1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "I was never in London."

"I was never in London."

Translation:Cha robh mi ann an Lunnainn a-riamh.

April 5, 2020



Why not : ' Bha mi ann an Lunnainn a-riamh' (I was in London never) as opposed to Cha robh mi etc (I was not in London never). Cha robh followed by a-riamh sounds like a double negative.


The meaning of a-riamh is technically ever; but it also means never, when following a negative (such as cha robh ).

The "cha robh mi a-riamh" construction literally means "I was not ever ".


  • Bha mi ann an Lunnainn a-riamh. > I was in London ever.


I have never been to London, would be a far bettermEnglish translation, as the past supposes you are dead. (at least, that´s what I´ve been taught)


They are different. One is typical for visiting but the other for living there or working there etc.

I have been to London. Have you? No, I have never been to London.
I was in London for 20 years. Were you ever there? No, I was never in London.


I answered 'a-riamh ann an Lunnain' and was marked correct.


You have 'Lunnainn' spelled incorrectly, it might have been that? :)


I missed that, although I wasn't looking for it as I expected Duo to ignore it anyway. But I asked myself why. I think there is a difference in phonology, although I think this may be more apparent in the adjacent vowel than in the consonant itself. Mark does not give -nn in an unstressed syllable, but in a monosyllable -nn is like one of the two options for -n

-inn -in
seachdain /ʃaxkεn/
fhéin /hen/
beinn /beiɲ/ ciùin /kjuɲ/

So I am not sure if I should be able to tell the difference between -nn and -n by listening. Should I?

Historically there appears to be no reason for the -nn and no other language know to Wikipedia has it, not even Irish or Welsh or Scots.

□ Abkhazian Лондан □ Acehnese London □ Adyghe Лондон □ Afrikaans Londen □ Akan London □ Alemannic London □ Anglo-Saxon Lunden □ Aragonese Londres □ Asturian Londres □ Avar Лондон □ Aymara London □ Azerbaijani London □ Balinese London □ Bavarian London □ Samogitian Londons □ Bashkir Лондон □ Central_Bicolano Londres □ Belarusian Лондан □ Bulgarian Лондон □ Bislama London □ Bambara London □ Breton Londrez □ Bosnian London □ Buryat (Russia) Лондон □ Catalan Londres □ Zamboanga Chavacano London □ Min Dong Lùng-dŭng □ Cebuano London □ Chechen Лондон □ Corsican Londra □ Crimean Tatar London □ Kashubian Londin □ Czech Londýn □ Chuvash Лондон □ Welsh Llundain □ Danish London □ German London □ Zazaki Londra □ Lower Sorbian London □ Ewe London □ Greek Λονδίνο □ Emilian-Romagnol Lòndra □ English London □ Esperanto Londono □ Spanish Londres □ Estonian London □ Basque Londres □ Extremaduran Londri □ Fula London □ Võro London □ Finnish Lontoo □ Fijian Lodoni □ Faroese London □ Franco-Provençal/Arpitan Londro □ North Frisian London □ French Londres □ West Frisian Londen □ Gagauz London □ Irish Londain □ Guianan Creole Lonn □ Scottish Gaelic Lunnainn □ Galician Londres □ Guarani Lóndyre □ Konkani London □ Manx Lunnin □ Hakka Lùn-tûn □ Hausa Landan □ Hawaiian Lākana □ Fiji Hindi London □ Croatian London □ Upper Sorbian London □ Haitian Lonn □ Hungarian London □ Interlingua London □ Indonesian London □ Interlingue London □ Igbo London □ Ilokano Londres □ Ingush Лондон □ Ido London □ Icelandic London □ Italian Londra □ Jamaican Landan □ Lojban london □ Javanese London □ Karakalpak London □ Kabyle London □ Kabardian Лондон □ Kabiye Lɔndrɩ □ Kazakh Лондон □ Greenlandic London □ Komi-Permyak Лондон □ Karachay-Balkar Лондон □ Ripuarian London □ Kurdish (Kurmanji) London □ Komi Лондон □ Cornish Loundres □ Kyrgyz Лондон □ Ladino Londra □ Latin Londinium □ Lak Лондон □ Luxembourgish London □ Lezgian Лондон □ Lingua Franca Nova London □ Ligurian Londra □ Limburgish Londe □ Lombard Lundra □ Lingala Lóndɛlɛ □ Lithuanian Londonas □ Latvian Londona □ Banyumasan London □ Malagasy London □ Meadow Mari Лондон □ Māori Rānana □ Macedonian Лондон □ Mongolian Лондон □ Hill Mari Лондон □ Malay London □ Maltese Londra □ Mirandese Londres □ Erzya Лондон ош □ Neapolitan Londra □ Nauruan London □ Dutch Low Saxon Londen □ Low Saxon London □ Dutch Londen □ Norwegian (Nynorsk) London □ Novial London □ Norwegian (Bokmål) London □ Norman Londres □ Chichewa London □ Occitan Londres □ Livvi-Karelian London □ Oromo Landan □ Ossetian Лондон □ Papiamentu London □ Picard Londe □ Pennsylvania German London □ Norfolk London □ Polish Londyn □ Piedmontese Londra □ Pontic Λονδίνο □ Portuguese Londres □ Quechua London □ Romansh Londra □ Vlax Romani London □ Aromanian Londra □ Romanian Londra □ Rusyn Лондон □ Russian Лондон □ Sakha Лондон □ Sicilian Londra □ Scots Lunnon □ Sardinian Londra □ Northern Sami London □ Serbo-Croatian London □ Slovak Londýn □ Slovene London □ Samoan Lonetona □ Shona London □ Somali London □ Albanian Londra □ Sranan Tongo London □ Serbian Лондон □ Saterland Frisian London □ Sesotho London □ Sundanese London □ Swedish London □ Swahili London □ Silesian Lůndůn □ Tetum Londres □ Tajik Лондон □ Turkmen London □ Tagalog Londres □ Tok Pisin Landen □ Turkish Londra □ Tatar Лондон □ Twi London □ Udmurt Лондон □ Uyghur London □ Ukrainian Лондон □ Uzbek London □ Venetian Łondra □ Veps London □ Vietnamese Luân Đôn □ West Flemish Londn □ Volapük London □ Waray London □ Walloon Londe □ Wolof Londar □ Yoruba Lọndọnu □ Zealandic Londen □ Min Nan Lûn-tun □ Zulu ILondon

As for the broad nn in the middle, I don't think I am meant to be able to hear this after an u, although with other letters it is easier (an vs ann).

Historically this is easier, since nn is readily intechangeable with nd in the history of Irish and Gaelic.


No, my answer was marked as Correct even though I transposed 'a-riamh' & 'ann an Lunnain'. And apparently left out an 'n'.


I'm not complaining, just wondering if that's acceptable in everyday usage.


I wasn't ....?


Can someone remind me of when it is 'ann an' and when it is 'ann am'?


Yes. It is ann am before sounds made with the lips - b, f, p, m - as it is easier to say, since m is basically n with the lips closed.

Note that it applies to ann an because it does not lenite. No words that cause lenition have this effect, so you never get it with bh, fh, ph, mh even though three of these are made with the lips (and the other is silent).

Because this change is quite natural, it happens in many languages, including English:

contain, but combine, compare, commute, comfort

We very often say it even if we don't write it or notice it, as in input which is normally pronounced *imput.


Has it always been Lunnainn? I swear it used to be Lonnainn...

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