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  5. "Tha mi ag ithe snèap, tha mi…

"Tha mi ag ithe snèap, tha mi cho toilichte."

Translation:I am eating a turnip, I am so happy.

November 30, 2019



Which contributor came up with this sentence? I love it! Wish I could give sentences lingots! :D


Now I want to know how to day "I'm a cheap date" in Gaelic!


I'm curious. Do the Scots do the same as the Irish, in calling the large rutabaga "turnip"? In the south of England, the small white-fleshed ones are "turnips" but the big yellow- or orange-fleshed ones are "swedes".

I'm with the Scots and Irish on this one. North of London, "swedes" are generally "turnips". Charles Townshend - 1674 to 1738 - (2nd Viscount Townshend) was an innovative Norfolk farmer who introduced the four-crop rotation and grew what he called turnips (swedes) as cattle fodder. He acquired the alliterative nickname "Turnip Townshend" for his efforts.

He served two periods as the Secretary of State for the Northern Department during the reign of George I and was involved in the suppression of the 1715 Jacobite rising, which I imagine did not endear him to the Scots.


I call them both turnips or, usually, neeps. Turnips in English, neeps in Scots.


I consider this is not the correct translation into standard English. As far as I am concerned the thing called a snèap, nèip, turnip or neep in Scotland, similar to the rutabaga in some other places, that has a flesh that goes distinctly yellow when cooked, and is traditionally served with haggis and tatties


(shown as 'rutabaga' in the picture below)

is not the same as what is called a turnip in England which is much smaller, has a flesh that remains white and would never bee served with haggis and tatties white turnip.

Wikipedia's entry for rutabaga states

The rutabaga (/ˌruː.təˈbeɪ.ɡə/) (North American English), swede (Southern English and some Commonwealth English), neep (Scottish), turnip (in some Canadian English and Northern English, including Cornish English) or snagger (Northern English), also called by several other names in different regions (including turnip, though this elsewhere usually refers to the "white turnip"), is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. D


As a Scot, I have never heard of a rutabaga and can say I've never ever head an Scot call a turnip one. Both are turnips, neeps or tumshies.


Yes. Rutabaga is an American term. I listed it here for two reasons. One is so that Americans know what we are talking about, and secondly because this American term is common on the internet, so you can look it up an figure out what it means. It does have the advantage that it is completely unambiguous. Even swede which is unambiguous in the context of root vegetables has other meanings that you tend to find if you look it up.


We call all turnips (regardless of variety or size) turnips and more often call them neeps or tumshies. Only folks who might call them swedes in Scotland are people from other parts of UK.


Please see my comment on Thurso. Unless you have evidence that turnips are generally called turnips in Thurso (which I have not established one way or the other) please be careful before you make generalizations about Scotland.


Great discussion. It is always neep / turnip / sneap in Scotland. English owned supermarkets try to convert us to 'swede' but we will not accept that! 'sneap gu brath!'


or tumshie ..... what is this swede nonsense! Keep the brand!


You get a lingot for reminding me of tumshies.


Tapadh leat, agus braw - tha mi duilich, I only found out how to find the messages - am a big tumshie lol ;)


As my Nana used to say, "Talking about turnips, how's yer heid?"


It is always very dangerous to use generalizations such as always. These pages are full of claims that We say x in America or We say y in the UK which turn out not to be 100% true.

