[Scottish Gaelic] Language Course

Kathy
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Postby Kathy » 2005-03-09, 14:28

Questions again. :wink:

I came across one of my previous translations of your sentences (written on paper). And my first intention was to change it but then I remembered that I'd posted it here. I checked it and saw it was correct. Now I'm confused...
When do we use dative after prepositions? Does it depend on preposition or it is not the only thing to depend on? For example, do we always use dative after 'air' or 'aig'?

Is 'Tha an sgìths air an fhear òg' incorrect?
Or is it as you've said, dative can be omitted in modern Gaelic and that's why 'Tha an sgìths air am fear òg' is correct?

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Postby Kathy » 2005-03-25, 8:11

Daniel wrote:The preposition is de which means of and so it needs the nominative noun an t-òran to go in the genitive case in which case it is na h-òrain. The word fear in this context here means 'one' so the translation is In one of his songs, these words were... :wink: That's why it doesn't get put in the dative by the preposition ann. :)


Thank you very much! Now that's clear. The translation of 'fear' settled things up. :)
And thanks for answering other questions and checking the exercise. I hope that's ok that I post them here.
And HURRAY! :P There are more lessons. :P

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Postby ego » 2005-04-07, 21:46

Well, let's say I couldn't resist and I made my first steps to this beautiful language.. :roll:
I have three questions. I have read the pronunciation's rules. I think I understood how the broad and slender vowels work. In words like "geal" we have two vowels, each one of them denotes the type of the close consonant. So -g- will be slender and -l- broad. But only one of these two vowels will be pronounced. How am I supposed to know which one? I mean how do I know if "geal" is pronounced /gyel/ or /gyal/ ?
The second question: I read that gaelic was introduced to Scotland from Ireland at around 400 AD. Do you know which language-s was spoken in Scotland before that?
Third q: How is "sh" pronounced? I heard it in a song as /ç/
Thanks a lot :)
Last edited by ego on 2005-04-08, 1:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-04-07, 22:04

polyglossos wrote:But only one of these two vowels will be pronounced. How am I supposed to know which one? I mean how do I know if "geal" is pronounced /gyel/ or /gyal/ ?

I'm using http://www.akerbeltz.org/fuaimean/fuaimean.htm here, but of course I may still have Daniel mad at me for having stuck my nose here. :oops: Anyway, IMHO (and based on the little I know), ea can actually be pronounced in three different ways: [e], [ɛ] and [a]:

cead [kʲed̪̊]
fear [fɛɾ]
seachd [ʃaxg̊]

However, it's probably one of those situations that happens in many, many languages—you probably have to learn how ea is pronounced in each word it appears, since there won't be a rule for when each of those three pronunciations arise. :(

Oh, and though each person has a different view on things, something that I believe to be helpful when learning how to read and write in Gaelic is to think of combinations such as ea not as having only one of the letters pronounced, but as having a sound of its own, if you know what I mean. It'll probably make it sound a bit less confusing when you have, e.g., the combination oi in words such as coileach—here, it sounds neither like o nor like i; instead, oi stands for [ɤ], so that the word's actually pronounced [kɤləx].

Just my 10¢. ;)
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Postby nettchelobek1 » 2006-05-29, 9:09

so... where are the other lessons? Why don't you continue with the course? I'd follow it gladly. :)

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Postby Nero » 2006-08-19, 3:01

nettchelobek1 wrote:so... where are the other lessons? Why don't you continue with the course? I'd follow it gladly. :)


Try this nettchie:
Daniel, am bheil sibh anseo? Tha nettchie airson bruidhinn Gàidhlig :lol:
coded in javverscript

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Postby ceannfeachd » 2006-09-26, 2:24

Kathy wrote:1. Is àbhaist dha glè fhuar a-mach.
It is usually very cold outside.

What about...
"Is àbhaist dhi a bhith glè fhuar a-mach."
You can use dha or dhi, I just use dhi, because it lines up with the feminine gender of "aimsir" or "sìde." But if you're referring to the day (an latha), that's masculine.
2. An àbhaist dhomh a bhith a' cur an iuchair agam ann am baga?
Do I usually put my key in the bag?

