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


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (April-June) » Pronunciation of Irish words « Previous Next »

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

LACAstronomer (129.210.140.25 - 129.210.140.25)
Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 09:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi
I'm an Irish American who wants to learn Irish. If I study it I can get the idea of the words and their meanings with a little practice. What's really difficult for me is figuring out how to pronounce the words and phrases. I've looked over the charts and such, but its hard for me to look at an Irish word and figure out how its pronunced. I haven't studied Irish very extensively yet, but I plan to take some time studying at a university in Ireland and hopefully I'll get a chance to study Irish while I'm there. It's very hard to find a class on Irish in California!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.152 - 159.134.102.152)
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 04:28 am:   Edit Post Print Post

As with English, you can't tell how to pronounce a word by its spelling. You can get very close to it alright, but it's not conclusive. You can probably get an Irish dictionary that has a pronunciation key beside each word, I've definitely seen English dictionaries with them in anyway.

I suggest you get one of those books that comes with tapes.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Paul (66.152.218.225 - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 10:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

LACastronomer:

Have you checked this site under "Classes"?
There are 9 different organizations teaching Irish in your state.

Also, you might give a try using Buntus Cainte,
a book and tape set for beginners. It's available on this site's shop.

All the best, Paul

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

LACAstronomer (129.210.140.25 - 129.210.140.25)
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 11:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you. I looked in the classes section and there were some in California, but none very close to me...maybe I'll take some classes during summer when I'm not too busy with school to drive a little. See, I very much want to learn Irish but my school doesn't offer it (a lot of times I think that since so many people around the world speak English, there aren't many opportunities to learn other languages here). I've taken four years of French, which I didn't particularly like because the sound of the language didn't appeal to me. I much prefer the sound of Irish, honestly. I'm going to take Latin next year, and hopefully learn some Irish through my own study and what classes I can take.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nóra Bheag (141.150.73.30 - 141.150.73.30)
Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

LACAstronomer,

There are plenty of tape/book sets available to get you started on the language. I happen to think the new Turas Teanga does a very nice job. It comes with 3 CDs.
But you will need to supplement study on your own with the chance to speak with others. There is an immersion weekend in San Francisco in Sept. I'm guessing by your 'name' you're from Los Angeles, but the trip would be well worth it. People here on the East Coast literally travel for hours to attend Irish immersion weekends. People from Wash. DC drive 12-14 hours to attend weekends in Canada. And our Canadian Gaeilgeor friends drive an equal number of hours to attend weekends down here. My own weekly class is over 2 hours away. All because we love the language so very much.
Good Luck - go n'éirí an t-ádh leat.

Nóra

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Natalie (142.166.138.52 - 142.166.138.52)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 07:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm sorry to be off the topic here, but I have a question about pronunciation. I know that a lot of times, some of the broad and slender consonants are not distinguished between but can anyone give me an idea of what's the difference between the following (mostly at the front of a sentence):

g (broad)
gh (broad)

d (broad)
dh (broad)

ch (slender)
ch (broad)

And I have another question which again is even more off the topic that that one. How would someone go to say something like "I want to start doing something" or anything that uses the verb in the present tense and then in the form where it has "to" in front of it. I know Fear na mBróg has tried explaining this to me before and what he said made sense then but when I go to use it, I can't figure out how. I want to know in what tense would the second verb be when the first verb is in present (or any tense I suppose)? I know the example I gave was probably not a good one because (if I'm not mistaken, which is also very possible), when you say want, you use a preposition. So if there are any differences between those kind (with prepositions, i.e. have, want, etc.) and normal verbs, could someone who doesn't mind please give me a quick run down on both. I find my book doesn't properly explain some of these things.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ivan (200.217.137.117 - 200.217.137.117)
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 12:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

G (broad) is pronounced ´Ge´ or ´Ke´,
while Gh, as in Dh, is pronounced 'the'.

D - 'dtta', anything like that :)

Ch broad is interesting, like ´X` with ´R´ after it (xrrr)

Ch slender is ´so slender´ it only has ´R´ sound.

Hope I´ve helped a little in your journey.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.23 - 159.134.102.23)
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 02:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well, as for these:

b -> w or v
f -> silent
m -> w or v
p -> f
s -> h
t -> h

Thus "bata" becomes "vata", or "madra" becomes "wadra". All the above are pretty simple.

