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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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Arcaibh (Litir 532)

Mar as trice, ann an Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh, bidh mi a-mach air cuspairean Gàidhealach. Ach, an t-seachdain seo, tha mi airson innse dhuibh mu rudeigin a thachair taobh a-muigh na Gàidhealtachd, ged a thuigeas a h-uile mac màthar air a’ Ghàidhealtachd carson a thug e buaidh mhòr orm.

Tha ceathrad bliadhna air a dhol seachad bhon a chaidh bàta-teasairginn Longhope fodha le call a h-ochdnar criutha. ’S e Longhope baile beag ann an Arcaibh. Tha e air Eilean Hothaigh no, ma tha sibh airson a bhith mionaideach, air South Walls a tha co-cheangailte ri Hothaigh le tairbeart. Am-bliadhna bha muinntir an àite a’ comharrachadh is a’ cuimhneachadh na tubaist-mhara a thachair air an t-seachdamh latha deug dhen Mhàrt, naoi ceud deug, seasgad ’s a naoi (1969).

Bha sian eagallach ann – aig ìre 9. Bha stuaghan brùideil anns a’ Chaol Arcach. Agus bha long mhòr, a bh’ air a clàradh ann an Liberia, ann an staing gu sear air Dùn Gasbaith. Chaidh bàta-teasairginn Longhope a ghairm a-mach. Chaidh an long – an Irene – air na creagan, ach rinn na maoir-chladaich cobhair air a’ chriutha. Ge-tà, cha do thill am bàta-teasairginn. Thathar a’ smaoineachadh gun do bhuail stuagh mòr innte agus gun do chuir i car. Rinneadh seachdnar bhoireannach nam banntraichean.

Bidh mi fhìn a’ falbh gu muir aig amannan ann an gheat agus tha mi gu math mothachail do dh’obair ghaisgeil an RNLI ann a bhith a’ dèanamh cobhair air maraichean. Nam òige bha mi a’ fuireach ann am Broughty Ferry, faisg air Dun Dè, nuair a chaidh am bàta-teasairginn fodha le call ochdnar. Bha sin o chionn leth-cheud bliadhna.

Bha sinn air tìr ann an Longhope am-bliadhna nuair a thòisich boireannach – tè às an àite – air bruidhinn ris a’ bhean agam. Leis gun robh sinn far gheat, agus gun charbad, thabhainn i lioft timcheall South Walls dhuinn gus am faiceamaid an t-àite. Bha sin gu math fialaidh. Chaidh sinn gu slaodach anns a’ chàr aice, agus i a’ comharrachadh nan seann togalaichean eachdraidheil.

An ceann beagan mhionaidean, bha sinn a’ dràibheadh seachad air a’ chladh. “Sin an carragh-cuimhne don fheadhainn a chailleadh,” thuirt i na Beurla bhinn Arcach. Choimhead mi a-null gu carragh-cuimhne mòr. Gun a bhith a’ smaoineachadh cus air a h-aois – bha i sna seasgadan – thuirt mi, “Bidh na lotan ann fhathast, tha mi cinnteach, agus daoine fhathast a’ faireachdainn a’ chall.”

Stad i an càr ann am meadhan an rathaid. “Chaill mi an duine agam, m’ athair-chèile is mo bhràthair-chèile,” thuirt i. Bha mulad na guth. Bha an ceathrad bliadhna air giorrachadh na h-inntinn gu ùine ghoirid. Bha na deòir a’ sruthadh sìos a gruaidhean. Bha na lotan ann fhathast agus bithidh gu sìorraidh. Mas e ùine a nì slànachadh, ’s dòcha gun toir e barrachd na saoghal aon duine airson slànachadh ceart.

Dè chanainn rithe? Cha b’ e beul brèagha a bh’ agam ach beul dha-rìribh. Thuirt an dithis againn gun robh sinn fìor dhuilich mu a call agus gun robh sinn, mar dhaoine a thèid gu muir, cho taingeil airson nan daoine a tha ag obair air na bàtaichean-teasairginn.

Mo bheannachd air a’ bhoireannach choibhneil sin, agus air a leithid anns gach àite. Goirid às dèidh na tubaist o chionn ceathrad bliadhna, bha càirdean òga aig feadhainn a chaill am beatha a’ cur an ainmean air adhart airson a bhith sa chriutha ùr. Agus tha sin air leantainn chun an latha an-diugh. Clach air càrn an fheadhainn a chailleadh. Agus mo bheannachd air criutha gach bàta-teasairginn ’s a th’ ann. ’S e gaisgich a th’ annta uile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: Arcaibh: Orkney; Hothaigh: Hoy; tairbeart: isthmus; gaisgeil: heroic; maraichean: mariners; fialaidh: generous; cladh: cemetery; lotan: wounds; deòir: tears; gruaidhean: cheeks: gu sìorraidh: for ever.

Abairtean na Litreach: am-bliadhna bha muinntir an àite a’ comharrachadh is a’ cuimhneachadh na tubaist-mhara: this year the local people were marking and remembering the maritime accident; sian eagallach aig ìre 9: a terrible storm of Force 9; stuaghan brùideil anns a’ Chaol Arcach: horrific waves in the Pentland Firth; ann an staing gu sear air Dùn Gasbaith: in trouble east of Duncansby Head; chaidh bàta-teasairginn Longhope a ghairm a-mach: the Longhope lifeboat was called out; rinn na maoir-chladaich cobhair air: X the coastguards assisted/rescued; gun do bhuail stuagh mòr innte agus gun do chuir i car: that a big wave hit her and that she capsized; rinneadh seachdnar bhoireannach nam banntraichean: seven women were made widows; leis gun robh sinn far gheat: because we were off a yacht; thabhainn i lioft timcheall X dhuinn: she offered us a lift around X; gus am faiceamaid: so that we’d see; an carragh-cuimhne don fheadhainn a chailleadh: the memorial to those who were lost; na Beurla bhinn Arcach: in her melodious Orcadian dialect; bha mulad na guth: there was a terrible sadness in her voice; gun toir e barrachd na saoghal aon duine airson slànachadh ceart: that it will take more than one human lifetime for proper healing; cha b’ e beul brèagha a bh’ agam ach beul dha-rìribh: they weren’t just words – I really meant it; clach air càrn an fheadhainn a chailleadh: a stone on the cairn of those who were lost (a traditional Gaelic way of praising the deceased); ’s e gaisgich a th’ annta uile: they’re all heroes.

Puing-chànain na Litreach: le calla h-ochdnar criutha: with the loss of her eight crewmen. We generally use the numerical nouns ( dithis, triùir, ceathrar etc) when dealing with numbers of people. I might have said le call ochdnar criutha (with the loss of eight crew) or just le call ochdnar (with the loss of eight persons) as I did later in the Litir with regard to the Broughty Ferry lifeboat. But I wanted to say “of her” crewmen – boats being conceptually feminine (at least when at sea) – that’s the reason for the presence of the feminine possessive adjective (a) and the h- prefixed to ochdnar.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: ged a thuigeas a h-uile mac màthar: although every person [lit. every son of a mother] understands.

Download the text of this week's letter as a PDF: Thoir a-nuas Litir mar PDF: Adobe PDF of this letter

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An Litir Bheag

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri An Litir Bheag 228

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