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  5. "I am not understanding Beth."

"I am not understanding Beth."

Translation:Chan eil mi a' tuigsinn Beathag.

November 30, 2019



Would this mean "I am not understanding you, Beth" or "I am not understanding Beth (said to someone other than Beth), or could it mean both and it depends on the context? Thanks!


Only the latter. The former would be Chan eil mi a' tuigsinn, a Bheathag.


You have left out the 'you' in your translation. It should be

Chan eil mi gad thuigsinn, a Bheathag 'I am not at-your understanding, Beth'


Or gur tuigsinn? (depending on how well you knew Beth)


I know her very well. But, in terms of learning Gaelic, you are completely correct, so thank you for pointing this out.


I am really getting sick of being marked down for not being able to spell personal names!


Gaelic has an addressing case. It is an integral part of the language that people are able to use it. Most Gaelic names are not used in English. It’s a cultural thing. Using them would give learners a false impression.


Is "Tuigsinn" a verbal-noun?


Yes it is. This isn't an ideal translation though imo – the understood meaning would be "I understand".


It is the literal translation though. They are two different tenses, even though we tend to default to 'I do not understand' in English, we actually should use 'I am not understanding'. It's more obvious with other verbs:

'Chan eil mi a' cluiche ball-coise' > 'I am not playing football'

'Cha bhi mi a' cluiche ball-coise' > 'I do not play football'

The difference in meaning may not be noticable with a' tuigsinn, but it is with a' cluiche.

Either way, both 'I am not understanding' and 'I do not understand' will be accepted as answers.


Bear in mind that > Cha bhi mi a' cluiche ball-coise can mean different things depending on context i.e.

  • Cha bhi mi a' cluiche ball-coise a-màireach - I will not play football tomorrow (future)
  • Cha bhi mi a' cluiche ball-coise - I don't play football (present habitual)

May seem obvious to most, but just in case a new learner is reading.


Wow that's really helpful, thanks for that.


The difference in meaning may not be noticeable with a' tuigsinn, but it is with a' cluiche.

It is an odd feature of English that different rules apply to verbs of perception, namely that you can use the simple present for a continuous state: think, understand, know, see, hear, believe, etc.


Just echoing what Joanne has said, but we could end up scunnering ourselves when it comes to teaching the difference between things like tha mi a’ tuigsinn, bidh mi a’ tuigsin and an tuigidh mi. Clarity with the Gaelic has to take priority over a tidy translation in English.


Hear, hear! Perhaps you could tell the people who do the Welsh course? Just don't use the word scunner as they lack that vocabulary.


These pages would do well with someone speaking the words


Well, given they are all done by volunteers, I imagine it takes a while to put together. And I also gather that they can't be put in ad hoc.


Hey, I feel this sentence is slightly clumsier compared to some of the other examples given so I have fired it into the sun (deleted it).


It doesn't seem very deleted


I expect the wax melted and it fell back to Earth.


It's gone now :)

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