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  5. "Snámhaim agus scríobhaim."

"Snámhaim agus scríobhaim."

Translation:I swim and I write.

December 21, 2014



Presumably not at the same time.


Who knows — I wouldn’t have predicted chessboxing, so why not swimwriting?


If you cross Ernest Hemingway with Michael Phelps, you just might create the world champion for a new sport.


Who could challenge The Young Man and the Sea ? ;*)


I regret being born after decimalisation. The scilling looks more or less like the 5 pingin(í) did, as you'd expect. Sorry, just thinking aloud.


Here in the US, we’d decimalized in 1792 — we had to, since there were six concurrent £.s.d. systems in place between the several states!


It also used to be accepted as legal tender with the same value up till the early 90s. The original 5p was the same size, shape, etc but a slightly different edge. Same with the old Florin and the 10p.


And after I'm done swimming I'll do some multibasking on the beach


He must have one of them under water pens. :)


I think you could use a stylus to write in some soft but water-resistant material.
Or maybe you could write on a pressure sensitive touch screen?


For taking notes while scuba diving, we write on a white plastic board with a regular pencil.


So the 'mh' and the 'bh' have the same sound in this case?


Yeah, the velar ‹bh› and the velar ‹mh› are both /w/.


/w/? I'm hearing /v/. Are my ears lying?


In some areas it's pronounced /v/.


I'm hearing the same thing


It sounds like it. I'm commenting here so that when someone more knowledgeable than me comes along we both get the answer!


Sounds like


For the letter "s", when do you pronounce a "sh" or just a "ss"?


S is pronounced "ss" when it is broad - the closest vowel is a broad vowel (a, o, u). So Snámh is pronounced with an "ss" sound. S is pronounced with a "sh" sound when it is slender - the closest vowel is an e or an i. Sliotar, sneachta, siúcra, all have a "sh" sound.

Súil has an "ss" sound. Siúl has a "sh" sound.

Síos starts with a "sh" sound and ends with an "ss" sound.


Thanks! That was really helpful :)


But "is" is pronounced "ss"! Explain that!


I started doing what I did with Russian : i.e. print every lesson and make notes on them, especially regarding pronunciation. I also reestablish the order of the words in the sentence according to my language ( French) I did that more than 60 years ago with LATIN. It helps quite a lot but it sure takes time ! But that's not a problem


does the "haim" suffix have to do with the present tense itself or do you use it whenever you're saying "I + present tense verb" specifically?


The stem of the word is ‘snámh’ and it's conjugated by e.g. aspirating it or adding suffices. The ‘-aim’ suffix combines in its meaning both the present indicative and the first person singular. Think of it as ‘-ann’ + ‘mé’.


I'm hearing Snow-vum for Snámhaim, is that right? I figured it would be pronounced Sna-vum.


I don't think I've ever encountered a dialect of English where "snow" rhymed with snámh.

The Ulster pronunciation of snámh does rhyme with "now", (which doesn't rhyme with "snow"!), but unless you're deliberately targetting Ulster Irish, the á in snámh is a straight forward "aw" sound.


In Munster Irish, it's almost pronounced like snow-vum would be in some US dialects.

Interestingly, most of the articles about Irish on Wikipedia, the ones with the phonology sections and pronunciation keys, seem to favour Ulster Irish. (Maybe it's more conservative?)


I just provided a link that demonstrates that the Munster pronunciation of snámh is pretty much the same as the Connacht pronunciation, and nothing like any common US pronunciation of "snow" that I've ever encountered (and I freely admit to not being au fait with minor regional variation - but then neither will most people reading this thread, so they aren't particularly useful for the purpose of providing pronunciation guidance). Do you have a checkable source for your assertion that snámhaim in Munster sounds like "snow-vum" in "some US dialects"?

Aside from the fact that the articles on Wikipedia are just that - articles on Wikipedia, which reflect the willingness of people to devote time to them, rather than necessarily representing a broad view of the subject, the article entitled "Irish Phonology" contains these provisos:
"The vowels of Ulster Irish are more divergent and are not discussed in this article".
"The descriptions of the allophones in this section come from Ó Sé (2000:20–24); the pronunciations therefore reflect the Munster accent of the Dingle Peninsula."