I'd lose the "a bhith" here.
"An àbhaist dhomh a chur na h-iuchrachagam anns a' bhaga.
You must use the genitive case after verbal nouns (a chur, in this case). Also, the preposition "ann" changes to "anns" when accompanied by the definite article.
3. Chan àbhaist do Chatrìona a bhith ciallach.
Catrina is usually not sensible.

Tha seo glè mhath!
4. Nach àbhaist dha na balaich a bhith a' cluich a-mach?
Don't the boys usually play outside?

Nach àbhaist dha na balaich a chluich a-muigh.
"A-mach" is used when motion is involved. "A-muigh" is used to imply outside when no motion is involved.
5. Tha mi a' creidsinn gur àbhaist dha a bhith a' faighinn a' bhus dhachaigh
I believe that he usually takes the bus (to get) home.

...gur àbhaist dha a dh'fhaighinn a' bhus (airson dol) dhachaigh.

Dìreach beagan cheartachaidhean, ach rinn thu glè mhath!


Daniel wrote:DATIVE CASE (PART II)

Masculine:


Nouns with the initial combinations of sl, sn, sr and s + vowel take the dative definite article an t- but does not lenite, unlike the feminine.

nominative: an t-slàinte - the health
:arrow: dative: leis an t-slàinte - with the health


but why unlike the feminine? Do feminine nouns really lenite in this case? I thought, not... :? And... slàinte is feminine itself, isn't it? :?

Feminine nouns only lenite in this case if they are accompanied by the article, or preceded by a preposition that causes lenition (do, bho, etc). But they slenderize regardless of whether the article is present.

And one more question. It is not on the lessons.
I met a phrase: Ann am fear de na h-òrain aige, bha na faclan seo... (and then there were the words from the song). The question is about the first part of the phrase. As I guess, it means 'In the man's song...'. But why isn't it something like 'Anns an t-òrain aig an fhear'? Is it because the meaning is 'in a (some) song of the man' and not 'in the song of the man'? And is 'de' then just another way of expressing posession?

Ann am fear de na h-òrain aige, bha na faclan seo...
I would be quicker to say that this means "In one of his songs were these words."
Fear, while it can mean "man," it can also mean "one" as in the sense of "this one" or "that one" or "one of these," when referring to masculine nouns. You would use "tè" the same way for feminine nouns.

Am faca sibh am balach? = Did you see the boy?
Cò? Am fear beag le falt fada? = Who? The small one with long hair?

Tha mi a' dol a cheannach na dreasa sin. =I'm going to buy that dress.
An ghorm? = The blue one?[/b]

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Postby Douglas » 2006-12-08, 15:56

Tha mi a’ smaointinn gum bi uile glè mhath an seo... tapadh leat Daniel. Tha mi ag ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig leis Taic http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/taic.htm cuideachd. Am bi daoine fhathast a' thighinn an seo? Biodh e dhona a’ thighinn an seo a uile daoine stad.

Sorry if that is way off... This all looks very useful, thanks Daniel for going to the effort of making all this. Looking at the dates on the posts, it appears that people haven’t been posting recently, is the forum still alive? If not, that would certainly be bad timing.

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Postby nighean-neonach » 2007-01-20, 6:49

Tha mise an-seo a-nis, mar sin, ma tha ceist air choireigin agad, feuchaidh mi ri do chuideachadh :)

I'm here now, so if you have any question, I'll try and help :)

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Postby ego » 2007-01-28, 9:36

Madainn mhath,

OK I have some questions on pronunciation (typically). Could someone give me the pronunciations in IPA of the following words:

seo (Karen Matheson pronounces it like /she/)
bean
iarraidh
ciamar
faireachdainn
ainm
leòr

Also what is the difference between ll and l, nn and n, rr and r?

Tapadh leibh!

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Postby nighean-neonach » 2007-01-28, 9:51

Sorry, I'm not very good at putting words into IPA, but I'll try:

seo /ʃɔ/
bean /bɛn/
iarraidh /iəri:/
ciamar /kimər/
faireachdainn /fɛrəxkən/
ainm /ɛnəm/
leòr /ljɔ:r/

I'm never quite sure how to put the various l's, n's and r's into IPA because they are different in some dialects anyway.
The r in "iarraidh" is very different from the one in "faireachdainn", the latter one often sounds almost like /ð/ to learners.
the "c" in "ciamar" has a bit of a /j/ sound after it, but only very slightly. It's more like the place where you pronounce the "c", further in the front than a "c" followed by a, o or u.

