01 August 2008

-suh vs -shuh

The differences between Munster Irish and the other dialects is whacking me on the head again. I ended up listening to the Pimsleur CD in the car yesterday (you don't realize how rare this is - I work from home and drive my car maybe 20 miles a week) and re-listened to the lesson on 'here" and "there" -- at the most basic, 'anseo' and 'ansin'

Well, pronunciation rules (and pronunciation in Connacht and Ulster) , rule that an 's' next to a slender vowel (e, i) is pronounced like English 'sh' in shop. Thus, uhn-shuh and uhn-shin. Tne 'an' part tends to get swallowed a bit, almost like n'shuh, n'shin.

The Pimsleur cds introduce the sounds as 'suh' and 'sun'. Anseo is 'un-suh' and ansin is 'un-sun'. Huh? I'm nothing near a fluent speaker (heck, I'm still struggling with the basics), but sounds wrong wrong wrong to my ear. It isn't, of course, it's just a dialectal difference, but I find myself snapping, "No! un-SHUH!" at the car speakers. The first time I heard it, I wasn't honestly sure that it was even the same word!

I haven't hit the lesson where here-and-there are introduced in Rosetta Stone, so no anseo/ansin yet, but they have introduced 'cad é seo? - what is this?' -- pronounced as I initially learned - 'shuh' or 'shaw'. I assume that they will continue with that. Rosetta is quite a bit closer to the 'standard', of course, so I guess that's expected.

13 comments:

FM718 said...

I just discovered your blog the other day and I love it. I've been studying Irish off and on for the last 4 years, and reading your blog is like reliving all the fun and frustrations of learning this maddening language.

I'm very curious about your Rosetta Stone experience. I've tried just about every Irish course (Learning Irish, Irish On Your Own, Buntús Cainte, etc.), and I always give up after a few months. The only course I completed was Pimsleur, but of course, it's only 8 lessons.

I've been hearing very good things about RS Irish from the Daltaí forum. It sounds like you're enjoying it, too. I'm very glad to hear that they're pronouncing anseo as "un-shuh". The "un-suh" pronunciation always drove me bananas on Pimsleur.

How far along are you with RS? Do you recommend it? How do they refer to the language - "Gaeilge" or "Gaeluinn"?

GRMA!

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