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353: Teàrlach MacAoidh

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

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Cò às a thàinig am facal beagle ann am Beurla? Uill, ’s dòcha gum bi cuimhne agaibh gu robh sinn a’ toirt sùil an t-seachdain sa chaidh air an leabhar le Teàrlach MacAoidh – The Gaelic Etymology of the Languages of Western Europe. Bha beachd aig Teàrlach còir air iomadach facal – agus beagle nam measg. Ach dè tha na faclairean ag ràdh? Leis an fhìrinn innse, chan eil iad cinnteach cò às a thàinig am facal. Tha cuid dhen bheachd gur dòcha gun tàinig e don Bheurla bhon Fhraingis. Ach tha MacAoidh ag ràdh gun tàinig e bhon Ghàidhlig – beag agus sùilbeag-shùilbeagle, “a dog with small eyes”.

Agus dè mu dheidhinn begin? Tha a’ chuid as motha de eòlaichean cànain ga cheangal ri biginnan anns an t-seann Ghearmailtis. A rèir MhicAoidh, faodar tùs an fhacail a lorg ann an Gàidhlig – bith (“life”) agus gin (“to procreate, produce”). Bith-gin.

’S e facal eile ann an leabhar MhicAoidh – belfry. Tha sin a’ tighinn bhon Ghàidhlig beachd (“watch, observe”) agus frith (“small, little”) – chaidh e don Bheurla, ge-tà, bhon Fhraingis beffroi.

Agus tha am facal mith-chainnteach bin aige cuideachd. Tha sin a’ ciallachadh “pòcaid le airgead ann”. Nise, tha mi a’ dol a chur seo ann am Beurla mar a sgrìobh MacAoidh e oir tha e iongantach. Tha bin a’ tighinn bhon fhacal Ghàidhlig “binn, melodious; whence by metaphor, money that chinks in the pocket with a sound melodious to the ears of the thief who wants to appropriate it.” Uill, dè chanas mi?

Agus bidh fios agaibh gur e a’ Ghàidhlig airson black – dubh. Mar sin, am biodh dùil againn gun tàinig am facal Beurla black bhon Ghàidhlig? Uill, tha Teàrlach MacAoidh ag ràdh nach eil black idir coltach ri a leithid ann an cànanan Eòrpach eile – schwartz, noir, negro is mar sin air adhart – ged a bha facal blak ann an seann Bheurla nan Sagsannach, a bha a’ ciallachadh inc . Cò às a thàinig e, ma-thà? ’S e freumh an fhacail, a rèir an leabhair – “blàthaich, to warm, make hot; blàths, warmth, heat; blàthaichte, warmed, heated, whence blackened by the heat.”

Tha mi air a bhith a’ gabhail beagan spòrs le beachdan Theàrlaich MhicAoidh. Saoilidh mi gu robh e cho measail air a’ Ghàidhlig ’s gun robh e airson “dearbhadh” gu robh buaidh mhòr aice air cànanan Eòrpach eile, eadhon ged a tha cuid de na beachdan aige annasach dha-rìribh. Ach le cuid de na faclan, bha e dìreach a’ sealltainn gu robh rudeigin sa chumantas eadar a’ Ghàidhlig agus cànanan eile – mar a rinn Alasdair MacBheathain anns an fhaclair aige, An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language. Chaidh sin fhoillseachadh ann an ochd ceud deug, naochad ’s a sia, (1896), naoi bliadhn’ deug às dèidh foillseachadh leabhar MhicAoidh.

Bu mhath leam crìochnachadh le bhith a’ toirt sùil air an fhacal Ghàidhlig bleigeard, no blaigeard. Gu mì-fhortanach, chan eil sin ann am faclair MhicBheathain ach tha daoine dhen bheachd gun tàinig e bhon fhacal Bheurla blackguard – air a sgrìobhadh mar “black-guard”. Ach an e sin a bh’ ann am blackguard bho thùs – black guard?

Uill, tha MacAoidh ag ràdh nach e facal dà-fhillteach a th’ ann idir, ach facal Ceilteach aon-fhillteach. Anns a’ Ghàidhlig, ’s e “blagair, a boaster, an impudent boaster”. Tha e a’ cumail a-mach gun do ghabh luchd na Beurla a-staigh e mar mhith-chainnt agus gun do chruthaich iad tùs Beurla dha, le bhith ga litreachadh mar “black-guard”. Chan eil mi cinnteach, ach tha sin nas coltaiche, chanainn, na bin no begin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: Teàrlach MacAoidh: Charles Mackay; eòlaichean cànain: language experts; Gearmailtis: German language; Fraingis:French language; mith-chainnteach: colloquial, slang; inc: ink; freumh: root; Alasdair MacBheathain: Alexander Macbain; dà-fhillteach: compound, with two elements.

Abairtean na Litreach: leis an fhìrinn innse: to tell the truth; tha cuid dhen bheachd gur dòcha gun tàinig e: some are of the opinion that perhaps it came; dè chanas mi?: what can [do] I say?; am biodh dùil againn?: would we expect?; nach eil X coltach ri a leithid ann an cànanan Eòrpach eile:that X is not like its equivalents in other European languages; seann Bheurla nan Sagsannach: the old Saxon language; saoilidh mi: I reckon; gu robh e cho measail air a’ Ghàidhlig: that he was so keen on Gaelic; gu robh buaidh mhòr aice air: that she had a great effect on; tha cuid de na beachdan aige annasach dha-rìribh: some of his opinions are extremely strange; gu robh rudeigin sa chumantas: that there was something in common; chaidh sin fhoillseachadh: that was published; às dèidh foillseachadh leabhar MhicAoidh: after the publication of Mackay’s book; bu mhath leam crìochnachadh: I would like to finish; facal Ceilteach aon-fhillteach: a simple [single-element] Celtic word; gun do chruthaich iad tùs Beurla dha: that they created an English origin for it.

Puing-chànain na Litreach: faodar tùs an fhacail a lorg the origin of the word can be found. Faodar is an example of a future passive – note that it is the auxiliary verb faod that goes into the passive, compared to the English in which the substantive verb (“found”, given in Gaelic as the infinitive) is in a passive form. Faodar is a useful word to remember. Here are some other uses: faodar a ràdh.. (it might be said); faodar gabhail ris gu .. (it might be accepted that); chan fhaodar smocadh ann an àite poblach sam bith (smoking is not permitted in any public place).

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: Bha beachd aig Teàrlach còir air iomadach facal : Charles had an opinion on many words. Note the idiomatic use of còir here – it might be translated idiomatically as “good old (Charles)” although it has a bit less of a sense of the slapping-on-the-back than the English. But it means you think kindly of the person, even if you don’t agree with his opinions – although it can also be used ironically. Còir is also used as a term of address in letters; eg for “Dear Duncan” we might write “A Dhonnchaidh chòir”.

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri An Litir Bheag 49

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