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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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Uilleam Ros (Litir 87)

Aig an àm seo a h-uile bliadhna, bidh daoine air feadh Alba, agus ann am mòran dùthchannan eile, a’ comharrachadh beatha bàird. Cha leig mi leas innse dhuibh cò th’ ann – bidh fios agaibh mar thà. Rugadh Raibeart Burns air a’ chòigeamh latha fichead dhen Fhaoilleach o chionn dà cheud, dà fhichead bliadhna ’s a dhà.

Chan eil teagamh ann mu thàlant Bhurns - bha e na bhàrd air leth. Ach tha aon rud ann mu dheidhinn, feumaidh mi aideachadh, a tha a’ cur dragh orm. ’S e sin an dòigh sam bi muinntir na Gaidhealtachd a’ comharrachadh Bhurns – bàrd nach robh air a thuigsinn gu ìre mhòir sam bith air a’ Ghaidhealtachd nuair a bha e bèo – agus mar a tha iad, aig an dearbh àm, a’ dìochuimhneachadh nam bàrd aca fhèin. Anns an t-Srath, ann an ceann a deas an Eilein Sgitheanaich, agus ann an Geàrrloch ann an Ros an Iar, tha e nas buailtiche gum bi Suipear Bhurns ann na rud sam bith a’ comharrachadh bàrd Gàidhealach.

Carson a thagh mi an dà àite sin? Uill, tha deagh adhbhar agam. Dìreach trì bliadhna as dèidh breith Raibeirt Bhurns ann an Siorrachd Adhair, rugadh fear anns an t-Srath, faisg air an Ath Leathann, anns an Eilean Sgitheanach, a bha e fhèin gu bhith na bhàrd air leth. B’ esan Uilleam Ros. Chuir e seachad bliadhnaichean ann an Geàrrloch, an sgìre dhan do bhuin a mhàthair.

Bha an dithis bhàrd faisg air a bhith co-aimsireil. Bha Ros trì bliadhna na b’ òige na Burns agus chaochail e sia bliadhna roimhe. Bha e dìreach ochd bliadhna fichead a dh’aois nuair a fhuair e bàs.

Nuair a bha Uilleam òg, ghluais e fhèin is a phàrantan gu Farrais ann an Siorrachd Mhoireibh, far an d’ fhuair e oideachadh math anns an sgoil. An uairsin, chaidh iad a dh’fhuireach ann an Geàrrloch. Bha athair na cheannaiche – fear dhen t-seòrsa a bhios a’ siubhal – agus ’s ann tric a bhiodh e ag obair anns na h-Eileanan Siar. Rachadh Uilleam ann cuide ris uaireannan, a’ cur ris a’ bheartas-cànain a bha e a’ càrnadh na cheann. Thathar ag ràdh gu robh e dhen bheachd gur e an t-àite far an cuala e a’ Ghàidhlig a b’ fheàrr – taobh siar Eilein Leòdhais.

Chuir e seachad ùine cuideachd ann am pàirtean eile dhen Ghaidhealtachd – ann an Siorrachd Pheairt is Earra-Ghaidheal gu h-àraidh, agus tha e coltach gun do sgrìobh e mòran de a chuid bhàrdachd aig an àm sin. Gu mì-fhortanach, chailleadh mòran dhith.

Thill e a Gheàrrloch agus fhuair e obair mar mhaighstir-sgoile, agus b’ e sin a dhreuchd nuair a dh’fhàs e tinn leis a’ chaitheimh, agus leis a’ chuing, neo leis a’ mhùchadh mar a chanas muinntir Gheàrrloch. B’ iad sin na tinneasan a thug bàs dha.

Uill, ’s dòcha. Dh’fhuiling Uilleam cuideachd le tinneas dhen t-seòrsa nach urrainn do dhotair càil a dhèanamh mu dheidhinn – an gaol. Nuair a bha e ann an Leòdhas, fhuair e eòlas air tè air an robh “Ros” cuideachd mar ainm – Mòr Ros, à Steòrnabhagh. Agus sgrìobh e dàn anns a bheil i air a h-ainmeachadh – “Feasgar Luain”. “Ge b’ ann air chuairt, neo thall an cuan,” sgrìobh e, “gum bi mi smuainteach ort gu bràth.”

