It is currently Mon 11 Dec 2017 9:08 am

All times are UTC


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 76 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 1:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri 14 Mar 2014 3:18 am
Posts: 21
Location: Northeast Florida
Breandán wrote:
hibernianroots wrote:
I will have to humbly and respectfully disagree with the idea that because someone lacks a particular accent or dialect, or perhaps has a mixture of accents and dialects, he or she cannot be considered a "native speaker" of the language of the country in which he or she was born, raised and educated. Now, my viewpoint is based primarily on my narrow experience and observations here in my own country which, because of it's comparatively more diverse population, might be like comparing apples to oranges. As I'm sure others have more eloquently pointed out, when one travels about the U.S., there can be detected very distinct differences in accents, colloquialisms and vernacular within different regions of the country. Some are so stark that in some cases it can be very difficult for a person from say ... the bayous or back country of Alabama to understand someone born and raised in the rural areas of Maine. Some might even say there are parts of the U.S. where people lack any distinctive accent at all. In the past (not so much these days), broadcast journalists were taught how to speak in a very bookish "anti or non-vernacular" in order to present a non-biased account of their articles. However, for the most part, they were all taught the same basic, or "standard", form of english in their respective public school systems. I would be willing to guess that if any one of them were to accuse the other of not being a "native speaker" of the language of his country of birth, they would take great exception to this.

Sorry, Patrick, but you are confusing being native to a country (a political concept) with being a native speaker of a language (a linguistic concept). Since there is only really one language in the US, anyone born there is a pretty much a native speaker, though it might be debatable if some people raised exclusively in Spanish-speaking communities can be said to have native-level English.

The American analogy doesn't otherwise fit the situation in Ireland. In Ireland, you have a large body of English speakers and a minority of Irish speakers. The examples of American dialects you have given would apply to any _traditional_ dialect of Irish, but as Niallbeag explained, the English-accented neo-dialect of Irish is equivalent to Indian English. It has its place but I don't think it should be taught as standard.

It is true that not all Irish-speaking families are in the Gaeltachtaí, as Braoin says, and it is even possible for people whose parents weren't native speakers of Irish to achieve native-level fluency - Gumbi and An Cionnfhaolach are two examples here on our forum.

It is also true that some native speaking children are affecting a galltacht accent to fit in with their peers at school.

But that isn't the case with Eoin. He is simply an advanced learner with an English accent and makes frequent English mistakes in his Irish.

hibernianroots wrote:
One of the features I like most about it is the way Eoin will slowly pronounce the more common, and maybe some not so common, words and phrases so that one can relate what he/she is reading to what he/she is hearing. I do have other material such as Butús Cainte and certainly I've benefited from it but, because it speeds along at normal conversational speed, it's difficult to follow along and some of the more subtle nuances are missed.

Unfortunately, Eoin's pronunciations are often wrong. So you get to practice an incorrect pronunciation slowly. :rolleyes:

He also has grammatical errors in his material.

If the whole thing were free, then a lot of those mistakes could be overlooked. The overall concept is great but if he is going to charge people money, he should put a lot more effort into making sure there are no mistakes in it, like paying someone who knows what they are doing to edit the material properly, etc.

Insofar as people are paying good money with expectations of learning correct Irish, I think it only right that people should be warned that the project needs a lot more work and higher level input to live up to expectations generated by claims such as "native speaker". This warning is for people with a more precise understanding of the term "native speaker". If you subscribe to the broader interpretation then you probably won't feel you've wasted your money at all. ;)


Incidentally, if you are looking for slow pronunciations of words in Buntús Cainte, you can find them on Forvo or ask for them there. You can also find some amongst Bríd's Word of the Day here, or you can ask for them. Free of charge.


