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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 12:24 am 
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Breandán wrote:
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.


So I take it it's a different Brendan who's claiming to be a "Male from Ireland" here at Forvo?

http://www.forvo.com/word/breand%C3%A1n/#ga

I don't know who Eoin is getting to work for free on projects. He certainly pays me!


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 5:24 am 
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hibernianroots wrote:
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.

Except that would be a lie. The standard was artificially created showing little deference to the natural dialects, "correcting" supposed errors and "difficulties" in the language, and eliminating sound differences that Anglophones can't hear, but are still very real. It tramples all over the native speakers, so why should they accept it?

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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.


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 6:09 am 
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NiallBeag wrote:
Except that would be a lie. The standard was artificially created showing little deference to the natural dialects, "correcting" supposed errors and "difficulties" in the language, and eliminating sound differences that Anglophones can't hear, but are still very real. It tramples all over the native speakers, so why should they accept it?
I'm really glad that you addressed this, Niall Beag!

Promoting an artificial "standard" (a "standard" that is not spoken in ANY Gaeltacht, by the way) is done to the detriment of native Gaeltacht Irish. I think the best way to promote the language would be for schools (and sites like Bitesize Irish!) to start teaching Irish as it is spoken by fluent native speakers in the Gaeltacht.

It seems to me that Gaeltacht Irish is being drowned in a sea of English (and in a sea of the government-promoted "standard") – I guess that makes me "a purist". :dhera:


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 7:59 am 
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NiallBeag wrote:
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.


Most excellent question! Yes, my mother learned her Irish at school, with a strong influence from her mother who was from around Daingean Uí Chúis. My father learned Irish in his 20s. English was their native language. Irish is my native language.

I love the feedback from Brendan. You pointed out grammatical errors, and they will be fixed upon the next batch of recordings as I already told you. I also received feedback from Braoin with corrections. He's a fantastic speaker of Irish, beautiful speaking voice in Irish. Moreover, I will pay a technical linguist to review the correctness of the grammar in our Bitesize lessons.

(By the way, I prefer not to have anyone do anything for free when practically possible, it's against my business approach. When money is involved for an agreed amount, then nobody can feel shortchanged.)

As for my own grammar in Irish - I agree with what Brendan said. I don't have good Irish grammar. That's why I stopped providing translations as soon as possible during the life of IrishGaelicTranslator.com. That's also why I have never written a Bitesize Irish Gaelic lesson.

Over the past 3+ years with Bitesize Irish Gaelic, I've had the pleasure to communicate with several teachers who formed our approach in the Bitesize lessons. I've also had feedback from native and non-native speakers fixing grammatical mistakes in lessons. Again, I'll have the entire program reviewed by a technical linguist who is a native Irish speaker.

Thanks again for the feedback, I love improving what we offer to learners over time, and as a resource it's getting more useful with your feedback.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 9:36 am 
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Redwolf wrote:
So I take it it's a different Brendan who's claiming to be a "Male from Ireland" here at Forvo?

http://www.forvo.com/word/breand%C3%A1n/#ga

I don't know who Eoin is getting to work for free on projects. He certainly pays me!

No, that's me. It's a database error that appears to have been locked in when they updated their system. I've tried to indicate my present location on the world map but it reverts to my dialect location.

I myself haven't said I was a native speaker, only a speaker of Connemara Irish, and in fact we've explained explicitly to the management that I am not a native speaker. Bríd has vouched for me as an editor having native-level pronunciation.

In any case, it is a voluntary project. Bríd and I certainly don't make any money out of it. She does amazing work there. I do what I can to help from time to time.

As for free work for Eoin, I think quite a few people felt short-changed when Eoin sold us out at IGTF. Other people's translation work was also bundled into a book or two without their consent. It doesn't inspire confidence. I hope Eoin is sincere in his new approach to properly remunerate everybody concerned.

Employing some native or native-level speakers like Bríd and Braoin to do some recordings would add some variety and raise Eoin's course to an entirely different level.

_________________

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).


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 2:39 pm 
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Breandán wrote:
Redwolf wrote:
So I take it it's a different Brendan who's claiming to be a "Male from Ireland" here at Forvo?

http://www.forvo.com/word/breand%C3%A1n/#ga

I don't know who Eoin is getting to work for free on projects. He certainly pays me!

