Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

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silmeth
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Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby silmeth » 2013-11-22, 15:34

Haigh, cad é mar atá siḃ? Benedykt is ainm dom, is as Ṗolainn mé agus táim ag foġlaim teanga na hÉireann le cúpla bliain aċ níl mórán Gaeilge agam.

Hello, as I said I’ve been trying for a few years to learn Irish, but unfortunately I always made some long breaks and eventually learned close to nothing, and most of what I’ve learnt, I forgot. Now I’m beginning again, with help of Polish-language book An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik języka irlandzkiego by Aidan Doyle & Edmund Gussmann and some shared decks (especially the [gaeltach poznań] ones) for Anki learning program.

Also I try to watch some TG4 and RTÉ ONE programs with English subtitles to make myself familiar with the sounds of the language, and I’ll try to learn by heart and translate some Irish songs. This method helped me much with Czech and Ukrainian (but they are languages very close to my mother-tongue, so it was much easier).

Hopefully this time I’ll learn some more :). I’ll be very grateful for correcting any mistakes I make in my Irish, preferably with explanation what actually is wrong. :)

In this topic I’ll post my Irish-related questions, from time to time try to write something in Irish, until I have the knowledge that will allow me to communicate more freely.

First question: less about the language itself, more about writing system – does anybody these days use dots over letter to indicate lenition (like I did above with Ṗ, ḃ, ġ etc.)? If so – is it used at all in Roman type, or only in Gaelic type? Is the latter used anywhere these days except for some memorial plates?

Second one: can you recommend any good online Irish dictionaries, which give grammatical info such as type of mutation word makes, case in which the verb takes its object etc.? For now I’m using mainly English wiktionary and Google Translate…
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl), Is Gaelainn na Mumhan atá á foghlaim agam (ga) ((ga-M)), mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs), Jeg lærer meg bokmål på Duolingo (no-nb) (og eg ville lære nynorsk ein gong (no-nn))

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Re: Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby linguoboy » 2013-11-22, 16:06

silmeth wrote:Haigh, cad é mar atá siḃ? Benedykt is ainm dom, is as Ṗolainn mé agus táim ag foġlaim teanga na hÉireann le cúpla bliain aċ níl mórán Gaeilge agam.

Dia dhuit, a Bhenedykt! Ní ghlaofainn "teanga na hÉireann" ar Ghaeilge dá mba mise tusa, toisc gur í "teanga na hÉireann" Béarla ar na saolta seo leis agus níor mhian leat stuaic a chur ar daoine.

silmeth wrote:First question: less about the language itself, more about writing system – does anybody these days use dots over letter to indicate lenition (like I did above with Ṗ, ḃ, ġ etc.)? If so – is it used at all in Roman type, or only in Gaelic type? Is the latter used anywhere these days except for some memorial plates?

With very few (idiosyncratic) exceptions, I have only seen them used in Gaelic type and that I only see used for decorative purposes. (Not just memorial plates but also jewellery inscriptions, tattoos, captions on murals, etc.)

silmeth wrote:Second one: can you recommend any good online Irish dictionaries, which give grammatical info such as type of mutation word makes, case in which the verb takes its object etc.? For now I’m using mainly English wiktionary and Google Translate…

I'm not sure I understand the question. The mutations work the same for all words. Wiktionary is the only dictionary I've seen give mutational paradigms for particular nouns, but as you know the total inventory is only about 1,000 words. Or are you asking for information on which mutations follow particular words? This is trickier, as it often depends on syntax. And when you say "case in which the verb takes its object", do you mean whether the verb is transitive or intransitive? Because all nouns will be in the same "case" after an Irish verb (i.e. nominative-accusative if it's conjugated, genitive or nominative-accusative after a verb-noun depending on the construction).

(And I know you didn't ask about this, but I find it a bit jarring to see cad é mar atá sibh [super-Ulster] used in the same short paragraph with táim and mórán [as Munster as the day is long]. I'm not familiar with Doyle & Gussmann; does it really mix dialects like that or is this just the natural result of having used multiple resources?)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby silmeth » 2013-11-22, 16:35

linguoboy wrote:Dia dhuit, a Bhenedykt! Ní ghlaofainn "teanga na hÉireann" ar Ghaeilge dá mba mise tusa, toisc gur í "teanga na hÉireann" Béarla ar na saolta seo leis agus níor mhian leat stuaic a chur ar daoine.

