Gaelic in modern Scotland
Gaelic in modern Scotland

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Gaelic in modern Scotland

5.3.2 Creating new Gaelic words

The following five examples show the different approaches that are used in creating new words in Gaelic to meet changing needs.

Table 11

English term Gaelic term Origin/Method
triangle triantan Gaelic ‘trian’ – a third part or something made of three parts. This is an example of a well-established Gaelic word having been adapted for a new use.
geography cruinn-eòlas Based on the Gaelic ‘cruinne’ (world) and ‘eòlas’ (knowledge) (‘-eòlas’ is also used as the equivalent of ‘-ology’). This is an example of a concept being ‘defined’ in Gaelic.
television telebhisean Many Gaelic words have Greek or Latin roots, filtered though English. Often these are international terms.
rectangle ceart-cheàrnach This is made up of ‘ceart’ (the Gaelic for ‘right’) and ‘ceàrn’ (the Gaelic for ‘angle’). This is a translation of the Latin-derived ‘rectangle’ and so is referred to as a ‘loan translation’. The meaning is clearer than ‘rectangle’ since the word is made up of Gaelic rather than Latin elements.
credit crunch staing creideis Staing’ (crisis) + ‘creideas’. The Gaelic word ‘creideas’ (originally ‘credibility’) has been ‘stretched’ to match English ‘credit’ (as in ‘credit card’): this is referred to as a ‘loan shift’.

Now that you have read about the origin of these words, listen to how they are pronounced.

triantan

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cruinn-eòlas

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telebhisean

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ceart-cheàrnach

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staing creideis

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Gaelic_1

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