"Are you feeling cold?"
Translation:A bheil thu a' faireachdainn fuar?
You are right. The apostrophe is compulsory here in normal Gaelic (but see other answers for non-use in Duolingo). A' is the contraction of ag before a consonant, rather like l'eglise in French or hoffi'r in Welsh (where it is the vowel being left out. Note the important difference that Gaelic and Irish keep the space, whereas most other languages, including French and Welsh, have no space. This may be part of Duo's problem - that it is not used to these words with an apostrophe that stand by themselves.
A is a completely different word, that (1) means 'her, his, that', (2) is used (with no translation) before vocatives and numbers and (3) is used before verbal nouns in a structure that will be introduced later. These forms do not have an apostrophe because they are not an abbreviation of anything – there is no longer form.
There is a third, completely separate form, a-, used as a prefix, which sometimes translates 'to', as in a-maireach = tomorrow. D
You can think of it like "fair"+"each(which means horse)"+"dainn"
p.s. the "each" meaning horse doesn't have anything to do with the meaning of the word it just helps me remember it
p.p.s. you actually spelt "faireachdainn" wrong in your comment which proves how hard it is to spell
Hope this was helpful :)
Well nor did I – which suggests it is either dialectal or not common. However, this sort of problem can usually be resolved with a good dictionary. For example, if you look here you will find it means 'doltish, stupid'.
I don't know who told you about slim vowels, but this is not the usual terminology. I am guessing you mean slender vowels (e and i in Gaelic – it varies a little by language). Yes the addition of broad or slender vowels does add a lot to the letter count, as do all those hs. I was once told that the way to pronounce Gaelic is to leave out half the letters at random, and then, if you are really lucky, you will pronounce the word correctly. For example, if you take the word ùmaidh and leave out three of the six letters and are very lucky you will get /ùmi/ which is pretty close to correct.
Uhh... Yeah, I meant "slender". I've never run into the idea before and still don't really understand it. But I can at least differentiate between i/e and everything else. So there's that. And that's probably why I forgot what the name of the thing was. Whoops.
And I saw a comment earlier today that seemed to indicate that consonants can be slender or broad, so now I'm even more confused about that. But again... Still, the i/e thing is all I really need to know to be able to spell words like "faireachdainn" i.e.: "fa(ire)(achda)inn" (though why that last 'i' was needed I'm still unsure)
Thusa is simply the emphatic form. There is no equivalent in written English, but you would use it whenever you would emphasise the word you in spoken English. There are also some structures where it is fairly automatic to use it, particularly when talking about identity. For example,
Cò thusa? Is mise Daibhidh
Who are you? I am David.