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 Post subject: Outlander
PostPosted: Tue 01 Mar 2016 10:44 pm 
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If this has already been asked, I apologize. I did a search and couldn't find any reference to it.

A friend recently urged me to read the "Outlander" series, and there's a fair bit of Gaelic in it. What I can't tell is if it's good Gaelic or bad Gaelic (and there are enough differences from what I would expect from knowing Irish, that I do wonder). For example:

1) The writer implies in several places that "Sassenach" refers to any "outlander," not to the English in particular. Is that the case? And while we're on the subject, is that the correct spelling? I don't know if Gaelic adheres to the "caol le caol" rule...

2) When the characters address other people, they use "mo" (or sometimes "mi"), where in Irish we'd use the vocative particle. Is that what's done in Gaelic?

3) Also, there doesn't appear to be any lenition after "mo," as there would be in Irish. Would that normally be the case?

The books are OK...not exactly great literature, but they pass the time. It's been driving me crazy, though, seeing these things and wondering if they're correct. I've seen enough bad Irish in popular novels to make me suspicious.

Thanks in advance!

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2016 11:36 pm 
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No one? :(


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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2016 8:03 am 
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Sassenach is the English transcription and as we know, can be used as an insult, but it looks to me as if the writer is simply using vaguely Gaelic words without regard to them being correct in an attempt to gain some kind of authenticity. That's the impression I get, anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2016 11:29 am 
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Quote:
1) The writer implies in several places that "Sassenach" refers to any "outlander," not to the English in particular. Is that the case? And while we're on the subject, is that the correct spelling? I don't know if Gaelic adheres to the "caol le caol" rule...


It's exactly as in Irish. Sasanach is spelt Sasannach in Gaelic. "Sassenach" is just an Anglicized spelling. And it means English, not "outlander" in general.

Quote:
2) When the characters address other people, they use "mo" (or sometimes "mi"), where in Irish we'd use the vocative particle. Is that what's done in Gaelic?


"mi" = mé in Irish, so it's not a possessive.
But it's true that one can use "mo" in the vocative in Gaelic, unlike Irish.

Quote:
3) Also, there doesn't appear to be any lenition after "mo," as there would be in Irish. Would that normally be the case?


the rules are exactly the same ones as in Irish, so if they don't lenite a word after "mo", it's a mistake.

Quote:
The books are OK...not exactly great literature, but they pass the time. It's been driving me crazy, though, seeing these things and wondering if they're correct. I've seen enough bad Irish in popular novels to make me suspicious.


probably bad Gaelic there too, although I'd need to see more excerpts to be sure 100%

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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2016 2:19 pm 
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Sasannach (formerly Sassunach) means English. Apparently it historically meant all Anglo-Saxon speakers, but Lowlanders have been called Gallda for centuries (which originally just meant "foreign" -- same as "Welsh").

Vocatives in ScG are allowed with "mo" for terms of endearment (but not "mi"), and it always lenites.

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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2016 8:35 pm 
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Thanks all!

I haven't watched any of the TV series, so I have no idea how good or bad the Gaelic may be in those.

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Thu 26 May 2016 9:08 am 
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For the Tv show they have a Langauge coach, a guy who is working to keep the Dáil Riada dialect alive. He has collected a lot of material from the last speakers of that Dailect and raised his children in it, as seen in the video below.

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/dalriadagaelic

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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Thu 26 May 2016 5:18 pm 
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That effort is really great. I remember reading some time ago about the last village in the Dalriada area where Gaelic was still the everyday language for most people, where it survived well into the 1800's and even in part into the 1900's. The village was only about 20 miles south of Glasgow, if I recall correctly.

I recently binge-watched the first season of Outlander, and it was very hard for me to follow the Gaelic (especially not knowing it at all fluently), except for short phrases, but it was fun to decipher the Gaelic in reverse, figuring out what they must have said after thinking about the context.

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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Tue 31 May 2016 4:18 pm 
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Thanks all! I don't know if I'll ever watch the series (I have so much that I TiVo right now I'll never get through it all!), but I am reading the books (and, because so many people here can't seem to distinguish between Irish and Scottish Gaelic, I occasionally have to field questions about the Gaelic in the books). I can often get the meaning, but can't tell if the Gaelic is sound (and, speaking of sounds, have no idea how to pronounce it!)

Another quick one, if I may...

I notice the Scottish characters in the book often use "a nighean" as a friendly endearment when speaking to female characters. I'm assuming that's "daughter" (my brain wants to make it "iníon" with a Ulster spin). I've never encountered that in Irish (plenty of "a mhac" but no "a iníon" unless someone is addressing a daughter directly). Am I right about the meaning, and if so, is that common practice in Gaelic?

Thanks again!

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: Outlander
PostPosted: Tue 31 May 2016 5:21 pm 
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Even "Jeopardy" knows Sasanach means English. Question on last night's show


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