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Subject: Pronunciation of "Gaelic"
From: "Angus MacKinnon (Aonghas mac Fhionghuin)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Angus MacKinnon (Aonghas mac Fhionghuin)
Date:Wed, 1 Feb 1995 16:01:16 +0000
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While reading the various contributions on the names of the languages covered by
this list I was struck by a related question.
 
As a highland Scot with one Gaelic speaking parent I was brought up to call the
language "Gah-lic" rather than "Gay-lic" (excuse the attempt at phonetics). This
is the name usually used in the highlands by speakers and non speakers of the
language alike.  When I moved to the lowlands and then further afield I found
that this name was not understood and was forced to call it "Gay-lic" simply to
make myself understood.
 
I am well aware that this difference in pronunciation of the anglicised name
reflects the different ways the Irish and Scots dialects/languages refer to
themselves.  Some people carefully reserve the pronunciation "Gah-lic" for the
Scots form and "Gay-lic" for the Irish form, but this just confuses any
Sassunach and quite a few Celts as well.
 
As has been made clear in recent correspondence we Scots don't have the option
of using the word "Scots" as that has a very different meaning.
 
Excuse the English, but this is a question about English pronunciation.  That's
my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it.
 
Aonghas Mac Fhionghuin,  Lunnainn

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