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 28, 2005 » Learning to pronounce irish through songs? « Previous Next »

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

Edhel
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 212.113.164.97
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 08:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I just started learning irish recently through the internet, and the only resource i have to learn how to pronounce it is actually irish music. I'd like to know if listening to artists like Enya, Clannad and Aoife ni Fhearraigh is a reliable way of getting acquainted with the language. By the way, which dialect do each of these artists speak?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 977
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 08:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) and her sister Máire (who sings for Clannad) are from Donegal, and speak that dialect.

But their songs are usually fairly post processed, so I don't know whether you would get a clear sense of pronunciation from them.

Not sure where Aoife Ní Fhearraigh is from.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 978
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 08:49 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ah, another Donegal woman.. http://www.aoife.ie/

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 123
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 09:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I would agree with Aonghus. Song is probably the worst way to learn pronunciation. Syllables are held longer than normal, pronuncation is altered slightly to get the appropriate rhyme, the wording is cumbersome and not exactly natural speech....

If you could find some tapes or CDs of Séan Nós singing WITH the words in print I think you'd be better off.

I think the better option is to buy a book/tape set that is specifically directed at teaching you Irish. They aren't expensive and are available on-line and can be ordered from your local book store.

And, a word about dialect...it's a distraction! Pick a resource that works for you and go with that resource. The dialect thing will work itself out once you begin to be able to speak, read and listen. It's not that big of a deal...really it isn't. The most important thing is that the resource you are using is fitted to your style of learning...what dialect it teaches is secondary.

Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 124
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:40 am:   Edit Post Print Post

>I would agree with Aonghus. Song is probably the worst >way to learn pronunciation.

I don't agree. Of course, only listening to songs without hearing speech isn't enough. But it's a pleasant way to learn the sounds of the language - if the singer is a native speaker of course. Aoife Ní Fhearraigh is a native speaker from Gweedore (same parish as Enya and Clannad).


>And, a word about dialect...it's a distraction! Pick a >resource that works for you and go with that resource. >The dialect thing will work itself out once you begin >to be able to speak, read and listen. It's not that big >of a deal...really it isn't. The most important thing >is that the resource you are using is fitted to your >style of learning...what dialect it teaches is >secondary.

I don't consider that learning to speak as people really do is a distraction. If u begin with one dialect you'll have a hard time trying to change dialect after. Better to choose the one you like most at the very beginning and stick to it. If u mix every dialect, your Irish will sound odd to everybody. The aim of learners is to speak as native speakers do, isn't it?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

mo dhá phingin
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 134.226.1.136
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 03:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

'if u mix every dialect, your Irish will sound odd to everybody.'

I think you have a little trouble getting the concept that you are not everybody, a Lughaidh a chara!


I don't agree I'm afraid. People don't understand Irish from other dialects when they don't want to. The dialects are not so terribly different. By learning from various sources at the beginning you learn to understand the other dialects, even if you decide to be as loyal as Lughaidh is to one of them in the end. By resolutely insisting on only one dialect at the beginning, though, you are left with a much more limited pool of resources.


:)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 981
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 04:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I was making the point specifically about Enya and the latter Clannad songs, where the sound has been made eerie by the way it was recorded.

I am not very familiar with Aoife Ní Fhearraigh - if she sings clearly (and I think she does), then obviously that is different.

But the points James made about sounds being changed to fit the tune is still valid.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 439
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 04:57 am:   Edit Post Print Post

a dhá phingin, I presume your native language is English, no? Well consider what it'd be like if you mixed your dialects in English:

So are you going home?
I ain't.
And why that be?
Coz I za gots my works to do.
Oh Of Kose!

Unfortunately my own Irish is a pick-a-mix of dialects -- that's because wherever I go to speak Irish I'm met with people from all over Ireland speaking differently from me. For instance after only five minutes I was saying "tosnú" instead of "tosú" and pronouncing "an-mhaith" as "ana mhaith", but hadn't done so beforehand. Let's face it: if in the only place I go to speak Irish, people are going to be throwing different dialects at me (which may result in me adopting a mongrel dialect) then so be it, it's still Irish! I'm not from Munster, I'm not from Ulster, I'm not from Connacht -- I'm from Dublin, Leinster, so I'm not going to have any illusions about having my own dialect.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Kay
Member
Username: Kay

Post Number: 38
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 01:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Have you heard of Futa Fata and the nós nua?

