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How To Say "Grandpa" In Scottish Gaelic
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Can anyone tell me how to say "Grandpa" in Scottish Gaelic and the proper way to pronounce it?
My 1st grandson was born today and I want him to call me Grandpa in true Scottish Gaelic.
The word you want is "seanair". You won't be able to get the pronunciation by trying to read that with English pronunciation rules.
Probably the best way to get to the proper pronunciation is through a series of successive approximations.
Step 1. Start with the English word "sinner"
Step 2. Say "sinner" again, but this time, the tip of your tongue should touch the back of your upper front teeth when saying the "nn" in the middle of the word. Say it that way through all the remaining steps.
Step 3. Change the s into an sh, producing a nonsense word which rhymes with the real word in step 1: "shinner"
Step 4. Broaden the sound of the vowel in the first syllable of the new word in Step 2. It should be about halfway in between the sound of the e in "bet" and the sound of the a in "bat". You now have "grandpa/grandfather" in Gaelic.
Like most Gaelic words, the accent is on the first syllable, but you will have that right if you start with "sinner", which already has the accent on the first syllable. Just keep it there as you work through the four steps.
Well Bob, I think it will be a while before you teach that to your new grandson. Congratulations to you and the new bairn. :-)
I forgot to mention something that should have gone into Step 2: when saying the final r-sound at the end of the word, the tip of your tongue should extend further forward than it does for any English r-sound - almost to the back of your upper front teeth. This will give the r a weak sound. Many English speakers will not hear this as an r-sound, but Gaelic speakers will hear it.
Gaelic has quite as lot of phonetic structure that doesn't exist in English at all; it is very much a learn-by-ear language. It's not difficult to learn it, but it does require a learner just starting with the language to pay very careful attention to the details of words, both when hearing them and when pronouncing them.
Thank you so much for your very detailed response. You'd probably get quite a kick out of seeing me practicing how to say "seanair." LOL!
In very nontechnical terms, the word I am saying sounds like "shayn-neah" with my tongue against my front teeth for the n's , just as instructed.
In reading your steps, including the addition, I think I have it right, but it would be awesome to hear an actual Scotsman say it just to make sure.
I'm going through netflix and searching for movies made in Scotland to see if I might be able to pick up a line or two.
Thank you again for your very kind, highly detailed, and fast response.
I think I am going to love this forum!
Thank you Liz, but one cannot be over-prepared for something like this. With David's kind tutoring, I am planning on introducing the word "seanair" to my grandson as soon as I can hold him. That won't be until next month because my daughter, son in law, and wee bairn are in North Carolina and I am in Alaska. I am counting the days.
Thank you so much for your response.
If someone would be so kind as to tell me how to post a photo, I'd be happy to show you all what the little scrapper looks like. He is beautiful beyond description.
Bob, at the top of the page click on "MY STUFF", a list will drop down, click on "EDIT PROFILE", On the side of the page you will find a list, go down to "EDIT PHOTOS" and follow the directions. It is very simple.
BTW I lived in Alaska for s few years, a long time ago.
Forget netflix; you can hear a scotsman using the word "seanair" several times at this link:
This opens a page intended for people learning Gaelic; there is a link to an mp3 file and a pdf with the text of the audio file.
Thank you once again. Yes, I distinctly heard "seanair" twice in the same sentence about 2/3 through the recording. I think I've got it right!
If I did it right there should be two photos of me wee bairn, Giovanni, in my photos section.
Ah yes... The day you left Alaska, all the men cried a river. Then we went fishing in it!!! LOL
It takes Ben a while before he gets the pictures in your album. But I think you will be out of luck, pictures of children aren't accepted. :(
As to that river.... I hope you caught plenty of salmon in it. LOL
I understand and support why Ben might limit photos of children.
If we have a puddle that lasts more than a week, salmon manage to find it.
I lLOVED that fresh salmon, the stuff in the stores doesn't compare.
I am sorry that I won't get to see your little grandson, but rules are rules. Better safe than sorry.
In irish it is seanathair fada on the i
Hi! I see this is quite an old thread but thought I would add my 2 cents,
My Dad is Scottish mum English, I was born in Scotland but later moved back with my mum, so effectively in sense of accent I am not scottish at all.
We always called my Dad's Dad Seannair, we pronounce it shay-ner, and so does the rest of my family, just in a scottish accent!
Now my children call my Dad Seannair, which is really lovely. It's great to see that others are using the name too!
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