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  5. "Tha ministear ùr aca."

"Tha ministear ùr aca."

Translation:They have a new minister.

February 2, 2020



Does this word also have the political meaning of (Prime) Minister?


Not according to Google Translate. They say "Am Prìomhaire" for "Prime Minister". On the other hand they give "Prìomh Mhinistear" for "First Minister". Goodness knows, Google Translate is hardly the oracle. The Scottish government does most of its main headers and so on in Gaelic as well as English so the SG web site might be clearer.


For once, I'd agree with Google on this one. The general usage in the media is 'Prìomhaire' for Prime Minister and 'Prìomh Mhinistear' for First Minister. A pair of false friends!


In Canada, we say "premier" for the first minister of a province, and "prime minister" for the first minister of the whole country. (In French, they are both "premier ministre.")


Don't start me....


Does minister have the dual meanings in Scotland of a government official and the leader of a church? Which meaning should we take in this instance? (Sorry if this is obvious to UK learners.)


Yes, the meaning is dual. We have ministers in the church and also government ministers. But the context here points fairly definitely to it being a minister in a church. It would be a natural phrase to use if a new minister had been appointed to a neighbouring congregation. In contrast you'd probably only say it in the context of a government minister if you actually worked in a government department and there had been a cabinet reshuffle.

In fact the distinction between "ministear" and "sagart" is the crucial one. "Ministear" would be a protestant congregation of some sort, almost certainly some form of Presbyterianism. It's used by the Church of Scotland and also by the smaller sects such as the Free Church which are very strong in the Gaelic-speaking islands. "Sagart" on the other hand would be a Roman Catholic congregation.

In the "Long Island" (the Western Isles or Eilean Siar) the north, Lewis especially, is predominantly Protestant whereas the south, Barra especially, is predominantly Roman Catholic.


Ah, we're up in the north now, I see....

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