mainoff.gif
lastdyoff.gif
lastwkoff.gif
treeoff.gif
searchoff.gif
helpoff.gif
contactoff.gif
creditsoff.gif
homeoff.gif


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2002 (July-December) » Teach Yourself Irish « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Medb Mackey (132.172.252.64.snet.net - 64.252.172.132)
Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 11:46 am:   Edit Post Print Post

There seems to be 2 versions of this book. One by Donncha O'Croinin and one by Diarmuid O'Se. Does anyone know what the difference might be?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Dennis Leyden (143.charlotte-21rh16rt.nc.dial-access.att.net - 12.93.73.143)
Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I have been slowing working through both these books (I've made it through 3 chapters of each so far!). The Dillon & Ó Cróinín is more of a formal grammar book; the Ó Sé & Sheils is more relaxed and interested in teaching conversational Irish. The reason I am working through both simultaneously is that both have assets and failures. The Ó Sé & Sheils gives more of what (I suppose!) it would be like to interact with people in Ireland; however, it is rather vague on the rules of grammar. It may be me, but I find this vagueness a problem sometimes, so I use the Dillon & Ó Cróinín book to "research" my confusions. The Dillon & Ó Cróinín is much better at laying out the formal grammar (which, my mind seems to like), but gets a bit dry at times.

Hope that helps!

Le meas,

Dennis

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Medb Mackey (97.167.252.64.snet.net - 64.252.167.97)
Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks Dennis, I thought perhaps they were just done in different dialects.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas (m60-prs2.208.dial.multi.fi - 62.80.130.208)
Posted on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 08:45 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Actually, that's exactly what they are. The one by Dillon & Ó Cróinín is in genuine Munster Irish while the newer one by Ó Sé is in the rather artificial standard language, native to none. Concerning their contents I agree with Dennis, although I'd say that even though Dillon's book is more formal it is still better for interacting with people since it teaches natural Irish.

I stay in the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht every summer and speak only Irish with my friends; the Irish spoken by them is exactly like the Irish in Dillon's book. (Naturally, this is also then the Irish that I speak). I would recommend the book by Dillon to anyone, in my opinion it is far better that Ó Sé's book. Still better to read both of course - unfortunately Dillon's book has been out of print for a while.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh Mac Bhloscaidh (dialup-64.152.32.82.dial1.newyork1.level3.net - 64.152.32.82)
Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 - 10:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I think that Ó Sé was probably given such strict rules by the publisher or decided himself to follow publishers' guidelines strictly and not be bold. The result is something that is more like a prep course for a summer language class than a solid preparation for using the language with native and fluent speakers. I've also heard complaints about the tapes (I only have the book.) That said, there is good information in the newer book and
you can learn a lot of Irish from it, especially in tandem with the earlier TYI (Dillon and Cróinín.) The perfect solution, Dennis.

Now as to the latter book, i.e.:

Myles DILLON & Donnacha o CROININ. IRISH. Teach Yourself Books (London) 1984 16th impression. 243 pages. 4 3/8" x 7" soft cover. "

It's not easy to come by because, as Jonas points out, it is out of print. Some one in Montreal is offering a copy (described above) on e-Bay (6 days left to go and no bids yet). It is item number 1551879139. For anyone serious about learning Munster Irish, the book is a must. (I have an extra copy myself.)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James (wcs3.norfolk.nipr.mil - 198.26.132.99)
Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I will concur with the negative assessment of the tapes. The speaker (a woman) has a rather strong english accent that I find hard to understand at times. It's not so much that I don't understand the word, it's that the enunciation is not what I am accustomed to. Therefore, not only are my ears working hard to catch the nuances of the Irish, they are also having to work overtime to catch the english.

Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Elewyn (216.215.132.86.nw.nuvox.net - 216.215.132.86)
Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 06:58 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I have them both, but I don't use the tapes, so I wouldn't know. I do better when I can repeat something over and over... I learned some of the pronunciation (well, most actually) off of the .wav files of the proverbs on this site. And I sit and listen to RnaG, which would help if I concentrated on listening to what they're saying :P Me: "Aha! They said ceol. They're talking about music!...*startled pause*... I NEVER would have guessed."
Anyhow, back on track. The Ó Sé is the only one I have, and I think you're right about how it's a rather artificial standardized version... but it's a LOT better than nothing.

Le meas,
Elewyn

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh Mac Bhloscaidh (dialup-64.158.187.69.dial1.newyork1.level3.net - 64.158.187.69)
Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's true -- it IS a lot better than nothing.

The English accent of the English-language guides on the various Teach Yourself and Colloquial tapes are interesting. So many of our language-learning materials (for adults learning on their own, not school texts) have always been produced in Britain. It's like learning languages through another one and it gives us a hint of what it is like for people who speak dialects and minor languages. I think some of the nerdier language learners in the U.S. are so used to it they wouldn't have it any other way.

While it is important to keep as strong a link as possible to the dialects spoken in the Gaeltachts, there is nothing wrong with the standard language as such. Standardization happens naturally and inevitably just as it happens in the rest of the world. Full retention of traditional dialects is not a possibility unless people are kept in an unnatural premodern isolation and that has been proven to be impossible in vaster and vaster areas in the world. It will never happen in Ireland. The challenge is to preserve the link with the native speech community as closely as possible. The operative words there are "as closely as possible". The language will either die or be modern.

