1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "Tha e a' faicinn iasg."

"Tha e a' faicinn iasg."

Translation:He is seeing a fish.

December 1, 2019



I cant quite make out the pronunciation for a'faicinn


What would be the literal translation for faicinn?


"seeing", a verbal noun

This would be better translated as "He sees a fish" imo.


Wouldn’t ‘he sees a fish’ be rather chì e iasg while tha e a’ faicinn iasg emphasises the current progressive aspect (like English ‘he is seeing’)?

Trying to wrap my head around Scottish tenses, since this is the place where Scottish differs most from Irish, but I thought that if chì is used in the present meaning, a’ faicinn would be similar to Irish ag feiscint.

  • 1805

It's my understanding that Chì e iasg = He will see a fish. Chì is future tense and a' faicinn is used in present tense.


Future tense is also used for habitual, non-progressive present tense (like English simple present vs present continuous). Eg:

  • Gabhaidh e bracaist a h-uile madainn – He takes breakfast every morning
  • Sgrìobhaidh sinn litir thuige a h-uile là – We write (to) him a letter every day

Compare Scottish songs Chì mi bhuam (fada bhuam) ‘I see afar (= far from me)’, or another Chì mi na mòrbheanna ‘I see the big mountains’, in both those songs the singer sings about present, not the future.

  • 1805

Inntinneach! I had encountered present continuous using the future tense with the verb bi and the past continuous with bhiodh, but I have never encountered just a basic verb in future tense being used in this way, especially an irregular one. Taing!


Yes! Perfect explanation.


Yup my understanding is that there isn’t a simple present tense and that the present progressive covers both....
... so I agree that it might be better for them to translate as simple present as you say (he sees a fish) OR give both translations?!



The verb "see" in the present progressive means "dating, going out with." Your man is in a relationship with a fish.


"Seeing" only means dating when it's in a dating context. If your dog is running up and down the beach and barking at the water, then "What is he seeing?" "He's seeing a fish," probably won't make you think of dinner with candles and wine.


It was meant to be humourous.


It's the way they speak in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They do actually say e.g. 'seeing' or 'hearing' instead of 'see' or hear'.


I personally think that would cause confusion down the line:

Tha e a’ faicinn iasg - he is seeing a fish

Chì e iasg - He sees a fish


Maybe I am wrong but "faic" is mainly "to see". To "seek" is either "lorg", "iarr", "sir". "Faic" as to "seek" seems to be a pattern imported from the English. Wonder if it is correct no matter people use it nowadays?


This sentence is about seeing, there’s nothing about seeking here, where does this comment come from?

Also, all examples in the Colin B.D. Mark’s dictionary use faic and faicinn as see, seeing and view, envisage, never seek or search.


Hi...ok. thanks, then maybe I misread the reply on the error message ...must have read "seek" instead of "see". Good then. Sorry. !

Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.