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PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec 2011 7:19 pm 
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Not sure if this is exactly what was meant by "building blocks" but here's a link to an article about "conversational connectors."

http://www.fluentin3months.com/conversa ... -language/


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PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec 2011 10:14 pm 
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Location: Navasota, Texas USA
Breandán: You're "spot on" with what I'm looking for. I'll put some together that aren't way out weird and may be of use for others. For example, I was just on a Skype call with a friend in Ireland, and I wanted to say, "Did I tell you that I gave my favorite pocket knife to a boy there in the house in Gleann Fhinne? When I got home it had been discontinued (I learned the company doesn't make them now)". I had total freeze up/lock up. I can get about 1/2 of it out and then I just blurt it out in English. I've got to get past that. It shouldn't be this hard.

I'll put a list together of some simple things that just seem to difficult for me.


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PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec 2011 10:43 pm 
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Féabar wrote:
For example, I was just on a Skype call with a friend in Ireland, and I wanted to say, "Did I tell you that I gave my favorite pocket knife to a boy there in the house in Gleann Fhinne? When I got home it had been discontinued (I learned the company doesn't make them now)". I had total freeze up/lock up. I can get about 1/2 of it out and then I just blurt it out in English. I've got to get past that. It shouldn't be this hard.

Part of this is simple vocabulary. Vocabulary is of course a vital building block of any language; but it’s the most easily surmountable building block. Unknown words can (nearly) always be substituted for easier ones that you know already. And until you’re completely fluent in the language (and even after that point), you’ll always end up having to look in the dictionary for some word or other, if nothing else then at least to verify your suspicions. For example, while I suspected that a pocket knife is probably just scian phóca, I had to look it up, ’cause I’ve never used the word, and you never know—there might be some completely different word in Irish that isn’t based on ‘pocket’ and ‘knife’.

The other part is the more difficult one: internalising when native speakers use what kind of sentence structure and composition to say what and add what kind of tone or nuance to the utterance as a whole.

For your sample sentence(s) here, I would say something like:

Ar dhúirt mé leat go dtug mé an scian phóca is annsa liom don bhuachaill a bhí ’na chónaí sa teach udaí thall i nGleann Fhinne? Nuair a tháinig mé ’na bhaile, fuair mé amach nach ndéantar níos mó é.

I wouldn’t bother about words like ‘discontinue’ or even ‘pocket knife’ (as a lexeme I mean—I’d simply just put together ‘pocket’ and ‘knife’, since I know both those words, and assume that the other person would understand me). Nor would I try to figure out how to say ‘a boy there in the house in GF’—I would make it simpler and just say ‘the boy who lived in the house over there in GF’.

On the other hand, I would have to bother with knowing what type of sentence to use, and how to ‘glue’ the different parts of the sentence together. The question part of this here really has no less than three relative subordinate clauses (of two different types), which can easily be daunting in a language where you haven’t internalised the grammar yet. Here I’ve highlighted the relative forms (as well as indicated what type of relativity they are):

Ar dhúirt mé leat go (conjunction; noun clause) dtug mé an scian phóca is (relative verb; relative [adjectival] clause) annsa liom don bhuachaill a (relative pronoun; relative [adjectival] clause) bhí ’na chónaí sa teach udaí thall i nGleann Fhinne?

Stacking up phrases into complex sentences like this is easy, natural, and basically impossible not to do in one’s own native language … but a pain in the back side in languages where syntax and grammar in general are things you need to think actively about when talking.

One thing that often helps, if you can manage it and can live with ‘dumbing down’ your Irish (but getting it said without having to give up and switch to English!) is to just try to limit subordinate clauses. Speak in main clauses. Example:

Ar dhúirt mé seo leat? An buachaill a bhí ’na chónaí sa teach udaí thall i nGleann Fhinne, thug mé mo scian phóca dó.

It doesn’t sound as nice as your version, and it has some information missing (like the fact that it was your favourite knife) … but it’s grammatically perfectly fine, it’s easily understandable, and most importantly, it’s easily speakable, because you don’t have to think so far ahead and consider what belongs with what where and how to get it across your lips.

_________________
Not a native speaker.

Always wait for at least three people to agree on a translation, especially if it’s for something permanent.

My translations are usually GU (Ulster Irish), unless CO (Standard Orthography) is requested.


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PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec 2011 11:12 pm 
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Féabar wrote:
Breandán: You're "spot on" with what I'm looking for. I'll put some together that aren't way out weird and may be of use for others. For example, I was just on a Skype call with a friend in Ireland, and I wanted to say, "Did I tell you that I gave my favorite pocket knife to a boy there in the house in Gleann Fhinne? When I got home it had been discontinued (I learned the company doesn't make them now)". I had total freeze up/lock up. I can get about 1/2 of it out and then I just blurt it out in English. I've got to get past that. It shouldn't be this hard.

I'll put a list together of some simple things that just seem to difficult for me.

Rather than big lists, Faber, I think you should post them one or two phrases at a time. Looking at past cases on IGTF and ILF, I think you will find that you get a more thorough response to small parcels than to requests for great long tracts of unrelated material.

Similarly, I found your diaries were a little bit long to tackle at a sitting, but if you posted a sentence at a time, it would be easier for people to help. Admittedly, with diaries, it is all related material but after posting the paragraph, you could break it down into sentences within the topic and ask specific questions about the bits for which you haven't gotten answers.

