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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (April-June) » Few question on pronounciation « Previous Next »

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Roman (82.135.130.15 - 82.135.130.15)
Posted on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'am just starting. So I have looked up the net, and found smth called Irish by Irishpeople (IP)(www.irishpage.com/irishpeople). Besides I have the newest edition of TYI. One thing I still can't grasp is the difference between "anso" and "anseo". My book which is based on Munster dialect (actually printed in Poland) says "anso". But TYI and IP insist on "anseo". What's most usual form?

Other thing, words like "bosca" do they have long or short "o"? I now there is no fada there, but IP state it is pronounsed [bósk@].

Last question: does my name exist as Gaodhluinne and if yes how is it spelled?

Thanx in advance.

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OCG (82.69.43.174 - 82.69.43.174)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 12:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi Roman,

"anso" is the Munster dialect pronunciation of "anseo". "Anseo" is the Standard Irish form.

Bosca is pronounced BUSKA (sorry, I don't know IP).

I think your name as Gaeilge would be Rómán.

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Rómán (81.7.97.219 - 81.7.97.219)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanx a lot. But then I don't understand. What about "caol with caol"? I mean "anseo" is breaking this rule, isn't?

bosca= buska, with "u" like in "tusa", right?

What about "baile", is "ai" pronounced like "ea" in "bean"?

Thanx in advance.

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.100.155 - 159.134.100.155)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 05:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I never noticed that! Yes, "anseo" is breaking the rule!

"bosca= buska, with "u" like in "tusa", right?" That's right!

"baile" = "ball" (as in football) + "YEsterday"

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Rómán (81.7.97.237 - 81.7.97.237)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 05:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

thank you. I promise next time to write this "buíoch.." something as Gaodhluinne :)

Ach getting back to business:

TYI states that ai= "between a in hat and o in hot". That is confusing me most. You state "like ball in football". If I am getting it right it is just a "short á", ain't it? And what does it mean a statement that "á is pronounced like "aw" in American English"? I mean I have been taught the Standard British pronounciation, so this "aw" is complete mystics for me. Is it the same sound as "a" in British "glass", "father", "task", "can't" (I know Americans pronounce in these words "ea" of "fear", but probobly you've heard the British sound there).

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Rómáin, a chara,

If it's the Doyle/Gussmann podrecnik that you're working with, it is very reliable.

Go n-éirí an obair leat.

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Rómán (81.7.97.76 - 81.7.97.76)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 08:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chara,

Now I am really impressed. Yes, it is Doyle/Gussmann textbook. Where did you learn about it? Still, it doesn't answer my question about the nature of "a" in "baile", because the above mentioned book is not consistent on it. In the lessons it is transcribed like ['bæl`i], but in the vocabulary at the end of the book it is ['bal`i](there should be alpha instead of a in last trascription). Help, someone, pls!!!

Other thing that worries me - "conas". Doyle gives ['kon@s] (@=schwa), but I have seen elsewhere ['kun@s]. Is there any rule when "o" letter is read "u" in general? Because words like "long" [lung] (n=ng sound) really make me nervous. Other thing I always wanted to know is about Munster's diphtongs (like am [aum], ceann [k`aun]). I know other dialects don't have those, so in a way, is it worth imitating? Doesn't it sound weird to other native speakers (from Donegall or Conemara)? The same goes for béas [b`ias], or it is more recommended to say [b`e:s]? What is your opinion?

Buíochas in advance

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Cailin (149.157.1.155 - 149.157.1.155)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 09:19 am:   Edit Post Print Post

The reason "anseo" doesn't follow the caol le caol. . . rule is because originally it was two words: an seo. They were then put together to make one word. Another example is "ansin" and "ansiud". All of these words used to be seperated but were then put together. That's what our lecturer told us.

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Rómán (81.7.97.76 - 81.7.97.76)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 09:30 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Chailin, a chara

In my Doyle's book there are no such adverbs. :) Instead I have "anso", "ansúd" and "ansan". And the book says, that because "caol le caol agus leathan le leathan" we have to transform "seo", "siúd", "sin". Life is beautiful, isn't it :) The more I study, the less I understand.

Regards

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 10:27 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Roman,
dobry dyn!

anseo etc are written that way, but spoken anso etc. in Munster.

Many other people pronounce them as though they were still two words; and the standard written form is that given by Cailín above.

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Rómán (81.7.97.76 - 81.7.97.76)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 11:00 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A hAonghuis, a chara

Dia duit=Laba diena in Lithuanian :)

But in Doyle's book it is written exactly this way: "anso", "ansúd" and "ansan". Not joking.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 11:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ah yes. I wasn't paying attention; you mentioned Poland in one of the posts above.

There is a standard spelling of Irish introduced in the 1940s. However, some people still use dialect versions; anso is one such.

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Rómán (82.135.130.142 - 82.135.130.142)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 12:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A hAonghuis, a chara

Even in Polish it is Dobry dzieñ :)

But still none answered my questions :(

1.TYI states that ai= "between a in hat and o in hot". That is confusing me most. You state "like ball in football". If I am getting it right it is just a "short á", ain't it? And what does it mean a statement that "á is pronounced like "aw" in American English"? I mean I have been taught the Standard British pronounciation, so this "aw" is complete mystics for me. Is it the same sound as "a" in British "glass", "task", "can't" (I know Americans pronounce in these words "ea" of "fear", but probobly you've heard the British sound there).