Tadhg Mac Donnagáin has a great site, not alone sound files so you get a taste of his song. You can also download pdf files with the words so you can sing along.
http://www.futafata.com

One of my favourites of Tadhg's songs is "Positively Sráid Fhearcair"

I like "Cóilin Phadraig Shéamuis" which Padraig O hAoláin sings on the cd Togha Agus Rogha.

Aoife has a beautiful voice, I love listening to her, sadly my cd of Aoife has disappeared.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 131
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 01:53 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

This dialect debacle is getting out of control!!

My statement was "pick a resource that works for you and don't worry about the dialect." Period. I didn't say "bounce around 10 different resources so you'll get a mixed up bag of phrases to fit all regions."

Separate your emotions, people! It doesn't matter one flippin' iota what dialect you're learning if the book or tapes or teaching method drives you bonkers!! If a person will just learn to speak Irish...who cares what dialect!?!?!

You can slave away for years learning Munster or Cois Fhairrage pronunciation by rote memory, flash cards, vocabulary drills or by having it whispered in your ear each night by scantily clad fairies....IF that's the teaching/learning method that works for you. If that is NOT the method that works for you it doesn't matter what dialect is being taught....if you don't like scantily clad fairies you're going to bail out at the first opportunity!

I'm studying Cois Fhairrage because I LIKE the Learning Irish method. It's regimented, it is ambiguous and it forces me to research on my own...it's what works for ME...but that's ME...the dialect is absolutely SECONDARY! Others will prefer the TYI method of front loading phrases and dialogue and saving the grammar for later...but that's what works for THEM and the fact that it's teaching Munster Irish is, again, absolutely SECONDARY.

This preoccupation with dialect is the greatest disservice that can be done to a potential student of Irish. When they ask "What dialect should I learn?" Our response should be "What kind of a student are you?" If you really get jazzed about grammar then Learning Irish might be down your alley. If you just like to memorize, then Buntus Cainte might be better for you. If you like a mix of both...How about TYI, or even Failte Agus Gaeilge?

Get a grip people...i't not the dialect.."It's The Language, Stupid!!"

And before you get your tender little feelings hurt, that's not calling anyone stupid, it's a play on an American political theme from a few years back where "Economy" was in place of "Language."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 132
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

And one more thing...

Learning to PRONOUNCE (this was the original question, by the way) any language by listening to music is probably the single WORST way. Period.

Syllables are held longer than in natural speech.

Vowels are accentuated in order to rhyme or fit the meter of the song.

Hell, I listen to some music in my native language of english and I can't understand what they're saying for exactly these reasons! Why would I expect a non-native speaker to understand them?

I offered the Sean Nós style of music as the better option because that tends to remain more true to the written/spoken word than other, more style-ized forms. Enya being probably the most egregious example of that style-ized genre.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Kay
Member
Username: Kay

Post Number: 39
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 03:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Is iomaí duine ag Dia!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

mo dhá phingnin
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 134.226.1.136
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Aontaim leat Kay.


Only you know what works for you, James. Some of us are auditory listeners though, and therefore we may do better learning with sounds, however flawed, than with words we see. This might just explain why I usually remember my séimhiú-s and accents when speaking but fail miserably in trying to write them, (who knows, I'll hang on to any excuse.) New words connected with notes of music might provide a basis for learning for some people that they can later tailor to suit --producing similar sounds in their preferred dialect and at the proper speed of natural speech. About 69% of us are visual learners James, so while you might be in the majority, it's likely that not everyone else sees things exactly as you do or as well as they hear things, pé scéal é.

