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PostPosted: Wed 03 Feb 2021 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed 15 Apr 2020 12:09 pm
Posts: 47
Errigal wrote:
An bhfuil nóisean agat don ógbhean Eímear, a Asarlaì? :D


Errigal a chara, :D
Is ógbhean aoibhinn Eímear gan dabht agus taitníonn a cainéal JooTube go mór mór liom. Ar ndóigh bíonn i gcónaí cuma ghalánta uirthi, tá aici...súile deasa, gáire gnaíúil agus an-stíl. Ach níl aon nóisin agam faoin mbeirt againne ar chor ar bith. Ní bheadh sé sin ceart. Is fear sna caogaidí mé in ainm Dé agus níl inti ach cailín. So... níl, nach bhfuil agam. Deireadh an scéil, dada le feiceáil anseo, sin sin, lánstad!

:guiness:

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Feb 2021 11:32 pm 
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Those last two comments don't really seem appropriate to me. Whatever about making points about correcting learners and how the language should be thought, this discussion has devolved into discussing someone personally in weird and uncomfortable ways.


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PostPosted: Sat 06 Feb 2021 6:02 am 
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Joined: Sun 31 Jan 2021 8:16 am
Posts: 14
Really interesting topic - minority languages, accents and such. I could probably talk about quantum
chromodynamics with more authority than I can about Irish language (started learning on Duolingo
4 days ago - I think I can say "I drink the water" in Irish but d not hold me to it ;) ).

I watched briefly the channel in question - I have less that zero ground to comment but yeah....
interesting - I do hear that her sound production is somewhat different than say most people that
I hear on Gaeilge radio online. Hmmm...

I just wanted to make couple comments as a native speaker of another minority language - Polish.
Hopefully in a positive tone too...

Maybe that the question of history peppered with conflicts and occupation by powerful neighbors
that wanted to uproot Polish and impose Russian or German - but speaking Polish well was always
point of pride. Knowing the classic literature - being able to quote poems here and there.
At least in my generation.
But even then there were people lamenting how younger generation was speaking the language.
When you watch old Polish pre-war movies - the pronunciation is VERY different. Soft "L" (with dash
across) is spoken from back of the tongue. There is clear distinction between soft H (written as CH)
and hard one (written as H). And many others.
Nobody - except for actors and old old people especially from Eastern Poland spoke like this anymore -
unless you are a trained actor tasked with a role of an aristocrat in a period piece. If you tried people
will think you were trying to act funny. Then computers happened and suddenly language purists were
concerned that English terms were polluting the language. Say "interface" - well... there was almost
humorous attempt to Polonize it to "in-between-snouts" in free translation. But languages evolve toward
ease of use so now it is "interfejs" - end of the story.

And of course slang evolved now - language moves toward possibly more "lazy" version.
I occasionally listen to people on YT and even among highly educated people - university professors etc
there is a difference in hmmm... gracefulness with which they speak. And I do not think anything can be
done about it.

Couple words on accent if I may. I knew many foreign people in Poland that tried to master the language.
I NEVER once heard a foreign person speaking Polish like a native. Even if their grammar was OK - which
is tricky - Polish grammar is complex. I tried to teach it to my American wife and was constantly in awe
how things that were never an issue for me require complex explanations. Even then - the accent was
never right. An we are talking central accent - then you have many local dialects which even as a native
speaker I could have ZERO chance to imitate.
However on a flipside - I never encountered case when a foreigner attempting to speak even rudimentary
Polish was ever ridiculed (I am talking 30 yrs ago when I lived there - things are probably different now).
In all cases people LOVED to here spoken Polish coming from someone from different culture - you'd score
gigantic cookie points making attempt. Perhaps because we all knew how hard Polish is.

So on a subject of somebody not speaking with pure accent and trying to teach. If that was American trying
to teach Polish... well - I'd say that perhaps they could have better luck explaining grammar to a non-native
learners. And accent - well... it is a losing game - you would have to live in the country for few years and
be patient with people correcting you. I bet that right now - after 30+ years in States I would stick out of
a crowd with my accent for a good 6 months before I was speaking proper Polish again.

Dunno just my (and very very tangential) 2 cents.


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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb 2021 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri 08 Jan 2016 11:37 pm
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Polish was never a minority language, even during repressions by foreign powers, Polish was still pretty much a majority language where it’s been spoken. It is a minority language in parts of Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine (and probably in quite a few other places) but never had such a status in most of the territory of central Poland.

