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  5. "Tha an doras dùinte."

"Tha an doras dùinte."

Translation:The door is closed.

April 5, 2020



"Tha" is not in the audio. It starts with "An"


It is there. Gaelic doesn’t like hiatus (two vowels one after the other) and if two words following each other would create a hiatus – one ends in a vowel, the second one start with a vowel – the vowel that is unstressed is not pronounced.

Hence tha an doras is pronounced /han dorəs/, as if written tha ’n doras, and /han/ at the beginning might sound a bit like /an/ (it’s easy to not hear the consonant /h/ or to take it for some background noise). But it is there and /han/ is the typical way that tha an… sounds in Gaelic.

See elision in Scottish Gaelic phonology on Wikipedia and B' àill leibh or fast speech on the Akerbeltz wiki. That’s also the reason why the vocative a disappears before vowels and why the spelling càite a bheil has changed to càit a bheil. In some context you’ll see this elision written to other words too, eg. dè an t-ainm a th’ ort? what is your name?, but you can also find it written as dè an t-ainm a tha ort?.


I'm sorry, but it does not sound "han" at all. I wear ear pieces and it definitely sounds "An".

For those of us who do not hear the language on a regular basis (if at all) it is very difficult to hear what it should be. It needs to be clearer - please don't tell me this is harsh, I am merely pointing out from the listener's perspective how difficult it is.


If I go to the dùinte entry in the vocabulary and listen to the recordings of Tha an doras dùinte and An doras dùinte (two different entries, you need to click SHOW MORE SENTENCES to find the second one), I hear a clear difference between them, and clear /han dorəs/ in the former, /ən dorəs/ in the latter.


I didn't know you could find all those sentences. Very useful. I wish they would tell us that sort of thing at the beginning.


I only hear that it's a different speaker. Even comparing those two sentences, I cannot hear the 'tha' in the 'tha an' version.


Sorry for responding only many months later. Weird. I hear both read by the same speaker. The /h/ in /han/ for tha an might not be very clear but if you compare them, tha an doras… /han dorəs…/ and an doras /ən dorəs…/ do have different vowels (in fact, in the latter the vowel is so much reduced that it’s almost not there, a bit as if /n̩.dorəs/ with syllabic /n̩/ in the beginning, while the former has clear /a/).


I'd agree. I'm listening on headphones and just cannot, however hard I listen and however many times I try, hear the 'han'. To me it definitely just sounds like An. Even comparing the two sentences (as suggested), I can't hear 'han' in the tha an version.


I guess it would all be clear in context. People don't generally say things out of the blue like "the door is closed"! :D


I cannot hear it either. I've listened and listened and can't hear it at all.


This speaker should be marked "wrong". There is no "tha" at all.


Please see all the discussion on this page on this issue. If you have anything to add to any particular comment, please post a reply to that comment.


If doras is one door what is plural


If you were asking because doras sounds plural to English ears, note that -s is not a plural marker in Gaelic. So there is no reason for treating words that end in -s any differently from any other words.

It is not at all obvious why this word in particular should end in an -s or -z in Gaelic, Irish, Welsh, Latvian, Lithuanian and Old Prussian. The entry for Germanic durz shows a pretty desperate attempt to try and explain the -z. It is certainly suspicious that several languages, not that closely related, have all decided to add the -s/z to the same word that did not have it. D


What ‘desperate attempt to try and explain the -z’ are you referring to? I don’t see any.

In the Proto-Germanic *durz the -z is just the nominative marker (see Proto-Germanic consonant stems on Wiktionary and on Wikipedia just like eg. Proto-Germanic hlaibaz gave modern English loaf). This -z has nothing to do with the noun being plural (the Proto-Germanic reconstruction is not plural; the article just notes that multiple daughter languages moved to using it as plurale tantum).

Also in case of Latvian, Lithuanian, and Old Prussian the word stem does not have any -s/-z – there it also is just a nominative marker (as Baltic languages are one of the few IE language families that did not lose the original nominative endings). It’s not that this particular word ends in -s in them – most of the nouns in nominative do.

