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 termGaelic termOrigin/Method
triangletriantan 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.
geographycruinn-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.
televisiontelebhiseanMany Gaelic words have Greek or Latin roots, filtered though English. Often these are international terms.
rectangleceart-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 crunchstaing creideisStaing’ (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

Download this audio clip.Audio player: triantan.mp3
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cruinn-eòlas

Download this audio clip.Audio player: cruinn-eolas.mp3
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telebhisean

Download this audio clip.Audio player: telebhisean.mp3
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ceart-cheàrnach

Download this audio clip.Audio player: ceart-chearnach.mp3
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staing creideis

Download this audio clip.Audio player: staing_creideis.mp3
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Gaelic_1

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