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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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Tòmas Garnett agus an Clàrsair a Loisg a Thiompan (Litir 671)

Bha mi ag innse dhuibh mun t-seanfhacal Ghàidhlig a chruinnich Tòmas Garnett ann am Muile: Is mairg a loisgeadh a thiompan ris. Chuir esan a’ Bheurla air: what a fool I was to burn my harp for him. Tha an ìre mhath an aon seanfhacal aig Alasdair MacNeacail anns a’ chruinneachadh aigesan – Is mairg a loisgeadh a thiompan dhut – pity him who would burn his harp for you. Tha e stèidhichte air seann sgeulachd – agus seo mar a dh’aithris Tòmas Garnett i.

O chionn fhada bha clàrsair ainmeil a’ fuireach ann am Muile. Bha e pòsta aig boireannach brèagha agus bha gaol mòr aige oirre. Bha clàrsach air leth prìseil aig a’ chlàrsair. Bha e moiteil aiste agus bheireadh e leis i do gach àite dhan rachadh e.

Chaidh an cupall seo a chèilidh air caraid a bha tinn, a bha a’ fuireach air taobh thall an eilein. Bha droch shìde ann. Bha aca ri strì an aghaidh gailleann. Mheilich a’ bhean leis an fhuachd. Dh’fhanntaich i. Bha i ann an cunnart a beatha.

Rinn an duine aice oidhirp a cumail beò. Chuir e teine thuige, a’ cleachdadh fraoch tioram. Ach cha robh mòran fraoich ann. Airson teas a chumail ri a bhean, bhris e a chlàrsach ann an sgealban. Chuir e a chlàrsach – pìos air phìos – don teine.

Chunnaic fear òg eile, a bha a’ sealg, an toit. ’S e duine-uasal a bh’ ann. Chaidh e a-null far an robh an cupall. Bha biadh agus deoch aig an duine seo agus thug e an dà chuid don bhoireannach. Thàinig i thuige.

Thòisich an duine-uasal air bruidhinn ri bean a’ chlàrsair. Bha an clàrsair cho toilichte gun robh feabhas a’ tighinn air a bhean ’s nach do mhothaich e gun robh an còmhradh car dlùth is pearsanta. Bha a bhean agus an duine-uasal air a bhith eòlach air a chèile nuair a bha iad òg.

Bha am boireannach air a togail le a seanmhair a bha a’ fuireach air eilean eile – an aon eilean ri athair an fhir seo. Bha i fhèin agus an duine-uasal air a bhith nan dlùth chompanaich nuair a bha iad òg. Bha am meas a bh’ aca do chèile air fhàs gu gaol.

Ach chaochail seanmhair na caileige agus b’ fheudar dhi tilleadh do dh’eilean a breith, gu taigh a h-athar. Bhon latha sin chun an latha seo fhèin, cha robh i fhèin ’s an duine-uasal air coinneachadh ri chèile no dad a chluinntinn mu chach-a-chèile.

Chan e an teine a-mhàin a bh’ air a chur thuige a-muigh sa mhonadh air an latha sin. Chaidh lasair a chur ris an t-seann ghaol cuideachd. Chuir an duine-uasal roimhe bean a’ chlàrsair a thoirt air falbh leis gu eilean eile.

Choisich an triùir còmhla airson greis. Ann an cagair, dh’innis an duine-uasal do bhean a’ chlàrsair dè bha fa-near dha. Bha ise fhathast ann an gaol leis, agus dh’aontaich i.

Nuair a ràinig iad gleann, chunnaic am boireannach allt aig bonn a’ ghlinne. Thuirt i ris an duine aice gun robh am pathadh oirre. Dh’fhalbh an clàrsair a dh’iarraidh uisge bhon allt. Nuair a bha e fada gu leòr air falbh, ruith a bhean agus an duine-uasal air falbh còmhla. Bha an clàrsair air a bhean agus a chlàrsach a chall, agus thuirt e, “Is mairg a loisgeadh a thiompan dhut!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: clàrsair: harper; Muile: Mull; mheilich: became faint with the cold; dh’fhanntaich: fainted; sgealban: fragments, splinters; toit: smoke; duine-uasal: gentleman; cagair: whisper.

Abairtean na Litreach: bha gaol mòr aige oirre: he loved her greatly; clàrsach air leth prìseil: an extremely valuable harp; moiteil aiste:proud of it [fem]; bheireadh e leis i do gach àite: he would take it with him everywhere; a chèilidh air caraid a bha tinn:to visit a relative who was sick; bha aca ri strì an aghaidh gailleann: they had to struggle against a storm; ann an cunnart a beatha:in danger of her life; oidhirp a cumail beò: an effort to keep her alive; chuir e teine thuige: he lit a fire; thàinig i thuige:she came to; gun robh feabhas a’ tighinn air X: that X was improving; gun robh an còmhradh dlùth is pearsanta: that the conversation was close and personal; b’ fheudar dhi tilleadh do dh’eilean a breith: she had to return to the isle of her birth; chaidh lasair a chur ris an t-seann ghaol: the old love was given a new flame; dè bha fa-near dha: what his intention was; a dh’iarraidh uisge: to get water.

Puing-chànain na Litreach: Tiompan is translated in the proverb in the Litir as “harp” but it has a wider meaning than that. It can refer to any musical instrument, particularly a drum, or stringed instrument with a sound box, but also a cymbal and perhaps even a lyre. Most authorities derive it from Latin tympanum “timbrel, drum” and, like the Latin word, tiompan in modern Gaelic also means an “eardrum”. In the landscape it means a “rounded, one-sided knoll” (reminiscent of an instrument?) On the map it appears, for example, in Loch an Tiompain in Wester Ross, which is adjacent to a one-sided hill, and in Tiumpan Head / Rubha an Tiompain in Lewis (the name reflects the shape of the headland). The story of the harper in Mull is located at Màm an Tiompain – and in this case oral tradition links the place to the instrument. Fascinatingly, Màm an Tiompain is adjacent to Tobar Leac an t-Sagairt, the site of the priest’s death in last week’s Litir. That part of Mull is full of great stories – I hope the Muilich are still telling them!

Seanfhacal na Litreach: Is mairg a loisgeadh a thiompan dhut: pity him who would burn his harp for you . Said of a person who has made a sacrifice for somebody only to find the beneficiary demonstrating that they did not value the sacrifice.

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An Litir Bheag

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri An Litir Bheag 367

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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Facal / Word