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PostPosted: Sat 03 Aug 2019 12:10 am 
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Joined: Tue 26 Feb 2019 2:15 pm
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So, at the moment I am learning both the Munster and Connaught/Cois Fhairrge dialects.

I listen to Radio na Gaeltachta in order to track the progress of my studies and also to tune my ears to the phonology of the language.

This works fine with the speakers from Ulster and Connaught, and it's fine with the lady who hosts An Saol ó Dheas. However, besides her show, I find myself sometimes (not always) disappointed with the speakers of the Munster dialect. Their accents, the way they say the vowels, sound like what I've come to expect from non-native school learners. A more English sounding version of Irish if that makes sense.

Some of them even miss basic phonetic markers like the pronunciation of aspirated/lenited c's, and their r's are nearly always rounded like English one's.

I do enjoy listening to the good Munster speakers when they are on, as much as I like listening to the speakers of other provinces. But sometimes I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between some Munster speakers and non-native learners, if it wasn't for the insertion of Munster words like 'ansan, i n-aon chor, so' and things like that.

I'm thinking, would these be people who learned the dialect themselves before getting on RnaG or are these actually native speakers and a reflection of the dominance of English in the old Gaeltacht areas of Munster?


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PostPosted: Tue 06 Aug 2019 5:32 am 
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Joined: Thu 01 Sep 2011 11:36 pm
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Honestly, in my limited experience, I find people who seem to have learned the language from their community, family, friends, and so on, sound so much better to me. The people I know in An Rinn all learned in school and it does sound school-learned with rounded "r"s, etc. They speak very well but it doesn't sound as "natural" to me.


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PostPosted: Tue 06 Aug 2019 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue 26 Feb 2019 2:15 pm
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Yes there was a website for a summer college type facility in An Rinn which was taking in adult learners and the principal of the college spoke on the video and it didn't sound all that 'natural' as you say (I know what you mean). It sounded more like the school learned Irish of someone who was more comfortable with English.

I knew a girl from the Muskerry gaeltacht in college, the one time I heard her speak Irish was on a video of an interview by someone from the college's Irish society and I was disappointed to be honest. Her speech was peppered with English words and phrases such as 'like, you know, in the way that, and so on' but what struck me the most was the hard K's and stuff like that. Kuag. Ock. Completely the anglicised phonetics of a standard school learner who spoke only to pass exams and didn't learn or practice the basic sounds of the language.

Surveys have shown growth in the Rinn and Muskerry gaeltachts which is great, but I'm not sure a lot of the people who are being counted as native speakers today would have been counted years ago.

My experience when I went to Dingle this year was that there are Irish speakers, but immersion in the language was not possible because over half the local people there now only have English or very limited Irish.

I'm positive overall with regards to the language, but I have to be realistic as well and was just sharing an observation I made while listening to the Radio. Normally on RnaG, unless they have Gaelscoil students/teachers or politicians on, all you hear is native sounding Irish, except when some Munster speakers are on sometimes, normally they're fine but on a channel like RnaG the exceptions are easily picked out. Maybe they are the end result of local Gaelscoils/gaeltacht schools but are from English speaking households or are from houses with only one Irish speaking parent. Something like that.


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