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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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Iain MacIlleDhuibh (Litir 435)

Bha Iain MacIlleDhuibh – no John Lamont – gu math ainmeil mar reuladair anns an naoidheamh linn deug. Mar a dh’innis mi dhuibh an t-seachdain sa chaidh, bha e à sgìre Ghàidhealach ann an Siorrachd Obar Dheathain, ach choisinn e a chliù anns a’ Ghearmailt. Tha mòran eòlach air anns an dùthaich sin – agus air feadh an t-saoghail – mar “Johann von Lamont”.

Aig aois dhà-dheug, fhuair Iain deagh chothrom airson a chuid foghlaim adhartachadh. Aig an àm ud, bha colaiste Chaitligeach Albannach aig Ratisbon ann am Babhàiria. Chaidh fear de na manaich à Ratisbon gu ruige Alba, feuch balaich a lorg airson a bhith nan oileanaich anns a’ cholaiste. Fhuair Iain MacIlleDhuibh fear de na h-àiteachan ann.

Chuir Iain seachad beagan bhliadhnaichean ann an Ratisbon, a’ faighinn foghlam anns na cuspairean Clasaigeach, Feallsanachd agus Diadhachd. Bha e fìor mhath air Matamataig. Aig a’ cheann thall, cho-dhùin e nach robh e airson a bhith na shagart. Dh’fhàg e a’ cholaiste agus chaidh e gu ionad-foghlaim saidheansail ann am Munich far an do dh’ionnsaich e tuilleadh mu shaidheans is reul-eòlas.

Rinn e adhartas proifeiseanta gu luath. Taobh a-staigh dà bhliadhna, bha e na neach-cuideachaidh don Phroifeasair Soldener aig an Reul-lann ann am Bogenhausen faisg air Munich. Nuair a chaochail am proifeasair còig bliadhna às dèidh sin, chaidh Iain a dhèanamh na Stiùiriche na àite. B’ e tiotal na dreuchd aige – Reuladair Rìoghail Bhabhàiria.

Bha prosbaig mhòr aige – an dàrna tè a bu mhotha san t-saoghal aig an àm sin. Thug e sùil air reul-bhadan, no constellations. Thug e sùil air deargan-doireannan. Sin a’ Ghàidhlig a th’ air nebulae – deargan-doireannan – mar gum biodh, na “stoirmean dearga”. Dh’fhoillsich e grunn mhapaichean de na rionnagan agus “Mìosachan Reul-eòlasach”. Chlàir e còrr is fichead mìle rionnag a ghabhas faicinn bho Mhunich le prosbaig, ach nach gabh faicinn idir leis an t-sùil gun taic.

Dh’fhàs e beartach. Nuair a bha Sagart Bhràigh Mhàrr thall sa Ghearmailt ann an ochd ceud deug, ceathrad ’s a dhà (1842), chaidh e a chèilidh air. Chuir e iongnadh air an t-sagart cho math dheth ’s a bha Iain, agus an taigh aige làn àirneis luachmhor. Ach ’s dòcha nach robh mòran aige air an cosgadh e a chuid airgid. Bha beatha shàmhach shìmplidh aige, cha do phòs e riamh, agus chan eil e soilleir an do rinn e mòran siubhail na ùine fhèin – air ais a dh’Alba no a dh’àiteachan eile.

Ann an ochd ceud deug, caogad ’s a dhà (1852), fhuair e dreuchd eile – Proifeasair an Reul-eòlais ann an Oilthigh Mhunich. Às dèidh sin, dh’fhoillsich e tràchdas mu dhubhadh na grèine. Rinn e obair mhòr cuideachd air a’ phlanaid Uranus. B’ esan a chiad duine a dh’obraich a-mach cuideam Uranus. Rinn e sin le bhith a’ tomhas gluasad nan gealaichean timcheall na planaid. Rinn e obair air Saturn cuideachd agus chunnaic e Neaptuin dà thuras, ach cha do dh’aithnich e aig an àm gur e planaid a bh’ innte.

