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


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 2005- » 2005 (January-February) » Archive through February 09, 2005 » Wondering « Previous Next »

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

Lostirishgirl
Member
Username: Lostirishgirl

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, February 04, 2005 - 01:32 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi! This is my first post and I was wondering if there any book resources for learning irish. I don't where to start or even what to use. Any advice?

(Message edited by lostirishgirl on February 04, 2005)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Maidhc Ó G.
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 152.163.100.135
Posted on Friday, February 04, 2005 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Learning Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhail is a an excellant source of study. It's a bit daunting at first because it concentrates alot on grammar and doesn't begin any conversation until you're well into it. But once you've done it, you'll be well on your way.
And be sure to get the tapes as well.
You'll also need a good dictionary - de Bhaildraithe is very good or the Collins gem is also good, at least to get you started.
You should find these and many other sources of study and literature at www.litriocht.com

Go n-éirigh an t-ádh leat!
-Maidhc.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 49
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, February 04, 2005 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

’Learning Irish’ is very good but it should be added that it’s in a Connemara dialect with a non-standard spelling (not the one that’s used in dictionaries).

There are other books as well that can be mentioned (so, just choose according to the dialect you are interested in):

Now You’re Talking (European title) = Irish on Your Own (US title), for Ulster Irish (Donegal)

Teach Yourself Irish, for Standard/Munster Irish

Both of them are in the standard spelling.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Alsún
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 217.81.8.106
Posted on Friday, February 04, 2005 - 04:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

quote:

’Learning Irish’ is very good but it should be added that it’s in a Connemara dialect with a non-standard spelling (not the one that’s used in dictionaries



I have begun to learn Irish with Ó Siadhail and I find the spelling not so different. I have normally no difficulties finding the words in the dictionaries.
And the tapes are great!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lostirishgirl
Member
Username: Lostirishgirl

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 02:01 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I found a book called "The Oxford pocket irish dictionary" Would anyone recomend it?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Cailindoll
Member
Username: Cailindoll

Post Number: 18
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 04:18 am:   Edit Post Print Post

That dictionary is fine if you've already purchased it, but the fóclóir póca shown in the daltaí shop has phonetic symbols and most people find those invaluable. If you're anywhere near Northern Virginia there's a group of people who meet on Monday nights at the Four Provinces pub to chat in Irish. At least there used to be -- An bhfuil sibh fós ann, a Ghriff?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lostirishgirl
Member
Username: Lostirishgirl

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 10:56 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I haven't bought because it is hard find, but I will look for both books on and the dictionary.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 597
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 11:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I would definitely recommend Learning Irish, no matter which dialect you're interested in. We should not overdo the differences, they aren't that big. Once you speak one dialect you can easily adjust to another. The difference in the quality of the teaching materials available is enormous, though. I would not dare to mention "Now You're Talking" or "Teach Yourself Irish" on the same day as "Learning Irish". :-)

Seriously, the level of Irish you will speak after completing "Learning Irish" is higher than is the case with most language courses in any language, and most certainly in the case of Irish. Both "Now You're Talking" and "Teach Yourself Irish" are okey for a short introduction to the language, but even combined they contain considerably less than "Learning Irish".

And for the 38264th time Teach Yourself Irish is not in the Munster dialect!!! :-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mack
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.205.194
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 03:11 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

TEACH YOURSELF IRISH, published in 1961, and written by Myles Dillon and Donncha Ó Cróinín was Munster Irish. It is not the same book as the one sold today under the same title but written by Diarmuid Ó Sé and Joseph Sheils. The books have nothing in common except the title. The first one is out of print.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Paul
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.164.37.93
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 03:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

I, for one, found that Learning Irish was not my cup of tea. I thought it was dry, kind of forbidding – no vim; no spraoi. It wasn’t the sort of the approach towards language learning that I needed. Granted, Now’re You’re Talking isn’t as encyclopedic as Learning Irish, but I found the liveliness of that method to be very attractive and effective. As someone who sat through hours of lifeless second-language lessons as a high school and university student, I was determined to find a teaching method that suited my learning style, and I found it in Now You’re Talking. It gave me a good foundation in vocabulary and the confidence to use the language with strangers.

Le meas,
Paul

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Antaine
Member
Username: Antaine

Post Number: 207
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 04:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I have found that Learning Irish makes a great reference book...indeed, my number one source for grammar questions

of the three "learning, TY, and on your own" I much prefer TY for actually learning from, but if the world were to be robbed of all but one of the aforementioned books I would like to see it left with Learning Irish.

I have never used the tapes to any of them, and I never use the pronunciation guides in the dictionaries either...for a dictionary, i look for something small, yet extensive with a two way translation...the one I've found that best fits that bill is Hippocrene Practical Dictionary, compiled by Cló Ruraí

as it can actually be carried in the pocket wherever you go and not wear holes in all your dockers...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chinita
Member
Username: Chinita

Post Number: 10
Registered: 01-2005


Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 05:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

I keep hearing Learning Irish is a good book, but I can never bring myself to buy it. I always see it in the bookstores and browse through it, but it looks so structured and boring. I understand grammar is essential, but the layout of the book isn't very appealing to a beginner in Irish, as myself.

So, I would have to agree with Paul, it is not my cup of tea either. Is fearr liom Irish On Your Own! It's more fun.

