Internet Pronunciation Guides...

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Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Nanohedron »

...are useless any more. Instead of written, phonetic renditions - which I would prefer - what you get almost exclusively now are recordings of random contributors who, rather than offering genuine knowledge, are simply giving it a shot and whose authority can only be questioned; I threw in the towel for good when looking for an authentic pronunciation of 'Ulaan Baatar' one day: on YouTube I got a recording of a man with a distinctly North American accent saying "Yoolin Bodder" (rhotic R). Thanks loads, ya rube. So much for the Information Age.

After that farce (he should be embarrassed forever), I have had no inclination to give these sources my time because of the high likelihood of misinformation, but sometimes there's not much choice. Today I was looking for the proper pronunciation of 'Monasterboice', and to my surprise could find no sources other than the lineups of these bandwidth-wasting hopefuls taking their stabs in the dark at it - there were some real doozies - and a segment of a Rick Steves travelogue. He's not the worst source for these things, but I still am not confident. He pronounced it "mon-ASTER-boyce". Would this be correct?
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by david_h »

I agree about the guides. For placenames Youtube often helps. Just search for the place and find clips with people talking about it. But then...
Nanohedron wrote:Would this be correct?
... the first two clips I found of someone with an Irish accent would suggest "Yes and No"
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Mr.Gumby »

what you get almost exclusively now are recordings of random contributors who, rather than offering genuine knowledge, are simply giving it a shot and whose authority can only be questioned;
It's a bit like the recommendations for learning the whistle from the internet. A few get it right, more, most even, don't. And not everybody can tell the difference.
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Kade1301 »

Hopefully Dublin City University offers a better than random contribution: https://www.logainm.ie/en/1722
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Nanohedron »

Thanks, folks.
david_h wrote:... the first two clips I found of someone with an Irish accent would suggest "Yes and No"
That I can accept; in the States you get two generally accepted pronunciations for 'Appalachian' - and those differences aren't even regional, but may be found even within the same community. This is the sort of thing I was hoping to glean, but apparently my own search methods proved unequal to the task. And I did check YouTube, too. I wonder where I went wrong...

It reminds me of the time I wound up in an unexpected argument with an Irishman over the pronunciation of 'Mayo': "But I heard people from Mayo pronounce it that way!" "They're wrong."
Kade1301 wrote:Hopefully Dublin City University offers a better than random contribution: https://www.logainm.ie/en/1722
This it the pronunciation I would have leaned towards, personally.

I have concluded that my best strategy is never to utter 'Monasterboice' out loud if I want to keep my hide intact.
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Mr.Gumby »

You have places like Monasterevin that work along the same lines, but you'll find there isn't even consensus about the way to spell it, (Monasterevan is common as well). Sometimes knowing the origin of the name may give some help (Mhainistir=monastery). But the transition from Irish into English names is not always clear cut, names like McMahon, Spillane Kenna (the pipemaker) etc are always stumbling blocks if you approach them as straight forward English words/names. :D
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Nanohedron »

Mr.Gumby wrote:But the transition from Irish into English names is not always clear cut, names like McMahon, Spillane Kenna (the pipemaker) etc are always stumbling blocks if you approach them as straight forward English words/names. :D
Right. That's why I searched, because there will be conventions, and these are sometimes unexpected. Take the name Spillane, for example: in the States you will commonly hear "spill-AIN" pretty much every time. Imagine my surprise when I learned of the Irish pronunciation "spill-ANN". Most counterintuitive if you go by the spelling.

