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Letter to Gaelic Learners Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

Ruairidh MacIlleathain A series of letters to support Gaelic learners. This will help learners who already have some knowledge and understanding of Gaelic and are looking to develop their language skills. Sound files, text, vocabulary and language notes are also available. Sreath de litrichean a bheir taic do luchd-ionnsachaidh na Gàidhlig. Bidh iad seo cuideachail do luchd-ionnsachaidh le beagan tuigs air a’ Ghàidhlig agus a tha a’ coimhead airson dòigh air na sgilean cànain aca a leasachadh. Tha faidhle fuaim, teacsa, briathrachas agus puingean cànain rim faighinn cuideachd.

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Nan NicFhionghain (Litir 196)

An-uiridh, ann an Litir ceud, seachdad ’s a trì (173), thug mi sgeulachd ghoirid dhuibh a fhuaradh bho bhoireannach ann am Bhatarsaigh – Nan NicFhionghain, Nan Eachainn Fhionnlaigh, a chaochail o chionn beagan is fichead bliadhna. Cha robh dùil agam gun tillinn thuice cho luath, ach bha mi aig òraid mu a deidhinn o chionn ceala-deug, agus bu mhòr a chòrd i rium. Tha mi air a bhith a’ smaoineachadh air Nan grunn tursan bhon uair sin.

’S e an t-Ollamh Iain MacAonghais a thug an òraid aig Comunn Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis, mu dheidhinn cuid de na seanfhaclan is Gnàthasan-cainnt a chlàr daoine ann an còmhraidhean le Nan. Bha Iain eòlach oirre agus chruthaich e dealbh don luchd-èisteachd de bhoireannach laghach coibhneil aig an robh stòras a bha mòr is beartach, ach a bha a’ buntainn ri farsaingeachd saoghal nan Gàidheal. Ged a bha i a’ fuireach air eilean iomallach, bha a cridhe aig cridhe na Gàidhealtachd.

Dh’innis Iain grunn de na seanfhaclan aice a th’ air clàran ann an Sgoil Eòlais na h-Alba, ach chan eil iad air an cur ri chèile fhathast mar chruinneachadh ceart. ’S dòcha gun tachair sin uaireigin mar phàirt dhen phròiseact ris an canar Tobar an Dualchais, a tha a’ cur seann stuth mar sin ann an cruth diodsaideach.

Ach an-dràsta, bu mhath leam stòiridh beag laghach eile aig Nan aithris dhuibh, ged a tha mi air a dhèanamh beagan nas sìmplidhe. ’S ann mu dheidhinn bodach is cailleach anns an Eilean Sgitheanach a tha e. Bha am bodach a’ call a chuimhne ach bha e cho brogail ’s gun rachadh e don mhonadh a h-uile là. Co-dhiù, là a bha seo, agus e a’ tilleadh às a’ mhonadh, lorg am bodach sporan air an talamh. Bha e làn notaichean.

Nuair a ràinig e an taigh aige, chaith e an sporan a smùr na mònadh, agus cha do smaoinich e air tuilleadh, oir bha e a’ call a chuimhne. Cha do leig a’ chailleach oirre gun robh i a’ faicinn dad às an rathad, ach dè rinn i làrna-mhàireach ach fhuair i leabhar beag agus chuir i am bodach dha sgoil còmhla ris na gillean òga.

An ceann deannan làithean as dèidh sin, cò thàinig mun cuairt ach am bàillidh. Thachair e ris a’ bhodach agus thuirt e ris, “An là a bha mi a’ togail a’ mhàil mu dheireadh, chaill mi sporan.”

“O,” ars’ am bodach, “fhuair mise sporan.” Bha e a’ tighinn gu chuimhne mar a lorg e e.

“O, an d’ fhuair?” ars’ am bàillidh. “Dè rinn thu leis?”

“Cha do rinn mi ach a chaitheamh ann am smùr na mònadh,” ars’ am bodach.

“Uill, ma thà,” ars’ am bàillidh, “tha e an sin fhathast.”

“Tha,” ars’ am bodach, “tha mi cinnteach gu bheil.”

