deardron wrote:Well, I'm not quite getting your example, Seonaidh.. My point was that Gaelic orthography sometimes needs more letters to express some sound than that of English, which makes it difficult. In this topic we are talking about people who are learning Gaelic and not necessarily all of them are native English speakers. So if you mean your knowledge of English easens your study of Gaelic orthography and phonetics, then I have nothing to say against it. But for me as a Russian native speaker and "writer" Gaelic orthography looks a bit 'heavyweight'. I'm sure a lot of other beginners in Gaelic would say the same. There's no hint to whether English orthography is more difficult or not, and I don't quite grasp how English can be relevant here.
I don't know much Russian but, from what I remember, it has one or two orthographic quirks but is essentially "regular", in much the same way as, say, Spanish is.
Like English. however, its orthographic system is based on certain letters representing certain sounds, with only occasional changes due to context (i.e., what other letters are about). Indeed, in that respect, it is far more regular than English. It does, though, seem to have one feature that Gaelic has - and that English speakers can find a bit of a challenge: that is, when you get a Y-glide sort of thing (e.g. in such English words as "Serbia" or "bee"), it's not shown in English - but it is in Russian and Gaelic (Russian, e.g., has a fair set of Y-glide plus vowel characters, while Gaelic often uses [i]dh in that context).
Perhaps if I said "Anglo-centric" it was too strict: it's just that most people learning Gaelic seem to be native English speakers. Gaelic orthography is highly context-specific, e.g. with the "broad" and "slender" thing, and the fact that most people coming to learn Gaelic as a non-first language have previous experience only of non-context-specific spelling systems often leads them to suppose that Gaelic orthography is "more difficult", rather than just different to what they're used to.
On another thing - the "jannoo" (dèanamh) thing with bh and mh - this also happens in, e.g., Welsh - and various fossils survive in English to indicate that it was probably once widespread there too (e.g. the poetic "e'er" for "ever"). Not surprisingly, e.g., the Welsh for "throat" (gwddf) is usually said "gwddw". Sometimes it has become the "norm", e.g. the Spanish "cerveza" is actually from the same root as the Welsh "cwrw" (leann), as can be seen by looking at the Welsh plural of it - "cyrfeydd", where the original V sound is still there. Likewise, it won't surprise you to learn that the "jannoo" quoted earlier is actually tha Manx for "dèanamh".