Page name: Lesson 1 - Ciamar a tha thu? [Logged in view] [RSS]
2004-10-04 14:39:17
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Lesson 1

Ciamar a tha thu? – How are you?

* Introduce yourself and others
* Ask how someone is and reply
* Ask where someone is from and reply
* Use some personal names and placenames
* Use some forms of courtesy
* Say thanks

Phrases – Còmhradh (Dialogue)

Hallo, {name}. Hello, {name}.
Ciamar a tha thu? <i>How are you?
(familiar singular)
Tha gu math, tapadh leat. Fine, thanks. (familiar singular)
Ciamar a tha thu fhèin? How are you yourself?
Tha i brèagha an-diugh. It’s a lovely day today.
Tha gu dearbh. Yes indeed.
{name}, seo {name}.  {Name}, this is {name}. (…here is {name})
‘S mise {name}. I’m {name}.
Ciamar a tha sibh?  How are you? (plural and formal singular)
Tha gu math, tapadh leibh. Fine, thanks (plural and formal singular)
Ciamar a tha sibh fhèin? How are you yourself? (plural and formal singular)
Meadhanach math, tapadh leibh. Reasonably well, thank you.
Cò às a tha sibh, {name}? Where are you from, {name}?
Tha mi à {place}. I’m from {place}
Cò às a tha sibh fhèin, {name}? Where are you from yourself, {name}?
Tha mi às {place}. I’m from {place}.

Mìneachadh (Explanation)

Many Scottish surnames begin with the Gaelic word Mac meaning son, ex: MacDonald, MacInnes, MacAllister. These literally mean Son of Donald, Son of Angus, and Son of Alasdair. In Gaelic, the form of such surnames changes when referring to a female. Ruth MacArthur becomes Rut NicArtair, and Ann MacKenzie becomes Anna NicCoinnich
Nic means daughter (of). A similar system operates in Iceland with the forms -son and -dottir at the end of surnames, ex: Magnusson and Magnusdottir. Other forms of Gaelic surnames also change when used of a female, as in the examples below
Males         Females
Tormod Caimbeul      Iseabail Chaimbeul
Iain Camshron         Mairead Chamshron
Alasdair Grannd        Màiri Ghrannd

Familiar and Formal Forms
In Gaelic there are two ways of saying youThu is used in contexts of familiarity and informality, as when addressing someone you know well, or someone your own age. In less familiar, more formal settings, such as conducting business and when showing respect to older persons and to one’s superior, the form sibh is used. Sibh is also the plural for of you. The same distinction is made between tapadh leat (familiar singular) and tapadh leibh (plural and formal singular).

Gràmar (Grammar)

1 Addressing People

Personal names often change for and are pronounced differently when someone is being addressed, ex: Rut becomes a Rhuth, and Coinneach becomes a Choinneaich.
The names of males usually have an h added after the initial letter, which affects the sound of the letter and an i inserted before the last consonant(s). So Coinneach becomes a Choinneaich, Tòmas becomes a Thòmais and Seumas becomes a Sheumais.
Female names only add the h after the initial letter, so Màiri becomes a Mhairi, Brìghde becomes a Bhrìghde and Sorcha becomes a Shorcha.
Names which begin with a vowel or the letters l, n or r do not change their initial letter, ex: Rut and Eòin retain their usual form. The a is also dropped before the names beginning in vowels.

2 I, You, He, She, Etc.

Singular Forms Plural Forms
mi I sinn we
thu you (familiar) sibh you
sibh you (formal)
e he/it iad they
i she/it

There is no direct equivalent of it in Gaelic. All objects are either masculine or feminine, and therefore referred to as e or i.

3 Emphatic Forms

Personal pronouns have emphatic forms, which have no equivalent in English. English emphasizes pronouns by using italics or underlying, ex: “I’m from London”, but “I’m from London, and she’s from Cornwall.” Gaelic uses the forms below to give emphasis.

Singular Forms Plural Forms
mise I sinne we
thusa you (familiar) sibhse you
sibhse you (formal)
esan he/it iadsan they
ise she/it

Emphasis can also be given by adding fhèin (self):

Singular Forms Plural Forms
mi fhèin I myself sinn fhèin weo urselves
thu fhèin you yourself (familiar) sibh fhèin you yourselves
sibh fhèin you yourself (formal)
e fhèin he himself/it itself iad they themselves
i fhèin she herself/it itself

4 Word Order

In most sentences in Gaelic, the verb comes first:
Tha mi à Muile. I am from Mull.
Cheannaich mi blobhsa. I bought a blouse.
In questions, however, the question word(s) precedes the verb:
Ciamar a tha thu? How are you?

5 The Verb “To Be”

Tha is the most common form of the positive tense of the verb “to be”. In answer to questions it can mean yes. In statements, it can mean is or there is, am, are or there are, depending on the subject being referred to:
Tha mi sgìth. I’m tired.
Tha Iseabail brèagha. Ishbel is beautiful.
Tha iad a’ tighinn. They are coming.
A bheil sin ceart? Tha. Is that right?  Yes.
There is, however, another form of the present tense of the verb “to be”. Is or its abbreviated for ’S is used in statements which link two nouns or a noun and a pronoun:
Is mise Seumas. I’m James.
‘S ise Mòrag. She is Morag.

6 A/As (From, Out Of)

There are two ways of say from in Gaelic.
The usual form of the word from is à. It is the form used with most placenames:
Cò às a tha thu? Where are you from?
Tha mi à Uibhist. I’m from Uist
Tha mi à Glaschu. I’m from Glasgow.
Tha mi à Inbhir Nis. I’m from Inverness.
The mi à Dùn Eideann. I’m from Edinburgh.
When the Gaelic form of the placename includes the às is used.
Tha mi às an Eilean Sgitheanach. I’m from the Isle of Skye.
Tha mi às an Oban. I’m from Oban.
Tha mi às na Hearadh. I’m from Harris.
Tha mi às a’ Ghearasdan. I’m from For William.
The basic for of the names The Isle of Skye, Oban, and Fort William are An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, An t-Oban and An Gearasdan respectively. Following à/às and other prepositions the word for the (in these examples an t- and an) can take another form. This will be covered in later units.

Fiosrachadh 1 (Background Information)

< ----- Back to Scottish Gaelic

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2004-09-22 [Lady Edana-Arianrhod Rós]: I will get a pronouciation guide, a list of common names and surnames, a general listing of key phrases, and some excercises up soon. oh and finish this lesson too... have fun

2004-09-25 [Blased Vilvar]: wow thank you so far !!!

2004-09-25 [Lady Edana-Arianrhod Rós]: No problem, it helps get it in my own stuborn head, if I don't have someone to do it with, I just drop the book and forget to pick it up again

2004-09-25 [Lady Edana-Arianrhod Rós]: hehehe the wiki don't like me it's saying it's too big, and I'm maybe halfway

2004-10-04 [Lady Edana-Arianrhod Rós]: Guess what! I finished the lesson!!!

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