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  5. "An loch àlainn."

"An loch àlainn."

Translation:The lovely lake.

February 3, 2020



loch = loch in scotland . there is only one lake - lake of menteith


Indeed, but loch is the Gaelic for 'lake' :)


it may be so, but in scots loch=loch, and it is also accepted in English dictionaries outside the US, even if they sometimes say it can be pronounced as lock. There is no such concept as the Lake Ness Monster - indeed you translate Niseag as Loch Ness Monster yourselves. Just tweak it to accept loch can be loch as an alternative answer. I do hope we don't get into translating ben as hill or mountain, or slogan as clan - sorry - family motto.


'Loch' will be accepted, but we use 'lake' as the best translation because this course, like all Duolingo courses, uses American English.


And there we have the biggest problem with Duolingo.


I have just put "loch" but it was marked wrong; even though it was one of the drop down options As someone who lives in Scotland, I would never refer to it as a lake, apart from the one that actually has that in it's title. You're doing your American students a disfavour as they will be saying the wrong word! 5th August 2021


Google Translate translates the Scots Gaelic word "Loch" as "loch". I am a Scot although not a Gaelic speaker (not yet!) and I can assure you that bodies of water in Scotland (with one exception) are called "lochs" and not "lakes". We would not dream of talking about Lake Ness (and nor incidentally do you!) or Lake Lomond or Lake Hourn or Lake Fyne! That would be just WRONG! Despite your US English dictionary you are misleading your American students who would be laughed at if they referred to Lake Ness! "Loch" does not mean "Lake" in Scotland. Even the English get this right. Please get this fixed.


There are a number of issues here.

Loch is the correct translation but only if the water is in Scotland. If it's in Ireland you translate as lough and if it's anywhere else you translate as lake. For example, Loch Winnipeg translates as Lake Winnipeg.

There's been tons of discussion on this point already, and there is no point in restating one of the arguments without taking account of the other arguments.

There is a bug in the system, and if you are using the app you may have been misinformed that there were no comments. If so, and if you follow the link in the email you will see the whole discussion.


Your argument re "lough" in Ireland doesn't hold water. Irish Gaelic is different from Scot's Gaelic although there are similarities. The other place Scots Gaelic is spoken is Canada where many Scots settled during the "clearances". While I accept they might refer to Lake Winnipeg, Canadians of Scots descent would I am sure translate "loch" as "loch" and not as "lake". Maybe duo could research this rather than relying on the US English dictionary.

I can accept that lake might be an option as the "English" translation of the Scot's Gaelic "loch". What really annoyed me was that when asked to translate "An loch àlainn." into English, "lake" was given as one of the options but not "loch". No Scot would ever translate this as "the lovely lake". All Duo has to do is give "loch" as one of the options otherwise it is tantamount to discrimination against Scots.


What about The Manxman's Lake just east of St Mary's Isle outside Kirkcudbright.


As far as I know, all "lakes" in Scotland are man-made, apart from the Lake of Mentieth, and its name is supposed to originate from a misspelling by a long-gone cartographer who heard "laigh" (low-lying area, hollow) and wrote "lake". It was known as the Loch of Mentieth till the C19, and earlier than that as Loch Innis Mo-Cholmaig, the loch/lake of the island of my (= saint) Colmaig, os something similar. (Inchmahome being the largest island in the loch.)


The Manxman's Lake is certainly not man made, it is a sea area. As part of Kirkcudbright Bay it opens into The Solway and ultimately to The Irish Sea. see below

"The peninsula of St Mary's Isle on which the Priory stood lies in the estuary of the River Dee South of Kirkcudbright. It divides the bays of Manxman's Lake and Goat Well Bay. The tidal Islet of Inch lies just offshore in Manxsman's Lake."


Is there a separate word for sea-loch in Gaelic? I'm thinking not, when I check a few Gaelic coastal placenames - like Loch Àlainn/Lochaline (as in this example, which made me think of the question), Ceann Loch Chille Chiarain/Campbeltown, Ceann Loch Gilb/Lochgilphead, and many more.


Not that I'm aware of :)


No. Loch explicitly means both as shown in Wikipedia:

Tha loch na h-àite mòr uisge no sàil. Tha lochan uisge ann a tha air an cuairteachadh le tìr, m.e.: Loch Laomainn, agus tha lochan mara ann, m.e.: Loch Obha.

Rather confusingly the link to Loch Obha seems to be to a fresh-water loch! But you could try Loch Bhraoin:

'S e loch-mara ann an Siorrachd Rois ann an Alba a tha ann an Loch Bhraoin.

Loch Bhraoin


Is there some grammatical reason why "lochan" isn't acceptable here?


I was wondering that!


'Lochan' is a little lake, no?


Yes. Or a wee loch as we say in Scots-speaking Scotland. They are very common in hilly Gaelic-speaking areas. Absolutely no way to tell that it is not the right answer, so it cannot be included as a wrong option. Reported.


Personally, I wouldn't say 'lochan' = 'loch'. They aren't interchangeable.


Definitely not. A lochan is smaller than a loch, although inevitably there will be some overlap.

But Brian_Ban's and my original point (that we never actually made explicit) remains that it is a valid word, and a common one, at least in areas where they are actually common, such as Skye, and therefore should not be offered as one of the 'wrong answers'.

I understand that Duo thought it was choosing a plural noun as the wrong answer, but we weren't told that when we came to answer the question.

I have just looked at a 1:25,000 map of Sleat and found several lochans such as Lochan Cruinn. I also found three Lochain Dubha labelled as a group. This name is odd. At first I jumped to the conclusion it was an irregular plural of lochan. But then I realized it was impossible and it must be a misprint for lochan 'lochs'. You have to be careful as I also found Lochan na Saile but then realized that it was three 'lochs' not 'a wee loch'. I think it is reasonable to assume that all the bodies of water shown on the map that are too small to have a name (of which there are hundreds) are lochans.


That's what I wasn't understanding, sorry. Sometimes the form exercises will autofill with other forms of the same word, which is what happened here. It took 'lochan' (plural of 'loch') and used it as a wrong answer. Thanks for the heads up :)


Yes I eventually realized no one had said what the problem was. There are so many ways Duo can get it wrong when it tries to think up wrong options. And you do not get to see the question we see. I'll be clearer next time.


Loch should be accepted as a "translation" as equally as lake. There are hundreds of lochs in Scotland but as davidrobb8 says only one lake!!!


Quite so. Joanne says that it is accepted, so if you were marked wrong you almost certainly made some other mistake.

It's always virtually impossible to see where the fault is unless we see exactly what you wrote. So next time please paste your 'wrong' answer into a comment so we can see which specific answer was rejected.


A-rithist, tha daoine ag ràdh gu bheil ach aon “LAKE” ann an Alba, …………‘S ann Alba a tha Loch a’ Mhanainnich; agus anns a’ Bheurla, ‘s e THE MANXMAN’S LAKE an t-ainm a th’ air.

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