Scots-Gaelic Pronunciation

 

 

Gaelic

English

a

a (short, as in bat, hat, etc.; long, as in gate, mate, etc.)

b

b (as in bet, bat)

c

k (always hard, as in cat)

ch

ch (as in Scottish loch or German nacht; also as ch in church)

chd

chk (as in Loch Katrine)

d

d (softly)

dh

gh and y (gh as the ch when in contact with a, o or u and y when in contact with i or e)

e

e (short, as in bet, let; long as in meet, feet)

f

f (as in fan, for , etc.)

fh

mainly silent, though ina few cases sounded as h

g

g (as in gate, get)

gh

like the Gaelic dh, above

h

h (as in hat, horse, etc.)

i

i (short, as in bit, lit; long as in fire, hire)

l

long, as in silly

ll

as lli in million

m

as in English

mh

v (as in van, but sometimes silent)

n

as in English

ng

ngg (as ng in finger)

nn

as 'ni' in pinion

o

o (short, as in bot, hot; long, as in mote, rote)

p

as in English

ph

as English 'f'

r

as in English

s

as in English

sh

as English 'h', sometimes as Englsh 'sh'

t

as in English, but soft like the d

th

usually silent, but sometimes sounded as h

u

(short as in but, hut; long as in cute, mute)

y

as in English


   

  Handy Phrases

 

Tha iud a'sabaid

(Ha ee-ut ah-sa-patch)

They are fighting. (They are after fighting)

Co thu?

(Kō oo)

Who are you?

e

(uh)

he or it

i

(ee)

she or it

iad

(ee-ut)

they

Do searbhanta,

(Dō sher-uv-unta)

Your servant,

Co leis?

(Kō lāsh)

Whose?

Co as?

(Kō as)

Whence?

Cuin?

(Kooin)

How?

De tha seo?

(Jay ha shō)

What is this?

Ciamar a tha thu an diugh?

(Kay-mar ah ha oo an joo)

How are you today?

Mo caraid </td>

(Ma ca-ritsh)

My friend

Mo bhilis </td>

(Ma vilis)

My sweet

Mo gradh

(Moi rah)

My love

Gu math

(Goo mah)

Good

Chi me

Chee mee)

I will see

Tha me duilich

(Ha mee dō ō-lich)

I am sorry

Dh'fhan i aig baile

(Chan ee ek bāl-y)

She stayed at home

Tha agian sig Seumas

Ha skee-an ak Shā-mus)

James has a knife (The knife is at James)

Tha cu aig Aislinn.

(Ha coo ak Ash-lee)

Aislinn has a dog. (The dog is at Aislinn)

a toigh leinn...

(stoee leenn)

We like...

Leann

(lyā-oon)

beer

An d'fhuar...(thu an leann)?

(Un dōō-ur...oo un lyā-oon)

Did you bring ...the beer?

Marbhphaisg ort!

(Mār-ashk ort)

Curse you! (literally, 'May a shroud be on you'; colloquially, 'drop dead')

beadh

(bē-uh)

food

do bheadh

(dō vee-uh)

Your food

Tha a ridir

(Ha uh ree-tshir)

He is a knight

Dh'ol me an leann

(Gho mee un lyā-oon)

I drank the beer

Tapadh leibh

(tapeh leev)

Thank you

Gu dearbh

(Goo jer-ev)

Certainly, indeed

Tha mi fuar

(Haa me. foo-er)

I am cold

teth

(chā)

hot

agith

(skee)

tired

 

Vocabulary

There is no word for 'a' in Gaelic. Cu means both dog and a dog; agian both knife and a knife; ridir both knight and a knight.</p>

There are ways of saying things called 'colloquial'. If you listen to someone from White Castle speak, or the West Bank in New Orleans, you will know what I mean. To say one has something, it translates into Gaelic as something is 'at' one. "I have a harp" becomes 'The clarsach aig mi' or 'The harp is at me'. "It is raining" becomes 'Tha an t-uisge ann' (Ha en toosh-ke aunn) or "The rain is in it."

