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Little by Little Beag air Bheag

Beginners (A1)- Unit 18 - Getting directions
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 18 - Getting directions

Introduction

Air do làimh dheis

On your right-hand

The word seòladh is commonly used to mean 'address' (as in 2 Smith Street), but an older meaning (which still applies) is the directions which would be given to somebody looking for a particular locality, such as a house. In this unit, we are going to put you firstly in the shoes of a learner in the Gaidhealtachd (Anndra) who boldly asks strangers for directions in Gaelic. Hopefully, when you have finished the unit, you will be that bold learner! (Notice, however, that a wise person avoids being too abrupt in initiating a conversation – talk about the weather or something else before launching into a question). In the second conversation, we will assume that you have the capability to impart the same type of knowledge to another learner! Siuthad, ma tha! (go on, then)

Croit

croft

taigh-croite

croft house

croitear

crofter

rathad

road

baile

village, town

deas

right

air do làimh dheis

on your right-hand

clì

left

air do làimh chlì

on your left-hand

Conversation 1

Before you listen to the conversation it is worth noting how we deal with ownership (as of houses) when using masculine names. The name is in the genitive or possessive case and it undergoes, where possible, both lenition at the start of the name, and slenderisation of the final vowel. This dual change in the noun also affects any qualifying adjectives such as beag (small) and mòr (big). Here are some examples.

Seumas

James

Taigh Sheumais

James’s house

Taigh Sheumais Mhòir

Big James’s house

Calum

Malcolm

Taigh Chaluim

Malcolm’s house

Taigh Chaluim Bhig

Wee Malcolm’s house

Aonghas

Angus

Taigh Aonghais

Angus’s house

Taigh Aonghais Mhòir

Big Angus’s house

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Anndra:
Tha i brèagha.
It’s [a] beautiful [day].
An Croitear:
Tha i sin, gu dearbh.
It sure is.
Anndra:
Tha sibh trang leis na caoraich.
You are busy with the sheep.
An Croitear:
Bidh sinn gan rùsgadh feasgar.
We’ll be shearing them this afternoon.
Anndra:
Tha mi a’ coimhead airson taigh Aonghais Mhòir.
I am looking for Big Angus’s house.
An Croitear:
Cò?
Who?
Anndra:
Taigh Aonghais Mhòir. A bheil e faisg air seo?
Big Angus’s house. Is it close to here?
An Croitear:
Faisg gu leòr. Tha e shìos an rathad air do làimh chlì.
Close enough. It’s down the road on your left-hand side.
Anndra:
A bheil e seachad air a’ bhùth?
Is it past the shop?
An Croitear:
Chan eil. Chan eil e cho fada ris a’ bhùth.
It’s not as far as the shop.
Anndra:
A bheil e furasta aithneachadh?
Is it easy to recognise?
An Croitear:
Tha. Tha mullach tughaidh air.
Yes. It has a thatched roof.
Anndra:
Tha Aonghas Mòr a’ fuireach ann an taigh tughaidh!
Big Angus lives in a thatched house!
An Croitear:
Tha. Chan eil ach an aon taigh tughaidh anns a’ bhaile.
Yes. There is only the one thatched house in the village.
Anndra:
Bidh e furasta aithneachadh, ma-thà.
It will be easy to recognise it, then.
An Croitear:
Bidh. Ach cha bhi Aonghas a-staigh.
Yes. But Angus won’t be in.
Anndra:
Càite am bi e?
Where will he be?
An Croitear:
Tha e ag obair anns a’ bhùth an-diugh.
He works in the shop today.
Anndra:
Càite a bheil a’ bhùth?
Where is the shop?
An Croitear:
Tha i seachad air taigh Aonghais, air do làimh dheis.
It is past Angus’s house, on your right-hand side.
Anndra:
Dè cho fada ’s a tha i às an seo?
How far is it from here?
An Croitear:
Tha leth-mhìle. A bheil thu càirdeach dha?
Half a mile. Are you related to him?
Anndra:
Chan eil.
No.
An Croitear:
Cò às a tha thu?
Where are you from?
Anndra:
À Sruighlea.
From Stirling
An Croitear:
Tha Gàidhlig mhath agad. An e ionnsachadh a rinn thu?
You have good Gaelic. Did you learn it? (lit: is it learning that you did?)
Anndra:
’S e. Co-dhiù, feumaidh mi falbh. Mòran taing.
Yes. Anyway, I must go. Many thanks.
An Croitear:
’S e do bheatha.
You’re welcome

On your right-hand

Air do làimh dheis

On your right-hand

Conversation 2

In Conversation 2, the learner Anndra has gone past Big Angus’s house and is close to the shop, on the same side of the road, when he is approached by another person who is learning Gaelic.

The other learner, Pàdraig, assumes that Anndra is a local who is fluent in the language. Pàdraig, who is about the same age as Anndra and addresses him with the informal thu, is coincidentally also looking for Big Angus’s house.

This is the end of unit 18. Why not test yourself to see how much you've learnt?

Do you want to be able to say if you are capable or incapable of doing something? Then make tracks for Unit 19.

Bidh fàilte oirbh ann!

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

Pàdraig:
Gabh mo leisgeul.
Excuse me.
Anndra:
Seadh?
Yes?
Pàdraig:
A bheil thu eòlach air taigh Aonghais Mhòir?
Do you know Big Angus’s house?
Anndra:
Tha. Carson?
Yes. Why?
Pàdraig:
An toir thu seòladh dhomh air a shon?
Will you give me directions for it?
Anndra:
Tha e air taobh thall an rathaid.
It’s on the other side of the road.
Pàdraig:
A bheil e fada?
Is it far?
Anndra:
Chan eil. Theirig sìos an rathaid dà cheud slat, is bidh e air do làimh dheis.
No. Go down the road two hundred yards, and it will be on your right- hand side.
Pàdraig:
Mòran taing. ’S e taigh tughaidh a th’ ann, nach e?
Many thanks. It’s a thatched house, isn’t it?
Anndra:
’S e. Ach a bheil thu a’ coimhead airson Aonghais?
Yes. But are you looking for Angus?
Pàdraig:
Chan eil. Bu toil leam an taigh aige fhaicinn.
No. I would like to see his house.
Anndra:
Carson?
Why?
Pàdraig:
Is toil leam taighean tughaidh.
I like thatched houses.
Anndra:
Glè mhath. Chì thu e. Tha e furasta aithneachadh.
Very good. You will see it. It is easy to recognise.
Pàdraig:
Tha fhios gu bheil. Mìle taing.
I am sure it is. A thousand thanks.
Anndra:
’S e do bheatha.
You’re welcome.