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> The Spelling..., they changed it?
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Lady Gippy 
  Posted: 30-Dec-2007, 08:59 PM
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I've recently rescued a curious little book on Gaelic grammar from the dark, cobweby depths of my attic, and I've started trying to make sense of the small, tight print with varying degrees of success. However, I was just getting really excited about understanding the first chapter when I discovered by way of internet that it's spelling would be off due to some reforms they made in Gaelic spelling sometime after the book was published (or at least my edition of the thing).

Did this really happen, or is the internet trying to trick me out of a perfectly good book?

If it did, what changes exactly were made? If it's bad, should I just ditch the book and try to find something else? unsure.gif

Thanks for all and any advice! smile.gif
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 31-Dec-2007, 12:14 AM
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I have been chalking spelling differences up to being different forms of the Gaelic language. I'll leave it to those here who are more skilled with the details to either confirm what I say or shoot me more full of holes than swiss cheese... but I'll state my observations.

Most of the Gaelic I have had the opportunity to learn has been Scottish. However, there are a few basic phrases which I have also seen in Irish, which simply carry a differing spelling, ans some where my Gaelic spell checker uses still a third spelling. A prime example is "Cead Mle Filte" The Irish spelling I use here is the one I am more familiar with, and in this case the spell checker agrees. However, I have seen the same phrase written with a different spelling for 'hundred', of 'Ceud'.

As for which is accurate, I'd say both are. Just one being Irish and the other Scottish. Even if the languages may not end up mutually intelligible, they are common enough to look the same at first glance. I am thinking that is what you're running in to with that text versus at least some of what is on the site.


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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 01-Jan-2008, 01:11 AM
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Yes, there was a reform to Gaelic spelling a few years back. There were many changes - more than can be listed here. However it is still a good idea to learn both spellings. If you plan to do any reading, you will encounter the older spellings quite often, so if you are familiar with both, you won't be as confused. I'm not sure how far you are along in your learning. If you are a beginner it might be best to learn the newer spellings first to acclimate yourself to the newer spellings, then later when you are more advanced, start looking at the older spellings. Hope that helps!


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Lady Gippy 
Posted: 01-Jan-2008, 05:57 PM
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I'm more of a beginner than you know:

About all I can say is "I am tired" (Tha mi sgith) and I'm not even sure that's right--even if it's correct, I don't think a single man, woman, or child in Scotland would be able to understand my pronounciation biggrin.gif

I suppose that most gaelic literature would be using the old spelling. Never thought of that laugh.gif

I'll try to get something a little more recent in the near future, though this old thing should carry me until then. Thanks for the advice! smile.gif
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GunChleoc 
Posted: 03-Jan-2008, 08:00 AM
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Which book is it that you have? It might reflect an older state of the grammar. So, if you want to learn one of the current dialects, it might not be appropriate - and I say might, not knowig which one it is.

As a Gaelic learner you always have to deal with different kinds of spellings. Some of it is due to changes in orthography, but some of it is also due to people being self-taught in written Gaelic, since until fairly recently you couldn't learn the language at school.

I advise to learn the current spelling first, since this is the spelling used in most sizeable dictionaries. If you can, try to also be aware of spelling variations as you come across them, so they won't get you confused.

And a word of warning: Be wary of many internet sites mixing Scottish and Irish Gaelic and being full of mistakes! You can get a list of good online resources to get you started on my homepage:

http://www.noclockthing.de/gaidhlig/

And for Gaelic books - a lot of which are modern and use the current spelling - go here: http://www.gaelicbooks.net/

Cm ort!


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GunChleoc 
Posted: 03-Jan-2008, 08:02 AM
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P.S. It's Tha mi sgth, with a long ee sound. Accents are important, so try to type them if you can. Vowels with an accent are long, and without an accent they are short.

Chan eil mi sgth - I am not tired.
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Lady Gippy 
Posted: 04-Jan-2008, 04:38 PM
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Thanks for all the advice, and the corrections. I just found the Gaelic char. button, sorry about that biggrin.gif

My book's called beginner's Gaelic by James MacLaren...it's got a pretty cover, but from what I've heard that about sums up its merits
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GunChleoc 
Posted: 05-Jan-2008, 07:54 AM
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Never heard of it, so it isn't used commonly by learners...

I just had a quick peek at it at Amazon, and I noticed that he uses at least one piece of antiquated terminology - aspiration instead of lenition. This can be very confusing, since Gaelic also has aspiration, it's a misnomer.

I suggest you go to the Akerbeltz site linked on my homepage for the pronunciatio, and for the grammar start with BBC Beag air Bheag and with TAIC. There also a new grammar-oriented coursebook out there that seems to be quite good, I can look it up for you when I'm back home if you want.
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