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Thread: Irish accent

  1. #11
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    That's good to hear, from a philological standpoint. I hope the Irish make use of some inspiration from the Israelis and are able to revive their ancient language, and bring it back into everyday use. It's always a shame for a language to go dead.
    Irish is far from going dead. It's a compulsory subject in Irish schools and although the number of native speakers is generally quite low, there are much more for whom Irish is the second language. It's also the first official language of Ireland and an official language of the UE. Scottish Gaelic has a much worse position, but it also has some native speakers, some of whom are quite prety: YouTube - ‪Julie Fowlis - Hg Air A' Bhonaid Mhir‬‏

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Irish is far from going dead. It's a compulsory subject in Irish schools and although the number of native speakers is generally quite low, there are much more for whom Irish is the second language. It's also the first official language of Ireland and an official language of the UE. Scottish Gaelic has a much worse position, but it also has some native speakers, some of whom are quite prety: YouTube - ‪Julie Fowlis - Hg Air A' Bhonaid Mhir‬‏
    Yes, one of my daughters went to an all Irish primary school for one year. All schools in the Gealteacht are Irish medium; also all Irish state school teachers are required to have passed Irish at high school diploma level.

  3. #13
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    I'm guessing the title of that song means something like "He is a handsome man?"

  4. #14
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I'm guessing the title of that song means something like "He is a handsome man?"
    I'm not sure what the title means but there's the word "big" in it.

    PS: OK, I checked with an online dictionary any "bonaid" means bonnet. I guess it's not about a man then!

  5. #15
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    There were areas in Ireland I went to on my honeymoon where the natives spoke Irish as a first language.

    An Irish colleague of mine told me that the natives would speak English to my wife and me, as we were American tourists, but that they would expect him to speak in Irish if he were there.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I'm guessing the title of that song means something like "He is a handsome man?"
    Scots Gaelic is a bit different from Irish, and my Irish skills are not great, but I'm pretty sure that "bhonaid Mhoir" means "big bonnet" and "Hug" looks like the verb "thug", to give.


  7. #17
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    Just a guess based on words that resemble Latin and Scandinavian relatives of Gaelic (Latin being more closely related of course: vir / fir, tu / tu, -ix / -icus, etc.).... I once read that Julius Caesar, during the conquest of Gaul, ordered military dispatches to be drawn up in Greek, as the Gauls could intercept and make out the general gist of Latin.

  8. #18
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Scots Gaelic is a bit different from Irish, and my Irish skills are not great, but I'm pretty sure that "bhonaid Mhoir" means "big bonnet" and "Hug" looks like the verb "thug", to give.
    I don't speak either Irish or Scottish Gaelic, but "hg" seems strange to me. I thought the letter "h" didn't occur on its own in the language... I tried to make sense of this by using internet resources, but I failed badly. There's no mention of "hg" anywhere I looked. I found a translation of the song on the web: Julie Fowlis - Hg Air A' Bhonaid Mhir, but I don't understand why there should be "celebrate" there after searching the online dictionaries.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Irish accent

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I don't speak either Irish or Scottish Gaelic, but "hg" seems strange to me. I thought the letter "h" didn't occur on its own in the language... I tried to make sense of this by using internet resources, but I failed badly. There's no mention of "hg" anywhere I looked. I found a translation of the song on the web: Julie Fowlis - Hg Air A' Bhonaid Mhir, but I don't understand why there should be "celebrate" there after searching the online dictionaries.
    You are quite right there is no "h" in the traditional Irish alphabet. It was introduced to replace a dot over certain letters, the dot changes the sound of the letter sometimes to "h" sometimes to "w" sometimes to "v". The infinitive of the verb to give is "tg" (toog), for example; when it is conjugated it becomes "thg" (hoog). The word for "big" is "mr" (moor), when it is applied to certain nouns it becomes "mhir" (wooir).

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    Default Re: Irish accent

    "Hg" seems to remain a mistery then, unless it's a misspelling a "thg", but it's unlikely. I have the original CD with the song and that's how the title is spelled. I know that "h" can be used sometimes at the beginning of a word in some cases, when the word starts with a vowel, as in "glaigh na hireann". But this doesn't seem to be the case here either, does it?

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