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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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Fionnladh Dubh (Litir 28)

Bha mi ann an dùthaich Fhionnlaidh Dhuibh o chionn ghoirid agus abair gun do chòrd e rium. Bha a’ mhadainn na fèath agus cha robh neul anns an adhar agus, feasgar, ged a dh’fhàs i sgòthach, bha i fhathast socair ciùin, fiù’s aig còrr is trì mile troigh os cionn na mara. Bidh sibh a’ tuigsinn gu bheil beanntan gu leòr ann an dùthaich Fhionnlaidh Dhuibh.

Ach tha deagh amharas agam gu bheil sibh a’ smaoineachadh an-dràsta “cò am Fionnladh Dubh a tha sin air a bheil Ruairidh MacIlleathain a-mach?” Uill, duine a bu chòir a bhith rudeigin ainmeil ann an Alba, chan ann dìreach am measg nan Gàidheal, ach air feadh Alba gu lèir. Innsidh mi dhuibh carson an ceann mionaid neo dhà.

Chan eil mi ag ràdh, ge-tà, gur e duine math a bh’ ann. Leis an fhìrinn innse, ’s e murtair a bh’ ann. Chan eil fhios a’m an e sin is coireach gun d’ fhuair e am frith-ainm “Fionnladh Dubh”. ’S dòcha gur e dìreach gu robh falt dubh aige is coireach airson sin.

Bha Fionnladh beò aig deireadh an t-siathamh linn deug ann an Gleann Afraig. Bha e ag obair do MhacCoinnich Gheàrrloch mar choilltear is geamair. Latha a bha seo, thachair e ri fear Dòmhnallach air mullach nam beann. Chaidh iad a-mach air a’ chèile, agus mharbh Fionnladh am fear eile le saighead. ’S e boghadair math a bh’ ann.

Feumaidh gun do thachair seo faisg air mullach dà bheinn air a bheil Màm Sabhail agus Càrn Eige. Tha iad le chèile còrr is trì mìle is ochd ceud troigh a dh’àirde. Tha mi ag ràdh “feumaidh” air sgàth ’s gu bheil fios againn – co-dhiù bho bheul-aithris – gun do thilg Fionnladh corp an fhir eile anns an Loch Uaine. Agus tha an loch sin ann an coire cas eadar an dà bheinn.

Chaidh beinn faisg air làimh ainmeachadh airson Fhionnlaidh, agus ’s e Beinn Fhionnlaidh a th’ oirre fhathast, ged nach eil mi cinnteach co-dhiù tha fios aig mòran de shreapadairean neo luchd-coiseachd carson a tha an t-ainm sin oirre. Co-dhiù, thòisich am muirt cogadh eadar Clann Choinnich agus na Dòmhnallaich à Gleanna Garadh a mhair corr is fichead bliadhna. Agus dh’fheuch na Dòmhnallaich ri Fionnladh a mhuirt grunn tursan.

A-rèir beul-aithris, chaidh dusan duine a-mach air a thòir, ach rinn bean Fhionnlaidh a’ chùis air a h-uile duine aca ach aon fhear le puinnsean. Nuair a chuala ceann-cinnidh nan Dòmhnallach an naidheachd, bha an caothach air. Chuir e dusan duine eile a dh’ionnsaigh Fhionnladh, ach rinn Fionnladh a’ chùis orra le a bhogha. Thachair an aon rud a-rithist agus a-rithist agus, mu dheireadh, chan e saighdear a rinn a’ chùis air Fionnladh, ach lighiche.

Latha a bha seo bha Fionnladh tinn agus thàinig an dotair airson leigheas a dhèanamh air. Ach an trustar! Thug an dotair, a bha na Dhòmhnallach, snàthad mhòr fhada a-mach agus shàth e tro chluas Fhionnlaidh i agus a-steach do eanchainn. Fhad ’s a bha e a’ bàsachadh, chaidh fuil a-steach a bheul Fhionnlaidh agus b’ iad na faclan mu dheireadh aige – “Is meilis an deoch a thug thu dhomh.”

Air sgàth na h-eachdraidh sin, tha deagh adhbhar ann airson Fionnladh Dubh a bhith air a chuimhneachadh le Gàidheil. Ach carson a bhiodh Goill an latha an-diugh a’ toirt spèis dha cuideachd? Uill – airson an adhbhair seo: b’ esan a’ chiad duine ann an Alba, a th’ air a chuimhneachadh le cinnt, a chaidh gu mullaichean àrda a bhuineas do na beanntan Rothach – na Munros – an fheadhainn nas àirde na trì mìle troigh. Ach, feumaidh mi ràdh nach iad na Rothaich a bha air aire Fhionnlaidh fhèin aig an àm ach na Dòmhnallaich!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: neul: cloud; sgòthach: cloudy; socair ciùin: mild and windless; murtair: murderer; frith-ainm (or far-ainm):nickname; Gleann Afraig: Glen Affric; coilltear is geamair: forester and gamekeeper: saighead: arrow; boghadair: archer, bowman; beul-aithris: oral tradition; coire cas: a steep corrie; sreapadairean: climbers; tinn: ill; lighiche: doctor, physician; snàthad: needle; shàth e: he stabbed; eanchainn: brain; spèis: respect; Rothach: Munro.

Abairtean na Litreach: Fionnladh Dubh, dùthaich Fhionnlaidh Dhuibh: Black Finlay, Black Finlay’s country (in some mainland dialects the terminal “dh” is not pronounced, and the name may be written “Fionnla”; in the islands it commonly is, and the name is often written “Fionnlagh”); bha a’ mhadainn na fèath: the morning was calm; bu chòir do X a bhith rudeigin ainmeil: X should be somewhat well-known; gur e X is coireach airson sin: that X is responsible for that; chaidh iad a-mach air a’ chèile: they fell out with each other; feumaidh gun do thachair seo: this must have happened; tha iad le chèile: they are both; air a thòir: to look for him, in pursuit of him; airson leigheas a dhèanamh air: to cure him; ach an trustar!: but the horrid man!; is meilis (or milis) an deoch a thug thu dhomh:sweet is the drink you gave me; a bhuineas do: which belong to; chan iad na Rothaich a bha air aire Fhionnlaidh … ach na Dòmhnallaich: it was not the Munros, but the MacDonalds, which were subject to Finlay’s attention.

Puing ghràmair na Litreach: Am measg nan Gàidheal: among the Gaels. Here is an example of a noun in the genitive case following a compound preposition, in this case am measg. Note that the genitive plural, as is common in Gaelic, is identical to the nominative singular form of the noun. So, although the nominative plural of Gàidheal is Gàidheil, the genitive plural, with the article, is nan Gàidheal. In a similar way, we get am measg nam Frangach (among the French), NOT am measg na Frangaich, and am measg nam bodach (among the old men), NOT am measg na bodaich . It works the same way with other compound prepositions (including airson) eg airson nan Albannach (for the Scots), ri taobh nan Gearmailteach (beside the Germans). Note the difference in terminal “ls” in Gàidheal and Gàidheil. With Gàidheal (after broad vowel) it is a broad “l”; in Gàidheil (following a slender vowel) it is a slender “l”. The different “ls” are very important in spoken Gaelic and I suggest you ask your Gaelic teacher for help if you are unsure about them.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: Bha an caothach air: he was angry. Caothach (or cuthach) means extreme anger or insanity. It is stronger than feargand it can be made even stronger by associating it with the colour red (note the lenition). Bha an dearg chaothach air(he was incandescent with rage). Bha e air chaothach(he was insane or he was mad with rage; the employment of the English word “mad” for both anger and insanity is similar to the use of caothach ).

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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