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Little by Little Beag air Bheag

Beginners (A1)- Unit 22 - In the garden
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 22 - Anns a’ ghàrradh

Introduction

Anns a’ Ghàrradh

In the garden

There are three words commonly used for 'garden' in Gaelic. Lios (as in Lios Mòr, the island of Lismore, which is as fertile as its name suggests), leas, a dialectal variant of lios, common in the north, and gàrradh. The last actually means a wall, usually of drystone construction, but has also come to mean what is contained within such a structure – i.e. a garden. In this unit, we shall concentrate on the word gàrradh as meaning a garden.

Here is some vocabulary to get you started:

gàirnealaireachd gardening
gàrradair gardener
lus plant
luibh plant, herb, weed
glasraich vegetables
curranan carrots
càl cabbage(s)
càil cabbages
dìtheanan blooms, flowers
flùraichean blooms, flowers
flùranach flowery

Conversation 1

Before you get started, note the use of the adverb dha-rìribh. This means 'indeed'. It is also used after an adjective as a strengthener, for emphatic effect. You will hear it regularly in conversation.

Now listen to Seònaid and Iain, who are out in the garden.

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Seònaid:
Tha gàrradh brèagha agad.
You have a beautiful garden.
Iain:
Tha. Tha e gu math brèagha an-dràsta.
Yes. It is very beautiful just now.
Seònaid:
An toil leat gàirnealaireachd?
Do you like gardening?
Iain:
’S toil. As t-samhradh co-dhiù.
Yes. In the summer anyway.
Seònaid:
Dè bhios tu a’ dèanamh le na luibhean?
What do you with the weeds?
Iain:
Bidh mi gan spìonadh às!
I pull them out!
Seònaid:
’S e obair mhòr a tha sin.
That’s a lot of work.
Iain:
Obair mhòr dha-rìribh. Ach feumaidh tu a dhèanamh.
A lot of work indeed. But you must do it.
Seònaid:
Am bi thu a’ cur glasraich?
Do you plant vegetables?
Iain:
Bithidh. Is toil leam glasraich ithe.
Yes. I like to eat vegetables.
Seònaid:
’S toil is leamsa. Is toil leam curranan gu h-àraidh.
So do I. I like carrots particularly.
Iain:
A bheil gàrradh mòr agadsa?
Do you have a big garden?
Seònaid:
Tha. Tha e mòr gu leòr.
Yes. It’s big enough.
Iain:
Tha obair mhòr ann.
It’s a lot of work.
Seònaid:
Obair mhòr dha-rìribh. Ach tha e a’ còrdadh rium.
A lot of work indeed. But I enjoy it.
Iain:
Dè as fheàrr leat – glasraich no flùraichean?
What do you prefer – vegetables or flowers?
Seònaid:
Is toil leam an dà chuid.
I like both.
Iain:
Tha na dìtheanan seo a’ coimhead brèagha, nach eil?
These blooms look nice, don’t they?
Seònaid:
Tha, gu dearbh. Is toil leam dìtheanan dearga.
Yes, indeed. I like red blooms.
Iain:
An e càl a tha sin?
Is that cabbage?
Seònaid:
’S e. Tha càl a’ fàs gu math an seo.
Yes. Cabbage grows well here.
Iain:
Ach tha luibhean eatarra.
But they have weeds between.
Seònaid:
Tha. Tha mi dìreach a' dol gan spìonadh às.
Yes. I am just going to pull them out.

The assertive verb

Anns a’ ghàrradh

In the garden

Conversation 2

In Conversation 2, we will further develop the phraseology and vocabulary used in Conversation 1. And note one particular response towards the end of the conversation. When Alasdair says chan eil iad bòidheach, ge-tà, Cèitidh contradicts him by saying, Is iad a tha!

The use of the assertive verb is in this manner is the most idiomatic way, and the strongest way, of making the rebuttal. It can also be used in agreement, when you want to emphasise the point being made by the other speaker. Here are some other examples:

Chan eil Teàrlach làidir.

Charlie isn’t strong.

’S e a tha!

O, yes he is!

Tha Teàrlach uabhasach làidir.

Charlie is very strong.

’S e a tha!

Yes, he is!

Chan eil Eilidh ciallach.

Eilidh is not sensible.

’S i a tha!

Yes, she is!

Tha Màiri glic.

Mary is wise.

’S i a tha!

So she is!

This is the end of unit 22. Why not test yourself to see how much you've learnt? If you would like to learn how to talk about expressing your mood, go on to unit 23.

Chì sinn an sibh!

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

Cèitidh:
’S e gàrradh brèagha dha-rìribh a th’ agad.
It’s a very beautiful garden you have.
Alasdair:
Ist! Chan eil ann ach càl is curranan.
Be quiet! There’s nothing in it but cabbage and carrots.
Cèitidh:
Ach abair càl is curranan! Tha iad mòr.
But what [wonderful] cabbage and carrots! They are big.
Alasdair:
Tha iad mòr gu leòr. Am bu toil leat feadhainn?
They’re big enough. Would you like some?
Cèitidh:
Mòran taing. Gabhaidh mi curran no dhà.
Many thanks. I’ll take a carrot or two.
Alasdair:
Is toil leam gàirnealaireachd.
I like gardening.
Cèitidh:
’S e gàrradair math a th’ annad.
You are a good gardener.
Alasdair:
Chan eil fhios agam. Ach tha e a’ còrdadh rium.
I don’t know. But I enjoy it.
Cèitidh:
Carson nach bi thu a’ cur flùraichean?
Why don’t you grow [plant] flowers?
Alasdair:
’S fheàrr leam a bhith a’ cur glasraich.
I prefer to plant vegetables.
Cèitidh:
Ach tha flùraichean brèagha.
But flowers are beautiful.
Alasdair:
Tha. Ach cha toir a’ bhòidhchead goil air a’ phoit.
Yes. But beauty won’t boil the pot [a Gaelic proverb].
Cèitidh:
Dè tha thu a’ ciallachadh?
What do you mean?
Alasdair:
Tha mi a’ ciallachadh nach ith duine flùraichean.
I mean that a man can’t [won’t] eat flowers.
Cèitidh:
Aha – ’s e biadh às a’ ghàrradh as fheàrr leat.
Aha – it’s food from the garden you like best.
Alasdair:
’S e. Buntàta, càl is curranan, gu h-àraidh.
Yes. Potatoes, cabbage and carrots especially.
Cèitidh:
Chan eil iad bòidheach, ge-tà.
They’re not beautiful, though.
Alasdair:
Is iad a tha!
Yes, they are!
Cèitidh:
Dè – glasraich? Bòidheach?
What – vegetables? Beautiful?
Alasdair:
Gu dearbh fhèin. Air an truinnsear!
Yes, indeed. On the plate!