Of course, once I started learning, I have purchased many books which include the ones you´ve mentioned. I also have Buntús Cainte and Progress in Irish, which I use in my night class. For grammar, I have New Irish Grammar by Christian Brothers.

I guess it really depends on how you learn. If you like the structured grammar approach, Learning Irish will be good for you. If you like a more conversational, fun approach, try Irish On Your Own! (aka Now You´re Talking). Ádh mór!

Also, www.litriocht.com might be expensive shipping for you, depending on what you are buying. Since you are in Virginia, try www.schoenhofs.com (US bookstore), they have many irish books there.

Slán,
Christine

(Message edited by chinita on February 05, 2005)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 599
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 07:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I guess I shouldn't say this but... :-)

Yes, Irish on Your Own and Teach Yourself Irish are both more "fun" than Learning Irish. Unfortunately, I've never met anyone who has been able to hold a meaningful conversation in Irish after finishing one of those two books. In total contrast, I've never met anyone who has not been able to hold a conversation in Irish after finishing Learning Irish.

If your aim is to be able to buy bread or milk in the shop or to be able to say that it rains today or to present yourself - then most courses will do. If your aim is to be able to go to the Gaeltacht and actually speak Irish, I doubt anyone could do that after completing either "Teach Yourself Irish" or "Irish On Your Own". No matter how fun they are. I'm not saying there are bad courses, it just depends on whether you want to be able to say some phrases in Irish and then turn to English or to be able to stick to Irish all the time.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chinita
Member
Username: Chinita

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2005


Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 09:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Jonas,

You have a healthy opinion, and it's alright to think that they aren't good books. But you have to keep this in mind, Irish On Your Own and Teach Yourself are both Beginner books. Although Learning Irish is also for beginners, I think it is aimed towards a more advanced beginner.

You are obviously an advanced speaker of Irish. For a beginner like me, I would have given up if I started with Learning Irish. It is a good book, but I think to throw yourself into the difficult grammar too soon can be quite discouraging for a beginner. By establishing some basic conversation with books like Irish On Your Own and Teach Yourself, you gain more confidence. From there you can move on to other books like Learning Irish.

You are right, you will not be fluent in Irish, but it is a good start. I think they are good enough for basics, and then you can decide from there if you want to become more serious about your fluency in Irish.

That is my opinion. Thanks for your input Jonas, and I will keep it in mind next time I look at Learning Irish in the bookstore :)

Christine

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mack
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.203.57
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Jonas - I know more than one fluent speaker who did not use LEARNING IRISH as a text. While it is a fine book, it is more for those learners who prefer heavy grammar instruction, almost a mathmatical approach to language. It works for some but there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 602
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 06:24 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Jonas - I know more than one fluent speaker who did not use LEARNING IRISH as a text.

Mack, I know hundreds! :-) Of course it's possible to become perfectly fluent without ever having even seen Learning Irish, I'm just saying that it's a great help and almost all fluent foreign speakers of Irish have used it.

I agree with Chinita that if one is looking for an introduction to Irish, both Irish on Your Own and Teach Yourself Irish will work fine - I'm only saying that it will leave you way beyond the level achieved by Learning Irish. Of course it's possible to start with one book and progress to another.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 55
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Yeah, you’re right Jonas. There’s one problem that shouldn’t be underestimated though: If you’ve learnt all your Irish with Learning Irish, I think it’ll be hard to change your dialect after and go on another one.

Maidir liomsa féin, I began to learn Irish with Learning Irish but mostly for grammar and I had other books in Standard Irish (An Foclóir Póca) and I used to listen to Irish songs in the Donegal dialect, that’s how I knew what was Standard, what was Connemara and what was Donegal.

I mean if u only use Learning Irish and if you work on it during years, after you’ll have a hard time trying to go on another dialect, sure. For grammar, pronounciation, vocabulary.
Some time ago I tried something: I took my old Learning Irish and looked at the texts, in order to see the difference with the Irish i speak now (Donegal Irish), and I have to say that there is hardly any sentence in those texts, that I would say exactly the same way in Donegal Irish. There are many things to change.
Maybe, for those who want to learn Donegal Irish, I advise to begin with Irish on your own/Now you’re Talking, and when they’ve finished and learnt everything that’s in, to go on another things like "Turas Teanga", that provides knowledge on Ulster Irish (and other dialects as well, but since they say from where comes what thing, it’s easy to choose what you want to say and what you just have to understand and not to use since it’s not your dialect).

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Réaltán Ní Leannáin
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 83.71.15.187
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 08:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I have been looking at a few forums here and I am amazed that people are still so fixated on dialect and structure, rather than communication. If it works, don't fix it! Turas teanga is much funnier than O Siadhail's, and more motivating. But whatever turns you on. We all have different learning styles, and some people will respond better to a book and tapes than to a visual presentation.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 58
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

To choose a dialect is important: if you don’t, you will always be looked at as a learner or as a stranger by native speaker no matter where you come from (Standard Irish isn’t the natural language of anybody, since it’s a constructed synthesis mostly between Connemara and Munster irish).
In many languages, the standard form is the dialect of one region (most of the time the region in which the main town takes place). In irish, it’s a blend of dialects and not the dialect of a place. So i think Standard irish is all right for writing, especially for official stuff, but not for speech or personal things.
I think it’s better to choose a dialect and stick to it than to mix everything and speak a kind of Irish that doesn’t exist anywhere and that will sound odd to everybody.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 105
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 10:08 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

With all due respect I disagree completely.

