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Little by Little Beag air Bheag

Unit 35 - Discussing energy issues Aonad 35 - Cumhachd is connadh

Introduction

Cumhachd is connadh

Energy and fuel

In this unit we’ll look at a subject which is hotly debated throughout the world today – energy. A Gaelic word commonly used to refer to energy (of the kilowatt variety) – is cumhachd (lit. “power). Connadh is a general word for fuel burned in fires, stoves or vehicles.

teine fire
connadh fuel
a’ losgadh burning
gual coal
fiodh wood
mòine peat
a’ teasachadh heating
goileadair boiler

In conversation 1 Pòl and Iain are talking about the ways in which they heat their houses.

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Pòl:
A bheil teine fosgailte agad?
Do you have an open fire?
Iain:
Chan eil. Thug sinn a-mach e.
No we took it out.
Pòl:
Dè chuir sibh na àite?
What did you put in its place?
Iain:
Chuir stòbh. Tha e mòran nas blàithe.
[We] put a stove. It’s much warmer.
Pòl:
Dè an connadh a tha sibh a’ losgadh?
What fuel do you burn?
Iain:
Rud sam bith – fiodh, gual, mòine.
Anything – wood, coal, peat.
Pòl:
Chan eil stòbh againn idir.
We don’t have a stove at all.
Iain:
Ciamar a tha sibh a’ teasachadh an taighe?
How do you heat the house?
Pòl:
Leis an dealan. Agus ola.
With electricity. And oil.
Iain:
Tha ola uabhasach daor a-nis.
Oil is very expensive now.
Pòl:
Tha. Ach tha goileadair-ola againn.
Yes. But we have an oil[-fired] boiler.
Iain:
Chan eil an dealan cho saor sin nas motha.
Electricity is not that cheap either.
Pòl:
Chan eil. Ach tha e èifeachdach.
No. But it’s efficient.
Iain:
Agus chan eil agad ri teine no stòbh a ghlanadh a-mach.
And you don’t have to clean out a fire or stove.
Pòl:
Tha sin fìor. Ach trobhad ort – càite a bheil thu a’ ceannach fiodh?
That’s true. But look here – where do you buy wood?
Iain:
Cha bhi mi a’ ceannach fiodh. Bidh mi a’ ceannach gual.
I don’t buy wood. I buy coal.
Pòl:
Ach thuirt thu gu bheil thu a’ losgadh fiodh anns an stòbh.
But you said you burn wood in the stove.
Iain:
Tha – ach tha sinn ga fhaighinn saor ’s an-asgaidh.
Yes – but we get it free of charge.
Pòl:
Ciamar? Is càite?
How? And where?
Iain:
Tha coille aig an nàbaidh agam. Tha e ga leagail.
My neighbour has a wood [small forest]. He’s felling it.
Pòl:
Tha sin math.
That’s good.
Iain:
Tha – ach mairidh am fiodh dìreach dà bhliadhna eile.
Yes – but the wood will only last two more years.

Types of fuel

Cumhachd is connadh

Energy and fuel

In Conversation 2, Ceitidh and Anna are discussing renewable energy and the future of the world. If you listen to any of the news programmes, or Programme Choinnich, on Radio nan Gàidheal you may have heard people debating this topic, here’s some useful vocabulary that you may have heard:

cumhachd energy, power
niùclasach nuclear
an dealan electricity
cumhachd an dealain electricity, electrical power
mar eisimpleir for example
a’ truailleadh polluting
blàthachadh na cruinne global warming
connadh fosail fossil fuel[s]
tuath-gaoithe wind farm
cumhachd nan tonn wave energy [lit. energy of the waves]
cumhachd na grèine solar power
carbon dà-ogsaid carbon dioxide

If you’d like to get more practice with your Gaelic learning, why not have a look at the weekly Letter to Learners (Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh)?

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

Ceitidh:
Cha toigh leam cumhachd niùclasach.
I don’t like nuclear power.
Anna:
Carson a tha sin?
Why is that?
Ceitidh:
Tha e a’ fàgail sgudal niùclasach.
It leaves [behind] nuclear waste.
Anna:
Ach ciamar a nì sinn cumhachd an dealain?
But how shall we make electricity?
Ceitidh:
Tha diofar dhòighean ann – mar eisimpleir ola, gas agus gual.
There are different ways – for example oil, gas and coal.
Anna:
Ach tha gach connadh sin a’ truailleadh an àile.
But each of those fuels pollutes the atmosphere.
Ceitidh:
Uill, tha. Tha iad uile a’ dèanamh carbon dà-ogsaid, ceart gu leòr.
Well, yes. They all make carbon dioxide, right enough.
Anna:
Agus tha carbon dà-ogsaid a’ blàthachadh na cruinne.
And carbon dioxide is warming the earth.
Ceitidh:
Tha. ‘S e droch rud a th’ ann am blàthachadh na cruinne.
Yes. Global warming is a bad thing.
Anna:
Mar sin, bu chòir dhuinn sguir a’ losgadh connadh fosail.
So we should stop burning fossil fuel[s].
Ceitidh:
Ach dè loisgeas sinn an àite connadh fosail?
But what will we burn instead of fossil fuels.
Anna:
Feumaidh sinn cumhachd ath-nuadhachail a bhrosnachadh.
We must encourage renewable energy.
Ceitidh:
Mar thuathan-gaoithe?
Like wind farms?
Anna:
Tuathan-gaoithe, cumhachd nan tonn, cumhachd na grèine...
Wind farms, wave energy, solar energy...
Ceitidh:
Ach cha toigh le feadhainn tuathan-gaoithe.
But some people don’t like wind farms.
Anna:
Is cha toigh le feadhainn stèiseanan cumhachd niùclasach.
And some people don’t like nuclear power stations.
Ceitidh:
Agus dh’fhàg sgeamaichean hydro glinn bhrèagha fo uisge.
And hydro schemes left beautiful glens under water.
Anna:
Chan eil cumhachd sam bith nach dèan cron.
There is no energy that doesn’t [won’t] cause damage.
Ceitidh:
Mar a tha an seanfhacal ag ràdh.
As the proverb has it.
Anna:
Dè an seanfhacal?
What proverb?
Ceitidh:
Cha dèanar math gun mhulad.
Good is not done without grief.