2.Other thing that worries me - "conas". Doyle gives ['kon@s] (@=schwa), but I have seen elsewhere ['kun@s]. Is there any rule when "o" letter is read "u" in general? Because words like "long" [lung] (n=ng sound) really make me nervous.

3.Other thing I always wanted to know is about Munster's diphtongs (like am [aum], ceann [k`aun]). I know other dialects don't have those, so in a way, is it worth imitating? Doesn't it sound weird to other native speakers (from Donegall or Conemara)? The same goes for béas [b`ias], or it is more recommended to say [b`e:s]?

Btw I have found sounds of Learning Irish on the net. If this typical sound of Conemara, I don't wanna it! :) never, ever such a slurring thing! And this "Cén"! It is an outrage! :) I rather stick with a Mhumhain!!!

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 02:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dobry wiezcor panu.

- Where did you learn about it?

Pracowam w KULU Lublinskiego. Sea, blianta fada ó shin - a lot of years ago I worked there, the year your podrecznik was published, so it was easy for me to imagine which book you were drawing from.
Points one and two above: People who start can start also to worry about every minute matter. Listening to both Gussmann and Doyle discussing such minutae may be interesting to some, but should one really ponder deeply on shwa, how 'o' is rendered in IPA or intervocalic h or .....?

You yourself shall look back at these matters some time in the future and smile. It's too much like hard work.

No. 3 doesn't disturb people like it did 30 yrs. ago as one can now hear
diphtong (am> /aum/; trom> /traum/),
lenghtened vowel (am> /a:m/; trom> /tru:m/)
or a plain vowel (am> /om/; trom> /trum/)
in such positions repeatedly throughout the day on radio, tv and perhaps by phone/conversation.

Your last point a Rómáin, shall at some point down the line give you cause for another smile. You shall be moving into other dialects, as is the proper thing to do, having obtained a satisfactory grasp of the first. Indeed there is a lot to be said in favour of leaning into all dialects at the one time. Be omnivorous!

- Is there any rule when "o" letter is read "u" in general? Because words like "long" [lung] (n=ng sound) really make me nervous.

That part of no. 2, you are probably referring to raising (o>u) due to the following nasal effect of -ng. 'Srón' can be /s'ru:n/ and there are plenty more to get excited about down the line.

Ar lab o vakar a dhuine uasail/panu.

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Rómán (81.7.96.46 - 81.7.96.46)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 05:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Sheosaimh, a chara

I know, it may sound ridiculous, but that is the way I am. I wanna know the way to pronounce in a satisfactory way. Because a non-native speaker has always some kind of accent, so if you don't make a consious effort then your speech will be become inintelligible. Witness the way Bangladeshis speak English. I wouldn't like to speak in an analogous way as Gaodhluinne. Besides, I have pretty good chance of speaking very clearly, as the most difficult thing in Gaeilge pronounciation (broad/slender distinction) exists in Lithuanian too. We mark the slender consonants (we call them "soft" though) with i (NB). E.g. 'kiaune' "squirrel" sounds like "ceauiné". We even have your sounds "ch" and "gh". "d", "t", "n" are also dental in Lithuanian. In a way the biggest problem I have with vowels and spelling.

Ach buíochas, pé scéal é.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 04:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post

btw. The vocative of Aonghus is A Aonghuis - no prefixed h.

And I seem to have mixed up some Czech (dobry den) and Polish. I'm sure I saw "Dobry dyn" in Poland; but it is a long time ago...

If you listen to "An saol ó dheas" on RnaG you will hear Munster Irsih as it is spoken today.
www.rte.ie/rnag

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Rómán (81.7.96.26 - 81.7.96.26)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 05:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Aonghuis, a chara

I figured out myself, that the vocative I wrote was wrong, ach it was too late to correct. To my justification, I am a starter, so gabh mo leithscéal!

Buíochas for the link.

" I'm sure I saw "Dobry dyn"" - I think you are wrong. All Slavic languages have some kind of "e" in the word "lá".

Regards.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 06:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I probably am wrong! I have a feeling "dzieñ" sounded like "dyn" to me, and that I got mixed up with the czech "den"

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Rómán (82.135.130.7 - 82.135.130.7)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 07:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Aonghuis, a chara

Believe, I have spent a lot of time in Poland (I lived and worked there), so dzieñ sounds like dsein in Gaodhluinne spelling.

Pé scéal é, is the word athair pronounced as if it were spelled aithir or I am just dreaming?

Buíochas in advance

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 07:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I avoid pronunciation questions usually; but I don't think you're dreaming.

As to "dyn", I'll settle for having been wrong.

What is slán in Lithuanian?

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Rómán (81.7.97.170 - 81.7.97.170)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 08:32 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Aonghuis,

Buíochas a lot. Slán as Liotuan:

Formal: Viso gero (read as "bhioso geáro").

Informal: Iki (ici)

Slán,
a chara

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diarmuidh (193.32.3.82 - 193.32.3.82)
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 09:48 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Rhoman a chara

I would like to know a little bit about your language--it is a Slavic language or am I incorrect?? and Latvian? and are they difficult for Russians or Polish to learn or are there many similarites?

