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TITLE
Gaelic letter about horses in proverbs and place names
EXTERNAL ID
CLI_GAELIC_LETTER_111
DATE OF RECORDING
2007
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Norman MacLeod
SOURCE
Clì Gàidhlig
ASSET ID
77
KEYWORDS
letters
correspondence
audio

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This audio extract in Gaelic is from 'Leabhar nan Litrichean' - 'Book of Letters', a teaching resource for Gaelic learners, published by Clì Gàidhlig and first broadcast on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

This letter is about horses in proverbs and place names.

'Tha mo smuaintean air eich an t-seachdain sa. 'S dòcha gur e as coireach dhan sin gu robh mi nam bhritheamh aig mòd ionadail o chionn ghoirid, agus bha agam ri còmhradh ri clann ann an Gàidhlig. Bha a' chuid a bu mhotha aca à baile mòr, agus bha tè a bha seo, nach robh ach seachd bliadhna a dh'aois, a' fuireach ann am flat.

"A bheil peat' agad?" dh'fhaighnich mi.

"Tha," ars ise, "cat. Ach tha mi ag iarraidh each."

"Carson each?" dh'fhaighnich mi dhith.

"Bidh mi a' marcachd," thuirt i.

"Agus, nuair a gheibh thu each," dh'fhaighnich mi dhith, "an cùm thu anns a flat e?"

Uill, bha i a' feuchainn ri bhith modhail, agus duais a bhuannachadh, ach bha e follaiseach gu robh i dhen bheachd gu robh mi nam amadan airson a leithid de cheist a chur oirre. "Cha chùm mi anns a flat e," thuirt i, "ach aig a Riding Centre." Choimhead i suas a dh'ionnsaigh nan speuran agus dh'atharraich mi an cuspair gu sgiobalta.

Chan eil eich mar phàirt de bheatha nam bailtean mòra mar a b' àbhaist, agus chan eil Gàidheil an là an-diugh a' cumail eich mar a bha iad uaireigin. Nuair a chì sibh an uiread de sheanfhaclan le eich annta, tha e follaiseach gu robh iad gu math cudromach gu h-eachdraidheil ann an dòigh-beatha nan Gàidheal.

Tha mi cinnteach gum bi sibh eòlach air an fhear seo: Ruigidh each mall muileann. Cluinnear gu math tric e, ach tha amharas agam nach eil a h-uile duine eòlach air an t-seanfhacal gu lèir, oir tha sin dìreach mar phàirt dheth. Seo e gu slàn: Ruigidh each mall muileann, ach feumadh fear fuireach a bhriseas a chas. Deagh chomhairle, chanainn, agus bidh mi uaireannan a' meòrachadh air nuair a tha mi a' sgitheadh!

Aig deireadh na bliadhn' an-uiridh (Litir 80), dh'innis mi dhuibh mu dheidhinn Dail an Eich, ainm-àite an seo ann an Inbhir Nis. Chan e sin a-mhàin e do a leithid, ge-ta. Tha dà àite eile anns a' bhaile a tha ainmichte airson eich, ged nach eil am facal each a' nochdadh annta. Ma tha sibh air a bhith ann an Gàidhealtachd na h-Èireann, bidh sibh eòlach air an fhacal capall - airson each. Uill, tha e againn an seo cuideachd, a' ciallachadh each boireann no each-obrach. Agus tha e ann an Inbhir Nis ann an ceàrnaidh dhen bhaile ris an canar Capall Innis neo, ann am Beurla, Capel Inch.

Bidh feadhainn agaibh ag aithneachadh a' chàirdeis eadar capall agus caballo ann an Spàinntis, no le cheval agus cavalier ann am Fraingis. Agus, ann am Beurla, le capercaillie, an t-eun mòr a tha a' fuireach anns na coilltean-giuthais. Thàinig capercaillie à capall-coille, leis gu bheil an t-eun a' dèanamh fuaim mar each.

