Celtic Languages

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

Re: Celtic Languages

Postby Glas » Mon 25 May 2009 3:53 pm

First language Welsh speaker here, constantly trying to improve though.
I'm a bit of a Brythonic fangirl. Once my A-Levels are over I'm going to start learning Cornish seriously, although I can already understand quite a lot of it when written. Hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult to learn and then I'm moving on to Breton!
I do love the Goidelic languages, though. I always thought that people were more interested in those, rather than Brythonic? I think they sound a lot nicer, from what I've heard.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby linguoboy » Mon 25 May 2009 5:31 pm

Glas wrote:I do love the Goidelic languages, though. I always thought that people were more interested in those, rather than Brythonic? I think they sound a lot nicer, from what I've heard.

I think they're definitely better known due to the relatively greater popularity of Irish and Scottish music. Most of my friends had never heard a song in Welsh until I introduced them to Ffa Coffi Pawb and Genod Droog, whereas everyone knows Enya.

Among people I know who have actually tried to learn a Celtic language, the picture is more complicated. For every Irish-learner drawn to the language for heritage reasons, there's seems to be a Welsh-learner spurred to take it up by reading the Mabinogi. Of course, the majority of people who express ad "interest" never get beyond purchasing a few books and tapes anyway.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby Declan » Mon 25 May 2009 10:21 pm

linguoboy wrote:Of course, the majority of people who express ad "interest" never get beyond purchasing a few books and tapes anyway.

Do you find that you know many people who are interested in learning Irish or Welsh, or any other Celtic language? I happen to know a few people who have learned Irish who are not from Ireland, and I find that the way they learn Irish is quite different to how children here learn it. They normally know the rules for grammar much better, but their pronunciation nearly never seems very natural (naturally :D). On the other hand, because Irish children start learning Irish at 4 years old, and those interested can speak Irish very naturally without actually having learned grammar (as in listing off tenses etc.). For example, it's a pretty safe bet that most students sitting their Leaving Cert. in Irish in about two weeks will never have heard of a "declension", or know the gender of any Irish noun, but they still will be able to form sentences grammatically.

I wonder is that the same for other Celtic languages?

@Linguoboy: BTW, when and why did you become interested in Celtic languages, specifically for me, Irish?
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby linguoboy » Tue 26 May 2009 5:22 pm

Declan wrote:I wonder is that the same for other Celtic languages?

Good question. Perhaps Glas and Anna could speak to Welsh language instruction in the educational system of Wales?

@Linguoboy: BTW, when and why did you become interested in Celtic languages, specifically for me, Irish?

So long ago that I find it difficult to recall exactly when. Already in junior high (i.e. junior cycle in Ireland) I was combing every resource I had access to--Webster's Third International, Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary of Folklore, the Encyclopaedia Britannica--for whatever scraps of Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic I could find. I remember distinctly, for instance, memorising the Our Father in Welsh out of an old edition of the EB when I was fourteen. I was in high school before I got my hands on real language-learning materials, namely Teach Yourself Irish and Teach Yourself Living Welsh.

I found the declensions and conjugations of Irish so intimidating that I soon put TY Irish down and barely touched it for another twenty years; I picked up Ó Siadhail's Learning Irish in college, but never made much progress with that either (and ended up hopelessly confused by the pronunciation differences between this and the West Muskerry of Dillon and Ó Cróinín's book). It was only a little over two years ago that I took up these books again; fortunately, learning a half-dozen inflected languages in the meantime made Irish much less formidable and I soon got to the point where I was reading Myles na gCopaleen (albeit with some difficulty).

Welsh came easier to me, though it wasn't until college that I actually met a Welsh-speaker (a non-native who'd studied it on the Llŷn Peninsula). This was the beginning of the process of unlearning the "lies" Rhys Jones had taught me, one that has taken me years. In my third year of college, I went abroad to Germany and had the opportunity to visit Wales where I picked up a learners' edition of a Welsh novel and painstakingly worked my way through it.

But perhaps what you're really asking is how I was drawn to these languages in the first place? Heritage certainly played a role, at least in the case of Irish. (My great-grandmother was from Cork City; as far as I know, there's no Welsh in me, but I only recently learned I have ancestors from County Durham, so who knows?) I was also up to my neck in Celtic Romanticism during my moody adolescence, which made these tongues inherently more appealing than anything else from Europe. Beyond that, it's hard to say, really. Certainly it was something I discovered almost entirely on my own, with little support from my environment until the age of the Internet.

Turning the tables for a moment: Why is it, do you think, that you developed an honest interest in Irish, Declan, when for so many of your countrymen it's more of a irritation than anything else?
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby Declan » Thu 28 May 2009 5:50 pm

linguoboy wrote:Why is it, do you think, that you developed an honest interest in Irish, Declan, when for so many of your countrymen it's more of a irritation than anything else?

That's a very interesting qustion. With a parent and an aunt a teacher (both languages as it happens), I've always had a very healthy attitude towards education, and since I like learning in general, I don't think I've ever not liked Irish, or any school subject for that matter.