Go raobh maith agad
Slan
Le Meas
Diarmuid

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Rómán (81.7.97.183 - 81.7.97.183)
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A dhiarmuidh a chara,

Ní ceart :) Lithuanian (and the sister-language Latvian) are Baltic languages, separate group in Indo-European language. The old Prussian (now extinct) language also belonged to this branch. According to the classification, Baltic group is precisely between the Slavics and Germanic languages as we have some things in common with Slavs, and some with Germans. The Baltic languages, and especially Lithuanian, are very loved by the linguists because the tongues are very archaic. Lithuanian is comparable to Sanskrit, Latin and Ancient Greek in its peculiar features. For example, stress is jumping in the same word as you decline it according to some very complicated rules. Besides dynamic (e.g. as in English) stress we have musical pitch - different ways to pronounce the stressed vowel. It is the same thing which is in Swedish and Chinese (the tones - Lithuanians have 2, Latvians - 3)

It is NOT a Slavic language, so although you can spot some similar words with Russian, don't expect an easy learning. Language is highly flective: we have official 7 cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumentalis, locative) and some 4 unofficial (some dialects don't use them), but at least one of those (illative) is even used in Penal Code (I've spotted myself), so actually there are AT LEAST 8 cases. There 5 noun declinations (with numerous subtypes and exceptions), 3 adjective declination with 2 ways to declinate the same word, 4 "simple" (flective "Munster type") tenses, and loads of analylitical (I don't even know how many - 6/7/8? God knows), 3 types of participle.
Is it difficult to learn for Russians - certainly more difficult than English (which is the easiest language in Europe). The way Lithuanians accentuate is impossible to learn from the book - you have to immerse into native-speakers' environment.

Slán

Pé scéal é, why did you séimhiú m'ainm? I don't think "r" is lenited.

Does anyone know how is "Lithuania"/"Lithuanian" as Gaodhluinne? Would be good to know.

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D (193.32.3.82 - 193.32.3.82)
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 09:11 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Roman a chara!

off course you right about the seimhiu! I forgot! Maybe then I shouldn't learn Lithuanian!

so what is the status of your language? and of Latvian? do all natives of your country speak it or is it Russian that is more used?

le meas
an ignorant Paddy!

D

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Carroll (194.125.49.57 - 194.125.49.57)
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Amused by your conversation regarding pronunciation, I thought sibh might buin taitneamh as piosa beagin ata scriobhta ag Flann O'Brien, who was only the BEST writer as gaeilge ever. It's a strange sort of play. See if you can make anything of it -

SEAM ÓLD DEÓC
Loc : Bothán ar Bhán-chnuic Éireann ó.
Am : An t-am go raibh Gaoidhil i nÉirinn beo.
Pearsain i láthair : Sur Tharbhaigh Baiginal, an óifisear obh de Cbhín, in ful réidiméinteals; Tadhg agus Thadhgín; Éamon a'Chnuic; Seán Ó Duibhir a' Ghleanna; Séadna; agus Bran.

- Sur Tharbhaigh : Aigh airéist iú, Éadbhart Hill, in de néam obh de Cbhín ! Aigh bhas reidhding baigh -
- Bran : Bhuf, bhuf !
- Sur Tharbhaigh : Damhn, iú réibeal cur ! Aigh bhas reidhding baigh ond théard iú méic fbhait samhndad leidhc a seidisius spíts. Thú ios dios péarson iú méintiond Shawn Brogue ?
- Seán Ó Duibhir : Cad é seo atá á rádh aige inonimadeel ?
- Éamon a'Chnuic : Is follus gur chualaidh an phiast mise ag aithris mo chuid filíochta. "Sasanaigh do réabfainn mar do réabfainn sean-bhróg." - Taidhgín : Thí bhas tócuing abamht boots, Sur.
- Sur Tharbhaigh : Iú cean téil dat tú de Diuids. éabharaighbodaigh thiar ios indar airéist. Aigh bhil títs iú tú bí dioslóigheal. Cbhuic meairts ! (Ecseunt go dubhach)

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.241.207 - 213.94.241.207)
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

If that's Gaeilge then I'm black.

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Carroll (194.125.49.36 - 194.125.49.36)
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 02:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's the joke.

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Paul (66.152.218.225 - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 02:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thóg sé am chun an píosa sin a thuiscint,
ach bhain mé sult as.
GRMA, a Carroll.

Paul

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James (209.48.182.219 - 209.48.182.219)
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 02:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Carrol! Too funny! I couldn't make sense of it at all until you cleared it up! Very funny!

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Jonas (213.243.191.17 - 213.243.191.17)
Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 08:56 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Roman, I'm a speaker of Munster Irish so I'll try to answer your questions briefly. If you want longer answers I'll be happy to write them too - just let me know. By the way, let me congratulate you on your excellent choice of dialect! ;-)

"1.TYI states that ai= "between a in hat and o in hot". That is confusing me most."

I do understand you. The best piece of advice I can offer is to throw TYI out the window. There are many good Irish courses around and some bad. TYI is one of the worst and it seems to get worse for every new edition. Have a look at the reviews at www.amazon.com or at www.amazon.co.uk - they are brutal but honest. TYI is useless, never trust it.

