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  5. "Halò, tha Gàidhlig agam."

"Halò, tha Gàidhlig agam."

Translation:Hello, I have Gaelic.

March 4, 2020



I have seen several questions like this in this section. Can someone please explain why you would ever say "I have Gaelic"? Is this saying you speak Gaelic? Why don't you just say that?


I think it's so interesting how metaphors are different in different languages. In German, we often ask something like "Can you German?". That's just a different way of thinking about it and using the words.


It's how it's said in Scotland. Quite often it's "the Gaelic", as in "Do you have the Gaelic?" And this form probably comes from the Gaelic phraseology itself.

In Gaelic, the way you say you can speak the language is the sentence above.


In some parts of Scotland, chiefly those where some Gaelic speakers can still be found, because their variant of English has a lot of Gaelicisms in it. It's by no means standard, even in Scotland, I assure you. Despite that, I have no doubt you'd be understood, of course. It's simply that most English speakers (and it is supposed to be translated into English, not a specific and somewhat peculiar variety thereof) will not say anything like that; they'll say "I know" or "I speak".


Whichever part of Scotland you are from, this is what you are likely to say if you have the Gaelic. So Do you speak Gaelic? is a sensible question from someone who doesn't, and likely answers are No, I don't speak Gaelic or Yes, I have the Gaelic.


Indeed, the correct English translation would be "Do you speak Gaelic?" I have definitely heard Gaelic-speakers saying "Do you have the Gaelic", so I offered this as a translation and it was marked wrong.


Thanks so much! Very interesting :)

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