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  5. "Tha Mòrag cho greannach a-ni…

"Tha Mòrag cho greannach a-nis."

Translation:Morag is so grumpy now.

January 24, 2020



Hey you lot! I'll take "Tha Mòrag cho greannach an-drasta", but "Tha Mòrag cho greannach a-nis," is really going too far for my normally sunny disposition!


Bha thu daonnan greannach, tha thu daonnan greannach, agus bidh thu daonnan greannach, a Mhorag! Ach is toil le a h-uile duine thu!


Tapadh leit! (said in tones dripping with irony)

Actually, being such a beginner, I ran that through Google translate. It first translated greannach as "greedy", twice (which is a bit much as I'm on my New Year diet right now), and then as "irritated", which makes more sense. But then it translated "a Mhorag" as "Lord".

Lordy Lordy!


Google Translate provides the indisputable proof of the benefit of real people learning real languages. In a Russian article about me it maintained I was 'flatulent', rather than 'articulate'.

Anyway, I take back everything I said. Chan eil thu greannach idir; tha thu glé ghrianach.


Oh, I know, it's awful, but it can give you a vague idea of what's meant, and provide a cross-check that you haven't completely got the wrong end of the stick. I'm still struggling with "Lord" though. Literally it seems to be the feminine diminituve of "the great one", usually rendered as "princess". Possibly it didn't quite get the "feminine diminutive" part.

Anyway, I didn't need Google for that last bit, so all is forgiven! (I like the almost-pun, it helps learn the difference between similar words.)


From now on, you must wake up every day and say to yourself: Cha bhi mi greannach an-duigh, bidh mi grianach! Thus earning the double whammy of a linguistic and a spiritual benefit. There's more to Gaelic than meets the eye...


I will henceforth adopt this habit!


Is there a rule for when you use "a-nis" and "a nis"?


AFAIK it's always a-nis, but Duolingo has some issues with hyphens.


Thanks. The questions often give both options donors confusing... I must try harder!


As I understand it, a word tile with a hyphen in it will not play the sound of the spoken word - it will be silent. So in order to allow people to hear the word(s) two separate tiles are provided which will "speak" as it were. But at the same time a single hyphenated tile is provided for people who don't need to hear it and want to be precisely right. I don't think clicking on the two separate tiles is penalised in this situation.


Aha. I guess that makes sense - I'll test the tiles when I next see them. Thanks for your insight :)


Yes, early on the duolingo programmers decided to completely ignore all punctuation and capitalization as being too complicated to check computationally -- and I think they were right about that. But I think they made some decisions at that point that cause problems in languages like Gaelic where punctuation is really part of the spelling.


There's two separate issues here. One is whether they should distinguish between sentences that are the same except for the punctuation, and I agree with you and with their decision. However I am not sure that there is a particular problem in Gaelic. Certainly you have to learn where the spaces and hyphens go to spell correctly, but you do in English as well. There are no minimal pairs I can think of where a hyphen changes a meaning. There are, of course, minimal pairs with apostrohes, such as

a' phiuthar 'the sister'
a phiuthar 'his sister'

but I don't think this is the end of the world. After all you need to learn that these are homophonic anyway, and that you need to realise it could mean two things when you hear it. It does make it a wee bit confusing if you are trying to learn to spell Gaelic correctly. But this is nothing compared to the second issue.

The second issue is plain bad programming. If it ignores hyphens, how can it mark a nis right but a-nis wrong. This actually seems to be a recent bug, that came in since Morag_Kerr posted a year ago. If they say they ignore punctuation then they really should ignore punctuation.


A-/an- is a prefix to make an adverbial of time.

a-màireach 'tomorrow'
an-diugh 'today'
a-nis 'now'

It often translates as to in English. It isn't the definite article but it sounds like it. This is probably the reason you hear Scottish people saying the now, the day, etc. in Scots and English.


Why did an earlier exercise want -i- for Mòrag instead of -e-? I thought that Mòrag is a male name?


No, Mòrag is a female name. 99.9% of Gaelic words ending in -ag are feminine as it is a feminine diminutive.

Note, however, that this name was supposedly used as a code-name for Bonnie Prince Charlie but of course this was a deliberately deceptive use of a female name.

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