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  5. Missed my country :(


Missed my country :(

So let me start of by saying I know I'm being unreasonable.

But I finally made it to the countries level and started completing the first level. Starts off great with many European countries being listed including Belgium, so I'm starting to get hopeful. But once I completed the first level I realised my country is not listed :O

Belgium - check; Germany - check; France - check; Spain - check; Portugal - check; Austria - check; Switzerland - check; Sweden - check; Italy - check; Poland - check; Iceland - check; Greece - check

But no Netherlands, even though it's Scotland's biggest trade partner. It was even more than with the US, China, Germany, or France! (https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/transporting-scotland-s-trade/3-scotland-s-trade-2/).

Now all this wouldn't be too painful, except that Britanny and Cornwall do get mentioned, despite the fact that those are not actually countries - _-

Sorry had to get that off my chest, guess I'll just patiently wait for the update to learn what my country is called.

February 19, 2020



People generally say An Òlaind.

Although if you are from a part of the Netherlands which isn't Holland you could say An Tìrean Ìsle.


Thanks! I suppose I could have looked it up, but I decided to wait for the lesson to maintain motivation (have something to look forward to). So was just somewhat disappointed when it didn't show up :D

Especially because I don't have an English name. Which made the whole name lesson also felt slightly pointless since I knew mine wouldn't be in it.

Got lucky with sports though, swimming made the cut (surprisingly enough given the Scottish weather)!


Look, I've been wrong, grumpy, had toothache, and had my husband described as fat, all in the last week. So consider yourself lucky!


Tha mi a ’roiligeadh air an làr a’ gàireachdainn :) Morag bhochd :)


Important though for anyone that actually wants to use Gaelic that they understand how Gaelic's distinctive vocative case works. It's one of these really interesting distinctive features that I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on!


Then you spend the rest of your life gritting your teeth when you come across someone whose parents have actually named them Mhairi.


A Mhòrag, I assume your dad realised he was being "vocatived" indiscriminately all his days??? ;)


Yes. He explained it to me. I knew the root name was Seumas. But as you know, the name on his birth certificate was James. Nobody actually registered his name as Hamish - or even Seumas. He was addressed as Seumas/Sheumais by his family when he was a boy though (Gaelic-speaking family) and it stuck.

That's how it was in those days. Nobody gave their children Gaelic names. The birth certificate said James or Catherine or Margaret, and then they were called Seumas, Catrìona or Mairead.

(I remember being a bit irritated when a maternal aunt gave him a box of handkerchiefs with "H" embroidered on them, because I knew very well that "Hamish" was a form of address. I got him things with J on them.)


I think they mention Brittany and Cornwall specifically because Breton and Cornish are related to Gaelic.


Hey! Believe it or not the countries were largely chosen to illustrate key points of the grammar. I am not a big fan of using "an Òlaind" although it fits the grammar nicely, but I have had it pointed out to me that this Holland does not represent all of the Netherlands. "Na Tìrean Ìsle" doesn't fit the grammar we were hoping to teach in this skill, although we are very likely to include in the expanded content.

Status as a nation wasn't really a priority. I felt that including our Celtic Language cousins (Cornwall, Ireland, Wales, Man, and Brittany) was important as it features it helps provide insight into Gaelic Scotland's view of the world. (Also Cornwall and Brittany was a perfect fit for the grammar - singular definite feminine nouns in the dative case!)

I know it would be looking to see Scotland included in other courses, so I do sympathise. Have added the Netherlands it to the draft skills for Gaelic 2.0.


"I am not a big fan of using "an Òlaind" although it fits the grammar nicely, but I have had it pointed out to me that this Holland does not represent all of the Netherlands."

Indeed Holland is only a part of the Netherlands. In fact, the Dutch government has has recently switched to using "The Netherlands" instead of "Holland" when it comes to promoting tourism. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2020/01/06/why-you-wont-be-able-to-go-to-holland-again/ )

As I'm NOT from Holland (but another part of the Netherlands), I am definitely in favour of this move. People referring to the Netherlands as Holland, has always been one of my pet peeves.


https://www.faclair.com/index.aspx?Language=en tells me it is "Na Tìrean Ìsle".

I'm trying to remember if the course already taught us how to deal with plural place names (I've been a little lazy with Scottish Gaelic lately... XD). If not, that might be a reason why they left the Netherlands out. I'm also only at the country skill, so I can't say if it appears later in the course. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you though! ;)


"Na Hearadh" (Harris) is plural, so it has been touched on.


I haven't gotten to "Na Hearadh" yet, but it's good to know that they do have the topic. Maybe they really just missed the Netherlands. Fingers crossed that the word will be added when the course is expanded (I quite liked that so many countries were included).


I liked the way all the Celtic countries were included, irrespective of political status. I don't imagine there was any reason to exclude the Netherlands, and I see Denmark was left out too.

Of course the links between the Netherlands and Scotland go back many centuries. I visited Veere about 20 years ago, which was a Scottish free port, and I saw the Scottish merchants' houses and had a demonstration of the old trading records from the archivist.

I find that as a Scots speaker I can almost read Dutch, if I look at it just the right way. Although I don't understand the spoken language, when I first went there on my first foreign holiday with my brand new passport in 1979 my mother said, "if you're stuck, try speaking to them in Scots and there's a chance they'll understand!"


I also like that they included all the Celtic languages!

I didn't know that Scots and Dutch are almost close enough for understanding. Being a native German speaker, I can often guess at the meaning of written Dutch, but I can only catch a few words when it's spoken. And my chances for understanding Scots depend on the speaker and the speed (and my stress level at having to reply)... XD


Do you mean kerk, kirk, Kirche? That's a common one. "Smoke" in Scots is "reek", which seems widespread (rauch in German). I was surprised when visiting Reykavik to realise that the name means "smoke bay" in Icelandic, same root. Although they didn't mean smoke as such, but steam from the hot springs.

I think there are quite a few words which are similar in Icelandic and Scots - cormorant is skart in Scots, skarfi in Icelandic and sgarbh in Gaelic.


Dutch and English are very closely related and many words share the same origin. The reason why this becomes more obvious in Scots than in English is that English underwent several sound changes that Scots didn't. Best example is the Dutch word , which is in Scots. In English the k sound became tsj (ch) and so it became church.


I think there's a sense where Dutch is half way between Scots and German. Some of my understanding of written Dutch is because I have some knowledge of German too. I can't understand spoken Dutch, but I'm in with a chance with simple German spoken slowly.

There's a super thread on the forum where someone is discussing reviving a dead language from the south of Ireland which seems to be half way between Scots and Dutch. I could certainly follow the written form of that.


Morag, Also Skarv in Norwegian.


Why am I not surprised? (Actually, what surprises me is that Norwegian is said to be an easy language to learn. I may give it a go some day.)


Na Hearadh hasn't been mentioned yet, but we've had: na plèanaichean, na bàtaichean, etc.


We touch on a few like "na Hearadh" because the good people of Harris would kill us if they were left out and Lewis was included.

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