As for

c
g
d

Well, first I'll start with d:

bearna dheas

Here, "deas" -> "yas" when I say it.

Dhún sé an doras

Here, "Dún" -> "Gún".


There's no rule per se on whether you make a y or a g out of it (similarly with b -> w or v. I think with long broad vowels, I tend to use a g, eg. "dhún", and with short slender vowels I tend to use a y, eg. "dheas".

Moving on to c and g:

Have you ever tried to say the letter h before a consonant; eg. some people say "what" as "hwat". You can stick a h before any consonant, and that's what I do with c and g. It results in a real quiet soft sound, eg. An Chéim almost sounds like an cHéim. Similarly with "An Ghrian".

--------

I want to start cleaning my room.
I want to start to clean my room.

Teastaíonn uaim tosú mo sheomra a ghlanadh.

uaim = ó mé <-- from me

teastaigh <---- be wanted

Theastaigh sé <----- he was wanted

Theastaigh tosú <----- Starting was wanted

Theastaigh uaim tosú <---- I wanted to start.

Teastaíonn uaim tosú mo sheomra a ghlanadh <--- I want to start to clean my room


Hope that helps.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Rómán (82.135.130.211 - 82.135.130.211)
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

I know that a lot of times, some of the broad and slender consonants are not distinguished between



This is a piece of sh..!Who told you that? The consonant is always either broad or slender, there's no "undistinguished" state. The only exception is "h" sound which by the virtue of its pronunciation is neither broad nor slender (because it is basically a sound of breathing).

broad gh=dh - very relaxed "g" - as if you try to pronounce "g" (as in get) but in addition to blow the air out of your mouth.

slender gh=dh is "y" sound of "yes"

broad "ch" and slender "ch" - as a German about "ach-Laut" and "ich-Laut" I am sure you can find someone knowing German around. Or find some tapes teaching German pronunciation.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Natalie (142.166.237.132 - 142.166.237.132)
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you Ivan, Fear na mBróg (again) and Rómán for helping to explain those questions. The one about pronunciation has been bothering me because (since, there were no tapes available when I went to buy the book) I haven't had the opportunity to be able to hear them. As for the other question...well that was bothering me too. Thank you again for you help.

By the way, Rómán, I'm aware that every consonant is either broad or slender. That's the very first thing you're taught besides saying hello. What I meant was that when some people pronounced them, they sounded fairly the same, whether they were broad or slender.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.103.188 - 159.134.103.188)
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Either a cosonant has a y-glide after it or it doesn't.

Think of the English word "suit", as in tuxedo. That's a broad consonant, ie. no y-glide after it.

Now take the English word "shoot". Try say "Syoot" real fast and voila, "shoot".


As for determining from the spelling whether the consonant is broad or slender; while that would be brilliant, it doesn't work. Plumber. Airgead. Bolg. Psychology. See what I'm getting at?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Rómán (81.7.97.88 - 81.7.97.88)
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 04:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

What I meant was that when some people pronounced them, they sounded fairly the same, whether they were broad or slender.



It may sound the same to you, as you have English background. The only sound which has broad/slender distinction in English is "k". Compare "kill" (slender) and "cold" (broad). I have Lithuanian background, so beliemme I always HEAR distinction in Irish words, as we have even MORE of broad and slender. E.g. Irish have either broad "s" or slender "sh" (as in "sean"). We have both broad "s" and slender "s" (as pronounced in British "issue" (is-syoo)), as well as broad "sh" (Irish doesn't have this sound) and slender "sh".

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Natalie (142.166.238.45 - 142.166.238.45)
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 05:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I didn't mean to start a conflict with my comment, I was just saying what I've heard several people mention before, just that I perhaps, have so far not explained all that well. I am English. I hear only a slight difference in some of them and that's mostly when they're obvious. I have not had the oppurtunity to hear other people speak to me in Irish so I can't say that I hear the difference; I'm only commenting on what some have said in things that I read.