If you want to learn the exact pronunciation of Munster Irish I recommend the excellent book "The Irish dialect of West Muskerry". It will answer all the questions you've posed regarding pronunciation and many many more.


"2.Other thing that worries me - "conas". Doyle gives ['kon@s] (@=schwa), but I have seen elsewhere ['kun@s]. Is there any rule when "o" letter is read "u" in general? Because words like "long" [lung] (n=ng sound) really make me nervous."

This is a dialect thing. In the westernmost part of Kerry (Corca Dhuibhne) the speakers tend to raise [o] to [u] when in contact with nasals. Since I speak Corca Dhuibhne Irish I often do it myself. This is also addressed in the book I mentioned above.

"3.Other thing I always wanted to know is about Munster's diphtongs (like am [aum], ceann [k`aun]). I know other dialects don't have those, so in a way, is it worth imitating? Doesn't it sound weird to other native speakers (from Donegall or Conemara)? The same goes for béas [b`ias], or it is more recommended to say [b`e:s]? "

No, it doesn't sound weird. I know since I've been living in Conamara speaking my Munster Irish. The only thing that sounds weird is if you're mixing various dialect. Go for one dialect and stick to it.

"Btw I have found sounds of Learning Irish on the net. If this typical sound of Conemara, I don't wanna it! never, ever such a slurring thing! And this "Cén"! It is an outrage! I rather stick with a Mhumhain!!! "

He he, I understand what you mean. Still, I do think Conamara-Irish has a rugged charm but to me it can never compete with the beautiful sound of good Munster Irish. The world's most melodious language if you ask me.

Please feel free to ask exactly any questions you want to on the topic of Munster Irish and Irish dialect. I'll be thrilled to answer them! ;-)

Tá súil agam gur bhainis úsáid as so. Slán go fóill

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Rómán (212.160.140.182 - 212.160.140.182)
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agat, a Jonais, a chara!
Are you Lithuanian yourself? You have such a conspicously Lithuanian name, that really keeps me wondering :-)

TYI is a really sloppy book on the part of pronounciation. But this is the only book with tapes I have. The Doyl's book is fine but I have no tapes for it.

"The Irish dialect of West Muskerry". I heard about this book before (Doyl is mentioning it) - can you give some more details of the book (publishing house and ISBN if possible, that I could order it).

1. I worked many things out on my own since I posted that post other fortnight. The thing I know for sure - English is very poor in describing Irish sounds. An bhfuil teanga eile agat, a Jonais? I might be very helpful in our discussion. So by now I have concluded that there 4 types of stressed 'a' in Munsterese. The long ones are always deep back in the mouth kind of "a" in careful British "father" (what they incorrectly call sometimes American "aw"). In IPA it is denoted alpha with :. That is straightforward. Then there's sound of English "a" in "cat", "van". In IPA it is ligature ae. It is to be found in the beginning of the word like "ainm" or "ait", in the middle of the word it is spelled "ea" - like "bean", "fear". Then there is a back short "a" - like English "father" but short - it is found in words of the type "agus", "mac". The last type of "a" is found after broad consonant but before a slender one. It is a mix of the two above - it is the normal short "a" you find in French or German. This "a" of words "baile", "bainne". Is my observation correct, or you see it other way? I would really appreciate your opinion.

2. The thing I am struggling with now is "ng". In some words it is pronounced like 'ng' in English "sing" (one sound) - like "teanga". In other like two sounds (ng+g) (like in English "anger", "hunger") - is there any logic to it?

3. Then the words: gairdín and garraí are both "gardens" - is there any material difference between them? Or those are just two synonims?

4. How do you write word [gwe:l`in`] yourself? I find it schizophrenical to say it this way but to write "a la Connacht" Gaeilge. I have seen Gaodhluinne and Gaelainn so far but both spellings are wanting because the first one is suggesting broad "l" (which is not) and the second is breaking the rule (caol le caol agus leathan agus leathan). Any ideas on this acount?

5. So specifically, how do you say "conas" - as it is written or as if it were spelt "cunas"?

My last point for today is the word tinn [t`ain`] - why is it not pronounced like [t`i:nn]? The obvious analogy is word cinn [k`i:nn].

Buíochas in advance,
Rómán

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Jonas (213.243.176.78 - 213.243.176.78)
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Tá fáilte romhat, a Rómáin!

I was about 95% sure you were going to comment upon my name sounding Lithuanian. Every time I meet someone from Lithuania I get the same question :-) The answer is no, it's a very common Swedish name just as it is a common Lithuanian one. I'm Finland-Swede, hence the name.

The five questions you asked are very telling, the first three in particular are questions I asked when I first started to learn Irish. I'll do my best to answer but first one fundamental thing to know about Irish pronunciation. Contrary to almost all other European languages, Irish pronunciation is somewhat unstable. You can hear the same word pronounced in slightly different ways by the same speaker, even in the same sentence. This is especially true of the Irish vowels, the consonants are just as stable as in other language. Obviously it isn't possible to exchange just any vowel for any else but a certain degree of flexibility exits. This means that it isn't possible in every occasion to give rules that hold firm in every single case. You would be likely to hear the same speaker use both [kon@s], [kun@s] and [knus] in the same village in Corca Dhuibhne (any given village there). The same phenomena exists in all Irish dialects. I myself felt almost frustrated by this when I first encountered it. I wanted fixed rules to follow. Of course there are rules, often very strict and in fact there are some rules even for when a vowel sound can change. All good speakers do it automatically, of course. It is important to remember this.

