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Making Cents of It

September 19, 2016
  • sgillin (SKEE-lin) penny

GRAMMAR: sgillin, like latha (day) remains singular after numbers:

  • dà sgillin  (DAH SKEE-lin) two pennies
  •  trì sgillin (TREE SKEE-lin) three pennies
  • dà not (DAH NOHT) two pounds
  •  trì notaichean (TREE NOHT-uh-chin)  three pounds

Notice that not like uair, becomes plural at  trì, not at 

[Plural says to Uair, “You had me at trì.“] 

Now is a good time to review the rules for THE.  In fact, every time is a good time to review the rules for THE, especially if you’re at a really boring dinner party and need a good excuse to get away.  So here’s a link to THE.

I may continue to be a bit erratic in posting, as I have just released a music lesson book, am in the home stretch of editing the medieval food/history book, have another author’s book I need to finish editing, and am still working on my home.  (Picking up painting supplies today for my daughter to paint the hall and the new trim, while we can still have the doors open!)

Counting the Cost

September 12, 2016
  • Dè na ha… (JAY nah hah…)  How much is…?
  • not (nawt) pound (the currency)
  • Tha e not (Hah eh nawt) It is a pound or…it costs a pound
  • Bha e not (VAH eh nawt) It cost a pound, past tense

 

A review of THE, remembering these are only two of the (oops, there’s that word again!) four sets of rules governing the many forms of THE:

For singulars, either masculine dative and genitive, or feminine nominative and dative:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

Examples of  b, m, p

  • banais, a’ bhanais (BAH-nish, ah VAHN-nish) wedding, the wedding
  • mile, a’ mhile (MEE-leh, a VEE-leh) mile, thousand; the mile, the thousand

 

For MASCULINE, SINGULAR, NOMINATIVE ONLY, with b, f, m, p

  1. am before b, f, m, p
  2. an t- before any vowel
  3. an before everything else.

Who is Reading?

September 2, 2016

So…as I have had a long day, am taking a break in my editing, and glanced at some things on the blog tonight but know tomorrow will be a jam-packed day…I have seen over time that there are people here from Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, New Zealand, Britain, parts of Africa, countries in South America, and really, from all over the world.

Please leave a comment.  What brought you to Gaelic Word a Day?  What sparked your interest in Scotland or learning Gaelic?  Mine came, strangely enough, by way of trombone.  Blue Bells of Scotland is a piece many advanced trombonists (at least of my generation) aspired to play.  This influenced my writing, which led me to studying Gaelic to know what the people in my book really speak.

I would love to hear from those who read, which is now one to two hundred a day.

And a word or two about the world:

  • saoghal m (SOO-hul) world
  • talamh m (TAHL-uhv) earth, world
  • air an talamh, mar a nithear air nèamh on earth as it is in heaven

As I am lacking in TIME…

September 1, 2016

Today, I’m eyebrow deep in other projects connected to Scotland and just don’t have time to dig into grammar or look up words.  So here’s a taste of Scotland, at least, copied and pasted from my current manuscript, and as per my eating experiments today.

Also, as I’m now headlong into having my kitchen floor redone (speaking of food-related things, I’ll be much happier cooking when it is!), I may be missing daily posting in the coming week.

~ ~ ~

The ‛girdle’ was a primary part of the Scots’ cooking equipment—for pancakes, oatcakes, crumpets, potatoes, and oatmeal scones—and on the campaign trail, perhaps the only cooking equipment. Even bread was baked on the girdle rather than in the oven. These breads—or bannocks—were unleavened, about the size of a dinner plate, made from barley flour or oatmeal. In later years, bannocks came to be made with wheat flour, yeast, butter, and dried fruit. Today, the name bannock means any baked item similar in size and shape to the original bannock.

Scotland’s staple cereal crops were barley and oats. Wheat didn’t grow well in Scotland, and so our ever-present wheat flour was…not so ever-present to them. So, for the nearest experience to what the Scots ate as they besieged Berwick, use barley or oats. I would strongly advise against camping out around Berwick’s city walls with a trebuchet while you do so, however. There’s such a thing as getting too authentic. That’s when the authorities get called.

As with virtually any recipe, there are many ways to skin a….no, I think that’s a poor choice of expression in a cookbook. There are multiple ways of making any particular meal.

The simplest oatcake or bannock is this:

barley or oatmeal a very little bit of water
  1. Mix your oats or barley with a little water until you get something like a dough
  2. Shape it into a flat cake and fry it on your girdle*

*Your medieval Scottish girdle, not your mother’s girdle. This would most likely upset your mother.

