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  5. "Táim ag teacht abhaile."

"Táim ag teacht abhaile."

Translation:I am coming home.

April 30, 2016



Her pronunciation of teacht here is tíocht --- very common in Connemara. I also can't hear the /g/ of /ag/, which is another great mark of a good speaker.


The more important question, though is whether she is saying Tá mé ag tíocht abhaile or Táim ag tíocht abhaile?


She is saying "Tá mé"


That's what I heard, and that's what I entered in a "Type what you hear" question, but I was marked wrong, because she was supposed to read Táim ag teacht abhaile.


The reality is that the answer should allow either option. I assume, the speaker, irrespective of the written text, would say and pronounce the sentence exactly as she has done.

Unsure if there are tips made available. But learners should be given guidance about the dialect. I assume, in reality, pronouns generally are never fused, often 'standard' words are pronounced uniquely/spelt differently, consonants are dropped 'a(g), a(n), and vowels with fadas are 'weakened'. Having learnt Irish at school (which taught none of this), it's now, no surprise that few Irish people can make out a proper 'native' conversation.


Simple solution is to alter the text to "Tá mé".


After spending over a year to replace the original speaker, it's a pity that they couldn't get someone who could read the actual text that the course teaches.


It doesn't matter here though, the text can be changed in a few seconds to match it right?


It matters if they are going to do additional recordings for the expanded vocabulary for Tree 2.0 - the speaker should be instructed to read the text as written, and not introduce random changes.

To just change the text in the half dozen recordings where she says tá mé when the text says táim, and then another few text changes in other recordings where she diverges from the written text, (ag dul, perhaps) and then a few more changes for other things where she doesn't agree with the text (plurals) is to rather miss the point - she's supposed to be supporting the text, the text isn't there to support her.

It's no justification that what she is saying might be perfectly correct in her dialect.


If Alex's comments in this thread still hold true (and that thread still hasn't been fixed), then changing the text might not be an option after all .

As the problem only arises in "Type what you hear" exercises (the sentence is already in Irish), I don't think you could even use the "acceptable alternative" mechanism to allow Tá mé or Táim to be accepted. But even that approach, if it was technically possible, just highlights the underlying issue - sometimes it is quite difficult to discern what the speaker is actually saying (not that she isn't perfectly intelligible to a fluent speaker, but that a learner sometimes can't make out what is being said).


My point is that in most other cases she is using dialectal forms and changing the text would be inconsistent as the course uses the Caighdeán.

Here however "Tá mé" is a Caighdeán form, so the text can be altered.


Can I ask something?

The original speaker was far worse than the current one, yet you never said anything. This one is superior by a country mile, even though there are issues in matching the written exercises and speed of delivery for beginners, yet you are constantly appearing giving criticisms, some valid, some stemming from a lack of knowledge. Why the disparity?


I've already explained my own situation vis-à-vis the previous speaker in considerable detail in other threads, but to sum it up, I learned a huge amount about issues in my own pronunciation from the discussion of her flaws. I don't think I ever came across a mispronunciation that hadn't already been commented on to death already, so there was never any reason for me to pile on.

But if you want to talk about disparity, you never defended the previous speaker when she was incorrectly criticised (due to a posters lack of familiarity with different dialect pronunciations), and the closest you've come to a criticism of the current speaker is a grudging acceptance that she probably shouldn't use plural forms that differ from the written form.

This speaker is far from perfect for a course like Duolingo, because of the lack of enunciation in her speech (just read the comments from people who are struggling to hear what is being said). But you'd never know that from the blanket defense that she gets from the few fluent speakers that drop by occasionally, who brook no criticism of the new speaker. You're the one imposing the artificial "100% or nothing" barrier - I'm perfectly happy to accept that the new speaker is OK 97% of the time, even though I know I'll be downvoted by the usual suspects who will not accept that she is not absolutely perfect.


Eh, I did defend the previous speaker, see the discussion on dinnéar, where I defended her use of a diphthong. I also defended her use certain vowels.

