Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

Latest post Sun, Apr 19 2015 16:22 by LauraHuntORI. 9 replies.
  • Tue, Apr 14 2015 13:22

    • Mary Lea
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    Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    And also, what is the plural for 'fada'? If I had known I would have tried to write my first topic heading in Gaelic. I can get the fadas in my word processing programme, but they don't translate online.

     

    I've wanted to learn Irish all my life, but one thing or another always seemed to get in the way. I started off with Buntus Cainte when I was about  ten or eleven, but over the years, although I kept trying to start again, I never got much past the sixteenth lesson.

     

    I've signed up for the interactive course on this website, and am now up to about twenty four. I'm also using Progress in Irish by Maire ni Gradaigh, and am using Rossetta Stone to suplement my learing. I've signed up (crazily) for a weeklong course in the Gaeltacht this June. I am determined to get there - I don't want my Grandparents to be the last generation in my family to speak Irish.

     

    So - at the moment I'm devoting at least an hour a day to it, swapping my activities around. Every day I'm planning to work through at least one of the Buntus Cainte lessons, working more slowly through Progress in Irish, and working gradually through Rossetta Stone. (It only goes up to the third level, but I'm hoping by the time I get there I will be more confident.)

     

    I've also started writing a diary in Irish - I am sure it is full of grammatical errors at this stage (I'm using a dictionary to supplement my vocabulary, and am keeping a jotting book for new words and phrases. I could really do with a spelling course as well - the kind of thing kids go through at school when they are learning to write.

     

    What I would really like would be to find someone in a similar situation who wants to practise speaking - of course, I am selfish and would be happy for the speaker to be better than me (they can hardly be much worse) but if anyone is interested in Skyping so we could converse in Gaelic I would be delighted. Are any people on this forum already skyping? And are there Gaelic language groups on twitter or facebook?

     

    Go raibh maith agat, gach duine. Siul agam gach beg me ag cainte fos. (See, I told you I am not very good - I am pushing what little language I have to get thoughts across, and I don't know if it's working yet. I'm trying though!)

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  • Tue, Apr 14 2015 18:12 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    Céad míle fáilte, a Mary!

    Tá mé ag foghlaim an Gaeilge i ndiaidh roinnt bhliana gan staidéar freisin.

    Tá grupa "Facebook" agam 's "Gaeilge Skypers" atá air.  Tá fáilte romhat a téigh sa grupa.  Tá cuid mhór grupaí timpeall Gaeilge ar "Facebook".  Tá mé comhalta do IRISH FOR BEGINNERS.

    Fuair mé acmhainní go leor ar line a tabhairt cuidiú.  Is fearr an láithreán seo, atá uirlisí go leor anseo.

    Cén ait atá tú i gconaí?  Cárb as duit?

    Adh mór ort!  Slán agat.

    Dale D

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  • Tue, Apr 14 2015 18:50 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    Just realized...I didn't offer an answer to your basic question!

    As I indicated, I've begun studying again after many years of not studying.  My original textbook was called "Teach Yourself Irish."  A girl I knew in Cork saw me reading it, and she said, "You'll never learn Irish readin' that!"  She brought me her Buntús Cainte books from school, and also gave me a couple of other books to help.  I bought some dictionaries on my own, and a novel.

    One of the online resources I really like is Irish Dictionary Online, which is at www.irishdictionary.ie.  One of the things I like about it is that it gives many examples of sentences with the words it brings up, in most cases.  For difficult constructs, it is a great blessing because sometimes a word just doesn't exist in Irish, and you have to learn the idiom for the same expression in English.

    I looked up the word fada in the online dictionary, and it gives the definition as "long" of course, but also includes "far, lengthy, protracted", and all as adjectives.  While the word fada is used to refer to the diacritical mark giving the long sound to a vowel, it is not, apparently, considered a noun and does not have a nominative form.  The word fad is the noun for length, distance, or duration.

    In the sample sentences under fada in the dictionary was this offering:  tá cosa fada uirthi, She has long legs.  While the word cos "leg" is pluraled to cosa, fada remains the same, so I assume it is singular or plural, or doesn't have a discrete plural form.  Of course, when writing in English, as you were, adding the "s" to give the plural would seem correct, but would also convert it into a noun.