Ach, cha do ghabh Mòr gaol cho trom air Uilleam. Agus bha sin air a bhith brònach ach a-mhàin airson aon rud. Dh’fhàg briseadh-cridh’ a’ bhàird dàn, neo òran, againn, a th’ air a sheinn fhathast an-diugh, agus a tha am measg nan òran as breàgha a thàinig a-riamh às a’ Ghaidhealtachd. Bheir sinn sùil air an ath sheachdain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: mar thà: already; am Faoilleach: January; an Srath: Strath (in the south of Skye); Geàrrloch: Gairloch; an t-Ath Leathann: Broadford; co-aimsireil: contemporary; Farrais: Forres; Siorrachd Mhoireibh: Morayshire; oideachadh: instruction; rachadh: would go; a’ chaitheamh: consumption (tuberculosis); a’ chuing, am mùchadh: asthma; dh’fhuiling e: he suffered; Mòr Ros: Marion Ross; gaol: love; brònach: sad; briseadh-cridhe: heartbreak.

Abairtean na Litreach: a’ comharrachadh beatha bàird: commemorating the life of a bard; cha leig mi leas innse dhuibh: I don’t need to tell you; bha e na bhàrd air leth: he was a particularly good bard; nach robh air a thuigsinn gu ìre mhòir sam bith:who was not understood to any great degree; b’ esan Uilleam Ros: he was William Ross; an sgìre dhan do bhuin a mhàthair:the area to which his mother belonged; bha athair na cheannaiche – fear dhen t-seòrsa a bhios a’ siubhal: his father was a “ceannaiche” (merchant or pedlar) – one of the type which travels (ie a pedlar); a’ cur ris a’ bheartas-cànain a bha e a’ càrnadh na cheann: adding to the linguistic riches he was accumulating in his head; chailleadh mòran dhith: much of it (fem.) was lost; b’ e sin a dhreuchd nuair a dh’fhàs e tinn: that was his profession when he grew ill; smuainteach ort gu bràth: thinking of you (lit. thoughtful on you) forever; a thàinig a-riamh às a’ Ghaidhealtachd: that ever came from the Gaidhealtachd.

Puing ghràmair na Litreach: an dòigh sam bi muinntir na Gaidhealtachd a’ comharrachadh Bhurns: the way in which the people of the Highlands commemorate Burns. You will know that nouns governed by a verbal noun, where the article is present, go in the genitive case (eg tha mi a’ dèanamh na h-obrach ). The same applies to names, without the need for the article. With Gaelic names, this is natural and causes no problems. You would thus hear tha mi a’ faicinn Dhòmhnaill, tha mi a’ cluinntinn Sheumais, tha mi a’ faicinn Mhgr MhicLeòid and tha mi a’ cluinntinn Dhòmhnaill MhicLeòid . But how do we deal with names which belong to other linguistic regions? Many, particularly those from other parts of Scotland, with whom Gaels have been in cultural contact for centuries, behave similarly to native names, at least by leniting where appropriate (although often not slenderising terminally). An example is Burns. We say Suipear Bhurns for Burns Supper. Another is Calder. George Calder wrote a Gaelic Grammar (1923) and you might hear the question,“dè do bheachd air leabhar Sheòrais Chalder?” with his name genitivised. And you will hear dìleab Bhill Chlinton (Bill Clinton’s legacy). But some names do not lend themselves to such an inflection either on an aural basis, or because they are just totally foreign. Thus we say Faclair Dwelly and lùchairt Jacques Chirac, with the foreign names unchanged. However, in the case of the famous publication of a Chinese Communist leader, you could say either leabhar dearg Mao Ze Dong or leabhar dearg Mhao Ze Dong. Either would be acceptable to the Gaelic ear.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: feumaidh mi aideachadh: I must admit. This is a relatively common phrase, as is the use of feumaidh in other similar circumstances, eg feumaidh mi ràdh, I must say.

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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