The difference you are missing, is that previous speaker was objectively vastly inferior, so of course I have more criticisms of the previous one. You're making it out as if the speakers are equal. The previous one couldn't pronounce half the consonants.

Also many of your own criticisms of the current speaker have been factually wrong. It's not over zealous defense of her, it's that lingustically she is right.

Also, "grudging acceptance"? I just said she uses confusing plurals for beginners and she often speaks fast, I don't begrudge that. I don't think she is 100% correct, I've said that several times. I've never exprssed 100% or nothing.


The two speakers do have different flaws, a major difference being the previous speaker had far more of them.

Do you acknowledge this?

The plurals issue is correct. I don't agree with "at their wedding" vs "at the wedding", what exactly is wrong there?


If it makes you feel better, the original speaker made many fundamental mistakes in the way she pronounced Irish, (mistakes that she shares with the majority of people who claim to speak Irish in Ireland today, though you would might disagree with their claim to be able to speak Irish, and the wide prevalence of such errors doesn't justify her selection as the speaker for Duolingo). I've already been quite emphatic about the fact that I recognize that I'm in a very tiny minority of users of Duolingo who actually benefited from the fact that her errors led to discussions that helped me understand errors that I also make.

If you were presented with the the audio in this exercise as a "type what you hear" exercise, would you be able to definitively transcribe it as ithimid ag an bpósadh (we eat at the wedding) rather than ithimid ag a bpósadh (we eat at their wedding)?

And based on your answer to that question, would you claim that it would always be incorrect for a native speaker to sound the "n" in ag an, or will you allow that it is acceptable for a native speaker to actually pronounce the "n" in ag an, and that, for a teaching course like Duolingo, not pronouncing the "n" is more misleading than pronouncing it, even if is linguistically justified?


You are also mixing up Ó Dónaill with the Caighdeán. The Caighdeán does not mandate plurals, only how the vocative and genitive plurals are formed given the nominative. For 99.9% of words there are only dialect plurals.


No, I'm not mixing up Ó Dónaill with the Caighdeán. I do think that the difference in plural endings is more of an actual difference between the dialects (rather than just a pronunciation difference between the dialects).


What I'm saying is that for almost all words there is no standard, that is Caighdeán prescribed, plural.

What most people consider the standard plural is that given in Ó Dónaill, but not prescribed within the formal specification of the Caighdeán.


Unless you're claiming that there were no agreed plurals before Ó Dónaill compiled his dictionary, then it's clear that Ó Dónaill didn't define them, he just documented them. And because Connacht was following slightly different rules for pluralizing certain words, so those words no longer "sound like" their agreed spelling (agreed spelling, not standard, because nobody seems to be disputing the spelling, and it's not defined in the Caighdeán).


Knocksedan, I know Ó Dónaill didn't define the plurals and that he docmented them, I've read histories of his dictionary, that he simply gathered information is obvious.

What I am saying is that when people think of a standard plural they are thinking of the one in Ó Dónaill, but this isn't a standard plural, it's simply one given in Ó Dónaill.

There were agreed upon plurals in Classical Irish, but not since then and those plurals are often not used today.

There are no standard or agreed upon plurals in Modern Irish.


Regarding "ag a' bpósadh", yes this is confusing for a beginner.

Can you tell that she is definitely not saying "at their wedding"?


Yes, I can tell it is not "at their", but I am fluent. For a beginner it is confusing and pronouncing the "n" eliminates the confusion.

Regarding the plurals, I should expand on there being no agreed upon plurals, this is largely because of how confined to a single province most writing was. (And I mean confined to the province, not just the Galetacht areas within a province today).

When the Caighdeán was created, creating a system for the plurals was deemed too complex.

This is something most people don't realise, the Caighdeán only standardises parts of the language. There are many areas on which it is silent.


The current speaker [June 2020] definitely says táim. Perhaps the charge that the speaker says tá mé refers to a different recording.

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