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  5. "a fast grandmother."

"a fast grandmother."

Translation:Seanmhair luath.

December 28, 2019



I know Robert Burns called his sheepdog Luath, after Cuchullin's dog - even though he lived in a non-Gaelic area. It's a great name for a sheepdog. And I also realised why the Luath Press in Edinburgh uses a sheepdog (Border collie) as its logo - founded in Ayrshire, so called after RB's dog. I'd just never thought about it before.


Where in the spelling does the pronounced middle 'e' syllable in seanmhair come from? I am have really difficulty predicting how to pronounce new words from their written form!


Spoken Gaelic likes to separate consonants with little vowel sounds. Alba becomes aluba, gorm becomes gorum and so on.


It gets a schwa in there, because Gàidhlig doesn't allow consonants that don't form a sound of their own to be together without one, even if in the spelling they are. Sc, sg, ch, etc are their own sounds, but lb in Alba for example, gets the schwa, nm in ainm gets its, nmh in seanmhair gets it, and so on. You can hear this in Irish English to this day with words like 'film' (fil-im).


You just have to go with it. You can think of the 'n' as being a little elongated drawn out sound, more like a 'nuh' and then the 'mh' is pronounced as a 'v' sound like 'bh' is also pronounced as a 'v' in some words. It's a new language with its own logic that we will wrap our heads round eventually!


why is luath seanmhair wrong?


Because that's the way English is constructed but not Scottish Gaelic. English : Scots Gaelic Blue Dress : Dress Blue (dreasa ghorm) Big sister: Sister big (Piuthar mhòr)

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