It is currently Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:37 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Forum rules


The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for people who are interested in the Irish language and various Celtic languages to discuss them, to practice them, and to share information about them, particularly (but not exclusively) in the context of traditional music and culture.

This is not a "translation forum," per se, though translation requests may occasionally be honored at the discretion of the moderators. If you're seeking a one-time translation for something like a tattoo, engraving, wedding vow, or other such purpose, we strongly recommend that you visit our friends at ILF: http://irishlearner.awyr.com



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:38 pm
Posts: 350
As the subject says, I would like to get acquainted with scots gaelic.
I don't aim (at the moment) to be a fluent speaker, just want to get some basic "first term"-stuff right.

In my country there are no university courses in scots gaelic, and I'm not going to quit my job and move to Scotland to study.

Can someone give general information on the scots gaelic language (more than what it says on wikipedia)? Are there big regional differences to take account of?
Any suggestions on computer applications, internet-based lessons, books or DVD instructionals?

Thanks


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:47 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:11 am
Posts: 2123
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
The BBC have a Learn Gaelic site at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/alba/foghlam/learngaelic/

Might be a good starter for you. What are your reasons for learning it (if you don't mind me asking, I'm just curious)?

_________________
http://www.causeymounth.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:38 pm
Posts: 350
Great, thanks. Will start there. (Not to say that I don't want more suggestions if anyone has them).


My reason for wanting to learn scots gaelic is:

always wanted to learn stuff from a smaller language, just for fun
beautiful spelling (applies to gaelic generally)
and sounds good in the speech I've heard

One might ask why I don't learn irish instead, since it's a more available language.
From what little I've heard, I think the scots gaelic has a more "rough character" while irish is smoother. Correct me if I'm wrong.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:41 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 6051
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere
Rhadge wrote:
Great, thanks. Will start there. (Not to say that I don't want more suggestions if anyone has them).


My reason for wanting to learn scots gaelic is:

always wanted to learn stuff from a smaller language, just for fun
beautiful spelling (applies to gaelic generally)
and sounds good in the speech I've heard

One might ask why I don't learn irish instead, since it's a more available language.
From what little I've heard, I think the scots gaelic has a more "rough character" while irish is smoother. Correct me if I'm wrong.


Depends on where you are in Ireland, really. It's a spectrum. Donegal Irish tends to sound closer to Scottish Gaelic, as there has historically been a lot of back and forth between the north of Ireland and Scotland. Munster Irish tends to sound the most different. and that's probably where you're hearing the "smooth."

Here's one of my favorite Donegal songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiiHf7OzrZs

Redwolf

_________________
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:38 pm
Posts: 350
Nice song. Thanks for explaining.

I think I'll learn some scots gaelic anyway, because of its marginalized status compared to irish. Not striving for fluency anyway.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 1624
Location: Dante's "Inferno;" canto VI, line 40
Hallo, a Rhadge. Ciamar a tha sibh?

I speak some Scottish Gaelic. Learned from a near-native speaker (learned it while being raised by his grandparents near Oban) who lived in Santa Cruz, CA and then spent some time learning at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye and Glasgow University while in college. I'm going back to Sabhal Mòr in about a month to brush up and can't wait!

Whereabouts are you located? You might be surprised where opportunities to learn Gaelic can spring up... The BBC resources already alluded to are a good place to start. You can also go onto Sabhal Mòr's website, which has extensive links to resources for learners of all levels:

http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/gaidhlig.html

There are a number of Gaelic learning videos that have been posted on YouTube. Bit of a no-no copyright-wise perhaps, but enjoy them while they're there.