If you do post a big list, then it is up to you to follow up and try to find answers for the bits everyone is skipping (often, though, such gaps indicate difficult grammar or concepts that are hard to express naturally in the language, which is why everyone avoids them.)

Remember: always try to break a big problem down into small bits.

Also, and possibly more importantly, since I know you are specifically interested in Ulster Irish in particular, and less so in Irish in general, I think you will get closer responses to what you are after if you make your posts in the Gaeilg Uladh - Gaeilge Uladh - Ulster Irish section. You can always ask for the CO equivalents there for reference after you have been given the Ulster version.

_________________

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: Mon 05 Dec 2011 12:50 am 
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Location: Navasota, Texas USA
Go raibh maith agaibh a chomradaí! Tá an comhairle seo iontach maith. Bainfidh mé cúpla habairti a phóist gach ócáid.

Slán anois,
Féabar Mac


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PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec 2011 5:20 pm 
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Féabar, I love your spelled out Texan dialect. I think yer gonna hafta turn off that Texan in ya when yer talkin' Irish. The sentence structure is just... too much it's own thing.

Although I understand you perfectly well, it's not the same English we speak here in the Midwest. ;)

And like someone else was getting to, I think all those specifics (not necessarily the "building blocks", but more like the plow and the tractor and the worming of the cows) that are hanging you up are just so American that they either don't have that exact word in Irish, or they do, but it's just so rarely used that even native speakers wouldn't have the word readily on their tongue in conversation.

The difference in the culture of a language is exactly why language fascinates me.

The last time I was in Mexico, we walked the beach to this small town where there was a yearly migration of crabs running from the land to the water which was supposed to be spectacular. I stopped to ask a man on the beach if we had reached the town yet, and I also wanted to ask if the migration was taking place. In my limited Spanish, I believe I ended up using the words "animales pequeños en la playa" (little animals on the beach) as a substitute for "crab" while making my hand walk in the air like a crab. He said, "En la playa? Oh! La migración!" And it was a much more interesting conversation than if I had known the Spanish word for "crab" and "migration".

I just didn't learn these words when I learned Spanish because crabs aren't exactly something I deal with... ever.

So back to Féabar, I have to ask this. Féabar and I can understand each other even though he's from Texas and I'm from the Midwest and he speaks different American English than me. Does that mean that Ulster and Munster and Connacht speakers can all understand each other perfectly well, they just have different ways of putting words together? Can it be compared to the relationship between Midwestern American English and Texas American English?

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I'm very much a beginner learner. Don't hesitate to correct me, as long as you explain why. This is how I learn best!


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PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec 2011 6:29 pm 
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Location: 91 - France
Do you know about this website and the people associated with it?
http://www.ccesa.info/irishlanguage.html


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PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec 2011 6:40 pm 
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mimerim wrote:
So back to Féabar, I have to ask this. Féabar and I can understand each other even though he's from Texas and I'm from the Midwest and he speaks different American English than me. Does that mean that Ulster and Munster and Connacht speakers can all understand each other perfectly well, they just have different ways of putting words together? Can it be compared to the relationship between Midwestern American English and Texas American English?

Fairly comparable, yes. The differences in pronunciation are probably a bit bigger between the Irish dialects (or maybe it’s just the fact that I’m used to dialects in English much more than in Irish that makes the differences seem smaller in English and bigger in Irish); but overall, (native) speakers of one dialect usually have little trouble understanding speakers of other dialects.

_________________
Not a native speaker.

Always wait for at least three people to agree on a translation, especially if it’s for something permanent.

My translations are usually GU (Ulster Irish), unless CO (Standard Orthography) is requested.


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PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec 2011 3:09 am 
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Location: Navasota, Texas USA
Mimerim:

I'm not really hung up on the worming and cows and all. It is just fun for me to think of how to say things in the language that are going on in my own life. I actually do know how to say "worming" in Irish. The farmer where I stayed called worms "peist". I was with them in the barn while they were shearing the sheep and worming cows. I am a fluent speaker of Spanish and I continued to learn for many years walking around with a dictionary and just figuring out all sorts of new words. It helps me to keep my mind in the language. I actually find that when I'm speaking Spanish now, I think occasionally of the word first in Irish (that excites me!)

Breandán was pretty much spot on in his analysis about these "building blocks". I have trouble in two areas. 1) remembering little phrases that I'll list and put down here a little at a time, and 2) The prepositional pronouns still give my mind a twist. Simple sentences like "He got the money from them and gave it to her" make me stop and brain freeze. Even this morning I was trying to figure out how to say a couple of things like:

At least I can ......................
Finally, ...............................

Those are just two tiny examples. They're small "building blocks". I'll list some later. I find them often in the lines in Pota Focal under a given word. Anyway....I'll come up with some later. I'm tired right now, and it's been a full day. :prof:


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PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec 2011 8:46 am 
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At least I can ...................... = Ar a laghad thig liom...
Finally, ............................... = Fá dheireadh,

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Is fearr Gaeilg na Gaeltaċta ná Gaeilg ar biṫ eile
Agus is í Gaeilg Ġaoṫ Doḃair is binne
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