I think I've got the distinction between broad and slender consonants in Irish more or less down, but a few details keep eluding me:
1. What on earth is the difference in pronunciation between "mar" and "mear"? I have listened to soundbites, and they sound exactly identical to me. Theoretically, I understand "mear" should have a bit of a y-glide after the 'm', but I cannot hear it anywhere in the soundbites I have listened to. The pronunciation "myar" even sounds unnatural to me.
2. Same question for "fara" versus "fear" (man): I cannot hear any y-glide in "fear" in any of the sound-bites. It sounds like the English word "far" to be, and I cannot make out what makes this a slender consonant… Help?
3. I learnt in grammar class many years ago that a slender double n at the end of the word is pronounced like ñ in Spanish, so "sinn" sounds like "shiñ". But then I learnt that a slender single n at the end of the word is slender, but without the y-glide, e.g. "ansin". My question here is: well, if the y-glide is not there with a single slender 'n' at the end of a word, then what on earth distinguishes it from a broad 'n'??? Isn't the whole point that slender consonants have a y-glide? How does the '-n' in "ansin" sound any different from the '-n' in sean?
Go raibh maith agat!