For most Polish dialects also there was never a distinction between h /h ~ ɦ ~ ɣ/ vs ch /x/ – throughout the history of Polish it’s generally been only an orthographic distintion for most speakers and the actual phonemic distinction exits (as exited in history) only in the easternmost and southernmost dialects – under influence of East Slavic (Belarusian, Ukrainian) and Czecho-Slovak languages which developed the /h/ phoneme from Proto-Slavic *g (which stayed as /ɡ/ in Polish, cf. Polish góra with Czech and Slovak hora, Belorusian гара hara and Ukrainian гора hora). All the words with h in Polish are loanwords, as it’s never been a separate Polish phoneme.

The distinction between the ‘dark L’ (ie. the velarized pronunciation of ł as [ɫ̪]) is also pretty archaic and I guess by the beginning of 20th century it already wasn’t that common – but it’s true that actors of the era kept this pronunciation. It might be just that a lot of them were from eastern (Ruthenian-influenced) regions which actually had (and still have, if you listen to Polish speakers from Kresy) the distinctions between /h/ and /x/, and between /w/ and /ł/.

Also, funny that you call Ł as ‘soft L’ while it actually is – using the Slavic nomenclature – hard (non-palatalized) equivalent to /l/ which is soft (palatalized) – the same was as s is hard and ś is soft, or t is hard and ć is the soft couterpart. See how mały changes to mali chłopcy (with ‘hard’ ł being ‘softened’ to l) the same as bosy changes to bosi chłopcy (with si pronounced as if *śi) and przejęty changes to przejęci chłopcy. In Irish (and Goidelic in general) this difference is instead called ‘broad’ vs ‘slender’.

(By the way, the same change – the ‘hard’ or ‘broad’ L changing pronunciation to [w] – happened in Scottish Gaelic spoken in Nova Scotia in Canada – it’s a bit weirdly familiar to my Polish ear when listening to Nova Scotia recordings in Gaelic because of all the [w]s where I’d expect [l ~ ɫ]-like consonant).

And, back to the matter, I would still expect somebody teaching Polish to make distinctions existing in Polish (eg. having a clear difference in pronunciation between próch /prux/ and próg /pruk/ or chuj /xuj/ and kuj /kuj/ or krach /krax/ and Krak /krak/…) and also I would expect them to at least try to follow native Polish pronunciation and when teaching – to acknowledge that their pronunciation isn’t perfect and probably shouldn’t be followed (and rather one should listen to recordings of native speakers instead for good pronunciation).

The problem with Irish-related videos is IMO not that not-perfect learners try to share their knowledge while they’re not perfect. The problem is that they don’t make any disclaimers stating that they’re just learners eg. struggling with pronunciation, they don’t give any directions to better resources, and since the makers of those videos often are from Ireland – watchers often assume that what they see is actual good native Irish and take the videos to be some authoritative source, when they are not.


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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb 2021 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun 31 Jan 2021 8:16 am
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silmeth wrote:
Polish was never a minority language, even during repressions by foreign powers (...)


Thank you - great reply! I probably have spoken out of turn - not knowing anything about Irish - or linguistics. I am physicist by degree - programmer by day and (sometimes) musician at night. And I was just adlibbing on a subject. It was not my intensions to "compare histories" (even if there is superficial similarity) maybe just reflect a bit on the evolution of the languages.
You are quite right - I was sloppy when parsing phrase "minority language". I took it more as "minor language" - less known (and quite hard) language. When Poland was partitioned in 1795 two of the occupying powers - Russia and Prussia made a very concentrated effort to eradicate Polish on their territories. So in 123 years in-between 1795 and 1918 when Poland regained independence speaking proper Polish was important patriotic duty. And some distant echoes of that mindset still persist. So I mentioned it as "comparing histories" part. In very approximate way.
Language is the foundation.
There was Ukrainian minority in Poland and after 1945 communist government tried to "polonize" them - forcibly dispersing/resettling them. Not providing any support for language and cultural education. Changing ancient names of the places to new Polish ones. Still - Ukrainian persisted - and eventually created strong tight knit community. But I digress.

You are correct - my linguistic terminology is terrible ;-) But growing up I heard a lot of "back of the tongue" Ł - my father was from Eastern Poland (Kresy - I am surprised you know that term) and pronounced words using that sound - and used hard H too. Especially when talking with his friends from same region - they were slipping in that accent immediately ;-)

On the subject of a person with a flawed pronunciation teaching Polish. Well... I had good healthy chuckle (and I admit freely - especially from "chuj" vs "kuj" - call me a lowbrow humor person if you must - well delivered fart joke is a well delivered joke :LOL: ). In truth K and CH sounds in Polish are miles away - in K you close and open your throat to deliver attack - so you example is slightly farfetched - even bad teacher of Polish would knew that much. I can't really think of any Polish world that would make such dramatic difference if mispronounced (dunno maybe like cac and cáca in Irish). But I get your point - it is very likely not the same for Irish. And I was merely making point that proper Polish accent would take massive effort anyway. Could be because of all those different sounds that Polish has. So learning it from a person with foreign accent and being able to speak grammatically (not "me no go office to - work now home") is already major accomplishment. Gaining native accent is another Everest to climb.

