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Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 13:15
by Gordon
Does anyone speak/write halfway decent Scottish Gaelic? Once I'm done with my Masters in September, I'd like to learn it and it would be good to have someone who can help sort out the things I don't understand (becauseI'm starting by lookign at phrase sites, which are not that flexible.) Also, I'd like to better understand the pronunciation rules, and lenition.

Anyway, Ciamar a tha sibh?

(and no cheating Gloom Buttons)

p.s. I slightly expect this to sink without trace, but I can probably find a language forum or something...

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 13:22
by a layer of chips
Doesn't islandhopper translate Scottish Gaelic as part of his job?

I may have got that wrong. I was suffering from sunstroke when he told me.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 13:26
by squirrelboutique
Poofly syndrome mimics the effects of sunstroke. Fact!

You're right though. I remember us all discussing it on Monday morning. He was off work that day and Lisa was afraid there would be no television.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 13:59
by islandhopper
Gordon wrote:Does anyone speak/write halfway decent Scottish Gaelic? Once I'm done with my Masters in September, I'd like to learn it and it would be good to have someone who can help sort out the things I don't understand (becauseI'm starting by lookign at phrase sites, which are not that flexible.) Also, I'd like to better understand the pronunciation rules, and lenition.

Anyway, Ciamar a tha sibh?
Tha gu math. Thu fhein?

I don't translate Gaelic (blame poofly), but I am a native, fluent speaker, and I work as an editor for Gaelic television (I bet you all can't wait for our exciting new channel launch on 19th September!). My new task is to sneak as much quality indiepop as I can onto gaelic tv. I have to convince those damned directors first though.

Anyway, I'm not much good at all grammar stuff (in any language really), but I'll help if I can.
How are you planning to learn?

It's really quite strange to see a gaelic thread on here, but I know at least alongwalkhome has some sort of interest as well so maybe we can overtake Swedish as the second language of anorak!

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 14:16
by Gordon
Tha mi gu math, tapadh leat. (I don't yet know how to say my day was shit or filled with existential angst)

Hey, I thought I'd try to vaguely master the BBC page here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/alba/fogh ... air_bheag/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And then take some lessons.

Also it might be worth getting a dictionary and a grammar/pronunciation book to play around with.

I suppose the goal of all Gaelic learners is to be able to stay in a highland B and B without making the owner suspicious.

Or to get a job on Radio nan Gaidheal.

Oh, out of wonder, how would you say/pronounce 'Hello Gordon' and 'Hello Nancy' with lenition and slenderised vowels...

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 14:31
by lynsosaurus
i would rather like to learn some too, actually! have you found any lessons locally, gordon?

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 14:47
by Gordon
No, I haven't really looked. Just at a couple phrase sites (the bbc one is good, and the other one might have good language teaching but the site is from about 1995 and uses difficult to hear real audio files), and also some place that does longer immersion courses:

http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/en/cursaichean/cg/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (dunno if that's any good)

I found a forum too, which might be good: http://www.noclockthing.de/foramnagaidhlig/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The resources for Irish on the internet are much better (aside from things like Rosetta Stone which has Irish and Welsh). There's some 140 lesson website (or something) from which my old schoolfriend managed to teach himself the Irish language...

On another tangent, is it a coincidence that 'Is math sin' sounds like 'it's smashin'?'

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 14:49
by gloom button
islandhopper wrote:
Tha gu math. Thu fhein?
Gosh, it really is similar! As Gaeilge that'd be "Tá go maith. Agus tú féin?"

Do you have the same sort of thing where instead of saying "I am happy/hungry etc" you say "Tá áthas/ocras orm", so that it'd translate word for word as "There is happiness/hunger on me"? That kind of stuff I think is interesting, 'cause loads of it has ended up in the way Irish people speak English..

Sorry for mildly derailing..

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 14:57
by Gordon
gloom button wrote:
islandhopper wrote:
Tha gu math. Thu fhein?
Gosh, it really is similar! As Gaeilge that'd be "Tá go maith. Agus tú féin?"

Do you have the same sort of thing where instead of saying "I am happy/hungry etc" you say "Tá áthas/ocras orm", so that it'd translate word for word as "There is happiness/hunger on me"? That kind of stuff I think is interesting, 'cause loads of it has ended up in the way Irish people speak English..

Sorry for mildly derailing..
That sounds right, 'What's your name' becomes 'what name is on you'.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 14:58
by alongwalkhome
lynsosaurus wrote:i would rather like to learn some too, actually! have you found any lessons locally, gordon?
So island hopper doesn't have to toot his own familial horn, might I recommend this college that does an online program?: http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/en/cursaichean ... /index.php

I'm going to try it in the spring (if there is rolling admission like that; I've yet to write to them), because I've got Harvard to agree to pay for some of it and because I want to get a crash course via this CD-ROMthat I just ordered (I see you giggling at me, Chris; we can't all live on a garden-filled island of gaelic, you know!) under my belt so I'm not a complete naif.

I tried to take lessons here a few years ago but the guy was a total arsehole and made me drive a complete stranger (emphasis on strange) home, so I quit. I also have a CD/book kit but it goes to fast. If this CD-ROM is completely ineffectual, I'm calling it a day! Problem (for me) is that the CDs assume you're pronouncing your vowels in a Scottish or English accent so I was doing, like, double translation (and in the car!) so I gave up. I think the program at the college takes into account your native pronunciation, because you have actual oral exams via with a live human tutor correcting you. Well, Chris island hopper can speak more to that.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 14:58
by Gordon
From the BBC:
a bheil an t-acras oirbh? (lit), is hunger on you?
a bheil an t-acras ort (lit), is hunger on you? (informal)

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 15:00
by Gordon
alongwalkhome wrote:
lynsosaurus wrote:i would rather like to learn some too, actually! have you found any lessons locally, gordon?
So island hopper doesn't have to toot his own familial horn, might I recommend this college that does an online program?: http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/en/cursaichean ... /index.php

I'm going to try it in the spring (if there is rolling admission like that; I've yet to write to them), because I've got Harvard to agree to pay for some of it and because I want to get a crash course via this CD-ROMthat I just ordered (I see you giggling at me, Chris; we can't all live on a garden-filled island of gaelic, you know!) under my belt so I'm not a complete naif.

