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Metadata for text 33
No. words in text64433
Title Bith-Eolas. A’ Chealla, Gintinneachd is Mean-fhàs
Author N/A (Translated work)
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1976
Date Of Language 1950-1999
Publisher Gairm
Place Published Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Geographical Origins Lewis
Register Education, Prose
Alternative Author Name Derick Thomson (translator)
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 22.2cm x 14.2cm
Short Title Bith-Eòlas
Reference Details EUL, Celtic Library: LA G MacL
Number Of Pages 152
Gaelic Text By Ruaraidh MacThòmais, Ruaraidh (from English of Ronald MacLeod)
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This book is a translation of an English language text by Ronald MacLeod of the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. The English language text was written with a view to introducing biology to students while at the same time highlighting its relevance to the world around us: ‘This book, which limits itself to an up to date introduction to cell biology and evolution, is based on the principle that the facts of modern biology should be learned along with their relevance to the human situation’ (p. 9). It is a suitable text for school children and for students in higher education. The translator, Ruaraidh MacThòmais, was keen to undertake the translation of this work in order to broaden the scope of Gaelic publishing and to introduce into the language the relevant vocabulary.
Contents This volume begins with a Foreword (p. 9) by the author, and a Roimh-ràdh (p. 10) by the translator. The main body of the text contains eight chapters and 3 appendices as follows:

1. A’ Chealla: Prìomh Stéidh na Beatha (pp. 11-24): This chapter introduces the cell, looking at the history of the study of the cell, and at the size and shape of the cell, and its constituent parts.

2. Cealla-Roinn (pp. 25-37): This chapter looks at cell division (mitosis) and at the growth and evolution of the cell.

3. Gintinneachd – Lusan is Ainmhidhean (pp. 38-46): This chapter looks at the genetic make-up of plants and animals, discussing the history of genetics, genes, chromosomes, and characteristics.

4. Gintinneachd – Mac-an-duine (pp. 47-57): This chapter looks at human genetics, including the sex chromosomes, inheritance, blood-groups, environmental influences and mutations.

5. Gintinneachd – Treubhan Chlann-daoine agus Bun an t-Sluaigh Albannaich (pp. 58-71): This chapter looks at the genetics of human tribes and the origins of the Scottish population

6. Mean-fhàs: Bun stéidh na Beatha (pp. 72-87): This chapter looks at the history and theory of evolution, and at the appearance and development of the first organisms.

7. Mean-fhàs Luibhean (pp. 88-108): This chapter discusses the evolution of plants and looks at algae and fungi, plant propagation, and plant relations.

8. Mean-fhàs ainmhidhean (pp. 109-28): This chapter discusses the evolution of animals. It looks, in turn, at single cell animals, sponges, primitive multicellular animals, and at worms, arthropods, and shellfish. It then looks at Ectoderms and Chordates discussing the origins of Chordates and looking in turn at fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, primates, and the evolution of man.

Appendix 1 – Rìoghachd Plantae (Roinnean agus Ainmean) (pp. 129-33): Containing a classification and list of names for the Plant Kingdom.

Appendix 2 – Rìoghachd Animalia (Roinnean agus Ainmean) (pp. 134-40): Containing a classification and list of names for the Animal Kingdom.

Appendix 3 – Aonadan meatrach (p. 141): The third appendix consists of a table of metric units and conversions.

At the end of this volume we find a short Gaelic to English dictionary comprising terms used in the text, Faclair – Gàidhlig-Beurla (pp. 142-47), and a short English to Gaelic dictionary comprising terms used in the text, Faclair – Beurla-Gàidhlig (pp. 148-52).
Sources
Language This text is full of terminology, much of it experimental, relating to cell-growth and to the genetics and evolution of plants and animals. Examples include Co-thàth ‘compound’ (p. 14), fàs-bheairtean ‘organisms’ (p. 11), aoncheallach ‘single celled’ (p. 12), ceallan deargfhuileach (p. 12), pìobagan ‘tubules’ (p. 21), niùclasag ‘nucleolus’ (p. 21), ceallan-dealachaidh ‘secretory cells’ (p. 21), anns a’ bhrisgean-mhilis (p. 21), cromosom (p. 31), cealla-sìl ‘sperm cell’ (p. 31), miotósis (p. 32), gamaitean ‘gametes’ (p. 43), aileal ‘allele’ (p. 43), air a’ phlaseanta (p. 52), ro-rheasach ‘rhesus-positive’ (p. 52), antigine ‘antigen’ (p. 52), muthaidhean ‘mutations’ (p. 56), Co-chur ‘synthesis’ (p. 75), searbhagan ‘acids’ (p. 75), tre-réididheachadh ‘irradiation’ (p. 75), pronnasdan ‘sulphur’ (p. 75), fri-fhilleadh ‘replication’ (p. 80), fìor-chnòthach ‘eukaryotic’ (p. 85) and roimh-chnòthach ‘prokaryotic’ (p. 86), foto-cho-chur ‘photosynthesis’ (p. 85), ceallan bacteridheach ‘bacterial cells’ (p. 85), meamranan ‘membranes’ (p. 85), speisealachadh ‘specialization’ (p. 90), dà-dhaduman ‘diatoms’ (p. 91), carbon dà-ocsaid ‘carbon dioxide’ (p. 95), flaigeallach ‘flagellated’ (p. 102), siopalan ‘sepals’ (p. 103), meanbh-fhrìdean ‘insects’ (p. 113), planaraich ‘planarians’ (p. 113), saor-bhitheach ‘free-living’ (p. 113), dìosganach ‘parasite’ (p. 113), and sgòdanan ‘appendages’ (p. 121).

