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  5. "Beagnach!"



September 28, 2014



I think you guys are on the wrong track. It's the rhythm of Irish that defines it. The quintessential sentence from the course so far for me is 'sabhalann an cailin an madra gach la' -- duh DAH duh duh DAH duh duh DAH duh duh DAH. It's like you are dancing a jig with your mouth.


The same rhythm can readily be had in English, e.g. “The maiden is saving the doggy each day”, so I don’t see a sentence’s rhythm as being more quintessential of a language than its sounds.


At one point, a friend and I chose a word from each language that we thought most encapsulated the sound of that language. This was our choice for Irish. I'm afraid the only other one I can remember is "fauteuil" for French.


I associate Irish with its slender sounds, so I’d lean towards a word like gléigeal. My first thought in French was feuille, so I can certainly understand the selection of fauteuil.


I'm still not fully conversant with the Irish phonetic terminology, but that B is slender, isn't it? It is definitely palatalized, to use a term from my study of Slavic languages. Were I choosing now, I think I would want something with a [w] glide, like "cuireann" or even "Gaeilge" as pronounced in these recordings.


Yes, that B is slender (palatalized). The hard/soft contrast of Russian consonants is certainly similar to the broad/slender contrast of Irish consonants. There are some differences, though, e.g. the Russian soft S is a palatalized S, but the Irish slender S is an English “sh”.


I thought they were essentially the same, but since I cannot always hear the difference in the recordings, I was not sure.

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