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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 2:09 am 
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I just started to work through Buntús Cainte. So far, I have been having mild trouble with pronunciation in general. But, by and large, I am aware of where I am going wrong and what I need to do to correct it (slender and broad consonants in particular). But, fuar has me stumped and don't even know where to begin in creating that sound. Even in the examples given on teanglann (https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/), I can pronounce the Munster variation but neither of the other two.

I am thinking it may have something to do with the r. I have tried a few different positions of my tongue, but it either makes no difference or makes me sound like a pirate!

I would appreciate any tips!

Also, should i stick with Buntús? I live in Belfast and have not yet been active in the Irish speaking community but intend to be after I get a bit of vocabulary. But, from the bits I have heard it sound nothing like what I am learning. Would people think it was was weird if I used the pronunciation on the Buntús audio recordings. I much prefer that sound to the local sound! But, I really would not like to stand out too much either.


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 2:19 am 
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Sorry, posted an incorrect link and do not know how to edit it. Here is the correct link https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/fuar


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 8:24 am 
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alfonso wrote:
I just started to work through Buntús Cainte. So far, I have been having mild trouble with pronunciation in general. But, by and large, I am aware of where I am going wrong and what I need to do to correct it (slender and broad consonants in particular). But, fuar has me stumped and don't even know where to begin in creating that sound. Even in the examples given on teanglann (https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/), I can pronounce the Munster variation but neither of the other two.

I am thinking it may have something to do with the r. I have tried a few different positions of my tongue, but it either makes no difference or makes me sound like a pirate!

I would appreciate any tips!

Also, should i stick with Buntús? I live in Belfast and have not yet been active in the Irish speaking community but intend to be after I get a bit of vocabulary. But, from the bits I have heard it sound nothing like what I am learning. Would people think it was was weird if I used the pronunciation on the Buntús audio recordings. I much prefer that sound to the local sound! But, I really would not like to stand out too much either.


You don't need to learn to pronounce the words in all three dialects. Normally, people speak just one dialect. In Belfast, they would mainly be aiming to copy the Irish of Co. Donegal. You could get the three-volume Tús Maith to learn from (that has some non-native speakers on the CDs, but also some great native speakers).

Buntús Cainte is Standardised Irish pronounced in a Co. Galway accent. If you learnt with that book, you could then go on to the much meatier book Learning Irish, also Conemara Irish.

Basically, it's up to you to learn whichever dialect you want to.

It should also be pointed out that a language learner should be aiming to imitate native speakers of the language, eg those in Donegal or the Conemara. People in Belfast are not native speakers - although some will say they are - and, of course, language ability will vary, but many of them will speak with a heavy English accent. There is a video on vimeo of people who have gone through Irish-medium schools in Northern Ireland - and the results are terrible. They often say gá bhliain for dhá bhliain, which is totally wrong (like a German saying "zees is ze sing" when speaking English). A large percentage of N.I. children attending Irish-language schools say "tá mé fear" instead of "is fear mé". So, although the politics of the Irish language "movement" are as toxic as you could get, and many/most will tell you that you are running the language down if you aim to copy the real native speakers, in fact it is the native speakers in the actual Gaeltacht you should be copying.


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 3:22 pm 
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Hi, this is my first reply here. I've been lurking for the past few days and just signed up.
I am not at all a good Irish speaker but my mother is a native speaker from Donegal so I've grown up listening to it and (I think) I have acquired some ability with the phonemes, if nothing else. I therefore think I can offer some advice.


Try to affect the accent of some Gaeltacht - whatever it may be.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnnho6geJmg
this quy was linked elsewhere in the forum and in this video he does great imitations of the various Gaeltachts. His advice is to try and sound like a "complete bogger" if you intend to imitate native speech.

I don't know how strong your Belfast accent is, but if you pay attention to where the sounds are made in your mouth you'll be able to feel that they are made through the nose and/or deep in the back of the throat with a sort of tightness across the back of the tongue. This contrasts sharply with the Donegal accent where the sounds are made mainly in the front of the mouth. (If you watch the Des Bishop program "In the Name of the Fada", there is a bit in one of the episodes where he does a bit on Donegal accent. It's actually quite instructive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMQRFK_a4Nk 12:20).
The other Gaeltacht accents seem to me to be made farther back in the mouth and with a relaxed throat so are likely more similar to your own and hence you can pronounce Fuar like a Munster person more easily than like a Donegal native.
I can't even try to imitate the Ulster sound without it feeling like the sound is generated around my front teeth. The Connacht feels like it is made in the middle and Munster at the back. It's difficult to describe how to do accents over the internet and it is a not entirely the same thing as the phonemes but I think that you might likely stumble across the correct phonemes by trying the accent.

