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https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh

How is Irish pronounced?

AnCatDubh
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Pretty much no guide I could find matched what I heard on YouTube or in this course. The broad/slender distinction is more often than not indaudible if not non-existent, vowels are realised very differently from how they’re written, some consonants were not pronounced at all, and, most notably, the rhotics were approximants rather than taps or trills. Special mention goes to the word praghas ‘price’, which is pronounced similarly to its English source―why isn’t it spelt, I dunno, *práidheas?

It’s all very frustrating.

3 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Actually praghas doesn't come from English. It comes from Normal French.

However, if you want audio: focloir.ie has samples of most words. And, if not, look for Bríd on Forvo.com.

But, you are correct. The speaker used by this course basically just maps English phonemes onto Irish words, sometimes adding /x/, though usually just saying /k/. It really needs to be updated.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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cough See here for the latest cough :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Yeah. I actually checked that right after I posted! Good luck, I hope y'all do end up finding someone good.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh
AnCatDubh
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Is there any contemporary pronunciation guide I can look into?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Generally the section in grammar books about pronunciation is good. The issue with most teaching books is that they try to map it to English sounds, too. Learning Irish has a good one for Gaeilge Chois Fharraige.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh
AnCatDubh
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I have yet to see a single book that actually says <r> is an approximant. Whenever there’s a phonetic transcription they just use r, even though it’s definitely not trilled anymore, anywhere.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

r isn't an approximate. It's a tap.

This page combined with this one are generally pretty good. If you wanna focus on a specific dialect, you need to go to that dialect's page.

Also, http://fuaimeanna.ie/ga/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh
AnCatDubh
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The speakers there do use a tap, but the things is, I’ve never encountered a recording of a speaker younger than 30 who pronounced it with a tap rather than an approximant. This includes newscasters, who realise it as approximants almost universally.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

That's probably it. I can say that the Duolady is definitely not a native speaker.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Which newscasters are you talking about? The ones I've heard on TG4 who are natives use it. Also, Clíona isn't a native speaker. She is from Dublin and went to a Gaelscoil.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

That's odd. When I was in the Gaeltacht I heard a tap even among younger speakers. It was something I got called out on a lot with my pronunciation while there.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh
AnCatDubh
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Maybe I just heard urban speakers. Also, the Irish Duolady clearly speaks with an approximant.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh
AnCatDubh
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Wait, so how come newscasters use an approximant? And so does Aifric, who is played by a native speaker.

3 years ago