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"a dog and a boy"

Translation:cù agus balach

November 28, 2019



The male voice pronounces the "g" in "agus" as the hard "g" in "again," but the female voice pronounces it as "y" as in "Ah yes." Is this regional? How should we pronounce it?


It is a rare dialect in Gaelic. Joanne says she comes from Benbecula. For a discussion of why you might get g → y.


You keep telling me to be mindfult of accents but my keyboard doesnt have accents


No. You're possibly getting mixed up with the Scots and/or Scottish English word "coo".


noo, that's a heilan coo lol


Excuse my ignorance here, but aren't we learning Scottish Gaelic? Is there another Scottish language as well? My granny was from Glasgow, so I know "heilan coo" is a highland cow. Why then is cu' dog and not cow? Caran-neonach distinguishes Scots from Scottish Gaelic; I had thought they referenced the same language.


Yes there are two languages. Scots is related to English. But Gaelic (also called Scots Gaelic, rather confusingly, to distinguish it from Irish), is a sister to Irish and a cousin to Welsh. There are virtually no courses in Scots as it is treated as an inferior form of English (which it isn't). Heilan coo is Scots. Lots of Gaelic speakers moved to Glasgow so it is quite possible that your granny or one of her parents spoke Gaelic as a child and learnt Scots after they moved to Glasgow. You have to find out where she and her family came from.

It's just coincidence that and coo sound the same - and very confusing. D


Most people think the Scots language is a dialect of English but there was a BBC employee who insisted it is a different language because it has different words.

There is a magazine called Lallans. It is published by the Scots Language Society, 61 Cliffburne Road, Arbroath, DD11 5BA Scotland.

I give you its address to make it easier for you to find it on the internet. Its website is in Lallans but I think you will be able to read it without much trouble. It is more like English than Frisian but less like standard English than Geordie.


Firstly, I'm glad you did not express an opinion as to whether or not Scots is an language. It is pretty pointless unless you have a definition to measure it by. Clearly the definition used by the BBC employee, that it has different words, is not much help as lots of dialects have different words. In Lewis they call fresh water bùrn as the normal word. This does not mean they speak a different Gaelic language.

To distinguish closely related languages from dialects, the facetious definition is that a language is a dialect with an army. Whilst this may be an oversimplification, it does make the point that the distinction has more to do with politics than with linguistics. Urdu/Hindi and Serbian/Croation are both good examples where the two languages are almost identical, but counted as different because they are used in neighbouring countries that don't like each other very much. And each country has its own army - in which you have to speak the correct language, even if it is indistinguishable from that used in the adjacent country.

A more sophisticated definition is that a language is distinguished by government, religion and orthography. Well certainly Scotland has its own devolved government. Religion is highly complex, with a load of different Christian denominations in both England and Scotland. But it is true that the main religion in Scotland (the Church of Scotland, which is presbyterian) is different from the main one in England (the Church of England, which is episcopalian). But it should be noted that, unlike in some countries, there is no connection between language and religion in Scotland - you can be any religion and speak any language. This contrasts with Ireland where Irish Gaelic is specifically associated with Catholicism, and Ulster Scots (generally regarded as a dialect of the Lallans that you mention) is specifically associated with Protestantism. As for orthography, the difference is not as great as between Urdu (written in Arabic script اُردُو‎) and Hindi (written in Devanagari हिन्दी), but nevertheless, there are differences, where a word such as head can be pronounced differently in different dialects of English, but is always written in standard English with the same spelling. But in Scots a different standard is used, and it is spelt heid.

So, overall, based on this definiton, which is not generally accepted, I would say that Scots is a language.

What you say about Geordie is interesting. It may be that Scots is further from English than Geordie is but that is only because Geordie is in the middle of the spectrum, for obvious geographical reasons. Geordie shares a lot with Scots, and it did even more in the past. Linguists distinguish Old English splitting into two main groups - Scots/Northern English and Midlands/Southern English before this then developed into the modern spectrum. And in my experience you don't have to go very far south of Edinburgh before you start to notice distinctive Geordie features of the Scots. D


Cow is bò. I know, you'd think Scottish, cù, coo...


Coo is how you say it and it is a nother tipe of cow


How do I add accents in Gaelic words?


I had to change a setting on my phone (a huawei). For most keyboards I think you just hold down the letter instead of tapping it and different options pop up. If they fails Google will probably know!


On the website they've added accented letter buttons now :-)


'Tha'or no Tha?!?!

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