Archive for the Category: Scottish Gaelic

True sisters

The word for sister in Irish is deirfiúr /dʲɾʲəˈfˠuːɾˠ/, and it has always puzzled me why this word is so different from the words for sister in the other Gaelic languages: piuthar /pju.ər/ in Scottish Gaelic and shuyr /ʃuːr/ in Manx. Yesterday I discovered that deirfiúr is in fact a combination of deirbh /dʲɾʲəv/ (true) […]

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Also posted in English, Etymology, Irish, Language, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 10 Comments

Obrigados / Obrigadas

According to someone who wrote to me today, the words obrigados/obrigadas are only used in Portuguese to mean ‘obligated’, and are not used to thank more than one person. However, according to João Rosa, who wrote the article Obrigado – how to express your gratitude in Portuguese, these words are used to mean ‘thank you’ […]

Also posted in Grammar, Irish, Language, Manx, Portuguese, Zulu 14 Comments

Hunting haggis

I’ve just finished a new video using Xtranormal – it’s in Scottish Gaelic and features Hamish and Helen (Seumas & Eilidh). Hamish is from Harris in the Hebrides and hunts haggis as a hobby with his haggis hound Hector (who doesn’t appear in the video), and also farms ostriches. Helen is a translator from Beijing […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language, Manx, Welsh 6 Comments

Purses and sporrans

The word purse has an interesting history, I discovered today. It comes from the Old English word purs, from the Late Latin word bursa, which had a number of meanings of the centuries, including skin or leather; (money) bag; scrotum; exchange; and scholarship, allowance, and comes from the Greek word βύρσα (hide, leather). bursa is […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Spanish 5 Comments

Possession

In the Celtic languages when you want to say that you have/own/possess something, you say that the thing is at/by/with you, often with the prepositions merging with the pronouns. For example, this is how to say ‘I have a book’ in those languages: – Irish: Tá leabhar agam [lit. "is book at-me] – Scottish Gaelic: […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, Irish, Language, Manx, Russian 25 Comments

Eilean Mhanainn / Ellan Vannin

I just listened to the first in a series of programmes on Radio nan Gàidheal on the Isle of Man (Eilean Mhanainn in Scottish Gaelic, and Ellan Vannin in Manx), which focuses on the Manx language. I found it very interesting, and was pleased to find that I could understand almost all the Scottish Gaelic, […]

Also posted in Irish, Language, Manx 5 Comments

Summer chicks and glowing coals

Last night we were talking about the Pili Palas on Anglesey, a butterfly centre, which also has birds, snakes and other exotic creatures. The name is a pun combining pili-pala (butterfly) and palas (palace) – it took me ages to realise this. We were trying to think of the words for butterfly in various other […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, German, Irish, Italian, Language, Latin, Manx, Spanish, Welsh, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Panceltic concert

Last night I went to a great concert in St John’s (Balley Keeill Eoin) at which all the modern Celtic languages were sung and/or spoken, as well as English and French. It was wonderful to hear them all, and I even understood odd bits of the Cornish and Breton, the only Celtic languages I haven’t […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Welsh 2 Comments

Come-all-ye

Last night I went to a fascinating talk by Cass Meurig about the history of the crwth (a type of medieval bowed lyre) and its place in Welsh music and tradition, which included songs in Welsh. After the talk there was a very enjoyable ‘Come-all-ye’ singing session lead by Clare Kilgallon and members of Cliogaree […]

Also posted in Cornish, English, Language, Music, Scots, Welsh 1 Comment

Yn Chruinnaght

At the moment I’m in the Isle of Man for Yn Chruinnaght (‘the gathering’), the Manx National and Inter-Celtic Festival. Yesterday I heard some Scottish Gaelic and odd bits of Manx at a fantastic concert featuring Capercaille and a bunch of local musicians (David Kilgallon and Some Thoroughly Nice Folk), and expect to hear all […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, Irish, Language, Manx, Travel 4 Comments