Other terminology of interest includes mion-rannsachadh (p. 11), stuth-bodhaig (p. 11), cìr-mheala (p. 11), an lus-eòlaiche (p. 11), an t-ainmh-eòlaiche (p. 11), air a’ bheachd-smuain (p. 11), am bith (p. 11), réisio (p. 43), a’ phlàigh (p. 52), a’ bhreac (p. 52), cùis-smaoin (p. 52), galairean (p. 52), adhbhar bàis (p. 52), tìdeach (p. 52), tricead (p. 56), Aireamh an t-sàmpaill (p. 59), luchruban ‘pygmy’ (p. 65), meadh-bhlàth (p. 75), tair-dhealbh ‘cross-section’ (p. 86), aer (p. 90), còrsachan (p. 90), aigeal na mara (p. 91), de chilemeatair-ceàrnach (p. 91), uachdar-fhiaclan (p. 91), clis-ghnìomhach (p. 91), dà chearcall co-mheadhonail (p. 97), ciadameatair ‘centimetre’ (p. 96), cònaichean ‘cones’ (p. 103), ceirtle (p. 112), dìneosoran (p. 125), and na crogaill ‘crocodiles’ (p. 125).

Chapter 5 contains terminology relating to a number of countries and places around the world, such as Innseanaich (p. 59), Hungarianaich (p. 59), teaghlach-chànanan Eòrp-Innseanach (p. 59), Bascaich (p. 59), Lappaich (p. 59), Suainich (p. 60), Gruinland (p. 60), Sìnich (p. 60), Mongolaich (p. 60), Lochlainn (p. 60), Ceann-a-deas Ameireagaidh (p. 60), Niorbhaidh (p. 63), Danmhairc (p. 64), Afracanach (p. 65), and Mórchuanach (p. 65).

Appendices 1 and 2 contain lists of plants and animals in Gaelic, Latin, and English, under the relevant biological classifications, e.g. cloimh-liath ‘a bread mould’ (p. 129), duileasg na h-aibhne ‘floating pondweed’ (p. 131), sgeith-an-ròin ‘sea gooseberry’ (p. 134), and maigheach-gheal ‘alpine, blue or Scottish hare’ (p. 140). They include Gaelic names for non-native species, e.g. sioraf ‘giraffe’ (p. 139) and rorcual ‘common rorqual’ (p. 139). In some cases more than one Gaelic name is given, e.g. lus-na-fionnaig; dearc fhithich ‘crowberry’ (p. 131) and corra-ghóbhlach; fiolan-donn ‘earwig’ (p. 135). However, not all commonly used terms are given, for example the term deilf, rather than leumadair, is given for ‘dolphin’. It should be noted that both appendices contain all the names of plants and animals that appear in the text, along with some that do not appear in the text.

Much of the vocabulary necessary to translate this text into Gaelic was devised by the translator. He freely admits that some of the vocabulary is difficult and that other authors in the future may choose different terminology: ‘Tha deagh fhios agam gum bi pàirt de’n eadar-theangachadh doirbh, is gum bi grunn de na facail ùra a dheilbh mi trom no mì-fhreagarrach an dòigh eile. Thig atharrachadh an sud ’s an seo mar a thig luchd-sgrìobhaidh eile chun a’ chuspair seo, agus gu cuspairean eile tha an dlùth-cheangal ris’ (p. 10). Because much of the vocabulary in this text was created for it, their inclusion in this text cannot be taken as a sign that they are necessarily the most suitable terms, or the terms most commonly used today. Other works, where similar terminology occurs, should also be consulted, in order to gain a broader picture of usage in this subject area.

The dictionaries at the back of this volume are necessary for complete understanding of the text and include both old and new terminology. For example, daolag is used specifically to mean ‘worm’, neo-adhartach is used to mean ‘primitive’; ionnan-chuingeach means ‘homozygous’ and prìomh theannachadh means ‘centromere’. A number of terms have been taken from the English (or from their original language) and given a Gaelic orthography, for example haidrodean, prótain, moileciuil, and simpansidhe.

The text is easy to read with the aid of the Gaelic-English dictionary at the back. Both grave and acute accents are used throughout the text.
Orthography
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading
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