Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-28, 3:03

Viridzen wrote:Since that's settled, let's think about Welsh. The Amazon preview made "Colloquial Welsh" look confusing to use

Really? In what way? It really seems a model of good instruction to me, and I'm just sad it wasn't available thirty years ago when I started learning Welsh.

Viridzen wrote:Also, which dictionaries are the best? I'm mostly into print dictionaries, since I like being able to flip through the pages and it's tangible, so it's more real to me. (Amazon has a lot more choices than I expected for Welsh dictionaries, by the way!)

For English-to-Welsh, there's none better than the Geiriadur yr Academi. It's so comprehensive, however, it might be overwhelming for a learner. They give so many regional equivalents for common terms, it can be hard to know which one to use. In any case, browse the online version and see what you think: http://www.geiriaduracademi.org/?lang=en.

When it comes to Welsh-to-English, however, the sad fact is there still is no really good choice. The smaller newer ones are woefully deficient in grammatical information; some don't even give gender, let alone plural formation, irregular forms, etc. I suggest browsing a few on Amazon if you can and seeing if there's one there you can live with.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby księżycowy » 2014-11-28, 11:33

I find the Modern Welsh Dictionary by King (same author as Colloquial Welsh) a good starting dictionary. It's not quite as comprehensive as others, but it's got good grammar info on the entries and has a good number of words to start you off. It's also Welsh-English and English-Welsh.

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-28, 17:26

księżycowy wrote:I find the Modern Welsh Dictionary by King (same author as Colloquial Welsh) a good starting dictionary. It's not quite as comprehensive as others, but it's got good grammar info on the entries and has a good number of words to start you off. It's also Welsh-English and English-Welsh.

I haven't seen this one before, I'll have to check it out.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby księżycowy » 2014-11-28, 17:48

Yeah, it's one of the better dictionaries. Not only does it have grammar info for the entries, but it also has usage notes where appropriate and it has plenty of examples through out. Especially in the Welsh-English section.

I highly recommend it.

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-11-28, 20:25

linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:Since that's settled, let's think about Welsh. The Amazon preview made "Colloquial Welsh" look confusing to use

Really? In what way? It really seems a model of good instruction to me, and I'm just sad it wasn't available thirty years ago when I started learning Welsh.

Well, in one part, it lists all the family vocabulary, but all the first letters are mutated, but I can probably get over that. There's also a section that doesn't list gender, but I can get over it with a dictionary, perhaps.
Please, correct my errors. S'il vous plaît, corrigez mes erreurs.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-28, 22:57

Viridzen wrote:Well, in one part, it lists all the family vocabulary, but all the first letters are mutated, but I can probably get over that.

My edition (2000) has a complete list of kinship terms on pages 71-72, all given in their unmutated forms. On page 9 there is a more selective list which is shown with nasal mutation for the purposes of making introductions (nhad "my father", fy mam "my mother", ngŵr "my husband", etc.). Nasal mutation isn't introduced until page 48, so this seems like a reasonable paedagogical compromise to me.

Viridzen wrote:There's also a section that doesn't list gender, but I can get over it with a dictionary, perhaps.

Wherever that section is, I can't find it.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-11-29, 0:13

linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:Well, in one part, it lists all the family vocabulary, but all the first letters are mutated, but I can probably get over that.

My edition (2000) has a complete list of kinship terms on pages 71-72, all given in their unmutated forms. On page 9 there is a more selective list which is shown with nasal mutation for the purposes of making introductions (nhad "my father", fy mam "my mother", ngŵr "my husband", etc.). Nasal mutation isn't introduced until page 48, so this seems like a reasonable paedagogical compromise to me.

Now, to say "my father", would you just say "nhad" or would you need another word?

Wherever that section is, I can't find it.

It listed a bunch of occupations, I think. It won't be a big deal if I have a dictionary, though. I might go with Colloquial Welsh when I am ready to start Welsh.
Please, correct my errors. S'il vous plaît, corrigez mes erreurs.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-29, 0:32

Viridzen wrote:[Now, to say "my father", would you just say "nhad" or would you need another word?

Nhad alone is fine. In Literary Welsh, the 1S possessive pronoun is fy [və], but in Colloquial Welsh, it can appear as [v], [ən], or be omitted completely before mutated form. (Initial [n̥] only occurs as the nasal mutation of /t/.)

