Suarachan

Tá Failte Romhat! For all conversation about the Irish language. Scots Gaelic discussion welcome.
Forum rules
The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for people who are interested in the Irish language and various Celtic languages to discuss them, to practice them, and to share information about them, particularly (but not exclusively) in the context of traditional music and culture.

This is not a "translation forum," per se, though translation requests may occasionally be honored at the discretion of the moderators. If you're seeking a one-time translation for something like a tattoo, engraving, wedding vow, or other such purpose, we strongly recommend that you visit our friends at ILF: http://irishlearner.awyr.com
Post Reply
Whelp
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:16 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10

Suarachan

Post by Whelp »

I'd certainly appreciate help in pronouncing this Scots Gaelic nickname for Duncan MacRae, also known as Big Duncan of the Axe. MacRae distinguished himself (after a rough start) at the battle of Blar na Pairc in 1491, and was thereafter known affectionately as Suarachan to the Mackenzies and MacRaes.
A march called "Suarachan" was favored by early Seaforth Highlander pipers. I believe it is also better known to pipers nowadays as "MacRae's March."
This same Suarachan was, I believe, the subject of the piobaireachd titled "The Lament for Duncan MacRae of Kintail," whose ground constitutes the same basic tune as the Irish "March of the King of Laoise."
By the by, I could also use help in pronouncing Laoise. If I ever master our band's current competition set, I intend to learn these tunes, and therefore would be well advised to know how to say their names with the least amount of butchery.
Thanks in advance for any help from Irish and Scots Gaelic speakers.
Colin MacKenzie
User avatar
Redwolf
Posts: 6051
Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere

Re: Suarachan

Post by Redwolf »

Whelp wrote:I'd certainly appreciate help in pronouncing this Scots Gaelic nickname for Duncan MacRae, also known as Big Duncan of the Axe. MacRae distinguished himself (after a rough start) at the battle of Blar na Pairc in 1491, and was thereafter known affectionately as Suarachan to the Mackenzies and MacRaes.
A march called "Suarachan" was favored by early Seaforth Highlander pipers. I believe it is also better known to pipers nowadays as "MacRae's March."
This same Suarachan was, I believe, the subject of the piobaireachd titled "The Lament for Duncan MacRae of Kintail," whose ground constitutes the same basic tune as the Irish "March of the King of Laoise."
By the by, I could also use help in pronouncing Laoise. If I ever master our band's current competition set, I intend to learn these tunes, and therefore would be well advised to know how to say their names with the least amount of butchery.
Thanks in advance for any help from Irish and Scots Gaelic speakers.
Colin MacKenzie


"Laoise" is Irish, and is pronounced LEE-sheh. It's to be the genitive case of "Laois," but apparently was left as is when the title was translated.

If the Scottish title is pronounced at all like Donegal Irish, it would be SOOR-uh-khawn (I believe there should be an accent mark over the third "a"). That "kh" represents a gutteral sound, like the "ch" in "loch." But definitely wait for the Gàidhlig speakers to weigh in on that one...I only have Irish.

Redwolf
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!
Whelp
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:16 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10

Re: Suarachan

Post by Whelp »

Many thanks from the whelp to the wolf.
From your own notes posted above in the forum, I guessed that the ao equalled ee in "Laoise," but had no idea what to do with the s.
As for Suarachan, until I hear differently, I'm going with your interpretatation.
Thanks again.
Colin
User avatar
Seonachan
Posts: 268
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:09 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Massachusetts an Iar

Re: Suarachan

Post by Seonachan »

The Scottish pronunciation is very close to the Irish that Redwolf provided, with just a couple of minor differences. The [ua] in the first part of the word should come out as almost-but-not-quite separate syllables - more like "sewer" than "soor", like a slightly elongated diphthong, like your mouth is easing up after making the "oo" sound. If my description doesn't make sense, don't worry about it, it's a very minor difference.

The [a] at the end of the word is not accented and thus is not emphasized; it's more or less a schwa vowel.

So: "soo-ar--ah--khan" (or "soo-ur--uh--khun")

The [ao] in Scottish Gaelic is also pronounced differently - but that's a story for another day!
'Se SUV a th'anns a' chànan eile agam
Whelp
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:16 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10

Re: Suarachan

Post by Whelp »

Thanks again, Seanachan and Redwolf.
One of the tunes in question. I don't know if you like piping, but these folks are some of the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNL7hFhpEBw
Post Reply