1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "Na tog sin, tha e cunnartach…

"Na tog sin, tha e cunnartach."

Translation:Don't pick that up, it is dangerous.

February 20, 2020



I don't hear the "tha" in the audio. Is it commonly dropped in informal speech?


I can’t hear the audio here, but I think the vowel of tha might be dropped here. Gaelic doesn’t like hiatus – two vowels one after another – that much and often reduces them to just one vowel (and when it doesn’t, it’s often indicated in writing with a gh, th, etc., eg. saoghal /sɯː.əl/, piuthar /pju.ər/).

So I think the speaker here might pronounce it closer to th’ e /he/ cunnartach than tha e /ha.e/ cunnartach – but it is always written as tha e, never th’ e.

Compare how what is your name? is often written as dè an t-ainm a th’ ort? with th’ indicating that its vowel is dropped (instead of a tha ort – although that’s also used). Similarly càite a bheil and càit a bheil are two spellings of the same words, the second showing that the last vowel of càite is dropped.


He's doing exactly what your second paragraph suggests.


No, but Gaelic flows really quickly in normal speech. When I say this myself I barely pronounce the tha but I still say it.

Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.