Viridzen wrote:
Wherever that section is, I can't find it.

It listed a bunch of occupations, I think. It won't be a big deal if I have a dictionary, though.

On page 11, you mean? King gives gendered forms of athro/athrawes "teacher" and myfyriwr/myfyrwraig "student" and labels them "(m)" or "(f)" as appropriate.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-12-02, 23:42

linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:[Now, to say "my father", would you just say "nhad" or would you need another word?

Nhad alone is fine. In Literary Welsh, the 1S possessive pronoun is fy [və], but in Colloquial Welsh, it can appear as [v], [ən], or be omitted completely before mutated form. (Initial [n̥] only occurs as the nasal mutation of /t/.)

What is the difference between the literary and colloquial variants of Welsh? Are they very different?
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-12-03, 1:53

Viridzen wrote:What is the difference between the literary and colloquial variants of Welsh?

One is purely written, the other is chiefly spoken.

Viridzen wrote:Are they very different?

Very. Literary Welsh for "The boy isn't hungry" is Nid oes eisiau bwyd ar y bachgen. But I would say Dydy'r bachgen ddim isie bwyd. Poenent hwy fi is the the literary form of "They used to worry me". But I would say Fe fydden nhw'n 'mhoeni. Y mae cath gennyf i "I have a cat" vs Mae cath 'da fi. And so on. (I learned a Southern variant. Someone from the North would have different ways of expressing each of these sentences.)
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-12-03, 20:17

linguoboy wrote:Very. Literary Welsh for "The boy isn't hungry" is Nid oes eisiau bwyd ar y bachgen. But I would say Dydy'r bachgen ddim isie bwyd. Poenent hwy fi is the the literary form of "They used to worry me". But I would say Fe fydden nhw'n 'mhoeni. Y mae cath gennyf i "I have a cat" vs Mae cath 'da fi. And so on. (I learned a Southern variant. Someone from the North would have different ways of expressing each of these sentences.)

Huh, I didn't know it was that different... I'd like to learn both over time, which one is better to start with? I'd assume colloquial, right?
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-12-03, 22:14

Viridzen wrote:Huh, I didn't know it was that different... I'd like to learn both over time, which one is better to start with? I'd assume colloquial, right?

I'm not very well-read as a Welsh-speaker, but I don't see much in Literary Welsh these days. BBC News, for instance, uses a fairly colloquial register. For instance, here's the first line of the top article on their Welsh-language news site:
Mae dau ddyn - un o Gaerdydd - wedi ymddangos yn Llys Ynadon San Steffan ddydd Mercher wedi eu cyhuddo o gynorthwyo i baratoi gweithred o derfysgaeth.
The use of the periphrastic present perfect with mae...wedi is a colloquial feature, as is the absence of the initial affirmative particle y. Other colloquial features later in the article include the periphrastic passive with cael, the colloquial affirmative marker fe, and periphrastic past with gwneud.

King's book covers both Northern and Southern colloquial variants. (Naturally the dialectal picture is more complex than this, but the traditional division is useful as a first approximation. Cf. "British English" vs "American English" or "Northern German" vs "Southern German [incl. Austria and Switzerland]".) I recommend learning to understand both but pursuing active speaking in only one, lest you confuse yourself too much. You'll be understood wherever you go and, if you're in a place long enough, you'll be able to start picking up the local dialect features.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-12-04, 20:41

linguoboy wrote:I'm not very well-read as a Welsh-speaker, but I don't see much in Literary Welsh these days.

I ask about Literary Welsh because I'm very interested in reading, for example, things written by Iolo Morgannwg, who I'm assuming wrote in Literary Welsh on occasion (I assume he used Old Welsh to make those writings he tried to pass of as being written in the Middle Ages). Also, do Welsh speakers understand Old Welsh pretty well, or is it too different? I'm also interested in reading some older texts.

