Going to a cèilidh? You may want to learn or brush up on these phrases, selected and recorded by Fèisean nan Gàidheal.
This vocabulary list teaches you to say where you or someone else is from in Gaelic, how to welcome people, and how to talk about the music that’s being played or songs being sung. And there are some very important incidental phrases thrown in as well.
You’ll especially want to know “Tha na taighean beaga ri taobh an stèids.”
This is the second of our criomagan — short stories or news bits from Scottish Gaelic periodicals published in North America early in the 20th Century. We’ll be publishing these pieces weekly for you to enjoy and try your hand at translation. Send us your work!
Like the first, this criomag is from the premiere issue of Fear na Céilidh, a monthly periodical published in Sydney, Nova Scotia in the 1920s and early 1930s. A translation of last week’s story, is at the bottom. Click back to the link above to review the Gaelic.
And so for this week’s blast from the past, on to “Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean.”
Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean
Bha na fuamhairean ri’m faighinn gu math tric anns na seann sgeulachdan. Ach ged bha iad mòr, trom, làidir, agus fiadhaich, cha bu chùis-eagail sam bith iad do neach a bha car innleachdach na dhòigh: dhèante an gnothach orra soirbh gu leòr.
Tha sin a leigeil ris nach robh mòran toinisg anns na cinn aca, ged bha tomad neo-chumanta mòr annta. Tha sgeul air trì de na daoine biastail, mòra sin a bha ag còmhnaidh cuideachd ann an uaimh, agus a’ dèanamh am beòlaint mar a dh’fhaodadh iad.
Latha bha ann, thuirt fear de na fuaimhairean: “Chuala mi geum bà!” An ceann latha ‘s bliadhna, dh’fhaighnich an dàrna fear: “Gu dè sud a thuirt thu rium an là roimhe?” Agus an ceann latha ‘s bliadhna eile, thuirt an treas fuamhair: “Mur sguir sibhse dhe ur boilich, fàgaidh mise an uaimh agaibh fhèin!”
Ma bha an corr seanchais eatorra, cha deach a chur an eachdraidh. Agus ged bhiodh iad ag còmhradh riamh o’n uair sin, cha bu mhòr an leabhar a lìonadh e, ge do b’fhiach a chur ann.
We hope you enjoyed the story (and joke). We’ll publish a translation next week.
Here’s a translation of last week’s item:
“With every horrible act reported in the newspapers, people are inclined to think the world is truly going to evil. But one must remember that affairs have greatly changed over the last twenty or fifty years. At that time people had no news but what would come from a little portion of their own country: Murder and rapine occurring in other lands they would never hear about in their lives. Today, one gets reports from every corner of the world, and it’s the bad news that is swiftest to reach us.”
Here’s the original (from 1928!):
Leis gach gnìomh oillteil air am faighear fios anns na pàipeirean, tha daoine buailteach air bhi smaoineachadh gu’m bheil an saoghal a’ sìor dhol dh’ionnsaidh an uilc. Ach feumar a chuimhneachadh gu’m bheil cùisean air atharrachadh gu mòr o chionn dà fhichead no leth-cheud bliadhna. Aig an am sin cha bhiodh de naidheachdan aig an t-sluagh ach na thigeadh à earainn bhig de’n dùthaich fhèin: bhiodh mort (ag)us reubainn a’ dol air adhart an dùthchannan eile air nach faigheadh iad forfhais ri’m beò. An-diugh, bithear a’ faighinn brath a h-uile latha as gach cearna de’n t-saoghal, agus ‘s i an droch-sgeul a’s luaithe ruigeas sinn.”
A national football (soccer) competition in Scotland is bringing Gaelic-speaking and Gaelic-learning children from across the country together, helping them to make new friends and demonstrating that Gaelic is spoken beyond their local communities.
The Cuach na Cloinne (Children’s Quaich or Cup) competition is held entirely in Scottish Gaelic. This year, a record 62 teams participated in the, representing 33 schools. Regional competitions were held over several weeks in the Highlands, Hebrides and Glasgow.
“Many congratulations go to Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce,” Highland Council Convenor Councillor Bill Lobban said in a statement (available in English / Gàidhlig).
Cuach na Cloinne 2017 was funded by Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (The Highland Council and Western Isles Council) along with Bòrd na Gàidhlig and organized by Comunn na Gàidhlig.
Cuach na Cloinne “has created an opportunity for young people from schools across Scotland who attend Gaelic Medium Education to meet and compete against each other and combines their Gaelic linguistic and footballing skills,” Lobban said.
“It is particularly pleasing to hear the youngsters taking part in the competition communicating so naturally with each other in Gaelic,” David Boag, director of language planning and community developments at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said in the statement.
This year, Bòrd na Gàidhlig sponsored a new trophy, Sàr Neach Cleachdaidh na Gàidhlig, presented to the individual player who, in the view of the referees, made the most use of the Gaelic language throughout the event.
In recent months, ACGA has been taking a closer look at what we’re calling “Gaelic-Learning Communities.” There may not be many Gaelic-speaking communities in North America, outside Eastern Canada, but Gaelic-learning communities may be found everywhere. Do you belong to one of these communities?
It’s good to first recognize what they are. To date, “Gaelic-learning community” has principally been used to refer to Gaelic learners as a whole, i.e. “the Gaelic-learning community of Scotland,” the overall number of people learning Gaelic in Scotland.
We’ve got a new definition:
A community of Scottish Gaelic learners living in a particular place or region, such as New York, Toronto, Seattle or Dallas.
An online or virtual community of Gaelic learners, connected via the Internet.
A Gaelic-learning community is not an official class, though it may include a study group and formal classes. It may be focused on other activities involving the language, from social evenings to group outings. It may consist of people living close to each other who take an online course and meet only occasionally. In short, the Gaelic-learning community is a network of people who want to learn Scottish Gaelic.
Gaelic learners need interaction with other learners and speakers. Many ACGA members have expressed a strong desire to join a “community” of Gaelic learners and speakers, both local, national and international. That’s often why they come to ACGA, seeking that a doorway to that community.
There’s obviously a need to better connect local Gaelic Learning Communities and individuals throughout North America. ACGA’s Membership and Outreach Committee was tasked by the Board of Directors with surveying teachers and study groups known to ACGA as a first step in identifying Gaelic-Learning Communities or “GLCs” and determining how ACGA could assist them. The initial survey will soon be available on this website. We’ve already followed up with surveys sent to individual Gaelic learners.
Eventually, the survey results will help ACGA create and publish a new list of Gaelic-Learning Communities. The first step though, is identifying where those communities are. Some major metropolitan areas, naturally, have stronger GLCs – New York, Toronto, Seattle, Washington DC, Baltimore, Denver. But we’ve heard from people who want to start communities in Oklahoma City, rural North Carolina and the Southwest.
How can you help? You can help us “map” the Gaelic Learning Communities of North America. If you belong to such a group, or would like to form one, let us know. We will eventually change our Classes and Distance Learning page to a Gaelic Learning Communities page, with more information where to find a GLC, what they do, and how to start one, if you’ve got a couple of people and the required misneachd!