Gaeilge/Gaelic was my fathers 1st language and I always heard him pronounce it as SIN has it stated above as sow-wen, the H is a silent letter in most Gaelic languishes, are many other letters. It can be used in some words but not in this case.
In the American language it is like saying that at times a Y sounds like an I; Example: Lynn/Linn and the second N here is silent!
Hope this helps, Blessings,
Caithfidh mé a rá, gur cheart fíoreolas teangeolaíoch a bheith ag duine nuair a bheidh an duine sin rud maidir le teanga a rá—go háirithe nuair a bheidh comhairle nó moltaí i gceist.
I have to say, that a person should have some genuine linguistic knowledge when that person is going to say something about a language—especially when advice or recommendations are in question.
What Spiralle has said here is pure rubbish. Rubbish through and through. Whether it is Spiralle's rubbish or the rubbish of his or her friend (who has studied the matter intensely) it is still rubbish…
First off, not one of the Gaelic languages have initial consonant mutation depending on the sex of the speaker. Consonant mutation has a variety of causes, one of which is the grammatical gender of the noun preceding. Samhain has a genitive Samhna, and mutates when following a feminine noun, as in Oíche Shamhna.
Secondly, if you open an Irish dictionary, as I just have, you will find Samhain [saun´], where the tick indicates the palatal nature of the final consonant. [ˈsˠaunʲ] is another way of writing this. A reasonable approximation of this in English is just exactly what one hears every day in Ireland: "SOW-wen" with the first syllable rhyming with "how" and "cow" and the second syllable quite reduced. The genitive is pronounced [ˈsˠaunə] "SOW-na" and Oíche Shamhna is [ˈiːçə ˈhaunə] "EE-heh HOW-na" with consonant mutation from the feminine noun.
I do not speak Scottish Gaelic, and can't comment on the Wikipedia re-spelling /ˈsavɯɲ/.
The pronunciation "SAM-hayn" is always incorrect. The "shavnah" which is "recommended" above would be [ˈʃavnə], which would be unprecedented in Irish, in Scottish Gaelic, or in Manx.
There is a place for the curmudgeon.
Thank you! My maiden name is a slight derivation on the Gaelic word for Summer (Samhraidh), though we've given up trying to get American's to pronounce it correctly and accept the anglicized pronunciation. *shrug* My folks are Irish citizens, so I've heard this Samhain pronounced correctly most of my life!
The argument the OP put forth had my teeth itching. Thank you for presenting the argument in a way everyone could understand! :D
Sounds like one of those Tomato vs. Tomato things.