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PostPosted: Mon 19 Aug 2019 2:29 am 
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Does Irish sound like English to you?

Not including learners/school Irish etc which obviously usually does,
But does much native Irish sound English to you?


The reason I ask this question is that as non native English speakers you might be easier able to pick up on sounds which are characteristic of English that the rest of us might miss.


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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2019 11:47 am 
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I've never been asked this question and never thought of it because Irish seems completely different from English. When I hear real native Irish like John Henry from Donegal reciting Greek myths and other old stories, it seems totally unlike English. The sounds are very foreign to me. This goes for a lot of the Irish I have heard from up there and from Conamara.


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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2019 11:52 am 
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Quote:
Does Irish sound like English to you?


NOPE, not at all.

Quote:
Not including learners/school Irish etc which obviously usually does,


and most fluent speakers who aren't from the Gaedhealtacht too

Quote:
The reason I ask this question is that as non native English speakers you might be easier able to pick up on sounds which are characteristic of English that the rest of us might miss.


Yes. Also, to me Irish is much easier to pronounce than English. Maybe because I've worked much more on my Irish... Also English is full of weird diphthongs, its prosody is weird and one never knows what syllable should be stressed.

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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2019 3:29 pm 
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tiomluasocein wrote:
I've never been asked this question and never thought of it because Irish seems completely different from English. When I hear real native Irish like John Henry from Donegal reciting Greek myths and other old stories, it seems totally unlike English. The sounds are very foreign to me. This goes for a lot of the Irish I have heard from up there and from Conamara.


Do you mean John Henry from Kilgalligan, County Mayo?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP4nXlKJx_4

Or, is there also a John Henry from Donegal?

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Please wait for corrections/ more input from other forum members before acting on advice


I'm familiar with Munster Irish/ Gaolainn na Mumhan (GM) and the Official Standard/an Caighdeán Oifigiúil (CO)


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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2019 8:53 pm 
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Interesting. Honestly there was no question in my mind about John Henry, he was completely monolingual. I'm talking more about the Irish speakers of today who grew up with both languages.

The reason I ask is that I was watching videos of Breton speakers, and they all sounded French to my ears, and to the ears of many in the comments. But there were some Breton posters in the comments insisting that they didn't sound French!

(I managed to find a recording of a Breton man from the seventies speaking English and he sounded Welsh, not french at all, it was amazing to hear.)

Anyway, it just struck me that as French was their native language, they couldn't pick up on the French influences on the speech of the modern Breton speakers, and I thought, maybe there was something similar going on for us! (There is obviously, with non-natives, but I wanted an outside perspective on native Irish.)


What about the speech of native Munster speakers? Can you hear English influences phonetically on them? To me the phonemes and accents of Connacht and Donegal speakers seem stronger, but I have grown up my whole life around strong Munster (Kerry (family) , Cork (annoying friend) , Limerick (grew up) and Clare (lived rurally years)) accents. So to me the accents of these areas all seem quite neutral/normal.


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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2019 9:09 pm 
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Quote:
The reason I ask is that I was watching videos of Breton speakers, and they all sounded French to my ears, and to the ears of many in the comments. But there were some Breton posters in the comments insisting that they didn't sound French!


Aye, I noticed that English speakers often say Breton speakers all sound as it they are speaking French, while French speakers themselves would never say it.
A friend of mine (native English speaker, fluent in Breton and French) told me it was mainly because of the nasal vowels. Breton shares most of its sounds with French so to English speakers it's enough to say they sound as if they were speaking French. But French speakers only say that of non-native speakers of Breton - these indeed pronounce everything like French (it's like "Urban Irish": 100% English sounds).
Because native Breton has enough phonetical features that don't exist in French: certain vowels don't exist in French, certain consonants too, the stress is much stronger in most dialects than in French, there are long vowels, etc. Maybe these aren't enough for an English speaker to say "it sounds different from French" :)

Quote:
What about the speech of native Munster speakers? Can you hear English influences phonetically on them? To me the phonemes and accents of Connacht and Donegal speakers seem stronger, but I have grown up my whole life around strong Munster (Kerry (family) , Cork (annoying friend) , Limerick (grew up) and Clare (lived rurally years)) accents. So to me the accents of these areas all seem quite neutral/normal.


Most of the Munster speakers I heard use the English r (instead of both Irish r's or only instead of the broad one), even native speakers (eg. the singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh). That's always shocking to me to hear Irish with an English r sound :)

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Aug 2019 12:39 pm 
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Lughaidh wrote:
Quote:
Does Irish sound like English to you?


NOPE, not at all.


:darklaugh: Perfect answer.


An Cionnfhaolach wrote:
Quote:
Do you mean John Henry from Kilgalligan, County Mayo?


Yes, that one. Been a while since I've checked him out.

OK, if I consider those people who are really bilingual and who grew up speaking Irish learnt from their families, I have to say their Irish is completely different from English. As a matter of fact, their ENGLISH is completely different from English. Often can't understand a word.


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Aug 2019 11:32 pm 
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Good to know. Let's hope that the young up and coming native speakers keep that distinction.


(I joined a Celtic language Discord group a while ago (app for gamers) and it's great to see that there are learners from the ages of sixteen to twenties who do care about things like the proper phonetics and usage of the language.)


Thanks for your input guys.


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PostPosted: Thu 22 Aug 2019 12:14 am 
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Quote:
Good to know. Let's hope that the young up and coming native speakers keep that distinction.


Let's hope that the young native speakers won't abandon their language during their life, and let's hope that they'll speak it to their children.
To be honest I don't have much hope about that. Afaik most young Gaeltacht speakers speak better English, and more often English, than Irish.
When I was a student of Irish in NI 18 years ago, there were a few native speakers (from Donegal) in the class; sometimes our teacher asked them how they'd say this and that in their Irish. Quite often they didn't even know, although they weren't complicated words, rather everyday ones.
I remember he asked how they'd say "furniture" in Irish: no idea. Old people say "trioc" in Donegal. These young people didn't know. So I'm a bit worried about the future of Irish...
Also he asked them "pronounce "a ghreim" in your dialect". They all had a broad gh- as if it were "a dhroim"...

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Is fearr Gaeilg na Gaeltaċta ná Gaeilg ar biṫ eile
Agus is í Gaeilg Ġaoṫ Doḃair is binne
:)


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PostPosted: Thu 22 Aug 2019 6:25 am 
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Mandatory time from a young age in heavy Irish speaking areas. Total immersion.


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