Dialect is such a distraction. Pick a resource that works for you, learn it to the best of your ability and then take whatever steps necessary to immerse yourself in that culture and language. You'll NEVER be mistaken for a native speaker...that's just not going to happen. You might get by for a while and fool a few people, but eventually some little thing you say or some little nuance you miss will give rise to your "learner" status.

Most of us here have started with one resource, switched to another and eventually bounced around with two or three references. Pick what works for you and throw yourself into it. Don't get bogged down in the dialect issue...it's nothing more than a distraction.

Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Daisy
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.184.145
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 10:14 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Lughaidh - No matter what dialect you speak or how well, you will always be looked at as a stranger because you are. You'll never be taken for a native. This constant fretting about dialect and the idea that one is better than an other is silly. When you speak your own language is there a mix of dialects or is it strictly all from your own area?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 407
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 05:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I disagree. There's plenty of people who are not native speakers of English, but whom you would presume they were.

I'm sure you'd see the same with every language.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Breacban
Member
Username: Breacban

Post Number: 48
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 05:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

i have rarely if ever met someone who wasnt a native english speaker and who didnt have an accent. nine times out of ten you could tell which country they came from if you listened closley.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 608
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 05:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

i have rarely if ever met someone who wasnt a native english speaker and who didnt have an accent

I can guarantee that you have never ever met a single person, speaking any language, native speaker or not, who wouldn't have an accent.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 895
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 05:53 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Is fíor sin.

Ach is blas Bherlin atá ar mo chuid Germáiníse. An chabhair domhsa é go ndeannán pobal Bherlin neamhaird den ngramadach. Bhí argóint agam uair nó dhó le Gearmanach nár chreid nach Gearmánach mé.

Tá Germánach líofa sa Ghaeilge ina chonaí i nDoire, agus Gaeilge uladh go paiteanta (agus le blas Dhoire) aige.

Ach tá triúr Sualainnaigh/cainteoirí Sualainnse cloiste agam a bhfuil an blas céanna sa Ghaeilge acu ainneoin gur canúint Mumhan a chléachtann fear acu, agus canúint Uladh fear eile.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 611
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 06:06 am:   Edit Post Print Post

tá triúr Sualainnaigh/cainteoirí Sualainnse

Níl an ceart agat anois, a chara! Tá difríocht mhór idir cainteoirí as an Sualainn agus cainteoirí as an bhFionlainn cé go bhfuil Sualainnis acu as an gcliabhán. Mar gheall ar na daoine as an Sualainn, tá tonaí sa chaint acu mar tá tonaí sa teanga Sualainnise sa Sualainn. Mar gheall orainn sa bhFionlainn, níl tonaí ar bith againn (agus ná raibh sa sean-Shualainnis). Ní deirim nach mbeadh blas éigint againn, ní deirim in aon chor, ach is ar éigean gur féidir le daoine a rá go bhfuil Sualainnis againn mar ár dteanga féin.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 409
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 06:16 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Stop leaving that "t" out, a Jhonais!

--
as an tSualainn
sa tSualainn
sa tSeanshualainnis
--

I'd say "cainteoirí as an tSualainn" as:

cainteoirí arb as an tSualainn dóibh

where "arb" is a form of "is".

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Breacban
Member
Username: Breacban

Post Number: 49
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 06:34 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Whats the point in writing about an accent, you can't hear it in print. If you want to talk of grammar talk of grammar, if you wish to talk of accents talk of accents. What i was saying about accents was not meant as an insult i have an accent myself, i was merely commenting on the assertion.

"There's plenty of people who are not native speakers of English, but whom you would presume they were".

Furthermore, as regards grammar what is the standard if not "percieved"?.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 411
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 07:03 am:   Edit Post Print Post

quote:

Furthermore, as regards grammar what is the standard if not "percieved"?



Some things just catch your attention as being malformed.

It seems to me that those who live in poverty tend to freely differ their grammar from the norm. Take for example:

I done it.
I seen him.

You hear these dialectal differences much more from people living in poverty than those who don't. You only have to drive 10 minutes from where I live and all of a sudden:

I did it.
I saw him.

becomes:

I done it.
I seen him.

and the "th" in the likes of "authorise" becomes a much harder snappy "t".

People refer to this dialect as "common". It's strange though, members of the same family can have a different dialect in certains parts of Dublin. I know one particular boy who speaks the standard way, but whose sister speaks "common". Those who want to fit in with the impoverished group tend to imitate the "common" dialect until all of a sudden they're no longer imitating, while those aspiring to be intellectual tend to imitate the speak of intellectuals -- which leads to the interesting conclusion of people growing up in the same house speaking different dialects.

--

Opps, one thing I just realized there, you won't even hear a speaker of the "common" dialect say "authorise". The "common" dialect has a much smaller vocabulary. Verb and perposition combinations are used to in the place of unique verbs; for example:

He ascended the mountain.

becomes:

He went up the mountain.


The bomb exploded.

becomes:

The bomb blew up.


