The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2001 (July-December) » English pronunciation of Clannad please « Previous Next »

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Bernard ( -
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 01:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


I am an Englishman, and on my first visit here, I already feel very welcome. What a lovely site!

I have a pssion for the music of the Irish band Clannad. Now, I would really appreciate anyone helping me out by advising me on the correct angilicized pronunciation of Clannad.

I you also want to chip in if you`re certain you know the meaning of the word Clannad, please feel free. I already have it, from various sources that Clannad means `Clan`,`Tribe` and/or `Family`.

Go raibh maith 'ad!

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Seosamh Mac Muirí ( -
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 06:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Bhernard, a Shasanaigh Ghroí,

Pronounce : Klonod, not unlike (D)onald without its 'l'.

They decided to call themselves after their place of origin, hence, Clann+a+d standing for :

Clann as Dobhair,

being 'family from Dobhair' in Donegal.

Gaoth Dobhair nearby is from the river outlet. Bun Dobhráin also in Donegal, represents the same root. You don't happen to come from Dover, perhaps, as the Brythonic word is the same, meaning 'water'? Another to note is 'dobharchú', alias 'madra uisce' = otter.

While the usage in a title, historical or modern, is one thing, words for family in ordinary speech are generally 'muintir' and 'teaghlach', hence

'mo mhuintir' = my family;
'an teaghlach go léir' = the entire household;
'do bhunadh féin' = your own people/family.

'an chlann' = the children.

Ádh mór.

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Bernard ( -
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 06:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you Seosamh, that was a truly generous reply to my question. I`m delighted to know how Klonod should properly be pronounced.

The additional discussion on the various uses of the words for family are also intersting. (I don`t live in Dover, I live near London, but frequent Dover for cross-channel ferries).

I have a good feeling I`ll be popping back here soon. I am an aspiring anthropologist, with a Masters degree already under my belt and I intend to continue my research soon in a PH D. My specialism is the origins of religious ideas and culture, and my cross-cultural and trans-historical research relies heavily on the etymologies of the names of ancient gods, goddesses and place-names, as I persevere to consolidate the cross-cultural pieces of my (academic) model (theory).

It would probably delight, or at the very least interest some of the regular members in this forum to know that the ancient Irish people of a certain point in Ireland`s Celtic past (difficult to pinpoint precisely) were known as the Tuatha De Danann. I have the translation as "The people of the [Moon]-goddess Dana" or variously, "the people descended from the Goddess Dana". Mountains in Kerry are still named after her breasts, "The Paps of (D)Anu", at a stage when her original Moon-goddess attributes were re-interpreted in Mother Goddess, and Earth-Mother. This Moon-goddess was (sadly) later masculinized to Don, the "king" of Dublin, of Irish legends. Her worship was brought by Celtic immigrants to Ireland. There is some compelling anthropological evidence to assert that the Celts originated from an area which we know today as the Ukraine and Byelorussia, some very large and separate Celtic migrations passing through Greece and the Mediterranean. Their migration was vast and wide, and if I may draw the reader back to the Tuatha De Danann, `worshippers of the Goddess DANA`, one may in fact witness today some the places where some original Celts settled, or passed through. You only have look at European place names such as Denmark (Dan-mark), and The Dan-ube River, which were named for her. A branch of the Celts, the Gaelic people, also considered themelves descendants of the [Moon]-goddess Gala and they named themselves and their language after this goddess. She too was widely-worshipped. In Latin languages Wales is called "Gal-es", and perhaps you`ve heard of the region in spain called "Gal-icia". The Celts settled all over Europe! :)

Celtic migration and settlement was indeed vast and wide and they settled all over Europe. I know the point I`m about to make has been much discussed and can evoke strong emotions. Please don`t allow your knee to jerk into reaction, ha ha. I mean well I promise you. Here it is then: Celtic heritage belongs to all of Europe and Europeans not just Ireland and the Irish. In fact, "culture" per se belongs to no one. I am delighted that one nation at least is not allowing itself to forget it`s beautiful Celtic heritage; however I am at the same time disturbed that not enough Irish people today (have been educated to the fact)are aware that Celtic heritage is not exclusively Irish. I still see too many books, TV programs and web sites designed by people who seem to be celebrating Celtic heritage as if it were excluselvely Irish. I would be more pleased to see some Irish Celtic proponents and fanatics making a sincere effort to firstly acknowldge that Celtic culture WAS not exclusively Irish and I`d also enjoy seeing some effort to consolidate knowledge and history from other regions of the ancient Celtic world.