Thank you Breandán for your thoughtful response to my post. As always, I'm left feeling a little more enlightened after having read your thoughts and opinions. I'm certainly in no position to doubt your veracity or enter a debate with you on anything concerning the Irish language. To coin a popular American idiom ... "that would be like showing up to a gun fight armed with a pillow". I have to say though, based on what I do know about how he came to speak the language, I'm still not entirely convinced that Eoin can't make a genuine claim of being a "native speaker" of Irish. I readily admit, I have habit of simplifying things that can certainly be much more complex if one chooses. And, perhaps at times my choice of words may not be the most accurate way of expressing my thoughts. Often, disagreements boil down to semantics and how an individual chooses to define a particular word or concept. And then sometimes, it's just a matter of differing opinions, in which case there really isn't a "right" or "wrong". What's the old saying ? ... "the world is how we perceive it to be". In this particular instance, because I am not an Irish national, and because I'm sure it will be many years before I can claim any kind of proficiency in the Irish language, it'll be much less taxing on my brain to subscribe to what you describe as the "broader interpretation" of the term "native speaker".
You may have noticed further down from my original post, I posed a few questions concerning pre-Celtic languages in Ireland and origins of the present day dialects. I have to confess, those were somewhat rhetorical in nature as I did do just a little research on my own prior to posting them. I posted them more in an attempt to point out that, with very few if any exceptions, most current languages and dialects have undergone major changes over time. The English spoken today would be almost unrecognizable to those who spoke Anglo-Saxon or "Old English" several centuries ago. Can those who's present primary language is English be described as "non-native speakers" because they no longer use the old spelling, grammar and vernacular of "Old English" ? If I were asked that question I'd have to say "no".
As for the grammatical errors and pronunciation errors in Eoin's program that you mentioned ... I'm not qualified to agree or disagree with you on those issues. I would be willing to bet though, that Eoin would be more than receptive to comments and corrections from those who are uniquely qualified to offer them ;)

And ... Go raibh maith agat for directing me to Forvo and Brid's word of the day. I'm sure I'll make good use of those resources.

Respectfully, Pat


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 8:50 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon 29 Aug 2011 4:54 pm
Posts: 3427
Location: Cill Dara
Having listened to the podcast, I haven't changed my mind on this one. Our little country has a remarkable diversity of accents for its size. Some countries don't seem to have that mixture. An Australian friend of mine tells me that Australia's accents don't vary as much. Breandán is better-placed to verify that, of course.

If Eoin was brought up with Irish first, then it is his first/native language. He does not seem to be claiming to have a Gaeltacht accent. Whether we like it or not, Ireland is a bilingual country and both languages are influencing each other. Because of the reality in Ireland nowadays, many, perhaps most, Irish speakers do not have full-blown Gaeltacht accents.

Beatha teanga í a labhairt.

_________________
Is foghlaimeoir mé. I am a learner. DEFINITELY wait for others to confirm and/or improve.
Beatha teanga í a labhairt.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 9:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed 19 Dec 2012 3:58 pm
Posts: 468
Redwolf wrote:
Redwolf wrote:
Eoin decided to address some of the questions raised here in his regular Bitesize podcast. Here it is, if you'd like to have a listen. He does quote a few of the posts from this thread and speaks specifically to the questions raised:

http://www.bitesizeirishgaelic.com/blog/podcast017/


Just to add, the bit about the forum thread is near the end, but the whole podcast is worth a listen.

It starts 20 minutes in. And goes on for quarter of an hour.

Personally I hate podcasts, because most podcasters simply don't plan out what they're going to say and end up repeating themselves frequently, and that's what I got from this. 15 minutes to say what could have been written in a paragraph or two, and the conspicuous absence of any mention of where his parents' Irish came from. Were they school Irish speakers themselves? I'm inclined to believe they were, due to the omitted information.

_________________
A language belongs to its native speakers, and when you speak it, you are a guest in their homes.
If you are not a good guest, you have no right to complain about receiving poor hospitality.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 9:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri 09 Mar 2012 6:16 pm
Posts: 1435
I don't think it is for me to say whether Eoin is a naive speaker or not. Eoin sounds like a very nice fella. I do not think he is trying to fool anyone with his product. From listening to him he sounds like he has a great passion for the language and a real care for people who want to learn Irish. Ní'l bhuaim focal a rá ina choinnibh ach ní ionann blas "accent" agus foghraíocht.

Cian

_________________
Is Fearr súil romhainn ná ḋá ṡúil inár ndiaiḋ
(Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin)

Please wait for corrections/ more input from other forum members before acting on advice


I'm familiar with Munster Irish/ Gaolainn na Mumhan (GM) and the Official Standard/an Caighdeán Oifigiúil (CO)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 2:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun 28 Aug 2011 8:44 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, California, USA
Saoirse wrote:

Beatha teanga í a labhairt.


