1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "'S e ur beatha athair."

"'S e ur beatha athair."

Translation:You are welcome father.

December 4, 2019

26 Comments


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

Just so I understand.... this literally translates to English as "It is your life, father". I must be getting old because that strikes my ears as being the colloquial equivalent of, "What ever" to someone saying ""thank-you." Is something lost in translation, this type of response in Canada would usually end in a stern talking or a discussion with someones employer.


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

Definitely lost in translation. 'S e do bheatha or 'S e ur beatha is a very old Gaelic greeting (coming from Old Irish) that would be used to welcome someone into a place.

From what I understand neither Irish or Gaelic had any solid response to 'thank you' for most of their history, and even quite a few native speakers today would not feel the need to use 'S e ur beatha or any other phrase in this context. I believe it is mostly cultural mixing/pressure from English speakers in the last century or two that has created this demand for a 'you're welcome' phrase.

So Irish speakers adopted the literal translation 'tá fáilte romhat' ("there is welcome with you") but Gaelic speakers went for the more metaphorical welcome: 's e do bheatha. For Irish speakers, sé do bheatha is still a phrase, but it retains its original meaning as a welcoming greeting rather than a response to thank you e.g. see the famous Irish song 'Óró sé do bheatha abhaile' which is usually translated as 'welcome home'


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

Very informative - go raibh maith agat.

I now feel even less motivated to use this phrase in Gaelic. But then I never have. Nor have I used you're welcome in England or no problem that they now use in Scotland that I find even worse.


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

Thank you. I appreciate the cultural comparisons. This is probably what I love best about learning about languages and cultures.


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

I've just now realized "uisge-beatha" translates to "welcome water"


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

Good eye! More precisely, it's 'life water,' since "'s e ur beatha" translates literally as 'it's your life' :)


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

Absolutely correct, as far as the meaning is concerned, although the traditional, if inaccurate, translation is water of life. However you look at it the term derives from translating the Latin aqua vitae with the same meaning, which refers to any spirit. Some might imagine that the name comes from the spirit making you lively, but in fact the origin is that during distillation the alcohol comes off as a gas – a 'spirit' as they called it. They did not know much about gases in those days, but they did understand that you were alive if you were breathing (gas). So your soul, your spirit, your life were all the same thing. The 'spirit' was so called because its gaseous nature meant it must have this 'spirit, soul, life'. In fact the word spirit is related to the Latin word for 'breathe' from which we get inspire and expire.


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

would "no problem, father" be okay?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tj4234

I'd say no. It's too imformal for this phrase.


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

How you express this depends enormously on where you are from. I think no problem may be informal in America (?) and it sounds quite rude to my English ears, but it is the normal, polite response in Central Scotland (I don't know about the rest of the country), so it should, in my view, be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susan961004

Why does my sentencs translate"you are welcome father"?


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

Because it is an expression used with that meaning if you feel the need.

I say 'if you feel the need' because traditionally you do not say anything in response to thanks. But the trend is coming in and this is the phrase that had been adopted. Older people say it is unnatural and unnecessary.


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

Well that COMPLETELY changes the intent of the phrase above


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

I thought 'e' was 'he'. How come it is 'you, your' ?


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

See the other comments on this page. This is a set phrase translated as a set phrase in English so the words do not match up exactly. As Bobh332809 explains above the literal translation is 'It is your life'. As in other two-gender languages, the word for 'he' doubles as the generic 'it' when it does not refer to anything specific.


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

Why is it not "a athair" since you are speaking to the father?


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

Tha rule is to drop the a before vowels.

Note that as fh is silent you will have to look to the next letter to see if the a is needed

a mhàthair.
athair.
a Fhriseil.
Fheargais.

(Irish speakers note the difference as this causes confusion when people cross the sea.)


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

My answer should have accepted


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

That's very interesting, but there's not much anyone can do without knowing exactly what your answer was.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichH212

"You're welcome, father" should have been accepted. Tapadh leibh.


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

Duolingo automatically accepts contractions, so "You're welcome" will be accepted here.


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

I agree. I never say You are welcome.

However, no one will change it unless you report it using the 'my answer should be accepted'. The mods will not see your comment on this page unless someone does, or unless they are already subscribed to this page (which they probably aren't as no mod has left a comment here yet. D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichH212

Thanks for the explanation of this process. I actually did report it. So we'll see.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Connor47091

What's the difference between "se s do beatha" and "se ur beatha"?


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

'S e do bheatha uses the singular 'your'
'S e ur beatha uses the plural 'your'

Just as in French and Welsh, we use the plural for one person when we wish to show respect, which includes anyone significantly older than you, such as your father. On this course they always put in someone older than you or someone in authority or more than one person when they want you to practise the plural, and a younger person when they want you to practise the singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E-Gaelic_Garlic-

Tapadh leibh glé mhór

(is that how I would say "thank you very much"?)

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