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  5. "Martin does not have buses n…

"Martin does not have buses now."

Translation:Chan eil busaichean aig Màrtainn a-nis.

December 20, 2019



Interesting how the subject and object are reversed:

  • Chan eil = Does not
  • Busaichean = buses
  • Aig = have
  • Màrtainn = Martin
  • A-nis = now

I thought it would be "Chan eil Màrtainn aig busaichean a-nis". Is it reversed when you use "have" or is it like this for all Scottish Gaelic sentences? :-)


If it helps, "aig" doesnt mean "have", literally. It's not a verb (the verb here is "chan eil", at the beginning of the sentence where Gaelic verbs go), "aig" is actually a preposition: "at". More literally, it says "buses are not at Martin" - that's the loose association that icecheetah2 referred to. Similarly, "agam", "agad", etc., arent forms of a "have" verb, they're just combinations of the word for "at" with each pronoun.

Gaelic does this a lot, with all its prepositions, where English might use a verb. The constructions will make a lot more sense if you look at them like that - looking for the verb will just get confusing. :-)


Ownership works different in gàidhlig. Traditionally, it was more like things "hung around" or were "assosciated with" someone rather than being "owned by" someone, and "aig" reflects this. So it's more like "There aren't busses with Martin anymore."

And what you thought it would be was more like : "Martin isn't around busses now."


This concept of "ownership" causes me to love gaidhlig even more!! BTW, the absence of the accent is because I haven't figured out how to make them happen easily when I am on my laptop. The phone is easy.


What laptop do you have? If it is a macbook you hold down the vowel for a second, and then a wee numbered menu pops up with the accents you want. a -> áåæ etc.


Oh, good grief!! I've used Apples since the IIE (made of obsidian, like all stone-age tools) and never knew this. Thank you!!!


You should be able to use an extended keyboard. Either Mac or windows can do them.


No concept of ownership! Another interesting similarity to the Native Americans!


Thanks! That helps.


I did exactly the same Twice .Is it too much for my 75year old brain to handle?


Im 65 Margaret. I'm struggling a wee bit with all this.


Same here. I'm 65 too. I never had a flair for languages but I started this just before the virus outbreak and it have been a sanity saver. And I find that I am actually learning this stuff.

My real question about this particular sentence is about Martin. Places have buses. It's called mass transit. Is Martin a place or a person? The above suggests place.


Martin is a person. It's a name. Why they have buses I don't know.


Haha, so after a quick Google search I found a bus company in Scotland, where a man named Martin works.

"Martin started as an apprentice in the bus industry 36 years ago and he has worked his way up to a management role. Martin and his team provide a vital support function with responsibility for the repair and maintenance of more than 1,350 vehicles across Scotland. ".

So, perhaps the website is out of date, with all the COVID closures, and Martin in fact, does not have buses now. :-)


All the research out there supports the benefit of learning a new language... you are doing your brain a favor! Slàinte!


Thinking back to my school Latin, is 'aig' a Dative form in grammatical terms?


Hrmm, interesting. From Wikipedia- Aig is a "preposition, meaning roughly "at" or sometimes "by" or "near". It can also mean "have" when used in combination with the verb Bi (e.g. tha leabhar agam) and in its inflected form can be used to mark possessive pronouns. It governs the dative case, but typically does not trigger lenition on the following bare indefinite nouns."


Thanks for all these great comments. I had a wee moment of revalation: I would have got "He does not have buses now" - Chan eil buaichean aige a-nis" where the aige is "at him". So all I needed to do was put "at Martainn" : aig Martainn!!!!!


Could someone explain aig please? I wrote agad but it's aig.


Sorry, just saw this. "Aig" is the basic word "at". "Agad" is a combination of "aig" and "thu" - "at you". So you only use "agad" when the possessor is the person you're talking to. "Chan eil busaichean agad a-nis" - "you don't have buses now".


Is it totally wrong to say... Chan eil Martainn busaichean a-nis?


I'm afraid so - that would literally translate to "Martin is not buses now". The "aig" is needed, and the buses are the subject of the sentence: "chan eil busaichean aig Màrtainn a-nis", lit. "buses are not at Martin now".

Gaelic (Celtic in general, tbh) does a lot with prepositions and metaphorical "spatial" relationships between nouns for which English (and Germanic in general) would use a verb or adjective.

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