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802: The Wren 802: An Dreathan-donn

B1 - Intermediate - The Little LetterB1 - Eadar-mheadhanach - An Litir Bheag

Litir shìmplidh sheachdaineach do luchd-ionnsachaidh le clàr-fuaime, tar-sgrìobhadh is eadar-theangachadh. A simple weekly letter to Gaelic learners with audio, transcription and translation.

Tha an litir bheag ag obrachadh leis an fhaclair. Tagh an taba ‘teacsa Gàidhlig’ agus tagh facal sam bith san teacsa agus fosglaidh am faclair ann an taba ùr agus bidh mìneachadh den fhacal ann. The little letter is integrated with the dictionary. Select the tab ‘Gaelic text’ and choose any word and the dictionary will open and you will see the English explanation of the Gaelic word.

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An Dreathan-donn

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Tha mo smuaintean air an dreathan-donn. Bha mi sa mhonadh as t-samhradh – air iomall Inbhir Nis. Bha mi a’ gabhail fois air cùl preas fraoich. Bha dreathan-donn air sgèith mu mo thimcheall. Bha e ag èigheachd ʼs a’ gearan.

Agus dè bha e ag ràdh? Uill, bha na seann daoine a’ cur nam faclan seo ann am beul an dreathain-duinn:

Thig, thig, thig a dhiol-dèirce, Thig thig, thig a ghille-frìde; Is gillean-frìde na h-eòin uile, Ach mise leam fhìn, Ach mise leam fhìn, Gillean-frìde, gillean-frìde.

Gillean-frìde – mites, rudan beaga bìodach. Tha an dreathan-donn a’ gabhail ‘gillean-frìde’ air na h-eòin eile mar gur e eun mòr a tha ann fhèin! Bha na Gàidheil riamh dhen bharail gu bheil deagh bheachd aig an dreathan-donn air fhèin.

Chì sinn sin anns an t-seanfhacal: Is bigid e sin, is bigid e sin, mar a thuirt an dreathan-donn, nuair a thug e làn a ghuib às a’ mhuir ʼ tis the less for that, ʼtis the less for that, as the wren said, when it sipped a bill-full from the sea.’ Is bigid e sin, is bigid e sin, mar a thuirt an dreathan-donn, nuair a thug e làn a ghuib às a’ mhuir.

Tha naidheachd ainmeil mun strì eadar an dreathan-donn agus an iolair-bhuidhe. Bha an iolair a’ bòstadh. ‘Thèid mise air sgèith nas àirde na eun sam bith eile,’ thuirt i.

Cha robh gin de na h-eòin eile deònach a dhol na h-aghaidh. Uill, cha robh, ach a-mhàin an dreathan-donn. ‘Ist, ʼs urrainn dhòmhsa dhol nas àirde na thu fhèin,’ thuirt an dreathan.

‘Thusa? Thusa!’ ars an iolair. ‘Chan eil annad ach isean lag. Bidh mi a’ coimhead sìos ort, nuair a tha mi shuas àrd air sgèith.’

‘Siuthad, ma-thà,’ ars an dreathan-donn. Chaidh an iolair an-àirde. Bha i fada os cionn na talmhainn. Cha robh sgeul air an dreathan!

Agus a-nise an còmhradh: ‘Càite a bheil thu, ’dhreathain-duinn?’

‘Tha mi ’n seo, os do chinn!’ Bha an dreathan-donn air druim na h-iolaire. Bha e cho aotrom ʼs nach do mhothaich an iolair dha. Agus, gu dearbh, bha e na b’ àirde na ʼn iolair!

The Wren

English Beurla

I’m thinking about the wren. I was on the hills in summer – at the edge of Inverness. I was resting behind a bush of heather. A wren was flying around me. It was calling and complaining.

And what was it saying? Well, the old people were putting these words in the mouth of the wren:

Come, come, come, oh beggar, come come, come oh mite; the other birds are all mites, except for me myself, except for me myself, mites, mites.