I hope that is of some help.


BTW I'm from Derry and lived in Belfast for 5 years. Almost everyone I've ever heard speaking Irish in Belfast, or Derry for that matter, just uses their own accent so I'm not sure how much use all of the above will be to you when you're out practicing on the Falls Rd.


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 3:53 pm 
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gilmo789 wrote:
BTW I'm from Derry and lived in Belfast for 5 years. Almost everyone I've ever heard speaking Irish in Belfast, or Derry for that matter, just uses their own accent so I'm not sure how much use all of the above will be to you when you're out practising on the Falls Rd.



"uses their own accent" = pronounces things incorrectly.

NI is English-speaking, and the Irish used by second language speakers (L2 speakers) there typically has a comically heavily English accent. Not an English accent as from Kent or Hampshire, but an English accent all the same.

If you're a native speaker of Ulster English, how does that help you pronounce ch and dh? There are plenty of people in NI who will tell you that if you pronounced "amach" as "amac", it's fine, it's just an Antrim accent. No, it isn't. When Antrim was Irish-speaking, they didn't speak like that. How does your Ulster English accent help you with broad and slender r's? In the end, it is ONLY the native speakers in the Gaeltacht you should be imitating, not anyone in the UK (including people in NI).


Last edited by djwebb2021 on Fri 27 May 2022 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 3:58 pm 
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Try this site for dialectal pronunciations: http://www.fuaimeanna.ie/en/Recordings.aspx?Ortho=fuar

You are right, and so is Glimo, that there is fundamental difference between Munster and Ulster pronunciation. The /u/ in Munster is a deeper /u/, like the French sound in the word "bout" (as pronounced in French). But the "oo" as in "moon" in English is much further to the front of the mouth, with the transcription in IPA /ʉ/.

/u/ is a back rounded vowel
/ʉ/ is a central rounded vowel

The ulster "fuar" has the /ʉ/ sound as in southern English "moon", followed by neutral vowel at the end of "sofa". It is like: foo-er.


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 4:22 pm 
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The ch is used in Ulster English. For instance Lough, as in Lough Foyle, Lough Neagh etc is pronounced as the Scottish Loch but a little softer. Although there are many, many accents in the NI so maybe its lost in places, probably more so further east.
dh is hard
gh can be learned once you think about how to say ch and apply the same process to g
the rs are hard and need to be learned


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 5:15 pm 
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gilmo789 wrote:
The ch is used in Ulster English. For instance Lough, as in Lough Foyle, Lough Neagh etc is pronounced as the Scottish Loch but a little softer. Although there are many, many accents in the NI so maybe its lost in places, probably more so further east.
dh is hard
gh can be learned once you think about how to say ch and apply the same process to g
the rs are hard and need to be learned

OK, you're right n all that. But Mary McAleese used to say "amac" for "amach". As you say, if you can do ch, you should be able to do dh.

I like the poem (to learn the dual), with lots of dh and ch in it. I think it could be used to help Irish children learn. The poem is at https://corkirish.wordpress.com/2013/01 ... -the-dual/


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 6:12 pm 
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As you say, if you can do ch, you should be able to do dh.


The hardest thing about dh when learning is how much it seems to vary. https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/dh%c3%a1

U ~ya, C~ ghá, M~nghá (almost like he's choking on a 'g' or he's starting with a glottal stop), it probably varys more as you increase the resolution. I don't think they'll say it the same way in Gweedore as in Glencolmcille.


Getting back to the OPs question. There is something odd about the ulster recording of fuar it's like he's saying something like fu-ghar or like the recording clipped in the middle of the word. For comparison, you can click through other words starting fua- and none of them are split between the a and u like in the fuar recording.
Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can confirm?


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PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2022 9:56 pm 
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gilmo789 wrote:
As you say, if you can do ch, you should be able to do dh.


The hardest thing about dh when learning is how much it seems to vary. https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/dh%c3%a1

U ~ya, C~ ghá, M~nghá (almost like he's choking on a 'g' or he's starting with a glottal stop), it probably varys more as you increase the resolution. I don't think they'll say it the same way in Gweedore as in Glencolmcille.


Getting back to the OPs question. There is something odd about the ulster recording of fuar it's like he's saying something like fu-ghar or like the recording clipped in the middle of the word. For comparison, you can click through other words starting fua- and none of them are split between the a and u like in the fuar recording.
Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can confirm?


I can't answer any of those questions. Dhá oiread is recorded separately on Teanglann and is obviously by a different speaker from a different part of Ulster. If you're mother is a native speaker, why not copy her?

Dein aithris ar do mháthair féin más cainnteóir dúchais í....


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