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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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Iain Major (Litir 72)

A bheil cuimhne agaibh air Iain Major, neo John Major, mar a th’ ac’ air ann am Beurla? Tha fhios gu bheil. ’S e e fhèin a thug iomradh ainmeil air na rudan a bu mhòtha a chòrd ris. Seana-mhnàthan a’ raighdeadh baidsagalan air feasgar samhraidh, leann meadh-bhlàth taobh a-muigh taigh-seinnse, agus criogad air an fheur. Dealbh snog do mhòran, ach tha fhios nach robh e a’ bruidhinn mu dheidhinn Na Hearadh!

Ach an robh fios agaibh gun tuirt Iain Major seo: O chionn ùine nach robh fada, bha a’ Ghàidhlig air a bruidhinn leis a’ mhòr-chuid againn. Seadh, Iain Major. Ach feumaidh mi a bhith onarach. Chan e an aon Iain Major a bh’ ann! Tha an darna fear na Shasannach agus bha e na Phrìomhaire ann am Breatainn o chionn beagan bhliadhnaichean. Bha am fear eile na Albannach agus bha e beò o chionn còig ceud bliadhna.

Ged is e “Major” a chanas sinn ris an-diugh, thathar a’ smaoineachadh gur e “Mair” an sloinneadh a bh’ air ann am Beurla anns an sgìre far an do thogadh e – Lodainn an Ear faisg air Dùn Eideann. Ach sgrìobh e gu mòr ann an Laidinn, agus anns a’ chànan sin, ’s e “Majorus” a bh’ aige air fhèin. ’S e an leabhar a b’ ainmeile a sgrìobh e – Historia Majoris Britanniae. Tha sin a’ ciallachadh “Eachdraidh Bhreatainn Mhòir”, ach tha cuid a’ cumail a-mach gu robh Major a’ gabhail spòrs leis na faclan, is a’ fàgail smuain aig feadhainn gu robh am “Majoris” a’ seasamh air a shon fhèin!

Bha Major air thoiseach air a’ chuid mhòir ann a bhith a’ cleachdadh nam faclan Great Britain neo Greater Britain, ceud bliadhna mus do chuir Righ Seumas VI sin mar thiotal air an rìoghachd ùir aige, nuair a fhuair e crùn Shasainn.

Chaidh Iain Major gu sgoil ann an Haddington, agus chaidh e an uairsin gu Oilthigh Chambridge. Ann an ceithir cheud deug, ceithir fichead ’s a trì-deug (1493), chaidh e a dh’Oilthigh Pharis far an do ghabh e ceum. ’S iad na cuspairean a bh’ aige – feallsanachd, diadhachd agus ealain-reusanachaidh, neo loidig.

Chuir e seachad bliadhnaichean mar òraidiche anns an Fhraing, ach thill e a dh’Alba ann an còig ceud deug ’s a h-ochd-deug (1518) mar Ard-ollamh na Feallsanachd is na Diadhachd ann an Oilthigh Ghlaschu. Roimhe sin bha e air a’ chuid mhòr dhen leabhar aige, mu dheidhinn eachdraidh Bhreatainn, a sgrìobhadh.

Tha beachdan Mhajor anns an leabhar gu math inntinneach. Bha e na bu bhàidheile ri muinntir Shasainn na mòran eile de luchd-eachdraidh na h-Alba aig an àm. Agus bha e dhen bheachd gu robh an t-àm ann an dà rìoghachd, Alba agus Sasainn, a chur còmhla fon aon rìgh neo bànrigh. Sgrìobh e tric mu na “Breatannaich” neo “Britons” aig àm nuair a bha daoine eile rudeigin leisg a thaobh a bhith a’ cur na Sasannaich is na h-Albannaich còmhla mar sin.

Agus bha beachdan air leth inntinneach aige mu dheidhinn muinntir na h-Alba fhèin agus gu h-àraidh mu dheidhinn nan Gaidheal. Mar a thuirt mi aig an toiseach, sgrìobh e gu robh Gàidhlig air a bhith aig a’ mhòr-chuid de mhuinntir na h-Alba goirid ro linn fhèin. Agus dhìon e am biadh àraidh a bh’ aig na h-Albannaich. “Faodaidh na Frangaich is na Sasannaich a bhith ri fanaid,” sgrìobh e,”ach tha sinne air batailean a bhuannachadh air an stuth seo”! Dè am biadh a bh’ ann? Innsidh mi sin dhuibh an ath sheachdain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: seana-mhnàthan: old wives; leann: beer; meadh-bhlàth: lukewarm; taigh-seinnse: pub; criogad: cricket; Na Hearadh: Harris; onarach: honest; Prìomhaire: Prime Minister; ceum: degree (University); cuspairean: subjects.

Abairtean na Litreach: ’s e e fhèin a thug iomradh ainmeil air na rudan a bu mhotha a chòrd ris: it’s himself that made famous mention of the things he enjoyed most; tha an darna fear na Shasannach: the first (lit. the second) is an Englishman; o chionn beagan bhliadhnaichean: a few years ago; bha am fear eile na Albannach: the other was a Scot; a’ seasamh air a shon fhèin: standing for himself; bha e na bu bhàidheile ri muinntir Shasainn: he was more kindly disposed towards the people of England; nuair a bha daoine eile rudeigin leisg a thaobh a bhith a’ cur X is Y còmhla mar sin: when others were somewhat reluctant to put X and Y together like that; goirid ro linn fhèin: shortly before his time; dhìon e am biadh àraidh: he defended the particular food; faodaidh na Frangaich is na Sasannaich a bhith ri fanaid: the French and English may well mock (us); tha sinne air batailean a bhuannachadh air an stuth seo: we have won battles on this stuff.

Puing ghràmair na Litreach: mar Ard-ollamh na Feallsanachd is na Diadhachd ann an Oilthigh Ghlaschu: as Professor of Philosophy and Divinity at the University of Glasgow. Do you recall in Litir 34 (14 January 2000) that I mentioned that the Gaelic word for episcopacy is easbaigeachd, which is formed from easbaig (bishop) and –(e)achd? Here is a similar word – diadhachd(Divinity, Theology) – which is formed from Dia (God) and –achd,with the “dh” included to break up the double vowel sound. And it probably won’t surprise you to hear that diadhach or diadhair means a religious personage and that both words are masculine, while the form ending in –(e)achd is feminine. The verbal noun is a’ diadhachadh which means deifying and the adjective is diadhaidh (godly, pious or divine). Such relationships between words are common, and an understanding of how they work (including the irregularities) can increase your word power quickly. Feallsanachd (philosophy) is feminine as might be expected, as it ends in –achd, but feallsanach (philosopher) is masculine. The adjective is feallsanachail (philosophical). Try to work out the Gaelic for tooth, toothed, baring your teeth, dentist and dentistry and then check your answers with your teacher or in a dictionary.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: Chuir e seachad bliadhnaichean mar oraidiche: he spent years as a lecturer. This is a common expression and literally means “he put past years”. How would you say “I spent years living in Germany”?

PDF

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

PDF documents are especially suited for printing out. Most computers can open PDF files, but if you have problems viewing them you may need to install reader software such as Tha faidhleachan PDF gu sònraichte math airson clò-bhualadh. Tha e furasta gu leòr do chuid de choimpiutairean faidhleachan PDF fhosgladh, ach ma tha trioblaid agad ‘s dòcha gum biodh e feumail bathar-bog mar Adobe Acrobat Reader. fhaighinn.

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