I understand that there is a difference between slender and broad and that a very good example is perhaps "s". What I was getting at was...well really, I don't remember because all I really wanted to know was generally how to pronounce them and as I've already said, I thank everyone who has helped with my questions up to now.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.132 - 159.134.102.132)
Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 04:22 am:   Edit Post Print Post

deep
jeep

top
chop

suit
shoot


I don't think people are talking about accents enough on this topic. I have a Dublin, Irish accent. The above three(tree!) are the only times when I differentiate between a broad or slender consonant. Other than that: a broad consonant doesn't have a y-glide, a slender consonant does have a y-glide:

boot
butane

cup
cute

foot
Fion (the Irish name)

gate
geata

Hat
Heuston Station

J ( = a slender d )

K ( = c, except there's no ambiguity of it also being an s, eg. cirus )

Loose
Sierra Leon (kinda)

monkey
Amuse (kinda)

not
ar an ngeata

pot
piorra (Gaeilge for "pear", as in the fruit)


q ( = k, with a w-glide after it, you can't have a y-glide and a w-glide )


runner
Rio de Jinerio (kinda)

suit
shoot

top
chop

vote
Vienna (kinda)

Waste
(y-glide not possible!)


Xavier ( = Ecs, or sometimes = z, as in Xerox )

Y (Self-explanatory I hope!)

Zebra
zygot (kinda)


That's what I myself do, with my Dublin accent.


Rómán as he's said has got a Lithuanian background, I pressume you have a Lithuanian accent too. Therefore, it's very possible that you don't pronounce words anything at all like the way I do! Maybe you have a distinct broad or slender consonant for every consonant, maybe you use a w-glide instead of a y -glide!

Even within Ireland, which is about half the size of the average USA state (of which there are 50!), there's a difference in pronunciation throughout the country. I'm at the extreme East, in Dublin. People in Dublin prefer broad consonants, which for us means that we don't use a y-glide. If you go to Cork or Galway, you'll find that they much favour (and in using the word "favour", I mean it's based upon the nature of their accent) slender consonants. Take the word "toast". See that last s, I prounounce that broad; but in Cork, you may hear "toasht", "Put on a slice o' toasht der!". There's loads of implications springing from a person's accent. Another think is the consonant "th", as in "thanks". I pronounce that as "tanks". "there", I pronounce as "der". I most definitley am capable of producing the "th" sound, but I don't like it! Why? Because of my accent. Similarly, remember that the C-Celts hated the letter P (ie. its sound!). I myself have no problem at all with the sound P! But they must've had a different accent!

What I suggest you do, Natalie, is get tapes of Gaeilge that most match your accent. You'll learn words quicker that way. But even if you got a tape of an Australian speaking Gaeilge, after speaking each word a couple of times you will naturally make it yours and pronounce it the way your accent wants to! I learned in school to pronounce "am" as "owm". Over time I steadily started pronouncing it "awn".


This is why linguistics is a subject in college.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Rómán (82.135.130.217 - 82.135.130.217)
Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

I have a Dublin, Irish accent.



With all respect, there ain't such Irish accent. There are just 3 genuine Irish pronounciations: Donegall, Connacht and Munster, i.e. Gaeltacht's. Rest of the country has heavily contaminated language. And believe me, phonetics is the very first thing to suffer in bilingual environment. You may know all the grammar, fine, but speak with a foreign accent. I am not saying my pronounciation is perfect, it can't be so, as I am not Irish, BUT there're things about Gaoluinn I know for sure. So coming back to your specific pronounciation, I guess you imitate Donegall. So follow it consequently. "y" glide is fine for the start, but a real slender consonant doesn't have any glides, just the middle part of the tongue is raised to the palatale ("the ceiling of the mouth"). For me - easy and straightforward. I don't have to say "j" for slender "d", as a sound more similar to "d" in "during" is found in Munster. And so on. The "w" glide also exists in some situations. After listening to the native speakers form Gaeltacht carefully I've spotted it is common after "b","p","m","g","k" before "e" or "i" (with fadas as well) preceded by "a","o","u", e.g. Gael(almost gwel), buíochas (bway-chuhs) and so on.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seán M (141.150.73.30 - 141.150.73.30)
Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 09:43 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Rómán -
I hope everyone interested in improving their pronunciation reads your posting - I found it right on target.

I've been studying Irish for a few years now and was told when beginning to approximate a 'j' sound for a slender 'd', and a 'ch' for slender 't', srl. I was also instructed in the 'y-glide' system.

