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 Post subject: Re: Irish for Quickly
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012 3:39 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
I get seriously irritated when people who haven't a word of Irish insist that "it isn't pronounced the way it's spelled." Of course it is! Why do people assume that letters and letter combinations make the same sounds in all language? I don't hear English speakers grumbling about words like "ratatouille" and "tortilla" not being "pronounced the way they're spelled"...why pick on Irish in this regard?

Redwolf


People who grow up speaking English are just gonna have this bias. I should have mentioned that he and I have a nonstop banter about this (that there is no "right" way to pronounce letters, that all languages have different rules and English rules are no more or less confusing than Irish). He knows I'm right, but he likes to pick on me anyway. It's been his job since we were children in school. I'm constantly pointing out words to him in English--even simpler ones than the ones you mentioned. Like "sugar". Why do we say "shugar" ? Yet "suggest" has no sh sound. And anything ending in -ough. What is that?

And even though he continues to pick on me, he can't help but learn the words along with me and our kids. He's been sucked in, and he's intrigued. Just last night he was like, "Orange. What was orange? Oráiste?" HAHA!

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 Post subject: Re: Irish for Quickly
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012 4:08 pm 
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mimerim wrote:
Redwolf wrote:
I get seriously irritated when people who haven't a word of Irish insist that "it isn't pronounced the way it's spelled." Of course it is! Why do people assume that letters and letter combinations make the same sounds in all language? I don't hear English speakers grumbling about words like "ratatouille" and "tortilla" not being "pronounced the way they're spelled"...why pick on Irish in this regard?

Redwolf


People who grow up speaking English are just gonna have this bias. I should have mentioned that he and I have a nonstop banter about this (that there is no "right" way to pronounce letters, that all languages have different rules and English rules are no more or less confusing than Irish). He knows I'm right, but he likes to pick on me anyway. It's been his job since we were children in school. I'm constantly pointing out words to him in English--even simpler ones than the ones you mentioned. Like "sugar". Why do we say "shugar" ? Yet "suggest" has no sh sound. And anything ending in -ough. What is that?

And even though he continues to pick on me, he can't help but learn the words along with me and our kids. He's been sucked in, and he's intrigued. Just last night he was like, "Orange. What was orange? Oráiste?" HAHA!


What I don't get, though, is why English speakers in particular seem to have this bias. I don't think I've ever heard it from someone whose native language is something like French or Spanish.

I figured your husband's response was light-hearted...it's just something I hear a lot (in regards to Irish, but not to any other language), and I wonder what generates it.

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: Irish for Quickly
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012 4:49 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
What I don't get, though, is why English speakers in particular seem to have this bias.

It's a kind of inferiority complex. 900+ years of vowel and consonant changes without any serious attempt to update the spelling has left English way out of kilter with the actual pronunciation (even America only adopted a fraction of Webster's recommendations.)

It gives English speakers a rather warped perspective on "normal" spelling and pronunciation. :darklaugh:

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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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 Post subject: Re: Irish for Quickly
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012 6:20 pm 
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I think it also has something to do with the fact that English is everywhere. If people all over the world were speaking Irish, they'd think Irish pronunciation was the norm, and English was weird.

English speakers take for granted that they grew up speaking English and didn't have to learn all the idiosyncrasies the hard way.

Many years ago my high school Spanish teacher told me that English is one of the most irregular and hardest languages to learn, so Spanish will be a breeze. I remember thinking, no way. Now I know she was right.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish for Quickly
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012 6:48 pm 
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I've often wondered if it was mainly an American thing...after all, outside of the border states and some big cities, the average American rarely encounters a language other than English once he or she leaves high school (and not all states require a foreign language to graduate from high school)...unless you count Taco Bell Spanish!

Do you encounter this in Australia, Breandán? I would think there'd be similar issues there, for many of the same reasons.

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: Irish for Quickly
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012 8:17 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
Do you encounter this in Australia, Breandán?

All the time. :yes:

mimerim wrote:
Many years ago my high school Spanish teacher told me that English is one of the most irregular and hardest languages to learn, so Spanish will be a breeze. I remember thinking, no way. Now I know she was right.

Almost. Japanese is actually _less_ phonetic than English and has many more exceptions.

_________________

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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 Post subject: Re: Irish for Quickly
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012 8:29 pm 
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
I think Japanese is a whole different story :bolt:

And strangely, an Asian friend of mine tells me Irish sounds like Chinese.

I think we've determined all English-speaking outcasts of Europe (er, I mean, colonists) have the same narrow-minded view of English being the norm to which all languages should be compared. Nice to know we have that in common!

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