Overall the situation is as so:

A) The intellectuals can comprehend all of the speech of the "common", but label it as "poor grammar".

B) The "common" can't comprehend all of the intellectuals' speech, as the vocabulary of the intellectuals is a superset of the vocabulary of the "common".

(Message edited by Fear_na_mBróg on February 07, 2005)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 897
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 07:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ní raibh mé soiléir. Blas Gaeilge ag cainteoirí Sualainnise a bhí i gceist agam.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Breacban
Member
Username: Breacban

Post Number: 50
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 08:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I can guarantee that you have never ever met a single person, speaking any language, native speaker or not, who wouldn't have an accent.

I can guarantee that you have never met anyone, native speaker or otherwise, who didn't have an accent.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 412
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 08:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Breacban, what are you trying to illustrate through your rephrasal of Jonas's comment?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Breacban
Member
Username: Breacban

Post Number: 51
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 09:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I was just pulling his leg. Maybe someone can put this into irish for me (leg pulling that is).

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 900
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 09:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Tarraingt coise

Is dóigh liom gur féidir leat a rá "Ní rabhas ach ag tarraingt as" ach nílim cinnte. Fág liom é.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Maidhc Ó G.
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 64.12.116.135
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 09:58 am:   Edit Post Print Post

To pull someone's leg - 'bob a bhualadh ar dhuine'.
That's how it's shown in my dictionary.

-Maidhc.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 901
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 10:00 am:   Edit Post Print Post

That's to play a trick, rather than the kind of verbal leg pulling Breacbán means.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Maidhc Ó G.
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 64.12.116.135
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 10:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Aw , yes. I also found "ag magadh" with the sample phrase 'Níl mé ach ag magadh.' (I was only joking.)

-Maidhc

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 415
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 10:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Does "magadh" not have a more cruel meaning, as in "ridicule"?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 903
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Not really.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 20
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 01:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Very interesting that these four books or so should be so well-known even among native speakers, as I assume some of you are. Do most non-native Irish speakers who learn Irish use them even in Ireland or do they in general prefer evening classes or web courses (or a mix of all this?)
Do most learners of Irish often go and spend time in the Gaeltacht? And then - since you often allude to existing distinctions between the various dialects of Irish - does the variety of Irish one wants to learn influence the choice of learners or is it rather familial ties etc.?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 62
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"sa tSeanshualainnis"

No séimhiú on a s after an n in compounds! an tSean-Sualainnis is the correct form. In Ulster we would say an tSean-tSualainnis as well.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 63
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 03:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"Dialect is such a distraction."

What would be the Irish language without its dialects? Nothing: as every language, Irish is a group of dialects. Standard Irish is just a mix of Connaught and Munster dialects. It’s not a distraction. When learning a language, the native speakers always are the pattern you should imitate for language. And Irish native speakers speak their local dialect.

>You'll NEVER be mistaken for a native speaker...
that's just not going to happen.

You’re wrong. I knew a girl who was French, and her English was so perfect that everybody believed she was a native speaker, and can’t believe she had learnt it. You should say you’ve never met anyone who was able to speak just like a native speaker, but don’t say that doesn’t exist... I know examples with other people and other languages, people who had learnt so well that the natives believed they were native speakers as well. Example - i’m not intending to boast, but just to give another example: once I met one Irish teacher i didn’t know, I talked in irish to her and she believed i was Irish and coming from Donegal Gaeltacht. (She wasn’t from Donegal herself, but from Connaught).


>Most of us here have started with one resource, switched to another and eventually bounced around with two or three references. Pick what works for you and throw yourself into it. Don't get bogged down in the dialect issue...it's nothing more than a distraction.

No, learning a dialect is the only way to learn good Irish.

>This constant fretting about dialect and the idea that one is better than an other is silly. When you speak your own language is there a mix of dialects or is it strictly all from your own area?

I’ve never said that one dialect is better than another, or show me where. I work on dialectology in a university, you know... I do know what i’m talking about.

>I disagree. There's plenty of people who are not native speakers of English, but whom you would presume they were.
>I'm sure you'd see the same with every language.

Yes! Aontaim leat go hiomlán, a fhir na mbróg.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 106
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 03:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Stephan,

This preoccupation with dialects is probably one of the greatest, and least worthy subjects of debate amongst learners of Irish. It is a distraction for most learners until such time as they have become so fluent, or so adept that they can spend their time muddling through the various dialectal nuances.

Native speakers like Aonghus and highly accomplished learners such as Jonas may find some interest or intrigue in this area. However, for most beginning learners the simple objective is to....perish the thought...START LEARNING!!!! With the current state of the Irish language, I don't give a flip what dialect you decide to learn, just pick one and learn it! To be learning Irish at all is an accomplishment, the dialect is secondary. Studying Ulster versus Munster Irish is no different than asking if one should learn to pronounce english the way they do in Boston or the way they do in Austin. Getting into the even more superfluous discussion of the sub-dialects is even more rediculous. Should you learn to speak english they way they do in London or the way they do in Liverpool? Who cares!!!!...either way, you'll be understood.