The n's in "faireachdainn" and "ainm" are slightly nasal in comparison to "bean", where it is a simple n.

I suggest http://www.akerbeltz.org for an in-depth study of Gaelic phonology, and then lots of listening. You should not use textbooks without audio materials anyway, at least not for a start.
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Postby ego » 2007-01-28, 9:59

Thanks a lot! I remember I was using that page you just provided me but I had lost the address when I formatted my pc.

The problem is I bought the book without the audio and I have regretted for Gaelic is tough to pronounce. I'm trying to download it now.

When I have diphthongs like ai or ia, I can't be sure whether both vowels are pronounced or one of them is only used to alter the preceding or following consonant's pronunciation.

Perhaps I should make a recording of myself and you tell me if you understand anything of what I say :lol: .

About the rr/r. Would you say the rr is more trilled, like the Spanish r, while the r is more instant?

And finally, the difference between aige and aice is that a slight [h] sound comes before c, while not before g?

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Postby ego » 2007-02-02, 14:49

Feasgar math dhuibh,

Tha urrainn dhomh a bhruighinn Gàidhlig nas fheàrr a-nis. Nach an Gàidhlig a tha brèagha? Tha mi air ann (lesson) 5 ach tha mi a smaoineachadh chan eil an "Colloquial Gaelic" leabhar math :? .

I have some questions about points that the book doesn't explain. Please be as kind to help:

1. I read that there are two pronouns for "thou": thu and tu. What's the difference?

2. I read that with expressions like "tha urainn dhomh, bu chòir dhomh" etc, infinitive must follow, and the infinitive is lenited. But then I found these phrases:

Chan urrainn dhi seinn
Chan urrainn dhomh coiseachd

Should they be "sheinn" and "choiseachd"?

3. My book says nothing (yet?) about relative clauses in Gaelic. In phrases like "I want to go", "I will try to speak", "He told her to sing" etc, what verb forms do I use in Gaelic where English uses infinitives? Infinitives as well? Is there any pattern how to form infinitives?

Tapadh leat, mar sin leat

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Postby nighean-neonach » 2007-02-02, 18:10

ego wrote:When I have diphthongs like ai or ia, I can't be sure whether both vowels are pronounced or one of them is only used to alter the preceding or following consonant's pronunciation.


Yeah well, if you have an -e- or -i- before and after a consonant, it's often just there to mark the palatal = slender pronunciation. Similarly, an -o- and -a- might just be there to mark broad pronunciation.
Hard to explain, but you'll get a feeling for it when you do a lot of reading and listening...

Perhaps I should make a recording of myself and you tell me if you understand anything of what I say :lol: .


Well, why not? :D That's a good idea. As soon as I get a new headset and my term holidays at university begin I will be on Skype more regularly again and we can also meet there and have a try. I know quite a lot of Gaelic speakers and learners who meet on Skype to practice and chat.

About the rr/r. Would you say the rr is more trilled, like the Spanish r, while the r is more instant?


I'm not quite sure what a Spanish r sounds like. Anyway, the -rr- is more in the back of the mouth and also more heavily pronounced, while the single -r- between a/o/u vowels is more relaxed, and between e/i, as I said, is quite close to your teeth.

And finally, the difference between aige and aice is that a slight [h] sound comes before c, while not before g?
[/quote]

Yeah right, that's called pre-aspiration, and it's a very interesting feature, because Irish Gaelic does not have it at all, and the only other European languages which have it are Saami, Finnish, (maybe Estonian?), and Icelandic.

In "aige" the g is voiceless, almost like k, and in "aice" there is actually a /ç/ sound, like in German "ich".