Agus tá mé i mo chónaí i mBaile Átha Cliath a Fhear na mBróg so mixed dialects here in English or Irish are no big deal really for anyone, go bhfios dom. In fact it fascinates me how beautifully they all mix and mingle and work together. Even people codeswitching from Irish to English are understood and reasonably tolerated in both English and Irish. So, I don't understand your display of american english dialects -- you obviously understand them even though you might only have picked them up from tv or american tourists in dublin. Your point must be that a mix is fine, so, right? You don't have to change your tune and be a mongrel -- to understand the folks around you.

James, tá an ceart agat about emotions though, sílim, even if you em, might with twelve exclamation points just be getting a teensy bit emotional yourself -- it's hard to be sure . . . : )

I'm a Spanish and French speaker and no one I've met gets this wound up about specific dialects of French or Spanish -- so amazingly different in comparison to my experience with Irish, especially when you consider how many countries' versions of these two languages exist and how varied all these versions are. We're all just overly loyal to our own preferences, maybe but often to the detriment of the language as a whole. Nach ndeirtear: Ní neart ná chuir le chéile? Nach é sin an seanfhocal i gceart for united we stand, divided we fall?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

mo dhá phingin
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 134.226.1.136
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 04:43 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Em, can I also say that the scantily clad fairies would work equally well for the auditory, kinesthetic and visual learners, and that I'd love to know where to find one to whisper in my ear . . . .

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 134
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 05:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Phingin,

Right you are...I am a bit emotional about this, but only in that I see it as a great dis-service to someone inquiring about learning Irish to immediately go on a rant about dialect. I see it as an equal dis-service when an potential student asks which dialect is "best to learn" and we, as experienced students, and especially as fluent speakers, try to direct them toward any given dialect.

Your point regarding visual learners vs auditory learners makes my point exactly. If someone is an auditory learner, I would direct them to Buntus Cainte. That program is, in my never to be humble opinion, a 50/50 mix of auditory and visual stimuli. Hear it, see it, repeat it. No grammar rules, no "ceol le ceol", no eclipsis...nothing. Hear it, see it, repeat it. The grammar is learned because you begin to "feel" what "sounds" right. That's why it is so successful with children.

If a student is a highly visual learner, then I would direct them toward Ó Siadhal or TYI. Ó Siadhal being the more intensely visual with all of its tables and charts and such.

My point is that none of these recommendations should be made on the basis of DIALECT. They are made on the basis of "what system, program, resource etc, is going to get another person speaking Irish?" You see, tha's what we need, people...more IRISH speakers. Not more Gweedore speakers, not more Ulster speakers, not more Munster speakers...we need more IRISH speakers. Get them learning in such a fashion that they enjoy what they are doing and bugger the dialect.

Regarding the music as a means of "learning to pronounce Irish"...I stand by my statement. Music, by it's very nature, is not natural pronunciation of the spoken word. If it was, it wouldn't be music...it would be....well...a speech!

Regarding the scantily clad fairies....a man can only dream!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mack
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.75.239.12
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James - I agree completely about the music and dialect The words are shortened and lengthened to fit the tune. As for dialect, it does seem to be blown all out of proportion. Can you magine someone studying American English and insisting that he wanted to study the dialect of rural Mississippi or Brooklyn and nothing else would do?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_c
Member
Username: Chris_c

Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 01:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I also agree with James...
I once spent a few weeks in (rural) southern Louisiana and when I first arrived, I thought they were speaking a foreign language. I'd never heard English spoken so far outside of the "standard" for the US. They used not only unfamiliar words, but the accent made the rest nearly indecipherable as well. I could only catch a word here and there. For the most part, I couldn't understand the speakers at all. But, within a few days I was fine. When I went back home, I sounded sort of strange to my friends for awhile after.

As James said, dialect is secondary to understanding the core language.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 139
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 02:27 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

The core language is the grammatical system. One cannot speak nor write the grammatical system. One speaks and writes the language, that is to say, a dialect (since a language is a group of dialects).

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 136
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Lughaidh,

No one is saying that learning a dialect isn't necessary. What's beig said is that it doesn't matter WHICH dialect. What matters is that the resource you are using is one that fits your style of learning. The PARTICULAR dialect that is taught is of little to no significance as long as you are learning to speak and comprehend Irish.