I appreciate that all languages undergo historical (or hysterical) evolutions of sorts, but most useful and enjoyable for me are the oldest and perhaps closest to the original (if such a thing can ever be nailed-down) names, etymologies and pronunciations. Could you have a go at an English transliteration of Tuatha De Danann please?

Back to the group Clannad for one moment, one of their albums was named "Banba". I have the correct pronunciation as "Barnbah" as in barn + bah (humbug); and, curiously I have two un-related etymologies for this word. One is "ring" (the type you wear) and another is that "Banba" was an ancient goddess. Any ideas on Banba would be nice too.

Go raibh maith 'ad!
Bhernard. xxx

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Fintan ( -
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 06:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Bernard a chara,

Hi and how are you? Not too sure about the etymology of Banba in regards to 'ring' (the usual word in Irish is 'fáinne' pron. fawn-yeh), but apparently there may be some connection with the word 'banbh' (piglet), possibly in relation to an early goddess.

Seosamh will probably have a much better picture of the etymology of the goddess name than myself, just thought I'd pop in. *grin*

Is mise le meas (Yours)
Creag 'Fintan' Batty

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Bernard ( -
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 08:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Nice one Fintan ... oh, don`t get me started on animal associations with primal gods and goddesses, ha ha .. I`ll be here all night because practically every animal has at one time or another been deified. Apollo was originally worshipped as a mouse, Artemis was a gazelle, Palestine was named after a donkey-god called "Pales" (oh no I`ve really done it now! ha ha), the Original Hebrew god and the Buddha himself were originally worshipped in the form of a bovine (bull)...and so on ad infinitum practically. Joking aside, I`m not making any of that up, I DO have years of in-depth anthropological research to back up everything I write when it comes to origins. So, no offence intended to anyone who might think otherwise.

Thanks for chipping in,
Is mise le meas ;)

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Fintan ( -
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Bhearnárd a chara,
Tá áthas orm bualadh leat. Mythology, folklore etc are my passions as well, but I haven't pursued them academically like yer good self. Re: Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha... I am aware of early worship of the Buddha venerating elephants (owing to Queen Maya's conception via a dream/vision-pachyderm), but I hadn't heard about the bull. Still....

I, for one, wouldn't dream of questioning your academic credentials. Knowledge speaks louder than qualification.

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Aonghus ( -
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 08:06 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Eiré, Banba and Fodhla were three mythical queens married to three brothers of the Tuath De Danann.
According to Seathrún Ceitinn (Geoffrey Keating) in his History of Ireland (Foras Feasa ar Éireann), written in the 17th Century, and drawing heavily on older Manuscripts, the King to whom Éire was married was on the throne when the Celts (Clann Míle) invaded - and that is why Ireland is most often called Éire. But Banba and Fodhla are also used.
Each of the brothers was King for a year.

As for Celtic == Irish, I think what you are seeing is people not being comfortable with being Irish, and trying to invent some kind of Celtic superculture for themselves. You will probably find that those who speak the language are less subject to this!

I think the only safe assumptions are that
1) There are a group of related languages which linguist describe as Celtic with two branches Brythonic- Breton, Welsh and Cornish, and Goidelic - Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx.

2) There were peoples (or at least aristocracies) who spoke these or similar languages spread throughout Europe. There is, for example, contempary evidence from (I believe) the 6th Century, that the people of Galatia in Asia Minor, spoke a similar language to those of Gaul at the time.

The culture of the countries where the (linguistic label) Celtic languages are spoken is described as Celtic. Obviusuly, this culture has lots of roots, not all of which are due to an invading Celtic aristocracy. Any attempt to produce a "pure" race with a "pure" culture in Europe is futile and dangerous.

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Bhernard ( -
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 08:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chara. Thanks to you all for replying in this thread - just popping in to let you know I HAVE read your replies, and I enjoyed every single word - bit busy (and tired) at the mo to write something worth reading.

Be back soon,
Go raibh maith 'ad!

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