But once I sat down with a native speaker and they explained and demonstrated how the the tongue and mouth move for slender and broad sounds, I was amazed at how easy it was to get the correct (or at least one much, much closer) sound. It's too bad we we're not taught this earlier!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Natalie (142.166.231.178 - 142.166.231.178)
Posted on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

With all do respect, Rómán, though your methods of pronunciation are right and the "j" and such for helping in the pronunciation for selnder "d" are most probably correct, I have to admit that though not officially or anything, Dublin probably has its own accent. I'm not from Ireland so I probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about but I speak English and from town to town we even speak it different. People from other cities here are always commenting on the fact that the people where I live say everything different. That's because, just as each region is able to develop their own dialect almost, each area is probably going to develop their own way of saying everything. Everyone from Ireland or wherever can't be expected to follow their regional dialects perfectly because they're bound to make a division even more.

Now I don't know a lot about Irish. I only know one other language (French) and that's only constantly improving because of school, but what I have noticed is that, almost no matter what language you're speaking, there's going to be different ways of saying it. My French teacher speaks the kind of french they speak in his town, and my friend speaks french from where her family comes from and they can barely understand each other and these two towns are both inside our city.

I think you did a wonderful job explaining the bases for teaching pronunciation, but like Fear na mBróg said, maybe we don't spend enough time explaining that there's going to be different accents. I wish I had a background that helped me pronunciate everything better, because that would make things a lot simpler for me!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 04:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Rómán a chara,
bí cúramach faoi "genuine irish". Tá pobal díograiseach le gaeilge lasmuigh des na Gaeltachtaí le fada - agus is gaeilge na leabhair atá acu. De réir rud a scríobh tú níos luaithe, liotúnáis na leabhair atá agaibh uilig thall, nach ea?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris Dixon (194.247.95.130 - 194.247.95.130)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 06:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
Who would have thought that phonology would have provided such lively debate!
I'm glad that, Fear na mBróg and Rómán's advice on pronunciation have helped you, Natalie, and both have certainly offered good advice, on that front. As a language teacher myself - although Irish is not one of the languages I teach - I do feel competent to commend it as good advice - it is simple practical and useable!
I do, however, have significant issues with a lot of what you say, Rómán, in your post of 1 May.
You obviously have some background in linguistics, Rómán, so it is quite surprising that you make assertions like only three "genuine" pronunciations, that you describe other accents as "heavily contaminated" and that "phonetics is the first thing to suffer in a bilingual environment". It is also disappointing that you should describe a Dublin accent as a "foreign" accent, in relation to Irish.
Considerable work has been done in the field of diachronic phonology: looking at the way in which sound systems of languages affect each other when they are in contact. Based on my knowledge of this area of linguistics - and some familiarity with the specifically Irish context where, in addition to work on Gaeilge, there is extensive literature on Hiberno-English and Ulster Scots, I'd like to offer some reflections on the points your raise.
Firstly, there are as many "genuine" pronunciations of Irish as there are speakers of the language - whether native speakers or learners, regardless of their degree of competence. For the learner, it can clearly be very useful to approximate as best s/he can the sound system of one of the Gaeltacht areas - but this does not make any other sound system any less genuine.
Secondly, the massive decline in the proportion of the Irish population who had Gaeilge as their first language in the middle part of the 19th century is a well documented phenomenon. Until that time, there was a dialectal continuum in Ireland of the sort that is commonly found across related speech communities elsewhere in the world. (The continuum from "Ulster" Irish to "Connemara" Irish of this period has been mapped). It is also well documented that many features of Gaeilge were preserved in Hiberno-English - whether single words, grammatical constructions or pronunciation features. Fear na mBróg's examples above are typical features of the sound system of English as spoken in Dublin which reflect this Gaeilge sub-stratum. What he says about how he speaks, reflects the fact that, rather than being the first thing to suffer, phonetics provide one of the most enduring influences in the evolution of languages in contact. Suggesting that this phenomenon represents "contamination", heavy or otherwise, would seem to imply that there is such a thing as "pure" or "uncontaminated" language: a proposition to which I, as a linguist, would find it impossible to subscribe.
There is a saying "Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste, ná Béarla cliste", which I would interpret as a call to action - if the Irish language is "threatened with extinction" then it is learners who will save the language - even if their Gaeilge would not meet the standards of the purists. I would site in support of this interpretation the number of Gaelige language regeneration projects across the island. Go, for example, to any one of the three community based projects in Belfast which were short listed for Glór na nGael awards in 2004. You will hear young people naturally using a Belfast Gaeilge "koine" amongst themselves. This would have been unthinkable a generation ago... and long may it continue!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas (128.214.107.119 - 128.214.107.119)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 07:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde

I agree with Chris that it is great to see such an interest in phonology - a topic that much too seldom arouses much passion. I too have some comments on what have being said here, I'd say I'll place myself somewhere between Rómán and Chris.

