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Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: October 6th, 2018, 4:54 pm
by neddieseagoon
Hi all,

I asked this question a while ago in the general help forum and got exactly 0 responses. I thought I'd try once more in an arguably more appropriate venue:
I'm working up to doing a solo recording of George Lillie Craik's Compendious History of English Literature and of the English Language, and one of the first sections I'll be recording is a survey of early Celtic literature in the British Isles. There are a number of unfamiliar (to me, at least) Welsh and Irish names in this section, and I thought I'd ask if anyone here has any insight into pronouncing them.

Irish:
1. Cormac MacCulinan (who appears in Wikipedia as Cormac mac Cuilennáin), a 9th-century bishop. This appears straightforward, but I don't want to make assumptions.
2. Tigernach Ua Braín, an 11th-century abbot
3. Máeldub, a 7th-century abbot
4. Adomnán of Iona, a 7th-century abbot

Welsh:
1. Howel Dha (Hywel Dha in its modern spelling), a 10th-century king
2. Taliesin, a 6th-century poet
3. Llywarch Hen, a 6th-century poet
4. Merdhin (aka Merlin), a 6th-century poet
I'd be grateful for any suggestions. Thanks.

Re: Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: October 8th, 2018, 6:56 am
by AidanIrishman
Irish Words Pronunciation

Herewith, is my attempt in pronouncing the Irish (Gaelic) words.

https://librivox.org/uploads/xx-nonproject/irish_words_pronunciation_ai_128kb.mp3

I did this hurriedly, so please forgive the breaths and the clicks.

Best regards
Aidan

Re: Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: October 8th, 2018, 8:40 am
by neddieseagoon
Hi Aidan,

Thanks for recording this. I really appreciate it. A question: After I first posted this list, I did some Google research on these names and ran across conflicting pronunciations of Tigernach and Adomnán. Specifically, several sources said that Tigernach was (or could be?) pronounced as "Tierney" (i.e., with silent final "ch"), and at least one source said that the "m" in Adomnán was pronounced as a /v/. In your opinion, are these possible variants, or are they just wrong?

Thanks very much for your help.

Grant

Re: Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: October 8th, 2018, 9:06 am
by AidanIrishman
my attempt is my attempt. I studies Irish until I was 18. Like any language there is nuance and variations. There is a complete contrast in pronunciation between Munster Irish and Donegal Irish. To an untrained ear, they sound like totally different languages.

The /v/ in Adomnan can be sounded. However, usually /bh/ give a /v/ sound. Just do what you are comfortable with sounding. People will make sense of it. No way is my attempt a definitive pronunciation.

In my opinion they are variants. Be comfortable. Again, all of the above is just MY opinion. Academics would argue, no doubt. :-)

Best regards
Aidan

Re: Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: October 8th, 2018, 10:04 am
by Craigos
Hi

I have uploaded my pronunciation for you. I was born in South Wales and lived there for 25 years of my life. I still have family in Wales and visit regularly.

In south Wales it was very rare to here the Welsh language being spoken until probably 20 year ago, when it started being taught in schools. North Wales has always had a stronger Welsh speaking community and has a strong accent, but much prettier/gentler/calmer then the Southern accent. (This is just my opinion! slightly biased by a young girl called Catrin, who was the first person I knew from North Wales and every sentence she spoke sounded like poetry.)

https://librivox.org/uploads/kitty/welsh_pronounce.mp3

I hope this is some help!

Cheers

Re: Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: October 8th, 2018, 12:44 pm
by neddieseagoon
Craigos wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 10:04 am
https://librivox.org/uploads/kitty/welsh_pronounce.mp3

I hope this is some help!
Thanks so much. Ironically, the one I had the least uncertainty about was Llewarch Hen, because I'd found a web page that explained its pronunciation quite clearly (and, according to your recording, correctly).

Can I ask for one clarification? I made an error when I gave the modern spelling of Craik's "Howel Dha" as "Hywel Dha" - the correct spelling appears to be "Hywel Dda". It's my understanding that the "Dd" spelling in Welsh indicates a sound like the voiced English "th" in "that" or "bathe". I'm guessing that Craik used an old-fashioned spelling that was meant to indicate the same voiced "th" (as "dh" does in such spelling systems as Albanian and Swahili). Does this sound reasonable to you?

Thanks for you help.

Re: Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: October 8th, 2018, 1:10 pm
by Craigos
neddieseagoon wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 12:44 pm
Can I ask for one clarification? I made an error when I gave the modern spelling of Craik's "Howel Dha" as "Hywel Dha" - the correct spelling appears to be "Hywel Dda". It's my understanding that the "Dd" spelling in Welsh indicates a sound like the voiced English "th" in "that" or "bathe". I'm guessing that Craik used an old-fashioned spelling that was meant to indicate the same voiced "th" (as "dh" does in such spelling systems as Albanian and Swahili). Does this sound reasonable to you?

Thanks for you help.
dd is pronounced th. Llandegfedd - Chlan deg feth
I have never heard it pronounced Tha nor had I seen it spelt Dda, but that does not mean it is incorrect. There are quite a few welsh historical names being reinterpreted or taken back to there original pronunciation. Not sure how you could get a definitive answer to that one.
Cheers

Re: Irish and Welsh historical names

Posted: May 13th, 2019, 2:43 pm
by derecp
Not sure if this is way too late, but Hywel Dda is definitely an accepted spelling of this name. Let me know if you have any further questions on this or other Welsh pronunciations, but it looks like the earlier response by Craigos covered it pretty well.

Help pronouncing Scottish Gaelic name "Speireag"

Posted: May 25th, 2019, 12:07 am
by TaniaKay
Dear group, I would love to do the name "Speireag" justice by pronouncing it correctly. It is a Scottish Gaelic name, which translates into "sparrow hawk." After spending inordinate amount of time looking for help online without any results, I am hoping someone among this group would be able to help. Please let me know what you believe would be the correct way of saying "Speireag". Thank you so much in advance!!!

Warmly
Tania Kay