Jonas

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 76 total)
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  • Jonas
    Participant

    Just on classes in Munster, these folk, Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne do excellent classes in Kerry.

    http://www.oidhreacht.ie/

    Absolutely, highly recommended! I took one myself when I was starting out with Irish and had a great time.

    in reply to: 2. Person Singular Conjugation in Munster Irish #44762
    Jonas
    Participant


    That’s true, but I feel that that particular change was fairly gradual, whereas in Munster Irish this seems to have happened fairly rapidly. And I find this worrying because continuity and inter-generational transmission is so important to endangered languages.

    Also, in many languages (German, for instance) the written form is more conservative than the actual spoken language and causes the language to undergo change at a slower pace. In Irish, a conservative written form was replaced by a modernised and simplified form.

    I’m not sure that is true, actually. If you go back to the original An t-Oileánach, published in 1929 and written in dialectal Munster Irish by a man born in 1856, you will find that Tomás quite often use analytical forms in both the present and the future even when synhetic forms exist. He does so to a lesser extent that speakers today, but today we’re almost 100 years after the time when he wrote. He constantly uses synthetic forms in the past, as do every speakers I’ve ever met in Corca Dhuibhne. The same goes for Peig Sayers telling stories recorded in the late 1920, she also uses the “fidh tú” for the future.

    In other words, what we have is precisely that fairly gradual change. There has been no change for the synthetic forms in the past, and both analytical and synthetic forms were in free variation 100 years ago, just as they are today. What we see in Corca Dhuibhne in this regard is the same change that has taken part in all other forms of Gaelic dialects (including Scotland and Isle of Man) and An Caighdeán, unknown to Tomás Ó Criomhthain and Peig Sayers, seems to play a very marginal role, if even that, in this development.

    in reply to: 2. Person Singular Conjugation in Munster Irish #44757
    Jonas
    Participant

    Go raibh maith agaibh!

    It’s sad to hear that the synthetic forms are passing, but I can’t say I’m really surprised either, given the pressure from the standard language. :down:

    That’s not the only reason. Passing from synthetic forms to analytical forms is common phenomena in lots of languages. It’s complete in Scandinavian languages, for instance, and even fully synthethic written languages like Finnish or Italian actively use personal pronouns in the spoken language.


    In a similar vein, does anybody actually say “Conas taoi?”

    Yes, but Conas tánn tu is much more common.

    in reply to: 2. Person Singular Conjugation in Munster Irish #44754
    Jonas
    Participant

    Wee Falorie Man is right, though I would say that -ir is never the most common ending.

    I’m sure you’re right, Jonas. The person who taught me this, used synthetic endings more often than not, but that certainly doesn’t mean that the majority of people talk like him. He was in his mid-eighties, but I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it – maybe synthetic endings are less commonly used by younger speakers.

    Very much so, especially in Múscraí. Less of a generation difference in Corca Dhuibhne where Irish is much stronger as a community language. In Múscraí, which sadly is no longer a fíor-Ghaeltacht, the influence of standard Irish in the schools is much more evident.

    Jonas
    Participant

    If I wanted to publish a grammar for Corca Dhuibhne, I would be done in no time. Though I wouldn’t see the point, as Ó Sé already did and his is much more extensive.

    It is very very hard to understand grammar explanations that are written in the language that you are trying to learn. In fact, I can barely understand grammar books that are written in English! That’s why a thorough grammar book of Munster Irish (that is written in English!) would be so important.

    I’ll keep that in mind, given that my grammar sections for Corca Dhuibhne are almost finished while the course (exercices, dialogues) is far from finished. If ever I give up, I could just put the grammar sections on-line after some editing. Though they would be a poor substitute for the much more detailed description given by Ó Sé for those who really want to know all the details.

    Having said that, I would say Ó Sé’s book is very weak on syntax, and I guess describing the syntax wasn’t his ambition. There are loads of information about all the different grammatical forms, but very little on how and when to use them.

    in reply to: 2. Person Singular Conjugation in Munster Irish #44751
    Jonas
    Participant

    Wee Falorie Man is right, though I would say that -ir is never the most common ending. You could definitely hear tiocfair, for example, but you’d be much more likely to hear tiocfaidh tú. But as the question is whether it still is used, the answer is definitely yes.