1. I cannot fully agree with the idea of only three genuine pronunciations. Within Munster, Connacht and Ulster there are different dialects. As everyone knows, the pronunciation of Irish in the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht and in Gaeltacht na Rinne is quite different (see my earlier post on this matter). Both dialects are perfectly natural Irish, spoken in areas that have always been Irish speaking. The same is true in Connacht. There are considerablt differences between the Irish of Conamara and the Irish of Tuar Mhic Éadaigh - not to mention the Irish of Iorras. These three dialects are all spoken in Connacht Gaeltachtaí but they are most certainly pronounced in different ways. In Ulster we see the same thing, the pronuncition of Toraigh is of course different from that of Na Rósaí which in turn is very different from Teileann.

In short, talking of only three genuine pronunciations is in my opinion not possible since there are many more dialects in na Gaeltachtaí.

2. Neither can I agree with the idea that there are as many genuine pronunciations as there are speakers and learners of the language. In most Gaeltacht areas the pronunciation is so identical that we can group them together even if it is quite true that we should not forget the idiolects.

I cannot agree that a learner (I'm not talking about very advanced learners) should have a genuine pronunciation. If someone pronounce "amach" as "a-mack" they don't have a genuine pronunciation, they have a wrong pronunciation. We should always encourage people and not put them down but saying that anything goes is not the way forward. Most learners of any language don't have genuine pronunciations.

3. I agree fully with the idea that no language is "pure". All languages in Europe (the part of the world I know best) have been influenced by other languages. Some more, some less. There is hardly any language so "non-pure" as English, heavily influenced by French and with a very simplified grammar. Of course I would never suggest that English is inferior becuase of this!

When we speak about languages I think there are two things that should be remember. The first is that there ARE certain standards. There are standards for Irish pronunciation and we should not say that any pronunciation is good if it isn't. Seconly, we have to remember that these standards aren't written in stone, they change constantly. The Irish of Corca Dhuibhne, spoken by an old native speaker, is as genuine as it can get - but it would have been a quite unacceptable pronunciation 500 years ago. All languages change over time and the standards change with them, although usually at a slower pace.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Rómán (213.197.173.4 - 213.197.173.4)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

but I speak English and from town to town we even speak it different



Situation of English and Irish is incomparable. English is spoken on some continuum of territory - that is where you have all your dialects. But Irish is spoken on "small islands" (sometimes as atomic as a single person) outside of Gaeltacht, so what do you mean by "Dublin" accent? In Liverpool almost all people (except those new to the area) speak English the same way, that is what makes Liverpudlian accent. In Dublin an Irish-speaking person is either a resettler from Gaeltacht (speaking one of 3 main dialects), or a learner of Irish, who usually imitates the Irish of her teacher (again one of those accents). So what is "Dublinese" accent? My answer: it does not exist. Accent/dialects exists only in the authentic environment. In any language the residium of dialect is rural area around some place as it tends to have less newcomers and foreigners. So what dialect does the rustic belt around Baile Atha Cliath speak? Certainly some variety of English, but not Irish. Dublin was never a particulary Irish settlement throughout its history, so it would be the very last place to look for a genuine pronounciation.

Quote:

you describe other accents as "heavily contaminated"



You have misunderstood me. I said, other VARIETIES of Irish are heavily contaminated, there is no such thing as "other dialects/accents".

Quote:

so it is quite surprising ...that "phonetics is the first thing to suffer in a bilingual environment".




Quote:

there is extensive literature on Hiberno-English



You contradict yourself: first you don't agree that phonetics suffer, and then you that there's a lot about Hiberno-English. If the phonetics of English wouldn't suffer (under Irish influence) - there weren't such thing as "Hiberno-English", don't you agree? Or maybe you consider Hiberno-English to be the very first standard of English? Would you advise a foreigner studying English to base his pronunciation on Hiberno-English? Answer this question, and then consider that this would be the same advice as to base Irish pronunciation on the way Dublinese sounds.

Quote:

there are as many "genuine" pronunciations of Irish as there are speakers of the language - whether native speakers or learners



Wishful thinking. Why then are Native speakers preferred to learners as language teachers? According to you, there is no difference.

