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Beginners (A1)- Unit 15 - Playing sport and having fun
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 15 - Playing sport and having fun

Introduction

Abair spòrs!

What fun!

This Unit introduces you to some basic conversation about sports and pastimes. The generic Gaelic word for sport is spòrs, but this may also mean fun (after all, isn't that how sports should be?). For example we might say bha spòrs againn which would mean 'we had fun'.

Spòrs

sport or fun

bha spòrs againn

we had fun

The title of this Unit is a commonly heard phrase, abair spòrs, which means literally 'say fun' but which is idiomatically equivalent to 'what good fun!' (Abair is used in many phrases of this nature to exclaim pleasure, surprise, or excitement).

The biggest sport in Scotland is ball-coise, football (soccer) but there are other important sports and pastimes, as we shall see. The most widely played traditional sport in the Highlands is shinty, which still has a special place in Scotland's cultural life. It is played with a stick called a caman and is known in Gaelic as iomain or camanachd. First of all we'll look at some important words to do with sport:

spòrs sport, fun
abair spòrs! what fun!
ball-coise football (soccer)
ball-basgaid basketball
snàmh swimming
iomain shinty
camanachd shinty
caman shinty stick
rugbaidh rugby
hocaidh hockey
hocaidh-deighe ice hockey
ball ball
sgioba team
rèitire referee
cluicheadair player
fear-glèidhidh goalkeeper (male)

Conversation 1

Now listen to the following conversation. In it you will hear the future tense also being used as a present habitual ie bidh mi a' cluich may mean 'I will play', 'I will be playing' or 'I habitually play'. This is a general rule in Gaelic.

bidh mi a' cluich

I will play/ I will be playing / I play

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Anna:
An e aodach spòrs a tha ort?
Are those sports clothes you're wearing?
Pàdraig:
'S e. Tha mi a' dol a chluich spòrs.
Yes. I'm going to play sport.
Anna:
Dè spòrs?
What sport?
Pàdraig:
Tha mi a' dol a chluich ball-coise.
I'm going to play football.
Anna:
Am bi thu a' cluich airson sgioba ainmeil?
Will you be playing for a famous team?
Pàdraig:
Cha bhi. Bidh mi a' cluich còmhla ri caraidean.
No. I'll be playing with friends.
Anna:
Càite?
Where?
Pàdraig:
Anns a' phàirc, faisg air an taigh.
In the park, close to the house.
Anna:
An toil leat ball-coise?
Do you like football?
Pàdraig:
Is toil, ach 's fheàrr leam rugbaidh.
Yes, but I prefer rugby.
Anna:
Carson a tha sin?
Why is that?
Pàdraig:
Faodaidh tu am ball a thogail.
You're allowed to pick up the ball.
Anna:
Ach ann am ball-coise, chan fhaod thu am ball a thogail.
But in football, you may not pick up the ball.
Pàdraig:
Chan fhaod. Ach bidh mise.
No. But I do.
Anna:
Ist! Chan fhaod thu.
Be quiet! You can't (you're not allowed to).
Pàdraig:
Faodaidh mise.
I can.
Anna:
Ciamar? Bidh an rèitire mì-thoilichte.
How? The referee will be displeased.
Pàdraig:
Cha bhi. Tha cead agam am ball a thogail.
No he won't. I have permission to pick up the ball.
Anna:
Ciamar a tha sin?
How is that?
Pàdraig:
Is mise am fear-glèidhidh!
I'm the goalkeeper!

Who is winning?

Abair spòrs!

What fun!

Conversation 2

The next conversation takes in the sport of the Gael, shinty. Donnchadh and Cairistìona meet each other by chance at the year's showcase match, the Camanachd Cup Final. The match is between two of the giants of the game, adjacent villages in Badenoch in the Central Highlands - Cinn a' Ghiuthsaich (Kingussie) and Bail' Ùr an t-Slèibh (Newtonmore).

