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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.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:20 pm 
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As a life-long tree hugger I am a big fan of non-fiction nature writing. A couple years ago the owner of a bookstore in Ireland recommended the writing of Tim Robinson to me....

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1294147.Connemara

...and it occurred to me I should post something here. I would think that anyone interested in Irish language would love his work. Robinson has been mapping and writing about the land, the nature, the people, and the history of the west coast of Ireland for many years.

He writes with such depth and clarity. You might check him out sometime.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:26 pm 
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I think I read his book about the Aran islands a few years ago - if it wasn't his, it was another just like it. I enjoyed it a good deal.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:07 pm 
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The books are in English, but he uses Irish for the places, people etc.
His level of depth and detail is pretty impressive. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:03 am 
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osage59 wrote:
The books are in English, but he uses Irish for the places, people etc.
His level of depth and detail is pretty impressive. :)


Robinson is English ,I think, but has more 'meas' in Irish culture than many natives,often the way alas.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:48 pm 
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"Robinson is English, I think..."

Yes, I believe he is, but I think he has been living in Eire since the '70's (if I remember my bookjacket blurbs correctly).

BTW, kudos are in order to Kennys Bookshop in Galway for the recommendation of Mr. Robinson to me. I chanced to hear the owner of the store interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio, and he sounded like he ran an interesting store. I took note and a couple months later I emailed him, and he called me directly (long distance! :o ) to give me the names of some writers he thought I'd like.

I've been a loyal if infrequent customer ever since!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:56 pm 
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osage59 wrote:
"Robinson is English, I think..."

Yes, I believe he is, but I think he has been living in Eire since the '70's (if I remember my bookjacket blurbs correctly).

BTW, kudos are in order to Kennys Bookshop in Galway for the recommendation of Mr. Robinson to me. I chanced to hear the owner of the store interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio, and he sounded like he ran an interesting store. I took note and a couple months later I emailed him, and he called me directly (long distance! :o ) to give me the names of some writers he thought I'd like.

I've been a loyal if infrequent customer ever since!


Éire, a chara. "Eire" without the fada means "burden."

It would be "In Éirinn" in any case, as Éire is one of the few words in Irish that still has a distinct dative form.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:21 pm 
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Now you have me curious, Red ... What is the "official" Irish policy, if there is such a thing, on the omission of accents when writing in or on a medium that doesn't easily support accents/diacritics?

Thinking of French/Spanish which I'm familiar with ... It was long considered normative, and is still perfectly acceptable, to omit accents from capital letters. As in initial word caps (e.g. Evian vs. Évian). Or some all-caps signage without accents found throughout France (and the French are very fussy about their accents).

I'm guessing that osage is writing on a default keyboard setup without accented chars (apart from hideous numeric charcode entry). As would also have been the case with English-centric mechanical typewriters in Ireland. Surely there must have been some historical degree of practical leniency toward the typing of occasional, casual Irish text without having to pencil in all the fadas by hand?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:11 am 
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The problem is that, with Irish, words can change meaning if the accent is omitted or misplaced. For example:

Seán: a man's name - Irish form of "John/Jean" (pronounced 'shawn')

Sean: "old" (pronounced 'shan')

Séan: "sign/omen" (pronounced "shayn")

Éire: The nominative form of the name of the country of Ireland (pronounced AY-ruh)

Eire: "burden" (pronounced EH-ruh)

Páiste: Child (pronounced PAWSS-cheh)

Paiste: Patch (pronounced PASS-cheh)

Cór: Choir (pronounced "kohr")

Cor: Twist/turn (pronounced "kur")

The "official" stance is that, if you leave off a diacritic if it should be there (or put one on if it shouldn't) the word is, at best, misspelled, and would certainly be mispronounced by a native speaker of the language who happened to read it. At worst, you will end up with a different word entirely. Consequently, we're more than a little bit pissy about correctness of accent marks.

Just to add, I doubt that much Irish was ever written using typewriters. For one thing, until the 1950s, Irish was written in a very specific type-style (now called "sean-chló"), and it actually had even MORE diacritic marks ("softened" consonants, now indicated by putting an "h" after the consonant, were written using a dot over the consonant instead), so most documents would have been hand-written or typeset.

Alt codes aren't all that clunky, especially if you only have to worry about one letter (É is alt 0201). People who use them all the time (myself included) tend to be able to touch type them without thinking much about it.

I'll grant that osage probably didn't know how to get the fada, but there's an easy work around for that when you're speaking English...just say "Ireland." Irish people don't say Éire when they're speaking English...in fact, in some circles, using "Éire when you're otherwise speaking English is considered to be mocking (which osage wouldn't have known either, and I'm sure didn't intend...but it is something to be aware of when talking with Irish speakers).

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:06 am 
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I'm guessing that osage is writing on a default keyboard setup without accented chars

Yeah. Sorry, I have no idea how to get accents over any text.
I was just trying to turn the forum on to a good author.
Over & out.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:14 pm 
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osage59 wrote:
I was just trying to turn the forum on to a good author.

Oh sure. I don't think your recommendation is lost in this little side conversation. :-)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Tim Robinson has a new book published -
Connemara - A Little Gaelic Kingdom


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:10 am 
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Awesome! Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:08 pm 
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osage59 wrote:
Awesome! Thanks!

Tá fáilte romhat.


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