Gaeilge - Caoimhín

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 15:39

linguoboy wrote:
kevin wrote:Well, I have to pronounce something in my head so I can remember the word between reading and typing it. I think in this case it was more or less the right thing, but when I can't figure out immediately how it's pronounced, which happens a lot in Irish, the word tends to end up in my head pronounced as if it was a German word - which is, obviously, horribly wrong. I guess I should get that stopped asap, before too much damage is done.

If you like, I can provide some transcriptions. Of course, they'll be for Munster dialect (though I can leave out some of the odder local developments, such as [d̪ɾʲɪˈfuːɾˠ] for deirfiúr).


I don't think there's anything odd about that pronunciation (other than, obviously, it's not pronounced like it's spelt). I pronounce I like that (as if it was spelt dreifiúr), as does everyone else I've heard.

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-12, 15:53

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:If you like, I can provide some transcriptions. Of course, they'll be for Munster dialect (though I can leave out some of the odder local developments, such as [d̪ɾʲɪˈfuːɾˠ] for deirfiúr).

I don't think there's anything odd about that pronunciation (other than, obviously, it's not pronounced like it's spelt). I pronounce I like that (as if it was spelt dreifiúr), as does everyone else I've heard.

[d̪ɾʲɪˈfuːɾˠ] is not dreifiúr; it's driofúr.
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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 16:01

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:If you like, I can provide some transcriptions. Of course, they'll be for Munster dialect (though I can leave out some of the odder local developments, such as [d̪ɾʲɪˈfuːɾˠ] for deirfiúr).

I don't think there's anything odd about that pronunciation (other than, obviously, it's not pronounced like it's spelt). I pronounce I like that (as if it was spelt dreifiúr), as does everyone else I've heard.

[d̪ɾʲɪˈfuːɾˠ] is not dreifiúr; it's driofúr.


Okay, I see, but I think the main noticeable difference is still the switching the "r" and the vowel in the first syllable.

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby kevin » 2013-02-12, 20:13

Ciarán12 wrote:Now you make me feel bad. I have access to many more (and probably much better) resources and I've been at this longer, but I still make frequent errors. I try to work stuff out logically, but often I just can't find the answers I'm looking for. Doesn't seem like you have that problem. It took me ages to know enough about it even to know what sections of the grammar books to consult about a given problem, and even now I get confused by it frequently.

It wasn't my intention to make you feeld bad, nor do I think there's any reason for it. You already agreed that it's not a good idea to compare with each other, but as you're doing it anyway... I can't watch you while you're translation, but I'm pretty sure that you invest not nearly as much time in each sentence you translate as I do at the moment. As soon as I'll stop looking up every single detail I'll start making much more mistakes - which will hopefully get better over time, but I would never expect to become perfect. Similarly, I think it's only natural that you still make errors after only a few years of seriously learning the language.

Now maybe I'm a bit at advantage with looking up stuff in the grammar because when you learn Latin and Greek at school instead of living languages, you are much more focussed on formal grammar, and that may help with handling things. Not sure, though, it may just as well be that it takes me the same time as you to find and understand things.

Finally, I'm not sure if having more resources is always helpful. In sum, they probably give you a little more information, but you also get lots of duplicated information and you need to manage all of it. I don't think at the moment I could cope with having more of them, I would simply lose the overview. Pretending that the one grammar I use contains everything I need for now feels like the right way.

On the up side, Irish people would find it hilarious.

That's probably great for them, but not exactly my goal... ;)

Oddly, even though most Irish people don't speak Irish, we find foreigners' mispronunciation of Irish amazingly funny. Basically because the idea if a foreigner learning Irish is in itself funny.

Which in turn I find funny. But yeah, it's probably the same for all languages with only few learners. For example, my Czech teacher told us as well that nobody would expect any foreigner to speak Czech.

linguoboy wrote:If you like, I can provide some transcriptions. Of course, they'll be for Munster dialect (though I can leave out some of the odder local developments, such as [d̪ɾʲɪˈfuːɾˠ] for deirfiúr).

You mean now I have to learn Irish and IPA? :lol:

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-12, 20:34

Ciarán12 wrote:Bhí fearg air toisc nach raibh an páiste a hobair bhaile déanta aici.