Cinn a' Ghiuthsaich

Kingussie

Bail' Ùr an t-Slèibh

Newtonmore

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

Cairistìona:
Halò a Dhonnchaidh.
Hello Duncan.
Donnchadh:
A Chairistìona, a bheil an iomain a' còrdadh riut?
Christine, are you enjoying the shinty?
Cairistìona:
Tha gu dearbh. 'S e geama math a th' ann.
Yes. It's a good game.
Donnchadh:
Tha iad co-ionann.
They're equal.
Cairistìona:
Aon tadhal an urra, an e?
One goal to each side, is it?
Donnchadh:
Chan e. Dà thadhal an urra.
No. Two goals to each side.
Cairistìona:
O, chaill mi toiseach a' gheama.
Oh, I missed the start of the game.
Donnchadh:
'S e Cinn a' Ghiuthsaich as fheàrr, ge-tà.
Kingussie are the better side, however.
Cairistìona:
Tha mise a' toirt taic do Bhail' Ùr an t-Slèibh.
I'm supporting Newtonmore.
Donnchadh:
Carson a tha sin?
Why is that?
Cairistìona:
Bha mo sheanair à Bail' Ùr an t-Slèibh.
My grandfather was from Newtonmore.
Donnchadh:
Seall, chuir iad tadhal.
Look, they scored.
Cairistìona:
Cò?
Who?
Donnchadh:
Bail' Ùr an t-Slèibh.
Newtonmore.
Cairistìona:
Agus bhris an cluicheadair an caman aige.
And the player broke his shinty stick.
Donnchadh:
Bhris. Ach tha e toilichte.
Yes. But he is pleased.
Cairistìona:
Tha Bàil' Ùr an t-Slèibh air thoiseach, trì gu dhà.
Newtonmore are ahead, three to two.
Donnchadh:
Is dòcha gun tog iad Cupa na Camanachd.
Perhaps they will lift the Camanachd Cup.
Cairistìona:
Is dòcha. Bhiodh sin math.
Perhaps. That would be good.
Donnchadh:
Bhiodh do sheanair toilichte.
Your grandfather would be happy.
Cairistìona:
Bhitheadh, gun teagamh.
He would, without doubt.

I prefer

Abair spòrs!

What fun!

The next conversation takes place in a casual situation, away from the sporting field. Notice the way we indicate preference, which has already appeared in conversation. Is fheàrr le X Y - X prefers Y or X likes Y best. Or b' fheàrr le X Y - X preferred or would prefer Y, or X likes or would like Y best.

Is fheàrr le

prefers

b' fheàrr le

preferred

The preposition le often appears in a combined form as a prepositional pronoun viz:

leam (le + mi) with me
leat (le + thu) with you
leis (le + e) with him
leatha (le + i) with her
leinn (le + sinn) with us
leibh (le + sibh) with you (plural)
leotha (le + iad) with them

Conversation 3

Now listen to the conversation in conversation 3 (and note the play on the double meaning of the word spòrs in the final exchange).

This is the end of Unit 15. Why not test yourself to see how much you've learnt?

Là math dhuibh!

Conversation 3

Listen to the conversation:

Donnchadh:
Dè spòrs as fheàrr leat?
What sport do you like best?
Cairistìona:
Is fheàrr leam snàmh.
I like swimming best?
Donnchadh:
Dè mu dheidhinn hocaidh?
What about hockey?
Cairistìona:
Is fheàrr leam hocaidh-deighe na hocaidh.
I prefer ice hockey to (field) hockey?
Donnchadh:
Is toil leamsa snàmh cuideachd.
I like swimming as well.
Cairistìona:
A bheil thu math air?
Are you good at it?
Donnchadh:
Chan eil, ach tha e a' còrdadh rium.
No, but I enjoy it.
Cairistìona:
Am bi thu a' cluich ball-basgaid?
Do you play basketball?
Donnchadh:
Cha bhi. Is fheàrr leam a bhith a-muigh.
No. I prefer to be out of doors.
Cairistìona:
Is toil leamsa ball-basgaid.
I like basketball.
Donnchadh:
Am bi thu fhèin a' cluich ball-basgaid, ma-thà?
Do you play basketball then?
Cairistìona:
Bithidh. Fad na bliadhna.
Yes. All year long.
Donnchadh:
Bidh mise a' cluich rugbaidh anns a' gheamhradh.
I play rugby in the winter.
Cairistìona:
Cha toil leam rugbaidh idir.
I don't like rugby at all.
Donnchadh:
Is bidh mi a' leantainn Sgioba Rugbaidh na h-Alba.
And I follow the Scottish Rugby Team.
Cairistìona:
A bheil iad math?
Are they good?
Donnchadh:
Chan eil ro mhath!
Not too good!
Cairistìona:
Dè bhios tu a' cluich as t-samhradh?
What do you play in summer?
Donnchadh:
Cha bhi mi a' cluich dad. Bidh mi a' coiseachd nam beann.
I don't play anything. I go walking in the mountains.
Cairistìona:
Chan e spòrs a tha sin.
That's not a sport.
Donnchadh:
O, 's e. 'S e spòrs a th' ann, gun teagamh.
Oh, yes it is. It's great fun, without doubt!