    Jonas
    Participant

    Is féidir leat cuartú sna cainteoirí chomh math. Tá a lán eolais faoi chuile chainteoir, cuir i gcás Seán Ó Tuairisc: http://www.doegen.ie/doegen/node/2387.

    N’fheaca riamh é sin, go raibh míle maith agat!!

    Jonas
    Participant

    It’s a great site. My only complaint would be that it could locate the speakers better. As we all know, in some counties there were very different dialects spoken in different parts, so it would be nice to know from where in the county the speakers were.

    in reply to: Ar cheart domsa Gaeilge a fhoghlaim fós? #44725
    Jonas
    Participant

    “As Lughaidh knows, the most popular French producer of language courses, Assimil, has a short introduction to Irish (more like a phrasebook with grammar). This course, written by an Irishman in France who probably is an English-speaker, actually teaches that “ch” should be pronounced [k].”

    That is ridiculous. It’s that sort of thing that sometimes makes me wonder whether making Irish compulsory in schools is really such a good idea.

    It is ridiculous. To be fair, the problem may be more with Assimil than with bad Irish. I had a look at Assimil’s course for my native Swedish, and the pronunciation is just as bad. Among the many errors, the worst is that they don’t distinguish between “u” and “y”. Always with the “y” pronounciation, disregarding “u”.

    It means that Assimil teaches learners to pronounce hur how and hyr rent in the same way, just as nu now and ny new and countless other pairs. My personal favourite is that their pronunciation for du you becomes dy slime. Going around calling everybody “slime” is not the best way to make friends…

    So while it is ridiculous to confuse “c” and “ch” in Irish (at least ridiculous to claims it’s ok), it seems that Assimil has a more general problem.

    in reply to: Ar cheart domsa Gaeilge a fhoghlaim fós? #44721
    Jonas
    Participant


    Which meant that I’d hear people simply pronouncing the “ch” as a “k”, broad “gh” or “dh” as if it was just a “g”.

    Yup, that sounds horrible. Same thing with pronouncing é as [ei] and ó as [ow]. It’s natural, as the sounds represented by “ch”, “dh”, “é” and “ó” don’t exist in English. I don’t ridicule anyone’s accent and I have no problem with people making mistakes. The problem is that when they don’t accept that it is a mistake but insist that their pronunciation is right, because they are Irish.

    As Lughaidh knows, the most popular French producer of language courses, Assimil, has a short introduction to Irish (more like a phrasebook with grammar). This course, written by an Irishman in France who probably is an English-speaker, actually teaches that “ch” should be pronounced [k]. As the sound [x] exists in many languages, including major ones like Spanish, German and Russian, I have half a mind to write Assimil to ask why they don’t teach [mu’ker] for Spanish mujer, [bu:k] for German Buch, or [[kÉ™rɐ’Ê‚o] for Russian хорошо

    Nobody would take such a course seriously. Yet somehow it seemed fine to give the equally erroneus pronunciation for Irish.

    Jonas
    Participant

    Unfortunately the Celtic languages don’t have that many really good extensive courses. Let’s not even compare with French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian or Chinese, but I have courses in relatively rarely studied languages (such as Persian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian and Croatian & Serbian) that combine a wonderfully detailed grammar with more than 3000 words. It would be great to see a course like that for every Celtic language.

    Well, once you publish your language course, I have no doubt that it will become the gold standard of Irish language courses! A thorough extensive Munster language course has been a long time coming …

    Let’s exchange that once for if 😉 I worked very hard on it in August and first half of September, but just opened the document for the first time in three weeks. I’ve been travelling a lot, and lot of work. But on the plus side, the grammar is almost done. If I wanted to publish a grammar for Corca Dhuibhne, I would be done in no time. Though I wouldn’t see the point, as Ó Sé already did and his is much more extensive.

    And I don’t think I’ll reach 3000 words. But more than 2000 definitely, otherwise I don’t see any point in it.

    Jonas
    Participant

    The most thorough book of Munster grammar (in English) is the original Teach Yourself Irish by Myles Dillon and Donncha Ó Cróinín. It was in print from 1961 to 1992. Be careful not to get the book by the same name that was published after 1992 – it is an entirely different book that teaches “standard” Irish. Teach Yourself Irish is a small book that is crammed with lots of information so it may seem a little daunting at first, but if you read through it slowly and patiently, it’s not too bad. In fact, if you manage to learn everything that is taught in this book, you’ll be virtually fluent.

