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456: Na Ràithean

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

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Gaelic Gàidhlig

Bha mi ag innse dhuibh an t-seachdain sa chaidh mun Chaillich – seann earrann dhen Earrach tràth sa Ghiblean. Tha an Sgitheanach, Alasdair MacNeacail, ag innse dhuinn anns an leabhar aige Gaelic Proverbs gun robh A’ Chailleach ann eadar an dàrna latha deug agus an t-ochdamh latha deug dhen Ghiblean. Roimhe sin, bha An Gearran; roimhe sin bha An Fheadag; agus ron Fheadaig bha Am Faoilleach. Cha chreid mi nach robh na h-ainmean a’ buntainn ris mar a bha a’ ghaoth aig na h-amannan sin dhen bhliadhna. Cha robh an Fheadag no an Gearran math airson sprèidh, mar a tha seann rann ag innse dhuinn:

Is mis’ an Fheadag lom, luirgneach, luath,

Marbham caora, marbham uan.

Is mis’ an Gearran bacach bàn

Is cha mhi aon bhonn nas fheàrr.

Cuiream a’ bhò anns an toll

Gus an tig an tonn thar a ceann.

Ach chan e sin an dealbh gu lèir. San t-seann aimsir bha earrann eile dhen Earrach ann eadar an Fheadag agus an Gearran. B’ e sin A’ Ghobag – no dogfish. Seo na chanas Dwelly mun Ghobaig: Period of the year, lasting according to some, three days, according to others a week, coming in, apparently, between the Feadag and the Gearran and so ending on 14th March. Agus tha Dwelly a’ toirt (mar a tha MacNeacail) an t-seanfhacail: Feadagan is Gobagan e, tuilleadh gu Fèill Pàdraig – a th’ air eadar-theangachadh mar whistling and biting winds on to St Patrick’s Day.

Às dèidh a’ Ghearrain thàinig a’ Chailleach. Feumaidh gun robh sin a’ riochdachadh gaoth fhuar a thig nuair a tha am feur a’ feuchainn ri fàs. Tha MacNeacail ag ràdh gum bi a’ Chailleach a’ ceannsachadh an fheòir le a slacan-draoidheachd. Ach, nuair a tha e a’ fàilneachadh oirre, tha i a’ tilgeil a slacan air falbh, ag èigheachd,

Dh’fhàg e shìos mi, dh’fhàg e shuas mi,

Dh’fhàg e eadar mo dhà chluais mi,

Dh’fhàg e thall mi, dh’fhàg e bhos mi,

Dh’fhàg e eadar mo dhà chois mi,

Tilgeam seo am bun preas cuilinn

Far nach fàs feur no duilleach!

An t-seachdain sa chaidh thuirt mi gun innsinn dhuibh mu Na h-Othaisgeanthe ewes – earrann ainmhidheach eile dhen Earrach a thig às dèidh na Caillich. Mhair Na h-Othaisgean trì latha, a rèir aithris – trì latha, mar a tha mis’ a’ tuigsinn, de dheagh aimsir, freagarrach airson breith uan.

Cha tuirt mi guth air na h-earrannan beaga eile air a bheilear a’ dèanamh iomradh – Neòil Dhubha na Càisge (the dark clouds of Easter) anns an treas seachdain dhen Mhàrt, a bh’ air a leantainn le Glasadh na Cuthaig (the cuckoo’s greening or preparation time). Tha An Sguabag ann cuideachd – the little blast. Tha Dwelly ga comharrachadh mar Gusty wind. Trì latha Sguabaig, three days, the 7th, 8th and 9th of April. A h-uile bliadhna air na h-aon làithean sin?! Agus tha Sneachd na Cuthaig ann cuideachd – the cuckoo snow – no lambing snow mar a theirear am Beurla – aimsir fhuar le sneachd a nì cron air uain a th’ air an ùr-bhreith.

Tha e nas fhasa dhuinn an-diugh a bhith a’ cuimhneachadh Am Faoilleach, An Gearran, Am Màrt, An Giblean ’s An Cèitean – seach a bhith a’ cuimhneachadh Am Faoilleach, An Fheadag, A’ Ghobag, An Gearran, Neòil Dhubha na Càisge, Glasadh na Cuthaig, A’ Chailleach, An Sguabag, Na h-Othaisgean, Sneachd na Cuthaig agus – Latha Buidhe Bealltainn a chuireas crìoch air an Earrach!

Is cha tuirt mi guth air Latha na Gocaireachd – nach eil fad às a-nise! Thoiribh an aire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: Sgitheanach: Skyeman; Alasdair MacNeacail: Alexander Nicolson; sprèidh: livestock; Na h-Othaisgean: lit. the ewes (but also another old subdivision of the Spring).

Abairtean na Litreach: mun Chaillich – seann earrann dhen Earrach tràth sa Ghiblean: about the Cailleach – an old part of the Spring early in April; eadar an dàrna latha deug agus an t-ochdamh latha deug: between the 12th and 18th (days); cha chreid mi nach robh na h-ainmean a’ buntainn ris mar a bha a’ ghaoth: I think the names concerned how the wind was; lom, luirgneach, luath: bare, leggy and fast; bacach bàn: fair and lame; cha mhi aon bhonn nas fheàrr: I’m not one bit better; gus an tig an tonn thar a ceann: until the wave comes over her head [were cows buried on a sandy beach because of their size?]; nuair a tha am feur a’ feuchainn ri fàs: when the grass is trying to grow; a’ ceannsachadh an fheòir le a slacan-draoidheachd: subduing the grass with her magic wand; nuair a tha e a’ fàilneachadh oirre: when she fails; dh’fhàg e shìos mi, dh’fhàg e shuas mi: it left me down, it left me up; eadar mo dhà chluais: between my two ears; dh’fhàg e thall mi, dh’fhàg e bhos mi: it left me there, it left me here; eadar mo dhà chois: between my two feet; far nach fàs feur no duilleach: where no grass or leaves grow; airson breith uan: for lambs’ birth; a nì cron air uain a th’ air an ùr-bhreith: which will harm newly born lambs; Latha Buidhe Bealltainn: the day commencing Beltane (old summer festival of the Gaels); Latha na Gocaireachd: April Fools’ Day; thoiribh an aire!: Look out!

Puing-chànain na Litreach: Marbham caora, marbham uan: let me kill a sheep, let me kill a lamb. Did you recognise marbham as being the first person imperative of marbh? The –(e)am ending is diagnostic of this. Cuiream in Cuiream a’ bhò anns an toll has the same grammatical status. It means “Let me put (the cow in the hole” Tilgeam seo am bun preas cuilinn means “let me throw this [the magic wand] at the base of a holly bush.”

Seanfhacal na Litreach: Feadagan is Gobagan e, tuilleadh gu Fèill Pàdraig: whistling and biting winds on to St Patrick’s Day. The old subdivisions of spring, bearing animal names such as An Fheadag (the plover), A’ Ghobag (the dogfish) and An Gearran (the gelding) seemed to be connected to winds blowing at that time of year. The three named above were all cold winds, damaging to livestock. An Gearran has survived into modern times as the Gaelic for February.

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri An Litir Bheag 152

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