1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "Hurry up, Margaret."

"Hurry up, Margaret."

Translation:Greas ort, a Mhairead.

November 26, 2019

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ollie-Benson

Should "Greas ort Mairead" be accepted? Seeing as how "Greas ort, Fhionnlaigh" is correct for "Hurry up, Finlay".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eclectic1234

I think the "a" was dropped before "Fhionnlaigh" because the "h" renders the "f" silent, making the name begin with a vowel sound. That was why we had "a thidsear" but "ollamh" with no "a."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

That is correct. The a is dropped before a vowel in Gaelic (but not in Irish). But note, when you meet Fraser, that although the Fh of Fhrìseil is also silent, it does not make the word start with a vowel sound because of the r.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cristine864100

Mairead doesn't get slenderised?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

No, because she is female. To be more technical, it is only masculine singular nouns that get the slender vowel in the vocative, exactly as in other languages that have a vocative: Et tu, Brute.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cristine864100

Shoot, I must have written it wrong in my notes. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

I don't think it's your fault. I have a big issue with what a lot of 'experts' say is the correct way to learn a language. They say you should only pracise one thing at a time. So they give you a whole exercise with masculine singular vocatives. But if they do that, how on Earth are you going to learn the most important bit that you have to do it sometimes and not others. If it were up to me, these things would only ever be introduced in mixed exercises.

On checking the notes, I have spotted a couple of errors, so your notes would be wrong even if you had copied theirs diligently.

Firstly, it says it only applies to male names. This is simply not true. It applies to any masculine singular noun, such as mo ghràidh 'my love' from gràdh 'love' (a very common term with which to address your lover/sweetheart etc.). Note that this word is always slenderized in the vocative because it is a masculine noun, regardless of the gender of your love. They seem to have simply introduced a complication where there was none. Just say it applies to masculine singular nouns. However this does not seem to cause a huge amount of confusion.

Secondly, they have failed to mention it only applies in the singular. That is another reason for saying 'masculine singular nouns'. This does cause genuine confusion as most teachers forget to say this. It is just like the lenition of feminine singular nouns. The Welsh pages are full of people confused because they were not told this rule only applies in the singular. I think there is less confusion in Gaelic because the article changes. But when the correct solution is so simple – just insert the word 'singular' into the teaching materials at the correct place – there is no excuse for not doing it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cristine864100

Pshew! I've only been learning Gaelic for about a month, the last exposure I had to language learning was 5 years of French, 30 years ago. And I hated it. They taught "wrong" for the way my brain learns. It's funny though, all of a sudden a bunch of that French is surfacing and combining while the new language is trying to make room! I wonder if I shouldn't have done some of that French course first, shake the dust off the synapses.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

That I think is the biggest fault with research on language teaching. They do an experiment and find out what works 'best' and ignore all the people who learn differently.

And the fact that some people don't seem to see that it matters if something is confusion or simply incorrect really baffles me, but so many teachers just insist on going on as before when you point out that something is confusing or just plain wrong. Some people seem to be able to cope with things that are wrong, but many people, especially people with some level of autism are confused and upset by things that are inconsistently taught. And quite reasonably so. So please, teachers, never say anything that is not 100% true.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eclectic1234

I think our brains store "foreign" languages together, because that always happens to me when I'm learning a new language -- interference from another language, not English. Don't worry about it. I think DaibhidhR makes some good points. It terms of best practices, it depends on what you want to achieve with a language. What works best for passing an exam at the end of the semester may not be what works best for learning to speak a language. When I learned German in school, we spend an awful lot of time on learning the right gender of nouns and on the correct articles and adjective endings in the different cases depending on the gender of nouns. That's all very well, and you need to know that stuff, but if your goal is to speak the language, you might find that it's best to put some of that on the back burner while you concentrate on syntax, vocabulary building, and verbs. With Irish, don't get too bogged down in the weeds but keep moving ahead. One of the great things about Duolingo (or working from a book, for that matter) is that you can always go back and review a section after you've moved on. When you have more experience with Irish, you'll find that some things fall in place after you've moved on to another aspect of the language. What I mean is, you don't have to be perfect in an area before going on to the next. You have to get the answers right, but don't worry if it hasn't completely gelled yet. It will.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaillaighSue

In which lesson did we learn this? I finished through "Names 2" and I do not recall learning this. It is not in my notes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

If you mean the expression greas ort, it's in Feelings 2 in the notes, which is presumably what you are working on the now if you have finished up to Names 2.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaillaighSue

I have not yet started "Feelings 2." This exercise popped up today in my review for "Names 2." Hence my confusion. Good to know it will be taught in the next circle.

Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.