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Little by Little Beag air Bheag

Beginners (A1)- Unit 9 - Saying a bit about your family
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 9 - Saying a bit about your family

Counting people

A bheil clann agaibh?

Do you have children?

The language you pick up in this unit should help you to answer simple enquiries about marital status and family situations which crop up in conversation. It uses the informal thu form of you because those speaking are of a similar age and are not being too formal. The first conversation deals with marital status and spouses' name, age etc. This is a revision of some material covered in earlier units.

Conversation 1

Listen to Iain and Rachel's conversation, you will hear the words for 'wife' and 'children'.

Counting people

Before we move on to how to discuss children, we need to look at a special set of Gaelic numerals. These are used only in counting people, and only from two to ten. When we talk about numbers of people, we always use these words in preference to the standard numerals listed in Unit 8.

dithis two people
triùir three people
ceathrar four people
còignear five people
sianar six people
seachdnar seven people
ochdnar eight people
naoinear nine people
deichnear ten people

Conversation 2

Listen to the above numerals being used as you follow the conversation of a chat between Helen and John.

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Iain:
Ciamar a tha thu?
How are you?
Raonaid:
Tha gu math. Ciamar a tha thu fhèin?
Well. How are you yourself?
Iain:
A bheil an duine agad còmhla riut?
Is your husband with you?
Raonaid:
An duine agam? Chan eil mi pòsta!
My husband? I'm not married!
Iain:
O, gabh mo leisgeul. Bha mi a' smaoineachadh gu robh thu pòsta.
Oh, excuse me. I thought you were married.
Raonaid:
Chan eil, ach a bheil thusa?
I'm not, but are you married?
Iain:
Tha. Tha mi pòsta.
Yes. I am married.
Raonaid:
Càite a bheil do bhean?
Where is your wife?
Iain:
Tha i aig an taigh. Tha i tinn.
She is at home. She is ill.
Raonaid:
O, tha mi duilich. Dè an t-ainm a th' air do bhean?
Oh, I'm sorry. What is your wife's name?
Iain:
Patricia. Tha i à Lunnainn.
Patricia. She is from London.
Raonaid:
A bheil Gàidhlig aice?
Does she speak Gaelic?
Iain:
Tha beagan. Tha i ag ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig.
A little. She is learning Gaelic.
Raonaid:
A bheil Patricia nas sine no nas òige na thusa?
Is Patricia older or younger than you?
Iain:
Tha i nas sine. Tha i caogad 's a sia.
She is older. She is fifty six.
Raonaid:
A bheil clann agaibh?
Do you have children?
Iain:
Chan eil. Chan eil clann againn idir.
No. We have no children at all.

Conversation 2

Listen to a simple conversation incorporating some of the numerals in this unit.

Eilidh:
Seall air na daoine. Cia mheud a th' ann?
Look at the people. How many are there?
Iain:
Tha seachdnar. 'S e teaghlach a th' ann.
Seven. It's a family.
Eilidh:
Teaghlach mòr dha-rìribh!
A big family indeed!
Iain:
Cia mheud duine a th' anns an teaghlach agad fhèin?
How many are in your own family?
Eilidh:
Tha ceathrar. Mo phàrantan, mo bhràthair is mise.
Four. My parents, my brother and me.
Iain:
A bheil fios agad cia mheud a th' anns an teaghlach agamsa?
Do you know how many are in my family?
Eilidh:
Chan eil. Cia mheud a th' ann?
No. How many are there?
Iain:
Tha ochdnar. Mo phàrantan, mi-fhìn, mo thriùir bhràithrean agus mo dhithis pheathraichean.
Eight. My parents, myself and my three brothers and my two sisters.
Eilidh:
'S e teaghlach mòr a th' ann.
It's a big family.
Iain:
'S e gu dearbh.
It certainly is.

The word clann

Now let's look at the very well known Gaelic word - clann. This is the word from which the English 'clan' derives.

Although it describes more than one person, it is itself a singular word. It is also important to note that, like almost all Gaelic nouns, clann inflects. That means it changes its form in relation to its function in the sentence.

In the genitive, or possessive, case (i.e. 'of [the] children'), it is cloinne.

When we talk about numbers of children we use this form (e.g. triùir chloinne, 'three of children'). It is also the form we use when asking somebody how many children they have. We say, cia mheud duine cloinne a th' agaibh?

Conversation 3

Listen to this conversation between Peter and Anna. Try to pick out the various forms of the word clann.

Why not go on to learn phrases about music and dance in Unit 10, Is toil leam ceòl.

Mar sin leibh an-dràsta.

Conversation 3

Listen to the conversation:

Pàdraig:
A bheil thu pòsta?
Are you married?
Anna:
Tha. Tha mi pòsta.
Yes. I am married.
Pàdraig:
A bheil clann agad?
Do you have children?
Anna:
Tha. Tha clann agam.
Yes. I have children.
Pàdraig:
Cia mheud duine cloinne a th' agad?
How many children do you have?
Anna:
Tha triùir. Tha triùir chloinne agam.
Three. I have three children.
Anna:
Cia mheud duine cloinne a th' agad fhèin?
How many children do you have yourself?
Pàdraig:
Tha dithis agam. Balach agus nighean.
I have two. A boy and a girl.
Anna:
Dè an aois a tha iad?
What age are they?
Pàdraig:
Tha iad deich agus ochd bliadhna a dh'aois.
They are aged ten and eight years old.
Pàdraig:
An e balaich no nigheanan a th' agad fhèin?
Is it boys or girls you have yourself?
Anna:
Tha dithis bhalach agus nighean agam.
I have two boys and a girl.
Pàdraig:
A bheil iad laghach is modhail?
Are they nice and polite?
Anna:
Tha. Tha iad laghach is modhail, mar as trice!
Yes. They are nice and polite, usually!