In case of Goidelic languages – they did lose it (so you won’t see most of the nouns ending in -os, -us, -as, etc. like in Latin, Classical Greek, Lithuanian, or Proto-Germanic reconstructions). But in case of doras the word comes from a suffixed Proto-Celtic *dworestus (Matasović gives root *dwor-es-tu- for OIr. dorus and Welsh drws).

The original unsuffixed Proto-Celtic *dworā, *duros gave Middle Welsh dor, Gaulish Augusto-durum, Old Irish (mostly in toponyms) Dor, Duir.

EDIT: and if you want to point that reconstructed Proto-Balto-Slavic *dworum, *dwara does not have any -s – that’s because it probably did not have -s in the nominative (cf. Sanskrit dváram). But modern languages (Lithuanian, Latvian, Old Prussian) levelled the word to other more common declension patterns (most of which do have -s in nominative singular, and quite a few in nom. plural).


Yes, I didn't think that one through properly. I latched onto the

This word was a plurale tantum in Old Norse, and it might have been used in that way in Proto-Germanic as well

which looked like a shot in the dark as there did not seem to be any good reason this suggestion about Proto-Germanic. Because of this I (completely wrongly) jumped to the conclusion that they were trying to explain the z (even though is is not a plural marker in Germanic). Further, not being familiar with Latvian and Lithuanian at all, I forgot that some languages may retain the -s nom. sing. marker. So altogether I did not do very well.

But I was also hampered by not having any suitable reference sources in which to find out what * dworestus might mean, or even knowing who Matasović is.

So at the end of the day, the clue must be in the * dworestus. So can you tell us about that?


Ranko Matasović is the author of the Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, 2009 – one of the series of modern Indo-European etymological dictionaries from the IEED / “New Pokorny” project (Wikipedia) from Leiden University, and as far as I’m aware the most up-to-date Celtic etymological dictionary.

I can cite what Matasović says about the word:

*dworā, *duro-, *dworestu- ‘door’ [Noun]

GOID: OIr. dorus [u m], Dor, Duir [Toponyms]

W: OW dor , MW dor [f] (GPC dôr), drws [m]

BRET: MBret. dor

CO: Co. dor, darat

GAUL: Augusto-durum [Toponym] (‘Forum Augusti’)

PIE: *dwor- ‘door’ (IEW: 278)

COGN: Lat. forēs, Gr. thýrā, ToB twere

ETYM: The Celtic forms are actually not easy to subsume under a single etymon. We might be dealing with a PCelt. ablauting paradigm, Nom. sg. *dwār, Acc. *dwor-am (from which we have the Brittonic forms and, with a suffix, OIr. dorus, W drws < *dwor-es-tu-), Gen. sg. *dur-os (from which we can derive Gaul. -durum and the OIr. toponyms Dor, Duir.

REF: LEIA D-173, GPC I: 1089, EIEC 98, 168, de Bernardo Stempel 1999: 145, 447, Delamarre 156, Falileyev 49, Matasović 2004: 103, 117, Sims-Williams 2006: 75f.

As you can see, he does not go deeply into the suffixed form… You could probably find more in the references at the end, but I won’t try to decipher the abbreviations of the sources and check what they claim about OIr. dorus and Welsh drws.


Diolch yn fawr. That is very useful. I am always erring on the pinch-of-salt side, and when I seen references that cast doubt on their own reliability

The Celtic forms are actually not easy to subsume under a single etymon.

then I become very dubious.


Fair – I can’t comment on the reliability of the reconstruction without looking at the sources (although I personally believe Matasović to be pretty conservative and trustworthy in presented reconstructions).

The point was that Goidelic dorus, doras (and Welsh drws) has s in the root of the word while other IE forms, including Baltic ones and PGerm. *durz do not (that’s the reason why it’s hard to subsume them under a single etymon with eg. Gaul -durum, or OIr. Dor).

Whatever the actual proto-form was (if different than Matasović’s *dworestus), the point about s-in-the-root still stands.


my gaelic was duine an dorus tha sin I always thought snog meant pretty . Here it given the meaning nice!

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