The transition from Mainistir Bhuithe to Monasterboice slays me. How buithe ever became 'boice' is beyond my ability to guess, because other than the B the two don't sound at all like each other; the TH would be pronounced as an H if it were pronounced at all, so whence, then, the S sound of 'boice'? But then, one woman - apparently Irish - pronounced Monasterboice as "MON-a-stir-Bwek-eh". I don't know how common that is, but at least it's marginally closer. :boggle:

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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by david_h »

I think we have to expect that when a name is passed orally between people with different accents in their different languages (or even the same language) it will end up getting written down in different ways. Then when officialdom, or a these days computer spellchecker, get involved it gets fixed at something that a lot of people find odd.
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by walrii »

Nanohedron wrote:random contributors who, rather than offering genuine knowledge, are simply giving it a shot
That’s pretty much the internet in general. Sadly, far too many people will take as gospel anything that matches how they wish it to be.
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Nanohedron »

walrii wrote:Sadly, far too many people will take as gospel anything that matches how they wish it to be.
You mean I may not already be a winner??

Damn.

Look, I get it that the Internet is a festering cesspool of lies. I take everything with a grain - nay, a truckload - of salt. All within reason, of course, because members here tend to be pretty solid for the most part, and that, my friends, is an oasis indeed. But I wonder what's really going on when someone malcontributes, even innocently, to a pronunciation guide (of all things). What's in it for them? Where's the agenda? Is it a pathological need to throw sand in the cogs? Or is it just FOMO gone sadly awry?
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by an seanduine »

At the expense of displaying my own FOMO, I should like to belabor several obvious points. Aside from Professor Henry Higgins, pronunciation really is plastic. When you are confronted with the broad range of dialects in England, mostly a legacy born from a rural society with poor social mobilty, why would you insist on homogeneity in gaelic pronunciation? Particularly gaelic across a historical span of time?

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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Tunborough »

Nanohedron wrote:What's in it for them? Where's the agenda?
In On the Origin of Stories, Brian Boyd argues that, as a social species, we experience an evolutionary advantage to getting attention. At times in human history, without attention from your social group, your ability to thrive, and even your life, could be at risk. This leaves us hardwired to crave "likes", and not too discriminating about where they come from, or how we get them.
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Nanohedron »

an seanduine wrote:When you are confronted with the broad range of dialects in England, mostly a legacy born from a rural society with poor social mobilty, why would you insist on homogeneity in gaelic pronunciation? Particularly gaelic across a historical span of time?
I don't insist on homogeneity. I never did. In regional Irish that's impossible, and I know it. What I would insist on is those who actually know. What I would insist on is that anyone else resist the impulse to contribute to a language pronunciation guide when you have no knowledge of it whatsoever. Recall my example of the North American mangling "Ulaanbaatar"; was that truly a contribution? No. Even if it was no more than an attempt to fill his empty hours, he was sowing ignorance. You can't rightly do that and call for a better world out of the same mouth.

Of course I realize that so long as any comer can contribute to a free-use pronunciation guide, this is what you can expect. But that's not going to stop me from voicing my opinion.
Tunborough wrote:In On the Origin of Stories, Brian Boyd argues that, as a social species, we experience an evolutionary advantage to getting attention. At times in human history, without attention from your social group, your ability to thrive, and even your life, could be at risk. This leaves us hardwired to crave "likes", and not too discriminating about where they come from, or how we get them.
The assertion has its merits, but it strikes me as only a starting point. Not having read the book, I can only assume it was sufficient for Boyd's purposes in explaining the phenomenon of storytelling. In terms of social contribution, if one is not to be dysfunctional, one tempers one's attention-seeking, and while that's learned and not hard-wired, it is certainly a very important survival skill in itself.

The point, I suppose, is that the Internet successfully exposes those of us who think of consequences only in terms of ourselves, and not in terms of others. Not that I expect it to matter in the short term, but one can hope for the future.
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Tunborough »

Nanohedron wrote:In terms of social contribution, if one is not to be dysfunctional, one tempers one's attention-seeking, and while that's learned and not hard-wired, it is certainly a very important survival skill in itself.
I see in the current political landscape a great deal of intemperate attention-seeking.
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Re: Internet Pronunciation Guides...

Post by Nanohedron »

One suspects they are taking their cues from nature:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPI-9oi19gQ
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