Fhuair Iain ballrachd ann an Acadamaidhean Rìoghail Bhabhàiria is Dhùn Èideann, Acadamaidhean na Bruiseil, Upsala is Prag agus buidhnean acadamaigeach eile. Bha e na Ridire ann am buidhnean urramach anns a’ Bhatican, san Ostair agus san t-Suain. Agus gu sònraichte bha e na Ridire ann am Babhàiria – agus ’s e sin a leig leis “von” a chur ri ainm. Bho Iain MacIlleDhuibh, John Lamont, dh’èirich Johann von Lamont – agus chan eil a sgeul deiseil fhathast. A bharrachd air reul-eòlas, bha e cliùiteach airson na rinn e ann an iùil-tharraing agus dealan – is bheir sinn sùil orra sin an ath thuras.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: reuladair: astronomer; Feallsanachd: Philosophy; Diadhachd: Divinity; Matamataig: Mathematics; reul-eòlas: astronomy; reul-lann: (astronomical) observatory; reul-bhad: constellation; deargan-doireann: nebula; ballrachd: membership; dealan: electricity.

Abairtean na Litreach: ainmeil mar reuladair anns an naoidheamh linn deug: famous as an astronomer in the 19th Century; choisinn e a chliù anns a’ Ghearmailt: he won his reputation in Germany; deagh chothrom airson a chuid foghlaim adhartachadh: a good opportunity to advance his education; bha colaiste Chaitligeach Albannach ann am Babhàiria: there was a Scottish Catholic college in Bavaria; fear de na manaich: one of the monks; gu ruige Alba, feuch balaich a lorg airson a bhith nan oileanaich: to Scotland to try to find boys to be students; cho-dhùin e nach robh e airson a bhith na shagart: he decided he didn’t want to become a priest; chaidh Iain a dhèanamh na Stiùiriche na àite: Iain was made Director in his place; an dàrna tè a bu mhotha san t-saoghal: the second biggest [telescope] in the world; Mìosachan Reul-eòlasach: Astronomical Calendar; chlàir e fichead mìle rionnag a ghabhas faicinn bho: he recorded twenty thousands stars that can be seen from; nach gabh faicinn idir leis an t-sùil gun taic: that cannot be seen with the unaided eye; chaidh e a chèilidh air: he went to visit him; làn àirneis luachmhor: full of valuable furniture; air an cosgadh e a chuid airgid: on which he would spend his money; chan eil e soilleir an do rinn e mòran siubhail na ùine fhèin: it’s not clear if he did much travel in his own time; tràchdas mu dhubhadh na grèine: a treatise about the solar eclipse; le bhith a’ tomhas gluasad nan gealaichean: by measuring the movement of the moons; bha e na Ridire: he was a Knight.

Puing-chànain na Litreach: iùil-tharraing: magnetism. The English and Gaelic for “magnetism” might seem to have nothing in common, the English being derived from Magnesia, the genitive form of Magnes, an ancient mineral-rich region in the classical world (the element “magnesium” gets its name from the same place). But you may be aware of another old English term for a magnet or piece of magnetic rock which could be used in a compass – a “lodestone”. This means a “guiding stone” and it is a direct equivalent to the Gaelic clach-iùil (a magnet). Iùl means “guidance, direction” (a neach-iùil is a “guide” eg a mountain guide). Tarraing means “attract” so iùil-tharraing (note the slenderisation of iùl ) means “guiding attraction” which is a pretty good summary of the phenomenon as it was traditionally observed, and employed, while navigating at sea.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: ’s e sin a leig leis “von” a chur ri ainm: that’s what allowed him to add “von” to his name.

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An Litir Bheag

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri An Litir Bheag 131

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Other Letters Litrichean eile

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Àireamh / Number

Facal / Word