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  5. "Bidh iad a' cluiche iomain a…

"Bidh iad a' cluiche iomain air an tràigh."

Translation:They play shinty on the beach.

February 16, 2020



I put they are playing instead of they play. I don't believe there is that distinction in Gaelic but at any rate it was marked wrong


Literally it translates as "they will be playing" doesn't it?


Yes, and it is how you would say that. But it has a secondary meaning that they are teaching here. It is how they express the habitual present. They play shinty regularly/every day/etc. It is an important construction as they have no other way to express this. Irish has a special tense but that has been lost in Gaelic. In English, unlike continental langugages such as French and German, the simple present cannot normally be used in They play shinty today when it is just a one-off event.


Rachamaid! An-seo ... bidh iad a ’cluiche hocaidh air an loch reòta!!


's e sin hocaidh-deighe ...


marked wrong for putting 'shore' obh obh


I agree that the dictionary does give shore for tràigh but I don't think it is the correct translation. All the dictionaries I looked in give beach as the main meaning of tràigh and cladach as the main translation of shore.

To me, tràigh and beach have the sense of 'big flat area' where you might play shinty, but cladach, oirthir, shore(line) have the sense of the 'margin of the sea' where you might find a little sand, but also rocks, rock pools, shingle banks, and lots of other things that would make shinty difficult.

A search on Google for images of

revealed lots of 'beaches' where you could easily play shinty, but virtually no 'shores' where shinty would be feasible.

The original sense seems to be the bit that is exposed at low tide, which is almost always fairly sandy in Gaelic-speaking areas.


And then there is "en la playa" (literally "in the beach") in Spanish for "on the beach" (I suppose also "at" the beach). Languages are intriguing.


I was marked wrong for putting "at" the beach instead of "on." "Air" can mean both, and both phrases are commonly used.


I would agree that there is overlap in meaning, so both translations are in the dictionary, but I think their meanings are slightly different. Both air and on are used when you are literally on the surface of something, and this game is clearly happening on tha actual sandy surface. I would use aig and at for where we went - 'we spent the day at the beach'. To take an extreme example, I am sure these planes land on the beach.

Barra airport on the sand
Barra airport, the only commercial airport in the world where you land on the beach.


In this context, I'd use aig an tràigh for "at the beach". Air an tràigh means specifically "on the beach" here :)


If the translation "They will play shinty on the beach" is wrong (according to this lesson), then how exactly do you say "They will play shinty on the beach" in Gaelic?


You say

Cluichidh iad iomain air an tràigh.

This is covered in the 'Cèilidh' unit in section 7, so you may have to wait!

I am just wondering if it was a joke or a coincidence that the title of this unit where they introduce the future tense looks like a future tense. It could easily be the future tense of * cèil – except, of course, that there is no such verb. A cèilidh is just a get-together, ultimately from a noun that means 'companion'.


Got it, thanks much. Looking forward to section 7!

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