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Scottish Gaelic from English

The colloquial expressions being taught exclusively, such as "Mar sin leat" for initiating a farewell, instead of "Beannachd leat / leibh" and "Mar sin leat / leibh" as a reply, is misleading and a disservice to learners. The same can be said for the anglicism "tioraidh" (cheerio). If these are to be taught, the correct forms should be taught first and acceptable.

The current practice of repeatedly forcing a person to respond using incorrect form until they cave in or quit is counter-productive to learning.

December 13, 2019



I think most of the Duolingo courses focus more on the colloquial rather than the formal. I remember beannachd leibh and also slàn leibh, soraidh etc, but I've been away from a Gaelic speaking environment for about 60 years. I have to remind myself that the language has probably changed a bit since then, especially with 11,103 Gaelic medium students last year compared to maybe 70 or 80 in the 1970's and 80's. They are the future.

It's really nice to hear young children speaking fluent Gaelic. It makes me smile. If a few new words have come into being in the process, it's really not a problem. For a new situation with Gaelic medium teaching, it probably needs some extra vocabulary. I made the comment about tidsear earlier.

Maybe there could be a section for formal expressions. They have one in Italian for example.


I respectfully disagree here. Can we honestly say that “mar sin leat / leibh” being a reply to “beanneachd leat / leibh” only is still the case? To say that using mar sin leat / leibh as a standard initiating goodbye is incorrect in modern Scottish Gaelic is itself misleading. We would be doing learners a disservice by not teaching them “tìoraidh”. It is common, and frequently used by good native speakers. Learners who try and use their Gaelic in the real world will encounter it. It would be remarkable if Gaelic didn’t borrow from English, and disingenuous to pretend this doesn’t happen. It is absolutely right that this course should focus on colloquial spoken Gaelic. I don’t doubt we will teach “beannachd leat / leibh” in future iterations and explain the origin of mar sin leibh in the grammar notes but this does not need changed. Teaching learners that they “must” use mar sin leat as a reply only wouldn’t really be representative of how the phrase is now used.


What does tioraidh translate to ? Scottish Gaelic is very difficult anything that would make it easier would be great.


cheers or cheerio


As far as I have found, it isn’t known if “tioraidh” is an anglicism, if English borrowed it or if they are at all related. Many linguistic coincidences are simply that - a coincidence.

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