'S e am facal eile airson each - marc, a th' againn fhathast ann am marcachd, marcaiche is marc-shluagh. Tha ceàrnaidh ann an Inbhir Nis, faisg air Capall Innis, air a bheil Marc Innis no Merkinch ann am Beurla an là an-diugh. Bha an dà àite nan innsean làimh ri Abhainn Nis, no nan eileanan anns an abhainn o shean, agus feumaidh gu robh eich air an cumail annta.

Nise, ceist phearsanta dhuibh. A bheil sibh ag obair ro chruaidh? A bheil cus uallaich oirbh fhèin, agus a bheil feadhainn eile anns an àite-obrach agaibh rudeigin leisg, a' fàgail cus agaibh fhèin ri dhèanamh? Uill, ma tha, 's dòcha gu bheil sibh dìreach ro èasgaidh. Mar a chanas an seanfhacal - is ann air each èasgaidh a leigear an t-uallach. Gabhaibh air ur socair. Ruigidh an t-each as maille am muileann aig a' cheann thall.

The English translates as:

'My thoughts are on horses this week. Maybe the reason for that is that I was an adjudicator at a local mod recently, and I had to speak to children in Gaelic. Most of them were from a big town, and there was a girl, who was only seven years of age, who lived in a flat.

"Do you have a pet?" I asked.

"Yes," she said, "a cat. But I want a horse."

"Why a horse?" I asked her.

"I go riding," she said.

"And, when you get a horse," I asked her, "will you keep it in the flat?"

Well, she was trying to be mannerly, and to win a prize, but it was obvious that she thought that I was a fool to ask her a question like that. "I won't keep it in the flat," she said, "but at the Riding Centre." She raised her eyes heavenwards and I quickly changed the subject.

Horses are not part of the big towns as they once were, and today's Gaels don't keep horses the way they once used to. When you see the number of proverbs with horses in them, it is apparent that they were historically very important in the lifestyle of the Gaels.

I'm sure you're familiar with this one: A slow horse will reach a mill. It's often to be heard, but I suspect that not everyone knows the whole proverb, because that is just a part of it. Here it is in its entirety: A slow horse will reach the mill, but the one that breaks its leg must stay where he is. Good advice, I'd say, and I sometimes think about that when I'm skiing!

At the end of the year last year (Letter 80), I told you about Dail an Eich (horse dale / Dalneigh), a place-name here in Inverness. That's not the only one of its kind though. There are two other places in the town that are named after horses, although the word each/ horse does not appear in them. If you've been in the Irish Highlands /Gaeltacht, you'll be familiar with the word capall - for a horse. Well, we have it here also, meaning a female horse or a work-horse. And it is in Inverness, in a part of the town called Capall Innis, or in English, Capel Inch.

Some of you will see the connection between capall and caballo in Spanish, or with cheval and cavalier in French. And, in English, with capercaillie, the big bird which lives in the pine forests. Capercaillie came from capall-coille, since the bird makes a noise like a horse.

The other word for a horse is - marc, which we still have in the form of marcachd, marcaiche and marc-shluagh. (riding/ rider/ horse-people). There is an area in Inverness, near Capel Inch, which is called Marc Innis (horse pasture) or Merkinch in today's English. Both places were pasture lands close to the River Ness, or the islands in the river in ancient times, and it's probable that horses were kept there.

Now, a personal question for you. Do you work too hard? Do you have too much responsibility, while others in your workplace are somewhat lazy, leaving you too much to do? Well, if so, perhaps you are too willing. As the proverb says - is ann air each èasgaidh a leigear an t-uallach ( the burden gets laid on the willing horse). Take it easy. The slowest horse reaches the mill eventually.'