I tried to take lessons here a few years ago but the guy was a total arsehole and made me drive a complete stranger (emphasis on strange) home, so I quit. I also have a CD/book kit but it goes to fast. If this CD-ROM is completely ineffectual, I'm calling it a day! Problem (for me) is that the CDs assume you're pronouncing your vowels in a Scottish or English accent so I was doing, like, double translation (and in the car!) so I gave up. I think the program at the college takes into account your native pronunciation, because you have actual oral exams via with a live human tutor correcting you. Well, Chris island hopper can speak more to that.
Ooh, that college is what I found (and posted). How do you mean familial horn?

Also, where's the CDROM from?

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 15:08
by gloom button
Gordon wrote:From the BBC:
a bheil an t-acras oirbh? (lit), is hunger on you?
a bheil an t-acras ort (lit), is hunger on you? (informal)
Yeah, that's the same thing then- that's "an bhfuil ocras ort?" or "an bhfuil ocras oraibh?" as Gaeilge, though I don't think we make the same distinction between plural-you for formal and singular for informal. Or do we? I didn't think so. Hm.

Anyway, yeah, my parents are forever saying things like 'there's a terrible thirst on me' or 'i'm after losing it', which (I think) are grammatically pretty direct from the Gaelic.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 15:12
by Gordon
wackypedia wrote:Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. This branch also includes the Irish and Manx languages. It is distinct from the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages, which includes Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. Scottish, Manx and Irish Gaelic are all descended from Old Irish. The language is often described as Scottish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, or Gàidhlig to avoid confusion with the other two Goidelic languages.
I'm not completely sure if in English you should pronounce it 'Gahlic" or if that's really poncey and like saying "Oh, I do love speaking Fran-say when I'm in Par-ee"

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 15:21
by gloom button
I just call Irish/Gaeilge "Gaelic" when I'm talking about it in English..

What does the accent indicate? It goes the opposite way to what I'm used to. "Tá" in Irish would mean it's pronounced "Taw" rather than "Ta", sort of broadening and elongating the vowel sound a bit.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 15:26
by Gordon
Well, there only seems to be one accent in Scotish Gaelic and it's an ài is an ah sound...

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 15:27
by Gordon
I'm damned if I understand what a slender vowel is though.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 15:41
by gloom button
I've mostly forgotten that too. 'Caol le caol, leathan le leathan' is something I remember a dozen Irish teachers saying over and over and over, meaning that slender vowels go with slender vowels; broad with broad in a sort of vowel-agreement thing within words. So if you want to say "i will clean" you take the stem of the verb glan- and add the future tense ending -fidh, but because the last vowel in the stem is broad, you stick an 'a' into the future tense ending (following the 'leathan le leathan' rule) so that it's 'glanfaidh' rather than 'glanfidh'. But, um, that might be different in Scots Gaelic.

I half-remember that 'i' and 'e' were the only slender vowels and 'a', 'o' and 'u' were broad (I think because the sounds of the unaccented i and e are (the slender-sounding?) 'ih' and 'eh') but I might have that wrong.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 16:26
by Gordon
gloom button wrote: 'Caol le caol, leathan le leathan'
From wackypedia:
caol ri caol agus leathann ri leathann

At least when I learn Irish it'll be easy. Or alternatively fucking confusing.

Re: Gàidhlig

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 16:31
by Gordon
More from Wackypedia:
Traditional names of the letters

The letters were traditionally named after trees and other plants. Some of the names differ from their modern equivalents (e.g. dair > darach, suil > seileach).

* ailm (elm),
* beith (birch),
* coll (hazel),
* dair (oak),
* eadha (aspen),
* feàrn (alder),
* gort (ivy),
* uath (hawthorn),
* iogh (yew)
* luis (rowan),
* muin (vine)
* nuin (ash)
* onn/oir (furze/gorse)
* peith ("reed")
* ruis (elder),
* suil (willow),
* teine (holly),
* ura (heather/linden),
Nuts!

and
The letter h, now mostly used to indicate lenition of a consonant, was in general not used in the oldest orthography, as lenition was instead indicated with a dot over the lenited consonant. The letters of the alphabet were traditionally named after trees (see Scottish Gaelic alphabet), but this custom has fallen out of use.

The quality of consonants is indicated in writing by the vowels surrounding them. So-called "slender" consonants are palatalised while "broad" consonants are velarised. The vowels e and i are classified as slender, and a, o, and u as broad. The spelling rule known as caol ri caol agus leathann ri leathann ("slender to slender and broad to broad") requires that a word-medial consonant or consonant group followed by a written i or e be also preceded by an i or e; and similarly if followed by a, o or u be also preceded by an a, o, or u. Consonant quality (palatalised or non-palatalised) is then indicated by the vowels written adjacent to a consonant, and the spelling rule gives the benefit of removing possible uncertainty about consonant quality at the expense of adding additional purely graphic vowels that may not be pronounced. For example, compare the t in slàinte [slaːntʃə] with the t in bàta [paːtə].
I suddenly feel very tired.