le humble wrote:
Hello every body
I'm just begin to learn gaidhlig with the 1970's can seo program
I just have to get the sound of
dha (two) what i've heard sometimes like ya or in the same lesson a slight g ?
briogais dhubh sometime ru (with a french r) and sometime gu ?
latha (day) i've heard vaha and not laha ? briogais dhubh
blath (hot) i've heard bwa and not blah? briogais dhubh
can you help me?
Sorry for a late reply (I hope you come back, and if not I hope you were able to figur this out with other resources). But the Celtic subforum here doesn't get a lot of traffic and I personally avoid it due to issues in the past. Along with Sectori, who occasionally drop in from time to time, I'm the only other regular Unilanger here relatively advanced with Scottish Gaelic and I'm always happy to help earnest learner if I can.
I am familiar with Can Seo. I don't recall there being any ambiguity with the pronunciation (in fact, many of the people involved with that show were trained theater actors and have excellent diction in both English and Scottish Gaelic!). However, for learners, much of Gaelic's phonology can be really confusing until they get used to it. In most cases, Gaelic phonology is very consistent. dha
-- the dha
sound (or a voiced velar fricative, or /ɣ/ in IPA) is definitely one that takes getting used to. It's a very common sound in Gaelic, and unfortunately it's also tricky for many learners. There is a little variation among speakers--some say it more voiced and "harder" than others--and context too affects how someone might say this. It's a very guttural consonant sound, a kind of guttural "gah" sound made from the back of the mouth with the tongue pulled back away from the front teeth and held up toward the back of the mouth.
If you are comfortable with/χ/ or voiceless uvular fricative--this would be the sound that some French speakers use for r
but is ch
in Gaelic, like in the words loch
--you can do the dha
sound by simply voicing it, that is, add the "gah" sound to it.
This sound may be easier for French speakers used to pronouncing their r's as /χ/, but for us English speakers this is hard because we have to train the muscles of our throats to make this sound. The sound does take a bit of muscle exertion to produce, hence why some speakers soften it to a near y-like sound. But it needs
to be a guttural sound, nonetheless, or you risk not being understood. briogais dhubh
- I assume you're asking about dhubh
. Yes, here you will use the dha
sound again, but with the vowel u
. If it sounds like a "French r" to you it's because it is suppose to be guttural, as I was saying above, but it needs to be voiced with that "gah" sound. Again, some speakers would make it more guttural and harder than other speakers. latha
- the initial l sound here is a broad l, or what we commonly call the dark L. This is not a sound that occurs in French or English. This one is a little tricky to describe. The full IPA for the dark L (according to linguist Michael Bauer, author of Blas na Gàidhlig: The Pracitical Guide to Gaelic Pronunciation
) is /l̪ˠ-ɫ̪/.
Sooo, instead we usually write it as /L/, which is what Celticists have come up as a kind of IPA shorthand. Bauer lists 4 different methods for producing the dark L, and I will not attempt to type them all out. But this is my trick:
Make a regular English l sound by saying "la la la". Hold your tongue in the place it touches right behind your front teeth. Hold it there, but depress the middle of you tongue, like there's a small ball inside your mouth and your tongue has to fit around it. With your tongue in that strange position, make a L sound. It will sound deeper, fuller, "darker" than a regular English L. Now say it with the word loch, making the l sound very full and dark. See how very Scottish and Gaelic-y that sounds? Yep. That's the dark L!
With the broad vowels o and u, the dark L tends to sound darker than with the broad a, so again, you will hear some variation. But that "darker" sound is why it may sound like a v or w to you. But it's not a v or w--it's just the very full, deep "dark L" sound and over time your ear will get used to it.
I hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.