Okay so is "m'athair" pronounced "muh-ahar" or "mahar". Otherwise how do you distinguish "my father" from "mother"
The pronunciation of the "a" distinguishes the two words. In "m'athair", the first "a" is bright, like in "hat." In "máthair", the "á" is darker and also long, like in "law."
Or, if you have an Australian accent like me, the short "a" in m'athair "my father") is more or less like the "o" in "mother" and the long "á" in máthair is more or less like the "a" in "father".
This is the danger of comparing pronunciation to English. We don't all pronounce things the same. The way I pronounce "law" is probably closer to how you pronounce "low". IPA all the way!
Good point! That's also the strongest argument against a major overhaul of English spelling: as soon as you start talking about addressing the gap between spelling and pronunciation, you immediately raise the question: whose pronunciation? At least this way there's still one written standard (more or less) for lots of different spoken standards.
Note that there should be no space between the m' and athair. As far as I know, it's inserted by a limitation of Duolinguo.
May 14, 2016: Now they have an underscore between m' and athair. (m'_athair). I've seen a few of those lately. It must be their workaround, but it will confuse people.
yes yes yes .I have been getting that from the start and keep reporting it as it puts me ALMOST correct.Eist le do thoil Duolingo !!!
Mom is not the only word people use for mother, for example, mum and mam are commonly used and correct.
"Mom" seems to be the American thing, and I've gathered that "mum" is a British thing, but where is "mam" used/from??? (and I'm assuming this is not the contraction of "madam" into "ma'am" we hear as a respect term)
MAM is the shortening of French MADAME . English MY LADY = MILADY. In French MADAME was a term used for women of the upper classes. Nowadays we use it for the MARRIED women. The unmarried ones are `called MADEMOISELLE even if they are 80 years old unless they are considered as pertaining to the "creme de la creme " ! In Britain, the Queen is addressed as " MADAME " .
I'm pretty much 100% sure that the use of the term "Mam" and "Mammy" in Ireland has absolutely nothing to do with a shortening of the French "Madame".
I amn't acquainted with the English queen, (or anyone who is on speaking terms with her, for that matter), so I can't say for sure, but I'm also pretty certain that she is not addressed as "Madame".
As for "Mam" and "Mammy" - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6RICtGJmFYLwYJaemEBqdGutAmxkdmy2
Yes what are they up to!!!!??? Nothing the Holy Father would disapprove of I hope.Remember the 6th???