Celtic Languages

The place to discuss endangered languages, and efforts being made to revive them.

Re: Celtic Languages

Postby jan.zajec » Sat 23 May 2009 7:37 pm

Yup, of course. Well, now I can say basic things in Irish (at least "I don't speak irish" :)) and I got a BBC welsh grammar from the internet.

but as i said, i'm going to london and there i'm gonna spend all my money on the stuff... :)

what about computer courses, like talknow or teachme ? have you got any experience?
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby anna » Sat 23 May 2009 7:48 pm

When you go to London, I would strongly advise you to make the trip to Wales. Visit the west of the country, which is much more Welsh linguistically. If you can be there in the first week of August, you can go to the National Eisteddfod, where you will hear lots of spoken Welsh and discover a lot about modern Welsh culture. If you find a part of Wales you particularly like, you can gear your learning to the dialect there (very roughly speaking, and as far as learning materials go, this is northern or southern Welsh).
When are you coming to Britain, anyway?
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby jan.zajec » Sat 23 May 2009 7:53 pm

Well in fact i'm coming 7 to 13 august so i 'll just miss the eistedfodd :( but i was not intending to go to wales anyway ... this year london, next year a whole month for wales ... :) that's my plan...and then other celtic countries.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby linguoboy » Sun 24 May 2009 12:28 am

anna wrote:Welsh, Cornish, Breton are the P-Celtic languages in your list, by the way, the others are Q-Celtic.

Or, in modern terminology, the first three are Brythonic and the latter three Goidelic. (It's been almost a century since linguists considered it a really good idea to lump the attested Celtic languages together on the basis of a single isogloss.)

And, actually, I do have problems confusing Irish and Welsh. I learned Welsh first, though not well, and then only got serious about learning Irish relatively recently. Now when I try to write Welsh, I get interference from Irish. Not really in the realm of vocabulary, but there are so many resemblances in syntax that it's a minefield. Both languages have default VSO word order and use similar--but not identical!--devices to draw elements forward to initial position. I often find myself trying to construct an emphatic sentence in Welsh according to Irish rules. When I wrote my response to ILuvEire, above, I actually had to look up the correct form of the prepositional pronoun. Both Irish and Welsh have the preposition ar (although pronounced /erʲ/ in Irish), but all the personal forms are different. I needed arni hi ("on her"), but all that came to mind was the corresponding Irish form, uirthi. And so on.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby anna » Sun 24 May 2009 1:31 pm

P-Celtic and Q-Celtic are still perfectly acceptable ways of denoting these two strands of Celtic language development, thank you very much.

If you have problems confusing Welsh and Irish, that's probably because you learned the one and then started the other. I thought Jan was talking about learning two languages together.

Actually, there is one word that confuses me - gan means with in Welsh and without in Irish, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby linguoboy » Sun 24 May 2009 5:08 pm

anna wrote:P-Celtic and Q-Celtic are still perfectly acceptable ways of denoting these two strands of Celtic language development, thank you very much.

Sorry, but they're really not. They imply a closer relationship between Brythonic and Gaulish on the one hand and Goidelic and Celtiberian on the other than is really justified. In fact, the evidence suggests that the shift of *kʷ to *p happened independently in both the Brythonic and Gaulish branches. Goidelic and Celtiberian may have resisted the change simply because they were more peripheral varieties. Lumping them both together as "Q-Celtic" makes about as much sense as lumping together Anglo-Frisian (including English) and Low Franconian (including Dutch) with Gothic as "W-Germanic" and all remaining West and North Germanic varieties as "V-Germanic".

If you have problems confusing Welsh and Irish, that's probably because you learned the one and then started the other. I thought Jan was talking about learning two languages together.

I'm not sure why starting them both together would make a difference. It's still confusing to know, for instance, that Níl ionam ach tosaitheoir is correct Irish but *Nid yw yno fi ond dechreuwr simply doesn't work in Welsh, and likewise for Dw i ddim ond dechreuwr and *Nílim ach tosaitheoir. This holds true regardless of the order you learn these in.

Actually, there is one word that confuses me - gan means with in Welsh and without in Irish, if I remember correctly.

Efallai'n eironig nid yw hyn yn broblem i fi achos mod i'n siarad Hwntw a nid oes ond "gyda" mewn 'nhafodiaith i!
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby Declan » Sun 24 May 2009 6:18 pm

If you start to learn Irish, pick on dialect and stick with it. When you know it pretty well, you'll understand the other dialects with a bit of practice, but if you try to learn more than one at the same time, you'll get very confused.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby linguoboy » Sun 24 May 2009 6:42 pm

Declan wrote:If you start to learn Irish, pick on dialect and stick with it. When you know it pretty well, you'll understand the other dialects with a bit of practice, but if you try to learn more than one at the same time, you'll get very confused.

Same goes for Welsh, mutatis mutandis. Once you've gotten a grounding, little differences like panad vs. dishgled, tydy o vs. dyw e, allwedd vs. goriad, etc. are no more distracting than the differences between, for instance, British English and American. But just as you wouldn't try to learn to talk like a Londoner and a Chicagoan simultaneously, you're probably best off not trying to tackle Gwyndodeg and Dyfedeg at one go.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby anna » Sun 24 May 2009 7:27 pm

Would you like me to correct your Welsh, Mr Linguoboy?
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby linguoboy » Mon 25 May 2009 12:16 am

anna wrote:Would you like me to correct your Welsh, Mr Linguoboy?

Byddwn i'n ddiolchgar iawn.
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