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Beginners (A1)- Unit 32 - Talking about different times of the year
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 32 - Na ràithean

Introduction

Na Ràithean

The Seasons

In this Unit we’ll look at the Gaelic for the seasons and at some seasonal celebrations.

Here’s some vocabulary:

an geamhradh winter
an t-earrach spring
an samhradh summer
am foghar autumn
fuachd cold
an-còmhnaidh always
leis an fhìrinn innse to tell the truth
cuthag cuckoo
smeur bramble (blackberry) – fruit only
ràith season

In Conversation 1 Iain and Mairead are discussing the four seasons. Note how we form the comparative adjective in Gaelic ('warmer', 'colder'). We generally slenderise it and add an –e to the end. Sometimes there is also lenition (change in quality of the initial consonant). Here are some examples:

blàth

warm

nas blàithe

warmer

fuar

cold

nas fhuaire

colder

fada

long

nas fhaide

longer

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Mairead:
An toil leat an geamhradh?
Do you like the winter?
Iain:
Is toil. Bidh mi a’ sgitheadh.
Yes. I go [will be] skiing.
Mairead:
Nach eil am fuachd a’ cur dragh ort?
Doesn’t the cold upset you?
Iain:
Chan eil idir.
Not at all.
Mairead:
Is fheàrr leam blàths an t-samhraidh.
I prefer the warmth of summer.
Iain:
Is toil leam an samhradh cuideachd. Ach chan eil e an-còmhnaidh blàth!
I like summer as well. But it’s not always warm!
Mairead:
Tha sin fìor. Agus tha na meanbh-chuileagan ann.
That’s true. And there are [the] midges.
Iain:
Leis an fhìrinn innse, ’s e an t-earrach as fheàrr leam.
To tell the truth, it’s spring I like best.
Mairead:
Tha an t-earrach math. Oir tha an aimsir a’ fàs nas blàithe.
Spring is good. Because the weather is growing warmer.
Iain:
Agus tha na lusan a’ fàs.
And the plants are growing.
Mairead:
Agus tha a’ chuthag ann.
And the cuckoo is around.
Iain:
Is toil leam òran na cuthaig.
I like the song of the cuckoo.
Mairead:
Dè do bheachd air an fhoghar?
What’s your opinion of the autumn?
Iain:
Is toil leam am foghar cuideachd.
I like autumn as well.
Mairead:
Tha am foghar math dha-rìribh.
Autumn is fantastic.
Iain:
Ag ithe smeuran…
Eating brambles [blackberries]…
Mairead:
Ach tha an aimsir a’ fàs nas fhuaire.
But the weather is growing colder.
Iain:
Agus tha na h-oidhcheannan a’ fàs nas fhaide.
And the nights are growing longer.
Mairead:
Tha. Cha toil leam sin.
Yes. I don’t like that.
Iain:
Ach – là grianach foghair – chan eil càil nas fheàrr.
But – a sunny autumn day – there’s nothing better.
Mairead:
An e am foghar an ràith as fheàrr leat?
Is autumn the season you like best?
Iain:
’S e – ach is toil leam a h-uile ràith.
Yes – but I like every season.

Important dates

Na ràithean

The Seasons

In Conversation 2, Ceitidh and Anna are discussing some seasonal occasions during the year. Here are some useful words:

Oidhche Challainn Hogmanay [New Year’s Eve]
an ath-oidhch tomorrow night
An Nollaig Christmas
Bodach na Nollaig Santa Claus [Father Christmas]
A’ Bhliadhn’ Ùr New Year
An t-Seann Bhliadhn’ Ùr New Year, Old Style [12 January]
an ath-bhliadhna next year
A’ Chaisg Easter
nàbaidhean neighbours
farmad envy

The Gaels of Scotland tend to celebrate the year’s festivals in a similar manner to the rest of the population today. Traditionally, however, Oidhche Shamhna (Halloween, originally an old Celtic festival marking the start of Samhain, or winter) and Oidhche Challainn – the night before New Year were very important occasions, and they remain so in some places. The night before the Old New Year (now 12th January following a change in the calendar) is making a bit of a comeback in some places.

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

Ceitidh:
Tha a’ bhliadhna a’ tighinn gu crìch.
The year is coming to an end.
Anna:
Tha. Bidh Oidhche Challainn againn an ath-oidhch.
It is. It will be Hogmanay tomorrow night.
Ceitidh:
Is toil leam Oidhche Challainn. Tha i spòrsail.
I like Hogmanay. It’s good fun.
Anna:
Tha. Bidh na nàbaidhean a’ cèilidh oirnn.
Yes. The neighbours visit [on] us.
Ceitidh:
An robh deagh Nollaig agad?
Did you have a good Christmas?
Anna:
Bha i glè mhath. Bha a h-uile duine aig an taigh.
It was pretty good. Everbody was home.
Ceitidh:
An tàinig Bodach na Nollaig?
Did Santa Claus come?
Anna:
Thàinig, agus bha preusantan gu leòr aige.
Yes, and he had plenty of presents
Ceitidh:
Am bi sibh fhathast a’ cur stocainnean a-mach?
Do you still put out stockings?
Anna:
Cha bhi. Sguir sin nuair a bha a’ chlann dusan bliadhna a dh’aois.
No. That stopped when the children were twelve years old.
Ceitidh:
A bheil planaichean agaibh aig a’ Bhliadhn’ Ùir?
Do you have plans at New Year?
Anna:
Chan eil. A’ gabhail fois!
No. Having a rest!
Ceitidh:
Tha rudeigin a’ tachairt aig an t-Seann Bhliadhn’ Ùir am-bliadhna.
Something is happening at the Old New Year this year.
Anna:
An ath-bhliadhna, tha thu a’ ciallachadh!
Next year, you mean!
Ceitidh:
Seadh. Gabh mo leisgeul.
Oh aye. Sorry.
Anna:
Dè an rud a tha a’ tachairt?
What is happening?
Ceitidh:
Bidh pàrtaidh air an t-sràid.
There will be a party on the street.
Anna:
Bidh i fuar!
It’ll be cold!
Ceitidh:
Bithidh!
It will!
Anna:
Agus a bheil planaichean agad airson na Càisge?
And do you have plans for Easter?
Ceitidh:
Tha . A h-uile bliadhna aig a’ Chàisg, bidh sinn a’ sgitheadh.
Yes. Every year at Easter, we go [will be] skiing.
Anna:
Càite?
Where?
Ceitidh:
Anns an Fhraing.
In France.
Anna:
Tha farmad agam riut. Bidh sin sgoinneil.
I’m envious of you. That’ll be great.
Ceitidh:
Ach air Oidhche Shamhna, chan eil càil nas fheàrr na bhith ann an Alba.
But on Halloween, there’s nothing better than to be in Scotland.
Anna:
Tha sin fìor. Is toil leam Oidhche Shamhna aig an taigh.
That’s true. I like Halloween at home.