Amen.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 3:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat 29 Jun 2013 6:33 pm
Posts: 25
Amen, arís agus arís eile. a Redwolf


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 4:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat 18 Aug 2012 11:43 pm
Posts: 723
Location: Nua Mheicsiceo
Saoirse wrote:
Whether we like it or not, Ireland is a bilingual country and both languages are influencing each other.
To me, it looks more like the Irish language is being gradually, but steadily, driven to extinction by the English language. :(

NiallBeag wrote:
Were they school Irish speakers themselves? I'm inclined to believe they were, due to the omitted information.
I'm sure you're right; I was thinking the same thing myself. Of course, people on here have different definitions of what they would consider to be a native speaker. I think Breandán is not afraid to call a spade a spade and gave an honest, accurate assessment of Eoin's Irish.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 5:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun 28 Aug 2011 8:44 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, California, USA
Unlike some people I could mention, Eoin has never misrepresented who and what he is.

Redwolf


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 9:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun 28 Aug 2011 6:15 pm
Posts: 3390
Location: An Astráil
People seem more intent on pointing out that I am a "foreigner" than actually looking at objective facts.

For the record, I am Australian. My signature clearly states that I am an intermediate speaker. (For reference, I got 87% on the ranganna test a couple of years ago, which technically places me at least in Level 6 (Advanced 2/Accuracy in Irish 1).) I don't wave an Australian flag but I also have certainly never claimed to be a native speaker, even though I do aim for a native level of Irish. To me, native level is Gaeltacht level, but at the very least, when I use standard Irish I use the traditional sound system, not the anglicised sounds.

This forum was set up (by me, incidentally) to promote the Irish language. For learners of Irish, this forum embraces the _use_ of any and all Irish, whether it be anglicised Urban Irish or traditional Gaeltacht Irish or anything in between.

However, for teaching materials, it is important that there be truth in advertising and that presenters or teachers avoid misleading statements about what is contained in their materials. Where this has not happened, it is important that the matter be clarified. People who are paying good money for a product have a right to know exactly what they are paying for in order to make an informed decision about its value.

Yes, Eoin is a nice guy. This I don't deny. I am sure he also has the best intentions for the Irish language. However, I don't think being a nice guy is a reasonable excuse for doing shoddy work, and possibly misleading people, especially with the aim of making money. He also has a tendency to get people to work for free on projects that will ultimately make money for him alone.

Now, getting back to the objective facts of the matter.

If Eoin is a "native" speaker, it is of Urban Irish. As mentioned previously, if you are looking to learn native (Gaeltacht) Munster Irish, or if you are trying to learn standard Irish with traditional Irish sounds, Eoin's course isn't for you.

If you accept, as some people do, that Urban Irish is the future of the Irish language, then you may be quite happy to learn Urban Irish. In that case, you still have a right to be made aware that there are inconsistencies in Eoin's recordings and in his grammar lessons.

Objectively speaking, Eoin's "fluency" in Urban Irish is on par with many school learners in that he speaks at high speed to mask mistakes and errors in his grammar. Whatever his claim to being a "native" speaker, his pronunciation and grammar errors are consistent with an English native speaking Irish as a second language.

If you are adept at Irish and have listened to his old recordings on IGTF, you would have noticed that he was much less like a "native" when he first set up IGTF but that he has been improving over the years. Perhaps "native" speakers can regress and then improve again after all. :dhera:

Perhaps Eoin would like to take the ranganna test and let us know his score? Native or not, it might help clarify his grasp of standard grammar.

Generally speaking, people who state that "dialect doesn't matter" or "Irish is Irish is Irish" are trying to mask the fact that they don't speak very well and can't avoid mixing dialects. That may be okay for users of Irish, but for teachers, it leaves quite a bit to be desired, especially where they are being paid for the privilege by students.

Mostly Eoin uses "standard", if anglicised, pronunciations but occasionally he throws in a pseudo-Munster pronunciation for no apparent reason. In the interest of "not confusing beginners unnecessarily with dialect", Eoin, I think you should review and redo some of your recordings for self-consistency.

Even native speakers like Bríd sometimes make mistakes. When Bríd makes even a slight "mistake" in a recording on Forvo or our forum, she often asks others if they think she needs to redo the recording. She constantly strives to improve the quality of her contributions even though she isn't getting paid a cent for them. For someone charging students for their services, it ought to be even more imperative to try to provide the best possible quality in sound recordings and pronunciations.