This escaped my attention earlier, but the syntax on that second clause is really weird. Remember that the so-called "perfect" in Irish is essentially a stative passive. The object is promoted to subject, the verb is replaced with a verbal adjective, and the subject--if it is retained--is given in a prepositional phrase. So:

Dhún an doras "I closed the door" > an doras dúnta agam. "The door is closed by me".

In the same way, "The child has done her homework" becomes "The homework is done by the child". So if an páiste appears in the final sentence at all, it should be as the object of ag, not floating in subject position before obair bhaile.

As for obair bhaile, this is not a count noun and can't take a possessive determiner in Traditional Irish. There the practice is make it a partitive genitive with cuid and put the determiner on that, i.e. a cuid obair bhaile "her [share of] homework".

So the revised sentence should be:

Bhí fearg air toisc nach raibh a chuid obair bhaile déanta ag an bpáiste. (Or, if using only pronouns, Bhí fearg air toisc nach raibh a cuid obair bhaile déanta aici.)
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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-12, 20:45

kevin wrote:
linguoboy wrote:If you like, I can provide some transcriptions. Of course, they'll be for Munster dialect (though I can leave out some of the odder local developments, such as [d̪ɾʲɪˈfuːɾˠ] for deirfiúr).
You mean now I have to learn Irish and IPA? :lol:

Not necessarily. I can use the kind of broad phonemic transcription preferred by writers like Ó Siadhail. It has the advantage of being supradialectal. That is, given /folaːnˊ/, you can equally well arrive at both Munster [fʷəˈlˠɑːnʲ] and Ulster [ˈfʷɔlˠänʲ].
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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby kevin » 2013-02-12, 21:41

Great, then all that's missing would be a valid mapping from this transcription to actual sounds (that I ideally can even pronounce) ;)

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 22:06

kevin wrote:It wasn't my intention to make you feeld bad, nor do I think there's any reason for it. You already agreed that it's not a good idea to compare with each other, but as you're doing it anyway... I can't watch you while you're translation, but I'm pretty sure that you invest not nearly as much time in each sentence you translate as I do at the moment.


Yes, we agreed not to make comparisons, I just wanted to answer your question about why I was so impressed. I'm sure I don't spend as much time looking things up, I write the majority of it without looking anything up.

kevin wrote:As soon as I'll stop looking up every single detail I'll start making much more mistakes - which will hopefully get better over time, but I would never expect to become perfect. Similarly, I think it's only natural that you still make errors after only a few years of seriously learning the language.
Now maybe I'm a bit at advantage with looking up stuff in the grammar because when you learn Latin and Greek at school instead of living languages, you are much more focussed on formal grammar, and that may help with handling things. Not sure, though, it may just as well be that it takes me the same time as you to find and understand things.


It would seem reasonable to assume you'd be more used to learning things that way. I keep trying to learn Old Irish, but the entire process of learning a dead language seems to be different, and it's extremely grammar-dense. I'm not too bad with grammatical explanations, I'm probably halfway between you and one of those people whose scared off by the mere mention of "nouns" or "adverbs" or anything grammatical at all (and plenty of people like that still manage to become completely fluent in foreign languages).

kevin wrote:Finally, I'm not sure if having more resources is always helpful. In sum, they probably give you a little more information, but you also get lots of duplicated information and you need to manage all of it. I don't think at the moment I could cope with having more of them, I would simply lose the overview. Pretending that the one grammar I use contains everything I need for now feels like the right way.


That's probably true. I am glad, however, that I have a copy of Cruinnscríon na Gaeilge (a really good Irish grammar that's in Irish) and Ó Dónaill's Gaeilge-Béarla and Béarla-Gaeilge dictionaries (as for as I'm aware, it's the most authoritative Irish dictionary around), and I doubt I'd get them too easily outside Ireland.

kevin wrote:
Oddly, even though most Irish people don't speak Irish, we find foreigners' mispronunciation of Irish amazingly funny. Basically because the idea if a foreigner learning Irish is in itself funny.

Which in turn I find funny. But yeah, it's probably the same for all languages with only few learners. For example, my Czech teacher told us as well that nobody would expect any foreigner to speak Czech.


Yeah, it's really just the sheer unexpectedness of hearing Irish in a foreign accent. It happens so rarely. Most people I know usually love it (that someone is taking such an interest), but I've heard stories from some about people being resentful - if a foreigner can learn Irish, it kind of takes away their excuse not to learn it (which is usually either "It's too hard" or "The education system taught it to me so badly").