My own experience with Irish is summarized:

I started out with "Learning Irish" and was completely overwhelmed by the focus on grammar and the uniqueness of the Cois Fhairrage accent I heard on the tapes. So, I became bogged down in the "maybe this isn't the right dialect for me" debate and picked up Teach Yourself Irish (the Ó Sé and Sheils version). I found that I readily picked up some phrases here and there and I did find the tapes a bit easier. The words on the paper meshed better with the sounds coming off the tape, in other words. But, I found myself unable to form questions or sentences on my own. I had all the nifty catch phrases but couldn't form a sentence from my own thoughts worth a darn. That's when I found myself having to go BACK to Learning Irish to make sense out of the TYI material.

The best way to learn is in the classroom followed by or coupled with a total lingustic immersion. If this is not an option (in my never-to-be humble opinion) you need three references and three references only, if you want to really get the hang of this language.

1) Learing Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhail
Hands down, the best text material out there.

2) Irish Grammar: A Basic Handbook by Noel McGonagle (pretty self descriptive title)


3) Foclóir Póca Irish-English/English-Irish dictionary with phonetic spelling....don't underestimate the need for the phonetic spelling!!!

With #2 and #3 you can master #1. When one has done that, one may consider oneself adequately qualified to debate, pontificate and otherwise ruminate on the myriad and sundry merits and faults of the various dialects. Until then, you're just wasting your time worrying about subtleties and nuances that have no significant impact on your ability to converse as gaeilge.

Case in point---I am far from having mastered anything beyond the first 5 or 6 chapters of "Learning Irish". But, in a moment of despair and frustration, I picked up the Pimsleur CD's (complete waste of money in my opinion) and immediately recognized that they were speaking yet another dialect. However, I knew what they were saying because I had enough understanding of word construction and sentence structure to know how or why they were making the sounds they were making. It was confusing at first but it didn't take long to get "tuned in" to their way of speaking. I was able to do this...make this mental connection, if you will... because of the level of detail "Learning Irish" forces me to examine.

I'll make this one final comment and then I'll shut up....

The debate over dialect is a convenient tool to justify procrastination in the aspiring student and a subject for academic amusement amongst the more accomplished. Stay out of the first group and aspire to the second but be happy if you can count yourself somewhere in between!

Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mack
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.255.239
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 07:01 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Right you are, James. We are forever seeing posts from "students" who dither on and on about the correct dialect to learn and so afraid of picking the "wrong" one. There is no "wrong" one. Start somewhere. If you decide you prefer another dialect, it's possible to change. But in the meantime, you'll have learned some Irish.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Pádraig
Member
Username: Pádraig

Post Number: 104
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 08:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

You'll NEVER be mistaken for a native speaker...that's just not going to happen.

You got that right, James. I'm reasonably sure that I have never failed to spot someone whose first language wasn't English no matter how refined his speech.

If I ever become fluent enough to converse without a dictionary in hand, I'm sure the natives will say, "listen to the Yank tryin' to sound like he's from Donegal." Why would I be doing that? Because I fell in love with the sound of Ulster before I could understand a word of it, and for me it's just a lot of fun to learn that way.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mack
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.178.8
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 09:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Lughaidh - I can tell from your postings that English is not your native language. That's without hearing you speak it. Your English is excellent but the phrasing is a tad off. That;s what happens to most non-native speakers of any language. Their grammar and vocabulary are fine but they just don't put it together quite the same way as the native.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 22
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 03:10 am:   Edit Post Print Post

The mechanisms of second (or third etc.) language acquisition is, I guess, a fascinating area to investigate. I am far from being an expert, but I know all linguists agree that the processes at work in late acquisition are radically different from what happens when you learn your mother tongue.

I personally know a Frenchman who is regularly mistaken for an Englishman whenever he travels to English speaking countries. This happened in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, not only during short intercourses, but also in long conversations with natives - during which, strange to say, the man himself was beginning to feel afraid that his accent was deterioriating through the effects of tiredness.

I feel a number of things are remarkable in connection with this. First, the man himself always keenly felt the fact that he did not have the same control over the English language as he had over his mother tongue (there was a time when he thought that this gap would fill somehow through contact with native speakers - but it never did).

Then, although his command over syntax and vocabulary increased in spontaneity over time, his sounding like a native was a fact from the very first years he came into contact with English speakers. I do not think one's control over the structures of a language are strictly parallel to what he sounds like. I readily believe Lugaidh could be taken for a native Irish speaker - alhtough I haven't heard him speak. His ability to write fluently in four Celtic languages + English clearly show he has the knack for languages - something the best training courses or academic studies will never provide anyone with. This shows, incidentally, that although not strictly parallel, writing and speaking are related somewhat. On the other hand, we have probably all met people who had an excellent control over the syntactic structures of a langugage (academics for instance) and were expert at using a wide range of lexical items most natives would be unacquainted with, but whose accent gave them away a mile off.

What is striking about the man I was telling about at the beginning is that although he was repeatedly mistaken for a native English speaker, he was often supposed by other speakers to come from a different part of the country from that in which they themselves lived (although they would not have suspected he was from France). Can anyone tell me a bit more about this phenomenon?

I remember reading a phonetician's comment about people whose accent underwent some sort of transformation when they were talking face to face with native speakers of a language. Have some of you experienced this - and do you think one's accent really varies according to whether he is speaking with a native or, say, to pupils in a class; or is this just an impression?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 905
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 04:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

My accent in any of the languages I speak (English, Irish, German) varies with prolonged (few hours) contact with any group of fluent speakers of that language. On the other hand, the taxi driver who took me home recently spoke with a what I recognised as a "country" accent, although he had moved to Wicklow at age 9.

