Friday, 17 October 2008

Knitting in Gaelic

This is a paragraph on the BBC Alba website, based on part of an episode of Beul-chainnt (which possibly means word of mouth), a programme about Gaelic language and sayings. I've attempted a vague translation working with online dictionaries... One day I will be able to understand it as I continue with my Ùlpan Gaelic classes. Imagine my delight to turn on the tv programme and see a picture of a gansey, knowing that this was the opening for some Gaelic words about knitting.

A' fighe (knitting)

Le ceithir bioran (with four needles), no stannd bhioran (or "stannd bhioran"), agus bascaid leum-chrann làn snàth (and a honeysuckle(?) basket full of yarn) tha thu deiseil airson tòiseachadh air stocainn fhighe (you are ready to start on knitted stockings). Feumaidh tu an t-àireamh cheart de lùban a dheilbh an toiseach (You will need the right number of stitches cast on at the beginning) agus cuairt an dèidh cuairt fhighe (and knit round after round). Cuimhnich gun toir thu (Remember without fail?) cumadh air calpa na stocainn le guiseid no dhà (to shape the calf of the stocking with a gusset or two) (gus nach (or else) bi i a' tuiteam (it will fall down) mu do chnàmhan-beaga (about your ankles)!). Feumaidh tu cuideachd (You will also need) an t-sàil a thionndadh (the turned heel/to turn the heel). Cuimhnich gu-tà gum biodh na seann Ghaidheil a' creidsinn deilbh shunndach Shatharnach cha robh rath a-riamh oirr'. (I can't work out an accurate translation of this last sentence but it's something about the old Gaelic women believing something wasn't lucky - I think!)

Other Gaelic words I managed to catch from the tv programme are: stailean, long thin needles (I think!); plean, plain (knitting); ceàrr, purl; fighe, knit.

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