    I suspect seano (John Dorins), another member of this forum, can give us the low-down on this item.  I hope he will see this.  I suspect that the use of the term "fada" to refer to the long mark will be properly expressed in Irish as comhartha fada "long mark", but I'm not certain of that.  I know that, conversationally, it is used as a noun in English, at least, so I don't know that it hasn't developed a nominal sense in Irish at this point, either.

    So there you have it, until someone comes along who knows what he's actually talking about.

    I live in California in the USA, but spent two years in Ireland in my early twenties.  I envy you going to the Gaeltacht.  I'm afraid I'll never quite get there.  I hope we will get to go to Ireland some time, but life has a way of putting things off.  I did give Irish first names to all three of our children, but I gave them English middle names, just in case they decided they couldn't stand the Irish ones.  And we named our dog Oisín.  The woman we adopted him from had called him "Francois" but we realized right off that it wouldn't do for a dog in our family.  He seems to like the new name better.

    All the best to you; I hope you find some people to skype with.  I've skyped a couple of times, but I'm such a beginner at speaking the language.  I'll keep working at it, though.

    Dale D

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  • Tue, Apr 14 2015 19:01 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    One last thing...

    To write fadas on this forum, I use the numeric keypad and ALT key on my keyboard.  If you are using a laptop that doesn't have the numeric keypad, it may not work, but if you have the numeric keypad available, you can enter the fada over a vowel by holding down the ALT key and using the following codes:

    ALT+0193=Á

    ALT+144=É

    ALT+0205=Í

    ALT+0211=Ó

    ALT+0218=Ú

    ALT+160=á

    ALT+130=é

    ALT+161=í

    ALT+162=ó

    ALT+163=ú

    Just to be clear, you don't have to type the vowel by itself, just the ALT key and code.

    There are other keyboard shortcuts that some people have found, but I haven't gotten them to work consistently.  There is also a way of configuring your keyboard to the Irish language, but I haven't done that as I use it for English so much.

    I hope that helps!

    Dale D

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  • Tue, Apr 14 2015 19:14 In reply to

    • Mary Lea
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    Dia duit! Thank you Dale! Ta an athas orm bualadh leat! 

     

    That's very helpful - I will definitely use the online dictionary. Example questions are very helpful I find.

     

    But the thing I'm trying to figure out is why when I type on my computer documents I can get the fada (my son is called Seamus - with the fada of course!) but online I can't get it to work. In fact, on his first day at primary school he annoyed his teacher (we live in England) by telling her she had spelled his name wrong -'there's a fada above the e' he informed her. When I picked him up at the end of the day she told me that I was perhaps pushing him too far in his literacy, because he was making up imaginary spellings. I informed her that she was mistaken, and that his name was in Irish, and yes, the fada was indeed a thing.

     

    So, it annoys me not to be able to use it! I feel illiterate (well, I am functionally illiterate in Irish, but you know what I mean.) I just want to be able to type online, and improve my spelling, but it seems I'm going to be at a disadvantage from the start.

     

    But it's very helpful to know that fada is is useful as a word in other contexts. And that dictionary is really going to help.

     

    Skyping would help as well. I'd be interested to know what other books your Irish speaking friend recommended to you - Buntus Cainte does get you talking. Even though I'm getting alarmed by how different some of the accents are. Giota beag sounds nothing like Buntus Cainte, and Rossetta Stone sounds nothing like either. I'm thinking when I get to the Gaeltacht it will sound like something else again. (On the west coast.)

     

    Oh - and I'd love to find a regularly published newspaper - and possibly a place I can watch Ros na Run online. They have over a thousand episodes and subtitles, so I'm thinking that's going to keep me busy for a while!

     

    Go raibh maith agat aris. :)

     

     

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  • Tue, Apr 14 2015 19:15 In reply to

    • Mary Lea
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    Oh, I just saw your answer as to how to type fadas! I was busy typing my life story and missed it. Thank you again - I'm going to print that out and use it as a crib sheet.

