Pronunciation tip: Scotch whisky

Robbie Burns Day is almost upon us, and many people are going to be trying to say the names on their bottles of Scotch and not really knowing how. Me to the rescue! Here are 27 names you might run into and how to say them: Laphroaig, Islay, Lagavulin, anCnoc, Caol Ila, Strathisla, Chivas Regal, Cardhu, BenRiach, Bruichladdich, Auchentoshan, Bunnahabhain, Knockando, Glenfiddich, GlenDronach, Glen Garioch, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Glenrothes, Balvenie, Craigellachie, Oban, Aberlour, Edradour, Tomatin, Té Bheag, and Macallan.

3 responses to “Pronunciation tip: Scotch whisky

  1. Alan Somerville

    Speaking from Scotland – not bad! I’m not sure about your research though. There is one serious mistake. I think you pronounce “bh” in both versions as a hard “b.” In English this should be a “v”, as is also the case for “mh” hence the woman’s name “Mhairi” is pronounced “Varry.” I’m no student of gaelic though! I’d also say your Scots accent is much closer to Northern Ireland – try it in Belfast!!

    • I do know about what bh spells in Gaelic; I was aiming for that but I think I said it a bit too hard in the Scots version (and I didn’t have enough time for retakes, which is also why my “ou” in Aberlour and Edradour is too round and back). I found that the standard way of saying Bunnahabhainn in Scottish English is with a “b” instead of a “v,” which surprised me, but I had to go with it.

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