* What's that there drum called?
I'll tell you, I've heard some strange pronunciations
of the word 'bodhrán', from
the backwards BOWED-ran (rhymes with SNOWED-can) to the British bah-RAHN (rhymes
with ma-DAWN). Every time I run into a native Irish speaker, I ask them
how THEY pronounce the name of my drum. That's not been the sure-fire test
either, as there are several regional dialects of Irish. Here's the best
synthesis of what I've heard and learned:
to the delightful Field
Guide to the Irish Music Session by Barry Foy, the word rhymes
with bow - ron. (That's interpreted to mean bow: like the front of a ship or
what you do from the waist, and ron: like the diminutive of Ronald.)
- According references in the Foclóir Póca (English - Irish,
Irish - English Dictionary):
bodhrán1 baura:n deaf person; dullard
bodhrán2 baura:n winnowing drum; (kind of) tambourine
- The á is NOT a stress mark, but rather a
pronunciation guide for the vowel. The : indicates that the vowel
following it is long. In this case, a: is pronounced like the English
- Most Irish words are stressed on the first
syllable unless otherwise indicated. You are equally safe to
stress the first syllable of bodhrán, or to equally stress both
syllables. Do NOT stress the second syllable, as the British are
wont to do. It sounds pretentious and just a little prissy.
- Irish has what are called broad and slender
consonants pronounced differently from the neutral sounding consonants of
English. A slender b is indicated with an accent mark, so in the case
of bodhrán, the b is a broad consonant. The Foclóir Póca
offers no handy example of an equivalent sounding English consonant....
so, we're out of luck here.
- No, you do not pronounce the 'd'.
I hope this helps you in the elusive hunt for the Irish pronunciation of the
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