Chaidh am bodach dhachaigh còmhla ris a’ bhàillidh agus thòisich iad air rùileach smùr na mònadh. Ach, ged a bhiodh iad a’ rùileach fhathast chan fhaigheadh iad an sporan. Thionndaidh am bàillidh ris a’ bhodach agus thuirt e ris, “Cò là a fhuair thu an sporan?”

“An là mun deach mi dha sgoil,” thuirt am bodach.

“O Mhic an Ànraidh!” ars’ am bàillidh, “an là mun deach thusa dha sgoil, cha do rugadh mise an uair sin no fad’ as a dhèidh.”

Dh’fhalbh am bàillidh is cha d’ fhuair e sporan no dad eile. Bha an sporan agus an t-airgead aig a’ chaillich, ge brith gu dè mar a chosg i e.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: an-uiridh: last year; Bhatarsaigh: Vatersay; Nan Eachainn Fhionnlaigh: Nan, daughter of Hector, who was himself a son of Finlay; ceala-deug: fortnight; an t-Ollamh Iain MacAonghais: Dr John MacInnes; Comunn Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis: The Gaelic Society of Inverness; laghach coibhneil: nice and kind; Sgoil Eòlais na h-Alba: The School of Scottish Studies; bàillidh: factor; rùileach (dialectual form of rùrach): searching with hands.

Abairtean na Litreach: a fhuaradh bho bhoireannach: which was obtained from a woman; cha robh dùil agam gun tillinn thuice: I didn’t expect to return to her; a bha a’ buntainn ri farsaingeachd saoghal nan Gàidheal: which belonged to the broad world of the Gael; ann an cruth diodsaideach: in a digital format; bha e cho brogail ’s gun rachadh e don mhonadh: he was so sprightly that he would go to the hill; bha e làn notaichean: it was full of paper money; chaith e an spòran a smùr na mònadh: he threw the purse in the peat dross; cha do leig a’ chailleach oirre: the old woman didn’t let on; dad às an rathad: anything out of the ordinary; chuir i am bodach dha sgoil:she sent the old man to school; an ceann deannan làithean as dèidh sin: a few days after that; an là a bha mi a’ togail a’ mhàil: the day I was collecting the rent; an là mun deach mi: the day before I went; no fad’ as a dhèidh: or long after it.

Puing-ghràmair na Litreach: “O Mhic an Ànraidh!” ars’ am bàillidh: it is difficult to give a translation of Mhic an Ànraidh – literally it means Son of the Tempest or Son of the Distress and is an expletive (as uttered here by the factor). But the point I want to make is a grammatical one about mhic (or o mhic or a mhic). This is the word mac (son) in the vocative case, known in Gaelic as an tuiseal gairmeach. Unfortunately for the learner, dictionaries do not give the vocative case of nouns, so they must be constructed from basic principles. And, for singular words, these are as follows (we will look at plural vocatives in a future Litir): In masculine nouns, it is the same as the genitive singular case, and lenited eg a bhalaich! (lad!), a Dhòmhnaill! (Donald!). [The exclamation mark is here only included to demonstrate that the noun is in the vocative]. In feminine nouns it is the same as the nominative case, and lenited (ie not slenderised), eg a chaileag! (lass!), a Mhòrag! (Morag!). Adjectives follow the inflexion of the noun so we get, for example, a bhalaich bhig!(little lad!) and a chaileag bheag! (little lass!). In the case of macfollowed by a noun (or name), the second word is in the genitive (as ànraidh, the genitive of ànradh) eg a mhic mo bhràthar! (son of my brother!)

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: ge brith gu dè mar a chosg i e: however she spent it. Ge brith is a dialectual variant of ge bith or ge be,and is common in the southernmost of the Western Isles. It means whatever or however or, with cò, whoever (ge brith cò thigeadh: whoever would come, regardless of who would come).

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Podcast

BBC offers this litir as a podcast – visit the programme page for more info and to download or subscribe. Tha am BBC a’ tabhainn seo mar podcast. Tadhail air an duilleag-phrògraim airson barrachd fiosrachaidh no airson podcast fhaighinn

Other Letters Litrichean eile

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Àireamh / Number

Facal / Word