The Notes section at the bottom of that article also contains guidance about certain words where the pronunciation doesn't match the written word. It doesn't make it clear, but the suggested pronunciations are Connacht pronunciations.

The standard article on "Irish Orthography" states:
"The pronunciations in this article reflect Connacht Irish pronunciation; other accents may differ."

Ulster Irish isn't more conservative, but some of the Donegal gaeltachts seem to be more active in catering for adult learners of the language, so if you're seeing examples of Ulster Irish on Wikipedia, it's more likely to be a reflection of the activity of language enthusiasts, who are more likely to have been exposed to Ulster Irish, because that's where they got their immersion exposure to the language. That's why you should treat such articles with a degree of skepticism - at least don't assume that they always correct, and never assume they provide "proof" that someone else is wrong


Do you have a checkable source for your assertion that snámhaim in Munster sounds like "snow-vum" in "some US dialects"?

Here. Check the third one, labelled ‘Munster Dialect’.

the article entitled "Irish Phonology" contains these provisos:
"The vowels of Ulster Irish are more divergent and are not discussed in this article".

That's an interesting assertion to make, given the general content of the rest of the article. Mind you, I've only got the internet to go on, but still... Well, maybe it's due to the influence of Ulster educational programs, as you claim, I'll withhold judgement.

the suggested pronunciations are Connacht pronunciations.

Thanks. Due to the fact that the article explains the pronunciations of these words using ‘as if spelled’ rather than IPA, it's hard to see.

That's why you should treat such articles with a degree of skepticism

It's a reason, not the only reason.

never assume they provide "proof" that someone else is wrong

I have never done so and wasn't planning to.


Check the third one, labelled ‘Munster Dialect’.

That's the same source that I provided to demonstrate that the Munster and Connacht pronunciation of snámh are essentially the same, and the "aw" vowel sound doesn't sound anything like the vowel sound in "snow" in any well-known dialect of US English.

á and ó are very distinct sounds, and "snow" is usually pronounced with a sound that is closer to ó (at least the Munster ó - Connacht can do some weird things with ó).

Due to the fact that the article explains the pronunciations of these words using ‘as if spelled’ rather than IPA, it's hard to see.

Some of the examples don't need IPA to indicate the significant differences between the spelling and the pronunciation, and some of the others involve a broad/slender swap or additional lenition, none of which require an IPA rendition to make the sound changes obvious.

Scanradh is pronounced as if spelled 〈scamhradh
Amharc is pronounced as if spelled 〈afarc
Sibh is pronounced as if spelled 〈sib
Féin is pronounced as if spelled 〈péin


What!? Well, if you're going to maintain that the Munster and Connacht pronunciations as spoken in those audio clips are essentially the same, then I am not interested in anything you have to say about Irish pronunciation, or the pronunciation of any other language for that matter. They are almost as different as the Ulster and Connacht clips.

Sorry to sound blunt, I didn't mean to, but there is just no way I can put this delicately. Sorry.


I'm hearing " sna ham'


So I saw in the comments above that mh and bh are actually sometimes v instead of w? In some dialects? Sometimes? I know that I've heard broad mh and bh be pronounced w by the same person on other words, like leabhar. Is it that within dialects it varies per word? And most importantly, which do I use for these words and why? Is it non-standard to say snawim and shcreewim?


There isn't a simple one-line "rule" to describe this, though each of the major dialects are reasonably consistent within themselves. You might find it useful to check out a site like www.fuaimeanna.ie, where you can search for particular letter clusters, and see and hear examples of words that contain those clusters in each of the main dialects, and get a feel for the difference between broad and slender occurrences, and between initial, internal and terminal occurrences.



Does anyone know if there's a rule or change in sound that dictates when to use 'mh' and when to use 'bh'?


more likely snámhaim nó scríobhaim


I don't think 'agus' implies that they're done at the same time. 'And' doesn't. ;-)


POV: you're a successful novelist owning a private island :)

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