Can Seo ("Say This"), a Gaelic program from the late '70s:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3lIWJl5I4c

Speaking Our Language: great series for Gaelic learners done for Scottish television in the '90s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB4Tld9VlXQ

While I agree that Donegal Irish is the closest of the living Irish dialects to Scottish Gaelic (the now dead Irish dialect of Rathlin Island was essentially a mish-mash of the two languages), there are quite a lot of differences between Donegal Irish and Gaelic pronunciation-wise. The vowel sound "ao" for instance, which in most Irish dialects is pronounced [e:] is pronounced [i:] in most Donegal Irish dialects, but in Scottish Gaelic is the radically different sound [ɯ:] (basically, just pronounce a "u", but keep your lips unrounded). Some aspects of Connemara Irish pronunciation remind me strongly of Scottish Gaelic: compare the Connemara Irish pronunciation of "uirthi" ("on her") with the Sc. Gaelic "oirre", for instance. Earlier in the year, I talked with Brían Ó hAirt, who is learning some Scottish Gaelic songs, and he also mentioned that he found the speech cadences of some Gaelic speakers he had met to be strongly reminiscent to him of Connemara people. Some aspects of lenition commonly found only in Munster dialects of Irish also bear similarities to types of lenition that commonly occur in Scottish Gaelic. Many Munster speakers sometimes say things like "thá" instead of "tá."

Here's a chart showing some differences between standard written Gaelic and standard written Irish:

http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/ga-ge/coimeas.html

Anyway, I digress. Both are beautiful languages, and both have their smooth and rough bits. A Gaelic speaker from Barra might sound light and gentle, while an Irish speaker from Connemara might sound like an electric sandblaster, or vice-versa... Whichever language you choose to learn, I wish you luck.

Le deagh dhùrachd,

Channing

_________________
http://www.portlandpipes.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 6051
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere
If you're in the States, "Teach Yourself Gaelic" is probably widely available through such places as Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon. If it's like "Teach Yourself Irish," it's probably a pretty good beginning resource.

A thing to keep in mind when looking for resources (whether dictionaries or tutors) is, if it just says "Gaelic," it's Scottish Gaelic. If it's for the Irish language, it will say "Irish" or "Irish Gaelic."

I don't know if this is widespread, but personally I would say "Scottish Gaelic" rather than "Scots Gaelic" to avoid confusion with "Scots" (aka "Lallans" or, in Northern Ireland, "Ullans" or "Ulster Scots") which is (depending on your leaning) either a dialect of English or another language altogether.

Redwolf

_________________
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:38 pm
Posts: 350
The Sporting Pitchfork wrote:
Hallo, a Rhadge. Ciamar a tha sibh?


Halò, a Shporting Pitchfoirk. Tha mi gu math, tapadh leibh. (hope I got the lenition and slenderization right, probably not)

Thanks for the in-depth explanation.

Redwolf:
I don't live in the States.
But I'll be sure to order that "Teach Yourself Gaelic" book, after I've learned some more on the internet.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:45 pm
Posts: 113
Location: upstate NY
Redwolf wrote:
If you're in the States, "Teach Yourself Gaelic" is probably widely available through such places as Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon. If it's like "Teach Yourself Irish," it's probably a pretty good beginning resource.


I have both the Teach Yourself Gaelic and Teach Yourself Gaelic Conversation...haven't had much of a chance to get past the first 2 lessons in the first one, but so far I like it! Got them from amazon for a great price.

(P.S. I have no real strong desire to become fluent in the language...the books were recommended on my amazon home page after I ordered Julie Fowlis' CDs...caught my interest and the price was right so I bought them.)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 6051
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere
I don't know if this is a problem with Gaelic, but an issue I have with "Teach Yourself Irish Conversation" is that they constantly mix dialects (there are three main dialects of Irish), without making it clear to the learner they are doing so. For example, one big distinction between Ulster Irish and Munster Irish is in Ulster the word "féin" is pronounced "hayn" (the Munster folk say "fayn"), and in one conversation you have one character saying "hayn" and the other saying "fayn" without the narrator ever explaining why. Same things with words like "maith" (pronounced "my" in Ulster and "mah" in Connacht and Munster), the different greetings, etc. It wasn't a big problem for me, because by the time I bought TYI Conversation, I was very familiar with the three dialects, but for a beginner, it would have been pretty confusing.