I am not sure if I understood correctly, but still I would call Irish “teanga na hÉireann”. English might be the most used language (and de facto the first official one, despite government regulations) but I would still not call it “language of Ireland” when native Celtic language is official, is still used by some people (however small this group is). But anyway, it is political discussion which I, especially as foreigner who also doesn’t already know the speech, do not want to continue. :)

linguoboy wrote:With very few (idiosyncratic) exceptions, I have only seen them used in Gaelic type and that I only see used for decorative purposes. (Not just memorial plates but also jewellery inscriptions, tattoos, captions on murals, etc.)

OK, so I thought. But I can recall some Irish-language website I’ve seen a few years ago (hmm, some Irishman’s blog? dunno…) on which one could choose all texts to be displayed with dots or hs (and both rendered in Roman type). Cannot find it now, anyway.

linguoboy wrote:I'm not sure I understand the question. The mutations work the same for all words. Wiktionary is the only dictionary I've seen give mutational paradigms for particular nouns, but as you know the total inventory is only about 1,000 words. Or are you asking for information on which mutations follow particular words? This is trickier, as it often depends on syntax. And when you say "case in which the verb takes its object", do you mean whether the verb is transitive or intransitive? Because all nouns will be in the same "case" after an Irish verb (i.e. nominative-accusative if it's conjugated, genitive or nominative-accusative after a verb-noun depending on the construction).

As I said, I know almost nothing at the moment about Irish grammar, so also did not know how declension system works in this language (in particular I didn’t know if genitive can work as a direct object, eg. in Slavic languages some nouns have accusative equal to nominative while other to genitive, in some situations only genitive is used etc.). Thank you for clarification. :)

As for mutations – yes, I meant what mutation follows given word, and in what context. That seems to be very useful information.

linguoboy wrote:(And I know you didn't ask about this, but I find it a bit jarring to see cad é mar atá sibh [super-Ulster] used in the same short paragraph with táim and mórán [as Munster as the day is long]. I'm not familiar with Doyle & Gussmann; does it really mix dialects like that or is this just the natural result of having used multiple resources?)

It’s result of mixing resources. Doyle & Gussman teach Munster Irish (in modern standardised orthography), while shared decks from [gaeltacht poznań] apparently teach Ulster. Anyway, thank you for pointing this out.

I still will learn from both sources (it’s easier for me to faster obtain some basic concepts of the language), but I will try to pay more attention to dialectal differences and try not to mix them in one text. :)
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl), Is Gaelainn na Mumhan atá á foghlaim agam (ga) ((ga-M)), mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs), Jeg lærer meg bokmål på Duolingo (no-nb) (og eg ville lære nynorsk ein gong (no-nn))

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Re: Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby linguoboy » 2013-11-22, 17:15

silmeth wrote:I am not sure if I understood correctly, but still I would call Irish “teanga na hÉireann”. English might be the most used language (and de facto the first official one, despite government regulations) but I would still not call it “language of Ireland” when native Celtic language is official, is still used by some people (however small this group is). But anyway, it is political discussion which I, especially as foreigner who also doesn’t already know the speech, do not want to continue.

You're right, it is a political discussion, which is exactly why I would avoid a politically-loaded term such as "teanga na hÉireann".

silmeth wrote:
linguoboy wrote:With very few (idiosyncratic) exceptions, I have only seen them used in Gaelic type and that I only see used for decorative purposes. (Not just memorial plates but also jewellery inscriptions, tattoos, captions on murals, etc.)

OK, so I thought. But I can recall some Irish-language website I’ve seen a few years ago (hmm, some Irishman’s blog? dunno…) on which one could choose all texts to be displayed with dots or hs (and both rendered in Roman type).

Like I said, idiosyncratic exceptions. I've spend a fair bit of time on Irish-language fora and I can only recall on poster out of hundreds regularly using the ponc scriosta.

silmeth wrote:As I said, I know almost nothing at the moment about Irish grammar, so also did not know how declension system works in this language (in particular I didn’t know if genitive can work as a direct object, eg. in Slavic languages some nouns have accusative equal to nominative while other to genitive, in some situations only genitive is used etc.).

The direct object only appears in the genitive in certain verbal noun constructions--namely, when the noun follows the verbal noun and is either (a) definite or (b) indefinite and not further qualified.