    I would agree with that, and I would agree with the praise of David’s work on bringing us free access to Cork Irish. It’s truly admirable.

    The only problem with the great course by Dillon and Ó Cróinín is a rather limited vocabulary. In my experience from various languages, you’ll need to have a vocabulary of around 2000 words to get by in even basic everyday life, while around 3000 words will have see you able to discuss in almost every situation except very specific contexts. These “2000” and “3000” are rough estimates, and different for different languages as well, but I’ve found them reasonably correct.

    If memory serves me right, Dillon and Ó Cróinín stop at around 1000 words. So if you complete their excellent book, you’ll know all the grammar you need, if you’ve digested it all, but you will still need to add to your vocabulary. I think even Learning Irish falls way short of 2000 words; I don’t know if any Irish course reaches that number.

    For comparison, most of the French Assimil courses go well beyond 2000 words – but they are very weak on grammar. A few of Routledge’s Colloquial courses land at around 2000 words, but most (including Colloquial Irish, Colloquial Scottish Gaelic and Colloquial Welsh) are much shorter. And though the Colloquial courses are better on grammar than Assimil, they are nowhere near as good as Dillon and Ó Cróinín and Learning Irish.

    Unfortunately the Celtic languages don’t have that many really good extensive courses. Let’s not even compare with French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian or Chinese, but I have courses in relatively rarely studied languages (such as Persian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian and Croatian & Serbian) that combine a wonderfully detailed grammar with more than 3000 words. It would be great to see a course like that for every Celtic language.

    in reply to: Ulster-Connemara-Mumhan “could/can” #44693
    Jonas
    Participant

    In Munster, the standard forms would be fine. Is féidir liom, ní féidir liom etc. are commonly heard.

    in reply to: Ar cheart domsa Gaeilge a fhoghlaim fós? #44692
    Jonas
    Participant

    I cannot tell you what to do. I’m not Irish either, no Irish connection, I don’t live in Ireland… I hate to admit, but I have to admit, that I’ve felt it more rewarding to learn French and Italian than Irish. I don’t count English (extremely rewarding) as it was a compulsory school subject, but Irish, Italian and French are all languages I decided to learn voluntarily.

    Some of the main differences

    – There a millions of people with whom I have to speak Italian/French if I want to speak to them. All the people in the world with whom I have to speak Irish, rather than English, would probably fit into my office.

    РThe largest metropolitan area where French is the main language is home to around 12 million people, the largest metropolitan area where Italian is the largest language is home to around 3 million people. There are countless French and Italian cities with several hundreds of thousand inhabitants. There is no Irish town with even 3000 people where Irish is the main language. The entire population of Ireland is smaller than that of Lombardia or Rh̫ne-Alpes, the entire population of people speaking Irish daily is smaller than that of Lecce (50th largest city in Italy) or Terrebonne (10th largest city in Quebec, perhaps 70-80th largest French-speaking city in the world.

    – A wealth of literature (both prose, poetry and academic literature), music, films etc.

    I could go on, but the point is clear. Is we take a utilitarian perspective, Irish is not the first language one decides to learn. Then again, I knew that when I started and I have never ever regretted the time and effort to learn Irish. I love Corca Dhuibhne, I love the Irish language as such…

    So in the end it boils down to how you feel. I don’t want to say that you “should” learn Irish for any reason, but if you like Irish, as you appear to do, then obviously it makes perfect sense to continue.

    in reply to: Why Don’t People Mix Dialects? #44505
    Jonas
    Participant

    As a native Swedish-speaker, few things sound as silly in my ears as when someone from the deep countryside moves to Stockholm and starts to speak a mixture of the urban Stockholm dialect and a rural dialect. I’m not alone in thinking that, it’s a recurrent character in many parodies on TV.

    I cannot speak for other languages as well as for Swedish, but I would assume a native English speaker would find it a bit strange to hear a foreigner speak a mixture of Hiberno-English, RP, Texas and New Zealand English. I may be wrong, but I would expect that to sound odd.

    Then again, some great Italian writes succesfully mix their own dialect and standard Italian for great effect, so I’m not saying it can’t be done.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 76 total)