People differ. All generalisations are wrong!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 416
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 05:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

quote:

You got that right, James. I'm reasonably sure that I have never failed to spot someone whose first language wasn't English no matter how refined his speech.



Don't you see the contradiction there?! You'll never know about the ones you didn't "spot".

There's a Dutch woman living on my road who's regularly mistaken for an Irish woman. Her mother tongue is Dutch and she learned English from maybe her early teens. Now she's got eloquent English.

quote:

Lughaidh - I can tell from your postings that English is not your native language.



Bullshit. He's fluent and that's the end of it; just as good as any of us here.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 27
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 05:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Aonghus,
I can see your point when you say that "People differ. All generalisations are wrong!"
What I was trying to show was that even the most fluent speakers of a second language do not feel at ease with it as they do with their mother tongue, even though their interlocutors may not be aware of it - except if they have learnt two or more languages when they were infants. (In that case, the "second language" is no more a second language.)
To that extent and no further I believe some extent of generalisation has to be made. I should wish it was not so, but I am forced to admit it is.
Does anyone have any interesting experiences or anecdotes in connection with this?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 616
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 06:00 am:   Edit Post Print Post

What is striking about the man I was telling about at the beginning is that although he was repeatedly mistaken for a native English speaker, he was often supposed by other speakers to come from a different part of the country from that in which they themselves lived (although they would not have suspected he was from France). Can anyone tell me a bit more about this phenomenon?

I have at times had the pleasure of being taken for a native English speaker or a native Irish speaker, but - just as you say - never by someone from the same district. Whenever people take me for a native speaker of English, they assume that I'm from Ireland. Needless to say, they are never Irish themselves. Having lived on exchange with an Hiberno-English speaking family
I guess I've been influenced. Not in the way I write, but more so in the way I speak.

At times I've been taken for a native speaker of Kerry Irish, but never in Kerry nor in any other Gaeltacht in Munster.

I myself has mistaken some Finns (with Finnish as their native language) to be native speakers of Swedish, and the same goes for some foreigners as well. However, I've never thought that they would hail from any area close to my own native Jakobstad.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 909
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 06:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

With regard to the differing viewpoints between Lughaidh and James on whether or not to focus on a dialect.

The following need to be taken into account:
The learners objective(s) and opportunity

Lughaidh is a professional linguist, living in France, focussed on geeting to grips properly with languages, and with a special interest in a form of the language least influenced by other languages.

James is a medic in the Army (I hope this doesn't start a flame war) and lives in the US when he isn't sent elsewhere.

So it was perfectly feasible and necessary for Lughaidh to immerse himself in Irish in Gaoth Dobhair for a year. That will not be feasible for most posters here - some of whom will never set foot in Ireland. And since their objective is to get some grasp of the language, I think the course James outlined is best for them.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 29
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well, judging from your posts, I for one would not have said you were using English as a second language, Jonas. And the same is true for Lugaidh, for that matter.
Mack's impression may have originated in his knowing about the origins of the members.
Try this: tell someone that sompeone else is, say, German. Even if this is not the case, I am sure he will detect some traces of foreign accent in the other person's speech.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Breacban
Member
Username: Breacban

Post Number: 52
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 11:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

this may be a little off the point here but bear with me. I referred earlier to being able to spot a non native speaker of english. I would hope that people would not take this in a negative light. If you are not brought up with language, im not sure if you will ever be "perfect" in that language. languages have a number of levels of understanding, thats why i dislike the term "fluent". What does such a term really tell you. People often use it as a badge of pride, almost like ive "done" irish now, i think ill "do" mandarin next. What an insult to a language which has one of the oldest written cultures in europe. I myself am pretty cat at irish but i still try. As towards anyone from abroad i think irish people appreciate people from other countries who learn the language and they often act as a swift kick in the butt to irish people who dont try.You should be proud of where your from. If I were to go to spain and learn to speak spanish "fleuntly" I would probably allways have an irish twang in my speech, but thats allright its part of me. learn irish and dont worry about the blas it will come along with the words anyway.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 107
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 11:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

My comment about never being mistaken for a native speaker may require some modification...

It would be the RARE exception for an adult learner of any second language to be mistaken for a native speaker. Not impossible, but EXTREMELY rare.

I, at one time, had a very good command of the Spanish language. As Aonghus has indicated, I have spent the bulk of my adult life in the U.S. Army. As a young medic, I spent a fair amount of time bouncing around Latin America during the late 80's and early 90's. In many cases I was with no more than 5 or 6 other Americans and the demand to speak Spanish was intense. If we wanted to eat, we had to speak...doesn't get much more demanding than that!!

In Venezuela I was mistaken for having a Cuban accent. I'm sure that my interaction with two good friends from Miami (native Cubans) had much to do with this. In Argentina, I was mistaken for being from Venezuela, in El Salvador it was Puerto Rico...the point I'm trying to make is that while it could be argued that I was mistaken for a native speaker, it was also recognized that I wasn't a LOCAL native speaker. This is what, I believe, Aonghus was indicating.

