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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Geoffrey15001

A question related to Gaelic names

Halò! I have found a question related to how to spell some names in Scottish Gaelic: When translating non-Scottish names or Lowlander names into Gaelic, do I need to Gaelicize the forenames? For example, should I write Alex Salmond’s name in Gaelic as Alasdair Salmond?

April 21, 2020

15 Comments


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

In terms of the course, I think they want us to translate the names. But, in terms of the spoken language some people will probably translate their names when speaking/using Gaelic, while other's might not.

That has been my experience at least


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Geoffrey15001

Thank you. Tapadh leat.


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

No. You call him what he wants to be called, which is, I assume, Alex. I have a son called Dafydd (the Welsh for David); I would object if someone were to call him David, if for no other reason that he has Dafydd on his birth certificate, and that is his name, and that is how he wishes to be addressed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SrGI2aed

The names of public figures often appear in Gaelic speech and media in a Gaelic form, if there is one. On BBC Alba, for example, Alex Salmond is referred to as Ailig Salmond, David Cameron as Dàibhidh Camshron, David Attenborough as Dàibhidh Attenborough, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lacey-Marie

Thanks! You have been most helpful:)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lacey-Marie

I have a related question. As my name has a 'y' in it's not in the alphabet.


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

I'm not a master of Gaelic names or Orthography but I think that if Lacey were to be rendered in Gaelic it would probably have an ì for the y sound and an s instead of a c. I know there're lot's of places to find Irish spellings of names so i'd bet you can find something equivalent for Gaelic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lacey-Marie

That's great, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rona460381

I would guess Leasaidh


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

Defiantly! I totally got my Irish and Gaelic spellings confused!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lacey-Marie

So is there a correct translation to names or is it just about sounding it out and using the right phonetics? Like my name for example...


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

It depends, there could be a "traditional" or commonly used Gaelic version (Like My name Kieran has a very common version in Irish orthography, Ciarán, that i use often when writing in Irish). But, there might not be and in that case SrGI2aed's comment is on the nose


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SrGI2aed

In practice, if there is not a straightforward "traditional" Gaelic-English equivalent for a first name, most people would be likely just to keep the non-Gaelic name as it is. The fact that a name contains letters not present in the Gaelic alphabet is not really an issue. There are plenty high-profile people in the Gaelic world with first names without "traditional" equivalents, who use the same first name in Gaelic and English (at least in public, I don't know them personally) - Julie Fowlis, Joy Dunlop, Karen NicMhàthain/Karen Matheson etc. That's not to say that you can't/shouldn't have fun creating your own Gaelic version of your name with a phonetic spelling or some other way if you want to...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lacey-Marie

That makes complete sense I appreciate that:) When writing and speaking I will probably just use my English name although I am curious to know how my name would have been spelled, would you know how to figure that out because i am still new to Gaelic and am not familiar with sounding out words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SrGI2aed

Rona460381's suggestion seems like a good one.

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