That's not a problem with the book and CD package "Teach Yourself Irish"...just with the "TYI Conversation" package.

Redwolf

_________________
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:38 pm
Posts: 350
Are there dialects within gaelic though? I'm sure there are regional variations, but maybe not as big as those within the irish language?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 6051
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere
Rhadge wrote:
Are there dialects within gaelic though? I'm sure there are regional variations, but maybe not as big as those within the irish language?


I don't know...it's likely. I'm pretty sure the Gaelic spoken in some of the islands has its own blas.

Even with Irish, though, the differences aren't as major as you might think. Think of someone learning to speak English in London and then moving to Texas. The accent would be very different, word emphasis and pronunciation may vary in places, there may be different words for certain things (or words may take on different meaning), but the difference isn't so huge that you can't understand what's being said.

The problem with mixing it up like that on a learning CD, though, is the learner has no frame of reference. If he doesn't already know the language, he may not recognize a difference in accent. And he has no way of knowing if that different pronunciation is regional, or if it's caused by some aspect of grammar. TeachYourself could fix that problem simply by starting with one dialect, then, when they want to introduce another, telling the learner what's going on (For example: "In this dialog we meet Seán, who is from Donegal. In Donegal, they pronounce "go maith" "guh my," rather than "guh mah." See if you can spot the difference"). Such an easy thing to have done right from the beginning, but kind of hard to fix it now. :cry:

_________________
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 10069
Location: The Inside Passage
Rhadge wrote:
Are there dialects within gaelic though? I'm sure there are regional variations, but maybe not as big as those within the irish language?


Cape Breton gaelic looks likely, if nothing else.

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Massachusetts an Iar
s1m0n wrote:
Rhadge wrote:
Are there dialects within gaelic though? I'm sure there are regional variations, but maybe not as big as those within the irish language?


Cape Breton gaelic looks likely, if nothing else.


There are certainly dialects within Gaelic, and were it not for the last few centuries of decline, you'd find a range of dialects with differences much greater than currently exist in either Gaelic or Irish. East Sutherland Gaelic (the focus of Nancy Dorian's seminal sociolinguistic research on language death) has only a handful speakers left (Ms. Dorian included), and it has enough differences with the dialects to the west to make mutual comprehension difficult (though there are other social & structural factors that affect this). I would imagine that other extinct or moribund dialects such as Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, and Galloway would also exhibit some major differences with the dialects currently in use.

Of the places where Gaelic is still widely spoken, you will find differences from island to island, district to district. But for the most part these are minor differences that don't prevent communication. Lewis Gaelic (Isle of Lewis) sounds quite different from the other islands (even Harris), and a lot of people - especially learners - have trouble with it at first. Even for Gaelic, it's very sing-songy, and tends to be spoken very fast with a lot of clipped words (at least that's the common perception). Couple that with a fair number of unique vocabulary items and some pronounced differences in pronunciation (tinn (sick) is pronounced "chine" in Lewis, "cheen" elsewhere), and you've got a recipe for potential confusion. But with regular exposure, you adjust to the differences.

If you want a good example of Lewis Gaelic, listen to Coinneach MacIomhair's program on Radio nan Gàidheal (available online).

Cape Breton Gaelic- there's a topic near & dear to me! I learned Gaelic there, starting over 20 years ago. What a wonderful place and I highly recommend it for anyone, whether to learn Gaelic or just to visit, hear some fantastic music and see some amazing scenery.

