Maith leat, a Bhallygawley. Learning the language, one needs to learn specifics. "She is eating" conveys the meaning in this example, but there is a difference between that and "she eats", that's why we can say it differently in all the languages I know. Stick with it fellow learners and it will become clearer over the course of the course.
Irish as a whole is very much a regional variant. It's not spoken by the majority of the population, but each person's home region will have variants. Personally, I would pronounce cailín and cailíní with emphasis on the first syllable of the word, whereas I would pronounce buachaillí with emphasis on the fada. This is wrong however, as emphasis should - to my knowledge - be placed on the fada at all times.
I'm exploring my Irish heritage for the first time. I know only the words I've seen on Duolingo. The problem is that both "sé" and "sí" sound very much like "she" if you've had no previous exposure to the Irish language. Doesn't "sé" sound more like "share" minus the "r" than "shay" rhyming with "they"?
By the way, I think it's fascinating that almost everyone here has French as their strongest language on Duolingo!
Okay, interesting. May I ask where you're from then? This is important because with my accent, share without the r, shay and they all sound the same ;) Ireland is a fascinating country in that we have a broad range of accents in such a small area, and if I know what your accent might be, I can help to find a more suitable explanation for the pronunciation!
Haha, oui, c'est ouf :P
I'm Australian (lots of Irish ancestry here!), so I have a non-rhotic accent. We don't pronounce the "r" at the end of syllables, but instead the "r" "colours" the previous vowel. So the "a" in "share" is an "r" coloured monophthong and the actual "r" is silent, while "Shay" has a diphthong:
- share - /ʃeː/
- Shay - /ʃeɪ/
We also distinguish between certain long and short vowels, not just lax and tense vowels which is very rare in English dialects:
- can (verb) - /kæn/
- can (noun) - /kæːn/
Alright, well that could be difficult as I'm not too familiar with the Australian accent...
All I can really say is Irish accents close to my own are quite flat, and unlike most other English speaking dialects. I understand now why you would say sé and sí sound the same / similar to your accent, but to me they are completely different.
As I said, sí is easy, as it is simply pronounced the same as she, which also makes it easy to remember that it's the feminine.
Sé is pronounced correctly here: http://forvo.com/search/s%C3%A9/ga/ (hopefully that link works). This is quite flat, but can be even flatter for some accents, like my own, so you can hopefully see why we would pronounce the name Shay the same!
Thanks for that! It sounds like "Shay" to me on Forvo, not similar to "share". The link will work if it doesn't have any "funny" characters in it (basically any characters not found natively in English). You can use my link fixer to practically guarantee a good link in Duolingo: http://duolingo.howyousay.it/link.html
Itheann sí arán sóide.
I know I still have the learn the grammar. Would sóide be inflected here? Does word order matter?
No. Both Irish and English differentiate between the simple present tense (Itheann sí arán/"She eats breat") and the present progressive (tá sí ag ithe aráin/"she is eating bread"). Not all languages make this distinction, but in Irish and English, they are different tenses.