I'm never going to get anywhere with the audio-only transcriptions. Why doesn't ANYTHING in Irish sound like it's spelled? All I got out of that audio was "Leon ship macgowad." (Don't ask me how. That's what it sounded like to me.)
It does sound almost always the way it's spelled. Are you saying you expected a different language to be spelled the same way as English?
Which, to someone not practiced at hearing it, could sound like English "ly". But it's not really, and that should only be mimicked until you get the right sound /l'/ using the Celticist transcription scheme)
Anyone have a clear idea of the distinction between "siad" and "iad" as "they"?
Galaxyrocker is correct.
If you aren't 100% sure what the SUBJECT form is, look for the person or thing that performs the action: WHO (or what) drinks, eats, reads, etc?. Those will be sé/sí/siad.
Once you have that, look for the person or thing that receives the action: The child eats WHAT? I see WHOM? That's your OBJECT.
Remember that sentence from a lesson or two ago, "Itheann an leon na páistí"? (How could you forget?) The verb is itheann. WHO is eating? The lion, so he'd be the subject: sé. The lion eats WHOM/WHAT? The children. They'd be the object: iad.
About the copula--you know how in English we're not supposed to say things like "It's me" or "That's him"? Well, those constructions are correct in Irish! That's he/him!-->Seo é. (Literally "that him"--you can leave the verb out in this case.) He's a doctor--Is dochtúir é I'm sure there will be a lengthy lesson on this tricky verb later!
siad is the subject pronoun, iad is the object form. You would use iad when it's the object of the sentence, or with the copula (Is):
Mar shampla, Feicim go minic iad (I see them often); Is fir iad (they are men)
I'm sure you're right. But that didn't actually help me. I'm still terribly confused on this pronunciation.
I would strongly suggest that you get a good Irish book (Gaeilge gan Stró or Now You're Talking, for example) that comes with CDs, if you cannot find an Irish class in your area.
Well just open wikipedia for half an hour or so and you'll be done :P
Thank you! I've been trying to listen to Irish podcasts as well but I'm not advanced enough for them to actually make sense. Just trying to slowly get the sounds down.
Perhaps DuoLingo could look into offering a course in IPA. You're right; it's useful and not too hard. We learned the basics in high school.
You will do that in the best, most accurate manner, not missing any sounds, with (Best) an extended stay in the Gaeltacht (Next) a live class with a native or near-native speaker as a teacher (Next) a good textbook with an audio component (Worst) Duolingo, especially if you can't read IPA (most people can't)
If you're serious about learning Irish, you need to get a textbook. If you're not serious, it doesn't matter.
This video is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIokUII7LX0
Cait48: Most people don't know IPA yet, more than not being able to read it. It's pretty straightforward if you dig into it.
They could do an IPI for English speakers. I definitely know what IPI is but I can't read it.
A type of beer or the international phonetical alphabet.
Why is it wrong to say "They read books". Isn't supposed to be gramatically correct in english?
They read books: léann siad leabhair
They read THE books: léann siad NA leabhair <= sentence used in this exercise
im irish and i agree the accent on duoling is very confusing..it doesnt sound like the actual word
It could just as easily and correctly be 'they read the book', just like the way in a previous lesson multiple women were eating just one sandwich.
Irish has different singular and plural and forms of the definite article and (usually) different singular and plural forms for the noun. This sentence could only "just as easily and correctly be 'They read the book'" if the Irish sentence were ""Léann siad
an leabhar = the book
na leabhair = the books
But 'Léann said na leabhair' (they read the books) was the original answer in this lesson, so I don't understand what your comment adds to my understanding. What I'm saying is that I think the sentence could also be correct when written as 'Léann said an leabhar' (they read the book'). If an Irish expert knows that this is wrong, I'm all ears! (ok, I see that the previous reply has now been edited. And yes that was my point, that 'Léann siad an leabhar' is just as grammatically correct as 'Léann siad na leabhair', but when I typed in the former, it was given as incorrect!)
Oh, I see. Yes, 'Léann siad an leabhar' is also a correct sentence, but it has a different meaning and would not be a correct translation for "They read the books'". I don't know what the purpose of the Duolingo exercise was.
oops sorry i might have somehow skipped over the fact that it was trying to get me translate they read the books even though the other makes sense. That's what happens when you try do these things too quickly- minus point for me!