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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 9:13 pm 
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Our man in Brussels wrote:
the IPA doesn't evoke a particular pronunciation for me and I seem to not have my ear tuned to all the nuances of the recordings.


If you are not satisfied with listening to recordings, I might suggest finding a Russian speaker (much easier than Irish, usually). The sounds are not the same, but they are much, much closer to Irish than English is. Russian also has "slender and broad" (but for Russian it is called "hard and soft"), and they also have a system of using vowels to show whether the consonant is hard or soft. English Russian learners also tend to have trouble with them "is it pat or pyat?" (neither, it's pjatj)

Like I said, it is not the same as Irish, but it is not that far from it either (whereas English is very far indeed). Training your ear and tongue with Russian definitely would help with Irish. A Russian speaker could also listen to the Irish recordings and be able to tell you if you are doing it right, since they are very attuned to the nuances of palatalisation.

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 9:48 pm 
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Our man in Brussels wrote:
For my initial b's and d's, I think the best I can do is imagine a spectrum, and aim for here:

dee--------X---------------------------------jee

bug--------------------X---------------------byug


No, no, no. ;)
English d is alveolar, Irish slender d is alveolopalatal. That is the difference, not "d", "dy" or "j".
Just put the tip of your tongue 1 cm back in your mouth (alveolar d + 1 cm = alveolopalatal d).

But "jee" is neither of them. It is an affricate consisting of d (what ever kind of d you choose, and there's a good chance your choice is wrong) + a /ʒ/ sound (and even here there is more than one choice).

Regarding slender b it is easier. English and Irish slender b is the same. (Yes, really. There aren't so many ways to say b)
The only strange thing in Irish is that slender b can be followed by broad vowels. In English it can't.
Just say "bee", drop the "ee" and add -og, voilà: beag. Very simple.

Don't (don't, don't, don't) listen to the y sound and don't (don't, don't, ...., don't) try to make it - on no circumstances.
The y-sound isn't real, it is an illusion of your ear. Something which occurs automatically while you put slender b next to broad -og. Because there is no real y-sound you will hear it more or less or you won't hear it at all. Don't care for it.

Slender b is perhaps neither b in your "bug" nor by in "byug" and so maybe nothing in between. Because you can add an y sound to a broad b, a very broad b, no problem. It doesn't help to produce a true slender b.


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PostPosted: Thu 12 Apr 2018 12:50 am 
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Aha! Now this, I can work with!
Labhrás wrote:
Just put the tip of your tongue 1 cm back in your mouth (alveolar d + 1 cm = alveolopalatal d).

Moving the tip of my tongue back 4 or 5mm does produce a slightly "softer" d, but any further and the sound gets weird. I guess the most important thing is to move the tongue back a little and find a slighly soft d and then use that sound for both go dtí and go deas, right?
Labhrás wrote:
Just say "bee", drop the "ee" and add -og, voilà: beag. Very simple.

That is simple.

I'll have to try them both for a few days to see if I find any problems.

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Thu 12 Apr 2018 12:53 am 
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Cúmhaí wrote:
Training your ear and tongue with Russian definitely would help with Irish.

Can't add any more languages. The vocabulary cortex of my language lobe is almost full already. I'm hoping I can squeeze in Irish, then I'll slam the brain door shut.

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PostPosted: Thu 12 Apr 2018 2:12 pm 
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Labhrás wrote:
English d is alveolar, Irish slender d is alveolopalatal. That is the difference

:clap: I am so glad we have Labhrás here...

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PostPosted: Thu 12 Apr 2018 2:14 pm 
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Our man in Brussels wrote:
Cúmhaí wrote:
Training your ear and tongue with Russian definitely would help with Irish.

Can't add any more languages. The vocabulary cortex of my language lobe is almost full already. I'm hoping I can squeeze in Irish, then I'll slam the brain door shut.

hahaha that's fair. Honestly it might not have been helpful anyway...

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