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  5. "Bidh mi fhìn a' falbh aig na…

"Bidh mi fhìn a' falbh aig naoi uairean."

Translation:I myself will be leaving at nine o'clock.

December 10, 2019



I'd say either "I'll be leaving myself at nine" or "I'll be leaving at nine myself", depending on context. The only circumstances under which I'd say "I myself will be leaving at nine" would be if I were pretending to be Christopher Lee in a Hammer comeback. Which happens more often than you'd think.


I had "I myself will be away at nine o'clock" and I was thinking that was a itself a something of a concession from "See me, a'll be awa' at nine" which was what came to mind at first.


It often seems to me that many Scots constructions are phonosemantic matches on the Gaelic. Leaving is the literal translation of a' falbh, since the verb falbh means leave, but away, or rather awa' conveys the meaning, but is not a word-for-word translation - as it is not a verb. But it does sound like a' falbh, especially when you bear in mind that

  • they have the same number of syllables
  • the same stress pattern
  • the same vowels
  • they start with the vowel
  • f and w are somewhat interchangeable as they are both labials and as shown by Doric far for where
  • awa' often rhymes with law, i.e. it can end in a w
  • l often sounds like a w in Scots
  • bh, in a word like this can often be quite weak

In other words, I suspect that a' falbh has strongly influenced the use of awa' in this Scots construction. D


"Phonosemantic matches" - very much so. Also, although "away" isn't formally a verb, it behaves very like one in Scots: "A wis awa' at the curlin"; "He wis awa' oot at the kye"; We wir aa awa' at the neeps a' the day" and so on.


One of the things I find hardest in the Gaelic course is translating into formal English. So often, Scots just feels better. Like "Aonghas beag" should clearly be "Wee Angus".


I guess that's literally correct, but would anyone say that in English rather then "I will be leaving at nine"?


The usual spoken English is I will be leaving at nine with the I emphasised. You can represent this is written Gaelic but not in written English.


"I myself will be leaving [...] " was the expect answer, but "I will myself be leaving [...]" which I will argue is equivalent, was not accepted. Any reason?


your version is what I have heard in Ireland and Scotland


This is interesting now you mention it. It sounds more like the Gaelic/Irish because the myself is the third word. But of course the Gaelic/Irish puts the fhèin etc. just after the pronoun, which is where it makes sense and where it is in English. Linguists always seem to assume that when things are transmitted from one language to another the people who do it are experts in grammar. This is nonsense, and if it sounds good at first then it will probably happen, even if the linguists are saying 'that's impossible'.

I think someone needs to report this as 'my answer should be accepted' on the basis that it is used in Scotland and that it still shows you understand perfectly what it means.


The computer says I missed a space in 'o'_clock'. There is no space!


Yes - this is a known bug on both this course and the Welsh one. So it must be something to do with the way the system works, as there is no chance that the writers of the two courses would have made the same strange typo. I say strange, because they don't actually want you to write o' clock but o 'clock, which is not even logical. There is no point in reporting it as I am sure the mods will fix it as soon as they figure out how to. Until then, just be thankful it is a typo not an error. See here for further discussion.


I have listened to this over and over again (as I was totally unable to work out what he was saying) and to me the phrase 'mi fhìn' definitely appears to start with an 'n' not an 'm'. Has anybody else had the same problem or is it just my ears?


The placement of myself in English seems screwy. I put “I will myself be leaving at nine o'clock”. It appears that there are numerous placement as it is a parenthetical term.


On thinking about this I totally agree with you. It can go almost anywhere. In these situations the course writers often go for a 'don't change the Gaelic order without a good reason' approach, because of the impracticality of listing all possible orders. The problem here is that the Gaelic order is different anyway because the verb is at the front. So you could argue the phrase is

  1. After the pronoun - "I myself will be leaving [...] ", or
  2. Before the verbal noun - "I will be, myself, leaving [...] "

Unfortunately the software does not allow them to specify that the phrase's position is unimportant. Clearly you have understood the Gaelic wherever you put it, even if you actually manage to find one that is not good English, since, as you say, it does not affect the meaning.


I wrote 'I will myself be leaving at nine o'clock'. I realise this is not proper English, but it is a correct translation so should be accepted.


I will myself be leaving at nine o'clock should also be accepted

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