More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use?

Fáilte (Welcome) Forums General Discussion (Irish and English) More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use?

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  • #45284
    Seáinín
    Participant

    Both damhsa and damhsaigh are indeed in the hardcopy version of Ó Dónaill, page 367, as well as in the online version at http://breis.focloir.ie/en/fgb/damhsa.

    It is the most commonly used word I have heard used for “dance”.

    #45285
    Duncan
    Participant

    Well, they certainly are right there exactly where you said they were!!! I also found them this time in my little “Foclóir Póca,” where I could have sworn they were missing when I looked there before. I must have been looking for an incorrect spelling the first time; I can do that if I’m in a hurry. Thanks for setting me straight on that.

    Interesting that damhsa is actually the word most often used; Rosetta Stone sticks entirely with rince. It looks as if I need to find a good thesaurus-like reference like An Foclóir Beag, which Héilics Órbhuí mentioned in one of the postings here, so that I can get a little more used to actual usage.

    Does usage vary quite a bit from region to region, or is it more a matter of personal preference? Is fón more commonly used in general than guthán?

    #45286
    Duncan
    Participant

    Does usage vary from region to region within Caighdeán, or is the variation mostly from dialect to dialect? Thanks for all the input.

    #45287
    Seáiní
    Participant

    I would suggest that both fón and guthán are common. Certainly in my experience learning ulster irish. Guthán being the more common one i have been taught although i often use both. I feel like i use fón when im being lazy lol but i’m not really sure if that’s true overall.

    Defly damhsá every time for me.

    But the most important thing i have learned, má tá sé in sa chaint, tá sé in sa Ghaeilge. If it’s Gaeilge and it’s said then so be it basically. Every langugae has its most common and nicer ways to say things i suppose

    #45288
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    It seems that most people who are native speakers more or less ignore the CO. They might speak more in a standard way if they are a news anchor or something, but even there, you hear plenty of them who are unapologetically Ulster and so forth. The CO comes mostly into play with print, I think, as I believe it was really intended. I don’t think it was ever intended as a prescription for how people should talk. If you hear someone speaking in CO, it is probably because they learned the language and didn’t acquire it natively as a child. But that’s my opinion.

    I’m glad that An Foclóir Beag is still online. It is the same basic stock of words that is used in Foclóir Póca (both are published by An Gúm). The definitions are very basic, but for the more abstract concepts, many of them are just basically lists of very similar words, so that’s where it almost functions as a thesaurus, even though it’s technically not one. I love it and own a printed copy of it. It’s usually where I attempt to look up a word first. 90% of the time I will understand the word after looking it up in Irish without having to even bother with an English equivalent. However, Ó Donaill’s is definitely still crucial for to great number of different senses of the word it provides, the example phrases, many of which are culled from older sources like Dineen’s and other literary and poetic sources. Often knowing the definition of a word isn’t enough – you still need to know all the ways in which it’s really used. I have a natural obsessive compulsive tendency to want to know as many words as I can, and certainly Ó Donaill’s contains thousands that aren’t in the smaller dictionaries, but if I knew intimately even all the words in An Foclóir Beag (on the surface, appropriately titled given that it contains “only” about 13,000-14,000 head words) and how to use them in every way they can be used, I’d have rather rich Irish indeed.

    #45289
    Duncan
    Participant

    Lots of great points there from you both. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts, and I’ve learned a lot by posting this topic. I’ll definitely try to get hold of Foclóir Beag.

    The remarks about CO make perfect sense also. I would say that the exact same thing is true of “The Queen’s English” when one is speaking English. Thanks again!

    #45290
    Duncan
    Participant

    Just so you know, I was able to order An Foclóir Beag on Amazon. They had two copies, a new one for $361.54 and a used one for $11.00. I’ll let you guess which one I ordered. 🙂 They predict a shipping time of a couple weeks.

    Meanwhile I’ve bookmarked the online version and have tried it out with a couple of words I’ve been wondering about as well: gasúr and páiste. I know Rosetta Stone uses páiste and Stenson uses gasúr, but have always thought from reading Foclóir Poca and Ó Dónaill that gasúr implies a boy, kind of like the English word “youth.” In Foclóir Beag, it makes it pretty plain that the words can be used either of a couple of ways: “Gasúr=buachaill; duine óg ar bith” — “Páiste=duine beag óg; mac nó iníon.” So now it seems to me that one would be likely to say “Tá dhá mhíle gasúr inár scoil, ach tá triúr páistí ag mo theaghlach.” This ought to be a fun source to investigate! Thanks.

