How is Irish pronounced?
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.
Actually praghas doesn't come from English. It comes from Normal French.
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.
Yeah. I actually checked that right after I posted! Good luck, I hope y'all do end up finding someone good.
Is there any contemporary pronunciation guide I can look into?
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.
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.
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.
That's probably it. I can say that the Duolady is definitely not a native speaker.
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.
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.
Maybe I just heard urban speakers. Also, the Irish Duolady clearly speaks with an approximant.