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I drive…

January 19, 2011

Cait a bheil sibh a’ dol? Where are you going?

Tha mi a’ draibhadh…. (Ha mee uh DRAH-vugh….) I am driving… OR, as we would say, I drive…

  • Tha mi a’ draibhadh dhan bhruach. (Ha mee uh DRAH-vugh ghan VROO-uch.)  I am driving/ drive to the riverbank.
  • Tha mi a’ draibhadh dhan champa. (Ha mee uh DRAH-vugh ghan CHahmpuh.)  I am driving/ drive to the camp.
  • Tha mi a’ draibhadh dhan chladach. (Ha mee uh DRAH-vugh ghan CHlahd-uhch.)  I am driving/ drive to the shore.
  • Tha mi a’ draibhadh dhan fheis. (Ha mee uh DRAH-vugh ghan AYSH.)  I am driving/ drive to the festival.

Notice all the places to which you might go/drive/walk today are lenited. (H follows the initial letters, which changes the sound.  All words beginning with b, c, f, g, m, or p lenite after dhan.

A few things to remember:

  • Dhan means ‘to the.’  It is one of Gaelic’s many conjoined words: do (to) + an (the) = dhan.
  • The underlined ch  is pronounced back in the throat, like the German ich.
  • Pronunciations are approximate, partly because it’s impossible to convey exact sound with letters, and because even among native speakers of a language, you will find different pronunciations.  As I listen to a wide variety of speakers online and on various learning resources, I often hear two, three, even four different pronunciations for the same word.  Listening remains the best way to learn to speak and understand a language!

Today’s Listening is more Can Seo:

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    January 20, 2011 11:02 am

    I am learning gaelic, and enjoyed watching ‘Can Seo’, although I am further on than this episode it was still very interesting and I learnt some knew things!

    • January 20, 2011 2:10 pm

      Hi, Jennifer,

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed it. The Can Seo has quite a few in their series. I try to listen as much as I can. I’ve also found a great series “The Little Letter” at BBC, which I’ll be posting in a links page.

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