    #45291
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    Great! Yeah, you can find cheap copies from time to time on Amazon. Mine was clearly a copy from a library that didn’t need it anymore but is in basically perfect condition with a laminated cover that is pretty durable. Definitely worth owning. As you’ve probably noticed too, the site is nice because it takes all the guesswork out of conjugation and declension – all the forms are right there for you.

    #45296
    Duncan
    Participant

    Yes, that’s very nice about conjugation and gender/declension. And as I’ve looked into it some more I see that it’s often extremely helpful to get the definitions rather than the translations, and many definitions include synonyms. I appreciate knowing about this resource.

    I’ve never run into a problem with a used book from Amazon being in what I’d call “bad” condition. My De Bhaldraithe English-Irish is used and was at a huge discount, and all it has is a stamp from a bookstore and the previous owner’s name penned in on the title page. Otherwise it’s almost like new. I’ll make another post to this topic to let you know when I get the book.

    #45300
    Seáinín
    Participant

    Another excellent resource from Foras na Gaeilge is their searchable Corpus (http://corpas.focloir.ie/). You have to request a free account and then use your credentials to log in. From within you can search Irish words and phrases and get back statistics that answer some of the kinds of questions you’ve been asking, Duncan, about dialectal usage. The underlying corpus is the same one on top of which are built the online dictionaries.

    Looking up rince, it appears that it is much more frequently used in Munster than in Connacht or Ulster, whereas damhsa appears way more in Ulster than in the other two major dialects.

    There are many other search features that I don’t yet understand well enough to explain. And, of course, the corpus is based on written material, so it is not necessarily reflective of what one would actually hear in the Gaeltacht.

    #45301
    Duncan
    Participant

    I’ll certainly look into that as well. It’s great to find a forum where everyone’s so helpful to someone trying to improve his language skills. It looks as if this would be a big help regarding regional usage, etc. Thanks very much!

    #45309
    Duncan
    Participant

    My registration at corpas.focloir.ie just got accepted, Seáinín. I’ve already logged in, and entered rinc and damhsaigh. I was impressed with all the sample usages, and in particular with the usage by text type, especially dialect. It was interesting to see where they appear to be used the most often. (I’ve certainly made it a point to add damhsa/damhsaigh to my vocabulary list! It’s funny that they weren’t even covered in Rosetta Stone.) And I see that there are several other features that I’ll need to investigate before i can even understand what they do 🙄 Thanks for the tip.

    It will probably be another week or so before I get the hardcopy of the Foclóir Beag, Héilics Órbhuí, but I’ll let you know when it arrives. In the meantime, I’ve been learning a lot with the online dictionary.

    #45311
    Hugo
    Participant

    ‘An Foclóir Beag’ is available from Litríocht.com for 7 euros (postage not included).

    #45312
    Duncan
    Participant

    The Foclóor Beag arrived today (it beat their estimated time by almost a week!). This is going to be a great addition to my library. I can see that, for most uses, the hardcopy will be a little quicker to use than the online version.

    I had already ordered it when I got your note, Hugo, but thanks for the url; I’ll check out Litríocht.com and see what other items they have. I’m used to using Amazon, though, if I can find what I want there. They have ridiculous prices sometimes (like $361.54 for a new issue–I wonder if anybody really buys those books?), but most of their used books are plenty good, as was the one I ordered. It was in very good condition; I almost couldn’t tell it had been used.

    I appreciate all the helpful info, not only on my original questions but also on some great resources. I’m sure I’ll be back with more questions before long. Sonas oraibh go léir!

    #45313
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    Litriocht is a great site, but the international shipping is expensive (if you’re not in Ireland, obviously). I have ordered from them several times – my most recent order was two books and the shipment was almost as much as the books themselves.

    Not sure exactly what the reason for those overpriced books on Amazon. You see it for a lot of things, including movies and music as well – I think sometimes they are collectible editions, sometimes it could be a mistake in the listing, or maybe just unrealistic sellers. $361.54 seems like kind of a random number – I can’t help but think it’s a mistake of some kind.

    Glad to hear you got your book and that it’s in good condition! I’m sure you’ll get a lot of use out of it. I wish they would put out a more comprehensive version – basically Ó Donaills but all in Irish and with definitions for each word instead of translations. After all, we English speakers have a myriad of dictionaries in our own language to consult. It’s a shame Irish doesn’t have a similar resource. I really believe the ultimate way to learn a language is in that language.

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