Bean sí – Fairy Woman

Dolores O'Riordan

Dolores O’Riordan

The arts are a form of communication; music, writing, film, theatre, painting, photography and all other mediums that are devolved from these pillars of human existence and endeavour.

I’m Irish. I grew up listening in awe to the deeds and legends of my boyhood hero Fionn Mac Cumhaill, and the stories my grandmother would tell me (terrify me with) about the bogeyman and one of my personal favourites the banshee (Gaelic; bean sí – fairy woman).

I’m reminded of this while listening to the voice of the late Dolores O’Riordan who passed away on the 15th of January 2018. A voice which represented the finest traditions of Irish music, with links to the wilderness and the wails of the bean sí in terms of its haunting, lilting and melancholic style. A sound and style of pronunciation closely associated with her birthplace Limerick.

The video below is a version of Schubert’s Ave Maria, in which Dolores duetted with no other than arguably the greatest tenor of them all, Luciano Pavarotti, at a charity concert in Modena, Italy in 1995.

Hauntingly beautiful. RIP.

What / does / bilingual / mean?

Mother tongue?!

Hi again.

I was fascinated while reading the following article about fluency development in 2nd language learning in Montreal, Quebec, as touched upon in a previous post. (Click on the image above to read the article).

I found some observations from the article particularly interesting from a linguistic perspective, such as;

fluency – the ability to speak smoothly and quickly, without undue hesitations and pauses

“It has to do with exposure opportunities,” says Segalowitz,

If you feel awkward in a second language, you probably won’t get involved in activities that require speaking it.

Adapting your level of speech to different settings – whether you are making a boardroom presentation or cracking a joke in a pub – is one of the most difficult tasks for people speaking a second language.

The more you pursue interests that require using your second language, the more fluent you will become, Segalowitz says.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good read on a sunny Sunday morning. Get the hint?