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Shepherdess 
Posted: 23-Jul-2007, 02:18 PM
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Newbie here! I posted something in the Introductions area too, but thought I'd jump in here since I'll be mostly hanging out here, likely.

I'm attempting to teach myself Scottish Gaelic and wow, I had no idea how challenging this would be. My educational background is in linguistics and languages so I think, "No problem." Hmm!

First difficulty: I'm dyslexic. Normally not a problem - I learn vocuabulary very fast and stop seeing words as their component letters at an early stage. But, wow, in Gaelic if I screw up the order of vowels - you see the trouble I can get into? I've been stuck at the baby stage for longer than I care to admit. rolleyes.gif

Second: I'm hearing impaired. Hard to hear some of those changes in the consonants! Thankfully, before I started losing my hearing I picked up the actual sounds of the consonants long ago from my dad, whose parents were immigrants. That would have been really hard to get otherwise.

But it's been marvelous. I have a friend who is a natvie speaker, I see sometimes, who can help. But I'm glad to find this community and look forward to getting some immersion opportunity, which is what I really need.


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Becca Shouse
Irena Farm, North Carolina, USA
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rpeirson 
Posted: 23-Jul-2007, 03:31 PM
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I too am a newbie and loving every minute the musoc is playing


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 23-Jul-2007, 07:18 PM
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Hello again Shepherdess an rpeirson welcome and enjoy.
And if any of you can give a few lesson on Gaelic would be fun!!


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"Few men are brave:many become so through training and discipline."
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Rindy 
Posted: 23-Jul-2007, 07:47 PM
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Welcome to you rpeirson. I'm glad your enjoying the music as well as the wonderful people that you will find here on the forum.

Welcome again to you Shepardess!

I look forward to both of you posting here in the future.

Slainte
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GunChleoc 
Posted: 23-Jul-2007, 10:23 PM
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Filte chridheil oirbh bhuamsa cuideachd! smile.gif

A hearty welcome from me too!


I relied heavily on the Akerbeltz site for understanding how the pronunciation works, it's the best pronunciation resource ever! They also have a chart about the inventory of sounds compared to English, which I found very helpful. If you're not a linguist, google for "Phonetics for beginners" to learn more about how sounds work. That might seem like a bit too much theory at the beginning, but it will be helpful, trust me on this. They also have a pdf for download with a pronunciation guide.


I understand how being dyslexic can be a problem. Here's a few hints that might help:

The most important spelling rule is leathan ri leathan agus caol ri caol - broad goes with broad and slender goes with slender. What does this mean? For every consonant, there are two versions: a broad and a slender one. The linguist's term for the slender consonant is "palatalised", which means that you raise the back of your tongue towards the palate. This is a basic mechanism of Gaelic grammar, e.g. cur is a noun and cuir is a verb. And here you can already see the orthography at work: In cuir, you do not have two vowels; the function of the i is to mark the r as slender. e and i are slender vowels, all other vowels are broad. And to make sure everybody knows how to pronounce the consonants, they all have to be preceded and followed by vowels of the same type. Basically, this is the Gaelic solution to the problem that the Latin alphabet just doesn't fit - e.g. how do you represent three different r's? The solution is quite ingenious really, but then you have the problem as a learner to figure out which of the vowels are actually pronounced. I haven't found any easy rules on this. The printable guide at Akerbeltz is a good resource, but the list is rather long... so, I mostly played it by ear. I found using music with printed lyrics very effective, and I listen to Radio nan Gidheal a lot.

The next important thing is to understand what all the h's are about. The basic function of the letter h is to signal that the consonant preceding it is pronounced differently. This also has to do with how the language works: Another grammar mechanism is to change the first consonant in a word, so-called initial consonant mutation. Scottish Gaelic has two of them: The first is N-Mutation (often also called nasalisation or wrongly eclipsis), which unfortunately is not marked in the orthography. So, hold off on learning this one for later. The second is L-Mutation (usually called lenition and often wrongly aspiration). Lenition is marked by adding an h after the first consonant. This has the advantage that you can still find stuff in the dictionary relatively easily - just leave out the h after the first consonant if there is any! An example for lenition: cuir ([k(h)]ur, that (h) should be a superscript) is the imperative, chuir ([x]ur) the past perfect tense.

The third important thing is the accent - called src in Gaelic. It marks the vowel length - long vowels always get one. Try to always mark vowel length, or you will get into trouble later. A good example: Latha na Sbaid = Sabbath, Latha na Sabaid = Day of fighting.

Tha mi 'n dchas gum bi na mneachaidh seo feumail dhuibh!

I hope this explanation will be useful to you.


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'S e saoghal a th' anns gach cnan
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sisterknight 
Posted: 24-Jul-2007, 12:24 PM
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well, three of you........welcome home!!!!pull up a piece of furniture and grab a beer cheers.gif


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non nobis domine,non nobis sed nomini tua da gloriam.


OKAY, WHAT DID I DO NOW??
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GunChleoc 
Posted: 24-Jul-2007, 12:30 PM
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'S fharr leam uisge-beatha biggrin.gif

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