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30: Loch nam Madadh ann an Uibhist a Tuath

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

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Bidh cuimhn’ agaibh gu robh mi ag innse dhuibh, an t-seachdain ’s a chaidh, mu Loch nam Madadh ann an Uibhist a Tuath, agus gu robh ceist ann an robh an t-ainm a’ ciallachadh “Loch nan Con” neo “Loch nam Feusgan Mòra”. Uill, bhon uairsin, tha mi air a bhith a’ rannsachadh nas fhaide air ais ann an eachdraidh nan eilean agus thàinig mi tarsainn air leabhar ainmeil a chaidh a sgrìobhadh leis an Sgitheanach, Màrtainn Màrtainn, ann an sia ceud deug, ceithir fichead ’s a còig-deug (1695) neo mar sin. ’S e an t-ainm a th’ air Description of the Western Isles of Scotland.

Seo na chanas Màrtainn mu dheidhinn Loch nam Madadh: “Tha an t-ainm a’ tighinn bho thrì creagan taobh a-muigh beul an locha air an taobh a deas. ’S e ‘madaidhean’ a th’ orra mar ainm air sgàth ’s gu bheil na h-uibhir de dh’fheusgain mhòra, ris an canar ‘madaidhean’ a’ fàs orra.” Mar sin, tha e coltach nach eil ceangal sam bith ann eadar Loch nam Madadh agus coin fhiadhaich de sheòrsa sam bith.

Sgrìobh Màrtainn gu robh an loch-mara sin ann an dà phàirt – Loch nam Madadh air an taobh a deas, agus Loch Partan air an taobh a tuath. ’S e “Loch Portain” a th’ air a sin an-diugh, ach tha “partan” agus “portan” a’ ciallachadh na h-aon rud – shore crab, mar a chanas iad ann am Beurla.

Tha am facal “partan” gu math inntinneach dhomh fhìn, leis gu bheil cuimhn’ agam air rud neo dhà a chanadh mo sheanair, taobh mo mhàthar, nuair a bha mi glè òg. Rugadh is thogadh e ann an Eilginn, ann am Moireibh, agus cha robh facal Gàidhlig aige. Uill, ’s dòcha nach eil sin buileach fìor. Bhiodh facal neo dhà de Ghàidhlig a’ nochdadh an lùib a chuid Bheurla. Agus cha robh am facal crab aige. Chanadh e “partin” na àite. Rudan mar “look at the wee partin under the rock.” Tha e follaiseach gur e sin dìreach am facal “partan” a chaidh thairis don Bheurla bhon Ghàidhlig.

Tha sean-fhacal ann a chanas “’S fheàrr am partan-tuathal na bhith gun fhear-taighe.” ’S e a th’ ann ann am partan-tuathal an seòrsa aig nach eil slige chruaidh. An àite slige a dhèanamh dha fhèin, bidh e a’ cleachdadh seann shlige-mhaoraich a lorgas e air a’ chladach neo air a’ ghrunnd. Bidh sibh eòlach air ann am Beurla mar hermit crab. Partan-tuathal.

Seo an sean-fhacal a-rithist: “’S fheàrr am partan-tuathal na bhith gun fhear-taighe.” Tha mi a’ dèanamh dheth gur e boireannach a chanadh sin, ’s dòcha boireannach beartach aig an robh taigh a phòs fear bochd aig nach robh taigh. Agus ’s dòcha nach robh deagh bheachd aig muinntir an àite air an duine. Bhiodh an dithis a’ dèanamh dachaigh ann an taigh a’ bhoireannaich mar a bhios partan-tuathal a’ dèanamh dhachaigh ann an slige a chaidh a dhèanamh le creutair eile. Ach b’ fheàrr leis a’ bhoireannach suidheachadh mar sin a bhith aice na bhith a’ fuireach leatha fhein gu h-aonaranach ’s gun duine. “’S fheàrr am partan-tuathal na bhith gun fhear-taighe.”

Tha am facal “tuathal” gu math gu math inntinneach, agus bheir sinn sùil air a chiall anns an ath litir. Ach fàgaidh mi an-dràsta sibh le seann stòiridh beag anns an robh partan an sàs. Bha dithis bhoireannach a’ fuireach còmhla ach bhiodh an darna tè a’ goid stuth a-mach à baga an tèile. Mar sin, chuir an tèile partan beò anns a’ bhag’ aice. An ath thuras a thachair mèirle, ghreimich am partan gu cruaidh air corrag a’ mhèirlich le ìne. “Aaa!” dh’èigh i, “tha an Donas nad bhaga.”

“Tha,” thuirt an tèile, “nuair a tha thus’ ann!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: Sgitheanach: Skyeman; partan,portan: shore crab; inntinneach: interesting; Eilginn: Elgin; Moireibh: Moray; partan-tuathal: hermit crab; slige: shell,carapace; slige-mhaoraich: shell of a shellfish ie mollusc; còmhla: together; a’ goid: stealing; baga: bag (eg handbag); mèirle: theft.

Abairtean na Litreach: Loch nan Con: Loch of the Dogs; Loch nam Feusgan Mòra: Loch of the Big Mussels (Maddies); bhon uairsin tha mi air a bhith a’ rannsachadh nas fhaide air ais ann an eachdraidh nan eilean: since then I have been researching further back in the history of the islands; na h-uibhir de dh’fheusgain mhòra: lots of big mussels; coin fhiadhaich de sheòrsa sam bith: wild dogs of any sort; rugadh is thogadh e:he was born and brought up; tha mi a’ dèanamh dheth: I reckon; bhiodh an dithis a’ dèanamh dachaigh:the two of them would make a home; boireannach beartach aig an robh taigh a phòs fear bochd aig nach robh taigh:a wealthy woman with a house who married a poor man who did not have a house; a chaidh a dhèanamh le creutair eile: which was made by another creature; leatha fhèin gu h-aonaranach ’s gun duine: by herself, lonely, without a husband; bheir sinn sùil air a chiall: we will take a look at its meaning; anns an robh partan an sàs: in which a crab was involved; bhiodh an darna tè a’ goid stuth a-mach à baga an tèile: the first one (we say “the second one” in Gaelic) would steal stuff from the other’s bag; ghreimich X air corrag a’ mhèirlich le ìne: X took a grip on the thief’s finger with its (masc.) claw; Tha an Donas nad bhaga!: The Devil is in your bag!

Puing ghràmair na Litreach: Bhiodh facal neo dhà de Ghàidhlig a’ nochdadh an lùib a chuid Bheurla: one or two words of Gaelic would appear in his English. An lùib means “involved with, mixed with” but the main point to make here is the use of cuid. It is a simple word but has a phenomenal number and variety of applications. In this usage it means “an individual portion” ie “in his English” (rather than anybody else’s). You will often hear it used in conjunction with the nouns aodach and clann; the noun will be in the genitive. Chaidh na seilleanan am measg mo chuid aodaich (the bees went among my clothes); Bidh Uilleam is Màiri ann, agus an cuid cloinne (William and Mary will be there, and their children). Tha pàrantan airson ’s gum bi an cuid cloinne math air obair sgoile (parents want their children to be good at school work). Sin Calum agus a chuid mhac (there is Calum and his sons); sin Ealasaid agus a cuid mac (there is Elizabeth and her sons). An do rinn thu do chuid obrach? (did you do your work?).

Seanfhacal na Litreach: ’S fheàrr am partan-tuathal na bhith gun fhear-taighe: better the hermit crab than to be without a man of the house (ie a husband). An interpretation of this is given in the text of the letter.

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