There are some romantics here in the U.S. or in Europe would like to make the Gaeltacht (someone else's community) an open-air museum. They think something terrible has happened to the language if someone uses the word for gazelle or disco or pasteurized. But I notice that native speakers who need words like those, do not hesitate to use them to the extent that the unnatural conditions of the Irish language permit. I notice that the strongest Gaeltacht areas seem to have the most modern language. Native speakers I know who have to deal with Irish speakers outside their own home communities naturally change their language in the same direction as the standard.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas (m60-prs1.121.dial.multi.fi - 62.80.130.121)
Posted on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I fully agree with you, Seosamh, about loan-words. Having friends in the Gaeltacht areas of Conamara, Corca Dhuibhne and Múscraí I've visited all these areas a lot I've noticed the same phenomenon. In Múscraí, where Irish is weaker, those who actually speak Irish have very few loan-words. In the Irish strongholds of Corca Dhuibhne and Conamara you'll hear a lot more English words. I guess that the explanation is that those living in a strong Irish community speak Irish with everyone else in the community and use the language regardless of the topic. In weaker Gaeltacht areas I've noticed that many Irish-speakers switch to English when speaking to people outside their own circle of friends and also when speaking about topics such as pasteurisation.

On the other hand, the same areas (the weaker ones) are more affected by standard Irish while the strong Irish communities generally keep their own dialect. In my opinion, the best sign of how strong Irish is in a community is to see how far it has approached standard Irish and abandoned the area's dialect.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James (wcs3.norfolk.nipr.mil - 198.26.132.99)
Posted on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 01:42 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

We have standard American english as well yet we don't get belabored in teaching regionalized versions of this. If one is learning english, they will learn the word for "milkshake", mar shampla. That's all the person needs to really know. However, by travelling one would pick up the words "frap" and "cabinet". Similarly, one would learn the word for "soda" and that would suffice. Yet through travelling in the U.S. one would pick up not only "soda" but "pop" and, my personal favorite, "belly-washer!" (As in "Gee whiz, Vern. It shor is hot. Let's go down tuh the store and git us a belly-washer!")

Frankly, I'm happy to be learning ANY Irish at all, standard or otherwise. I think a bit too much is made of the "Standardization" issue as a whole. Please feel free to correct me if I've over-simplified this issue. As always, I look forward to the banter!

Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (dialup-67.25.43.247.dial1.newyork1.level3.net - 67.25.43.247)
Posted on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 04:01 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks, Jonas, for the comments. They are very interesting. The whole issue of how the language hangs in there, deteriorates or grows is very interesting and complex. In some cases, people with remarkable command of the language (like storytellers) have come from very small speech communities, sometimes on the verge of extinction. But you can have a person in a large community, as stable as Irish-speaking ones get, and he or she will rattle on all day in a rather thin version of the language.

I had a student who was supposed to be learning Conamara Irish (he actually started to become a crank of the opposite type that I started to rail against, i.e., he wanted to force the standard on the native speakers). He went off to study at Carraroe one summer, already almost fluent. Both the fear and bean a' tí in the house where he was staying were native speakers but he noticed right off that there was a big difference. The woman had a very sparse vocabulary. The man was in the habit of reading Irish and who knows what other factors were unvolved. He had a large vocabulary. The challenge is to keep the traditional vocabulary in all its glory in the mouths of the people while grafting modern vocabulary onto it. Let the native speakers decide if they want cúrán or soufflé (and if they want the French word, do they want the French spelling?). I think that there IS a conflict but with conscious language planning and development, maybe the best of both worlds can be had.

I am doing editorial work now on a bilingual dictionary (English and an African language). The African language has many more speakers than Irish. Its speakers are used to its being on TV, in the schools, etc. The situation is much like that of Irish despite the disparity in number of speakers. The author has been working for years to develop a modern vocabulary for his native language. I like seeing such words as ecosystem, wave equation and plasma protein next to locust bean, guinea fowl and "a long cloth used by women to suspend a baby on her back."

As far as new words are concerned, I will just say that people get far too worked up over the question of whether they should be based on native roots or borrowed from another language (normally English). The former view tends to prevail among language revivalists (worldwide, not just in Ireland). The latter usually prevails among the common people in a threatened community and probably in an unthreatened one. Looking at stable languages of all sizes, it's obvious that both are legitimate, viable approaches. Chinese, Icelandic and Hebrew tend toward building on native roots; Japanese seems to accept every foreign word its speakers encounter! The only approach that doesn't work in my humble opinion is not having new words at all, as some people would seem to prefer for Irish.

So is it:

Múch an diabhal folúsghlantóir!

Múch an diabhal Húibhear!

Cuir as an diabhal Hoover!

Cuir as an diabhal vacuum cleaner!

(Turn off the damn vacuum cleaner!)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (dialup-67.25.43.247.dial1.newyork1.level3.net - 67.25.43.247)
Posted on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 04:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I meant to write:

Cas as an diabhal Hoover!

Cas as an diabhal vacuum cleaner!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Dennis King (12-228-188-15.client.attbi.com - 12.228.188.15)
Posted on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 05:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Also, as languages borrow foreign words, they frequently make them their own, naturalize them, by giving their meaning a new twist. "Pick up" and "footing" are good English words, but they don't mean "record player" and "jogging", which is what "le pick-up" and "le footing" mean in French. Japanese affords similar examples. In Irish,
who whould ever think that "buaic" (highest point, pinnacle, zenith) was just the contemporary Irish pronunciation of "wick", or that "faic" ("níl faic agam" = I don't have anything) was just the Irish tongue's way around English "whack"?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Medb Mackey (64.165.252.64.snet.net - 64.252.165.64)
Posted on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 10:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you all for your info on the books. Unfortunately now it's a moot point since be won't let us use the books. He has us listening to the tapes in class. He wants it to be a purely auditory class.

I'm expecting this to be a very long summer :(

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.


©Daltaí na Gaeilge