1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "Morag is so grumpy now."

"Morag is so grumpy now."

Translation:Tha Mòrag cho greannach a-nis.

December 2, 2019

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaraMac_

Some of the other Gaelic names have been translated into more English spellings. I was wondering if Sarah would be an appropriate translation of Mòrag in any case. When I was in Gaelic class in uni the teacher used it as a Gaelic form of Sarah when talking to me in Gaelic. Just curious!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I suppose the bottom line is that the name on my birth certificate is "Morag" and if you addressed me in English as "Sarah" I'd look round to see who you were talking to, even though I know about the connection with the names. ("Marian" is also connected.) Sarah was my grandmother, not me.

The same applies, to be honest, with Catriona, Mairead and even Marsaili. Also Iain, which is actually John. These names are common as actual given names and would seldom be expected to be translated. I don't really think to translate them from Gaelic sentences and the software doesn't insist.

A friend was telling me the background to this. Even up to the first half of the 20th century the registrars were part of the push to eradicate this backward culture and language. So if parents - in the Western Isles in particular - went to the registrar and said we're calling her Catriona (for example) they would get the pursed lips and the steely glare and the name "Catherine" would be written down. So a lot of people had anglicised versions of their names on their birth certificates, and that was the name that would be used for example by teachers, because there was no Gaelic-medium education in those days and from age five children were discouraged from speaking Gaelic.

The friend who was telling me this was a teacher in Stornoway for years, and although not a Gaelic speaker herself said she found it really weird that native Gaelic speaking teachers were teaching classes of native Gaelic-speaking children, in English. But when she expressed surprise she was told in horrified tones that no, from age five everything must be done in English. Including the names.

I have no idea what the registrars did if someone came up saying we're calling her Morag.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FiferWD

Much like what happened with native American children in my USA. Now Duo is offering Navajo and Hawaiian among other languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

And in most countries in the world, as far as I can see. It is in the nature of the sort of people that get into power that they think they are superior to everyone else, and cannot see why other people should not use their language and dialect.

This is often put down to discrimination, and I'm sure it often is, but I suspect these people, like Trump and Johnson, genuinely lack the ability to see other people's points of view.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FiferWD

You will ever be Mòrag to us!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I don't think this software does smilies, but [smile].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

Because of the erratic coding at Duolingo, if you send a smile it will be seen by everyone who gets email notifications of this discussion - if they read the text in the email - but it will not appear on this page. But I think this old plain one may work: ☺. Let's see. Great - it does, but the colour one doesn't.

Here's a list of some old ones that do, that I got from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscellaneous_Symbols. They are shown here with clickable links so you can find out what they mean:

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dubnowalos

Mòrag in Gaelic would always be translated to Morag in English. It's quite a common name in (English-speaking) Scotland. I have heard that it can sometimes be used as a translation for Sarah, although I'm not sure what the logic is behind this (if any).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Yes. Common. Although I have to say that continually having to put an accent on my own name is making me so grumpy now...

You know, my maternal grandmother's name was Sarah (Graham), and in our family the eldest daughter is named after the maternal grandmother. But Sarah wasn't a popular name at the time and my grandmother herself didn't like it, so my parents went for Morag as the Gaelic analogue. So here I am, Morag Graham Kerr. My father was from a Gaelic speaking family and although called James was always adressed as Hamish, so it seemed fitting.

So, SaraMac was not all wrong! The logic is that both names apparently mean "princess". I wondered if the derivation was Mòr (great) with the feminine diminutive "ag" tacked on. Which would be exactly equivalent to Arwen in Lord of the Rings come to think of it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

Yep, Mòrag is the diminutive of Mòr :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Feminine diminutive I think? Hence the "princess" thing? The small female great one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

We do accept 'Sarah' for 'Mòrag', although personally I'd always translate 'Sarah' as 'Sorcha'. I'm not sure of the logic of Sarah > Mòrag.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

It's as I said, Morag in Gaelic is held to mean "princess" and Sarah in (I think) Hebrew is held to mean "princess", hence the names being linked in the baby-name books.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

Sadly there is a historical reason to this. In earlier times, Gaelic was banned, especially in schools. If a child had a Gaelic name then the teacher would force them to use the nearest English equivalent that could be found, often against their will, and using any technique necessary to find an equivalent. For example you could make up the story that Susan means 'princess' (for which I cannot find any evidence). That is why there is a set of accepted equivalences, of varying appropriateness.

However if you want to find the Gaelic for Susan, which is accepted as the same as Susanna, or any other biblical name then the Gaelic Bible gives a set of forms that no one will dispute. It is spelt Susanna there.


[deactivated user]

    why is it not "tha morag i cho greannach a nis"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

    It's because 'i' means 'she'. You can't have both 'Mòrag' and 'i' in the sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pauline442798

    What is the difference because a-nis and a nis? Sometimes it is one and sometimes the other but I don't know why.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CIMacAonghais

    Hey the software isn't able to process (-) properly during tile excercises at the moment. It should always be a-nis.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Idoia114298

    Same happened in the Basque Country during the dictatorship. If your name was Basque, it got translated to the Spanish version or relegated to the middle name ( specially if there was no translation) after a more acceptable Maria or Blanca as first name. For example, Mari was Maria and Idoia was Maria Idoia or Blanca Idoia. I just got away with Idoy cause the regitrer clerk was kind though he used the spelling he found in a book.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheunglauren

    Maybe it's because Duo doesn't like her just because she isn't happy!

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