Lughaidh has a phenomenal grasp of english as does Jonas. If my Irish was 1/2 as good as their english, I would be thrilled!! Heck, if my IRISH was 1/2 has good as theirs, I would be ecstatic!!! However, every once in a while....not often, mind you, but every once in a while something will slip through that just isn't quite the way a native speaker would phrase something. Let me stress...this is EXTREMELY rare with these two. I have the utmost respect for their language abilities and, in my humble opinion, they are TRUE linguists.

However, I would argue that they became as proficient as they are in Irish and English through IMMERSION...Lugaidh has immersed himself in Gaoth Dobhair and Jonas has done so as well, although I can't remember exactly where. (Somewhere in Munster, is all I can recall) I, likewise, attained my level of proficiency in Spanish through IMMERSION. This is my point...if you want to learn a language to the point where you stand any chance of being mistaken for a native speaker, it's got to be done by IMMERSION. You aren't going to get there in a classroom or by listening to tapes. It simply isn't going to happen.

Immersion is the the "gold standard" for learning. When that cannot be acheived, for whatever reason, I stand by my assertion that the three references I listed are the most complete and useful resources available to prepare one to speak Irish. You still won't be taken for a native, but you will be understood! Now, take that proficiency and immerse yourself on Inis Mor or Inis Mein and now you've got a chance at maybe, just maybe being mistaken for someone from An Spideal.

I'm not trying to stir up a fire-storm here, I'm just trying to keep things in perspective for those of us who may not have the ability or flexibility to immerse ourselves in the gaeltacht.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ó_diocháin
Member
Username: Ó_diocháin

Post Number: 91
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 01:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
English is my first language, but I am occasionally identified as not being a native speaker.
I started speaking Italian at about the age of three and I'm almost always identified as a native speaker, but people have difficulty in placing my accent.
I started learning French at age 9 and by my late teens/early twenties - after spending some time in France - I was sometimes mistaken for a native speaker. My French is now rusty and I would not be taken for a native speaker now.
I started learning Spanish at age 19, I speak and write the language fluently and made a living out of teaching it at universities in Ireland and Scotland for ten years but I have never been mistaken for a native speaker - although I've often been faced with remarks like "you speak really good Spanish for an Italian"... and I was once mistaken for an Argentinian in Barcelona when I was speaking Italian!
I started learning Catalan when I was 24 and within a month I was regularly being taken for a native speaker. That was over twenty years ago now and I'm still regualarly taken for a native speaker from Barcelona - even by people from there.
I know dozens of fluent speakers of the langauges in which I am fluent who are not native speakers, but who are regularly taken for such.
I know hundreds of fluent speakers of the languages in which I am fluent who have never been mistaken for native speakers.
I also know about a dozen Scots/Italians whose first language is Italian but who are seldom taken as native speakers, a handful of kids from Belfast whose first language is Irish, but who are often taken for non native speakers and one girl from Glasgow whose first language is Hindi who is never taken for a native speaker.
So what's the moral of the story?
There are lots of aspects of language that native speakers expect to find in other native speakers. When these expectations are fully met - as they can sometimes be by a learner - then the person is regarded as a native speaker. When they are not met, then the person is regarded as not being a native speaker, even if they are.
Le meas,
Chris

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 108
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

OK, so some people are taken for native speakers. As I said in my previous post...it is possible but it is uncommon. Those that ARE taken for native speakers almost always gained their proficiency by immersion. That's the point I'm trying to make.

The bottom line is this....Get a book that teaches Irish...forget the quibbling over the dialect (that's how this whole thing started in the first place)...and just start learning the language!!!! If you can afford to go to Ireland and immerse yourself, the more power to you...go for it. One day, Insha'la or Ojala or whatever other term you want to throw around...one day, God willing, we'll all be able to do that. But, until then, get a book, stop the hand wringing over what dialect is better, easier, more functional, more authentic or whatever other qualifier and just start learning the language.

I think we all do a great dis-service to those who post here and to the Irish language when we try to push people towards a dialect. What we should be doing is pushing them toward a resource!

So, I stand corrected. One day, with a lot of hard work it is possible to be mistaken for a native speaker....does everybody feel better now?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 624
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 03:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Reading the story that Chris wrote, I came to remember a very interesting fact. I know many Finns who have been mistaken for being Italians, mainly in Spain and France, when speaking FINNISH!!! You would think that Spanish and Italian are so similar - and French to a lesser degree - that such mistakes would be impossible, but I've heard of many cases. It is often said that even though Italian isn't the language that a Finn can learn easiest in terms of grammar or vocabulary, it's definitely the easiest in terms of phonology and intonation. So if a Finn has mastered the vocabulary and the grammar, the result if often a very convincing Italian accent. Rather funny, don't you think. By the way, some friends, my family and myself have been mistaken for speaking Dutch while actually speaking Swedish in Germany. :-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 70
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

>Lughaidh - I can tell from your postings that English is not your native language. That's without hearing you speak it. Your English is excellent but the phrasing is a tad off. That;s what happens to most non-native speakers of any language. Their grammar and vocabulary are fine but they just don't put it together quite the same way as the native.