Irish is the issue here...not Cois Fhairrage, Ulster, Munster, Gweedore or any other dialect.

I would expect someone so academically inclined and so proficient to be able to make this distinction.
Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

deiric
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 216.241.232.218
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Concentrating on one dialect is probably the biggest mistake a non-academic distance learner of Irish could make.
I would agree in learning a specific dialect if you were only going to be interacting with people of that dialect. However, as a distance learner in the case of Irish, you are likely to encounter every accent and dialect in your studies. If you get too caught up over silly things like how to say "how are you?", you'll be stumped at the start when conversing with other Irish learners and speakers (and we all know how infrequent that can be). Learn from multiple sources and adapt!

A good example of this was given by Fear_na_mbróg above! "Let's face it: if in the only place I go to speak Irish, people are going to be throwing different dialects at me (which may result in me adopting a mongrel dialect) then so be it, it's still Irish!"
That is the right attitude to have!!

p.s. Did you know I was singing this as I wrote it? ;-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chinita
Member
Username: Chinita

Post Number: 19
Registered: 01-2005


Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 04:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

You all like to argue a lot. Or maybe I shall say, you all like to have heated debates on particular topics that seem to continually arise.

I think it doesn´t matter who it is, there will always be someone who disagress with someone else, whether it be James, Aonghus, Lughaidh, Fear na mbróg, etc.

I find it quite fun to read these arguments ("heated debates"). It´s nice to read different views on things.

On a serious note, I think dialects make a difference as Fear na mbróg said, "consider what it'd be like if you mixed your dialects in English". It can be confusing at first, but eventually you'll figure it out. My opinion: if you are just learning, I think you have enough on your plate just trying to learn Irish and it´s grammatical aspects, such as lenition and eclipses, so you shouldn´t have to worry about dialectical issues right away.

Later on, when you are more advanced and feel comfortable with the dialectical issues that can occur, then you can find a dialect you like. I think for an advanced speaker, it would be better to chose a dialect and stick to it. English speakers are not likely to mix dialects, even if they know the differences. Plus, if you spoke in one dialect, it would be more consistent and that way you won't confuse people too much with your mixing of dialects. It would make sense to me, but hey.. what do I know?

Christine

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 137
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 06:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Chinita,

You are correct on a number of points. We do like to have heated debates. Hey, we're all Irish to one degree or another...it's in our blood to argue!!

What I find frustrating is that there seems to be an inability to make a distinction between learning a dialect and just plain learning. My point, which I think I've made ad nauseum, is that it doesn't matter if it's Irish, Chinese, Spanish or Swahili...if you don't enjoy the process you won't be enthusiastic about learning. What makes this critical with Irish is that, unlike Chinese, Spanish and Swahili, we don't have the numbers when it comes to fluent speakers. We don't have the "luxury" if you will, of recruiting Gweedore speakers over Corca Dhuibne speakers, mar sampla. What we have to do is get people excited about Irish and keep them interested and foster their progression. All of this focus on dialect is counter productive to that. That's all I'm trying to say.

I think we shoot ourselves (collectively as Irish speakers) when we direct inquiring minds down the dialectal pathway of confusion. Find out what kind of student they are...do they like memorization or are they grammar geeks? (that'd be me) Do they want to become fluent or just learn a few phrases? And then, steer them towards the resource that best fits.

As has been said many times before, if they come across a native speaker, it won't matter what dialect they're speaking...they'll be understood.

Le meas,

James

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 145
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

>What's beig said is that it doesn't matter WHICH dialect.

That wasn’t clear at all in the preceding messages, u know. I very often hear people who mix all dialects and they don’t care a damn about it, they even don’t care to pronounce as /k/ and so on. I hear and read people claiming all day that studying dialects (in irish or in other languages) is wasting time etc etc, and in the messages here I read things that could be understood like that as well. Sin an fáth.
Ok, if u only meant that it doesn’t matter WHICH dialect you choose, it’s all right. Just notice that no one had precised that point before in this thread...

Go rabh maith agat, a chara.



©Daltaí na Gaeilge