"Litir gheal."

Translation:A white letter.

March 31, 2020

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JouBA51

does Gaelic have the same word for a letter like A, B, or C? The picture showed an envelope containing a letter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

Good question. They often teach words here, where the English is ambiguous, either because it simply means two things, or because it means different things in American and British English.

Yes, it covers both the character and the epistle.

In case you have not been told yet, for the names of the letters themselves we just use the English names, but we are always tolerant of American, English and Scottish variants, so

  • h = aitch, haitch
  • j = jay, jie
  • z = zed, zee

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnotherRobC

Cultural question... is there something specifically referred to as a white letter or is it just two words put together to translate like red skirt?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

Gaelic society was not historically literature-based, so no there is no special phrase. I can't find one in English either, although we do have red-letter days and Blackletter is a script and hence the name of some fonts. Blackletter example Gaelic script is not closely related.

Note that although letter often occurs in the English version of Gaelic placenames, it has nothing to do with writing. It is from leitir 'hillside'. You can find a long list of examples if you search for leitir at faclair.com, making sure you select the 'part of word' option.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JouBA51

Thank you for this background information.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hpdmasseys

What is a white letter?!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

People have already tried and failed to find some meaning, other than a letter that is white, like the t here, which is why you can't see it. If you think I left it out, try highlighting it and you will find it is there - just difficult to see.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hpdmasseys

Moran taing. Tha mi toilichte

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