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  5. "Cha toil leam aon òran."

"Cha toil leam aon òran."

Translation:I do not like one song.

December 9, 2019



Should this be understood as one specific song or rather that "I do not like any single song"?


Òran ==>oratorio ==>song How it will be remembered in my head.


Now I realise why the pub in Glasgow is called Òran Mór! But I wonder why they use Mór and not Mòr ....


When it first opened it was called the *Òran Mhór. This is due to the horrible habit of adding hs at random to 'make it look more Gaelic'. It was changed after loads of complaints but you may still be able to see how they altered it if you look at the letters stuck on over the door.


Ok, thanks. At this rate I don't know when I'll be back in Glasgow, stuck in lockdown in Italy!


Before the spelling reforms, Gàidhlig used acutes as well as graves (they used to mark differences in pronunciation, I believe), so I bet it's a leftover from that


I believe they still do actually, just the current standards have decided to rewrite the é's and ó's as è and ò. The acutes are close-mid vowels, (gate, if it were a monophthong) and the graves are open-mid vowels (get)


I have never seen the acute accents in modern texts. It may be that a few people who learnt to spell in Gaelic before 1988 (when the change occurred) do, but no one else. Since most people do most writing these days on a computer or phone that has a spell checker, then the spell checker is the de facto standard. I have just checked and my Word does not accept mór but my Android accepts both spellings. This means you are forced to abandon the acute as soon as you start writing on anything Microsoft. They do not teach the acute in schools or adult classes, or on Duolingo, nor do they use it in books (including Mark's dictionary (2003)), nor in Wiktionary or Wikipedia: except for one notable exception. This is Am Faclair Beag. This is one of the two dictionaries that you find at faclair.com. The right hand column is Dwelly's dictionary (1911) so quite naturally uses acutes. However the left-hand column purports to be up to date, and so the acutes make no sense at all. Whilst generally an outstanding resource, there are a few idiosyncrasies that can only be put down to obstinacy (as well as a couple of others that can be put down to the author thinking that English is like German (his first language)).

You will often see the acute in house names on the actual house, but when I Googled tigh mór (using the old spelling of taigh as this is usual on houses) I got only references to tigh mor on the first page, meaning that people who rent out houses or run B&Bs do not bother with accents. When I changed the search to tigh "mór" to force it to spell mór that way I got lots of hits, until I looked carefully and saw they were all in Ulster. This is because (1) all accents are acute in Irish, and (2) teach is the usual spelling but tigh is found in the north (not surprisingly the bit nearest Scotland).

As far as I know the acute is never used on official road signs, but I would be interested if anyone has any examples of any.

You are quite right about the pronunciation but note that accent makes the vowel long, whichever way it used to point, so the get example is wrong.


I asked on another version of the same sentence but didn't see an answer yet. I still want to know whether this sentence
Cha toil leam aon òran Is saying either "there is one song on the album that I don't like" or "there aren't any songs on the album that I like".

Or is it as ambiguous in Gaidhlig as it is in English?


I think the lack of reply shows that people don't know or don't care. Certainly I did not answer because I did not know. It quite often happens that Gaelic and English are remarkably similar (except it is not that remarkable really as our languages have been evolving as neighbours for perhaps 1500 years at least). When the Gaelic matches the English people often just do not notice the subtle range of meaning. I think we had better assume it is ambiguous until someone tells us otherwise.

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