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968: An Crann-arain

Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh - Eadar-mheadhanach Adhartach (B2)
Letter to Learners - Upper Intermediate (B2)

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Gaelic Gàidhlig

Tha facal againn ann an Gàidhlig a tha a’ ciallachadh ‘ directing or guiding by the stars’. A bheil sibh eòlach air an fhacal? Steòrnadh. Nise, tha steòrnadh a’ ciallachadh rudan eile a bharrachd – riaghladh, stiùireadh, smachdachadh. Ach tha ciall chudromach aig an fhacal – a bhith a’ stiùireadh a rèir nan reultan no rionnagan. Cha chreid mi nach tàinig am facal às an t-Seann Lochlannais. Agus tha e mar phàirt dhen ainm-àite Steòrnabhagh.

Co-dhiù, leis gu bheil am facal againn nar briathrachas, cha chreid mi nach eil e a’ dearbhadh gun robh ar sinnsirean na b’ eòlaiche air iarmailt na h-oidhche na tha sinne an-diugh. An t-seachdain sa chaidh, thug sinn sùil air an t-Sealgair Mhòr agus An Grioglachan. An t-seachdain seo, tha mi airson sùil a thoirt air reul-bhad eile. Ach mus dèan mi sin, seo agaibh seanfhacal Gàidhlig co-cheangailte ris an Grioglachan.Caillidh fiù an Grioglachan a chùrsaeven Pleiades can stray off course. Tha e a’ ciallachadh gum bi eadhon na daoine as seasmhaiche a’ dol far an rathaid uaireannan. Caillidh fiù an Grioglachan a chùrsa.

Co-dhiù, air ais gu steòrnadh. ʼS e an rionnag as fheumaile airson sin an Reul Iùil no Reul na h-Àird a Tuath. ʼS e sin Polaris no ann am Beurla The Pole Star. ʼS i an rionnag as fhaisge air Pola mu Thuath na h-Iarmailt. Airson seòladairean na seann aimsir, bha i air a cleachdadh airson fios a bhith aca far an robh am pola mu thuath. Nuair a bha iad air druim a’ chuain, bhiodh iad a’ steòrnadh a dh’ionnsaigh na h-àirde a tuath le bhith a’ cleachdadh na rionnaig seo.

ʼS e an dòigh as fhasa an Reul Iùil a lorg, a bhith a’ lorg an toiseach an reul-bhaid ris an canar An Crann-arain. Tha sin a’ ciallachadh ann am Beurla ‘the baker’s bread-shovel’ – rud air an cuireadh fuineadair taois don àmhainn airson aran a dhèanamh. An Crann-arain. Tha e car annasach, ann an dòigh, gu bheil am facal ‘crann’ cuideachd a’ ciallachadh ‘plough’ oir ʼs e an t-ainm Beurla airson an reul-bhaid seoThe Plough. Tha e air aithneachadh cuideachd mar Ursa Major no The Great Bear agus The Big Dipper .

Tha trì rionnagan ann an làimh a’ Chrainn-arain. Tha ainmean Arabach orra. ʼS e Alkaid an tè as fhaide a-mach; ann an Gàidhlig ʼs e sin An Ceann-mathain. An ath thè, ʼs e sin Mizar. Ma choimheadas sibh gu dlùth, chì sibh gu bheil rionnag bheag os cionn Mizar. ʼS e sin Alcor. Ann an Gàidhlig, canaidh sinn Am Bodachan no Bodachan a’ Chrainn ris. Bha na seann Arabaich a’ dèanamh deuchainn-fradhairc stèidhichte air comas an duine Am Bodachan fhaicinn.

Tha rionnag eile air làimh a’ Chrainn-arain – Alioth. Ma tha ainm Gàidhlig oirre, chan aithne dhomh e. Tha sinn a-nise aig cas a’ Chrainn. ʼS iad a’ chiad dà rionnaig Megrez agus Phad no Phecda. Thuige seo tha mi air còig rionnagan ainmeachadh. Còmhla, tha ainm Gàidhlig orra – Còig Gadhair Osgair – the five mastiffs of Oscar. Bidh sibh eòlach air Osgar mar fhear de ghaisgich na Fèinne – ogha Fhinn MhicCumhail.

Mu dheireadh, tha sinn a’ tighinn chun na dà rionnaig air an taobh dheas – Dubhe agus Merak. Bidh sinn a’ cur na dà rionnaig seo gu feum ann an steòrnadh – mar a mhìnicheas mi an-ath-sheachdain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: steòrnadh: directing or guiding by the stars; rionnag: star; An Crann-arain: The Plough.

Abairtean na Litreach: Cha chreid mi nach tàinig am facal às an t-Seann Lochlannais: I think the word came from Old Norse; leis gu bheil am facal againn nar briathrachas: since we have the word in our lexicon; cha chreid mi nach eil e a’ dearbhadh gun robh ar sinnsirean na b’ eòlaiche air iarmailt na h-oidhche na tha sinne an-diugh: I think it shows that it proves that our ancestors were more knowledgeable about the heavens at night than we are today; thug sinn sùil air an t-Sealgair Mhòr agus An Grioglachan: we looked at Orion and the Pleiades; gum bi eadhon na daoine as seasmhaiche a’ dol far an rathaid uaireannan: that even the most stable people sometimes go off the track; ʼs e an rionnag as fheumaile airson sin an Reul Iùil no Reul na h-Àird a Tuath: the most useful star for that is the Pole Star; ʼs i an rionnag as fhaisge air Pola mu Thuath na h-Iarmailt: it’s the closest star to the Celestial North Pole; seòladairean na seann aimsir: ancient mariners; nuair a bha iad air druim a’ chuain, bhiodh iad a’ steòrnadh a dh’ionnsaigh na h-àirde a tuath le bhith a’ cleachdadh na rionnaig seo: when they were in the open ocean, they would guide themselves to the north by using this star; làmh a’ Chrainn-arain: the handle of the Plough; bha na seann Arabaich a’ dèanamh deuchainn-fradhairc stèidhichte air comas an duine Am Bodachan fhaicinn: Arabs of olden times conducted an eyesight test based on the person’s ability to see Alcor; cas a’ Chrainn: the body of the Plough; mar fhear de ghaisgich na Fèinne – ogha Fhinn MhicCumhail:as one of the Fingalian heroes – the grandson of Fionn MacCumhail.

Puing-chànain na Litreach: Do any of you have more information about Gaelic lore related to the stars? Five of the stars in the Crann-arain (Plough) are Còig Gadhair Osgair (‘Oscar’s five mastiffs’), and the Milky Way is known as Slighe Chlann Uisnich (‘the way of the children of Uisne’) referring to Naois, Àillean and Àrdan, Naois being the partner of the famous and beautiful Deirdre. If you can direct me to further folklore of that nature, I’d be most appreciative (roddy@culcabockpublishing.co.uk).

Seanfhacal na Litreach: Caillidh fiù an Grioglachan a chùrsa even Pleiades can stray off course. Even the most reliable of people can go wrong.

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri An Litir Bheag 664

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