This happens with p, t and c when they are between vowels, or after a vowel, so for example the well known word for son = mac is pronounced /maxk/ or at least /mahk/ in most dialects.
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Postby nighean-neonach » 2007-02-02, 19:26

Nì mi beagan ceartachaidh air do chuid sgrìobhaidh :) I'll correct your text a bit:

[s]Tha[/s] Is urrainn dhomh [s]a bhruighinn[/s] Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn nas fheàrr a-nis. [s]Nach an Gàidhlig a tha brèagha?[/s] 1. Nach eil Gàidhlig brèagha? 2. Nach ann brèagha a tha a' Ghàidhlig? Tha mi [s]air[/s] aig [s]ann (lesson) 5[/s] 1. leasan a còig 2. a' chòigeamh leasan ach tha mi a smaoineachadh [s]chan[/s] nach eil an [s]"Colloquial Gaelic"[/s] leabhar "Colloquial Gaelic" math :? .


Glè mhath! Cha robh sin dona idir :) Carson nach eil an leabhar math? Tha mise a' smaoineachadh gu bheil e ceart gu leòr. Tha "Teach yourself Gaelic" math cuideachd.


1. I read that there are two pronouns for "thou": thu and tu. What's the difference?


Eh, stick with "thu" right now. "tu" appears in certain grammatical situation, because it's actually de-lenition of "thu" (in Irish Gaelic it's regularly "tú"). But don't worry about that right now, "thu" is alright for the situations and patterns you encounter right now.

2. I read that with expressions like "[s]tha[/s] is urainn dhomh, bu chòir dhomh" etc, infinitive must follow, and the infinitive is lenited. But then I found these phrases:


Attention: There is NOTHING like an infinitive in Gaelic. Forget that :) I know that most books use this word and it's very misleading.

Gaelic verbs have a stem, and a verbal noun. The verbal noun is the thing that is very often formed with an -(e)adh ending, like:
sgrìobh -> sgrìobhadh.

The verbal noun is a bit like a present participle in English or other languages.
Tha mi a' sgrìobhadh = (literally:) Is me at writing.
This is fundamental for understanding a lot of important patterns in the language.

Now, with some phrases the verbal noun is lenited by a preceding preposition "do" or "a", for example:
Tha mi ag iarraidh taigh a cheannachd = (literally:) Is I at wanting house to buying.
It is very important to keep in mind that this is NOT an infinitive, even if it might superficially look like that from an English perspective.
Look at some more sentences with direct objects in the form of nouns and pronouns:

Tha mi ag iarraidh ubhlan a cheannachd = I want to buy apples.
Tha mi ag iarraidh an ceannachd = I want to buy them (literally: Is me at wanting their buying)

Chan urrainn dhomh do thuigsinn = I can't understand you (literally: Not-is ability to-me your understanding)

Chan urrainn dhomh Alasdair a thuigsinn = I can't understand Alasdair.
Chan urrainn dhomh a thuigsinn = I can't understand him (literally: Not-is ability to-me his understanding)

Chan urrainn dhomh Màiri a thuigsinn = I can't understand Màiri.
Chan urrainn dhomh a tuigsinn = I can't understand her (literally: Not-is ability to-me her understanding)

As you see, the verbal noun is lenited or not lenited according to the possessive pronoun preceding it.

Actually I think this is still a bit difficult for you and you should do it step by step and not too much at once :)


3. My book says nothing (yet?) about relative clauses in Gaelic. In phrases like "I want to go", "I will try to speak", "He told her to sing" etc, what verb forms do I use in Gaelic where English uses infinitives? Infinitives as well? Is there any pattern how to form infinitives?


This has actually nothing to do with relative clauses, it's the pattern I've shown you above. But I do think you should stick to more simple patterns for a while and practice them step by step...

Cùm ort leis a' Ghàidhlig! :)
M
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Postby ego » 2007-02-04, 8:47

I said it's not a good book because it does not explain these things, just as you did. It rather gives these sentences entire at the vocabulary to be memorized! This is what I hate most about such books. I don't want to memorize whole sentences, I want to understand them and be able to construct them myself. But anyway, this book is my only choice so I'll stick with it.

My book writes "tha urrainn dhomh". Why did you correct it? :cry:

Also I've been taught expressions like "Nach mi a tha gòrach!" so I guessed it would be "nach a' Ghàidhlig a tha brèagha!". Why did you add "eil" after nach?