Here are some examples. (I'm using Munster forms here because (a) that's the variety I'm most comfortable with and (b) the distinctions are clearer than in some other dialects. For reference, Gaelainn (genitive Gaelainne) = Standard Gaeilge and teanga (genitive teangan) = Standard teanga).

Is mian liom an teanga d'fhoghaim. (Preceding the verbal noun and definite. No genitive.)
Is main liom Gaelainn d'fhoghaim. (Preceding the verbal noun and indefinite. No genitive.)
Is mian liom teanga Cheilteach d'fhoghaim. (Preceding the verbal noun and indefinite. No genitive.)

Táim ag foghlaim na teangan. (Following the verbal noun and definite. Genitive.)
Táim ag foghlaim Gaelainne. (Following the verbal noun, indefinite, not further qualified. Genitive.)
Táim ag foghlaim teanga Cheilteach. (Following the verbal noun, indefinite, and further qualified. No genitive.)

There's also a special case when the noun is definite and qualified by a definite noun in the genitive. (This is a special construction in Irish, and represents an exception to several other grammatical rules as well.)

Táim ag foghlaim Gaelainn na Mumhan. (Following the verbal noun, definite, but qualified by another definite noun. Genitive on the second noun but not the first.)

I hope that wasn't too confusing!

silmeth wrote:As for mutations – yes, I meant what mutation follows given word, and in what context. That seems to be very useful information.

You can find a summary of the rules here: http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/anlaut1.htm. In general, I find trying to memorise all the conditions from the outset is not at all helpful. It's best to learn them from exposure, but there's a lot of variation. (Some is a feature of the language, but most is due to faulty learning.) So it's good to have the list to refer to when you're puzzled why a mutation is or isn't present in a particular case.

silmeth wrote:I still will learn from both sources (it’s easier for me to faster obtain some basic concepts of the language), but I will try to pay more attention to dialectal differences and try not to mix them in one text. :)

At this stage, I wouldn't worry too much about that. Unless your goal is to master a particular dialect, better to use what you know and learn what you can where you can. You can always sort it all out later.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby ceid donn » 2013-11-22, 20:09

Re: your first question--

I think it's a bit of a pity that clò gaelach script has not seen a resurgence. Sadly people who are for it, like myself, are in the slim minority, as the majority of speakers are very comfortable with regular modern Latin fonts, which are currently far more compatible with current communication technology than a script that has almost completely fallen out of use and does have a few special requirements, like those dotted characters. Early 20th century methods of mass printing is one of the main reason it fell out of favor--it was becoming an expensive luxury with the technology they had to print for a dwindling number of minority speakers in a special script when the dominant language's script could be used. But for 21th century digital communication, expense wouldn't be an issue--just compatibility, which has its own headaches. However, if we did revive it, I think it may help people appreciate the Gaelic languages a bit more, instead of looking at them written in regular Latin font and making jokes of how Gaelic must be written by "hitting the keyboard with your fists" or something similarly condescending. :roll:

Besides, any of variation of the clò gaelach script is more appealing to the eye than most widely used Latin fonts, although I confess that's largely my terribly biased opinion. :D

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Re: Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2013-11-23, 14:46

I often use the cló gaelach when writing to friends, often older speakers.

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Re: Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby silmeth » 2013-11-28, 2:20

One quick question: is this a good translation?

Is Úcránach mé agus ní féidir liom coimeád socair.

I am an Ukrainian and I cannot keep calm.
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl), Is Gaelainn na Mumhan atá á foghlaim agam (ga) ((ga-M)), mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs), Jeg lærer meg bokmål på Duolingo (no-nb) (og eg ville lære nynorsk ein gong (no-nn))

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Re: Tá Silmeth ag foghlaim Gaeilge

Postby linguoboy » 2013-11-28, 3:31

silmeth wrote:Is Úcránach mé agus ní féidir liom coimeád socair.

The first part is fine but not the second. I don't think coimeád (or the nearly synonymous coinneáil) can take an adjective complement like that. Fanacht can, i.e. fanacht go socair (or fanacht go socair stuama). Other idioms you could use here are greim a choinneáil ar mo chiall ("keep a grip on my senses") or bréith bog orm fein ("take it easy"), depending on exactly what you're trying to express.
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