1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "The red crab and the black c…

"The red crab and the black crow."

Translation:A' chrùbag dhearg agus an fheannag dhubh.

December 28, 2019

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ans176sca

Why are the words crùbag and feanbag lenited here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tj4234

They are feminine nouns


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

... and they follow the definite article (which I believe is what triggers the lenition of most such feminine nouns)


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

In the nominative case. And they begin with c and f


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

Why does "fheannag" use "an" instead of "am"? I thought "am" was used for words beginning with b, f, m and c? Or have I got that mixed up?

And when can am or an be shortened to a' ?


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

"am" is used before labial consonants (i.e. b, f, m and p). This is rather like the way the English prefix "in-" becomes "im-" before labials (e.g. inelegant, intangible BUT impossible).

The thing about initial 'f' is that the lenited version, 'fh' is actually silent. So "fheannag" is pronounced as a vowel-initial word, not one with a labial consonant; as such the default form of the article ("an") needs to be used. Note that the lenition happens only because "feannag" is feminine; a masculine noun like "falt" (hair) becomes "am falt" because masculine nouns are not lenited by the article.

As I understand it, the form "a' " is applicable only before FEMININE nouns whose initial consonant is a lenitable labial (b, p, m) or velar (c, g). It is not a question of shortening as such, and it is not an optional process. The form "a' " accompanies lenition and only happens with a feminine noun.


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

Marry me, Nicko.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KPugh2

Fheannag is feminine. "Am" before b, f, m, and p are before masculine nouns.


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

I noticed that all the animals introduced in this section are feminine and not very complementary. Snake, crab, bat, crow, cow.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence.


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

I suspect the feminine thing is so that the pattern with the lenition is clear. I suspect it also depends on which lesson you go into. As to what you consider complimentary, I don't see anything wrong with those animals.


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

They're perfectly good animals, but just try them as terms of affection for your wife, and see what happens.


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

To be fair, if you called someone a dog, horse, spider, rat - all of which are masculine nouns - you might not get such overwhelmingly positive responses either. But I see your point, an interesting observation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DougSnell1

crùbag or partan for a crab?


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

Faclair says they're different types of crab - partan was the one I knew before, as in "partan bree"


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

This keeps saying I am wrong but what I have matches the response. Been stuck for days!!

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