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Little by Little Beag air Bheag

Unit 1 - Simple Gaelic greetings Aonad 1 - Simple Gaelic greetings

Introduction

Ciamar a tha sibh?

How are you?

Get friendly in Gaelic!

Learn how to greet people formally and in a casual conversation using the words sibh and thu which mean you.

Sibh is used when speaking to:

  • a stranger
  • a person older than you
  • someone in authority
  • more than one person.

Thu is used when speaking to:

  • a child
  • a friend
  • someone of a similar age.

In this unit, listen to some Gaelic greetings and follow the text to learn how to use the expressions in conversation. Then have a go at Test yourself. Come in and get started!

You (formal, polite, plural)

Ciamar a tha sibh?

How are you?

Fàilte!

Welcome!

Sibh

You (formal, polite, plural)

Listen to these phrases which use sibh. This is the word to use when you speak to:

  • a stranger
  • someone in authority
  • a person who is older than you (even parents and people you know well)
  • more than one person.

Ciamar a tha sibh?

How are you?

Tha mi gu math.

I'm well.

Ciamar a tha sibh fhèin?

How are you? (literally: How are you yourself?)

Tha mi gu math, tapadh leibh.

I'm well, thank you.

You (informal, singular)

Thu

You (informal, singular)

So how would you speak to:

  • a child
  • a friend
  • somebody of a similar age?

Ciamar a tha thu?

How are you?

Tha mi gu math.

I'm well.

Ciamar a tha thu fhèin?

How are you? (literally: How are you yourself?)

Tha mi gu math, tapadh leat.

I'm well, thank you.

The vocative case

Names change when people are being addressed. Catrìona becomes a Chatrìona. This change at the beginning of the word is called "lenition". An added change takes place with masculine names. Calum becomes a Chaluim. In addition to lenition, there is a slenderisation of the final vowel, represented by "ui" rather than "u".

Halò a Chatrìona.

Hello, Catherine.

Halò a Chaluim.

Hello, Malcolm.

Thank you

The Gaelic for "thank you" varies depending on whether you are using sibh or thu for you.

For sibh we say:

Tapadh leibh

For thu we say:

Tapadh leat

Conversation 1

Listen to this conversation between Catherine and Malcolm where they greet each other using sibh. Can you pick out the phrases introduced through the unit?

Conversation 2

In this clip, you can hear Catherine and Malcolm using the more informal thu in their greetings. If you would like to learn how to tell somebody your name in Gaelic, go on to Unit 2, Is mise Seumas.

Goodbye

The Gaelic for "goodbye" varies depending on whether you are using sibh or thu for you.

For sibh we say:

Mar sin leibh.

For thu we say:

Mar sin leat.

Conversation 1

Listen to this conversation between Catherine and Malcolm where they greet each other using sibh. Can you pick out the phrases introduced through the unit?

Conversation 2

In this clip, you can hear Catherine and Malcolm using the more informal thu in their greetings. If you would like to learn how to tell somebody your name in Gaelic, go on to Unit 2, Is mise Seumas.

Conversation 1

Malcolm:
Halò a Chatrìona.
Hello, Catherine.
Catherine:
Halò a Chaluim.
Hello, Malcolm.
Malcolm:
Ciamar a tha sibh an-diugh?
How are you today?
Catherine:
Tha mi gu math, tapadh leibh. Ciamar a tha sibh fhèin?
I'm well, thank you. How are you? (literally: How are you yourself?)
Malcolm:
Tha mise gu math cuideachd.
I'm well too.
Catherine:
Is math sin!
That's good!
Malcolm:
Mar sin leibh an-dràsta.
Bye, just now.
Catherine:
Mar sin leibh.
Goodbye.

Conversation 2

Listen to this conversation:

Malcolm:
Halò a Chatrìona.
Hello, Catherine.
Catherine:
Halò a Chaluim.
Hello, Malcolm.
Malcolm:
Ciamar a tha thu an-diugh?
How are you today?
Catherine:
Tha mi gu math, tapadh leat. Ciamar a tha thu fhèin?
I'm well, thank you. How are you?
Malcolm:
Tha mise gu math cuideachd.
I'm well too.
Catherine:
Is math sin!
That's good!
Malcolm:
Mar sin leat an-dràsta.
Bye, just now.
Catherine:
Mar sin leat.
Goodbye.