Gillean-frìde – mites, little wee things. The wren calls the other birds ‘mites’ as if it were a big bird itself! The Gaels were ever of the view that the wren had a high opinion of itself.

We can see that in the proverb: Is bigid e sin, is bigid e sin, mar a thuirt an dreathan-donn, nuair a thug e làn a ghuib às a’ mhuir ʼt is the less for that, ʼtis the less for that, as the wren said, when it sipped a bill-full from the sea.’ Is bigid e sin, is bigid e sin, mar a thuirt an dreathan-donn, nuair a thug e làn a ghuib às a’ mhuir.

There is a well-known anecdote about the struggle between the wren and the golden eagle. The eagle was boasting. ‘I’ll fly higher than any other bird,’ it said.

None of the other birds were willing to go against it. Well, none, except the wren. ‘Be quiet, I can go higher than you,’ said the wren.

‘You? You!’ said the eagle. ‘You are just a weak chick. I’ll be looking down on you, when I am aloft on the wing.’

‘Go on, then,’ said the wren. The eagle ascended. It was far above the ground. There was no sign of the wren!

And now the conversation [which rhymes in Gaelic]: Where are you, wren?

‘I’m here, above you!’ The wren was on the eagle’s back. It was so light that the eagle didn’t notice it. And, indeed, it was higher than the eagle!

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An Dreathan-donn

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Tha mo smuaintean air an dreathan-donn. Bha mi sa mhonadh as t-samhradh – air iomall Inbhir Nis. Bha mi a’ gabhail fois air cùl preas fraoich. Bha dreathan-donn air sgèith mu mo thimcheall. Bha e ag èigheachd ʼs a’ gearan.

Agus dè bha e ag ràdh? Uill, bha na seann daoine a’ cur nam faclan seo ann am beul an dreathain-duinn:

Thig, thig, thig a dhiol-dèirce, Thig thig, thig a ghille-frìde; Is gillean-frìde na h-eòin uile, Ach mise leam fhìn, Ach mise leam fhìn, Gillean-frìde, gillean-frìde.

Gillean-frìde – mites, rudan beaga bìodach. Tha an dreathan-donn a’ gabhail ‘gillean-frìde’ air na h-eòin eile mar gur e eun mòr a tha ann fhèin! Bha na Gàidheil riamh dhen bharail gu bheil deagh bheachd aig an dreathan-donn air fhèin.

Chì sinn sin anns an t-seanfhacal: Is bigid e sin, is bigid e sin, mar a thuirt an dreathan-donn, nuair a thug e làn a ghuib às a’ mhuir ʼ tis the less for that, ʼtis the less for that, as the wren said, when it sipped a bill-full from the sea.’ Is bigid e sin, is bigid e sin, mar a thuirt an dreathan-donn, nuair a thug e làn a ghuib às a’ mhuir.

Tha naidheachd ainmeil mun strì eadar an dreathan-donn agus an iolair-bhuidhe. Bha an iolair a’ bòstadh. ‘Thèid mise air sgèith nas àirde na eun sam bith eile,’ thuirt i.

Cha robh gin de na h-eòin eile deònach a dhol na h-aghaidh. Uill, cha robh, ach a-mhàin an dreathan-donn. ‘Ist, ʼs urrainn dhòmhsa dhol nas àirde na thu fhèin,’ thuirt an dreathan.

‘Thusa? Thusa!’ ars an iolair. ‘Chan eil annad ach isean lag. Bidh mi a’ coimhead sìos ort, nuair a tha mi shuas àrd air sgèith.’

‘Siuthad, ma-thà,’ ars an dreathan-donn. Chaidh an iolair an-àirde. Bha i fada os cionn na talmhainn. Cha robh sgeul air an dreathan!

Agus a-nise an còmhradh: ‘Càite a bheil thu, ’dhreathain-duinn?’

‘Tha mi ’n seo, os do chinn!’ Bha an dreathan-donn air druim na h-iolaire. Bha e cho aotrom ʼs nach do mhothaich an iolair dha. Agus, gu dearbh, bha e na b’ àirde na ʼn iolair!

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 1106

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