Forum Replies Created
I appreciate all the input about this. I can also see the sense to using the conditional; thinking about what I really say in English it’s rarely “please pass the potatoes” but “would somebody pass the potatoes?” The consensus seems to be that sín/tabhair/cuir are all appropriate words for “pass.”
Would “An sínfeá na prátaí chugam?” perhaps be best if I’m asking someone right next to me to “hand” me the potatoes, and tabhair or cuir as a more general request to the table as a whole? Also, I suppose “please” would be overkill with the conditional here–do you agree? (Although perhaps I’d say “An dtabharfadh duine éigin na prátaí chugam, le bhur dtoil?!” if it’s the third time I’ve had to ask and I’m getting desperate.) 😉
Incidentally, your replies taught me a new word: fata, and I see that it’s right there in Ó Dónaill as an alternative to práta. Is fata considered part of CO? Has it become more widely used than práta today, or does this depend more on the part of the country? Or is it more like saying “spud?”
GRMA, a chách!
Thank you both. This pretty much explains everything I was looking for, and I appreciate the help. The bible has simply retained the older, i.e. traditional versions of these words–and after all, that’s what bibles do, all over the world! I now feel comfortable just sticking with naofar and féichiúna as I learn the prayer, as they sound better than naomhaítear and féichiúnaithe in this context.
Go raibh maith agaibh faoin gcabhair, a chairde!
Very good points by Héilics Órbhuí: memorize the individual words (and phrases) and save the rules for the more complex structures. And after you have memorized several words with their plurals and noted certain patterns, the plurals of a lot of new words will appear quite predictable. For just a couple of examples, if you find a new noun ending with -ín or -aí you’ll find it nearly automatic to end the plural with -íní or -aithe. (This, in a way, is how you already know to go automatically from “leaf” to “leaves.”) This is just to say that you won’t have to stop to think very often when you want to speak the plural. But always verify with the vocabulary in case you run into an exception, or if you have a word that doesn’t belong to a specific pattern. Above all, enjoy the language itself–in my opinion it’s far more logical than English. The logic is actually closer to that of the languages you already have mentioned knowing. 🙂May 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45319
I’ve learned a lot here. Thanks again, everybody! 🙂
As a relative beginner myself, I found that Basic Irish (and Intermediate Irish when ready for it) by Nancy Stenson, available on Amazon.com, etc., was just what the doctor ordered to begin to acquire the language. It does, however, use mostly the Official Standard (“Caighdeán”), which is really a combination of the dialects of the three provinces of Ulster, Connacht (including County Galway), and Munster. These are the provinces where Gaelic is still spoken frequently in public, and is used to standardize written Irish for schools, public office, etc. Notice that I said written Irish; it does not define a standard for speaking–and with your preferred region you’ll be happy to know that these Stenson books favor the pronunciation used in Connemore, County Galway.
This is probably the best way to begin learning grammar, even if you expect to shift to Galway eventually. It does a much better job of taking a beginner from point A to point B, and you’ll eventually see that the grammar of Caighdeán is similar (but in a much more “learnable” way) to that in Learning Irish, which I agree can be confusing to a beginner. For example, if you find the approach to plurals frustrating, you’ll find that the topic is presented clearly in black and white by Stenson, early in the Basic book.
As you learn new words, you may want to refer to Learning Irish for pronunciation in the Galway region, as it does do a fine job of presenting that aspect. Also, you will be able to find significant dialect variations covered throughout the Stenson books, especially in the Intermediate book, which devotes four entire chapters to grammatical variation among dialects.
I found Rosetta Stone’s Irish Gaelic course valuable in learning phrases and gaining speaking proficiency (available online with a mentor with the program). If you compare the pronunciation on Rosetta Stone with that in Learning Irish, you’ll find that the approaches are similar, but there are certain differences, especially in pronouncing the “ao” and “io” combinations. There’s also an excellent Foclóir Póca (Pocket Dictionary) by An Gúm, also available from Amazon.com. Its pronunciation system is designed according to a kind of standard that incorporates usages found in the three main dialects.
Don’t take everything I say as the gospel; as I mentioned above, I’m also a relative beginner, and I’m sure that there will be others with other (and perhaps more correct!) opinions. Having gone through Rosetta Stone by now and worked on the language for a little over a year, I just thought I’d share what I feel has been a profitable approach for me. And by all means, participate in this Forum! You’ll find a lot of excellent, helpful members here.May 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45312
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!May 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45309
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.May 22, 2014 at 10:28 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45301
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!May 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45296
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.May 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45290
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.May 22, 2014 at 11:03 am in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45289
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!May 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45286
Does usage vary from region to region within Caighdeán, or is the variation mostly from dialect to dialect? Thanks for all the input.May 21, 2014 at 10:22 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45285
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?May 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45283
Well, I’ve certainly been able to get a lot of fascinating input from a lot of people. I was interested to run into damhsa/damhsaigh as an alternate noun/verb for “dance.” Is it ever used any more? I could only find it in my English-Irish dictionary by De Bhaldraithe; it wasn’t even in my big Ó Dónaill Irish-English. Of course, until now the only words I’ve ever known were rince/rinc.
I appreciate everyone who is willing to help me develop my language skills. I admire the efforts the Irish and friends of the Irish are making to preserve their mother tongue; it’s what made me decide to try my hand at learning Irish. My Gaelic ancestry is actually Scottish, but I wanted to go with the Caighdeán standard, and I also knew that Ireland was more interested in promoting its language. Also, my late wife was Irish. She always felt that the unique language spoken in a country defines the people of that country–and then I saw that the motto of Daltaí na Gaeilge is “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.” (As an American, I also have great respect for the Native Americans who are working to preserve their several languages.)May 20, 2014 at 10:50 am in reply to: More than one way to express some thoughts–which to use? #45277
Again, thank you. Very interesting! I see then that the question of gluaisteán or carr might be more a matter of generation than anything. Of course, the same is true of many words used in English. By the way, Rosetta Stone always uses gluaisteán and guthán, so those are the words I’m more used to.
Now let’s see if I got a carriage return…