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  5. "Tha m' athair cho seòlta ri …

"Tha m' athair cho seòlta ri sionnach."

Translation:My father is as cunning as a fox.

December 4, 2019



Yes, I am also having difficulty in distinguishing the sound difference between m' athair and màthair, even with ear buds in. It is sooooo subtle and easy to miss.


The only consolation is that this is not a problem in real life - once you have learnt that they are confusable. There is no scenario I can imagine where both meanings could be plausible. In some problems that people encounter on Duolingo you can say that better question design would solve the problem - but not here. They simple are near homophones. We accept full homophones readily in English and regard learning to distinguish them by context as essential

  • "piece" and "peace"
  • "I", "aye", and "eye";
  • "right", "rite", "wright", and "write";
  • "read" and "reed";
  • "there", "their", and "they're".

So although this example in Gaelic is only 'near-homophones' it is still important to learn to recognise these situations where they must be distinguished by context.

I know that does not help you much in these sentences that are contextless and often awkward-sounding anyway, but I am not sure what can be done.


Regarding the discussion on availability of punctuation for Scottish Gaelic - especially the apostrophe -- the question I just did had an example of an apostrophe on a word tile.


Is there any pronunciation difference between "mother" and "my father"?


There should be. The à in màthair is longer, hence the accent. But English speakers are unusually bad at distinguishing vowel length. So that is a problem if you are an English speaker who is listening to the Gaelic, but even worse if the speaker's first language is English as well, so they don't distinguish the two clearly.

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