No, that's me. It's a database error that appears to have been locked in when they updated their system. I've tried to indicate my present location on the world map but it reverts to my dialect location.

I myself haven't said I was a native speaker, only a speaker of Connemara Irish, and in fact we've explained explicitly to the management that I am not a native speaker. Bríd has vouched for me as an editor having native-level pronunciation.

In any case, it is a voluntary project. Bríd and I certainly don't make any money out of it. She does amazing work there. I do what I can to help from time to time.

As for free work for Eoin, I think quite a few people felt short-changed when Eoin sold us out at IGTF. Other people's translation work was also bundled into a book or two without their consent. It doesn't inspire confidence. I hope Eoin is sincere in his new approach to properly remunerate everybody concerned.

Employing some native or native-level speakers like Bríd and Braoin to do some recordings would add some variety and raise Eoin's course to an entirely different level.


If you're referring to the tattoo book, which I compiled and edited (and for which I was paid), I DID let people know that we were putting together an e-book and solicited input on the translations that many of us had made over the years there. No one had any objection at the time, or even when the book came out. In any case, IGTF was a public resource...anyone could have done the same without bothering to mention that they were doing so and without crediting IGTF or the people there at all.

And, in fact, we did a lot of translations from which others benefited financially. Smaointe springs immediately to mind (she marketed a line of greeting cards under that name...based on translations from IGTF). Tattoo artists. Jewelers. Even at least one instrument maker.

In any case, it's a moot point, as the new owners of the site purchased the rights to the e-book and haven't chosen to market it (as you know, they haven't done anything with IGTF and its many resources, other than load the site down with enough ads and data-mining schemes to choke a horse). You can still find it, if you search for it, but if you inquire about purchasing it, you'll get no answer. A shame, really, as it would have been a good resource for tattoo artists.

Discussion forums are similar to publications in that they are typically owned by an individual or group and can be disposed of by that individual or group. Eoin built that site, ran it for a long time (and paid from his own pocket to keep it going, to keep sufficient bandwidth, etc.). While we were playing, he was paying. And I can guarantee you that the piddly amount brought in by the Zazzle shop, the ads for non-subscribers, and the e-books wasn't enough to justify the time and money that went into keeping that site viable.

It was the new owners who destroyed the site, not Eoin. Why not put the blame where it belongs?


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 7:11 pm 
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I for one couldn't give a hoot what nationality someone is. I welcome anyone and everyone with an interest in speaking Irish and who encourages and supports others to do so. My earlier comment about Australia was that my understanding is (and I have no personal knowledge on this) that there is not the diversity of accents there as there is here and we are a tiny country in comparison. I have noticed a change in attitudes in recent years in Ireland where there seems to be less criticism and judgement when people speak Irish and people are generally more welcoming of all efforts to do so. Many of the younger generation are more open to using their cúpla focal, buíochas le Dia!

As an aside, I don't know the whys and hows behind someone becoming an Irish citizen, but would love to see something - even an honorary something - for anyone who proves competency in using Irish. (I am not suggesting that people would have to give up their own nationalities by the way!) As someone living in Ireland and having the good fortune to have daily opportunities to use the language, I think it would be a positive development for those from other countries to be recognised for their dedication to an Ghaeilge. I also think that some Irish people could do with seeing that people from other countries value the language far more than some Irish people do.
Beatha teanga í a labhairt! :party:

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


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 9:14 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
Why not put the blame where it belongs?

I have. Quite squarely. Whether he succeeded or not, Eoin tried to make a profit through online advertising and merchandising while we were there and in the end he got paid for the selling of the site. If Eoin has resolved not to repeat past mistakes then that is a good sign.

I am not against people making money from Irish, but they should endeavour to do so without misrepresenting themselves or making misleading statements about their abilities and with the proper acknowledgement of their sources and the people who helped them.

For the record, I pay for this site completely out of my own pocket. It is run by two committees, one of Administrators and the other of Moderators. Decisions are generally made by discussion and consensus. We don't often agree unanimously but a wide range of interests in the Irish language are represented.

