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  5. "An t-eun buidhe."

"An t-eun buidhe."

Translation:The yellow bird.

March 10, 2020



This speaker’s accent seems different from most - the ’t’ in ‘an t-eun’ sounds to me more like a soft ‘g’ sound, such that ‘an t-eun’ sounds almost like “an jean”. Is this a particular regional pronunciation?


The standard pronunciation varies between /tʲ/ (like the t in tube) and /͡tʃ/ (like the ch in cheese). The only difference between the sound you describe, /͡dʒ/, and /͡tʃ/ is the voice. That means that they are exactly the same as far as you mouth is concerned, but your vocal chords vibrate for /͡dʒ/. In any language, including Gaelic, there is a lot of variation of voice, d ↔ t, g ↔ c, b ↔ p, etc. so this would not be unusual. But there is a particular feature of some dialects of Gaelic which is a distorted remnant of nasalization, a mutation still found in Irish, that leads to voicing after the article an. You will hear this on other sentences, and see a lot of people confused by this in the discussion.

So the short answer is: yes, probably from Lewis or nearby.


This sounds like the b in "buidhe" is silent, even though it's not lenited. What's with this?


even those Gaelic consonants that seem straightforwardly mappable onto English consonants are not quite the same - they are often 'softer' or 'weaker' than their English equivalents - the b is there, it's just much softer than you'd expect, and merges into the n. Your ear eventually gets used to this.


Thanks. I'm usually OK with these subtleties and able to hear them. This one just seemed really different from any I'd heard before.


I hear a g or k sound in front of the article, which I haven't met before. I guessed that the word would be "an", but these additional consonants thrown in without any real explanation about dialect differences are quite confusing.

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