Although all of what I wrote above is true, there are very good rules for when a certain spelling is pronounced in a certain way and henceforth I'll try to describe them.

The last thing before I begin to answer: I agree with you 100% that English is particularly ill suited for representing the pronunciation of other languages since English spelling is so irregular. Apart from English, I speak Swedish, Finnish, Irish, Welsh, German and French with some fluency and I get by in Russian, Catalan and Croatian. Then there are languages that I don't speak but know the pronunciation well enough to use reference to them. They include Estonian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and some more. As you can see, Lithuanian is missing from the list. Your language is extremely fascinating because of its very archaic nature. The very same features also makes it extremly hard to learn... :-) If you tell me which languages you speak I'll be glad to refer to them in cases where it's appropriate. Still, the IPA should cover all the sounds needed.

1. In principle your description of the "a"-sound is correct. No Irish sound has so many allophones as [a] and it took me a long time to get to grips with it. The Ulster [a] and [a:] are still somewhat beyond me although I know the Munster and Connacht varieties by now (excepting Iorras to some extent)

Saying that the long [a:] (á, ái) always are deep back in the mouth (let's use [A:] - alpha - for it) is neither completely right nor wrong with regards to Munster. Depends on which part of Munster we're talking about. What you say is completely correct for the Irish I speak, the Gaeltacht area of Corca Dhuibhne. It is also true for the Irish of Gaeltacht na Rinne in County Waterford (also called Na Déise). In the Gaeltacht of Cúil Aodha and neighbouring villages in West Muskerry there is also a front version of long a, [a:]. The same goes for the the Gaeltacht of Uíbh Ráthach to the south of Corca Dhuibhne. Since Corca Dhuibhne is by far the strongest Gaeltahct in Munster you can well say that long a is always [a:] as long as we remember that this isn't true in some smaller Gaeltachtaí.

As for the short version there is no agreement at all among scholars. All varieties are allophones of [a] and you can use whichever you want and still be understood. Some books only use the one symbole [a] as in ait [at´] and mac [mak]. I was never satisfied with this, even though they are allophones I feel that the difference is so big that it is motivated to use two different symbols. Ó Cuív (in The Irish of West Muskerry) used [a] and [A], thus ait [at´] and mac [mAk]. That makes more sense to me since it resembles actual pronunciation. You are absolutely right in saying that a third [a] could be taken into account because it does exist in the context that you described. Still, given the tendency I mentioned above to alternate between some vowel-sounds it is not always very stable. For me using [a] (cardinal vowel 4) and [A] (close to cardinal vowel 5 but not identical) is the best option for the Munster dialects. In Conamara I think it makes sense using three a-sounds but that's because of the dialect's features.

2. To tell you the truth: no. There isn't any absolute logic to it. Some flexibility exists, but there are ways to avoid pronouncing words wrong. By always using [ng-g] "long" [lu:ng-g] at the end of the words and always using [ng] "teanga" [t´ang@]between vowels you'll end up having it right. There are some speakers who sometimes use [ng-g] ([t´ang-g@]) between vowels as well, but it isn't possible in all words.

3. I've always having some problem with all the Irish words for gardens and fields - I even find the English words somewhat confusing at times since the Swedish terminology doesn't really correspond to it. In other words, on this topic I might not be the best suited to tell. Anyway, to me a "gairdín" is more neat than a "garraí". I can't think og "gairdín" as having any other meaning than English "garden", a place with plants and perhaps a lawn and so on. A "garraí" could be just a yard - any yard regardless of what exists there. It could also mean something close to field. In other words, gairdín is more specific, garraí is more general.

4. I always write Gaelainn; most people do.

5. I'm sitting here saying it in different contexts in my head ;-)
Normally, but not exclusively, as if spelt "cunas". Something between [kun@s] and [k@n@s] I'd say.

6. "tinn" is an exception. In An Rinn in Waterford all words are like that, they say:
tinn [t´aing´], im [aim´], rince [rain´k´@], cinn [k´aing´], suim [saim´] and so on. They do the same with [u] in front of nasals, like:
fionn [f´aun], tum [taum] etc.

As you know, both Kerry and Cork lengthen [i] and [u] to [i:] and [u:] before nasals. "Tinn" is one of the VERY rare exceptions which followes the Waterford pronunciation instead. There are a dosen or so of them around.

I hope this helps, please go on asking both about pronunciation and about dialects! Have you ever been to Ireland yourself?

Slán go fóill,
Jonas

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Antóin (159.134.180.147 - 159.134.180.147)
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 04:59 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I think 'garraí' is only used for field in a limited sense. A field of vegetables or potatoes could be referred to as a 'garraí'

A field of grass would be a 'páirc'

A tilled field for wheat, barley, oats etc., is a 'gort'

I'm not quite sure however.