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Bhí fearg air toisc nach raibh an páiste a hobair bhaile déanta aici.

This escaped my attention earlier, but the syntax on that second clause is really weird. Remember that the so-called "perfect" in Irish is essentially a stative passive. The object is promoted to subject, the verb is replaced with a verbal adjective, and the subject--if it is retained--is given in a prepositional phrase. So:

Dhún an doras "I closed the door" > an doras dúnta agam. "The door is closed by me".

In the same way, "The child has done her homework" becomes "The homework is done by the child". So if an páiste appears in the final sentence at all, it should be as the object of ag, not floating in subject position before obair bhaile.



Yeah, I noticed my mistake earlier and meant to go back and correct it, sorry. I understand how the whole "(Form of "bí") + (what would be the Object in English (but in Irish is taking the position of the subject)) + (Verbal Adjective) + ( "ag" + what would be the Subject in English OR form of "ag" inflected for person)" thing works. I see now what you mean about it being a sort of passive (in that it maches up quite well with the English "the homework is done by the child"), but I always thought of the "tá....ag...." as the same construction used for possession in Irish, and thus being literally "The child has their done homework".

The child has their homework
a cuid obair bhaile ag an bpáiste.

The child has their homework done/ The child has done their homework.
a cuid obair bhaile déanta ag an bpáiste.

linguoboy wrote:As for obair bhaile, this is not a count noun and can't take a possessive determiner in Traditional Irish. There the practice is make it a partitive genitive with cuid and put the determiner on that, i.e. a cuid obair bhaile "her [share of] homework".

So the revised sentence should be:

Bhí fearg air toisc nach raibh a chuid obair bhaile déanta ag an bpáiste. (Or, if using only pronouns, Bhí fearg air toisc nach raibh a cuid obair bhaile déanta aici.)


Yeah, I just tend to learn which nouns take "cuid" before them when used with possessive pronouns as I go. I didn't know obair bhaile was one. Shows you how much of mo chuid obair bhaile I did in school...

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 22:08

kevin wrote:Great, then all that's missing would be a valid mapping from this transcription to actual sounds (that I ideally can even pronounce) ;)


Maybe it would be easier to give "English" phonetic approximations, for the time being? Maybe with some added notes to make it sound more natural...

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-12, 22:18

Ciarán12 wrote:
kevin wrote:Great, then all that's missing would be a valid mapping from this transcription to actual sounds (that I ideally can even pronounce) ;)

Maybe it would be easier to give "English" phonetic approximations, for the time being? Maybe with some added notes to make it sound more natural...

Oder eventuell Deutsch?

I never like to do this because, as kevin says, isn't the whole point of having a transcription not to pick up bad habits? Irish spoken with real blas sounds very different from English (or German or any other language). There's really no substitute for learning the actual sounds involved. I'm still trying to unlearn poor associations resulting from the sloppy approximations I used to make when first starting out.
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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby kevin » 2013-02-12, 22:36

I agree. Even with my limited IPA, it's better than any of these. I absolutely hate English "approximations" where usually at least the vowels are completely off and the spelling rules aren't always obvious anyway. German tends work a little bit better, but it doesn't have all the sounds, so it's not really good either.

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 22:38

linguoboy wrote:Oder eventuell Deutsch?

I never like to do this because, as kevin says, isn't the whole point of having a transcription not to pick up bad habits? Irish spoken with real blas sounds very different from English (or German or any other language). There's really no substitute for learning the actual sounds involved. I'm still trying to unlearn poor associations resulting from the sloppy approximations I used to make when first starting out.


True, but the danger with Irish spelling is that you might end up pronouncing it so far off from what it actually is that you are completely unintelligible. Though English-based or German-based approximations are not ideal, it should be possible to transcribe them in such a way as to make it understandable (even if with a heavy accent). For points of pronunciation that are crucial to making it understandable, other notes (as I suggested) and be given. I still think kevin should start trying to master the Irish orthography and the phonology it represents, but temporarily, it might work, no? I understand your hesitation though...

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 22:40

kevin wrote:I agree. Even with my limited IPA, it's better than any of these. I absolutely hate English "approximations" where usually at least the vowels are completely off and the spelling rules aren't always obvious anyway. German tends work a little bit better, but it doesn't have all the sounds, so it's not really good either.