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Gaelic letter about horses in proverbs and place names

2000s

letters; correspondence; audio

Clì Gàidhlig

Leabhar nan Litrichean

This audio extract in Gaelic is from 'Leabhar nan Litrichean' - 'Book of Letters', a teaching resource for Gaelic learners, published by Clì Gàidhlig and first broadcast on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.<br /> <br /> This letter is about horses in proverbs and place names.<br /> <br /> 'Tha mo smuaintean air eich an t-seachdain sa. 'S dòcha gur e as coireach dhan sin gu robh mi nam bhritheamh aig mòd ionadail o chionn ghoirid, agus bha agam ri còmhradh ri clann ann an Gàidhlig. Bha a' chuid a bu mhotha aca à baile mòr, agus bha tè a bha seo, nach robh ach seachd bliadhna a dh'aois, a' fuireach ann am flat.<br /> <br /> "A bheil peat' agad?" dh'fhaighnich mi.<br /> <br /> "Tha," ars ise, "cat. Ach tha mi ag iarraidh each."<br /> <br /> "Carson each?" dh'fhaighnich mi dhith.<br /> <br /> "Bidh mi a' marcachd," thuirt i.<br /> <br /> "Agus, nuair a gheibh thu each," dh'fhaighnich mi dhith, "an cùm thu anns a flat e?"<br /> <br /> Uill, bha i a' feuchainn ri bhith modhail, agus duais a bhuannachadh, ach bha e follaiseach gu robh i dhen bheachd gu robh mi nam amadan airson a leithid de cheist a chur oirre. "Cha chùm mi anns a flat e," thuirt i, "ach aig a Riding Centre." Choimhead i suas a dh'ionnsaigh nan speuran agus dh'atharraich mi an cuspair gu sgiobalta.<br /> <br /> Chan eil eich mar phàirt de bheatha nam bailtean mòra mar a b' àbhaist, agus chan eil Gàidheil an là an-diugh a' cumail eich mar a bha iad uaireigin. Nuair a chì sibh an uiread de sheanfhaclan le eich annta, tha e follaiseach gu robh iad gu math cudromach gu h-eachdraidheil ann an dòigh-beatha nan Gàidheal. <br /> <br /> Tha mi cinnteach gum bi sibh eòlach air an fhear seo: Ruigidh each mall muileann. Cluinnear gu math tric e, ach tha amharas agam nach eil a h-uile duine eòlach air an t-seanfhacal gu lèir, oir tha sin dìreach mar phàirt dheth. Seo e gu slàn: Ruigidh each mall muileann, ach feumadh fear fuireach a bhriseas a chas. Deagh chomhairle, chanainn, agus bidh mi uaireannan a' meòrachadh air nuair a tha mi a' sgitheadh!<br /> <br /> Aig deireadh na bliadhn' an-uiridh (Litir 80), dh'innis mi dhuibh mu dheidhinn Dail an Eich, ainm-àite an seo ann an Inbhir Nis. Chan e sin a-mhàin e do a leithid, ge-ta. Tha dà àite eile anns a' bhaile a tha ainmichte airson eich, ged nach eil am facal each a' nochdadh annta. Ma tha sibh air a bhith ann an Gàidhealtachd na h-Èireann, bidh sibh eòlach air an fhacal capall - airson each. Uill, tha e againn an seo cuideachd, a' ciallachadh each boireann no each-obrach. Agus tha e ann an Inbhir Nis ann an ceàrnaidh dhen bhaile ris an canar Capall Innis neo, ann am Beurla, Capel Inch.<br /> <br /> Bidh feadhainn agaibh ag aithneachadh a' chàirdeis eadar capall agus caballo ann an Spàinntis, no le cheval agus cavalier ann am Fraingis. Agus, ann am Beurla, le capercaillie, an t-eun mòr a tha a' fuireach anns na coilltean-giuthais. Thàinig capercaillie à capall-coille, leis gu bheil an t-eun a' dèanamh fuaim mar each.<br /> <br /> 'S e am facal eile airson each - marc, a th' againn fhathast ann am marcachd, marcaiche is marc-shluagh. Tha ceàrnaidh ann an Inbhir Nis, faisg air Capall Innis, air a bheil Marc Innis no Merkinch ann am Beurla an là an-diugh. Bha an dà àite nan innsean làimh ri Abhainn Nis, no nan eileanan anns an abhainn o shean, agus feumaidh gu robh eich air an cumail annta.