Friday, November 02, 2007

Madainn Mhath. Moran taing for an iongantach latha-saor!

I always try to immerse guests in local culture when I can. My last tour was in the Gaelic speaking Highlands, but I hadn't expected this to be reflected in an appreciative email (above) that followed. Ann from Texas went on, "I told my husband that we were moving to Skye when we retire so I can go to the college for a year".

'The College' she mentions is the flourishing Gaelic College at Sabhal Mor Ostaig (above). And that's my small contribution to Latha Mòr na Gaidhlig, the Big Gaelic Day, which was held at Aviemore, or An Aghaidh Mòr, yesterday. It was also yesterday that I gave a talk on Clans to a group of American artists at Brodie Castle. Their paintings, featuring some wonderful Scottish castles, may be seen shortly at Loch Vale Fine Art, Estes Park, Colorado. But the conversation dwelled on Gaelic - in particular words that have been absorbed into English. (I was much helped by Elizabeth who speaks Gaelic fluently thanks to an Irish father)...

Gleann means valley, clann children, plaide blanket and uisge-beatha whisky. Also, 'Galore' comes from gu le
òr meaning enough or plenty, 'dosh' from duais meaning wages, and 'slogan' from sluagh-ghairm meaning battle cry. And if you should need to let off steam without being understood - amadan means idiot!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I couldn't agree with you more, when traveling or moving is so important to get inside the local culture. I always try to find a great jewellers so I can get some interesting looks.