 

Present

 

tha mi

(ha mee)

I am

tha thu

(ha oo)

Thou are or you are

tha e

(ha eh) e as in get

He is

tha i

(ha ee)

She is

tha sinn

(ha sheeng)

We are

tha shiv

(ha shiv)

You (plural) are (you all are)

tha iad

(ha ee-ut)

they are

a'dol

(ah dol)

going, a'going

tighinn

(tshee-ing)

coming

ag'cadal

(akatal)

sleeping

ag coisheach

(akawah-aehk)

walking

ag l

(ak-awl)

drinking

spioradan

(spee-rut-un)

liquor

phiob

(pee-up)

pipe

Las do phiob.

(las doh pee-up)

Light your pipe.

Las phiob.

(las pee-up)

Light the pipe. (remember there is mostly no identifying article before nouns)

Dh'innis e sgeul.

(Yee-ish eh skay-l)

He told a tale.

Thig!

(Heek)

Come!

Stad

(stat)

Stop

Diol!

(Jee-ul)

Pay!

Thoir dhomh

(Hawr-ghaw)

Give (to) me

Sin

(shin)

that

Sn

(sheen)

Hand over!

rd

 

hammer

coidich

(och-eech)

help

figh

(fi) i as in pine

find

tisich

(tawsh-eech)

begin, start

nigh

(nnee)

wash

ro fhluich

(roh ūch)

too wet

fg

(fask)

leave (you)

fan

(fan)

stay

Sln leat.

(slan le-ut)

Good bye, ta-ta

Tha mi cinnteach

(Ha mee keen-tshach)

I am certain.

Na behil an duine.

(Na vale aun doon-a)

Don't strike the man.

Tha an t-acras orm.

(Ha sun āchkras awrm)

I am hungry (The hunger is on me)

Bha am pathadh ort.

(Vah aum pā-ugh ort)

You were thirsty (The thirst was on you)

Gu'nrobh maith agad!

(Gō-ō-ro-mā akut)

Thank you.

Mar sin leatsh

(Mār shin le-uhtshuh)

Same to you.

a chionn gu

(a chy-ō-on-goo)

because

Is a do bheatha

(Ishēh-do-veh-a)

You are welcome (literally 'It is your life')

Tha e mor (or) Tha mor.

(Ha eh more)

It is big he is (he is big)

Tha i ban (or) Tha ban

(Ha ee bahn)

She is fair.

Seaumus beag

(Shay-mus bay-ek)

Little James

Dana

(Dah-na)

bold, cheeky, cocky

O chionn ghoirid

(Oh chee-oyn gaw-ritsh)

A while ago

Mabh!

(Mar-uv)

Kill!

Ut! Ut!

(Oot, oot)

Don't! Don't!

ceilidh

(cay-lee)

visit (usually means 'party')

Is mise a rinn sin.

(Is mish-uh ah rine shin)

I did that.

Cha do chuir.

(Chah doh choo-ir)

I did not.

Tha caise aca.

(Ha kay-sheh aka)

They have cheese.

bonn

(baun)

coin (money)

airgiod

(ar-ri-kit)

money

Cunnt

(Koont)

Count

Tha fhios agam

(Ha fees akam)

I know that (Knowledge is at me)

Am faca tu?

(Um fach-ka too)

Did you see?

Chan fhaca.

(Chan ach-ka)

I did not see

Is cairdean sibh.

(Is kair-tshin sheen)

We are friends ('Tis friends we are)

Is air an lar e.

(Is air un lar eh)

He's on the ground ('Tis on the ground he is)

Cho dona sin?

(Cho doe-nah shin)

As bad as that?

Chunnaic mi Rudi aig an dorus.

(Choo-nik mee Roo-dee ek un doh-rus)

I saw Rudi at the door.

An sin

(ahn shin)

There, then.

Is Baintighearnachd.

(Is Bayn-tyurn-achc)

It is her Ladyship.

Is Ban-ukselo i.

(Is Bahn-ukseel-oh ee)

She is a Lady.

Baintighearn or Ban-ridire

 

Baroness; Lady Knight

Bean-oukselo (Old Celtic)

(Ban-ukseel-oh)

Lady; noble lady

Oukselo

 

Nobleman; lord

 

 


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