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Roman (212.160.140.187 - 212.160.140.187)
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Jonais, a chara!
Buíochas, for your answer. So I understand you support my way of saying [A:] for 'á' in all cases; [ae] for ai- at the beginning of the word and for -ea- in the middle; [A] for 'a' between broad consonants and [a] (as in French or Croatian) in the words like "bainne", "abhaile"?

Myself I speak Lithuanian, Latvian, Russian, Polish, German, French, Hungarian. So you may refer to the sounds of any of those languages. What do you mean by "cardinal a4/a5"? Is it some kind of official names of IPA sounds? I am not so into it. I know IPA sounds only by symbols used in transcriptions (of English for example), never studied IPA itself, sorry.

This thing about "ng" - I have noticed, that usually intervocalic position leads to only one sound. And the 2 sounds are to be found at the end of the word. But what about words "scilling" and "congarach"? They seem to contradict the theory. Or the word "congarach" is a composite one?

Have seen a version about gairdín and garraí. The idea is that gairdín is more like orchard, and garraí is more like for vegetables, but I will continue to investigate.


Quote:

I always write Gaelainn



But what about caol le caol agus leathan agus leathan? What is the quality of "l" surrounded by "e" and "a" - veeeery strange spelling. If you follow pronounciation the spelling should be "Gaelinn" (if l is to be slender) or Gaolainn (if l to be broad). What do you think?


Quote:

"Tinn" is one of the VERY rare exceptions which followes the Waterford pronunciation instead.



So you mean that even in Cork they say [t'ain']?

Unfortunately I haven't been to Ireland yet, but I would like really to understand why they don't want to speak their mother tongue. Lithuania is very often compared to Ireland - we have so many things in common (green, hilly country with melodical, sad songs, beer, a langue close to impossible to learn, about 3,4mil inhabitants, one of the most dynamic economies in Europe, history of being exploited and culturally devastated (we by Polish, them by English)). The language situation was very similar in Lithuania and Ireland in the beginning of XX cent, only peasants and uneducated still spoke the mother tongue, which was associated with lack of culture, paganism and was inferior in all respects. But during independence since 1918 till the Second world war the tide was turned, and many people began to speak Lithuanian again. Now 85% of inhabitants claim Lithuanian as their mother tongue, and only 7% Polish.

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.241.168 - 213.94.241.168)
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

An Ghaeltacht
An Ghaeilge
An Traenáil

It's one letter, and it's broad: Deireadh an Læ


Quote:

Unfortunately I haven't been to Ireland yet, but I would like really to understand why they don't want to speak their mother tongue.

-Roman




It's not that they, we, don't want to speak their, our, mother tongue. It's just that right now in Ireland, the people speak English, the main language of the word, with which one can communicate with the most amount of people. I myself love An Ghaeilge, and I have strived in learning it and have reached a high level of proficiency. Other people aren't as motivated as I though, and spending time learning a whole new language is just beyond them.

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Jonas (213.243.190.184 - 213.243.190.184)
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Haló aríst!

(by the way, I always write Irish as the Munster authors does - that is there are some small differences between it and "standard Irish". One example is my "aríst" instead of "arís".)

As Fear na mBróg correctly points out, "ae" is felt to be just one sound, a broad one although pronounced [e:].

There are some cardinal vowels in the IPA-system that are quite helpful to know in order to discuss the pronunciation of vowels. Here are two websites giving a brief but sufficient description. I'm no IPA-expert myself although I know it. The first webiste allow you to hear the vowels.

http://www.ling.mq.edu.au/units/ling210-901/transcription/ipa/ipa_vowel.html

http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/linguistics/russell/138/sec5/vowels1.htm

"So I understand you support my way of saying [A:] for 'á' in all cases; [ae] for ai- at the beginning of the word and for -ea- in the middle; [A] for 'a' between broad consonants and [a] (as in French or Croatian) in the words like "bainne", "abhaile"? "

We're getting into fine details now (which I always like doing) but no, I don't fully support that interpretation. I don't think the IPA-sound [ae] is found in Munster Irish. I fully support [A:] in all cases where the a-sound is long and [A] for the corresponding short sound.

It is true that the vowel in ainm is between [a] and [ae] but it's closer to [a]. Then, the [A] is normally used for words like baile and bainne. [bAl´@] in both Cork and Kerry - [bAng´@] in Cork and [bAn´@] in Kerry. As we both said, this sound is between [A] and [a] but closer to [A].

Those are the the general rules for Munster Irish. Some dialectal differences and some few exception are around, of course :-)


"But what about words "scilling" and "congarach"? They seem to contradict the theory. Or the word "congarach" is a composite one?"

Excellent examples that indeed contradict the theory. Apart from Finnish I know no language that always follows given pronunciation rules. Unfortunately we have to content ourselves with the fact that 99% of all words follow the rules and learn the few exceptions by heart. There are very few of them, baochas le Dia (or buíochas le Dia - our pronunciation is [be:x@s]).

"So you mean that even in Cork they say [t'ain']? "

Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that both Cork and Kerry follow the Déise pronunciation in this word with regards to [i:] -> [ai]. But no, they actually say [t´aing´] in Cork. Both in Cork and in Waterford, slender nn (unless between vowels) is turned into [ng] (never [ng-g].
cinn [k´i:ng´], déarfainn [d´iarhing´] etc. In Kerry we say [k´i:n´], [d´iarhin´] and so on.

