In this lesson we are going to go over what we have learnt already and add in a few other bits in the form of an essay:
ag radh ……. saying.
fathast …… yet.
dachaidh …….. home.
do’n bhaile …….to the town.
a’ dol ……. going.
an t-each ……. the horse.
a’ tighinn ……..coming.
Og …… young.
ach …… but.
an diugh —— to-day.
agus …… and.
The past tense of the verb to be
bha mi ….. I was.
bha Sinn ….. we were.
bha thu ……you were.
bha Sibh —- you were.
bha e, i —–he, she was.
bha iad —– they were.
An-dè bha mi ag obair, càite an robh thu? Bha mi aig an oifis. Bha stoirm againn an-diugh agus bha e uamhasach.
Try to understand the following conversation. There are new constructions and words we will be looking at:
An diugh, chaidh sinn a Pheairt. bha e fuar. Tha Peairt glè mhòr. tha mòran eaglaisean, taighean-tasgaidh, gailearaidh ealain agus cafaidhean aige. Chan eil gàidhlig aig Peairt. Tha mòran bhailtean Albannach glè dhona, tha Peairt glè eadar-dhealaichte.
In Gaelic names, “Mac” means “Son of” and “Nic” means ” daughter of”.
(audio clips will follow shortly)
Ciamar a Tha Thu? How are you? Continue reading “Scottish Gaelic Lesson 1: How are you?”
Recently I have been writing a few posts about how Gaelic could be revived and used functionally by ensuring that it has a place in our subconscious rather than existing only in political opinion or outward ego.
Such a “place” needs to be linked into the deeper part of our minds, hence the calling for any Gaelic to exist in our Subconscious (let us call this place spirituality) rather than in our functional mind where it has no real basis or claim to longevity. This ensures a place in our identity going forward without worrying about the language disappearing.
I am working on a pedagogical structure to demonstrate my points about principled language learning and how it can exist in our identity.
In this post I would like to explore what a Gaelic Consciousness might look like outwardly, assuming that it was projected from a deeper place in Mind.
Firstly, it would be something which we would be more comfortable with. At the moment there is a hysteria that Gaelic is something which we will lose shortly or will be robbed from our psyche (although I doubt many people hold Gaelic in such a deep place). This can be broadly compared to the 20th century hysteria which existed between Catholic and Protestant tribal mindsets in Northern Ireland and West Scotland (ironically, propagated by religious opinion in the Gaelic world) If we ensure Gaelic is projected from a deeper place, then we can ensure a peaceful existence with it, which in turn will ensure a peaceful existence with other people too.
Secondly, as the subconscious part of our Mind is communal, there would be a greater respect between people of the language as it will exist as an identity deeper than simply cognitive where we compete with each other. This would be further propagated by a spiritual practice which I have suggested may be a correct use of Art, Poetry, Creativity and other such things to ensure that Gaelic has a spiritual place in our lives. This does not have to interfere or deflate any current religious practice but it should be something which is propagated from the Creative Mind. As such the future of Gaelic may also mean a flourishing of the Arts on a scale not seen previously. That may give rise to a political sentiment so great care needs to be taken with the actual product which is no way designed to injure anyone. This will also help to link Gaelic to our Tribal past where the Druids were known for the Arts.
Thirdly, it would seem the natural outgrowth of this would be some kind of peaceful living shared experience, what that looks like remains to be seen but could be some kind of environmental respect for the countryside or more activities taking place in the Islands and Mountains to nurture identity by shared creative experiences which would need to be expressed practically to ensure that it moves forward in the functional mind as well.
Although this looks like a long way off, we can actually begin to propagate this now, by choosing to engage in creative practices related to expression of language. As we know the Arabs have a very beautiful way of expressing calligraphy, this is perhaps one place to start.
I don´t think there is any point pushing Gaelic on to other people mechanically as this becomes simply an ego trip and political agenda from well meaning but misguided egos. A better approach would be for Gaelic to be visible and let it work based on attraction rather than force. There is great power in passivity. Having said that, we do need to protect the work already done, so I am not suggesting any kind of movement away from political discussion.
Whilst these ideas will be the subject of much humour amongst some, for the language to survive I really don´t think we have a choice unless we simply want to make a very defensive personal political approach which will do nothing other than create a chasm between parts of our own country as well as our relations with everyone else beyond the borders.
Yesterday I wrote a post about linking Gaelic language and identity with a Spirituality. Working on the basis that at present, many Gaels (defined as people who speak the language) are not native and those who are native are affected largely by their past, growing up in isolated communities where outward pervasive religious opinion has largely dominated thinking particularly before the technological era. The idea of looking at this, is to ensure that Gaelic learning is based on a Principled learning structure otherwise any attempt to push it forward is likely to fail as it would have no basis or claim to a continuing reality.
I would like to continue that post by looking more at what “Gaelic Spirit” might be and how it can be harnessed to push the language into the future, let go of unhelpful dogma as well as honouring our history.
To begin, we need to define exactly what we mean by “Spirit”. This term is not in any way linked to a religious idea specifically although it does not exclude it. The question is, what is the force which brings us to a point of language learning or choosing to use a different form of communication, which actually reinforces our identity, as Gaels?
Yesterday I spoke about drawing a pedagogical structure to demonstrate these points. In any such structure “Spirit” needs to be clearly demonstrated as the power of the thing or at the heart of it. In religious terms this can be called ruach, wind of God or a whole host of other largely unhelpful words and as these terms bring up a sense of the very things we are trying to displace on one hand organised religious opinion and myticism or paganism on the other, I don’t want to bring them into the structure.
Although I have not started working on drawing the structure yet, it will be loosely based upon the hand drawn chart in the picture below, which was created by me to show the continuous revelation of English for language learners. It is a structure which is divided into two parts, practical and academic (left and right) and conscious and Subconscious (top and bottom) where the bottom part represents “Spirit” governing the top part which is our outward functional identity. A structure like this can be used to analyse personal and collective Gaelic learning and further definitions can be added to each line of each square later to bring out more points.
The question which can be asked even at this early stage with a basic hand drawn chart has to be:
“what is driving me to learn Gaelic, is it my outward self based on a material, personal or political agenda or is it coming from “Spirit”? ( in this case we will define Spirit as God or our subconscious or collective Mind).
I need to say that unless we are prepared to honestly ask ourselves this question, with the help of a structure such as this, then we can expect to see more opposition to Gaelic learning because political force and sentimentality are not enough for it to survive. Outward strength brought on from political rhetoric, personal circumstances etc cannot endure in the long term, whereas a sound principled idea of learning Gaelic is more helpful.
For native Gaelic speakers, the structure could also be used to explore a more Spiritual theme such as whether a personal god exists in the top two rows in that person’s particular expression or whether a deeper look at personal offences needs to be examined.
It may be helpful for us to explore how to use the Collective Mind or subconscious to push ourselves forward but the structure needs to be defined first as well as the terms I want to use to further demonstrate my points.
I hope to be able to come up with it shortly.