Okay. You know, you don't have to learn the entire IPA, just the amount needed to transcribe Irish.

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-12, 22:46

Ciarán12 wrote:
kevin wrote:I agree. Even with my limited IPA, it's better than any of these. I absolutely hate English "approximations" where usually at least the vowels are completely off and the spelling rules aren't always obvious anyway. German tends work a little bit better, but it doesn't have all the sounds, so it's not really good either.

Okay. You know, you don't have to learn the entire IPA, just the amount needed to transcribe Irish.

The big thing to get down is the difference between broad and slender. It's crucial to distinguishing meanings and it affects the whole sound of the word. In fact, the quality of the short vowels is almost entirely predictable from knowing just the height and the quality of the flanking consonants. (Ó Siadhail's transcription reflects this by using the intermediate representations /ɰ/ for the high vowel and /ɵ/ for the mid.)
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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby kevin » 2013-02-12, 22:54

My problem in IPA is mostly with the diacritics and similar things. I mean, I don't recognise every plain symbol either, but there are enough recordings for them on the internet (which doesn't mean that I can actually pronounce them, but at least I can get the idea). Just when I encounter things like ˠ I have no real idea what to do with them and what they mean in combination with the letter they modify.

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 23:09

kevin wrote:My problem in IPA is mostly with the diacritics and similar things. I mean, I don't recognise every plain symbol either, but there are enough recordings for them on the internet (which doesn't mean that I can actually pronounce them, but at least I can get the idea). Just when I encounter things like ˠ I have no real idea what to do with them and what they mean in combination with the letter they modify.


Well "ˠ " and "ʲ" are the only two I think you'll find for Irish. Unfortunately, they don't have the same effect on all consonants, so the "broad" consonants (followed in IPA by "ˠ ") and the "slender" consonants (followed in IPA by "ʲ") kind of have to be learned off individually. It's generally true that "broad" consonants are followed by a short glide (a [w] if the consonant is labial and a kind of velar [w] else where) and that "slender" consonants are followed by a [j]-glide, but (for me anyway) that's not the only thing that changes in some cases. Also, I have many instances of neither velar nor palatalised consonants ("bean", for example - I do not pronounce this as [bjan̪], but more as [ban] (maybe [bɛ̯an̪]), but "beart" is [bjaɹt̪] to me).

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-12, 23:12

BTW, I have no problem posting recordings (though I'm not a native, and my pronunciations (or at the very least the pronunciations I've transcribed) have been hotly contested by linguoboy before, so if I did post any, you'd want to wait until linguoboy vetoed them.

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-13, 4:21

There's always http://www.abair.tcd.ie/.
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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-13, 4:35

linguoboy wrote:There's always http://www.abair.tcd.ie/.


I put some of the texts we've come up with on this thread so far through it on the Connemara synthesiser, and surprisingly it did an amazing job. Except for the weird robot intonation, it was pretty much perfect. I had never run more than a few words through at a time, but it seems to work very well.

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Re: Gaeilge - Caoimhín

Postby kevin » 2013-02-13, 8:48

Ciarán12 wrote:Well "ˠ " and "ʲ" are the only two I think you'll find for Irish. Unfortunately, they don't have the same effect on all consonants, so the "broad" consonants (followed in IPA by "ˠ ") and the "slender" consonants (followed in IPA by "ʲ") kind of have to be learned off individually.

Is that true to this extent with actual phonetic transcription? I always thought there was some system behind it that and I would just have to learn what it is. :para:

It's generally true that "broad" consonants are followed by a short glide (a [w] if the consonant is labial and a kind of velar [w] else where) and that "slender" consonants are followed by a [j]-glide, but (for me anyway) that's not the only thing that changes in some cases.

So would actually define the difference using the glide sounds? The way I read it so far is that the difference is in the consonants themselves and the glide sounds are just artefacts that happen to occur when you pronounce a slender consonant next to a broad vowel (or vice versa).

Also, I have many instances of neither velar nor palatalised consonants ("bean", for example - I do not pronounce this as [bjan̪], but more as [ban] (maybe [bɛ̯an̪]), but "beart" is [bjaɹt̪] to me).

Great. Any way to predict this?

Oh, and if you feel like recording something, it can only help. :)


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