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  5. "We are not wanting two books…

"We are not wanting two books."

Translation:Chan eil sinn ag iarraidh dà leabhar.

February 26, 2020



Why does the "bh" in "leabhar" not make the English 'v' sound? Trying to wrap my head around pronunciation. :)


I think historically it did, but it changed over time.


The same reason why r in (Southern England) English car the r doesn’t make the Gaelic r sound. Or why k and gh in English knight don’t make the Gaelic c and gh sounds. ;-) Languages change and the orthography often stays behind.

As tj4232 wrote, it used to be pronounced as any other bh sound, but then some lenited sounds (mh, bh, gh, dh) in some environments tended to disappear between after a vowel, lengthening it or changing it into a diphthong. And what’s worse, it seems it happened a bit differently in different dialects. ;-)

See eg. Those pesky BH, DH, GH and MH section of The Unofficial Guide to Pronouncing Gaelic and if you want a more in-depth but IPA-heavy and harder to consume resource, the Akerbeltz’s printable guides to Gaelic spelling (there are links to pdfs in the wiki page).


Would someone please explain why I keep running into words that should have lenition and don't? The rule at the beginning of the lesson said that nouns that start with a consonant after the numbers 1 and 2 should add the "h", but this is the second one that doesn't have it.

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