This actually works, and is fairly tasty! Add salt for a little more flavor—you will have to decide if your particular medieval regiment happens to have salt on hand. The fun of cooking is that you can take any basic recipe and do as you like with it. I decided my medieval Scots just might have access to parsley and fennel during a siege, as many medieval recipes use these two ingredients.

Time/Late

August 31, 2016

A couple of new sentences with old words and new:

  • Càit an robh thu aig sia uair an-diugh?  Where were you at six o’clock today?
  • Tha thu fadalach an-diugh.  (Hah oo FAH-dah-lahch ahn-joo)  You are late today.

A reminder of the THE chart from Write Your Own Grammarly.  We have covered the dark blue squares and the orange square.

For singulars, either masculine dative and genitive, or feminine nominative and dative:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

For MASCULINE, SINGULAR, NOMINATIVE ONLY, with b, f, m, p

  1. am before b, f, m, p
  2. an t- before any vowel
  3. an before everything else

vosika blog gaelic THE

She’s Right on Time

August 30, 2016

Sentences on time:

  • Chan eil e uair fhathast  (Chah nyeel eh OO-ud AHST*) It is not yet one o’clock
  • Bha e ann aig sia uairean.  (VAH ee OWN (rhymes with clown) ake SHEE-uh OO-din)
  • Nach robh i ann aig ceithir?  (nahch roe ee OWN ake KAY-hid (rolled R)?) Wasn’t she there at four?

*A reminder that pronunciations vary.  I have heard fhathast pronounced more like HAHST, also.  Similarly with e: I have heard a number of speakers say it with more of an eh sound, a distinct difference from (she), and on other sites, they sound exactly the same–ee.

A review of THE, remembering these are only two of the (oops, there’s that word again!) four sets of rules governing the many forms of THE:

For singulars, either masculine dative and genitive, or feminine nominative and dative:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

Examples of  b, m, p

  • banais, a’ bhanais (BAH-nish, ah VAHN-nish) wedding, the wedding
  • mile, a’ mhile (MEE-leh, a VEE-leh) mile, thousand; the mile, the thousand

 

For MASCULINE, SINGULAR, NOMINATIVE ONLY, with b, f, m, p

  1. am before b, f, m, p
  2. an t- before any vowel
  3. an before everything else.

Examples–masculine singular nouns with b, f, m, p

  • blasad, am blasad (BLAH-sit, AHM BLAH-sit) taste, bite; the taste, the bite
  • fad, am fad (faht, ahm faht) length, duration; the length, the duration
  • meadhan, am meadhan (MEE-ahn, ahm MEE-ahn) center, middle; the center, the middle
  • maide, am maide (MAH-cheh, AM MAH-cheh) piece of wood, stick; the piece of wood, the stick

At my other blog today, Part 2 of the interview with Howard Jay Smith on Beethoven in Love Opus 139.  So a little Beethoven today: ceol, music:

TIME to move on

August 29, 2016

I’ll be taking a break from THE…THE rules, THE bad plays on words, all of it!  The only thing drier than grammar is THE grammar!  However, as it’s a really vital part of learning the language (how many sentences can we manage without using THE?), I’ll be including a reminder chart at the bottom of each post for the next several weeks at least, and start adding the other sets of rules.

But now it’s time to move on….

  • uair (OO-ud*) clock time (what time is it?) and also an hour of time
  • Dè an uair a tha e?  (JAY ahn OO-ud* ah ha eh?) What time is it?
  • Dè an uair a tha e a-nis? (JAY ahn OO-ud* ah ha eh ah-NISH?) What time is it now?

*The D sound is included here to account for the sound of the rolled R

Numbers were covered in Counting.  Now to use them to tell time:

  • Tha e uair. (ha ee OO-ud) It is one o’clock.
  • Tha e dà uair. (ha ee dah OO-ud) It is two o’clock.
  • Tha e trì uairean. (ha ee tree OO-din) It is three o’clock.
  • Tha e ceithir uairean.  (ha ee CAY-id OO-din)  It is four o’clock.

Notice that the plural of uair begins with trì, not with dà.  Now would be a good time to review plurals with three or more.  Have fun–bwahahahaha!

And now, the promised (threatened?) review of THE.  Really, this is important.

For singulars, either masculine dative and genitive, or feminine nominative and dative:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

Here’s a second set of THE rules we’ll talk about later, but at least look them over.

For MASCULINE, SINGULAR, NOMINATIVE ONLY:

  1. am before b, f, m, p
  2. an t- before any vowel
  3. an before everything else.

At my other blog, Howard Jay Smith on Beethoven in Love Opus 139 and Shawn’s Meatloaf.

 

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