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Beginner - Check pronunciation?
Posted: 30 June 2016 06:17 AM   Ignore ]  
Comhalta
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Total Posts:  3
Joined  2016-06-28

Hello,

I am a beginner learner using ‘Teach Yourself Irish’ (Millon/Ó Cróinín) for now. The most difficult aspect is pronunciation, especially as I am not living in Ireland and don’t know any native speakers.

I would appreciate it if anybody could tell me how my pronunciation is, and any tips for parts that stand out as totally wrong?

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1XfFznTAXuT


I read the following sentences:
Tá an bosca lán
Tá buidéal ansan
Tá an leabhar caillte
Tá an bóthar díreach
An bhfuil an buidéal folamh?
Ná fuil an bainne géar
Tá an t-iasc úr
Tá an garsún breoite
An bhfuil airgead anso?
Tá an fear tuirseach
Ná fuil an lá garbh? Tá, ach níl sé fuar

Many thanks

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Posted: 30 June 2016 11:22 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Comhalta
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Total Posts:  692
Joined  2012-04-22

Your pronunciation is mostly quite good, I would say. 


“Breoite” is the one that seems most off to me.  Your vowel almost rhymes with that of the word “bright”, when it should be more like in the word “bro” (with a slender ‘r’ of course). 


Your “caillte” is also off.  It sounds like you’re using a broad “t” and then saying the “e” as “í”. 


Your ‘t’ in “t-iasc” is also a bit too broad.


Your ‘l’ in “lán” is a bit too slender (a minor thing). 


You kinda stress the second syllable of “tuirseach” when it should be the first (at least in my experience.  It could be that Munster speakers say it as you are saying it). 


Hope that helps!

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Posted: 01 July 2016 01:15 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Comhalta
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Total Posts:  3
Joined  2016-06-28

Thanks! That’s very helpful. I have the most difficultly keeping broad and slender consonants separate, but I know they’re an important part of Irish phonology so I don’t want to ignore the difference! I will work on those. Thanks.

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Posted: 01 July 2016 01:29 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Comhalta
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Total Posts:  692
Joined  2012-04-22

Incidentally, I recommend the site forvo.com.  It has a huge database of words pronounced by people who are mostly native speakers or at least competent ones.  Granted, with Irish you have to take into consideration that speakers from different regions will say words slightly differently.  I just checked and all the words I mention that you didn’t get quite right are on there, so it’s definitely worth a visit there to hear them for yourself.  teanglann.ie has a good “foghraíocht” section which allows you to hear words according to dialect.  Another sometimes useful resource is abair.tcd.ie, which I would call a visit of last resort.  It is a speech synthesizer for Irish which is built largely on actual recordings of people.  So a lot of words it will get right, but sometimes it will come up against a word it doesn’t specifically have in its recorded database and an algorithm will try to fill in the gaps, which is where things can get weird.  Still, if you have no clue how to say a word and can’t find a recording of it, you could do worse than seeing how it sounds there.  Of course, the last and perhaps most important piece of advice is to listen to as much audio as you can of people speaking naturally.  Obviously this isn’t a useful tip for finding the pronunciation of a specific word, but you’ll hear words in their natural habitat, so to speak, and eventually build up your own mental database.

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