1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "Cò ris a tha an t-sìde colta…

" ris a tha an t-sìde coltach a-nis?"

Translation:What is the weather like now?

December 16, 2019



This one's gonna take some practice


I practice pronunciation of sentences end-first: get the last couple of words just right, then add the previous few words, and so on. Good for anything you want to memorize (fiddle tunes, songs, your part in a play) because then you get reinforced every time you hit the bit you know, and you'll practice that bit correctly, too, instead of practicing your mistakes. And for languages, if you stumble early on in a phrase, the rest will be a hash too. And generally the stumbles happen because you're getting something wrong -- placing a syllable in the wrong place in your mouth, so you can't get the next one off, usually. I'm finding that focusing on what's slender and what's broad and placing those high and low in my mouth respectively really pays off. And for any language, listen for the "tune" the phrase makes, and try to reproduce that.


It would be super-helpful to know what the individual words in this idiomatic phrase mean.


OK. But this one will take a little bit of explaining.

Cò means "what" or "who". The single letter a is what's called a relative pronoun. It basically just means "it". You should already know that "tha" means something along the lines of "is" or "are" depending on circumstances.

It gets a little more complicated when you deal with the words "ris" and "coltach" as the words are actually combined and pretty much always are together. Ris comes from the word "ri". It mutates to "ris" to prevent the contact between the vowels as saying "ri a" is much more difficult than "ris a". Ri is the preposition "to" in English.

Coltach means "similar", and is always used with the word "ri". So "coltach ri" means "similar to". I won't bother going into why the word ri has shifted from being beside coltach to being beside cò as this is already complicated enough as it is.

You also already know an t-sìde for "the weather" and "a-nis" for "now".

So altogether the phrase word for word means "what to it is the weather like now?" Which obviously makes no sense in English.


I would also like to know what is the meaning of t in t-side.


It seems to come between the definite article 'an' and some (but not all) nouns. I'm guessing it's a grace consonant of sorts, like in French "a-t-il". Until now I've only seen it with nouns beginning with vowels, but here is it with "side"...


The t- is used for masculine nouns starting with a vowel. Ref Tips section for 'Food 2' The Masculine Definite Article : https://www.duolingo.com/skill/gd/Food-2/tips-and-notes

It is also used for feminine nouns that starts with s followed by l, n, r or vowels. Ref Tips for 'Animals' The Feminine Definite Article : https://www.duolingo.com/skill/gd/Animals/tips-and-notes

[deactivated user]

    Think of it as somewhat like this: To what is the weather like now.


    I did go through nearly identical sentence word-by-word in another discussion, you might want to look there: "Cò ris a tha an t-sìde coltach an-diugh?"


    Need to be able to slow down the speech on this!


    Why is the "t" in coltach not pronounced?


    tha mi a' faireachdainn gòrach

    [deactivated user]

      Too fast for me.


      ...and unclearly pronounced.


      This is spoken far too quickly for beginners to "catch", especially as there appear to be pronunciation shortcuts - "cò ris" appears to be "cris" and "a tha an" "a han".


      Wictionary has this example : Tha iad coltach ri chèile. "they're similar to one another". Its original form was "co-amhuil-tach" so it's cognate with the Irish "samhuil".


      I have just read a post regarding using 'an-dràsta' and 'a-nis' for 'now' Is it ok to use both when asking about the weather, which is ever changing?


      If I understand the differences correctly (which is possible), much of the time the two (a-nis & an-drasta) would price similar responses, but not always.
      Imagine a scenario where it's been raining constantly for the past week but just five minutes ago the sun came out, the train stopped, and everything is nice, although in all likelihood the rain will start up again in a bit and you've only just hit a lull in the storm. If you now ask someone what's the weather like, the "a-nis" question is gonna get answered as "it's been raining all day" or some such, while "an-drasta" will get you the more time sensitive answer that is pretty clear and sunny right now.

      Did that explain the difference well enough for you?


      Sorry about the typos - can't fix them on the android app. (But they still bug me. Probably more me than anyone else)....
      "Price" - produce
      "Train" - rain
      "That is pretty clear" - that IT is pretty clear


      So, if we weren't asking for a comparison, instead asking "what is the weather now?", would it be (newbie stabbing in the linguistic dark, here) "Cò a tha coltach a-nis?"


      I'm wondering about the use of a-nis in your example. If you don't want to do a comparison I would imagine you would not use a-nis, due to "now" being a comparison to something in the past.


      Bàthaidh toll beag long mhòr....


      Ramsay: Perhaps "Ciamar a tha an t-sìde a-nis?"


      I copied it on a piece of paper and referred to it until I memorized it. Didnt take me long

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