"Do you like it, friend?"
Translation:An toil leat e, a charaid?
I think it's generally e for a basic "it" meaning. The thing with the weather seems to be because sìde is feminine but even there I think e is acceptable (latha is masculine).
I suspect if the thing you were pointing to was feminine, maybe i would be OK?
Might be worth trying i in this answer to see if it's accepted.
Yes, you use i when referring to things described by feminine nouns (so a night – oidhche – is i, so would be a bat – ialtag, etc.).
I’m not sure how it works in Sc. Gaelic (help, a Mhic Aonghais agus a joanne :)) but in Irish there are exceptions – some limited words are often referred by the other pronoun. Eg. bád a boat and capall a horse are masculine, but often referred to with feminine sí, í (this is sometimes called feminine of reference in Irish), while on the other hand áit a place is feminine but very often referred to with sé, é, the masculine pronoun… But those are exceptions (and still in most cases it’s ok to use the ‘proper’ pronoun corresponding to the noun’s gender).
Intriguing. Never heard that in Gaelic or Irish but you learn every day. I have heard discussion about this in various languages including Welsh as boats are generally thought of as feminine, regardless of noun gender. Even in English they are often 'she'. There is a general perception that because they support you like a mother, enclose you like a womb or are physically under you like a woman they are perceived as feminine across cultures. Sorry if this is not PC but it is, I believe, historically correct.
So the mystery is why bàta was masculine in the first place. Intriguingly, Dwelly (1911) gives the gender as 'm on land, f at sea'. Apparently the Old English was also 'm or f' but it is listed as m in most languages.
An (am before BFMP and just a before bheil) is the interrogative (ie. questioning) particle. It’s just what you put before any yes-no question in Gaelic. It requires the dependent form of the verb, and the dependent verb of the copula is is empty (ie., the copula disappears entirely):
- tha mi toilichte I am happy → a bheil mi toilichte? am I hapy?
- bha thu anns an taigh you were in the house → an robh thu anns an taigh? were you in the house?
- seinnidh i òran she will sing a song → an seinn i òran? will she sing a song?
- chunnaic thu seo you saw this → am faca tu seo? did you see this?
and with copula:
- is toil leat e, a charaid you like it, friend → an toil leat e, a charaid? do you like it, friend?
- ’s e dotair a th’ innte she is a doctor → an e dotair a th’ innte? is she a doctor?
It’s definitely not determined by the person, it’s just what you stick at the beginning of the sentence to turn it into question.
What does determine the person (you) in this sentence is leat with you. An toil leat e, a charaid? very literally means something like is it a delight with-you, friend?. To change it eg. to do I like it? you would change leat with you into leam with me: an toil leam e? do I like it?, and then does he like it? would be an toil leis e?, does she like it? would be an toil leatha e?, etc.