Tag Archives: Language

What am I doing with my Gaelic?

Deagh cheist (good question) – what have I been doing? Well, there was never any real plan after An Cùrsa Inntrigidh other than to enjoy having Gaelic as a hobby. The whole point of doing the course was to give me a foundation upon which to build in my own time – over many years, in amongst doing other things I enjoy. So that’s what I’m doing. Don’t expect fluency any time soon! After ACI I worked through Scottish Gaelic in 12 Weeks which covered the areas ACI didn’t cover, but would have been covered on the following course An Cùrsa Adhartais, which I chose not to do. Therefore I have the vast majority of the grammar covered and the focus over the next year or two will be:

Improved Vocabulary – Not looking to swallow a dictionary, but I’m trying to develop a vocabulary which is relevant to the words I need i.e. no point in trying to remember the Gaelic for a word I’ll barely use. 

Improved Idiom – What’s Idiom? Well idiom is the way a language chooses to say something with a structure which may be unusual to non-native speakers. For example there are a lot of idiomatic phrases involving the verb cuir (put).

  • Tha mi airson crìoch a chur air an leabhar seo – I want to finish this book
    • literally: put an end on this book
  • Bu toil leam eòlach a chur air Barraigh – I would like to get to know Barra
    • literally: put familiarity on Barra

Idiom is the bit which means solid grammar foundations and a good vocabulary isn’t enough. You need to know how things are said. Until you do you will always come across as a learner. That said, until you know the idiom you can only go with what you have, and in time you will learn the idiomatic phrasing when you come across it. As long as you’re understood, you have a foundation to build on.

Improved Listening – At the moment this is not good. I still struggle to keep up with anything other than really basic conversations. The plan for later this year, possibly next, is to start working through the Beag air Bheag podcasts on Rèidio Nan Gàidheal. These are not for beginners but the hope will be that my knowledge of grammar backed up by solid vocabulary and improving idiom will serve me well.

To help with the first two goals I have started to read through Leabhar nan Litrichean (Book of Letters). This is a collection of the first 200 letters of an on-going series. The letters so far have been primarily old tales of where, when and how the Gaelic language was used. The writing can be a bit poetic at times but it has helped me add some much needed idiom as well as some useful vocabulary.

To date I’ve read letters 1-5 and the intention is to read and work on 5 before doing something else – including write blog pieces and working on other resources i.e. letters 6-10 will be tackled in a few weeks.

Key point in all of this is that there is no magic wand. It’s going to take time and effort – both of which I will give willingly. However, the results will be slow but that was always the idea. Gaelic is now something I have in my life which I enjoy greatly and it’s something I will work away at for the rest of my days, even if the outside world doesn’t see much evidence of it!

Taing airson leughadh!

Cò Pòl Cliaman?

Fàilte chun earrann Ghàidhlig de fromheretorhere.

…cò Pòl Cliaman?

Uill, is mise Paul Clements agus is mise Pòl Cliaman cuideachd! ‘S e Paul Clements a th’ orm anns a’ Bheurla ach ‘s e Pòl Cliaman a th’ orm anns a’ Ghàidhlig. Tha sin math ach s’ docha gu bheil sibh a’ smaoineachadh carson a tha mi a’ sgrìobhadh anns a’ Ghàidhlig? ‘S e deagh cheist a th’ ann agus tha an freagairt furasta gun robh mi airson a-riamh Gàidhlig na h-Alba ionnsachadh.

Tha mi air a bhith ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig o chionn an t-Samhain 2017. An toiseach chaidh mi a chlas ann am Biggar agus chòrd e rium. Bha an tidsear glè mhath agus chaidh mi an-sin airson còig no sia seachdean. An toiseach bha mòran duine ann ach mu dheireadh bha dà no trì ann fhathast. Sguir na clasaichean aig Nollaig ach bha mi airson tuilleadh ionnsachadh. Roghnaich mi An Cùrsa Inntrigidh a dèanamh aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Faodaidh sibh tuilleadh a leughadh mu dheidhinn a’ chùrsa an seo.

Dè bhios mi a’ sgrìobhadh mu dheidhinn anns a’ Ghàidhlig? Tha mi an dùil gum bi mi a’ sgrìobhadh mu dheidhinn mòran rudeigin – mo bheachdan, mo bheatha, gràmar na Gàidhlig agus rudeigin eile cuideachd. Tha mi an dòchas gun còrd e ruibh.

Taing airson leughadh.