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View Full Version : Ok how do you pronounce Samhain?



ShaDowElf
October 4th, 2004, 10:12 AM
New to most things pagan and I don't want to sounds stupid pronoucing it phonetically when I shouldn't.

Please help.

Actually, if you could tell me how to pronounce all the major celebration/seasonal times.

If anyone knows of a good web site that explains (correctly) these seasons, please let me know. Some of the sites I have seen give greatly differing explanations.

TIA
Kim

Ahautenites
October 4th, 2004, 10:22 AM
I pronounce it "SOW-en." With "sow" as it rhymes with "now".

MoonKnight
October 4th, 2004, 10:23 AM
Samhain Pronunciation: Sow-in

Gwenhwyfar
October 4th, 2004, 10:49 AM
Well I learn something new every day, why didnt they just spell it that way then.sheesh, just for confusion?! lol

LadyTrinity
October 4th, 2004, 10:52 AM
Yep yep!

Its pronounced (Sow) as in piggy and En ( as the vowel sounds ) _wiz_

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
October 4th, 2004, 11:25 AM
In Irish it's pronounced SOW-in as stated above, however the Scots Gaelic is Samhuinn and it's pronounce SAH-ven. So really I guess it just depends on where you're coming from.

Ahautenites
October 4th, 2004, 11:26 AM
Well I learn something new every day, why didnt they just spell it that way then.sheesh, just for confusion?! lol


**grins** They *did*.... in their language. ;)

Ben Gruagach
October 4th, 2004, 11:29 AM
**grins** They *did*.... in their language. ;)

Yeah -- blame the confusion on whoever first tried to convert the word over into the alphabet we use for English.

Lunacie
October 4th, 2004, 11:35 AM
I was just reading how in the old Irish an 'm' and an 'h' next to each other produce the sound of a 'w'. There are lots of examples in our language where adding an 'h' changes the sound of the letter it goes next to.

skilly-nilly
October 4th, 2004, 12:25 PM
On Thursday night a small war broke out between those who worshipped the Mother Goddess in Her aspect of the Moon and those who worshipped Her in Her aspect of a huge fat woman with enormous buttocks. After that, the masters intervened and explained that religion, while a fine thing, could be taken too far.

I really, really love that book. One of the many things I like is that it shows the Druids as contentious and silly while still religious.

I call it Hallowe'e'n so as to avoid the whole Gaelic/English hoo-rah.

Ben Trismegistus
October 4th, 2004, 12:56 PM
"Now what in Sam Hain is going on here?!"

silverstard
October 4th, 2004, 01:38 PM
hehehe

ap Dafydd
October 4th, 2004, 02:19 PM
Well I learn something new every day, why didnt they just spell it that way then.sheesh, just for confusion?! lol

They did spell it that way! But it's not an English word, it's a Gaelic one.

Gaelic is phonetically pronouced.

Allegedly.

Personally I stick to Nos Galan Gaeaf...

gwyn eich byd

Ffred

SqueezetheShaman
October 4th, 2004, 05:48 PM
darned gaelic words make me happy I only discuss these topics on the internet :)

after trying to get a straight explanation on the pronouncement the first time, I wouldn't have been surprised had someone said "truck"

ShaDowElf
October 4th, 2004, 06:13 PM
Not sure if it is Gaelic or not - but very difficult to explain to a 7 yr old (who is pretty smart) that Siobhan is pronounced Shavon!

Even I don't get that one LOL

Sister of the Wind
October 4th, 2004, 09:08 PM
New to most things pagan and I don't want to sounds stupid pronoucing it phonetically when I shouldn't.

Please help.

Actually, if you could tell me how to pronounce all the major celebration/seasonal times.

If anyone knows of a good web site that explains (correctly) these seasons, please let me know. Some of the sites I have seen give greatly differing explanations.

TIA
Kim

heh, because i wasn't too sure for myself. I found an alternative. Some covens call it 'Shadowfest' which is somewhat easier. Otherwise, try Sow (like a female pig) en.

-Luv, Sis

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
October 4th, 2004, 09:19 PM
Not sure if it is Gaelic or not - but very difficult to explain to a 7 yr old (who is pretty smart) that Siobhan is pronounced Shavon!

Even I don't get that one LOL

The si combo in Irish Gaelic makes an shhh sound, and the bh form a v sound.

misschief
October 4th, 2004, 09:21 PM
"Now what in Sam Hain is going on here?!"hey!!! get out of my head. that's what i was gonna say duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. :lol:

arctic splash
October 5th, 2004, 05:13 AM
I see a lot of questions about why the Celts add so many silent letters to their words, so I thought I'd answer. I hope this is helpful and interesting. :)

Ancient Celtic society was a very oral tradition, and until they were Christianised, they didn't write anything down. (That's why we know so little about the ancient Celts). They believed that words were power, and that writing something down could potentially put power in the wrong hands. That's why the word 'spell' as in spelling a word is related also to 'casting a spell.' Spelling a word is literally doing magick.


The Celts (much as in Jewish mysticism) believed that letters were magickal. So, they inserted extra letters into words, either to disguise the real pronunciation, or to give it secret magickal qualities, or both.

Of course they knew that language was power and didn't want to give that power to the foreign Christians... they were smart enough to disguise their language with lots of extra letters so the Romans and whoever came to Christianise them had a hell of a time learning the language!

One reason Cymraeg (Welsh) culture survives so strongly today is that they managed to retain their language. One of the easiest ways to conquer a people is to take away their language. Think about what happened to Cornwall and Cornish... you might also be able to relate this to the separationist movement in Quebec, how they've held on so tightly to their language, and culture...

Anyway, it's Samhain, Sah-wen... and in the modern Irish, it's pretty standard -- I think most words with mh combinations in Irish are pronounced "w" -- so, next time you're having difficulty with a Gaelic word.... :muwaha:

teishabee
October 5th, 2004, 07:01 AM
They did spell it that way! But it's not an English word, it's a Gaelic one.

Gaelic is phonetically pronouced.

Allegedly.

Personally I stick to Nos Galan Gaeaf...

gwyn eich byd

Ffred

Is that cornish or breton, or neither

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
October 5th, 2004, 10:03 AM
Is that cornish or breton, or neither

Its Welsh.

teishabee
October 5th, 2004, 10:15 AM
And how would one prounouce that?

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
October 5th, 2004, 10:18 AM
And how would one prounouce that?

I have no idea. I don't speak Welsh.

Lady Jessi
October 5th, 2004, 10:55 AM
I use the "SOW en" pronunciation now, though when I first read it I used our own phonetics. I also use the term "Shadowfest" as I have gone to a gathering and it was the term used there.
Lady Jessi

teishabee
October 5th, 2004, 11:47 AM
Sorry M˛rag Elasaid MacDh˛mhnaill. _inabox_

I like old halloseve myself

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
October 5th, 2004, 01:00 PM
Sorry M˛rag Elasaid MacDh˛mhnaill. _inabox_

I like old halloseve myself

Nothing to be sorry about. If it was Scots Gaelic I'd be able to help you out. I'd have a pretty good idea if it was Irish too, but the Brythonic languages (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) are beyond me.

ap Dafydd
October 5th, 2004, 03:03 PM
Is that cornish or breton, or neither

Much closer to you than that, just over the border in fact, on account of how it's Welsh///

Pronounced, well, pretty much as it's written, really

Approximately Noce Gallan Guy-av

gwyn eich byd

Ffred

Aislin Amaris
October 9th, 2004, 12:57 PM
I pronounce it Sa-veen. I've also pronounced it SAM-hain (just as it's spelled) because my old email address was samhainathame and I thought athame was pronounced as if it rhymed with SAME. so this way my whole email named rhymed. only I was pronouncing BOTh words wrong!
It matters very much what path you follow and what part of the country you are from as to how you pronounce it. Whatever works for you and makes you comfortable is fine, I guess.

The High Queen of Faerie
October 9th, 2004, 05:41 PM
i say sowin :0