Quote:

sound system of English as spoken in Dublin which reflect this Gaeilge sub-stratum



Do I argue about that? But how does it prove that Dublinese is a good start for learner?

Quote:

phonetics provide one of the most enduring influences in the evolution of languages in contact



Have you ever talked to an expat who lived about 20years abroad in an exotic environment? Even those people start having a foreign accent. Come on, your argument is weak and indefensible. All emigrants speak with heavy accent in 2 generation already, not even talking about centuries.

Quote:

it is learners who will save the language - even if their Gaeilge would not meet the standards of the purists.



It is not to the point.

Quote:

I cannot fully agree with the idea of only three genuine pronunciations.



Jonas, come on, don't be prick. It was a simplification, of course, I know how many sub-dialects are there in Irish.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris Dixon (194.247.95.130 - 194.247.95.130)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Jonas, a chara,
I agree in principle with everything that you say.
There is clearly some confusion, though, on what is meant by "genuine". I hope, however, that it should be relatively easy to arrive at some consensus as to what we mean.
If you would be happy for me to describe what you refer to as "standards" as "models" - i.e. varieties of language, usually closely modelled on native speaker production, which can serve as norms to be followed by learners. Then I agree with what you are saying in point 2 - I myself am a language teacher and I do not believe that anything goes in language (as I'm sure any of my students will testify!).
When I contested Rómán's use of the term "genuine" in my earlier message, I was not intending to suggest that any way of pronouncing Gaeilge should be deemed appropriate as a model. I was merely indicating my belief that my "genuine" learner's pronunciation is just as "genuine" as that of any of my relatives or friends who are native speakers and/or fluent speakers of the language. My way of pronouncing Gaeilge is not a model to be imitated by any means, it could certainly be improved upon and I am working on that - but it is genuine and it is mine!
My position, reflects the current trend in this area of applied linguistics, and is something that has come particularly into focus in view of the "near hegemony" currently enjoyed by English as a lingua franca in various academic fields. In many parts of the world you will find - for example - native speakers of French, German or Spanish who use English in their professional lives, speaking the language to a very high degree of profeciency, who are happy to speak with accents which make their linguistic backgrounds obvious - just as speakers of English from Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, the Carribean, Africa (to say nothing of Scotland, Ireland and Wales!) have tended to do for many years. The pronunciation of this latter group, whose first language may well be English, has not always been deemed acceptable. My position is that the pronunciation of both of these groups should certainly be fully accepted - but not necessarily that they should be put forward as models to imitate.
I hope this clarification of my earlier thoughts proves helpful.
Slán beo!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.101.167 - 159.134.101.167)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

If someone pronounce "amach" as "a-mack" they don't have a genuine pronunciation, they have a wrong pronunciation.





I almost took that as an insult. Gaeilge is my language. I understand it. I can speak it. I can listen to it. I can interpret it. I can comprehend it. Is liomsa í! and quite frankly, I will pronounce words whatever the hell way I want.

If someone lives more than 20 miles away from me, they have a different accent! Kildare is right next door to me, and I can spot them by their accent from a mile away!

Australians speak the language called "English". They have their own unique accent, and thus they pronounce words in their own special way. Their "English" is not contaminated, it's personalized! It's theirs! Even within my own area, with people living within a mile of one another, we pronounce words differently; for "Ireland", I say "Areland". Other people, even my next-door-neighbours, say "Eyereland". To say that there's only one genuine, or even that there's three "genuine" pronunciations of Gaeilge, is down right ignorant. I speak Gaeilge, fullstop. Therefore, I am more than "qualified" to state what way I pronounce the words, just as an Australian can state what way he pronounces words. He doesn't speak "Australian English", he speaks "English"!


It's about time people opened their eyes here and realized that all humans do not speak alike. A Chinese child born in Dublin will grow up and develop a Dublin accent. It's actually quite surprising to me when I here a black, asian, or middle-eastern person speak with a Dublin accent; but it just brings it on home to me, the fact that people simply just have their own accent. The way they pronounce words is dictated by their accent. If the afforementioned Chinese person, now an adult, moved to China, and learned Mandarin(= the main Chinese language), then he would speak it with a Dublin accent. He'd still be a speaker of Mandarin though, and it would be his language! To state otherwise would be to insult the man.