A couple of years ago, I became interested in languages in general (conlanging etc.), and about the same time, I went to Irish college twice. Those six weeks immersion leave a lot of good experiences with Irish, and a summer school that is held sometimes in my home town where most of the people can speak Irish, made me like it even more. I would hate to think that when I leave school, I will virtually never speak Irish again.

So I would say that I am interested in Irish because:
1) I'm interested in languages, and could appreciate Irish for its grammar and history
2) After immersion and numerous good experiences and Irish speaking role-models
3) I have an interest in Irish culture being Irish, certainly it's an added incentive. I like being able to speak foreign languages, and Irish is an obvious choice
4) And simply, I like it. It's aesthetically pleasing to me

My only regret is that I know very little about the grammar of Irish. While I'm happy that I naturally come up with grammatically correct sentences, I find it very difficult to work backwards and learn that such and such a word is this declension and forms its cases this way. Maybe some day I will actually become motivated enough to learn how the different declensions work, but I don't know will I.

The other thing that I hadn't really thought of until you asked me, was that when I knew no grammar of Irish at all (virtually), I found it extremely frustrating. When simple things like the Tuiseal Guineadach were explained to me (actually I found them out pretty much on my own, but that's irrelevant), Irish was no longer merely a collection of words. It made sense. Knowing that there are "caol" and "leathan" consonants makes me appreciate the sounds, the series of palatalised consonants that are non-existent in my native language.

At the moment, I really like Irish. I don't subscribe to the nonsense that Irish is "useless" or "pointless" or any as ridiculous as that. I do understand that many people are biased against it from their school days, because I presume that if Irish is difficult for a student, being forced to do it for 14 years is a bit of a turn off. But that shouldn't affect us, fós is í ár dteanga dhucais. Deirtear, "beatha teanga í a labhairt" agus "tír gan teanga, tír gan anam", agus aontaim go huile is go hiomláin le sin, go háirithe an céad ceann. Ní teanga marbh í Gaeilge, agus tá súil agam nach beidh sí marbh as thodhcaí. Mar gheall ar an dara raiteas, nuair a théann Éirinnigh thar lear, bíonn an cuid is mó dóibh ag caint as Gaeilge uaireanta, mar ba mhaith leo nach dtigeann na daoine eile iad. Is Gaelagóir é ár dTaoiseach, agus tá a lán daoine i RTÉ ina ngaelagóir freisin. Dar liom, is rud iontach é sin, agus tá súil agam nuair a tá mé níos sinne, go mbeidh mé cosúil leo.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby Sym » Sun 31 May 2009 2:08 pm

I expected to be the only certain things to love
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Reasonable: English ( writing in Runic, and Ogham)
Studying: English, Latin, Old hieroglyph, German
Up next: spanish, Arabic ( if someone teaches me ), gaelic,
Eventually: japanese, tibetan, Greek,
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby linguoboy » Sun 31 May 2009 3:11 pm

Sym wrote:I expected to be the only certain things to love

Tá sorry orm, non capisco chè vuoi dire con questo.
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby jan.zajec » Sun 07 Jun 2009 2:02 pm

Hello

I have a question

Does anybody hre know where could I download the uncial font with characters for Welsh and other Celtic languages (e.g. circumflex on w,y; two dots on y etc.)

thank you
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby Delodephius » Sun 07 Jun 2009 5:47 pm

You mean these: ŴŵŶŷŸÿ ?

If you can see this you already have fonts. I suggest you download this program:
http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Software/BabelMap.html
It has the list of all Unicode characters. You can find characters to find all kinds of sings. For example to write Irish using the old insular letters:

Saolaíꞇeaꞃ na ꝺaoıne uıle ꞅaoꞃ aᵹus coṁıonann ına nꝺínıꞇ aᵹuꞅ ına ᵹceaꞃꞇa. Ꞇá bua an ꞃéaꞅúın aᵹuꞅ an ċoınꞅıaꞅa acu aᵹuꞅ ꝺlíꝺ ıaꝺ ꝼéın ꝺ'ıompaꞃ ꝺe ṁeon bꞃáıꞇ̇ꞃeaċaıꞅ ı leıꞇ̇ a ċéıle.
- Latina Ἑλληνική संस्कृतम् पाळि עִבְרִית پارسيک الفصحى 文言 Norrœnt
https://sites.google.com/site/sophologia/
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Re: Celtic Languages

Postby jan.zajec » Tue 09 Jun 2009 4:34 pm

Thank you very much for the programme

But I meant the traditional script, like this: http://7allens.co.uk/images/uncial.jpgpersestance.jpg (well I think it's traditional welsh :) ) but it should also have those characters mentioned (diaresis, circumflexes, acute, grave etc) if you can help me

Other question is: I downloaded a perfect ClóGaelach, but now I see there are two "S"s and two "R"s. One is "long" and other is like common latin alphabet. So, are they any rules how they are to be used? In some examples I saw that the "latin" form was used on the end of the word, and the "long" elsewhere.

Any suggestions? Thanks
Native: slovenščina
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Basic: castellano, italiano, hrvatski, српски, bosanski, црногорски, македонски, polski, русский, magyar, Latina, Ἑλληνική, СЛОВѢНЬСКЪІИ
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