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"An tìde" and "an t-sìde"

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:06 am
by MartinJ
Madainn mhath,

I've only just woken up to the fact that the "s" in "an t-sìde" isn't really pronounced. This takes me back to a mistake I made a while back when I told somebody asking me "what the weather was doing" that it was "half past seven". I'm thinking now that it maybe wasn't such an unforgivable error at all.

Is it really the case that the two phrases, "an tìde" and "an t-sìde", sound much the same when pronounced by a native speaker?

Le meas, MartinJ

"An tìde" and "an t-sìde"

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:33 pm
by akerbeltz
Well, yes, an tìde and an t-sìde are pronounced /əNʲ tʲiːdʲə/ but just to clarify, many Gaelic terms for weather also happen to mean time. Aimsir and tìde mean both time and weather, same as sìde, ial is a moment or (dry) spell and so on. I suspect the underlying concept is that the passage of time was historically not measured by mechanical devices but the passage of weather/seasons, closely linking the two. You get hints of that in English where tide refers both to the weather and the fall and rise of the sea level.
Sìde is not attested as meaning time but I suspect that might just be masked well by the fact it so commonly occurs with t- and to be honest, I have always considered these to be the same borrowed root. Variation as a result of s «» t-s and/or f «» vowel «» p is very very common in Gaelic. Check out this page, if you're curious.

No error is unforgivable ;) but I suspect the main error was in not picking up to the idiom used by the speaker. I don't think you can ask ciamar a tha an tìde in Gaelic and mean something like how are we doing for time.

"An tìde" and "an t-sìde"

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:08 pm
by MartinJ
Abair seirbheis! Tapadh leat a Mhicheail,

Time and tide. Well, there's "eventide" as in "the end of the day" and "Shrovetide" as in the festival of course, and I can see how the two concepts get linked. But time and weather?

No matter. You're right about the context eliminating confusion of course. It's just that I'm still at the stage where I pick out odd words in a conversation and try to infer the rest :D . Doesn't always work!

Le meas, MartinJ

"An tìde" and "an t-sìde"

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:37 pm
by GunChleoc
It's a good strategy though and you will become more successful at it as your expierence and vocabulary grows! Fake it till you make it :)

"An tìde" and "an t-sìde"

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:38 pm
by akerbeltz
That's what makes learning another languages - that isn't closely related - so fascinating. The more distant the language, the more often you will run into a way of looking at the world which is different. Gaelic has a whole host of words which link concepts that are eminently logical from the Gaelic point of view but look like lunacy from the English point of view.

Take the word amasach. Depending on the context, it can either be translated as accidental or as fitting. Now from an English point of view, that just doesn't make sense. But if you consider that the core meanings of the root amais are aim for and chance upon, then you can see how from the Gaelic point of view, these two concepts are indeed linked in a more or less logical way - if it hits the target, it's fitting. If it is chanced upon, it's accidental.

Fun 8-)