1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "That is big Calum!"

"That is big Calum!"

Translation:Sin Calum mòr!

January 12, 2020



The English sentence is confusing. I interpreted it as "That is big, Calum" (and thus wrote "Tha sin mòr, a Chaluim") and was marked wrong. It should be "That is Big Calum", I think.


Yes, I agree. It assumes the context that we know two Calums, one who is big and one who is small, and we are talking about Big-Calum rather than Little-Calum. Or the other context of Calum having the nickname, "Big Calum". So I also interpreted it as "That is big, Calum." Must pay attention to the lack of comma to interpret it correctly!


This is a pretty common question, because the Gaelic is clear and the English is...potentially ambiguous if you start questioning whether there are typos, as you've noticed



I got confused over this one too. I think of the B in big was capitalised it would help show that this is an honorific title.


You know, now I feel quite silly. I was about to say that I wasn't sure what was meant by the question and did it actually matter whether it was "That is Big Calum" or "That is big, Calum"? It doesn't matter in the sense that as Duolingo doesn't recognise either capitalisation or punctuation (you just have to get the right words in the right order), you will be marked right for either.

But of course, if they had meant "That is big, Calum" the sentence in the question would have been "Sin mòr, a Chaluim", or something like that. So actually there is only one really correct answer, and that is "That is Big Calum". No ambiguity in the Gaelic even without the capitalisation.


You're not silly. This discussion is confusing because the sentence pairs can come up either way round. Some are discussing Gaelic to English, and some English to Gaelic. If you're presented with Gaelic, there's no ambiguity: "Sin Calum mòr" means "That is Big Calum" (That is Calum, who is big).

If the question is in English, however, it's harder, because "That is big Calum" can be interpreted as "That is big, Calum" ("Tha sin mòr, a Chaluim") or "That is Big Calum", ("Sin Calum mòr").


And it is the ambiguity in the English version - AND this following discussion - which is really helpful for learning (understanding and remembering) the difference in Gaelic.


threedaymonk, you have nailed it. Have a lingot.


What is wrong with saying "Tha sin Calum mòr"? Is this not "That is big Calum"?


Is this correct? Who/what is big? Calum or That?


Ha, I had the same thought. Somehow at first I read the English as , That is big, Calum! Not sure what that will be in Gaidhlig!
But yes, I see now that it is Calum who is big, he is "Calum mor"


I read this as "That is Big Calum", as in "That is Calum Mor" as we'd expect to hear if that was what Calum was habitually called, but I would expect both Mòr and Big to be capitalised, and they weren't. Hmm, not sure.


I interpreted it as "THAT is big, Calum"... Not "That is big CALUM"


Is the statement the 'Calum is big' or is it telling Calum that 'it' is big? Why is Sin Calum mor incorrect?


The statement is saying "that is Big Calum", or as someone else pointed out, "That is Calum (and Calum is big)”.

Don't forget it's mòr, not "mor", but otherwise sin Calum mòr is correct.

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