I was once in a shop in Thurso with a local and I actually commented to her on the sign on the neeps that said swedes. She assured me that no one round there called them anything but swedes. I have no way to verify what she said, but it could well be true. Historically they did not speak either Scots (meaning Lowland Scots) or Gaelic. It is entirely possible that the first seeds there arrived direct from Sweden and so they got called swedes independently of what happened elsewhere in the country. They might not even have been speaking English/Scots at the time, but Norn, a language closer to Swedish than to English, Scots or Gaelic. So please avoid sweeping generalizations without really comprehensive evidence. D


Apologies I only just found my way into the messages- I have found this in the Caithness Forum, and I understand what you mean about sweeping generalisations - however as a Scot, I can say that in my generation (growing up in the 70's) never heard a turnip being called anything other than a turnip or a tumshie - the younger generation may call them swedes now and again because they see the word "swede" written against them in a shop like Tesco who have international "language". Sort of like how they are calling everything "British" when some foods are actually Scottish or Welsh etc. Anyway here is the forum, you will have to go through it, and to be clear there are a lot of non Scots in that neck of the woods, moved there from other parts of the Uk and beyond who will have no knowledge of local language. http://forum.caithness.org/archive/index.php/t-95639.html?fbclid=IwAR15fx9gdLcTU1PVCDbzrdKwhbYqzxEjJPxWH-id99zEP629EvtPLvBOkZ8


Really intriguing. The most intriguing thing about that link is how many people are convinced that they know the answer, and that they can speak for everyone, everyone is Scotland, or everyone in Caithness.

As for British, I can say that when I was growing up in the seventies in England, British was the term that was applied to anything that was not worthy of the terms Scotch/Scottish, Welsh or English, such as British sherry which was made from imported concentrated grape juice. When I moved to Scotland about 20 years ago, I noticed almost complete lack of things labelled English and I believed this was because it would not sell in Scotland. The only exceptions I ever noticed were mustard and breakfast tea. I agree about the increased use of British, although really good stuff, such as the best beef, is still labelled with the country of origin. The stuff bought by the ton by Tescos from a wholesaler who may get it from lots of places will tend to be labelled British.

And I have just bought a load of English wine in ALDI, at a massive discount, with the bottles a bit dusty. Methinks they overestimated the demand for English wine in Scotland as the internet suggests it has not been available for some time.


The Welsh course has a guy called Owen who loves parsnips. What is it with celtic languages and tubers?


Well these things actually grow well in our climate. Someone on here was saying she could not even get turnip in Italy. In these more northerly climes they were a really important part of the diet, particularly for the winter, as, unlike some other vegetables, they can actually be left in the frozen ground without harm, in order to provide food over the winter. Some people even call turnips 'swedes' which really gives a clue as to where they like growing.

As for Owen being Welsh, that is what everyone assumed at the beginning of the course but it now appears that

Mae Owen yn dod o Norwy'n wreiddiol.
Owen comes from Norway originally

It is generally agreed that there was some reason why he had to leave Norway quite quickly. One person has suggested a pastinakksvindelforetagende.

And it now looks as if even Wales is too hot for him as now

Mae Owen yn byw yn Sbaen
Owen is living in Spain



Parsnips too are practically unknown in Italy, but my son brought me some from Romania!


As a Scot learning Gaelic, we use 'neeps" interchangeably with turnip and it should have been accepted. Duolingo does make me laugh, can't ever think of a Scot being so happy at eating needs (at least not on their own) lol ;)


"Neeps" as in turnips in Haggis must conlme from this "Neeps and tatties" "sneap agus buntata" but I don't know how to make them plural


You are quite right that snèap agus buntàta = neeps and tatties. There is no plural, or at least there wasn't. These are mass nouns. It's just like you were eating rice and cabbage. Not all dictionaries even give a plural for snèap and none do for buntàta. I said 'wasn't' because I think the increasing influence of English means that words like this are increasingly being used like in English.