In particular, Eoin should listen for ch's that have been accidentally pronounced as k's and gh's that have been pronounced as g's, and for strange stresses such as over-emphasizing the -naí in cónaí. If he _must_ do the recordings himself, he should review and redo them to improve their quality.

From a grammar perspective, there are some clear errors and others that are not so clear cut but nevertheless of concern from the viewpoint of consistency. One that particularly sticks in my mind is the use of nouns after numbers. In standard Irish, the singular form of a noun is usually used after a number. There are exceptions in the case of certain units of measurement and of time. There also exists a complete older system of using plural forms of all nouns.

In Eoin's course, singular and plural forms appear ad hoc in examples where the standard usage would normally be to use the singular form. When I addressed this point to Eoin, he brushed it off and said did I not read the comment that both were "possible". Again, in the interest of not confusing beginners unnecessarily, would it not be better to introduce a consistent form according to the standard language, and then perhaps introduce the less prevalent plural usage later?

I recently applied for a job with Eoin as a teacher on his new múinteoirskype project and was accepted. However, I was not happy with the inconsistencies of the material we were expected to use nor with Eoin's lack of interest in fixing even the most glaring of the problems when I addressed my concerns to him, and so in the end I declined his kind offer.

I would prefer to remain independent and to teach from Buntús Cainte where I can be sure the materials have been properly edited and are consistent in their teachings.

I am sorry if anyone thinks the fact that I am Australian is in any way relevant to these matters. My own abilities in Irish speak for themselves. I love the Irish language as much as any Irish person and probably quite a lot more than a good deal of them. I hate to see it degraded by shoddy teaching, especially when the situation could be quite easily remedied.

Eoin, you can and should do better.

_________________

WARNING: Intermediate speaker - await further opinions, corrections and adjustments before acting on my advice.
My "specialty" is Connemara Irish, particularly Cois Fhairrge dialect.
Is fearr Gaeilge ḃriste ná Béarla cliste, cinnte, aċ i ḃfad níos fearr aríst í Gaeilge ḃinn ḃeo na nGaeltaċtaí.
Gaeilge Chonnacht (GC), go háraid Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge (GCF), agus Gaeilge an Chaighdeáin Oifigiúil (CO).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 15 Apr 2014 9:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri 14 Mar 2014 3:18 am
Posts: 21
Location: Northeast Florida
WeeFalorieMan wrote:
Saoirse wrote:
Whether we like it or not, Ireland is a bilingual country and both languages are influencing each other.
To me, it looks more like the Irish language is being gradually, but steadily, driven to extinction by the English language. :(

NiallBeag wrote:
Were they school Irish speakers themselves? I'm inclined to believe they were, due to the omitted information.
I'm sure you're right; I was thinking the same thing myself. Of course, people on here have different definitions of what they would consider to be a native speaker. I think Breandán is not afraid to call a spade a spade and gave an honest, accurate assessment of Eoin's Irish.


"To me, it looks more like the Irish language is being gradually, but steadily, driven to extinction by the English language. :( "
There is some validity to this statement. Certainly, as I've witnessed through reading several publications on the subject, there is a significant percentage of the Irish population that have ill feelings toward the re-establishment of Gaeilge as a primary language in Ireland, opting instead for English. Could the reason for this be because there is, by and large, a single "standard" for English making it much easier to teach nation wide in schools and leaving little to argue about concerning dialects ? Perhaps if the language purists would be more accepting and less critical of "school Irish", as it's been described, more Irish citizens might be inclined to embrace it. To my way of thinking, the movement and efforts to restore Gaeilge as a primary language in Ireland can hardly be harmed, and can only be bolstered by recognizing a standard as a native dialect, evolved from a mixture of other influences, just as the three main dialects of today did a long time ago. All languages have evolved, and will evolve again, over time. A point I tried to make in earlier posts which seems to have passed without much comment but is still very relevant.

"I think Breandán is not afraid to call a spade a spade and gave an honest, accurate assessment of Eoin's Irish."

I commend Breandán on his willingness to speak his mind. I tend to be a little more timid when it comes to criticizing another persons efforts. I have no doubt that his assessment was as honest and accurate as can be, based on his own perceptions and interpretations. I still contend however, that what defines a "native speaker" is a matter of opinion and like most opinions, they vary greatly from person to person.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 76 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group