Something I really don't get about Irish, by the way, is the broad and slender counsonants. Of course, I know what they do, but I don't see how a broad and slender "b" can be pronounced that differently. I can't seem to produce that sound well enough; what is the correct way? It's the same with "f", "m", "p", and "r". The other consonants make sense (I've seen people saying to pronounce a slender "t", for instancm, as the English "tch"--that's how I've heard it said before).
Please, correct my errors. S'il vous plaît, corrigez mes erreurs.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-12-04, 21:08

Viridzen wrote:
Something I really don't get about Irish, by the way, is the broad and slender counsonants. Of course, I know what they do, but I don't see how a broad and slender "b" can be pronounced that differently. I can't seem to produce that sound well enough; what is the correct way? It's the same with "f", "m", "p", and "r". The other consonants make sense (I've seen people saying to pronounce a slender "t", for instancm, as the English "tch"--that's how I've heard it said before).


It's almost a controversial topic here, as linguoboy will insist on precision, but if you want a useful approximation until you can master the sounds properly, I think this will do:

Broad:
b - like [bw] before front vowels, like [b] before back vowels.
f - like [fw] before front vowels, like [f] before back vowels.
m - like [mw] before front vowels, like [m] before back vowels.
p - like [pw] before front vowels, like [p] before back vowels.
r - [ɾ]

Slender:
b - like [b] before front vowels, like [bj]* before back vowels.
f - like [f] before front vowels, like [fj]* before back vowels.
m - like [m] before front vowels, like [mj]* before back vowels.
p - like [p] before front vowels, like [pj]* before back vowels.
r - [ʐ]
*if you can make the glide a really short [ɛ] I think you'll be even closer.

Now I'll just wait for linguoboy to come and tell me how badly off this seems to him... :roll:

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-12-05, 17:49

Viridzen wrote:I ask about Literary Welsh because I'm very interested in reading, for example, things written by Iolo Morgannwg, who I'm assuming wrote in Literary Welsh on occasion (I assume he used Old Welsh to make those writings he tried to pass of as being written in the Middle Ages). Also, do Welsh speakers understand Old Welsh pretty well, or is it too different? I'm also interested in reading some older texts.

I can't answer that question. The only Welsh-speakers I know who tried to read Old Welsh poetry were academic learners like me. It's been a while since I tried to read Old or Middle Welsh, but I remember it being not too hard. Certainly, there seems to be less of a gulf than between Modern English and Anglo-Saxon.

If your primary motivation for learning Welsh is to read older Welsh literature, then I would definitely recommend focussing on Literary Welsh. I'm one of those who believes that the chief obstacle to overcome when learning a language is lexicon, not grammar, so if you build up your vocabulary reading literary texts, then picking up colloquial morphology shouldn't pose much of a challenge.

Viridzen wrote:Something I really don't get about Irish, by the way, is the broad and slender consonants. Of course, I know what they do, but I don't see how a broad and slender "b" can be pronounced that differently. I can't seem to produce that sound well enough; what is the correct way? It's the same with "f", "m", "p", and "r". The other consonants make sense (I've seen people saying to pronounce a slender "t", for instance, as the English "tch"--that's how I've heard it said before).

[ʧ] for /tʲ/ frankly sounds overpronounced to me, but I think there are some Ulster accents where this is the case. The distinction in Munster speech is more of alveolar vs dental.

But the really salient contrast is the effect on the vowel. Ciarán's advice isn't bad as a first approximation. But if you've got an ear for vowel quality you'll notice, for instance, that the /oː/ in beo "living" is more fronted than that of "cow". There is a bit of an onglide as well, but it falls short of being a full-fledged [j].
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-12-06, 1:54

linguoboy wrote:If your primary motivation for learning Welsh is to read older Welsh literature, then I would definitely recommend focussing on Literary Welsh. I'm one of those who believes that the chief obstacle to overcome when learning a language is lexicon, not grammar, so if you build up your vocabulary reading literary texts, then picking up colloquial morphology shouldn't pose much of a challenge.

Well, I want both to read and to speak with people, so I should focus on both. I'll start with colloquial, I guess, and then move on. One day, I'll try Old Welsh (I just love medieval languages, I don't know why).

[ʧ] for /tʲ/ frankly sounds overpronounced to me, but I think there are some Ulster accents where this is the case. The distinction in Munster speech is more of alveolar vs dental.

But the really salient contrast is the effect on the vowel. Ciarán's advice isn't bad as a first approximation. But if you've got an ear for vowel quality you'll notice, for instance, that the /oː/ in beo "living" is more fronted than that of "cow". There is a bit of an onglide as well, but it falls short of being a full-fledged [j].

