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  5. "Tha mi a' dol suas gu Inbhir…

"Tha mi a' dol suas gu Inbhir Nis."

Translation:I am going up to Inverness.

March 25, 2020



I'm a native English speaking Scot and we would generally use up for traveling Northwards, down for Southwards and across or over for East or West (the latter two being interchangeable). Hope this helps.


So how does 'down to' and 'up to' a town work in English? Is it altitude based, latitude bases, or just personal preference?

So would someone from Glasgow go up to Inverness, but someone from Stornoway go down to Inverness? Or does it depend on which place is situated higher above sea level.


English is my first language. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the US at elevation 6500'. Denver is north of me but only at 5280'. So some say I'm going up to Denver (north); others say I'm going down to Denver (elevation). My preference is up to Denver, but it can correct be either way in (American) English. However, if you are up high in the mountains and going down to a city on the plains, you would always use down since the elevation is so different, in my opinion. Good question!


Not entirely sure if it works the same in Sc. Gaelic, but in Irish suas can mean just movement from a smaller/less prestigious to a bigger/more prestigious place (eg. from a village to a town, from the outskirts to the center, etc.), and also just henceforth, forwards.

Faclair Dwelly also gives:

sìos is suas, eastward and westward (on the E. coast);


Thanks for the explanation, but I was actually interested in how it worked in English (as it is not my first language). I had translated the sentence as "I'm going down to Inverness" and it was marked incorrectly. Now although this was a silly translation mistake on my part, it did made me wonder (in general) whether there was a reason why you would say 'up to' or 'down to' in English when referring to place names.


Oh, sorry. English is not my native language either, but recently I’ve seen a Facebook discussion about it, and it seems to me that it really depends on person. Some Americans argued there that for them it’s ‘up to’ only when going north (and the other directions also correlate with the orientation of the directions on the map), others that it depended on the prestige/size of the place (so ‘up to the big city’), others yet that it depended on the place (and that they always say eg. ‘down to town’), and others that for them it’s only about the elevation… So I think it really depends on the speaker and region maybe.

But then there are terms like uptown (residential area away from the center) and downtown (the business center), so…


But in New York uptown is north and downtown is south. Midtown is in the middle.


I am originally from Bristol in the SW England. There is a huge parkland area there to the NW of the City called Clifton Downs or to locals just The Downs. No matter where you lived in Bristol you would always say, "I'm going up The Downs". Gaelic isn't so difficult!


I have a different question. It sounds like she is pronouncing Inhir Nis as Inver not Inyer. I appreciate that there are regional variations and it's good to hear them, but it would be really great to have this signalled with the different speakers. As a Scot I don't want to be in Gaelic Scotland sounding like I'm from Nova Scotia.

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