I do know my English isn’t perfect. Thanks to the ones here who told my English was allright. I just said that once an irish language teacher from Connemara believed i was a native speaker of Irish from Donegal. That’s what i said. I think my Irish is much better than my English - especially for grammar. Actually i don’t care much for making mistakes in English (i don’t like that language, I just use it because i have to). For Irish though, I try to speak and to write the better way i can.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 911
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 04:38 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Tá an cuma an tsliocht san go ndearna tú do dhícheall droch Bhéarla a scríobh. N'fheadar an píosa diabhlaíochta agat é?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mack
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.241.194
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 05:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Stephan I knew Jonas and Lughaidh were not native speakers before I knew where they came from. In his last post Lughaidh says "I don't care much for making mistakes in English". This means he doesn't like doing so. But he goes on to say he's indifferent about it. He also says he tries to speak Irish the better way he can. It should be the best way. I'm not knocking his English - it's excellent. But these are clues that it's not his native tongue without ever hearing an accent.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 109
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 05:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Lughaidh, Mo Chara:

Your english is absolutely superb! Don't think for a minute that I or anyone else was implying otherwise. There are just a few, and I mean VERY few occasions where one can tell that it is not your native language.

I am constantly amazed at how many languages europeans tend to speak. It is my guess that most europeans speak a minimum of three languages. Their native tongue, one other most likely from a neighboring country and then probably at least a little bit of english. Contrast that to we Americans....we generally speak one language...english...and we generally speak that one pretty poorly!! Although, Spanish is making a fast approach to becoming a generally accepted second language, we still don't have the depth of bilingual citizens that most european countries do.

If it's any consolation....I tried to learn French and, while I can read a bit, I simply butcher it when I try to speak...

Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

'djaeks
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.134.220.86
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 07:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm a native speaker of English, but when visiting Dublin, tend to be taken for a foreigner. Something about not having a British accent...Ya Ya on da daart, D4, roish...anyone for cricket?

"In Dublin the sun never sets on the British Empire!"
-Colonel William Dawes-Heacock MBE, Cowpur resident, Ranelagh

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chinita
Member
Username: Chinita

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2005


Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 09:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Just to add my input.

I am a native speaker of American English, and I think Lughaidh and Jonas both speak very good English. I know Lughaidh doesn't care for English, as I don't care for his French :P but we've discussed that many times, and he'll still try to throw some French at me anyways. It's quite annoying, but I can only speak English to him, so he has to put up with it too. Even if my English isn't so great at times, I never did well in English grammar growing up.

I have been mistaken for a native Spanish speaker many times, mostly Puerto Rican. I grew up in Miami, and started learning Spanish at 7/8. For some reason, I was surrounded by mostly Puerto Ricans and not Cubans. Today, I've lost a lot of Spanish, since I haven't really spoken it for about 3 years, but I think it is possible for people to be mistaken as native speakers in any language. And I also think the possibility is more than James likes to think.

"Not impossible, but EXTREMELY rare."

I don't think it's "EXTREMELY rare". As you've already read in some of the examples above, quite a few of us in this forum have been mistaken as natives in other languages. It is really hard to establish rules for determining who is a native speaker and who is not. I will agree that IMMERSION is an excellent technique to gaining fluency, and also influences one's beliefs of what a native speaker should sound like. But with all the immigration going on, don't you think there are more than a handful of people who are mistaken for being a native speaker in any language?

Oh, and I do hate how American's are only required to take 2 years of a foreign language and the country thinks you can be fluent in that amount of time. I myself have never followed the American way of thinking, and this does not go to all Americans, but quite a few believe that everyone should "Just speak English". I have some friends like that, and they annoy me when they say that. I, myself, have tried to learn quite a few languages, and I enjoy them very much. I studied Spanish for 10+ years, and I wish they would make it a requirement in America to learn atleast 2 languages: English and Spanish. Those are the 2 that make the most sense for us to learn, since the amount of Spanish speakers are about as many as English speakers in the States.

Christine

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Daisy
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.241.194
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

You want English and Spanish - I want English and Irish. I have no desire to learn Spanish, have no interest in it. I don't see why special consideration is given to Spanish speakers as regards dual-language signs, announcements,, etc.Other ethnic groups live here too and and make an effort to learn the language of the country. If I move to Latin America, will they make English the official language?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 76
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"quite a few believe that everyone should "Just speak English"."

Actually, the most spoken language on earth is Mandarin Chinese. So, if there should be only one language on earth, it’d be that one ;) . Now you should say that to your friends, and maybe they’ll change their mind :-D .

>I am constantly amazed at how many languages europeans tend to speak. It is my guess that most europeans speak a minimum of three languages. Their native tongue, one other most likely from a neighboring country and then probably at least a little bit of english.

That is true in many cases but not everywhere. Most French people aren’t good at languages (Ok, maybe better than American people ;-) ). Actually French people have to learn two languages at least at school, one during seven years at least, another one during five years at least. The level they have reached after school isn’t always very high, but maybe they can survive in a foreign country. The reasons for which French people aren’t good at language is quite complicated to explain. I could say what is my opinion about that if someone is interested (actually it has nothin i common with Irish so maybe it’s not the right place to talk about that!).

In many European countries, people are good at languages because they know their language isn’t spoken outside their country so they’ve no choice. Examples: Sweden, Norway, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary... People have to learn other languages if they want to go abroad or even to read websites or books that can’t be found in their own language.



©Daltaí na Gaeilge