Is it just me...
... or are there more than 3 different dialects in Gaeilge? The audio on Duolingo sometimes fails or isn't all that clear so I use different websites to check the pronunciation of words and phrases. Someone posted them in another discussion I believe, but here they are again:
But when I look up phrases like "le do thoil" or "dia is Muire duit" or "comhghairdeas", I get all these different pronunciations. The autist in me gets very confused.
Another question about pronunciation is the plurals. With words like "béir" or "turtair" I can't hear the difference with the singular. Can anyone shed light on this for me?
If you want to be precise, you would say something like there are three major dialect groups. Like in every language, the exact local dialect changes slightly from one village to the next one, and even from one speaker to the other (because even speakers from the same place aren't isolated, but exposed to speakers of other dialects to varying degrees). If you distinguish Munster/Connacht/Ulster, this is about common features of the speech in those areas, but it doesn't mean that the language is completely uniform in the whole province.
As for béar/béir and turtar/turtair, the only difference is in the pronunciation of the "r". Some people use the English [ɹ] for both broad and slender "r" in Irish, then you can't differentiate singular and plural. But if you listen to recordings of good Irish, you should be able to hear a difference (the slender "r" of béir should have more of a hissing sound).
Thank you that is very helpful! It makes sense that even within the same dialect pronunciation can differ from one speaker to the next. I guess this is what I really struggle with now, but maybe I should try to focus on one dialect first and try to make sense of that before I move on to others.
Thank you for your help on the plurals as well! Now that I know what to look for (or hear for) I can start practicing. :)
Bear in mind that accents also affect pronunciation, even within a specific dialect. And phrases like le do thoil and Dia is Muire duit are the worst possible places to look for pronunciation guidance and nuance, because they are essentially catchphrases that are thrown out so often that they get eroded, in the same way that "how do you do?" ended up as "howdy" and "how are you?" ended up as "hi" or "hiya" or "howya". (The text-speak for go raibh maith agat is GRMA, which, ironically, is pretty close to how some people actually say go raibh maith agat).
The difference between the R caol in béir, turtair and leabhair and the R leathan in béar, turtar and leabhar is real, and you can spot it when you know what to look for, but it isn't automatic for English speakers, because English doesn't make the distinction- there is no "slender r" sound in English. Ciara Ní É has a video about this topic in her "What The Focal?" Series (you may also notice that she pronounces the name of the letter R differently in English, a feature of some subdialects of Hiberno-English).
And phrases like le do thoil and Dia is Muire duit are the worst possible places to look for pronunciation guidance and nuance, because they are essentially catchphrases that are thrown out so often that they get eroded
That makes a lot of sense! Thank you.
Ciara Ní É has a video about this topic in her "What The Focal?" Series
That video is very helpful! The slender r is very recognizable there. It actually sounds very different from a broad r. Hurrah!