Political Irish | The Irish Politics & Current Affairs Website

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • Before posting anything about the COVID-19 virus, please read this first Click Here

Seán Ó hÉinirí: Scéalta Chois Cladaigh - Last of the Monoglot Irish Speakers

Tadhg Gaelach

PI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
59,626
Likes
55,402
Scéalta Chois Cladaigh, dá n-inseacht ag Seán Ó hÉinirí, Cill Ghallagáin, Chondae Mhaigh Eo. Séamas Ó Catháin a bhailigh na scéalta le linn na 1970í, agus Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann a fhoilsigh i 1983.

I don't know if he was the very last, but certainly must be have one of the last. Seán lived his life in Erris, Co. Mayo and lived it all though the Irish language. He died in 1998 at age 83.

This excerpt is from a BBC series on the Trojan Wars shown in 1985. Seán is given as an example of a Homeric storyteller.

 
Last edited:
OP
Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

PI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
59,626
Likes
55,402
You can see Seán's section in the series at 10:19 here,

 
OP
Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

PI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
59,626
Likes
55,402
the difference between a true Gaelgeoir and the polished D4 gaelge people learn at school ?

its like comparing a Michelin starred restaurant to an american Burger chain.

i will confess to really struggling to understand that old fella. Much to my shame.

We are a very diminished people, alas. Still, as long as we have the memory of our heroic past we might yet build an heroic future. That's the enemy's greatest fear.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
6,374
Likes
10,681
that is an illiterate storyteller.

And i would hazard a guess that zero candidates for the Leaving Cert Honours Irish paper would have even the vaguest clue what he is talking about.
 

Zosimus

PI Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
797
Likes
1,603
the difference between a true Gaelgeoir and the polished D4 gaelge people learn at school ?

its like comparing a Michelin starred restaurant to an american Burger chain.

i will confess to really struggling to understand that old fella. Much to my shame.

It's possible to bring about an astonishing improvement in the quality of one's Irish by memorising authentic Irish text verbatim, by studiously emulating the sounds of recorded native speakers, and reciting simultaneously along with them. When you know a good firm block of Irish text exactly and when you can recite it as a native speaker would it seems you are granted insight into the holistic architectural tissue of the language. Being abe to pronounce things right lets you intuit grammar and syntax you shouldn't be able to know on some strange macrosmic-microcosmic level. You enter into the smior of the langauge. I certainly won't make any grand claims for the quality of my Irish but it is to this method that I owe my most significant recent progress.
 
OP
Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

PI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
59,626
Likes
55,402
It seems the BBC were very taken with Seán. They had him back in 1986 for a series on the English language. You can hear Seán at 2:50.

 
OP
Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

PI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
59,626
Likes
55,402
Here's the playlist for that series on Homer, which is well worth watching.

 

Tau Cross

PI Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
159
Likes
244
It's possible to bring about an astonishing improvement in the quality of one's Irish by memorising authentic Irish text verbatim, by studiously emulating the sounds of recorded native speakers, and reciting simultaneously along with them. When you know a good firm block of Irish text exactly and when you can recite it as a native speaker would it seems you are granted insight into the holistic architectural tissue of the language. Being abe to pronounce things right lets you intuit grammar and syntax you shouldn't be able to know on some strange macrosmic-microcosmic level. You enter into the smior of the langauge. I certainly won't make any grand claims for the quality of my Irish but it is to this method that I owe my most significant recent progress.

One thing I always noticed about old fellas who had grown up speaking it and those who learned it at school was I always thought the learners 'cadence' was a bit off. I know an old man today who is a strong supporter of the language and was reared speaking it at home and gets very frustrated with younger people trying to converse with him, while I feel he can be very discouraging to them even I who could do no where near as well as they, will bristle as I can immediately hear they have no blas or feeling in it its all so wooden.
 

DrPat2

PI Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
4,655
Likes
7,353
A musical interlude. This is from another Máirtín - this time from poet and Aran Islander Máirtín Ó Díreáin played by Zoe Conway & John McIntyre


Seo iad na liricí as Gaeilge agus as Béarla:

‘Faoiseamh a Gheobhadsa’ Máirtín Ó Direáin

Faoiseamh a gheobhadsa
Seal beag gairid
I measc mo dhaoine
Ar oileán mara,
Ag siúl cois cladaigh
Maidin is tráthnóna
Ó Luan go Satharn
Thiar ag baile.

Faoiseamh a gheobhadsa
Seal beag gairid
I measc mo dhaoine
Ó chrá chroí,
Ó bhuairt aigne,
Ó uaigneas dhuairc,
Ó chaint ghontach Thiar ag baile.

'I Will Find Solace' I will find Solace A short while Amongst my people On a sea island Walking the stone beach Morning and evening From Monday to Saturday In the west at home I will find solace A short while Amongst my people From heart sorrow From mind worry From joyless loneliness From hurtful talk In the west at home
 
Last edited:

Zosimus

PI Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
797
Likes
1,603
One thing I always noticed about old fellas who had grown up speaking it and those who learned it at school was I always thought the learners 'cadence' was a bit off. I know an old man today who is a strong supporter of the language and was reared speaking it at home and gets very frustrated with younger people trying to converse with him, while I feel he can be very discouraging to them even I who could do no where near as well as they, will bristle as I can immediately hear they have no blas or feeling in it its all so wooden.

'Tis a hard issue. Being criticised for the level of your Irish can be discouraging and humiliating but bad Irish can't be allowed to past muster. The language belongs to itself alone in its integrity and bad Irish shouldn't be accepted as good Irish simply on the basis of its speakers' intentions. If English was reduced to a few rocky outposts by foreign invaders I wouldn't blame the last native English speakers in the world for refusing to accept "I is me trying to speaks English do not judges do not because I tries for patriotism mine English real English is too" said in a heavy Arabic accent from learners as good English. If comparably bad Irish is accepted it will pidginize the tongue.

It is curious fact that for peoples so geographically close the Irish and English mix like milk and water with each other. We have good qualities in common, but in different ways which do not blend with each other but rather aggravate each other. I feel that if that the Irish and the English were further away from each other geographically no peoples would love each more. It is like we are too room-mates who would be best of friends if they were not room-mates. This applies to our languages also. No accent is as fitting as the Irish to make English sound ridiculous and no accent is as fitting as he English to make Irish sound grating. English phonetics dessicate Irish into something like Dutch. Irish poetry translates very poorly into English (with rare exceptions) and English poetry is almost impossible to translate into Irish. Racine translates naturally into Irish (see Pádraig de Brún's translation) but a good Irish translation of Shakespeare is inconceivable.
 
Top Bottom