1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "B' aill leibh? Tha thu ro lu…

"B' aill leibh? Tha thu ro luath."

Translation:Pardon? You are too quick.

December 9, 2019

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrandonMor61654

Ironic that this is "Pardon? You are too quick" and the recorded audio is blazing fast.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TayWhite07

Can anybody explain the contraction B' here? Is it Bidh?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrahamBarn8

In his c.1900 dictionary Edward Dwelly explains it as "bu" (WOULD in English) thus:-

"ciod a b' àill leibh? what would you have? “b' àill leibh?” (a slovenly pronunciation of the last) is often used as an equivalent of I beg your pardon? when one speaker has not understood a remark made by another and wishes it repeated".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebekah417138

Tha i ro luath!!!! We cannot hear the "thu"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidGress2

I can hear the "thu", but not the "l" at the start of "luath"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teresa624701

Why 'leibh', then "thu,"? - I thought I heard "thu", but thought it can't be that because of the "leibh"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrahamBarn8

If you go to DUOLINGO TIPS (https://duome.eu/tips/en/gd) this is explained as an idiomatic anomaly i.e. although it looks wrong it's just the way it is said as a 'fixed phrase'. Here is the explanation copied from DUOLINGO TIPS:-

"B’ àill leibh

This term means "pardon". Use this for when you haven't understood what has been said. Although leibh is normally used as a polite form, here it is part of a set usage. You would use b’ àill leibh even with a child.

N.B. We have spelled b’ aill leibh without an accent in the course. As mistakes go, it is not the worst. The word, although spelled with an accent, is pronounced with a short vowel sound in modern Gaelic. We will correct this in iteration 2 of the course."


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

Is there a closer Gaelic equivalent to the more traditional "I beg your pardon"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnCliffo17

The only one that springs to mind is "Can sin a-rithist" for "Say that again".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillCassid2

Pay attention to the accent. (B' àill leibh). I've always wanted to say that!


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

Why is "Pardon? You are too fast" unacceptable?

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