Gàidhlig / English


Posted by Calum on 16th December, 2021
Bheir britheamh breith air bàillidh breugach brèideil,” the dream can be hard to say and in this case it’s true literally! Tongue-twisters are abundant in Gaelic and I like them because they can be truthful or silly (sometimes the both of them) but that is the case in tongue-twisters! We shall look at a lot of them here.
These two tongue-twisters were from “Saoghal Bana-mharaiche,” by Seòsamh Watson:
  • “Cha robh reithe ruadh a-riamh reamhar.” [“A red ram was never fat.”]
  • “Caoraich Baile a’ Bhealaidh ag ithe bealaidh air beulaibh Baile a’ Bhealaidh.” [“Broomtown sheep eating broom in front of Broomtown.”]
These ones were found on “tongue-twister.net”:
  • “Balach beag bìodach a’ bocadaich air bàrr baraille.” [“A tiny wee boy jumping about on top of a barrel.”]
  • “Cha robh laogh ruadh riamh luath, is cha robh laogh luath riamh reamhar.” [“A red calf was never fast, and a fast calf was never fat.”]
  • “Lìon làn rionnach ’s ròn làn leanna.” [“A full net of mackerel and a seal full of beer.”]
  • “Thuit putan peitein beag à pòcaid Pèigi.” [“A small waistcot button fell out of Peggy’s pocket.”]
  • “Màs d’ àth-s i, bàth i; bàthaidh mis’ i mas m’ àth-s’ i.” [“If it’s your kiln, extinguish it; I’ll extinguish it if it’s my kiln.”
  • “Mar chù ag òl eanbhruich, tha ainmean Chloinn ’Ill Eathain: (fon anail) – Eachann, Lachann, Lachann, Eachann, Eachann, Lachann, Teàrlach, Eachann, Lachann, Lachann, Eachann, Eachann, Lachann, Teàrlach.” [“The traditional names of Clan MacLean are like a dog slurping  soup: (said under breath) Hector, Lachlann, Lachlann, Hecotr, Hector, Lachlann, Charles, Hector, Lachlann, Lachlann, Hector, Hector, Lachlann, Charles.”
These ones were found one the page “Akerbeltz”:
  • “Am faca tu ’m bacach no ’m faca tu ’mhac, Chan fhaca mi ’m bacach ’s chan fhaca mi ’mhac, Ach nam faicinn-sa ’m bacach, no nam faicinn-sa ’mhac, Cha bhagrainn air a’ bhacach ’s cha bhagrainn air a mhac.” [“Did you see the cripple, or did you see his son, I didn’t see the cripple Nor did I see his son, If I see the cripple, Or if I see his son, I won’t threaten the cripple, Nor will I threaten his son.”
  • “Baraill am broinn baraille ’s baraill Bail’ Ailein.” [“A barrel in a barrel and the barrel of Baile Ailein.”]
  • “Cailin dubh à Eòrabus, Cailin donn an Càrabus, Cailin chridheil Uisge an t-Suidhe, ’S pioraidean Charainne.” [“A black-haired girl from Eorabus, A brown-haired girl from Carrabus, The cheerful girl from Uiskentuie, And the pirates of Carainne.”]
  • “Donnchadh Mòr is an cù is an cat, Is a bhrù air at cho mòr ri poit, Is a phìob làn tombaca ’s e feadaireachd.” [“Big Duncan and the dog and the cat, And his belly swollen immensly, And his pipe full of tobacco and him whistling.”]
  • “Faca tu saor an t-sàbhaidh, Faca tu sàbh an t-saoir, Faca tu saor an t-sàbhaidh, Saor an t-sàbhaidh, sàbh an t-saoir.” [“Did you see the joiner of the sawing, Did you see the saw of the joiner Did you see the joiner of the sawing The Joiner of the sawing, the saw of a joiner.”]
  • “Gheibhear laogh breac ballach aig taigh gach àirighe, Latha Fhèill-Pàdraig earraich.”
  • “Latha dhomh ’s mi falbh le mart, Thòisich mi ri gabhail port, Nuair a chual’ am mart am port Theab am mart mo mhurt.” [You have to ask a speaker who inserts ‘sh’ between into words with ‘rt’ to asy this without inserting the ‘sh’. “One day when I was off with the cow, I started to hum a tune And when the cow heard the tune It almost killed me.”]
  • “Oidhche shoilleir thioram agus oidhche thioram shoilleir.” [“A bright dry night and a dry bright night.”]
  • “Siud an cliabh san do chleachd a’ chearc bhreac a bhith breith.” [“That’s the basket in which the spotted hen used to lay.”]
  • “Trì uairean gun a dhol iomrall timcheall ceann Loch Strollamaraig.” [“To go around the head of Loch Trolmaraig three times without going astray.”]
  • “Ubhal bog abaich dubh ’S ubhal dubh bog abaich.” [“A soft ripe black apple, And a black soft ripe apple.”]
There is a good “catrach” that aren’t in this blog but do you know any of them above? Do you know any tongue-twisters above? Let us know on on facebooktwitter and our own website!
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