared to the disorganised nature of his book.)

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PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec 2015 1:23 pm 
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and I'll learn the same way anyone learns to pronounce a language. I'll listen to lots of TV and radio,

In my experience of teaching, travelling and living abroad, even in languages with one r, one p etc people just find the nearest, then soften or imitate a bit, but mostly never get there. In languages with contrasts that are not in English or French etc (Korean tense stops, Irish and Russian broad/slender consonants) people pick one and never use the other. I guess they are not even aware they exist unless they took the time to learn about it.

After all, there are Irish people who can't make a tapped r, either because they don't produce them or were only exposed to the two rs you get now in Hiberno English. Growing up on the border, I met people with taps, trills, uvular, retroflex, approximate and even uvular trills but thanks to schooling, a lot of people would only believe there is one r possible in pronunciation, let alone something as exotic as a two-way contrast


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In a report about Ulster, I noticed the reporter had an Ulster accent, so I guess the reporters speak CO but they don't completely mask their accent.

The accent is less important than contrasts; they can claim/pretend speak any dialect they want, but without broad/slender it doesn't matter


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And the Ros na Rún actors are all native, right? and mostly Connemara

A number of them are from Dublin

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PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec 2015 3:16 pm 
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Jay Bee wrote:
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and I'll learn the same way anyone learns to pronounce a language. I'll listen to lots of TV and radio,

In my experience of teaching, travelling and living abroad, even in languages with one r, one p etc people just find the nearest, then soften or imitate a bit, but mostly never get there. In languages with contrasts that are not in English or French etc (Korean tense stops, Irish and Russian broad/slender consonants) people pick one and never use the other. I guess they are not even aware they exist unless they took the time to learn about it.


How is it possible for someone to learn any Irish without learning that there is a broad/slender distinction? I mean maybe if they just copy some stuff from a phrasebook but I can't imagine anyone getting close to a conversational level without knowing about this. My pronunciation isn't great in Irish I'm sure, but I at least make (probably over-exaggerated) broad/slender distinctions, and I practice listening so that I can hear them as well. Maybe because I'm an American, I'm assuming I need to learn it all, whereas some Irish people think they're already there because they have the sounds of Hiberno-English?

Who are these people who don't understand broad/slender and where are they learning Irish from?


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PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec 2015 3:53 pm 
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There is a belief that Irish people speak they way they do because they are speaking like their ancestors do. This is largely false for most people alive today. While there is a spectrum, the Irish brogue is much more like West Country/Elizabethan English. Just listen to Shakespeare as he would have sounded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYiYd9RcK5M

As a consequence of this and a pedagogic disinterest in looking at the language as it is, you get students ignorant of any difference between the language, apart from the lexicon and obvious grammatical features. I guess 90%+ of all people who've ever tried to learn in in Ireland in the last 150 years haven’t had the b/s difference. It's not in English except for a few places (/s/ and /s'/) so it isn't held to exist in Irish. The same with idioms etc

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug 2019 11:00 am 
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I used this in parallel with the more user-friendly ‘Complete Irish’ by Diarmuid Ó Sé. I believe ‘Learning Irish’ is an absolute must, because it’s the only book that gives phonetic details about pronunciation that you can keep going back to to remind yourself – ‘Complete Irish’ leaves you in the lurch a bit – however, Ó Siadhail has to be treated with caution. I used my copy until the pages started falling apart (which, owing to poor binding quality, was fairly soon).

First, it’s more of a grammar book. It’s not likely to get you started with conversations quickly – you’ll spend a while learning the passive tenses of ‘to be’ – which I’ve never yet used – and it’ll be a long time before you reach the past tense (you’ll also have to work out for yourself why there’s no present tense, just a ‘present habitual’). There’s a lot of detail, and unlike ‘Complete Irish’ it really is more or lesscomplete. The ‘translate into Irish’ exercises are tough. Once you’ve progressed, you could use the answers for hints on conversational Irish…

Second, bear in mind that this is the dialect of a particular region (not all Connemara) quite a long time ago. What about ‘ndóigh' as in 'ar ndóigh' pronounced ‘noo’ for instance? Sometimes the audio parts contradict the phonetic instructions! It might me as well to check on www.teanglann.ie for a modern Connacht pronunciation. And are you seriously going to use posessive pronouns that are mostly indistinguishable, forcing you to add ‘seisean’ and ‘muide’ to everything? And are you going to pronounce ‘dhéanfainn’ without the ‘h’ sound in the middle so it sounds just like ‘dhéanainn’?

Thirdly, the phonetics part might raise more questions that it answers. My guess/explanation for the strange hints of ‘w’ and ‘y’ before broad and slender vowels is as follows: if you say ‘cit, cet, cat, cot, cut’ you notice that not only are the vowels being pronounced further back in the mouth, but the consonants are also getting dragged back with them. Now if you try and say ‘cit’ with the same ‘c’ as used in ‘cut’, you end up saying ‘c(u)it’ ...and conversely when you try to say ‘cut’ with the consonant in the position as used in ‘cit’, you and up with ‘c(i)ut’. But it took me a long time to work that out…it's all very well for people to stress the importance of broad-vs-slender, but it needs to be better explained.

True, Ó Siadhail will help you avoid saying ‘dwit’ for ‘duit’ or ‘tyee’ for ‘tí’, as some of the simpler books would have you say, and there’s an audio bit where a list of words are read out which would be homophones if there wasn’t a broad-vs-slender difference, which is useful. But I still have no idea what he means by putting slender consonants at the end of a word – well, I do have an idea of what a slender ‘r’ sounds like (cor vs coir) but that’s all. I mean, what on earth is a slender versus a broad ‘l’ at the end of a word?! And as for the difference in vowel sounds between English ‘plaid’ and ‘pan’…perhaps speakers of Irish English can tell the difference, but the vowels sound the same when I say them. It would be good to have more details, but without assuming a prior knowledge of the technical vocabulary of phonetics.

At least Ó Siadhail understands that pronunciation is as important as grammar and vocab. I’ve met learners of Irish who have never been told this, and whose Irish is, as a result, pretty well unintelligible despite otherwise admirable fluency.


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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug 2019 3:34 pm 
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agaitagalega wrote:
Second, bear in mind that this is the dialect of a particular region (not all Connemara) quite a long time ago. What about ‘ndóigh' as in 'ar ndóigh' pronounced ‘noo’ for instance? Sometimes the audio parts contradict the phonetic instructions! It might me as well to check on http://www.teanglann.ie for a modern Connacht pronunciation. And are you seriously going to use posessive pronouns that are mostly indistinguishable, forcing you to add ‘seisean’ and ‘muide’ to everything? And are you going to pronounce ‘dhéanfainn’ without the ‘h’ sound in the middle so it sounds just like ‘dhéanainn’?


Tá, i gCois Fharraige, ar ndóigh.
Deile cén chaoi? :)


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