>About a year ago, an American woman living near Dingle and struggling with
>Gaelic told me that the establishment of an all-Gaelic radio station was
>starting to standardize the pronunciation somewhat, but that the
>differences were still vast from one region to another. (She lived on the
>Dingle Peninsula) Any thoughts on this from you Gaelic speakers? If
>there is any standardization going on, which area, if any, is predominating?
Raidio na Gaeltachta (translates to "the radio station of the Irish-
speaking districts") was founded over 20 years ago now. I'm not sure
that it's standardising the pronunciation of the language, as each of
the 3 major Gaeltacht areas have input to the programming, so that
each dialect is heard on the airwaves. There are studios in Conamara,
Kerry and Donegal. The main one is in Conamara, and if there is a bias
it is towards the Conamara dialect.
The Irish government created a "standard" version of the language which
they called "An Caighdea/n" (The Standard). This is the one that's
officially taught in schools (of course, in schools in Gaeltacht areas,
the pupils will use their own dialect, no matter what the teachers tell
them to do). It is mainly a mix of Kerry Irish and Conamara Irish -
Donegal people got short shrift (I'm from Conamara, so it's OK for me to
say this!) Part of the problem is that not only does the pronunciation
vary from area to area, but each area has different ways of saying the
same thing. For example:
| Conas ta/ tu/? [Kerry/Munster Irish]
How are you? == | Ce/' chaoi 'bhfuil tu/? [Conamara/Connacht Irish]
| Caide/ mar 'ta/ tu/? [Donegal/Ulster Irish]
An all-Irish television station (Teilifi/s na Gaeilge) is being
developed at the moment. A lot of Irish people (even people living
in Gaeltacht areas who use Irish all the time) seem to think this is
a complete waste of time and money.
BTW, I used "Irish" above to mean "Irish language", i.e. Irish Gaelic
(or Gaeilge as we call it. Of course, in Kerry they say "Gaoluinn" and
in Donegal they say "Gaeilig" ... life is _so_ hard, you know?).
Seamus Mac Conaonaigh.
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