Long story short: Is gaeilgeoir mé le blas Átha Cliath!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris Dixon (194.247.95.130 - 194.247.95.130)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 11:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Rómán, a chara,
I hope my last post - which crossed with yours - clarifies most of the points which you raise.
Clearly there was some confusion over how the term "genuine" was being used.
I don't see any contradiction in what I said about phonetics or Hiberno-English, however. I don't think that phonetics have suffered through its development; nor do I think that it represents the first standard of English: I do not in fact believe that there is any such thing as a first standard of English or any other language.
I would certainly be happy to offer a Hiberno-English pronunciation as a model to be imitated by anyone learning English - paricularly if the learner was learning the language with a view to using it in Ireland.
Native speakers are not universally preferred to fluent learners as teachers of a language - in many balanced programmes there can be a role for both. I have taught English, my first language, in two European countries. I have also taught four languages at university level in Ireland and Scotland. None of these is my first language. I have no doubt whatsoever that, based on my experience, I am a more effective teacher of these languages than of English.
I do believe that the role of learners in saving a language like Gaeilge is very much to the point, and I am sorry if you do not share that view, although I fully respect your right to hold a contrary opinion.
I would be interested to know your views on the Gaeilge currently spoken in the Six Counties - Belfast in particular, where there are vibrant speech communities within which the language is flourishing. You seem never to include the Andersonstown Gaeltacht among those that you list. Do you have a particular reason for this?
Slán!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Rómán (213.197.173.4 - 213.197.173.4)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

Is gaeilgeoir mé le blas Átha Cliath!



A lot of huff and puff and not convincing at all. No one really takes away your write to the ownership of the language you speak.But we had a discussion about something really different. The question was: as a learner of Irish whom you should follow. My answer is clear-cut: someone from Gaeltacht. You say Dublinese is fine. Ok, that is your personal view contradicting any theory of teaching foreign languages. But fine, if you insist you may say so.


Quote:

Clearly there was some confusion over how the term "genuine" was being used.



I think it was pretty obvious I didn't mean genuine in a sense "not forged". I was after "most probable to be considered by ALL Irish speakers (Dubliners including)a model worth imitating ".

Quote:

I don't think that phonetics have suffered through its development



Saying "dat", "dis" instead of "that", "this" and so on? You must be kidding. The phonetics have suffered a lot. Mind all English vowels which are turned upside down in Hiberno-English, or even "broadening"/"slendering" of consonants. I have tapes to TYI "O Se edition" - the sounds of Irish are dreadful over there, but the funniest thing is to listen to the speaker speaking English - I mean it is slightly better than Indian or Bangladeshi English, but not much better.

Quote:

would certainly be happy to offer a Hiberno-English pronunciation as a model to be imitated by anyone learning English



Common, the British Council has long ago approved the model pronunciation for learners - the so called "Received Pronunciation" (BBC English, if you like) - for some good reasons I think. Why is it so fashionable among the well-off in America to send their offsprings to British private schools to have a touch of this pronunciation? Never heard of Margaret Tatcher taking lessons on pronunciation, to overcome her native shrill dialect? There will be always some varieties of language which are considered more exquisite and sophisticated. Not sure Irish English will be among those ever.

Quote:

Native speakers are not universally preferred to fluent learners



I agree partly to what you said. Foreigners are better at explaining the grammar and make a start (as their pronunciation is easier to understand and they speak slowlier), but later, at the refining stage - you need native speaker (to imitate her pronunciation and understand the shades of word meanings).

Quote:

do believe that the role of learners in saving a language like Gaeilge is very much to the point


I agree with you. What I meant is the fact that we were discussing the pronunciation worth imitating and not "Greenpeace" issues (which are very important), nor the saving of whales, nor the role of learners in making their day.

Quote:

would be interested to know your views on the Gaeilge currently spoken in the Six Counties



I am not very well informed on that, but as far as I know they speak varieties of Donegall Irish. If you may share some information on development there I would be eager to learn about it.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.191 - 159.134.102.191)
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 01:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

Saying "dat", "dis" instead of "that", "this" and so on? You must be kidding. The phonetics have suffered a lot. Mind all English vowels which are turned upside down in Hiberno-English, or even "broadening"/"slendering" of consonants. I have tapes to TYI "O Se edition" - the sounds of Irish are dreadful over there, but the funniest thing is to listen to the speaker speaking English - I mean it is slightly better than Indian or Bangladeshi English, but not much better.





