On Tue, 10 Aug 93 15:21:14 BST you said:
>> Ce/n fuaimniu/ ceart ata/ ar an ainm "MacAodha"?
>[GE/] Fuaimniu/ difriu/il i ngach a/ite. Mura bhfuil dul amu/ orm,
>thug se/ du/inn na sloinnte Be/arla "McKay", "McKee", "McHugh", srl.
Ni/ fheadar ce/ mhe/ad uair a ple/adh an sloinne seo ar Gh-L cheana?
Remember, a lot of Gaelic names first got "translated" into English
when written down by members of an invading army, most of whom were
barely able to write their own names in their own language -- never
mind accurately transcribe the sounds of another! Perhaps one might
best illustrate the confusion caused by looking at a single example
of a common IG surname. Say some company known today in English as:
"Magee, Hughes and McCoy"
decided to revert to the accurate Irish spelling of their surnames:
"Mac Aodha, Mac Aodh agus Mac Aodha"
Pronunciation of that vowel sound can vary across Gaelic continuum
(fairly rough approximation) from /i:/ to an /e:/ to shortish /u:/.
This is only one of thousands of surnames and placenames similarly
mucked about on being rendered into English spelling. Gaels have a
lot in common with Black Americans and Native Americans, our names
having a standard form invented by unenlightened English speakers.
Considering our history, we are luck so many such "transcriptions"
usually reflect enough of most family names to identify their real
original spelling within the rules of the language we still speak.
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