Thanks - I do appreciate your perspective. Aloha.


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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb 2021 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri 08 Jan 2016 11:37 pm
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Woland wrote:
(Kresy - I am surprised you know that term) and pronounced words using that sound - and used hard H too. Especially when talking with his friends from same region - they were slipping in that accent immediately ;-)

Well, I am Polish too (and a programmer by trade, and an automation engineer and computer scientist by education). ;-) Just been learning Irish (and linguistic stuff in general) for looong years on my own.

Woland wrote:
Well... I had good healthy chuckle (and I admit freely - especially from "chuj" vs "kuj" - call me a lowbrow humor person if you must - well delivered fart joke is a well delivered joke :LOL: ). In truth K and CH sounds in Polish are miles away - in K you close and open your throat to deliver attack - so you example is slightly farfetched - even bad teacher of Polish would knew that much.

Hehe, couldn’t really think of another good minimal pair for /x/ vs /k/ ;-). But I didn’t choose those phonemes randomly, Irish has the same distinction between c /k/ and ch /x/ – and you’ll hear a lot of learners with English as their first language who don’t make that distinction and don’t even try, saying croí /kriː/ and chroí /xriː/ the same way. (Eímear about whose videos is this subject, as I see, generally knows and can make that distinction but then I hear cleachtadh as if cleactadh in her introduction video; also I hear a lot more issues with her pronunciation in general – but I’m not the one to judge, as I’m not a native either, but you can definitely trust Bríd on this one ;-); also if you want to hear good Irish pronunciation, go to forvo.com and listen to Bríd’s own recordings showing Conamara pronunciation and Conchur’s recordings for Dingle pronunciation – they both do a really great job uploading thousands of recordings there!).

Re Polish history – I don’t know the history of Germanization and Russification too well but I believe those did not start immediately after partitions, it’s rather much later time, so even though Poland disappeared from maps for 123 years, it hadn’t been full 123 of fighting for the language, AFAIK for most of that period people used Polish without any troubles. Also, when Germany and Russia tried to make people forget Polish, in the Austrian part there were still Polish universities educating in Polish and generally Polish culture existed without huge problems.


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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb 2021 12:32 am 
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silmeth wrote:
Well, I am Polish too (and a programmer by trade, and an automation engineer and computer scientist by education). ;-) Just been learning Irish (and linguistic stuff in general) for looong years on my own.

That explains it (kuj part :D ). I never paid much attention to languages but couple years ago I started doing Duolingo and it spun out of control a bit. Maybe not the greatest language platform but it was a good start. My ex wife was a linguist - German lit major and now teaches at local uni. Her thesis was on translation of German poetry - it was interesting to talk to her friends in PhD on some of the aspects of that work. In Poland I was friends with family of linguists - father of my friend was working big part of his life on Polish/Spanish dictionary. Mother was a translator from several Roman languages. Sometimes I would eat dinner at their place and they would sit there arguing some fine aspect of translation - how is falling out of the window different from falling out of the nest etc. Such fine meaning point - the way languages decide to structure information can be fascinating - especially if culture creates - and names - concept for which other languages do not have any equivalent word - or even construct.

On Russ- and German-ization - I am not a historian and I freely admit that education in Poland bears some trait of promoting national martyrdom. But that is what we learned in schools - nie będzie Niemiec pluł nam w twarz i dzieci nam germanił. I think that Germans (acting out of efficiency) might have started earlier and do it more methodically whereas Russians driven by paranoia waited until the two uprising happened - 1831 then 1865. But it is probably safe to assume that it was happening from 1865 (maybe earlier) to 1918. And yes Austria was quite hands off in their approach. And the legacy that period left was rather obviously present (at least in my education). This dwelling on patriotic sacrifice etc. All that overlapping partially with Romanticism created some strange literary cocktail - just MHO. I remember how reading Polish Renaissance poets in school was the nicer part of Polish Literature course - country was sovereign and strong - people were writing happy and joyous poetry. Romantic poets seemed to often chained to the cause.

Thank you for the information and links. I understand your point - not all languages behave when it comes to conveying information when you introduce noise (e.g. incorrect pronunciation). I think that Polish has some built in robustness via redundancy in grammar. Irish perhaps not so much. On the flip side my dad used to say that Germans listen to each other more carefully to grasp the meaning whereas Poles tend to interrupt each other before sentence is complete because they think they already know the ending.


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