<br /> <br /> Nise, ceist phearsanta dhuibh. A bheil sibh ag obair ro chruaidh? A bheil cus uallaich oirbh fhèin, agus a bheil feadhainn eile anns an àite-obrach agaibh rudeigin leisg, a' fàgail cus agaibh fhèin ri dhèanamh? Uill, ma tha, 's dòcha gu bheil sibh dìreach ro èasgaidh. Mar a chanas an seanfhacal - is ann air each èasgaidh a leigear an t-uallach. Gabhaibh air ur socair. Ruigidh an t-each as maille am muileann aig a' cheann thall.<br /> <br /> The English translates as:<br /> <br /> 'My thoughts are on horses this week. Maybe the reason for that is that I was an adjudicator at a local mod recently, and I had to speak to children in Gaelic. Most of them were from a big town, and there was a girl, who was only seven years of age, who lived in a flat. <br /> <br /> "Do you have a pet?" I asked.<br /> <br /> "Yes," she said, "a cat. But I want a horse."<br /> <br /> "Why a horse?" I asked her.<br /> <br /> "I go riding," she said.<br /> <br /> "And, when you get a horse," I asked her, "will you keep it in the flat?"<br /> <br /> Well, she was trying to be mannerly, and to win a prize, but it was obvious that she thought that I was a fool to ask her a question like that. "I won't keep it in the flat," she said, "but at the Riding Centre." She raised her eyes heavenwards and I quickly changed the subject.<br /> <br /> Horses are not part of the big towns as they once were, and today's Gaels don't keep horses the way they once used to. When you see the number of proverbs with horses in them, it is apparent that they were historically very important in the lifestyle of the Gaels.<br /> <br /> I'm sure you're familiar with this one: A slow horse will reach a mill. It's often to be heard, but I suspect that not everyone knows the whole proverb, because that is just a part of it. Here it is in its entirety: A slow horse will reach the mill, but the one that breaks its leg must stay where he is. Good advice, I'd say, and I sometimes think about that when I'm skiing! <br /> <br /> At the end of the year last year (Letter 80), I told you about Dail an Eich (horse dale / Dalneigh), a place-name here in Inverness. That's not the only one of its kind though. There are two other places in the town that are named after horses, although the word each/ horse does not appear in them. If you've been in the Irish Highlands /Gaeltacht, you'll be familiar with the word capall - for a horse. Well, we have it here also, meaning a female horse or a work-horse. And it is in Inverness, in a part of the town called Capall Innis, or in English, Capel Inch.<br /> <br /> Some of you will see the connection between capall and caballo in Spanish, or with cheval and cavalier in French. And, in English, with capercaillie, the big bird which lives in the pine forests. Capercaillie came from capall-coille, since the bird makes a noise like a horse.<br /> <br /> The other word for a horse is - marc, which we still have in the form of marcachd, marcaiche and marc-shluagh. (riding/ rider/ horse-people). There is an area in Inverness, near Capel Inch, which is called Marc Innis (horse pasture) or Merkinch in today's English. Both places were pasture lands close to the River Ness, or the islands in the river in ancient times, and it's probable that horses were kept there.<br /> <br /> Now, a personal question for you. Do you work too hard? Do you have too much responsibility, while others in your workplace are somewhat lazy, leaving you too much to do? Well, if so, perhaps you are too willing. As the proverb says - is ann air each èasgaidh a leigear an t-uallach ( the burden gets laid on the willing horse). Take it easy. The slowest horse reaches the mill eventually.'