We don't allow GoogleAds or any other form of advertising unless it is directly related to Irish culture. In any case, even if a site is related to Irish language or culture, people should ask for permission before posting links to commercial material for which they themselves receive remuneration or in which they are otherwise directly involved.

Since you are working for Eoin, Redwolf, I think you should make the connection clearer, especially as there may be a potential conflict of interest when you post comments about Bitesize Irish Gaelic or other materials such as references to your blog posts on our forum.

If you'd like to put a link to Bitesize Irish Gaelic in your signature, say, that would probably make the connection clear enough.


Other members of ILF who would like to show support for Bitesize Irish Gaelic might like to place the following tag in their signatures:

[ url=http://www.bitesizeirishgaelic.com/]Bitesize Irish Gaelic[/url ]

(Remove the spaces before use.)

Placing the tag in your signature is, of course, optional if you are not employed by Bitesize Irish Gaelic. ;)

Eoin wrote:
Most excellent question! Yes, my mother learned her Irish at school, with a strong influence from her mother who was from around Daingean Uí Chúis. My father learned Irish in his 20s. English was their native language. Irish is my native language.

The term "native" is misleading with respect to Irish because most people with a reasonable knowledge of linguistics would assume a "native Irish speaker" to be a speaker from a Gaeltacht or at the very least from a family that has at least one Gaeltacht Irish speaking parent. Any other use of the term "native" is pretty much political.

Not everyone may agree with that definition of "native", but the number who do is significant enough for the term to be misleading when used otherwise.

In your case, Eoin, as NiallBeag and I have basically said, you would be considered linguistically to be a native speaker of Urban Irish. Objectively, I think your actual level in Irish is that of an advanced non-native speaker.

By the way, a phoneme (PHONE-eem) is a sound unit. Traditional Irish sounds are different from their English equivalents. Urban Irish tends to use English sounds instead of the traditional native Irish ones.

You actually started out using stronger English sounds but I have noticed that you have been picking up the traditional ones as your Irish improves. Audrey has acquired very good native-level pronunciation in Ulster Irish.

In any case, Eoin, I am glad to hear that you have undertaken to make at least some of the changes we have suggested. I look forward to seeing the upcoming improvements in your course. If properly implemented, Bitesize Irish Gaelic shows the promise of becoming a truly excellent course in future. :good:

Saoirse wrote:
I for one couldn't give a hoot what nationality someone is. I welcome anyone and everyone with an interest in speaking Irish and who encourages and supports others to do so. My earlier comment about Australia was that my understanding is (and I have no personal knowledge on this) that there is not the diversity of accents there as there is here and we are a tiny country in comparison. I have noticed a change in attitudes in recent years in Ireland where there seems to be less criticism and judgement when people speak Irish and people are generally more welcoming of all efforts to do so. Many of the younger generation are more open to using their cúpla focal, buíochas le Dia!

As an aside, I don't know the whys and hows behind someone becoming an Irish citizen, but would love to see something - even an honorary something - for anyone who proves competency in using Irish. (I am not suggesting that people would have to give up their own nationalities by the way!) As someone living in Ireland and having the good fortune to have daily opportunities to use the language, I think it would be a positive development for those from other countries to be recognised for their dedication to an Ghaeilge. I also think that some Irish people could do with seeing that people from other countries value the language far more than some Irish people do.
Beatha teanga í a labhairt! :party:


Saoirse for Uachtarán ! :^:

_________________

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).


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014 9:56 pm 
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Tá an ndóthain ráite agaibh anois, stopaigí ag troid. :rolleyes:

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___________________________________________________________

It is recommended that you always wait for three to agree on a translation.
I speak Connemara Irish, and my input will often reflect that.
I will do an mp3 file on request for short translations.

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PostPosted: Thu 17 Apr 2014 5:01 am 
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Breandán, thanks for the kind words of encouragement.

To go way back to an early comment of yours on the thread, I absolutely agree that learners with Bitesize Irish Gaelic would benefit from having the audio recordings from Gaeltacht speakers. We encourage learners with us to use free resources, including RnaG and TG4 go get exposure to everyday spoken Irish.

We improve Bitesize Irish Gaelic bite by bite (how appropriate). Over time, we have much improved our value for learners (having started with a handful of lessons), and there's much more we can do, as will always be the case.

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