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Help required

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:46 pm
by Paragav

I am looking for a tr*nsl*t**n


I work for the Scottish Ambulance Service on Helimed 5, if you are on one of our islands you will probably have seen us flying about. I am designing patches for my works uniform and would like Scottish Air Ambulance on them in Gaelic. As I speak no Gaelic I was looking for one of you good people to help me out as I do not trust Google tr*nsl*t* to give me the correct tr*nsl*t**n.

Thanks in advance


Re: Help required

Posted: Sat May 16, 2020 10:04 am
by GunChleoc
Plèana-eiridinn na h-Alba if it's signifying just 1 plane, Plèanaichean-eiridinn na h-Alba if it signifies multiple planes.

Re: Help required

Posted: Sat May 16, 2020 10:47 am
by Níall Beag
To clarify GunChleoc's point a little...

When you say SCOTTISH AIR AMBULANCE, are you really saying is SCOTTISH AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE, but dropping the word "service"? Or SCOTTISH AIR AMBULANCE CREW, but dropping the word "crew" or similar?

Notice that in English you have a "toothbrush", even though you use it on multiple "teeth", not just one "tooth".

In English we don't "count" our first noun the same as we do our second -- so an "estate manager" and an "estate agent" both have the same "estate", even thought the estate manager manages one estate and the estate agent sells multiple estates.

The difficulty in tr*nsl*t**n is that two different meanings may share a form in language A, but not in language B, so it's impossible to tr*nsl*t* a short phrase without quite extensive explanation of the intended meaning.

Now because the air ambulances aren't a separate "service", but part of the normal Scottish Ambulance Service, I'm kind of unsure what the correct interpretation would be. I'm feeling more the plural interpretation, with an unspecified "team/dept/service/division/[whatever]" implied. What does it feel like to you?

The second problem is that GunChleoc's version of "air ambulance" matches the dictionary, but it literally means "medical-care plane", and you're in a helicopter, and half the air ambulance fleet is helicopters (actually more than half if you count the SCAA!)

This doesn't mean it's wrong -- the origin of a word is not necessarily its current meaning.

You probably know that the word "ambulance" originally meant "walking" as in "walking wounded", and no-one cares that an air ambulance doesn't have feet, so it's not necessarily a problem that the Gaelic for "air ambulance" technically refers to planes.

However, the problem is that words get fixed meanings through frequent use, and people don't talk about air ambulances all that much, so a lot of people might still hear "plèana-eiridinn" as "plane ambulance" rather than "air ambulance".

Certainly I've seen "heileacoptar-eiridinn" used on the series about Inverness airport.

So yeah... sorry that's so long and complicated, but tr*nsl*t**n on the whole is long and complicated ;-)

Re: Help required

Posted: Sat May 16, 2020 11:00 pm
by faoileag
If it's the service that's meant, and this is usually what's on logos or written on vehicles, you could go for

seirbheis plèana-eiridinn - this means medical-plane service, and uses an existing term for an air ambulance, though that assumes planes.


seirbheis-eiridinn adhair - this means air medical service, so covers planes and helicopters.

Have you checked with head office that there isn't already an official tr*nsl*t**n? If they have a Gaelic Plan, as they should, that may have been decided already.

Re: Help required

Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 11:21 am
by Paragav
Thank you all for your help, really appreciate it.

Yeah Niall, AIR AMBULANCE DIVISION is probably what I need as it doesn't specify an airframe type and that is what we are generally known as.

Not sure if we have something in place with the corporate folk that deal with the gaelic on the land ambulances.


Re: Help required

Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:26 pm
by akerbeltz
I would use something based on what's on the ambulance cars (which is ambaileans) otherwise you'd just introduce unnecessary variation, so ambaileans-adhair but as the others have pointed out, you need to be careful about how you combine that with other words because it will change the grammar most likely.