"language situation was very similar in Lithuania and Ireland in the beginning of XX cent, only peasants and uneducated still spoke the mother tongue, which was associated with lack of culture, paganism and was inferior in all respects."

Very true indeed! At the turn of the last century the situation was almost identical. The Irish never succeeded in establishing Irish as the language of Ireland despite gaining independence. The Lithuanians managed to do just that despite 50 years of Soviet occupation. How did you manage to turn the tide?

The Swedish encyclopedia Nordisk Familjbok, published 1896, even said that Lithuanian is almost dead and expected to die out in the 20th century. Fortunately history has proved that prediction totally wrong. It's great that such an interesting language became a full nation language once again and soon it's an official language of the EU. It's just a pity that Irish didn't have the same fortune.

I look forward to continuing this very interesting discussion!

Slán go fóill,
Jonas

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Rómán (81.7.97.30 - 81.7.97.30)
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 03:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Haló, a Jonais!
Google gives such statistics: Gaeilge 202,000 times, Gaelainn - 110, Gaodhluinne - 6, Gaolainn - 108 and Gaoluinn - 123. But wikipedia writes that Gaelainn was used before standard oifigiúil. Now the recommended form for Munster is Gaolainn or Gaoluinn (what is basically the same). So I vote for Gaoluinn. What do you think? But then "l" should be pronounced broad. How do you say yourself?

Other thing is "dhaoibh" - the book recommends [ji:v'], but from the spelling I would guess [Giv'] G-gamma.Can you comment on that?

Quote:

the people speak English, the main language of the word, with which one can communicate with the most amount of people



I don't think any Scandinavian or Dutch is missing on communication with the rest of the world. But they all have still kept their languages intact. It is a poor reason not to speak the language of your grandparents.

Quote:

spending time learning a whole new language is just beyond them.


But it is YOUR language, not your neighbour's. It is not about all Irish having to learn Chinese!

Quote:

How did you manage to turn the tide?


We had a bloody war with Poland in (guess when) 20s of the XX cent, in the aftermath we have lost our capital (Vilnius) and 1/3 of territory, but still we have defended our independence. So it was very natural for all patriotic people not to speak the language of the occupiers and intruders. And one generation of children went simply through Lithuanian-medium schools (all of them). And voila in 20 years you would never guess those people had learnt the language from the books.The only Poles we have in Lithuania are those "unreformed" in Vilnius, which Lithuania has regained only before the WWII, but even there according to recent Census Lithuanian make 56% of population now (Poles about 25%).

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Jonas (213.243.178.250 - 213.243.178.250)
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 09:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Rómáin, a chara!

There is nothing wrong as such with either Gaoluinn or Gaeilge but I will continue to use Gaelainn.

The reason I don't use Gaeilge is quite simple: no-one in Kerry, Cork or Waterford uses it. The language we are speaking is called [ge:lin´] (in Kerry) or [ge:ling´] (in Cork). Both the spelling Gaelainn and the spelling Gaolainn would give the same pronunciation - no difference there.

As I'm sure you know, in Munster ao is pronounced [e:] but in Connacht it's pronounced [i:]. If I write Gaelainn a Connacht speaker will pronounce it [ge:liN´] while Gaoluinn will be pronounced [gi:liN´]. That's one of the three reasons I prefer Gaelainn.

The second, more important one: It is true as you say, on Google Gaoluinn is slightly ahead of Gaelainn. In most books written in Munster, though, the writers use Gaelainn. All the big Munster writers, including the Blaskets authors such as Muiris Ó Súilleabháin and Tomás Ó Criomhthain writes Gaelainn. Since Gaelainn is the name for the language you will find in almost any Munster book it makes sense to me to use it.

Thirdly: not only the writers but also ordinary Munster people almost always write Gaelainn. It is true that you find those who doesn't - in that case they often use the standard version Gaeilge. The vast majority goes for Gaelainn. All my friends, who have taught me Irish and always speak Irish with me, uses Gaelainn.

This is not to say that any other version is incorrect, but Gaelainn is the form favoured by almost all speakers of Munster Irish.


Your description of the language shift in Lithuania is very interesting, it would be wonderful to see it happen elsewhere. By the way, in today's edition of Hufvudstadsbladet - the main paper for us Swedish speakers in Finland, the was a long article about the revival of Irish.

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Rómán (81.7.97.0 - 81.7.97.0)
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 05:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ok, you say Gaelainn, I say Gaoluinn. :) Anyway, I have a new question. Is it true you don't need "agus" if 2 adjectives begin with the same consonant?
Ex: Tá an aimsir fliuch fuar. Is it really correct to say it this way?

Le meas

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.115 - 159.134.102.115)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 03:20 am:   Edit Post Print Post

The big blue bland house

The big and blue bland house

The big, blue and bland house


The fact that they begin with the same consonant sound may be slightly more motivation to omit "agus", I mean who doesn't like alliteration!

Ach déarfainnse:

Tá an aimsir fliuch agus fuar!

