Dè an uair a tha e? – Lesson 4
Categories: 3-minute read
Unfortunately, I missed this week’s Gaelic class so this post will be a little shorter than the previous weeks’ efforts.
Nevertheless my tutor advised that “We did lots of revision on past and future tense…and started ‘the time’!”, so that’s what we are going to do!
An Uair – The Time
As well as the two A4 sides of class notes, I’l refer to Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks to pad things out a little bit.
To ask what time it is you say dè an uair a tha e? where e has previously been used as the personal pronoun ‘he’ in this case it refers to ‘it’, I suspect that will not always be the case in this devious language and that i will be used in the case of feminine nouns. We shall see.
To say ‘it is ..’ therefore is simply ‘tha e ..‘ followed by one of the following:
|aon uair deug
|dà uair dheug
Note that aon (one) isn’t used for one o’clock but is for eleven o’clock, apparently in Cape Breton Gaelic it can be used in the former case.
Also 3-10 o’clock uses the plural form of uair which is uairean and also though I’m not sure why deug from eleven o’clock is lenited to become dheug in twelve o’clock.
Just like in English the time clause can be modified to include further information such as in the morning, half past etc.
|half an hour
|in the morning
|(in the) evening
|tha e leth-uair as dèidh sia
|it is half past six
|tha e aon uair deug anns a’ mhadainn
|it is eleven o’clock in the morning
|aig cairteal gu còic feasgar
|at quarter to five in the evening
Note that when quarter/half past/to are used the word for o’clock is dropped, just like in English. At this stage I’m unsure how the time would be modified by say 5 minutes or 23 minutes etc. More examples of how to say time in Gaelic (as well as all of the Celtic languages) can be found on this Omniglot page .
A`cunntadh – Counting
Other than time and revision on tenses, I’m not sure what else was covered in class but let’s have a look at numbers. We’ve previously looked at 1-10 and 11-19.. so let’s look at 20+.
|fichead `s a h-aon
|fichead ‘s a dhà
|fichead ‘s a trì
|fichead ‘s a deich
|fichead ‘s a h-aon deug
|fichead ‘s a dhà dheug
|dà fichead ‘s a h-aon
|dà fichead ‘s a deich
Interesting, no? So numbers are counted in sets of twenty, and that set of twenty is in itself modified to bring the next set, which means in order to even say the correct number you need to be reasonably numerate.
Deug translates into ‘teen’ and it seems like it is always lenited when following dhà (two). Also aon is lenited from twenty-one upwards apparently. I would suspect due to their non-inclusion in the list that numbers 3-9 are never lenited.
Finally, as always we have the weekly song, Màiri Ruadh A’dannsa an Nochd by Arthur Cormack.
The title translates to Red-haired Mairi will be dancing tonight. It’s quite upbeat but there is only one version on youtube to share here and the accoustics aren’t great, sorry!
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