To make it more complicated the two words are not the same, as I understand it. Snèap could be used for 'a turnip' but buntàta couldn't for 'a potato'. But modern usage is not consistent so I'm not sure. D


You could/would use buntàta in the singular :)


I am aware that this can happen but I have virtually never heard it. As I said, I think it is quite modern. Mark (2003) defines buntàta as

potato, potatoes

but does not state what he means by potato. Does he mean one, countable potato, or potato used as a mass noun? The only example he gives where he translates as 'potato' is in b[h]risgean buntàta potato crisps, so there it is a mass noun. The other 20 examples he gives are all translated as 'potatoes'. Where you can tell, it is a singular noun in Gaelic, such as

bha iad a’ cur a’ bhuntàta they were planting the potatoes

Out of the almost 100 examples in AFB and the 20 examples in Dwelly, less that 5% refer to 'a potato'. D


Joanne, I tried to respond, but apparently you used my email address to send me your message. I am sorry that you considered my post to be spam. Over the past week or so, I have gone through my posts and removed all that I found. I promise not to post any more comments. Yours, Bill Deutermann [email protected]


Hey, so I've written a post over on the main forum addressing the issue of spam in the sentence discussions, which I hope clears things up a little:


As for the email, I don't have access to your email address; when the mods send warnings, they automatically go to whatever email address you have registered to your account.

You are more than welcome to post comments in the sentence discussions, but as per the Duolingo Community Guidelines, they need to be constructive and relevant to the sentence in hand. I explain it a bit further in the post linked above. :)


Joanne did not use your email. She does not have your email address. The system used your email when Joanne marked something as spam. I also have had emails suggesting that I have posted spam (plural) and only citing one example (which is totally unacceptable as I need to know what I am supposed to have done wrong). The example was (in my opinion) a valid comment on grammatical gender, and no explanation what given of what was wrong with it. When you get these emails it says please contact them for further information, but there is no discernible way of doing so. I am not even sure that Joanne intended to mark my post as spam or whether it what the thread that my post was part of as a whole thread was removed.

Anyway it is really frustrating that you cannot find out exactly what you are supposed to have done wrong. What makes it worse is that there are several criteria on which a post may be removed, of which spam is just one, but it always says it is spam. They actually seem to pretty lenient on genuine spam, judging what other people get away with.


Hey, I've made a post explain the spam issue a bit more:


I deleted a long thread a couple of days ago that was off-topic for the sentence discussion it was in, and yours was one of the comments in the thread. I explain it a bit more in the above post, but off-topic or irrelevant discussions are not allowed in the sentence discussions.

If you're after any clarity on this, please leave comments in the post I linked rather than here, and I'll do my best to answer.

The irony of all this is I'll have to delete this thread eventually as it is entirely off-topic and irrelevant to the sentence above :)


Thank you, too. I also got the spam message. I wasted my time composing a polite reply, which I guess will be read by no one. Chalk it up to overzealousness. Áithiu cech delg is ou, as the old proverb says.


Well I had to look that one up. Quite difficult grammar in that proverb. Those comparatives don't really resemble modern ones very much (in Gaelic or Irish, so far as I know). Perhaps I should have known de(a)lg but I didn't. cech is obviously gach and is is, I presume, as, or the is that as contains. So it must be something like

As gèire gach dealg, as òige.



In Old Irish the comparative was formed by adding the suffix -iu (-u after non-palatal consonants): sen > siniu 'older'; ard > ardu 'higher' . It's in Stifter's 'Sengoídelc', Ch 46 (p 227).


Thank you. I have that excellent tome - I just haven't absorbed all its contents yet. I wonder where the modern comparative structure (which is a bit weird) came from. Why can't we just stick an ending on like most other people. In Welsh they do, and their -ach could easily be related to the Old Irish. GPC (search for -ach1) only says for the etymology of the Welsh suffix

cf. Old Breton -oc(h), -oh

but at least that shows the final consonant could be very weak. I don't actually know what the h on its own would represent. D


Good on you! It's only by using these that we learn them. This one is proverb 304 in O Rahilly's collection, rendered into modern Irish as 'An dealg is óige isí is géire'. You've encouraged me to investigate that comparative form.


Hey, I've made a post explaining the spam thing over on the main forum:



Most English people don't eat either the white or orange versions, so they don't get to have a name for it.


Every word is spoken clearly. Tha mi cho toilichte.

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