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  5. "Bidh iad a' dèanamh uisge-be…

"Bidh iad a' dèanamh uisge-beatha air a' Ghàidhealtachd."

Translation:They make whisky in the Highlands.

February 19, 2020



I thought «Bidh iad a' dèanamh» ... would end with voiced fricative "v" for the "mh". I hear it in other examples. Is the change here due to the following vowel sound in "uisge-beatha"?


No. It's dialect.

In most dialects the mh is pronounced. However, in a select few (Lewis for example), it's silent.


I would not say it is silent. It sounds like a /w/ to me. It is quite normal, in most European languages, with the notable exception of English (and possibly some of the languages like Welsh?) for /v/ and /w/ to be interchangeable according to language, dialect, broad/slender etc. In Gaelic it seems that each word with a mh/bh has its own rules for who pronounces it each way. Just accept either.

It is because English is an exception that you so often hear foreigners (from lots of different places) getting confused.


Are you saying you tried

They will be making whisky in the Highlands

and it was rejected? That would be a valid translation (but a bit odd since they have been making whisky there for ages).

They will make ...

is not a valid translation.

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