Looks like we'll just have to agree to disagree. I can try all I want to say "that", "this", "therefore", "the", and I am fully capable of producing those sounds, but I will veer away from them because my accent just doesn't take to them. The resulting replacement of the consonant "th" with a "d" or "t", is, in my very own opinion, not a suffering of phonetics at all! It's a variety and a change. You say that I must be kidding - I assure you that this in my solid opinion on the matter.


Quote:

Common, the British Council has long ago approved the model pronunciation for learners - the so called "Received Pronunciation" (BBC English, if you like)





And that's time well wasted. Even if I learn ANY language at all in the world, I will never pronounce "th"! I may try force it for a while, but as soon as I start spitting sentences out like nobody's business, I'm gonna revert to my "d"z and "t"z, and my slender consonants are gonna become y-glides. If you can't get used to it then that's just your problem.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 04:19 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Some more ingredients to the discussion

I personally know a Czech, a German, a Swede and a 2nd Generation Irish emigrant brought up in England who are all fluent Irish speakers. None of them has an accent which could be attributed to there native country. The German lives in Derry, and spends a lot of time in Donegal - so he speaks with an Ulster accent. The swede spends a lot of time in Corca Dhuibhne - no prizes for guessing his accent.

The Czech and the guy brought up in England have no particular accent that I notice - which means it's probably close to mine. Which, pacé Rómán, is probably best described as "Leinster educated".

And they all learned the language as adults.

I was quite surprised to hear the guy brought up in England speaking English - since his englich accent was very obvious.

I myself speak German with a pronounced Berlin accent, and English and Irish with what is best described as "Leinster educated" accent (I pronounce my th's ).

Accents, dialects and languages are complicated things, like anything to do with humans.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.147 - 159.134.102.147)
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 08:46 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Have you ever wondered to yourself why we humans don't have are own built-in method of communication? We had to develop our own language. And ofcourse then, there was going to be seperate languages around the world and we wouldn't be able to communicate with each other. Maybe it was to alienate us throughout the stone, bonze, iron age? All part of the Masterplan?

Anyone here ever read the book "The Human Animal"? It's very good. It trys to explain everything about the Human in the context of being an animal. It shows how, when a person collapses on a street in a small town, people run to assist; but in a large city, like NY, nobody batts an eyelid. The bigger the world gets, the lonier it gets. There's also a chapter on sexuality that goes into great detail and explanation and it really does proves the point that humans are the most sexual animal on the earth. There's bits about body language in there too, all sorts of stuff. One neat thing was how it showed that large groups of "people" united together mimick each other's body language, and it showed a picture of a crowd at a football match, all of them with their hands raised in the air. Leabhar maith.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.147 - 159.134.102.147)
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 08:48 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Aonghuis, 'bhfuil tú ag rá go labhraíonn tú teanga áirithe le blas áirithe agus teanga áirithe eile le blas áirithe eile? Ní raibh 'fhios agam riamh go ndearnadh daoine é sin!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Táim, go deimhin. Agus is minice a léitheid ná a mhalairt de réir mo thaithí.

Má bhíonn blas láidir ó theanga amháin ag duine ag labhairt teanga eile, is minic nach bhfuil greim ceart aige ar an dara teanga.

Ní ionann san agus a rá nach bhfuil blas Bléa Cliathach ar Ghaeilge daoine airithe, ná a rá nach bhfuil greim acu ar an dteanga. Tá pobal Ghaeilge i mBleá Cliath le fada, agus blas acu a bhfuil lorg Bhéarla Bléa Cliath air dá bharr. Thugas suntas dhó gurbh shin a bhlas a bhraitheas a bhí ag Daniel Wu i "Yu Ming is ainm dom"!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam. (68.2.73.235 - 68.2.73.235)
Posted on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 01:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Here are sounds for all lenited consonants:

b ---> bh sounds like v (if slender) or w (if broad)
c ---> ch sounds like the ch in Loch or the german Bach or Ich or Hebrew l'chaim or channukah
d ---> dh sounds like y (if slender) or like gargling if broad (it's like ch, but with voice behind it)
f ---> fh is silent
g ---> gh sounds exactly like dh
m ---> mh sounds exactly like bh
p ---> ph sounds like f
s ---> sh sounds like h
t ---> th sounds like h

~Adam.

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


©Daltaí na Gaeilge