Thanks for your explanations about the stem/noun system. It seems quite clear. So "I want to buy apples" is litterally "I want the apples' buying" in Gaelic?
Another question now, is when do I use the verbal noun and when the stem? I think I need some explanation on the use and formation of tenses because my book won't explain them. Could you give me a table of Gaelic tenses and their formation (regular verbs only).

Thanks a lot and sorry if I tire you

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2007-02-04, 8:53

ego wrote:I think I need some explanation on the use and formation of tenses because my book won't explain them. Could you give me a table of Gaelic tenses and their formation (regular verbs only).

Ever checked http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/taic.htm? The lessons and appendices on the tenses might be interesting for you to read. :)
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Postby ego » 2007-02-04, 9:25

Psi-Lord wrote:
ego wrote:I think I need some explanation on the use and formation of tenses because my book won't explain them. Could you give me a table of Gaelic tenses and their formation (regular verbs only).

Ever checked http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/taic.htm? The lessons and appendices on the tenses might be interesting for you to read. :)


WOW! Thanks, that's a great site. If I knew it I wouldn't buy that silly book! Audio files too at last!! :burning: Pitty I am leaving for Cyprus tomorrow. But I'll visit an internet cafe in Nicosia as soon as possible and print the most important lessons :D .

Now there is only one question in my mind: Are there patterns how to form infinitives, verbal nouns, roots etc. or should I memorize them for each verb?

Btw can someone recommend a good but not too big English-Gaelic-English dictionary?

Tapadh leibh!

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Postby OCCASVS » 2007-02-04, 10:31

Psi-Lord wrote:Ever checked http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/taic.htm?

Is the speaker of these audio file a native Gaelic speaker?

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Postby nighean-neonach » 2007-02-04, 13:37

ego wrote:My book writes "tha urrainn dhomh". Why did you correct it? :cry:


Because it's wrong. It's definitely "is urrainn...", no "tha" there at all.

Also I've been taught expressions like "Nach mi a tha gòrach!" so I guessed it would be "nach a' Ghàidhlig a tha brèagha!". Why did you add "eil" after nach?


Well, because your sentence just didn't make sense to me :) To use a similar structure like "nach mi tha gòrach" you could say "nach brèagha a tha a' Ghàidhlig". It's different anyway with nouns and personal pronouns, it's not completely the same pattern.

Thanks for your explanations about the stem/noun system. It seems quite clear. So "I want to buy apples" is litterally "I want the apples' buying" in Gaelic?


You can't translate it exactly literally, but as I wrote above it is something like "Is me at wanting the apples to buying". It does not make sense in English, I know, but you just have to get used to the Gaelic structures... don't do too much at once, step by step!

Another question now, is when do I use the verbal noun and when the stem? I think I need some explanation on the use and formation of tenses because my book won't explain them. Could you give me a table of Gaelic tenses and their formation (regular verbs only).


TAIC is really a great site, but again I'd suggest to go step by step, and *not* to start looking at the whole table of tenses! The most important thing (with every language) is to look at one structure and then practice it until you are really certain about it, then take the next one and practice again etc. :)
Listening and speaking is very important because it makes you remember patterns and structures and idiomatic expressions much better.
So, instead of printing out random lessons of TAIC, you should really go step by step, one lesson at a time, listen to all the stuff, repeat it, do all the exercises, etc.

A useful dictionary for a beginner would be the "Teach yourself Gaelic" dictionary by Iain Taylor and Boyd Robertson - do not confuse it with the learners' textbook of the same title. It has both directions, Gaelic -> English and English > Gaelic and covers all the vocabulary (with grammatical info) you need for a start.

And yes, there are certain patterns how to form the verbal nouns from verb stems, but for a start it's best to learn them with each verb and to practice them a lot :)

And yes, TAIC is done by a native speaker. Another good site for the sounds of Gaelic is http://www.akerbeltz.org which is done by a non-native speaker, but he has better Gaelic than lots of native speakers ;)
M
Writing poetry in: Scottish Gaelic, German, English.
Reading poetry in: Latin, Old Irish, French, Ancient Greek, Old Norse.
Talking to people in the shop in: Lithuanian, Norwegian, Irish Gaelic, Saami.
Listening to people talking in the shop in: Icelandic, Greenlandic, Finnish.


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