But as for Gaelic dialects there, the general rule is that each community pretty well preserved the dialect from the place in Scotland from whence the settlers came. So you can hear Barra Gaelic in Iona and Christmas Island, Lewis & Harris Gaelic in the North Shore, and Lochaber and Small Isles Gaelic throughout much of Inverness County. There are some differences with Scottish dialects in terms of how each was influenced by the different varieties of English around them (you won't hear Cape Bretoners bid farewell with tiorraidh, pron. "cheery" as in "cheerie-o), and there is a small amount of cross-dialectal influence in Cape Breton - the main example being the spread of the Glug Eigeach, in which broad l's (i.e. an l bounded by the vowels a,o and/or u) is pronounced like a w. So the word latha, "day", pronounced "laa", is pronounced "waa". This is common in the dialects of Lochaber and some of the Small Isles (such as Eigg, which is where the term Glug Eigeach comes from), and so was common across most of the west side of Cape Breton as well as Antigonish County on the mainland. For some reason this feature spread over to the other Catholic communities of Cape Breton, which were mostly Barra and South Uist settlements. So people in Boisdale and Castle Bay say "waa", but in the old country, folks in Lochboisdale and Castlebay say "laa". If you listen to the singing of Mary Jane Lamond, you'll hear the Glug Eigeach clearly.

There is of course much more to say about Gaelic dialects, but I think this gives you an idea. In terms of how it impacts learning materials, in my experience the speakers on the tapes usually strive for an approximation of the perceived standard, as you would hear on radio and tv. The dialects don't get erased, but they do get modulated to minimize the differences.

_________________
'Se SUV a th'anns a' chànan eile agam


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 1624
Location: Dante's "Inferno;" canto VI, line 40
Hallo, a Sheonachain! Dè do chòr?

Excellent description of Scottish Gaelic dialects. I remember reading once that Lewis Gaelic was sometimes derided by speakers of other dialects for its "sing-song" quality, but now that Lewis dialect speakers account for such a large percentage of the remaining language community, it's now very widely heard. One feature that occurs in several dialects is that words ending in -rd or -rt will be pronounced "-rsht." Indeed, this can sometimes be a good way of discerning whether someone is a native Gaelic speaker, as it tends to carry over into the way that they speak English (to my knowledge, Sean Connery doesn't speak any Gaelic, though...). Some of the Mainland dialects didn't have this, and I think I recall hearing some speakers from Barra that didn't do it either, which surprised me a bit. If you've ever heard the tape "Blasad Gàidhlig" (a useful tape/booklet introduction to Gaelic still available from some places by mail order), the speaker on that speaks a Mainland dialect that I would imagine is seldom heard much these days.

East Sutherland Gaelic is nearly dead, but Nancy Dorian is continuing her research among the last few speakers and semi-speakers of the dialect. From what I can tell, there seems to be a good bit of initial and medial vowel raising, medial vowel lengthening, and final vowel deletion. For example, the word for "English", Beurla (Ir. Béarla), is pronounced ['bɛɹla] in most dialects of Irish and Sc. Gaelic, whereas in East Sutherland Gaelic people pronounced it more like ['bi:ɹL]. BBC Alba did an excellent documentary about Dorian and her work which someone was thoughtful enough to post on GoogleVideos a while back. It's well worth watching:

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=7647046783946085652


I have heard anecdotal stories of Scottish Gaels visiting areas of Cape Breton that had been settled by people from their localities 150 or more years before and being astonished to find that some of the elderly people there sounded like they could have come from just down the road. There are, of course, some differences in vocabulary--Cape Breton Gaels had far more trees around than their Scottish cousins, and many made a living doing mining, fur trapping, and logging, which were not such common activities in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. To my ear, some Cape Breton Gaelic speakers seem to speak with more rhotacized Rs than many Scottish Gaelic speakers that I've heard, but I've never listened all that carefully. A project was recently put together in Cape Breton called "Cainnt Mo Mhàthar" ("My Mother's Language") which includes video and audio samples of some members of the Cape Breton Gaelic community.

http://www.cainntmomhathar.com

I'll be on Skye in just over a week and am looking forward to the thrill of walking into a room full of Gaelic speakers... Ach tha beagan iomagain orm cuideachd...

_________________
http://www.portlandpipes.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.083s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)