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  5. "Tha sgiort orm."

"Tha sgiort orm."

Translation:I have a skirt on.

December 8, 2019



Pronunciation question:

In English, I think we would try to say things with groups of consonants together as one syllable: here, ORM, and then... AL-BA, is the other example I can think of. But the speaker seems to say them with a tiny vowel inbetween, like ORUM and ALuhBA.

Am I hearing this right? The consonants are more separate than we would try to make them in English?


Yes, Gaelic likes to split up consonant groups like that.


The same verb for is, am, and have? Is it a catch all 'exists?'


The same verb for is, am

Those are the same verb in English ("be"), just different forms. This is exactly what "tha" is.


There is no verb for "have" in Gaelic. "Having" things is expressed by saying they are "at" whoever/whatever.

Is it a catch all 'exists?'


What's going on here is a straightforward prepositional statement, literally "a skirt is on me".

Bear in mind, the point in translation is not to transcribe word-for-word but to convey the understood meaning as it would be expressed in the next language (which here is "I have a skirt on"), so seeing a particular word in the translation doesn't mean its equivalent is there in the Gaelic.


Thanks! A very helpful explanation.


Yes. Kind of.


Gaelic has lost almost all of its personal inflections. You have met them, I think, in the imperative, and you will meet them in the 1st person of the conditional - but that is some way off!

There is no word for 'have' in Gaelic.


I would find it very useful as a learner if these sentences also accepted 'the skirt is on me.' EDIT: I guess the correct translation would be 'A skirt is on me?'

The reason is that by doing so I can put my head more into the Gaelic structure of the skirt being the subject. It's more 'reading' and less 'translating.' Having to convert into English structure when not necessary makes the learning a bit harder and a bit less integrated.


I don't get it, wouldn't it be Tha mì sgiort orm? I have a skirt on. Otherwise this says a skirt is on. Sometimes this is really confusing. You grasp a concept and then they change it on you.


It can be difficult if the literal translation is not made clear, and there is no easy way to do that with the way Duolingo is set up. 'On' is air but 'on me' is orm.

The literal translation is

Tha sgiort orm
[There] is [a] skirt on·me

As there is no verb 'to have' in any Celtic language you have to completely restructure any sentence with 'have' in, so try not to think in terms of the English structure. D


The tips for this lesson say orm is a contraction of air (meaning on or by) and mi, and ort is air + thu. So the mi is already included; you don't need another one.

If you're using the phone app, you can navigate to the tips via your phone browser; they're here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/gd/Clothes/tips-and-notes


Yes. I think that is fairly similar to my explanation, except that I did not read the notes, so I did not see the incorrect statement that orm is a contraction of air + mi. It's a bit technical, but it does have an important consequence. The technical bit is that air takes the dative but mi and thu are nominative/accusative. We do not know the dative of these pronouns as they are never found on their own in modern Gaelic or Irish.

The important consequence is that this contraction is not optional – no uncontracted form exists. You cannot say *air mi. This contrasts with some other contractions (that probably aren't in the course) that are entirely optional.

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