ClàrMenu
FaclairDictionary EnglishGàidhlig

Little by Little Beag air Bheag

Beginners (A1)- Unit 33 - Literature and poetry
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 33 - Sgrìobhadh

Introduction

Sgrìobhadh

Writing

In this Unit we’ll look at the Gaelic for some of the various forms of writing you will encounter. Here, to start, are a few useful words:

nobhail novel
sgrìobhadh ficseanach fiction writing
sgrìobhadh neo-fhicseanach non-fiction writing
breugach lying, untruthful
breug lie
fianais evidence
fìrinn truth
macmeanmna imagination
anns an fharsaingeachd in general
dèan tomhas make a guess, estimation
stòiridhean dìomhaireachd mystery stories

In Conversation 1 Iain and Mairead are discussing the type of writing they most enjoy.

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Mairead:
An toil leat nobhailean?
Do you like novels?
Iain:
Tha iad math gu leòr. Ach is fheàrr leam sgrìobhadh neo-fhicseanach.
They’re okay. But I prefer non-fiction writing.
Mairead:
Carson a tha sin?
Why is that?
Iain:
A chionn ’s gum bi mi a’ creidsinn na tha an t-ùghdar a’ sgrìobhadh.
Because I can [will be] believe what the author is writing.
Mairead:
Ach dh’fhaodadh e a bhith breugach!
But he could be telling lies!
Iain:
Dh’fhaodadh. Ach is toil leam leabhraichean le fianais is fìrinn annta.
Perhaps. But I like books with evidence and truth in them.
Mairead:
Nach eil macmeanmna a cheart cho cudromach ris an fhìrinn?
Isn’t imagination just as important as the truth?
Iain:
Cha chreid mi gu bheil.
I don’t think so.
Mairead:
Uill, is toil leamsa nobhailean. Tha an-còmhnaidh nobhail agam.
Well, I like novels. I always have a novel.
Iain:
Dè seòrsa nobhailean as fheàrr leat?
What sort of novels do you like best?
Mairead:
Stòiridhean gaoil, stòiridhean dìomhaireachd, rudan eachdraidheil.
Love stories, mystery stories, historical things.
Iain:
Dè an linn ann an eachdraidh as fheàrr leat?
What period in history do you like best?
Mairead:
An t-ochdamh linn deug agus an naoidheamh linn deug.
The eighteenth century and the nineteenth century.
Iain:
Leabhraichean Sasannach, an e?
English books, is it?
Mairead:
’S e, anns an fharsaingeachd.
Yes, in the main.
Iain:
Cò an t-ùghdar as fheàrr leat?
Which author do you like best?
Mairead:
Cò tha thu a’ smaoineachadh?
Whom do you think?
Iain:
Jane Austen.
Jane Austen.
Mairead:
Tha thu ceart.
You are correct.
Iain:
Agus an nobhail aice as fheàrr leat?
And your favourite novel of hers?
Mairead:
Dèan tomhas.
Make a guess.
Iain:
Pride and Prejudice.
Pride and Prejudice.
Mairead:
Chan e – ach Sense and Sensibility.
No – [but] Sense and Sensibility .

Poetry

In Conversation 2, Ceitidh and Anna are discussing Gaelic poetry. This is a very rich and important part of Gaelic culture, not only historically but also today. It is not insignificant that Gaelic gave the word 'bard' to the English language.

Three of the many famous Gaelic bards are discussed – Iain Lom whose poem 'Latha Inbhir Lòchaidh' celebrates a MacDonald-led victory over a Campbell-led force during the Covenanting war of the seventeenth century. Duncan Ban Macintyre (Fair-haired Duncan of the Songs) hailed from Argyll and wrote some vivid celebrations of the natural world. And Sorley MacLean was a twentieth century poet with an international reputation.

bàrd poet
bàird poets
bàrdachd poetry
dàn poem
Donnchadh Bàn Duncan Ban [MacIntyre]
Somhairle MacGill-Eain Sorley Maclean

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

Ceitidh:
A bheil thu a’ leughadh bàrdachd?
Are you reading poetry?
Anna:
Tha. Seann bhàrdachd le Iain Lom.
Yes. Old poetry by Iain Lom (MacDonald)
Ceitidh:
Iain Lom? Dè an dàn?
Iain Lom? What poem?
Anna:
“Latha Inbhir Lòchaidh”.
“The Day of Inverlochy” [a major battle in 1645].
Ceitidh:
“Dhìrich mi moch madainn Dòmhnaich...”
“I got up early on a Sunday morning...”
Anna:
Sin e – dìreach! An toil leat e?
That’s it - exactly.
Ceitidh:
Cha toil. Tha e ro fhuilteach. Agus bha mo mhàthair na Caimbeulach!
No. It’s too bloody. And my mother was a Campbell!
Anna:
Dè a’ bhàrdachd as toil leat fhèin?
What poetry do you like yourself?
Ceitidh:
Is toil leam Donnchadh Bàn.
I like Duncan Ban [MacIntyre]
Anna:
Dè an dàn aige as fheàrr leat?
Which poem of his do you like best?
Ceitidh:
Chan eil fhios a’m. Is toil leam “Coire a’ Cheathaich”.
I don’t know. I like “The Corrie of the Mist”
Anna:
“’S e Coir’ a’ Cheathaich nan aighean siùbhlach...”
“The Misty Corrie of the swiftmoving hinds...”
Ceitidh:
Tha e agad!
You have it!
Anna:
Tha ceist agam dhut.
I have a question for you
Ceitidh:
Seadh. Dè th’ ann?
Uhu. What is it?
Anna:
Dè an dàn Gàidhlig as fheàrr a bhuineas don fhicheadamh linn?
What is the best Gaelic poem that belongs to the twentieth century?
Ceitidh:
Mo chreach. Abair ceist!
My goodness. What a question!
Anna:
Tha e doirbh, nach eil? Bha uimhir de bhàird mhatha againn.
It’s difficult, isn’t it? We had so many good poets.
Ceitidh:
Is tha fhathast. Fir agus boireannaich.
And we still do. Men and women.
Anna:
Tha. Ach, a thaobh do cheist, canaidh mi “Ban-Ghàidheal”.
We do. But, regarding your question, I’ll say “A Highland Woman”.
Ceitidh:
Tha sin inntinneach. Bha mise a’ dol a ràdh “Hallaig”.
That’s interesting. I was going to say “Hallaig”.
Anna:
Carson a tha sin inntinneach?
Why is that interesting?
Ceitidh:
Oir ’s e Somhairle MacGill-Eain a sgrìobh an dà dhàn.
Because it’s Sorley MacLean that wrote both poems.
Anna:
’S e – ach ’s e bàrd air leth a bh’ ann.
So it was – but he was a terrific poet.
Ceitidh:
Chuala mi e a’ leughadh a chuid bàrdachd aon turas.
I heard him reading his poetry on one occasion.
Anna:
An cuala? An robh e math?
Did you? Was he good?
Ceitidh:
Bha e math dha-rìribh.
He was excellent.