Agus, chomh maith, feicfidh tú:

Tá an aimsir fliuch 's fuar!

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:26 am:   Edit Post Print Post

"fliuch fuar" has a slightly different meaning or emphasis that "fuar agus fliuch"

In the second version, the adjectives are independent; in the first they are adding to each other, giving a slightly different meaning.

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.115 - 159.134.102.115)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 05:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

It's bitter cold outside.

Bitter is kinda being used as an adverb.

That's what's happening with:

Tá sé fluich fuar.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 06:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Muise, nach droch Bhéarla é san: "bitterly cold" is cirte.... .

(Bíonn an gramadach searbh)

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Rómán (81.7.97.180 - 81.7.97.180)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 07:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

"fliuch fuar" has a slightly different meaning or emphasis that "fuar agus fliuch"



So you imply you can do such a trick with any adjectives? So basically, when modifying an adjective with another one you shouldn't employ "go" - thas is what you mean?

Then a bit related next question. There is a group adjectives which when used as predicates require "go" : Go maith, go hálainn etc. So far so good. But among those I have always seen "go holc" as well. How can you then reconsile this fact with the sentences like "Tá sé olc inniu". Why "go" did go missing in this sentence? And is it possible to say "Tá sé go holc inniu"?

Le meas

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Jonas (128.214.107.119 - 128.214.107.119)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 07:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde!

It is only possible to say "tá sé go h-olc inniu". Where have you seen "tá sé olc"? It is definitely wrong.

Dala an scéil, tá sé go breá i Helsinki inniu!

As for Gaelainn or Gaoluinn: please use Gaoluinn if you want to but why? ;-) Not that it is wrong, I just cannot see any reason for it... On the other hand, I didn't use Gaelainn untill I had lived in the Gaeltacht either - but after having learned that everybode uses Gaelainn I thought I'd better start using it myself (I had used Gaeilge prior to that)

Slán go fóill,
Jonas

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Rómán (81.7.97.180 - 81.7.97.180)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 07:47 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

Where have you seen "tá sé olc"? It is definitely wrong.




In the book it stands "Níl Seán olc inniu". In the gluais for the lecture - the form is "táim olc", and in the vocabularly at the end of the book "táim holc". In the exercises I have found additionally "Tá Nuala olc", I am completely confused, help!

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Jonas (128.214.107.119 - 128.214.107.119)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 07:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Which book is this, the one by Doyle/Gussmann you mentioned?

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Rómán (81.7.97.180 - 81.7.97.180)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:27 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Yep, that's right.

I have made 8 lessons so far, but the book has proven to be very thorough and consistent, so I would not like to brush aside such things in it. There should be some logical explanation to this variation.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ón bhFolcóir beag:
olc [aidiacht den chéad díochlaonadh]
dona, droch-; gan a bheith maith (nach olc an aimsir í; duit féin is measa é; go holc leis an slaghdán); droch-chroíoch; ar éigean (is olc a chreidim é); ionúin (sa bhreischéim amháin a úsáidtear é) (is measa leis a athair ná a mháthair).


"Táim olc inniu" sounds fine to me - táim holc must be a typo in the book.

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Jonas (213.243.190.29 - 213.243.190.29)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Tá sé    go maith - It is good/well
Tá sé    go breá - fine
Tá sé    go deas - nice
Tá sé    go dona - bad

Tá sé    go haoibhinn - pleasant
Tá sé    go hiontach - wonderful
Tá sé    go hálainn - beautiful
Tá sé    go holc - wicked

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Jonas (213.243.190.29 - 213.243.190.29)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:56 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I meant the previous message to be in two tables. That's how I wrote it... Does anyone now whether it is possible to use spaces on this forum??

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

If you mean tabs - I haven't been able to find a way.

If you look here http://www.daltai.com/discus/board-formatting.html#misc

fixed width might work.

Let's try it

Tá sé go maith It is good/well
Tá sé go breá fine
Tá sé go deas nice
Tá sé go dona bad
Tá sé go haoibhinn pleasant
Tá sé go hiontach wonderful
Tá sé go hálainn beautiful
Tá sé go holc wicked


Nope. Still compresses the spaces....

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Back to olc.

Tá Séan olc inniu - I'd hear this as "Séan is not well today". If I meant Sean was wicked I'd probably say "Is duine olc é Séan".

Hope this doesn't muddy the waters too much...

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Bradford (216.16.15.66 - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Aonghuis,

Ó Siadhail classifies olc as evil and dona as ill, although he refers to them both as "bad" too. You're saying that olc has a broader meaning than Ó Siadhail implies?

Go raibh maith agat.

Le meas,

Bradford

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 04:45 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Yes!

olc [ainmfhocal firinscneach den chéad díochlaonadh]
drochbheart, dochar díobháil (lucht oilc); spíd, droch-chroí (tá an t-olc istigh aige duit); fearg (ná cuir olc orm).

olc [aidiacht den chéad díochlaonadh]
dona, droch-; gan a bheith maith (nach olc an aimsir í; duit féin is measa é; go holc leis an slaghdán); droch-chroíoch; ar éigean (is olc a chreidim é); ionúin (sa bhreischéim amháin a úsáidtear é) (is measa leis a athair ná a mháthair).

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