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Back to School! and a prize available

March 30, 2019

Hello to all!

My apologies for the disappearing trick. I have a magician friend who’s been showing me how to make rabbits disappear, but it wasn’t quite like that. My laptop casing broke and a promised 5 day repair and return became ten. It’s back, I have a day off teaching, and that means many posts will be written and scheduled to show up over the coming week or two!

Scroll down for the giveaway of a course book, Teach Yourself Gaelic by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor.

Today’s words:

  • an leasan (ahn LIS ahn) the lesson
  • na leasain (nah LES in) the lessons
  • dh’aithris am balach… (YAH rish ahm BAHL uch) the boy recited…. (do students still recite anything in school?)

Here would be a good time to review how to make plurals:

There are many ways to gain entries to win the book. Tweeting and sharing can be done every day to earn more entries. The giveaway is open until April 30. Look for others to follow. Have fun!

GWAD book cover

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cait’ as Caite Can

March 15, 2019

Okay, that title was a hilarious bilingual play on words. Cait (catch) as caite (catch) can…get it? In Gaelic, it would be pronounced CAHCH (as) CAHCH uh CAHN.

Okay, it was a stretch and my kids would roll their eyes and groan, but I maintain that puns are the highest form of humor. Plus, I’ve had my fun for the day! (And my kids would be laughing, despite themselves, as they groaned.)

Can in case you’re wondering, can (no bilingual pun intended) mean several things according to Dwelly’s Gaelic dictionary, but it will typically mean say. According to Glosbesay, state, tell.

Cait/caite means where. And where as where say doesn’t actually make any sense. So I guess the pun falls apart.

A question was raised on a prior post about the phrase caite bheil: isn’t it spelled càit a bheil? I am not an expert. I am a learner myself as noted in START THE COURSE HERE.

I study when I have time but there are many details and nuances to language. My Secret Sources TM told me the phrase in question was Càite bheil. So the question prompted me to dig into the details of cait’ / caite and bheil vs a bheil. 

The first thing I found was that, indeed, my Secret Sources TM did say the phrase was càite bheil. In fact, many sources around the web say càite bheil rather than càit a bheil. The web being what it is, however, it’s possible one site made a typo or mistake and all the others copied and pasted. So I did some more research.

Glosbe gives this list of phrases with the word where:

Gaelic Cait and Caite

Note that they always  use càite, never càit’.  Note, too, that they sometimes use bheil and sometimes a bheil. And nowhere do I see càit’ a bheil, which is how I originally learned it.

My printed course material, on the other hand, lists càite/ càit’ in the dictionary at the back but so far I have only seen them use càit’ in the actual lessons.

In further research, it seems that, as I had thought already from previous study, càit’ is, essentially, what we would call a contraction of càite. The word may especially be shortened to càit’ the the a bheil after it because the  and the are pronounced the same and it’s an awkward bump in the road, trying to pronounce e a so it’s smoothed out to càit’ a bheil, thus eliminating the repetitive sound.

So it seems the phrase is used in all these ways, depending on the speaker. In our own language, I’m sure we have many such examples. Ah, the fun of learning a language!


Sugar, sugar!

March 9, 2019

Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head!

  • A bheil spàin san t-siùcar? (ah vale SPAHN sahnt SOOKer?) Is there a spoon in the sugar?
  • siùcar (SOOK er) sugar
  • siùcarach (SOOK a rahch) like sugar, sugary, saccharine, sweet

Notice the san t- For how to use THE in Gaelic–which is far more complicated than I appreciate!–refer back to THE…Breakdown.

OR: go directly to Write Your Own Grammarly who (which?) created this very handy chart.


  • the OO sound is unlike what we have in English. It’s made with rounded lips, somewhere between UU and OO.
  • the R at the end of siùcar is ‘rolled’ and so comes out somewhat like a D.

Do you remember how to say I have, I like and I want? Use these with siùcar.

Hint: I have is phrased in Gaelic as is at me.


What is on the table?

March 8, 2019
  • Tha cupa agus sàsar salach air a bhòrd. (HA KOOP uh AH gus SAH sar SAH luch air a VOHRSH.)

For a change, since all of these words have been presented before, do you know what this says? Feel free to leave it in the comments. The answer is below the video.

Do you remember the word used yesterday for clean?






There’s a dirty cup and saucer on the table

Where are all these things?

March 7, 2019


  • Nach eil forca ghlan sa bhogsa? (NAHCH ayl FOR kuh GLAHN suh VOHK suh?) Isn’t there a clean fork in the box?
  • Càite a bheil an sàsar? (KAHCH a vale ahn SAH suh?) Where is the saucer?
  • A bheil an sgian air a bhòrd? (uh vale ahn SKEE ahn air a VORSHT?) Is the knife on the table?

Regarding the first sentence: Remember that in Gaelic adjectives come after the noun. Therefore forca ghlan is technically fork clean.

A bit of music, sung in Scottish Gaelic:

Throwing some phrases on the table

March 7, 2019

Long ago in a land not so far away (but with less snow…I know because I posted it one June!), there were some lessons on common kitchen items.

Try some phrases with these words:

  • Càit a bheil an spàin? (KACH a vale ahn SPAHn?) Where is the spoon?
  • Càit a bheil an fhorca? (KACH a vale ahn ORSH kuh?) Where is the fork?
  • Càit a bheil an truinnsear? (KACH a vale ahn TREEN sheer?) Where is the plate?
  • Càit a bheil an cupa? (KACH a vale ahn KOO puh?) Where is the cup?

And a video on Gaelic in the Hebrides:

DILUAIN already???

March 4, 2019

Way back when, I posted days of the week. Now use them with the phrase Today is:

  • An-diugh tha Diluain (ahn JU hah ji LOON) Today is Monday.

The days are:

Dè an là a th’ ann?    (Jay ahn lah uh hown?) What day is it?

  • Didòmhnaich (ji-DAWV-nuch) Sunday
  • Là na Sàbaid (lah nuh SAH-bidj) Sunday
  • Diluain (ji-LOON) Monday
  • Dimàirt (ji-MAIRSHT) Tuesday
  • Diciadain (ji-KAY-den) Wednesday
  • Diardaoin  (jer-DOON) Thursday 
  • Dihaoine (ji-HOON-yeh) Friday
  • Disathairne (jee-suh-HARN-yeh) Saturday

Suggested review today: ANN AM (IN A)

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