"He is ok."

Translation:Tha e ceart gu leòr.

December 3, 2019



why "gu leòr" for "very much" ?


It's an idiom. Ceart gu leòr means "right enough".


Leòr is 'sufficiency', so gu leòr means 'to a sufficiency' hence 'enough' but also 'plenty'. Thus 'right enough' is a more direct translation, and it has become an idiom. It is also found in English as galore meaning 'plenty', as in Whisky Galore! and ❤❤❤❤❤ Galore where it always means 'plenty'.

I said it means 'plenty' but it doesn't - quite. If iasg means 'fish' and gu leòr means 'plenty', then it follows that iasg gu leòr means plenty fish. You may think this is bad English, by it is common in Scotland, especially further north, presumably because plenty is being used as a direct translation for gu leòr.


Think of "ceart gu leòr" together as a phrase meaning "okay."


I don't know why. But good question.


If ceart and leor both mean ok, why are both used in the same sentence?


See the responses to the comment at the top.


So ceart gu leor means ok but cearc gu leor means plenty chicken?


Exactly so. One letter can make a lot of difference. Before anyone complains, I will just point out a couple of things.

One is that cearc is singular here. That is fine, but it means this sentence means 'plenty chicken (meat)' not 'plenty chickens (running about)'.

The other is that this is not standard English but it is 100% correct in Scotland. See my comment on plenty (of) towards to top of this page.


How come 'ok' is so long :/


Why "gu leòr" but "gù math"? Is it strictly related to pronunciation or is there a semantic reason for gu having and not having the grave accent?


It is gu math. There is no word (unless you want to represent the English word goo in Gaelic!).

A useful rule is that you never get an accent on an unstressed syllable in Gaelic, except, very exceptionally, when representing borrowed words. By 'very exceptionally', I mean Hanòbharach 'Hanoverian' is the only example I recall seeing (and even then I'm not sure how to pronounce it), and they weren't too popular in Gaelic-speaking areas anyway.

If you speak Irish, note this important difference. There are lots of accents in unstressed syllables in Irish, such as in plural endings.


OK, I get it now

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