Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
Looking for advice
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:00 pm
Language Level: I don’t know Gaelic but wish I did
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: NYC

Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Looking for advice » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:17 pm

We just adopted a little demonic black cat with far too many toes and a tuft of white fur on her chest. After a recent visit to the Hebrides and some careful consideration we named her Cait (cat?) sìth.

We can’t find a single spoken pronunciation recording from someone who actually speaks Scots Gaelic and there’s a bit of variation on the internet as to how the Cait part of the name should be pronounced. I don’t know if that variation exists in different regional pronunciations as well but we’d be really really appreciative if someone would consider sending us a spoken recording so we can actually get it right. If you know multiple regional pronunciation variants that would be above and beyond our hopes but greatly appreciated!!

As it stands our understanding is that in American English her name could be pronounced ‘ketchee ’ like ketchup or ‘kitchee’ like kitschy or kitchen both of which are a little unfortunate.

We are hoping there’s a bit of nuance we are missing. My e-mail is amanocheri@gmail.com or if you are able to respond with voice recordings here that would be awesome too!

Sorry for the long screed and barging into a community I’m not actually a part of. We’re just trying to get it right and don’t want to embarrassingly be pronouncing her name wrong!

Thank you anyone who responds to this for your time!
~Amanda



Níall Beag
Rianaire
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:58 pm
Language Level: Fluent (non-native)
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Sruighlea, Alba
Contact:

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Níall Beag » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:46 pm

Well the version in Final Fantasy VII isn't the authentic spelling -- that would be "cat sìth" without the first i. With the "i", it would often be taken to be a rendering of "Kate", with more or less the same sound as the English, but without the "i", it's a cat, and it would have a Scottish A sound. The pronunciation of both on cereproc.com is a good model.

User avatar
vb99
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:57 pm
Language Level: Beginner
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by vb99 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:09 pm

The learngaelic.scot online dictionary has many pronunciations.
Here is cat-sìthe (the definition sounds a bit like your cat!). I hope the link works but you can also just enter the words.
https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/ind ... word=false
Once you are there, you can enter cat, cait, sìth, etc and you'll get a few other phrases.

Looking for advice
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:00 pm
Language Level: I don’t know Gaelic but wish I did
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: NYC

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Looking for advice » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:52 pm

Níall Beag wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:46 pm
Well the version in Final Fantasy VII isn't the authentic spelling -- that would be "cat sìth" without the first i. With the "i", it would often be taken to be a rendering of "Kate", with more or less the same sound as the English, but without the "i", it's a cat, and it would have a Scottish A sound. The pronunciation of both on cereproc.com is a good model.
vb99 wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:09 pm
The learngaelic.scot online dictionary has many pronunciations.
Here is cat-sìthe (the definition sounds a bit like your cat!). I hope the link works but you can also just enter the words.
https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/ind ... word=false
Once you are there, you can enter cat, cait, sìth, etc and you'll get a few other phrases.
Thank you both of these responses were exactly what I was looking for. I do wonder about the spelling discrepancy and therefore the pronunciation discrepancy between cat sìth and cat sìthe as they are different between the two websites ( https://www.cereproc.com/ and https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/ind ... word=false ). Do either of you happen to know why there is a difference?

Níall Beag
Rianaire
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:58 pm
Language Level: Fluent (non-native)
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Sruighlea, Alba
Contact:

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Níall Beag » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:31 am

Looking for advice wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:52 pm
Thank you both of these responses were exactly what I was looking for. I do wonder about the spelling discrepancy and therefore the pronunciation discrepancy between cat sìth and cat sìthe as they are different between the two websites ( https://www.cereproc.com/ and https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/ind ... word=false ). Do either of you happen to know why there is a difference?
Ah... good point.

Well "cat sìth" is really just a peaceful cat; "cat sìthe" is the actual fairy cat. Sorry I didn't spot that before.

If you're not interested in the technical explanation, look away now.

Sìth is an adjective meaning peaceful/tranquil. The fairies were the peaceful people. Now in English, we can call the French people "the French" and the French call their football team "les bleus" -- the blues. So it's quite common to take an adjective an use it as a noun; and Gaelic here takes just the noun and calls them the "sìth", the peaceful [ones]. Then when you stick two or more nouns together, the ending of the last one changes.

...or at least traditionally. People don't always include the extra bit at the end any more, so "cat sìth" wouldn't be wrong per se, but "Cat-Sìthe" is preferred.

Marag-dhubh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:33 pm
Language Level: Been learning for 4 years
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Scotland

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Marag-dhubh » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:17 pm

Feasgar math,
Tha mi ùr an seo. Tha ceist agam mu fiadh-bheatha !
Dè tha an t-ainm ceart airson an t-eun ( no èoin?) " kingfisher "( ann am Beurla) ?
Chuinnaic mi na h-ainmean :
rìgh an iasgair; iasgair an rìgh , mùrlach crùidean, iasgair-dìomhain, bior an iasgair.....
Dè ur beachd ?
Dè fear?

Marag-dhubh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:33 pm
Language Level: Been learning for 4 years
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Scotland

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Marag-dhubh » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:21 pm

I should have also written in English....
Evening!
I'm new here. I have a question about wildlife. What is the correct name for the bird " kingshisher" (in English ).
I've seen the names:
rìgh an iasgair; iasgair an rìgh , mùrlach crùidean, iasgair-dìomhain, bior an iasgair.....
What do you think?
Which one?

GunChleoc
Rianaire
Posts: 4553
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 am
Language Level: Mion-chùiseach
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Dùthaich mo chridhe
Contact:

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by GunChleoc » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:24 am

Looks like it's one of those words that depend on which dialect. There are no votes on faclair.com yet for any of them, so I can't tell.
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

Marag-dhubh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:33 pm
Language Level: Been learning for 4 years
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Scotland

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Marag-dhubh » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:21 am

Tapadh leat a GunChleoch,
And for the link to "faclair.com "....hadn't come across it!

Níall Beag
Rianaire
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:58 pm
Language Level: Fluent (non-native)
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Sruighlea, Alba
Contact:

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by Níall Beag » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:32 pm

I would personally go with anything that doesn't include "rìgh" in it, because that's probably a recent calquing from English, and the other names are guaranteed to be older.

akerbeltz
Rianaire
Posts: 1769
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:26 am
Language Level: Barail am broinn baraille
Corrections: Please don't analyse my Gaelic
Location: Glaschu
Contact:

Re: Cat (Cait?) sìth pronunciation

Unread post by akerbeltz » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:16 pm

I would go with biorra-crùidein. Kingfishers just don't occur across the Gaelic speaking areas left today if you look at their distribution map

Post Reply