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  5. "Madainn mhath, a mhàthair."

"Madainn mhath, a mhàthair."

Translation:Good morning, mother.

November 26, 2019



I guess it's by clicking into the discussion that brand-new learners will hear about the vocative case. Otherwise, I'm sure just having it sprung on them in this question and the one previous must be confusing.


There are lesson notes on the website that give that info. Unfortunately the app doesn't show the notes so most app users don't know about them unless they learned of it from doing other languages first.


(Sorry. Others can make better links. I haven't figured out how to do that yet)


What does the 'a' mean here?


It’s in the vocative case, meaning it’s lenited and the ‘a’ is added. It is used when you are calling someone by name


Why is ‘mhath’ not ‘math’? I understand it’s lenited, but why is it?


It's to do with gender. 'Madainn' is a feminine noun, and adjectives lenite when they come after feminine nouns, so 'math' becomes 'mhath'. Compare that with 'feasgar math' (good afternoon). 'Feasgar' is a masculine noun, and so 'math' doesn't lenite.


It is because feminine nouns like "madainn" lenite their adjectives (in the nominative singular).


Is "mhàthair" pronounced "vahith", I've noticed words like "idir" doesn't sound like an english "r", is this correct?


Indeed, "vahith" would be a rough approximation of how it's pronounced. In Lewis, a slender r (i.e. one that is next to e or i in spelling) is pronounced like English th.


It's a trilled/flapped R as in Spanish or Italian

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