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214: Air muin tairbh dhuibh

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

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Chuir mi ceist oirbh an t-seachdain sa chaidh anns na nòtaichean-gràmair – ciamar a chanadh sibh ann an Gàidhlig “on top of a black bull”? Mholainn-sa gun tòisich sibh le “on top of the bull”? ’S e sin air muin an tairbh. Agus on top of the black bullair muin an tairbh dhuibh. A-nise, thoiribh an t-alt air falbh, agus dè th’ agaibh? On top of a black bull – air muin tairbh dhuibh.

Nise, chan eil mi a’ moladh gum feuch sibh dhol air muin tairbh dhuibh, oir tha e dona gu leòr dhol air muin eich, ge bith dè an dath a th’ air. Ach ma thachras e dòigh air choreigin, ann am Pamplona no Pabail, bidh fios agaibh dè chanas sibh ris an nurs – “bha mi air muin tairbh dhuibh agus thuit mi!” Uill, ’s dòcha nach biodh sin gu cus feum ann am Pamplona!

Fàgamaid an tarbh an dàrna taobh. A bheil fios agaibh dè th’ ann an caora chrom? Tha i co-cheangailte ri uisge-beatha. Caoraich agus uisge-beatha? Mmm. Feumaidh mi mìneachadh…

Cha do ghabh mi uisge-beatha mì-laghail a-riamh ach aon turas a-mhàin. Agus, mus gabh luchd na cusbainn no na poilis cus gnothaich rium, cha robh mi ann an Alba ach ann an Thailand, ann am baile beag iomallach far a bheil treubhan nam beann a’ fuireach.

’S e an duilgheadas a bh’ ann gu robh mi a’ faighinn aoigheachd ann an taigh ceannaire a’ bhaile, far am biodh e mì-mhodhail deoch a dhiùltadh. Co-dhiù, cha b’ fhada gus an robh an smùid orm. Chan eil fhios agam dè an seòrsa arbhair a bha iad a’ cleachdadh airson uisge-beatha a dhèanamh, ach tha fhios againn ann an Alba air an t-seòrsa as fheàrr – eòrna.

Anns an t-seann aimsir, bhiodh mòran de mhuinntir Dùthaich MhicAoidh a’ dèanamh uisge-beatha dhaibh fhèin, ged a bha e an aghaidh an lagh. Gu tric, bhiodh iad a’ ceannach eòrna ann an Gallaibh agus dh’fheumadh iad a bhith cinnteach nach fhaiceadh poileas na pocannan aca air an rathad dhachaigh.

Bha fear ann turas a thàinig dhachaigh le pocannan làn eòrna, ach chunnaic dithis phoileas e agus lean iad air. Nuair a ràinig e an taigh aige, bha na poilis air a shàil. Bha iad a’ coimhead airson rudeigin a dhearbhadh gu robh poit-dhubh aige.

Uill, bha aon rud anns a’ chidsin – a’ chliath bhon phoit-dhuibh. ’S e sin a’ phìob shnìomhach, a th’ air a dèanamh le meatailt, anns am bi an ceò a’ tiughachadh. Bhiodh a’ phoit-dhubh ann am badeigin anns a’ mhonadh, ach feumaidh gu robh an croitear air a’ chliath a thoirt dhachaigh leis. Nam faigheadh na poilis greim air a’ chlèith, bhiodh fios aca gu robh poit-dhubh aige.

Bha an croitear air dìochuimhneachadh mu dheidhinn na clèithe, a bha ri taobh an t-sinc. Gu fortanach dha, ge-tà, thòisich na poilis anns a’ bhàthaich agus fhad ’s a bha iad a-muigh an sin, ruith e timcheall an taighe, a’ coimhead airson fianais sam bith gu robh e a’ dèanamh uisge-beatha. Chunnaic e a’ chliath. Ach cho luath ’s a chunnaic e i, chual’ e cas-cheuman nam poileas, agus iad a’ tighinn a-steach. Dè dhèanadh e leis a’ chlèith?!

Chunnaic e siuga mhòr de bhàinne air a’ bhòrd. Am biodh i mòr gu leòr? Dh’fhosgail an doras ach, mus do chuir a’ chiad phoileas a cheann a-steach, chuir an croitear a’ chliath anns an t-siuga agus, gu fortanach, cha robh i faicsinneach. Bha an croitear sàbhailte! Agus a’ chaora chrom? O … seallaibh air an uair. Seo deireadh na Litreach! Feumaidh a’ chaora – agus sibh fhèin – a bhith foighidneach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: Paibil: Bayble (in Lewis); cusbainn: customs; ceannaire a’ bhaile: the village leader (“headman”); eòrna: barley; Dùthaich MhicAoidh: Mackay Country (N. Sutherland); Gallaibh: Caithness; poit-dhubh:small still used by distillers of illegal whisky; cliath: worm (in distilling apparatus); snìomhach: spiral; a’ tiughachadh: condensing; bàthach: byre; cas-cheuman: (noise of) footsteps; siuga: jug; faicsinneach: visible.

Abairtean na Litreach: ge bith dè an dath a th’ air: whatever colour it is; ’s dòcha nach biodh sin gu cus feum: perhaps that wouldn’t be of too much use; fàgamaid an tarbh an dàrna taobh: let’s leave the bull at one side (out of the argument); cha do ghabh mi X ach aon turas a-mhàin: I only took X one time; far a bheil treubhan nam beann a’ fuireach: where the hill tribes live; far am biodh e mì-mhodhail deoch a dhiùltadh: where it would be rude to refuse a drink; cha b’ fhada gus an robh an smùid orm: it wasn’t long until I was drunk; nach fhaiceadh poileas na pocannan: that a policeman wouldn’t see the bags; lean iad air: they followed him; bha na poilis air a shàil:the police were on his heel(s); a bha ri taobh an t-sinc: which was beside the sink; ruith e timcheall an taighe: he ran around the house; airson fianais sam bith: for any evidence; cho luath ’s a chunnaic e i: as soon as he saw it; dè dhèanadh e leis a’ chlèith?: what would he do with the worm?; seallaibh air an uair: look at the time; feumaidh sibh a bhith foighidneach: you will have to be patient.

Puing-ghràmair na Litreach: I hope you were able to follow the inflexion of the feminine noun cliath in the Litir. I take the traditional view – that feminine nouns should be slenderised in the singular dative (prepositional) case, although this is by no means adhered to universally today. But how do you slenderise a vowel combination like “ia”? The answer is that it changes to “èi”. Cliath is actually an easy one to deal with, as the same word is used for a fire grate or a harrow. In the dative singular it is clèith (nam faigheadh na poilis greim air a’ chlèith). In the genitive singular it is also slenderised – clèithe eg mu dheidhinn na clèithe.If you forget how this slenderisation takes place, think of a familiar word. Fiadh(a masculine noun) slenderises, according to the rules, in the genitive singular – to fèidh. You may also be familiar with the word riadhfor “banking interest”. Interest rate in Gaelic is ìre an rèidh– demonstrating the same inflexion. You may also have noticed slenderisation of the dubh in poit-dhubh even where there is no slenderisation of poit. I will deal with that in next week’s puing-ghràmair.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: ma thachras e dòigh air choreigin: if it happens in some way or another. Note that grammatically it should be “ann an dòigh air choreigin” but that the “ann an” is often missed out in everyday speech.

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