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  • Tue, Apr 14 2015 23:06 In reply to

    • Mary Lea
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    Dia duit a Dale! (Nil me go maith le na fada fos - beg me ag obair le seo go luath, ach ta me tuirseach anocht.) Nil mo litriu go maith, go soleir.

    Go raibh maith agat - ta se go maith gach ta grupa i. (An raibh an abairt seo ceart? Ta an teanga deacair!) 

    Ta me i gconaí Norfolk?  Agus cen ait ata tu i gconai, tu fein?

    Go raibh maith agat, agus gabh mo leithsceal gach nil me go maith ag scriobh na caint fos. Go luath, ta siul agam.

    (How bad was that? Was it least partly comprehensible?)

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  • Wed, Apr 15 2015 8:27 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    Mary, a chara,

    Tá fhíos agam cad atá tú ag scríobh.  Maith thú!

    Overall I understood it very well...but I did have to look up a couple of words here and there!  Only one word gave me a problem, and that was "soleir", but I was pretty sure you had misspelled it....  I don't know how much you may have learned about the spelling of Irish words, so I'll make this somewhat brief, as you may already be aware, and it could have just been a typo.  I know I've made my share....

    Anyway, in Irish there are five vowels, the same we have in English (less "y" which sometimes is included), a, e, i, o, and u.  Of these, a, o, and u are called "broad vowels", and e and i are "slender vowels."  All the consonants have two vocal qualities, broad and slender.  The quality applied in any given circumstance is dictated by the vowels which surround the consonants.  In order for a consonant to have a slender sound, it must have slender vowels on both sides, and contrariwise, if it is to have a broad sound, then broad vowels must be found on either side.  (This is one of the things that makes Irish spelling so vowel intensive, and confusing to many of us English speakers....)  The rule applies to the vowels whether they are long or short (with or without the fada).

    So for the word in question, I realized that something had to be missing.  I assumed it was probably an "i" before the "l" and when I inserted the "i" at that point, my dictionary found the word and gave the definition as "apparent, clear-cut, obvious" which seemed to fit the context of what you were saying, so I assumed it was the correct spelling.

    That is one thing you may want to keep an eye on.  Of course, there are some rules to learn, for example, when you make compound words, you don't have to make the vowels match if the source words don't already.  One example I have on hand uses the word buíochas which means appreciation or gratitude.  To the front of this word we can add sain- which is a prefix that means "special" or "particular" and come up with a term that means "special thanks" -- sainbhuíochas.  However, the "i" in "sain-" and the "u" in "buíochas" are not matched up.  Because two sets of consonants interpose between them, I think that is partly why it's okay in this instance, but I know there are other compound words that do this.  I would have to hunt around to find other examples, but hopefully you get the idea.

    I live in Woodland, California near Sacramento and a couple of hours from San Francisco, near the US west coast.  When you say you are in Norfolk, I assume you mean Norfolk, England?  We have a Norfolk in the US as well, (and maybe more than one) it is in Virginia, on the US east coast.  I grew up in Pocatello, Idaho; and Idaho is another western US state, but it's several hundred miles away from us here.  You said your grandparents spoke Gaeilge; where were they from?  Were you born in Ireland?

    Keep studying and working on your Irish!   Maybe when you're ready we can try to Skype!

    Slán agat!

    Dale D

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  • Sun, Apr 19 2015 12:03 In reply to

    • Mary Lea
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    Go raibh mille maith agat!

     

    I'm a writer by the way, and am thinking of trying to write very (very) short introspectives. Less for literary value than out of a desire to fix vocabulary in my head. Is there anyone here who would correct my mistakes? (And you're right, I did mispell that word - spelling is something I am going to work very hard on.)

     

    Anyway - anyone who could help me correct my spelling and grammar on very short pieces would have my eternal gratitude.

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  • Sun, Apr 19 2015 16:22 In reply to

    • LauraHuntORI
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    Re: Ta me ag foghlaim Gaelge - where are the fadas!

    *Tá mé ag canadh:*

    "Rugadh mé i cófra in Amharclann Banphrionsa i Pocatello, Idaho."

     

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