Well, I'm judging based on how I've ever heard it pronounced. My tin whistle teacher, who is from Ireland (not that that makes a big difference, sadly) pronounces it [ʧ], and that's the most authoritative auditory resource I've had; I'll try looking for audio files, etc., but this is what I've heard, so I'll pronounce it that way as a beginner (especially because I have a very sensitive tongue, and some new sounds take a while for me to get used to).

Ciarán12 wrote:It's almost a controversial topic here, as linguoboy will insist on precision, but if you want a useful approximation until you can master the sounds properly, I think this will do:

Broad:
b - like [bw] before front vowels, like [b] before back vowels.
f - like [fw] before front vowels, like [f] before back vowels.
m - like [mw] before front vowels, like [m] before back vowels.
p - like [pw] before front vowels, like [p] before back vowels.
r - [ɾ]

Slender:
b - like [b] before front vowels, like [bj]* before back vowels.
f - like [f] before front vowels, like [fj]* before back vowels.
m - like [m] before front vowels, like [mj]* before back vowels.
p - like [p] before front vowels, like [pj]* before back vowels.
r - [ʐ]
*if you can make the glide a really short [ɛ] I think you'll be even closer.

Now I'll just wait for linguoboy to come and tell me how badly off this seems to him... :roll:

I'll start with this, thank you.
Please, correct my errors. S'il vous plaît, corrigez mes erreurs.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2014-12-07, 22:11

I can only advise for Irish, although I am seriously beginning to have an interest in Welsh so it is good to hear the worthwhile sources.

In my opinion Learning Irish is the best textbook. Regardless of whether or not it is well written or fun to work through, it is really the only one that teaches the language as it honestly is. (Outside of very old Conradh na Gaeilge publications that would be hard to obtain now). A textbook teaching the standard will often not really prepare you for native speech and contains a lot of obsolete or incorrect (in any dialect) grammatical forms.

For somebody to learn Munster Irish, for example, you would really have to:
(a) Go through the old Teach Yourself Irish
(b) Read a book in the dialect like Séadna or An t-Oileánach, with either a comprehensive dictionary or a English translation. This will get you used to the sentence structures that are taught nowhere.
(c) Listen to Saol Ó Dheas and read modern literature. As the language in (a),(b) above is quite outdated.
(d) Go to the Gaeltacht, alot.

(Although I am sure there are people with natural talent who will manage to very good after (a)-(c))

If you get to an intermediate level the dialect studies are really the only textbooks that will prepare for the actual spoken language, like Gaeilge Corca Dhuibhne by Diarmuid Ó Sé, The Irish of Iorras Aithneach by Brian Ó Curnáin, e.t.c.

Otherwise you'll be thrown by:
Bubh í an fhírinne

and things like that.

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-12-08, 21:14

Thanks! Since I won't be in Munster, I'm going to place less importance on it, though I do want to get to it one day. I'll be sure to use your suggestions.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2014-12-08, 23:11

Well for Galway:
Replace TY Irish with Learning Irish
Replace Séadna and An t-Oileánach with the stories and novels given at the back of Learning Irish.

For Mayo:
Learning Irish, modified with "The Irish of Erris, Co. Mayo" book.
Novels replaced with "Le Gradam is le Spraoi", "Pádhraic Mháire Bhán" and "Taidhgín"

For Donegal:
Tús Maith for lessons book, supplemented with "An Teanga Bheo: Gaeilge Uladh"
Novels replaced with those of Séamus Ó Grianna and Seosamh Mac Grianna.

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-12-16, 23:59

Well, it turns out that I actually will be in Munster! I didn't know that at first. However, when I looked to see if any of the cities would be in the Gaeltacht, I was saddened to find out that the Gaeltacht regions are ridiculously small, smaller than I thought. I still expect to find an Irish speaker somewhere. Plus, one place we'll be going is a sort-of simulation of an 18th-century Irish village (I tihnk), so someone there must be able to speak Irish. If you love Irish culture so much to work at a place like that, then you probably speak Irish, I'm guessing.
Please, correct my errors. S'il vous plaît, corrigez mes erreurs.
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