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  5. "Bha a' Bhreatann Bheag àlain…

"Bha a' Bhreatann Bheag àlainn."

Translation:Brittany was lovely.

December 1, 2019



Heh, one of Irish false friends – in Irish An Bhreatain Bheag is ‘Wales’ (and ‘Brittany’ is An Bhriotáin, though historically an Bhreatain Bheag and Breatain na Fraingce – which would be written Breatain na Fraince in modern Irish orthography – had also been used, eg. by Keeting, while Wales was referred to by simple Breatain).


Yes. If you really want to do your head in, look at the names for all the Celtic nations in all the Celtic languages.

Gaelic Irish Manx Welsh Cornish Breton English
Alba Albain Nalbin Yr Alban Alban Bro-Skos Scotland
Èirinn Éire Nerin Iwerddon Wordhen Iwerzhon Ireland
Eilean Mhanainn Oileán Mhanann Ellan Vannin Ynys Manaw Ynys Manow Enez Vanav Isle of Man
A' Chuimrigh An Bhreatain Bheag Bretyn Cymry Kembra Kembre Wales
A’ Chòrn An Corn Yn Chorn Cernyw Kernow Kernev-Veur Cornwall
A' Bhreatainn Bheag An Bhriotáin Yn Vritaan (çheer) Llydaw Breten Vian Breizh Brittany
Breatainn Mhòr an Bhreatain Mhór Yn Vretyn Vooar Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Breizh-Veur Great Britain

So 'Little Britain' refers to Brittany in Gaelic, and Wales in Irish, which is referred to in Manx simply as 'Britain', the term used in Irish for Brittany. Cornwall is referred to as 'Great Cornwall' in Breton as there is another one in Brittany. Bro-Skos is literally 'Scots Region'. Llydaw means 'Continent'. Manx seems to have attached the n from Yn to the beginning of *Albin and *Erin. You will see that Breton zh (pronounced /z/ in most dialects replaces the dentals t and dh/dd, so all the Brythonic languages have a similar word for Ireland. Cornwall seems to be masculine in Irish but it's not obvious why.

Try to learn that lot without getting confused. (All courtesy of Wikiepdia, so I do not guarantee they are right, and some may be disputed.)


Also, Wiktionary and Sc. Gaelic Wikipedia both give Breatainn Bheag with slender -ainn. But Am Faclair Beag has Breatann with broad -ann.

Is it a dialectal difference? Am Faclair Beag claims Breatainn is genitive, has this form, then, spread to nominative?


I put the correct answer, marked wrong and same repeated as correct answer below


When did the NW tip of mainland europe nearest Dover become 'little Britain'?
Ptolomey has Ireland as 'mikra Brettania' (little britain) initially, before he calls it Iwernia (Hibernia)?


The short answer is after Ptolomy.

It's nowhere near Dover which is in the SE corner of England. They spoke Anglo-Saxon in Dover at the time discussed here. Brittany is opposite SW England, from where Britons migrated at some time towards the end of the first millennium AD. That's why they call it Bretagne in French, which also refers to Britain. There is a lot of confusion in various languages from this part of the world about the names of all the Celtic regions and that is why Brittany is sometimes called 'Little Britain' and Britain 'Great Britain' in various languages. The Breton language is classified as a British/Brythonic/Brittonic language as it comes from Great Britain. It's closely related to Cornish and to Welsh, the language spoken in the the place referred to in Irish as 'Little Britain' and in Manx as 'Britain' (i.e. Wales). That makes it a first cousin to Gaelic. It has all the basic features you are familiar with: two genders, mutations (loads), continuous tenses, emphatic particles, verbs at the beginning, etc. etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittonic_languages

If you want to see all the names the Celts have for each other, see my post on another question. It's a shambles. DaibhidhR


Why is it marking beautiful wrong when its on the word list?


"Beautiful" will be accepted here, so it's most likely that you had a typo elsewhere :)


Text reads Bha an Bhreatan Small beautiful

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