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  5. "Elizabeth is brilliant!"

"Elizabeth is brilliant!"

Translation:Tha Ealasaid sgoinneil!

February 4, 2020



Does the Scottish Gaelic course always insist on translating names? This seems to vary across Duolingo. Thanks.


Yes it varies across Duolingo because Duolingo reflects local practice. It is quite normal to translate names into/out of Gaelic, but not into/out of Welsh. Duolingo is just teaching each language correctly. It is thus an important part of learning Gaelic to know the equivalents.

I say Is mise Daibhidh but My name is David.


Certain names do translate. Such as in Spanish, Juan=John


So since the Gaelic course and the language itself, translate names, would my name be? I'm named Cara from the Gaelic 'Caraid' (which we know from earlier in the course is 'friend'), would that be the translation, or does my name not translate? If there a list somewhere of names that translate? Thanks!


There is no official list. The unofficial list developed over time in order to replace Gaelic names (that were forbidden) with 'decent' English names, not the other way round, so there would not be an equivalent unless there were a Gaelic name that needed replaced. The only other translations that I can think of are very old English names, like Robert that evolved equivalents centuries ago, and Biblical names, like Mary that were translated in the Bible, into both Gaelic and English.

I find the best strategy is just to search online for Cara origin and Cara Wikipedia but this is only safe for me to do because I have the knowledge to be able (with the help of dictionaries in various languages) to distinguish the plausible from the BS.

One thing that I had not previously thought of is that whilst some names, such as David, are not valid spellings in Gaelic, Cara is, and would be pronounced correctly if read in Gaelic, so there is even less reason to change it.

The internet reminds me that there are similar words in many languages with related meanings, so different people with the same name and meaning may actually have different name origins. So Cara will, in some cases come from Latin, where it still means 'beloved' but the -a is a feminine suffix - most names in English that end in -a are feminine with Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian or Polish origin. This does not apply in Gaelic (e.g. Anndra 'Andrew') but nevertheless, this could make a Gaelic word that did - or could - end in -a more likely to be chosen by English-speaking parents.

Wikipedia lists multiple origins, including Celtic. It also tells us here

Cara is 1 kilometre (5⁄8 mi) south of Gigha. It is accessible from Gigha.

Cara has a translation in Gaelic as "dearest" or "dear one". Cara is a popular girl's name in the local area and in Scotland in general.

Unlike some islands the name is identical in Gaelic and English, and Scottish islands are often used (with English spelling) as girls' names, such as Islay, Rhona and Skye.

Overall, I think you are lucky to have a Gaelic name, with a desirable translation. D

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