Archive for the Category: Scottish Gaelic

Knowledge and seeing

I discovered today that there is a connection between the Gaelic word for knowledge, information, news – fios in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, fys in Manx – and the English words video and wit. Their roots can all be traced back to the Proto-Indo-European root woid-/wid- (to see/to know), which, according to the OED, is […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Proto-Indo-European, Sanskrit, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments

Back in Bangor

I’m now back in Bangor after a very enjoyable and interesting week at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. We learnt 15 songs during the week, so the course wasn’t as intensive as the one I did last year when we learnt twice as many songs, and we learnt about the background of the songs, and even saw […]

Also posted in English, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Language, Language learning, Manx, Travel Comments Off on Back in Bangor

Sgoinneil

When someone asks you ‘Ciamar a tha thu?’ (How are you?) in Scottish Gaelic, the standard answer is ‘(Tha mi) gu math’ (I’m fine). An interesting alternative I learnt today is ‘Tha mi sgoinneil’ [ha mi sgɤn̪ˠʲal] The word sgoinneil means ‘trim, well-made; careful; cool, groovy’ according to Am Faclair Beag and ‘careful, heedful; attentive; […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases Comments Off on Sgoinneil

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

This week I am doing a course in Scottish Gaelic songs with Mary Ann Kennedy at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye. This is my third visit to the college and each time my Gaelic gets a bit better. Even though I’m not doing a course in Gaelic language, I […]

Also posted in English, Language, Language learning 2 Comments

Math math

This week I discovered that you can emphasize adjectives in Scottish Gaelic by repeating them. For example: – bha e math math air faclan a chur ri chèile ann am bàrdachd (he was very good at putting words togther in poetry). Emphasis can also be indicated with glé (very) – bha e glé mhath – […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Language, Words and phrases 7 Comments

Gàidhlig

This month I am focusing mainly on improving my Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig). I’ve been listening to Gaelic radio, reading various things in Gaelic, writing and recording things every day in Gaelic on my other blog, and speaking and singing to myself in the language. I plan to make another animation in Gaelic sometime this month […]

Also posted in English, Language, Language learning 6 Comments

Mouth to mouth with the night

I discovered an interesting idiom in Scottish Gaelic today: beul ri beul na h-oidhche, which means near nightfall, or literally “mouth to mouth with the night”. Are there interesting expressions in other languages for different times of the day? The word beul /bial̪ˠ/ means mouth; beginning; opening; edge; gunwale, and in found in such expressions […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Gleann Cholm Cille

This week I’m in Gleann Cholm Cille in Donegal in the north west of Ireland taking part in the summer school in Irish language and culture at Oideas Gael. There are about 100 people here for the summer school and we have Irish language classes in the mornings and can choose from a variety of […]

Also posted in Czech, English, French, German, Irish, Language, Portuguese Comments Off on Gleann Cholm Cille

Archerien

An interesting word that came up in my Breton lesson today is archerien, which means police. It caught my attention because it has no obvious connection to the word police, and because it is completely different to the equivalent words in other Celtic languages: – Welsh: heddlu (“peace force”) – Cornish: kreslu (“peace host”) – […]

Also posted in Breton, Chinese, Cornish, Danish, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Language, Latin, Manx, Spanish, Welsh, Words and phrases 12 Comments

Tag questions, innit!

Tag questions or question tags are interrogative fragments (tags) added to statements making them into sort of questions. They tend to be used more in colloquial speech and informal writing than in formal writing, and can indicate politeness, emphasis, irony, confidence or lack of it, and uncertainty. Some are rhetorical and an answer is not […]

Also posted in English, French, German, Grammar, Irish, Italian, Language, Manx, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Welsh 15 Comments
%d bloggers like this: