Letter To Gaelic Learners

Letter To Gaelic Learners

Informative, educational and interesting. A special programme, in the form of a 'letter', specifically aimed at Gaelic learners who already have some knowledge of the language.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
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All episodes (374)

  • Letter 17 Oct 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnschachaidh 796

    Fri, 17 Oct 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    It’s the bigger of that, it’s the bigger of that, as the wren said when he urinated in the great sea. Have you ever heard that proverb? It concerns people who think they are more important than they are. It’s the bigger of that, it’s the bigger of that, as the wren said when he urinated in the great sea. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 10 Oct 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 795

    Fri, 10 Oct 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was telling you about a book that came out this year – The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic. It was put together by Michael Newton. He’s not encouraging people to engage in bad behaviour or bad language! But there’s an interesting vocabulary there. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 03 Oct 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 794

    Fri, 3 Oct 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh reckons that English is better than Gaelic if you want to use bad language. We don’t have a word like the ‘f-word’. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have bad words in Gaelic. Or bad phrases. They exist, and a small guidebook has come out which is full of them. In addition to swearing, there are chapters about cursing, using tobacco, drinking and sex. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 26 Sep 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 793

    Fri, 26 Sep 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We don’t have too much writing in Gaelic that deals with desire and lust. The famous poet Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair wrote poetry like that, however. But not much of it was published. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 19 Sep 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 792

    Fri, 19 Sep 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruiairidh has more folklore for you involving the fairies. Be sure to catch this week’s letter which tells the old story The Humpbacked Old Men and the Fairies. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 12 Sep 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 791

    Fri, 12 Sep 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    You’ll be familiar with the fairies. If not personally, you’ll have heard stories about them. Do you know how the fairies came into being? There’s no account of them in the Bible, as far as I’m aware. I don’t think that Charles Darwin passed an opinion on them either. But the old Gaels had an opinion on the matter. Here’s an account from Mingulay in the nineteenth century. Find out more in this week’s letter.

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  • Letter 05 Sep 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 5 Sep 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Is there a plant you really like because it has a special fragrance? A long time ago, when Ruairidh was living in Tasmania, he liked the lemon-scented boronia. It had a smell like a lemon. It brings back memories of beautiful days in the mountains. This week he takes a look at Scottish flowers. Find out more in this week’s letters. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 29 Aug 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 789

    Fri, 29 Aug 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Today Ruairidh has more information about Clach a’ Choire – The Ringing Stone – on Tiree. Make sure you listen to this week’s letter to find out more about a story about the stone and Lachlann the Bàrd.

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  • Letter 22 Aug 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 788

    Fri, 22 Aug 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was in Tiree recently. He was staying in Balephedrish. That’s on the north side of the island. Balephedrish was named, apparently, for Aodh MacPhèadrais. He was a cleric in the Fifteenth Century. Find out more about Aodh MacPhèadrais and Tiree in this week’s letter.

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  • Letter 15 Aug 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 787

    Fri, 15 Aug 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In some place in the Highlands there is the Wonderful Land. Everyone belongs to the same clan – the Wonderful Clan. It’s one of them – Big Gòrach MacIongantach – that left us this history. There were two brothers with the same given [baptism] name. Big Gòrach was three years older than Wee Gòrach. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 08 Aug 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 786

    Fri, 8 Aug 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Each person will have his own choice of the most beautiful glen in Scotland. The choice of the late Finlay MacRae was Glen Affric. Finlay passed away a few weeks ago. He was heavily involved in the conservation of the forest in the glen. Find out more about Finlay MacRae's work with Glen Affric in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 01 Aug 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 785

    Fri, 1 Aug 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The squirrel only rarely appears in place-names in Scotland. Why is that? Well, in his new book Reading the Gaelic Landscape, John Murray says that it possibly proves that the Highlands were losing their forest when the Gaels were naming the land. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 25 Jul 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 784

    Fri, 25 Jul 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Am Bile is near Portree on the Isle of Skye. It’s a big grassy slope. Am Bile. Bile is an old Gaelic word for a tree. Often it stands for a tree that was sacred. Perhaps that was in [the] pre-Christian days. Find out more about Am Bile in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 18 Jul 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 783

    Fri, 18 Jul 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In May Ruairidh was in Knoydart in Canada. In June he was in Knoydart in Scotland. Both Knoydarts are nice, but different from each other. Find out the differences and the similarities in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 11 Jun 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 782

    Fri, 11 Jul 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues to tell us about the poet Allan MacDonald, Allan the Ridge. He was from Mabou in Cape Breton. He lived between 1794 and 1868. Effie Rankin wrote a book about him. Find out more about Allan in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 04 Jun 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 781

    Fri, 4 Jul 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    When Ruairidh was in Nova Scotia recently, he met Effie Rankin. She gave him a copy of her book Às a’ Bhràighe. The book is about a poet in Nova Scotia in the nineteenth century. He was Allan MacDonald or Allan the Ridge. He shows the wealth of Gaelic in Nova Scotia. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 27 Jun 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 780

    Fri, 27 Jun 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There are well over a hundred words for high country in Gaelic in Scotland. But what happened do that vocabulary over in Nova Scotia? It would be interesting to examine that. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 20 Jun 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 779

    Fri, 20 Jun 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    More than fifteen years ago, in the second Litir Ruairidh wrote, he gave different names for spiders. His grandmother would say poca-salainn, rather than damhan-allaidh. He heard a new word for spider recently and he was asked a question TV that he could not answer! Find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 13 Jun 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 13 Jun 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Until recently Ruairidh was never in the Gaidhealtachd in Nova Scotia. However, he recently remedied this and went to visit. He thoroughly enjoyed this place and meeting the people. Find out what really grabbed his interest in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 06 June 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 777

    Fri, 6 Jun 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Fianna (Fingalians) were at one time living in Glencoe, according to oral tradition. Sgòr nam Fiannaidh ‘the peak of the Fianna’ is the name of the summit at the western end of Aonach Eagach ‘notched mountain’. Bealach Fhionnghail ‘Fingal’s pass’ connects Glencoe to Glen Etive. And on Aonach Dubh ‘black mountain’ there is Ossian’s Cave. Ossian the son of Fionn was writing poetry there. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 23 May 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 776

    Fri, 30 May 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh makes his way to the end of the alphabet in Armstrong’s old dictionary. He’s looking for unusual compound words. How many words do you know? Find out in this week’s letter.

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  • Letter 22 May 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 775

    Fri, 23 May 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh is going to look at compound nouns from Armstrong’s old dictionary. We’ll see how many you understand. He’ll be going through the alphabet. Do you know any of these words? Test yourself with this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 15 May 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 774

    Fri, 16 May 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The crofters in the parish of Lochs in Lewis were planning to go ahead with the Park Deer Raid. The government wasn’t happy. They were on the side of the landlord. They sent police and soldiers to the island. That was in November 1887. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 09 May 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 773

    Fri, 9 May 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Donald MacRae was a schoolmaster in Balallan School in Lochs Parish in Lewis. He was involved in the Park Deer Raid. That was the famous raid on the Park Deer Forest in 1887. find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 02 May 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 2 May 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Rev. Donald MacCallum moved to a new congregation in Tiree. The Duke of Argyll, the landlord, tried to stop him. But he didn’t succeed. There had been bad factors in Tiree. John Campbell, ‘Am Bàillidh Mòr’, was there. He put many people out of their homes. He was followed by another of the same ilk, Hugh MacDiarmid. Find out how Donald MacCallum overcame the factors in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 25 Apr 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 771

    Fri, 25 Apr 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has more to tell us about the Rev. Donald MacCallum. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the crofters at the time of the land struggle. When he moved to Vaternish on the Isle of Skye he became renowned. His congregation on the Sabbath was very small. He was in the Church of Scotland. Most of the area'€™s people were in the Free Church. How did he get such recognition? Who was amongst his strongest supporters. Find out in this week'€™s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 18 Apr 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 770

    Fri, 18 Apr 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know the story of The Crafty Lad and the Drover? People were fed up of the Crafty Lad. They put him in a barrel. They were going to throw it down a steep slope. But there was a pub on the way. They went in for a dram. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 11 Apr 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 769

    Fri, 11 Apr 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I was telling you about Fairybridge (‘the ford of the three burns’) in the north of Skye. In the Nineteenth Century, at the time of the Disruption of the Church, there were enormous religious meetings there. Thousands attended. Forty years later, the crofters were meeting in the same place. This time was during the land struggle. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 04 Mar 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 4 Apr 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    On the Isle of Skye, between Dunvegan and Edinbane, there is a bridge called The Fairy Bridge. Some people thought that horses would see the fairies dancing beside the bridge. In the book Skye: The Island and its Legends, Otta Swire tells us about her grandfather, John Robertson of Orbost. John reported that horses were scared of the bridge. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 28 Mar 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 767

    Fri, 28 Mar 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There was, and is, a lighthouse on Skerryvore near Tiree. Despite that, however, there were occasional maritime accidents in those waters. The accident of the Cairnsmuir was in 1885. It was rather like the famous accident of the Politician near Eriskay. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 21 Mar 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 766

    Fri, 21 Mar 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There is an amazing lighthouse on the Skerryvore near Tiree. It’s the highest one in Scotland, at a height of 48 metres. The Skerryvore is about twelve miles from Tiree and fifty miles from the mainland. Before there was a lighthouse on it, it was a great danger to shipping. Find out about the family who built the lighthouse in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 14 Mar 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 765

    Fri, 14 Mar 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues with part two of Fear nan Cluasan Eich, a story from Wales. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 07 Mar 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 764

    Fri, 7 Mar 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh likes North Wales. The country is beautiful. And, like the people of the Gaidhealtachd, the people are very keen on stories. Ruairidh is going to tell us a story from Wales this week. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 28 Feb 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 763

    Fri, 28 Feb 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    William MacTaggart, the famous painter, often returned to Kintyre. Sometimes he went out in a boat, fishing. One time, in August 1889, he was in danger of losing his life. Find out more about this dramatic event in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 21 Feb 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 762

    Fri, 21 Feb 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The work of the artist, the late William MacTaggart from Kintyre, reminds Ruairidh of when he was young in Applecross on holiday. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 14 Feb 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 761

    Fri, 14 Feb 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues his tale about the death of a policeman at the end of the Nineteenth Century. It was near Abernethy in Strathspey. There were two officers – John MacNiven and Thomas King. They wanted to collect money from Allan Macallum. Find out more in this week’s letter.

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  • Letter 07 Feb 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 760

    Fri, 7 Feb 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    At the end of the nineteenth century, a death in Strathspey was on the front pages of newspapers throughout the world. Constable Thomas King from Nethy Bridge was killed. Who killed him? Why did they kill him and why did this murder make the world’s press? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 31 Jan 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 759

    Fri, 31 Jan 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues with the tale about the time St Columba sharpened a stake from wood for the a beggar from Lochaber. The poor Lochaber man was using the stake to catch wild animals. The man’s wife said to him that she was worried about the consequences if the man used the stake in a harmful manner. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 24 Jan 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 758

    Fri, 24 Jan 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Amazingly, St Columba was able to open doors that were locked. Once upon a time, he was in Ireland. He went to visit monks in a monastery in the middle of the country. When he went there, the key to the chapel was missing. The monks were very unhappy about it. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 17 Jan 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 757

    Fri, 17 Jan 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever heard of Clann an Oistir? They were a small clan. They were living on Iona. Clann an Oistir. The name comes from Latin. They were ostuarii in Latin – the ones who kept watch at a door. The word ostium means ‘door’ or ‘opening’. Find out more about Clann an Oistir in this week’s letter.Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 10 Jan 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 756

    Fri, 10 Jan 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Near Valtos, in Trotternish on the Isle of Skye, there is an old dun called the Dùn Dearg. There is a story connected to it – a story called ‘The Giants of Dùn Dearg’. Find out more about these giants and what happened to them in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 03 Dec 14: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 755

    Fri, 3 Jan 14

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh finishes telling us about ‘The Adder Man’ or ‘The King of Snakes’ this week. Norman Morrison led a remarkable life, as a teacher and a policeman. One of his achievements in life was setting up the Scottish Police Federation. Find out more about his amazing life in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 27 Dec 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 754

    Fri, 27 Dec 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was telling us about ‘the adder man’, Tormod an t-Seòladair. He was also keen on eels. He found out that the eel rests in the winter. It’s rather like hibernation. Tormod also had his own opinion on the Loch Ness Monster. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 20 Dec 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 753

    Fri, 20 Dec 13

    Duration:
    5 mins

    Ruairidh continues to tell us about Norman Morrison, Tormod an t-Seòladair, ‘the adder man’. He was well-known as a snake expert. This week, Ruairidh has a couple of stories for us, one is what happened when one of Norman’s snakes escaped in a school when he was a teacher, another tells of how Norman dealt with a nasty snakebite. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 13 Dec 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 752

    Fri, 13 Dec 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues to tell us about Norman Morrison, Tormod an t-Seòladair, ‘the adder man’ in this week’s letter. Norman thought that people were unreasonable about adders. They’re timid, he said. They’ll only bite somebody when they are scared. He was full of mischief and would play tricks on people, sometimes with his adders. Find out what he got up to in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 06 Dec 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 751

    Fri, 6 Dec 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has been telling stories from the west side of Lewis. A local man left us accounts of those stories. This man was famous for various reasons. This week Ruairidh wants to tell us about the man itself. Find out more about Dr Norman Morrison in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 29 Nov 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 750

    Fri, 29 Nov 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Here’s another story from Shawbost in the west of Lewis. It’s called ‘Hugh/Ewan of the Sea’. Hugh lived near the shore. One day, he went to the bottom of a geo (an inlet with steep sides). He saw a woman. Her back was to him. She had long hair. By her side, on the top of a stone, there was sort of clothing. The clothing had a fish tail and fish fins. Hugh understood that this was a mermaid. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 22 Nov 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 749

    Fri, 22 Nov 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We’re on the west side of the Isle of Lewis this week. On the moor south of Bragar, there is a loch called ‘the loch of the shieling of the one night’. How did the shieling get a name like that? Well, according to oral tradition, here’s how it happened... Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 15 Nov 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 748

    Fri, 15 Nov 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    John Gunn was a robber. He was alive in the 18th Century. He operated on travellers on the road between Inverness and Badenoch. He lived somewhere near the Cairngorms. Although he was a robber, John had a reputation as an honourable man. Find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 08 Nov 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 747

    Fri, 8 Nov 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues about the Englishman, Sir Richard Bingham. He was Queen Elizabeth of England’s governor in Connaught, in the west of Ireland. He was in charge of a force in Ireland when a Scottish army was destroyed. The destruction took place in County Mayo in the year 1586. Find out the consequences of this action in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 01 Nov 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 746

    Fri, 1 Nov 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Who was Richard Bingham? Why did the Scottish Gaels hate him? He was born in 1528. He was an Englishman. He was involved in the subjugation of Ireland.

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  • Letter 25 Oct 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 745

    Fri, 25 Oct 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has the the final chapter of the Stromeferry Riot in 1883 in this letter. There were a hundred and fifty police officers waiting for the protesters on the Strome pier. It was Saturday night. There was a large number of people at the Station Hotel, watching them. Find out the final outcome of the Stromeferry Riot in this letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 18 Oct 13: Litir do Luchd-ionndachaidh 744

    Fri, 18 Oct 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues with his tales of The Stromeferry Riot in 1883. The authorities were inclined to let the matter subside naturally. Was this a sensible plan? Find out in this week's letter. Accompanying text is available in both English and Gaelic at bbc.co.uk/litirbheag

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  • Letter 11 Oct 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 743

    Fri, 11 Oct 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There was an event at Stromeferry in 1883. It was in the news throughout Britain. We call it ‘The Stromeferry Riot’. Fish were being landed at Strome and then going to market on the railway. This happened every day of the week, including the Sabbath. The people of the Free Church in the area were not pleased about this at all. Ruairidh has the story in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 04 Oct 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 742

    Fri, 4 Oct 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In April 1881, Constable James Davidson was working in the port of Melbourne in Australia. He saw the vessel India entering the harbour. Find out if the India was all that she seemed and the connection with Constable James Davidson in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 27 Sep 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 741

    Fri, 27 Sep 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues with his tale of the SS Ferret. Three fraudsters, under the leadership of James Henderson, had chartered it. They were on a cruise, if they could be believed, to the Mediterranean. But they were involved in theft. Find out more about this theft in this week’s letter.

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  • Letter 20 Sep 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 740

    Fri, 20 Sep 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has a treat for us this week. He has a story about a Scottish ship at the end of the nineteenth century. She dis-appeared and reappeared in Australia. It’s an amazing story and you can listen to it in this week's letter. ccompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 13 Sep 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 739

    Fri, 13 Sep 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues his story about a priest from Pabay who met a group of fairies in a forest in Skye. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 06 Sep 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 738

    Fri, 6 Sep 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was telling us last week about a trip he took to the old village of Leitir Fura on the Isle of Skye. Leitir means ‘a slope’ which is often above water. But what does Fura mean. Find out in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 30 Aug 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 737

    Fri, 30 Aug 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was recently on the Isle of Skye. He went for a walk in Sleat. That’s in the south of the island. He walked the route to the old settlement of Leitir Fura. There is beautiful woodland there. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 23 Aug 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 736

    Fri, 23 Aug 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week, Ruairidh was telling you about the channel that his son swam between Flodigarry and Eilean Flodigarry. It was difficult enough in daylight. But how would it be at night? He tells of a man who swam the channel at night. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 16 Aug 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 735

    Fri, 16 Aug 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was in Flodigarry on the Isle of Skye recently. It’s on the east side of the Trotternish Peninsula, in the north of the island. He was down on the shore, looking for fossils along with Dugald Ross, an expert on fossils. Ruairidh’s son, Calum, wanted to go to the island opposite them, Eilean Flodigarry, but he had no boat. How did he get there? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 09 Aug 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 734

    Fri, 9 Aug 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know Loch Cuithir? It’s on the east side of Trotternish in the north of Skye. It’s near a crofting village called Lealt. The loch is situated on the moorland under Sgùrr a’ Mhadaidh Ruaidh. It’s beautiful. Loch Cuithir today is very peaceful and quiet. But it wasn’t always like that. Find out about its hidden history in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 02 Aug 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 733

    Fri, 2 Aug 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh starts the letter with a question. What is the link between Gaelic, a university college in Oxford, an old abbey in the south of Scotland, and a King of Scotland? Find out the answer to this interesting question and more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 26 Jul 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 732

    Fri, 26 Jul 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I was telling you about the famous bard, Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, and how he wrote Birlinn Chlann Raghnaill. He was under the hull of an upturned boat in Canna. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 19 Jul 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 731

    Fri, 19 Jul 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know the ceud-chasach? The centipede. According to oral tradition, a centipede inspired a Gaelic poet to write a famous poem. Who was the poet and what was the poem? Find out in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 12 Jul 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 730

    Fri, 12 Jul 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh is telling us about The Seven Men of Knoydart. They wanted the land for themselves in Knoydart, in the West Highlands. They were opposing the landlord, Lord Brocket. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 05 Jul 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 729

    Fri, 5 Jul 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever heard these names? Alexander Macphee, Donald Macphee, William Quinn, Jack McHardy, Duncan Macphail, Archie Macdonald and Henry Macaskill? You’re not sure? Well you need this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 28 Jun 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 728

    Fri, 28 Jun 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh finishes the story The Man Who Got the Three Pieces of Advice. The third piece of advice was not to do anything on an evening or night without contem-plating whether you might regret it on the next day. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 21 Jun 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 727

    Fri, 21 Jun 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh is telling the story The Man Who Got the Three Pieces of Advice. The first piece of advice was – take the long clean road, rather than the short dirty road. There was a fork in the road. The horse rider took the short road. But he met robbers. They stole every penny he had. The other man took the long road, and he had no trouble. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 14 Jun 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 726

    Fri, 14 Jun 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The long clean road, and the short dirty road. That’s a Gaelic proverb. Perhaps the long road is the best one, although it is longer. The long clean road, and the short dirty road. That proverb appears in an old Gaelic story – The Man Who Got the Three Pieces of Advice. Here is the story. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 07 Jun 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 725

    Fri, 7 Jun 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues telling us about The Aberdeen Breviary. There are a few stories in it about the life and miracles of St Brigit/Bride. Here are examples from the book. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 31 May 2013: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 724

    Fri, 31 May 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Aberdeen Breviary is the first major book that was printed in Scotland.Ruairidh will tell you all about this book in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 24 May 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 723

    Fri, 24 May 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    How many Gaelic words do we have for ‘snow’? They’re not at all as plentiful as the words for high ground or boggy ground. But there’s a few. Ruairidh looks into the words for snow in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 17 May: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 722

    Fri, 17 May 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    On the 12th of July 1746, there was an important interview on board a ship. The vessel was anchored off the shore of Applecross. Asking the questions was General John Campbell. He was in charge of the search for Charles Edward Stuart, after the Battle of Culloden. The woman answering the questions was Flora MacDonald. The pair were on board HMS Furnace. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 10 May 13: Litir do-ionnsachaidh 721

    Fri, 10 May 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We’re still in the Great Glen this week. Ruiairidh will tell you about a guy who was living in Fort Augustus. He was famous as the ‘lion-hunter’. Find out about this most interesting of characters. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 03 May 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 720

    Fri, 3 May 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Aig fìor cheann a deas Loch Lòchaidh, tha Magh Comair. Ann am Beurla – Mucomir. Tha baile-fearainn ann. Tha an t-ainm a’ ciallachadh magh no blàr anns a bheil dà abhainn a’ tighinn còmhla – ann an ‘comar’. ’S iad sin Abhainn Spiothain agus Abhainn Lòchaidh. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 26 Apr 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 719

    Fri, 26 Apr 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know what a ‘dochy’ is? It’s spelled, in English, D-O-C-H-Y. I’m certain that in Gaelic it’s spelled D-O-C-H-A-I-D-H. It is, or was, an oaken stick. It was short and thick. It was heavy, with a large hard head on it. Find out more about the dochy and when it was used in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 19 Apr 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 718

    Fri, 19 Apr 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was told us, last week, about the death of Iain Garbh Mac ’Ille Chaluim of Raasay. His birlinn sank off the north coast of Skye in 1671. This week Ruairidh turns his attention to how that loss people in the West Highlands deeply upset as he was well-respected and much-loved.

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  • Letter 12 Apr 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 717

    Fri, 12 Apr 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has another story about Iain Garbh of Raasay. Find out what happened to him after he was tricked by MacLeod of Dunvegan. Did he heed warnings? Was he a cautious man? Did he marry? Ruairidh has all the answers in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 05 Apr 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 716

    Fri, 5 Apr 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Iain Garbh was living in Raasay. He was extremely strong. He wasn’t paying rent to MacLeod of Dunvegan. But he should have been. MacLeod was afraid to go and ask for the money. Find out how MacLeod used Iain Garbh in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 29 Mar 13: An Litir Bheag 715

    Fri, 29 Mar 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh mentioned the Isle of Bute last week. In the book – A Voyage Round the Coast of Scotland and the Isles – there is an account of Bute. James Wilson wrote the book and it was published in 1842. Wilson offers a view of the name Bòd - Bute. Ruairidh considers this view and others in this letter and it makes for fascinating reading. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 22 Mar 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 714

    Fri, 22 Mar 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh begins the letter with an old saying – Chan ann am Bòid uile a tha an t-olc; tha cuid dheth sa Chumaradh Bheag làimh ris. Not all evil is in Bute; some is in Little Cumbrae nearby. We know that’s not true today, if it ever was, but it is a good introduction to this week’s subject; some islands in the Firth of Clyde. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 15 Mar 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 713

    Fri, 15 Mar 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh continues with the tragic tale of the Annie Jane. The skipper beached the ship in Vatersay. Waves smashed the boat. Find out what happened to the crew, the boat and the people of Vatersay and the community in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 08 Mar 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 712

    Fri, 8 Mar 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In August 1853, the Annie Jane sailed from Liverpool. She was going to Quebec. There were four hundred people on board. The boat was carrying a load of iron – eight hundred tonnes of it. There were three hundred tonnes also of other goods. William Mason was the captain. Find out it he had a successful journey in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 01 Mar 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 711

    Fri, 1 Mar 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues to discuss the clearance of Barra by Colonel John Gordon of Cluny, including the conclusion of the story of the Admiral. To find out more, you need to listen to this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 22 Feb 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 710

    Fri, 22 Feb 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh begins the story of the Admiral, a vessel that sailed from the Western Isles to Quebec in 1851. To find out more, you need to listen to this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 15 Feb 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 709

    Fri, 15 Feb 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever come across the word gillaroo? You might find one in Loch Morar. This week, Ruairidh discusses the gille-ruadh: a freshwater fish not unlike a codling. To find out more, you need to listen to this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 08 Feb 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 708

    Fri, 8 Feb 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh continues with the story of Samson and Delilah. Find out what the phrase "guidheam ort" means, and examples of how it could be used. To find out more, you need to listen to this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 01 Feb 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 707

    Fri, 1 Feb 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh plans to tell us about a man in the Bible. He is named on the Scottish landscape. Ruairidh starts with a verse from the Bible about this man. Who is he? Ruairidh can tell you and has lots of information about his life. To find out more, you need to listen to this week’s letter.Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 25 Jan 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 706

    Fri, 25 Jan 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh begins his letter by taling about a paper that came out about the history of eagles in Britain and Ireland last year. The research was based on place names. He explains the difference between different eagles and how we can identify them. Ruairidh then offers us a surprise by talking about an animal that has since become extinct. Learn more about eagles and about this surpise animal in this week's letter.Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 18 Jan 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 705

    Fri, 18 Jan 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh continues his quest to find even more place-names with the word torc, the Gaelic for boar, in them. He has plenty of fascinating areas to discuss. He then ponders why there are so many names that are boar-based in Scotland? Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 11 Jan 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 704

    Fri, 11 Jan 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In this letter, Ruairidh is looking at more place names which feature animals that are extinct in Scotland. He looks at the boar this week, find out more in this week's fascinating podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 04 Jan 13: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 703

    Fri, 4 Jan 13

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Bones were found in a cave in Inchnadamph in Assynt. The animals died a long time ago. Scotland was cold at the time. What animals were they? Well, the list is interesting. find out more in this week's letter Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 28 Dec 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 702

    Fri, 28 Dec 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was on two special small islands this year. One of them was of Gaelic heritage and the other was non-Gaelic. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 21 Dec 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 701

    Fri, 21 Dec 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Christmas is almost on us again. And here is a Christmas story for you. It’s from Highland Perthshire. Its name is ‘Christmas Dance’. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 14 Dec 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 700

    Fri, 14 Dec 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    To the old Gaels, the hazelnut was the nut of knowledge. Ruairidh has a story from the Isle of Skye about the knowledge that people can acquire from nuts. The tale features Sgàthach and Cuchullin and their battle against each other. Find out how the hazelnut played its part in this week’s letter. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 01 Dec 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 699

    Fri, 7 Dec 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues to discuss the significance to Gaels of the hazel tree. A new book was published recently. Its title is Atlantic Hazel: Scotland’s Special Woodlands. The authors, Sandy and Brian Coppins, say that some woods have existed for centuries. Those woods are very old and that means they are very valuable. Find out more in this week’s letter. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 30 Nov 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 698

    Fri, 30 Nov 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The hazel tree is special to Gaels and has strong folkloric connections. The nuts were popular and the wood was used for many purposes. In this week’s letter, Ruairidh looks at coppicing and how the hazel tree was coppiced and why it was done. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Letter 23 Nov 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 697

    Fri, 23 Nov 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Traveller Essie Stewart spent the summer months of her youth living in a tent around the north of Scotland. She explains to Ruairidh how, and why, they preferred to use hazel wood when creating a rod which was used for supporting tents. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 16 Nov 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 696

    Fri, 16 Nov 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Referring to a trilingual book titled 'Dùthchas na Màra', Ruairidh explores the definition of the word 'dùthchas'. Find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 09 Nov 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 695

    Fri, 9 Nov 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was telling us how he saw a lot of fish in Ireland. The fish he saw were sprats, mackerel and saithe. The bay on the shore of Aranmore was full of them. That’s a small island off the north-west coast. Find out more about Ruairidh’s holiday in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 02 Nov 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 694

    Fri, 2 Nov 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Árainn Mhór is a small island in Ireland. It’s off the coast of Donegal. Ruairidh was on that island in the nineties. His family was with him. They were on summer holidays. And an amazing thing happened on Árainn Mhór. Find out what that amazing thing was in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 26 Oct 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 693

    Fri, 26 Oct 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Soap Man. A man who made a fortune from soap. Lord Leverhulme. He was at one time the landlord of Lewis and Harris. Why is Ruairidh talking about Leverhulme? Well, several weeks ago, he was on another estate that belonged to the man. But he was in England, near Bolton. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 19 Oct 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 692

    Fri, 19 Oct 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Did puirt-à-beul originate because there was a ban on playing the bagpipes? The "ban" was associated with the Act of Proscription in 1747. Ruairidh investigates this and more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 12 Oct 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 691

    Fri, 12 Oct 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was telling you about Keith Norman MacDonald. He published the book Puirt-a-Beul: or Songs for Dancing as Practised from a Remote Antiquity by the Highlanders of Scotland in 1901. Was Keith Norman correct? Are puirt-à-beul very old? It’s difficult to be certain. Ruairidh looks at these questions and others in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 05 Oct 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 690

    Fri, 5 Oct 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever heard of Keith Norman MacDonald? He was a Skyeman. He was born in 1834. He was a doctor. But he was famous for collecting and publishing the music of the Gaels. This year, his collection of puirt-a -beul appeared anew in print. Find out more about the man in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 28 Sep 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 689

    Fri, 28 Sep 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh concludes the exciting story about The Boy and the Blacksmith. John, the blacksmith, had met a princess whose head was on backwards. He promised the king, her father, that he would fix her head. After the disaster with his own wife’s head, can this tale have a happy ending for John? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 21 Sep 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 688

    Fri, 21 Sep 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh began to tell us the tale of The Lad and the Blacksmith. John, the blacksmith, saw how a young man fixed a woman’s head, which had been on backwards. He attempted to fix his wife’s twisted neck in the same manner. Is he successful? You’ll have to read this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 14 Sep 12: Litir do Luch-dionnsachaidh 687

    Fri, 14 Sep 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There was once a blacksmith living in the Highlands. He was called John. He had a smiddy and he had a wife. She had a twist in her neck. One day, a young man came to John's smiddy. He had green clothes on. He was carrying a young woman on his shoulders. What is the significance of this couple? Find out in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 07 Sep 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 686

    Fri, 7 Sep 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Between Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye, the passes through Glenmoriston. There is a cairn in the glen, beside the main road. The cairn commemorates a Jacobite hero, one Roderick MacKenzie. He was killed in that place in 1746. That was three months after the Battle of Culloden. But why was Roderick famous? Find out why in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 31 Aug 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 685

    Fri, 31 Aug 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    You’ll remember last week that Ruairidh was talking about Coinneach Odhar, or The Brahan Seer. Coinneach’s mother was given a special stone from the ghost of a Viking princess. The stone had a hole in it that Coinneach used to look through to foretell the future. What happened to the stone though? That is the subject of this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 24 Aug 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 684

    Fri, 24 Aug 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has another tale about Coinneach Odhar, or Brahan Seer. It is a story about his mother. She received a present from the ghost of a Scandinavian princess. Find out what that gift was and what she had to do with it in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 683

    Fri, 17 Aug 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you heard of Coinneach Odhar [“Sallow Kenneth”]? He’s known in English as The Brahan Seer. He had the second sight and made predictions. How did Coinneach get the second sight? Ruairidh reveals all in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 10 Aug 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnschachaidh 682

    Fri, 10 Aug 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Here is a story for you – The One-eyed Miller and the mute Englishman. There was a Scotsman and an Englishman. “There is a mute man in England,” said the Englishman, “who can ask questions nobody can answer.” Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 03 Aug 2012: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 681

    Fri, 3 Aug 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has a story for us this week, it is about a man called Red-haired Donald and a skull. Let’s join Donald in the woods where he finds the skull. What is so special about the skull? Listien to this week’s letter to find out. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 27 Jul 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 680

    Fri, 27 Jul 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh takes inspirationfor this week’s letter from a book about mammals in the Highlands. In this book there is a description of the Feral Goat: unlikely to be confused with any other British mammal. That’s true. Goats are different from sheep. They’re different from roe deer and red deer. But not everybody can tell the difference. In his book In The Shadow of Cairngorm, the Rev. Dr. William Forsyth gives an account of an English hunter. The hunter thought he had killed a roe deer. But it was a goat! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 20 Jul 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 679

    Fri, 20 Jul 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In his book In The Shadow of Cairngorm, the Rev. Dr. William Forsyth says that families of goats would rank themselves in the fold when sleeping at night. At the top would be the mother. Then the daughter. Then the grand-child, and so on, down the generations. This lead Ruairidh to think about the Gaelic terms for the different generations among a person’s descendants. If it’s true for goats, it’s also true for people. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying text is available in both English and Gaelic at bbc.co.uk/litirbheag

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  • 13 Jul 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 678

    Fri, 13 Jul 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    You will remember that Ruairidh was telling us about Tannochbrae, Balamory and Glendarroch. They are three fictional places in Scottish television programmes. The names are all Gaelic or semi-Gaelic. This week Ruairidh looks at other popular fictional placenames based in Scotland. Find out more about places like Auchenshoogle and Sheildinch in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 06 Jul 12: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 677

    Fri, 6 Jul 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has a question for you this week? What do Tannochbrae, Balamory and Glendarroch have in common? Well, they’re all Scottish towns/villages. They were all on television programmes. And they are not real places. The names were made deliberately for a book or TV programme. In each name there is at least one Gaelic element. Balamory and Glendarroch are entirely from Gaelic. Rauiridh takes a deeper look at the Gaelic elements in this week’s letter. Accompanying text is available in both English and Gaelic at bbc.co.uk/litirbheag

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  • 29 Jun 12: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 676

    Fri, 29 Jun 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues to discuss the Knights Templar, following on from the rumour that they were at Bannockburn. He wonders what happens to them. They were declared illegal by the Pope in 1307 and their buildings, land and finance were confiscated. What happened to the knights themselves? Did they come to Scotland? This is what Ruairidh ponders in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 22 Jun 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 675

    Fri, 22 Jun 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Battle of Bannockburn took place in June 1314. A Scottish army defeated an English army. Some people say that the Scots had a special force of knights. They were extremely skilful at fighting. They were the Knights Templar. Ruairidh can’t say that if the story is true, or not … Why not listen in this week’s letter to find out more? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 15 Jun 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 674

    Fri, 15 Jun 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was talking about Iain Geal Donn from Lochaber. He was plundering cattle in Ross-shire in the seventeenth century. Alasdair Breac of Gairloch was out to stop him and hired Alasdair Buidhe MacAoidh from Strath Oykell. Alasdair Buidhe shot Iain in a shieling bothy in Scardroy in Strathconon. Find out more about this exciting tale in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 08 Jun 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh: 673

    Fri, 8 Jun 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has a story about how a farm in Ross-shire got its name. The name is Scardroy, or Sgàrd Ruaidh in Gaelic. Ruadh refers to red and according to folklore, it’s the colour of blood. Ruairidh has the full story in this week’s letter.Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 01 Jun 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 672

    Fri, 1 Jun 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was in Strathconon in Ross-shire recently. The English name Conon. Part of the River Conon flows through Strathconon into the Cromarty Firth. There are bridges across the river there. When the first bridge was built, people called the place “Conon Bridge”. There is a town there today. Its name in Gaelic is not “Drochaid Chonainn”, it’s Drochaid Sguideil. It doesn’t mean what Gaelic speakers might first expect, Ruairidh ponders the name in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 25 May 12 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 671

    Fri, 25 May 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I was telling you about a Gaelic proverb in the book by Thomas Garnett: Is mairg a loisgeadh a thiompan ris. Pity the man who'd burn his harp for him. The proverb is based on an old story. Here's how Thomas Garnett reported it. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 18 May 12: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 670

    Fri, 18 May 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Here is an interesting place-name from Mull – Maol Tobar Leac an t-Sagairt. The bare hill of the well of the flagstone, or gravestone, of the priest. But who was the priest? And why was the well named for him?

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  • 11 May 12: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 669

    Fri, 11 May 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There is a statue of Donald Dewar, Scotland’s first First Minister, at the top end of Buchanan Street in Glasgow. But more than two hundred years ago, a memorial was nearly erected there to somebody else. Who?

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  • 04 May 12: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 668

    Fri, 4 May 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Thomas Garnett wrote the book Observations on a Tour Through the Highlands and Part of the Western Isles of Scotland. He was on a journey in the Highlands in 1798.

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  • 27 Apr 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 667

    Fri, 27 Apr 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know Loch Innis mo Cholmaig? It’s an unusual place. Why? Well, the name of the loch in English is the Lake of Menteith. “The only lake in Scotland” as people often say – although it’s a “loch” in Gaelic. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 20 Apr 12: Litir do luchd ionnsachaidh 666

    Fri, 20 Apr 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was thinking about Thomas Garnett the other day. Garnett was in the Highlands at the end of the eighteenth century. He wrote a book about his journey – Observations on a Tour Through the Highlands and Part of the Western Isles of Scotland. But why was Roddy thinking about Thomas Garnett? Find out in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 13 Apr 12: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 655

    Fri, 13 Apr 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There is a seiche in Loch Ness from time to time. Seiche is a word from Swiss French. It looks like seiche in Gaelic. But it doesn’t mean an animal’s hide. It means big waves in a loch. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 06 Apr 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 664

    Fri, 6 Apr 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was looking at old newspapers the other day. They were on the internet. He saw this from the Derby Mercury in November 1755. The report was from Amsterdam. What was in the report? Why did it interest Roddy? Find out in this week's letter! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 30 Mar 12: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 633

    Fri, 30 Mar 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy has traditional story for us in this week's letter - The Old Woman of the Nuts and the Tailor of the Boards. An evil Cailleach (old woman )was living in the Highlands. She got her nickname, 'The Cailleach of the Nuts' because she would always have a bag full of nuts.Find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 23 Mar 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 662

    Fri, 23 Mar 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever heard the English word – graddaning? It comes from the Gaelic gradan. It means a method of making flour. Do you know the old ways of making flour? People were flailing the corn. They were winnowing it. In addition to the grain, they were getting chaff and straw. The straw was useful as food for cattle. It was also useful for bedding and house thatch. Find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 16 Mar 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 661

    Fri, 16 Mar 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Blessed silverweed of spring, the seventh bread of the Gael. Blessed silverweed of spring, the seventh bread of the Gael. The old Gaels used to eat it regularly. Sometimes they cultivated it. The silverweed is the seventh bread. What are the other six? Find out in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/liti

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  • 09 Mar 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 660

    Fri, 9 Mar 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was telling you about the brisgean, or silverweed. It can be found in sandy areas. There is lots on the island machairs. Roddy tried the silverweed once, he didn’t think much of it. The old Gaels ate it when food was scarce. Did they eat it at other times? Find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 02 Mar 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 659

    Fri, 2 Mar 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Spring – the season of hunger. Well, traditionally, at least. Food was scarce in Spring. What did people eat? Well, a proverb tells us. In Spring, when the sheep is thin, the shellfish are fat. Find out more in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 24 Feb 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 658

    Fri, 24 Feb 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In 1768, Dugald Buchanan received some tragic news. Although, he was still in Edinburgh, his family was still in in Kinloch Rannoch and were suffering from fever. He decided the besting to do was go home. However, he contracted the fever himself. He died. He was just 52 years old. Find out how the community commemorated Buchanan's life in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 17 Feb 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 657

    Fri, 17 Feb 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Religion caused Dugald Buchanan distress. The Jacobite rebellion didn’t help him. Dugald was against the Prince’s cause. But he was angry about the way in which Highland soldiers were put to death in Carlisle. He wanted revenge. But he was also wanting to grant the murderers forgiveness.

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  • 10 Feb 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 656

    Fri, 10 Feb 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy continues with his tales of Dugald Buchanan, whose faith was not strong as a teenager. Roddy recounts a tale where Dugald’s life appears to have been saved by divine intervention. Find out more in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 03 Feb 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 655

    Fri, 3 Feb 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy is reading from In the autorbiography of The Life and conversion of Dugald Buchanan a famous Gaelic spiritual poet. Dugald had crises of faith when he was young. He had been brought up in a very pious household. He was sent away to work when he was twelve. A significant incident happened whilst he was there.

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  • 27 Jan 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 654

    Fri, 27 Jan 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy takes inspiration for this week’s letter from a Gaelic autobiography. The author and subject is Dugald Buchanan, who was famous as a spiritual poet and helped translate the New Testament into Gaelic. Roddy investigates some of the spiritual things that Dugald saw. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 20 Jan 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 653

    Thu, 19 Jan 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Roddy brings you a story from a book that was published last year. He read it online. He is enjoying the book very much and ends with a puzzle. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 13 JAn 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 652

    Fri, 13 Jan 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Roddy has a different story from last week, but with the same name, Luran. This story is from Barra, and the Luran at the centre of the story is a crofter. The choice of breakfast also becomes pertinent. Luran notices a cow or steer goes missing every Halowe’en! How can he stop this from happening and who is taking them? Find out in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 06 Jan 12: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 651

    Fri, 6 Jan 12

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy has a story from Barra and a different story from South Uist. They have one thing in common– the same title - Luran. This week Roddy begins the story based in North Uist. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 30 Dec 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 650

    Fri, 30 Dec 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy reads another important part of the Declaration of Arbroath. It leads him to wonder what is the significance to Scotland of the Declaration and the importance to Gaels. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 23 Dec 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 649

    Fri, 23 Dec 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy looks back into history for this week's letter. He looks into the history of the The Declaration of Arbroath. Roddy reads one of the most famous passages in Gaelic. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 16 Dec 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 648

    Fri, 16 Dec 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was in Wales recently. He noticed that the area was beautiful and that the language was strong. There is lots of language in that area that is easy for a Gael to understand. Snowdonia is the highest mountain, or Yr Wyddfa, in Welsh. It has a very unexpected meaning. Find out what that meaning is and the amazing story behind it, in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 09 Dec 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 647

    Fri, 9 Dec 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Caithness was a miserable place under Campbell’s Earldom. Rent was unpaid, the Earl’s buildings were destroyed and his livestock was stolen. Campbell retaliated by sending military force. The Sinclairs of Caithness and the Campbells began a fierce battle. Who were successful and how did they celebrate their victory? Unlock the secret of the name of the place in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 02 Dec 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 646

    Fri, 2 Dec 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy has been on a walk in Caithness on a famous site. The name is in Gaelic and commemorates an event in 1680. The name is Altimarlach or Allt nam Mèirleach and translates as The Burn of the Robbers. There is a memorial stone there commemorating a battle that took place there. Who were the robbers and why is the battle being commemorated? Roddy sets the scene for the battle that took place there, the Battle of Altimarlach. Duelling lairds and a disputed title; 19th Century politics and intrigue, join Roddy and learn more with this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 25 November 11 : Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 25 Nov 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know the word geodha or geo? Geodha in Gaelic, geo in Scots. It’s plentiful in place-names in the north of Scotland. It’s especially plentiful in Caithness. There are a few examples of Gaelic names in Caithness, such as Geodha nam Fitheach. But most of them have a Scots or Scandinavian form.

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  • 18 Nov 11: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 644

    Fri, 18 Nov 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Will the soldier ever make his way to the Kingdom of Coldness to find his lost love? Who will help him on his way and who will impede him? He will meet another man with a beard, a giant and an eagle on his way! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 11 Nov 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 643

    Fri, 11 Nov 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    As the story gathers pace, the beautiful woman escapes the clutches of the Awisks, she makes a promise with the soldier. However, he meets some very interesting people when he leaves the castle. A fairy woman, and some bearded men with very strange preening devices meet him on his way. Download the next instalment for more information. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 04 Nov 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 642

    Fri, 4 Nov 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Sometimes there is more to a beautiful woman than meets the eye! Part of the mystery of the beautiful woman who gives food to the soldiers, but takes away the light. Why does she punish kindness? Why is she in this castle? The final soldier enters the room? Will he meet her challenge and uncover the mystery! Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 28 Oct 11: Litir do Luchd ionnsachaidh 641

    Fri, 28 Oct 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    AMHAISG – do you know what this word means? It means a very small person of bad intention. Roddy has a story for you this week which is called “Na h-Amhaisgean”, or the Three Soldiers. The three soldiers in question are hungry after a quest and follow a big dog who promises them that there is a house close to them. Find out what happens at this house in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 21 Oct 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 640

    Sat, 22 Oct 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Hidden gold! Bonnie Prince Charlie! The Jacobites! Magic, mystery and mayhem. What more could you want from this week’s letter? Who found the hidden gold of the Jacobites and is it still there? Did it have an impact on the land, its legend and placename? There is only one way to find out; listen and learn! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 14 Oct 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 639

    Fri, 14 Oct 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Another fascinating tale from Loch Ewe – this week it’s about a fair-haired chap. He has gold and the news soon spreads round the region, but what are the consequences of this? Learn more about this tale involving mysterious people, French gold, a missing messenger and Bonnie Prince Charlie! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 07 Oct 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 638

    Fri, 7 Oct 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There is a loch in Wester Ross called Loch an Draing on the map. It’s near Loch Ewe. The meaning of the name, Loch an Draing isn’t clear. Local people don’t say “Loch an Draing”. They say “Locha Druing” no “Locha Dring”. Roddy has a story from the area about a fairy, listen to the podcast to find out more. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 30 Sep 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 637

    Fri, 30 Sep 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Papar – Gaelic-speaking hermits – were living in Iceland in the year 870. Íslendingabók tells us that. That’s the year the Norse appeared. The papar left. They did not return. They left bells and books on the island. Were they the only Gaels that went to Iceland and were to be found there? Find out in this week’s podcast? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 23 Sep 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 636

    Fri, 23 Sep 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Norse influenced the Gaelic language. But did the Gaels influence the Norse language? Well, yes, to a small degree. Roddy was in Iceland recently. There is a debate going on there – what effect did the Gaels have on the island? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 16 Sep 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 635

    Fri, 16 Sep 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was in Iceland recently and saw interesting place-names. They reminded him of place-names in Scotland. For example, the capital city, Reykjavik. You’ll know the word in Scots and English – reek. Edinburgh had the nickname Auld Reekie. Reykja-vík means “reeky bay” or “smoky bay”. There are several places in Iceland with reykja- in the name. Those are places where smoke rises from the ground. He's got more information on the place-names of Iceland in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 09 Sep 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachadh 634

    Fri, 9 Sep 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Westmann Islands in Iceland are small but rugged. From the mainland, the view of the islands reminded Roddy of St Kilda. It’s submarine volcanoes that made them. That was eleven thousand years ago. Ruairidh has plenty of stories about them. Learn more in this week's podcast. Accompanying text is available in both English and Gaelic at bbc.co.uk/litirbheag.

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  • 02 Sep 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 2 Sep 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy often goes to Scandinavia. A short while ago, he went to a Scandinavian country that was new to him – Iceland. He really enjoyed it. He found something that surprised him. It was how often he saw and heard things with connections to Scotland. Find out what these where in this week’s podcast. Accompanying text is available in both English and Gaelic at bbc.co.uk/litirbheag.

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  • 26 Aug 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 632

    Fri, 26 Aug 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was telling you about cairidhean/yairs. There were lots of them in the Beauly Firth, west of Inverness. In olden times it was called Poll an Ròid in Gaelic. That means “the inlet of the rood or cross”. That’s the same Rood as in Holyrood House in Edinburgh. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 19 Aug 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 631

    Fri, 19 Aug 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There are cairidhean/yairs in many places in the Highlands. They are all old. People haven’t used them for a long time. Cairidh means a small stone wall that people were building on a beach. Fish were swimming over the wall with the flood tide. When the ebb occurred, the water left; but the fish didn’t leave. It was easy for people to pick up the fish from the sand. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 12 Aug 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 630

    Fri, 12 Aug 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Here is a traditional story – "The Ox and the Donkey". An ox and a donkey were lived on the same farm. The ox had a poor life. He worked every day from dawn to dusk. But the donkey had a good life. He didn't do any work. He just rested. One day, the ox said to the donkey, "I'm fed up of working all the time." "You do too much," the donkey agreed. "You plough, you harrow and you pull a cart. I'll tell you what to do. Pretend you’re not well. Then you won’t have any work." Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 05 Aug 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 629

    Fri, 5 Aug 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This is in Dwelly’s dictionary – ùruisg: ‘being supposed to haunt lonely and sequestered places, water-god’. People were believing in urisks in many places. They were strong in Perthshire. A verse names the best-known ones in Breadalbane. Learn more about this verse and the characters in it, in this week'd podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 29 July 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 628

    Fri, 29 Jul 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was telling you about Taigh nam Bodach, or Taigh na Cailliche, near Loch Lyon. People put the stones out of the ‘house’ every Beltane. They bring them in again for the winter at Halloween. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 22 July 11 : Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 627

    Fri, 22 Jul 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Bha mi ag innse dhuibh mu Thaigh nam Bodach – no Taigh na Cailliche – ann an Gleann Cailliche ann an Siorrachd Pheairt. Tha iomadh ciall air an fhacal cailleach. Seo na tha aig Dwelly: old woman, nun agus supernatural or malign influence dwelling in dark caves, woods and corries. Tha iomadh stòiridh againn mu na cailleachan a bha a' fuireach anns na beanntan. Lorg mi còrr is ceud ainm-àite ann an Alba anns a bheil am facal 'cailleach'.

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  • 15 July 11 : Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 626

    Fri, 15 Jul 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh tell us more about MacGregor's Leap. Gregor MacGregor jumped over it in the sixteenth century. There was another man who tried to do the same thing. He was an acrobat. But he didn’t succeed. He lost his life.

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  • 08 July 11 : Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 625

    Fri, 8 Jul 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We're still in Glenlyon in Perthshire. West of Fortingall, the road is close to the river. There is a thick wood there. The river is in a gorge. It is fast-running and narrow. On the map it's called MacGregor’s Leap. Leum Mhic-Griogair. But who was the MacGregor? Why was he jumping?

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  • 01 Jun 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 624

    Fri, 1 Jul 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was telling you about Fortingall in Perthshire. The name means “the church of the fort”. Was the place sacred to the pagans, before there was a church there? Some people think it was because there is a famous yew tree growing next to the church. It’s very old. They say that it’s the oldest tree in Europe. It’s between two thousand and five thousand years old. It’s not whole now. But it’s still alive! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 23 Jun 11L Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 623

    Fri, 24 Jun 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was recently in Glenlyon in Perthshire. That area is famous for history and oral tradition. And, according to oral tradition, the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, was born in the area. His father was in Scotland as part of the Roman army. Accompanying text is available in both English and Gaelic at bbc.co.uk/litirbheag.

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  • 17 Jun 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 622

    Fri, 17 Jun 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Roddy tells us about a programme that he's been enjoying. It's from Denmark. It is called Forbrydelsen. That means “The Killing”. It takes place in Copenhagen. It’s about murder and the investigation the police make. It inspires Roddy to think about Danish, English, Scots and Gaelic words connected with death. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 10 Jun 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 621

    Fri, 10 Jun 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week Roddy told us the story The Descendants of the Speckled Horse who was Never Wise. It’s from the Loch Lomond area. The story tells how the name Mac an Oighre or MacNair/Macnair came into being. Mac an Oighre means “the son of the heir”. This week he shares another story from the area. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 03 Jun 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 620

    Fri, 3 Jun 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    What’s the Gaelic for MacNair/Macnair? Well, in Rossshire it’s Mac ̓an Uidhir. It means Mac Iain Uidhir. That’s the old form of Mac Iain Odhair or “the son of John of the sallow complexion”. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 27 May 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 619

    Fri, 27 May 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy was telling you about the Bràisteach Mòr, George Gunn. He was the clan chief of the Gunns. Roddy told how he and seven of his sons were killed. That was in combat with the Keiths of Ackergill. The Keiths stole the famous brooch and a sword from the Bràisteach Mòr’s body. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 20 May 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 618

    Fri, 20 May 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy continues his tale about George Gunn, the clan chief of the Gunns. He had a nickname – the Bràisteach Mòr [“the great brooched one”]. He was alive in the 15th Century. He had a castle at Kinbrace in Sutherland. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 13 May 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 617

    Fri, 13 May 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The village of Kinbrace is in the county of Sutherland. The Gaelic for it is Ceann a’ Bhràist. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 07 May 11: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 616

    Sat, 7 May 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    St Andrews is the English name for the town in Fife, Cill Rìmhinn. To begin with, "St Andrews" was connected only to the church. It wasn’t connected to the town.Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 30 April 11 : Letter to Gaelic Learners 615

    Sat, 30 Apr 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There is a town in Fife called Cill Rìmhinn. It’s not a big town. But it’s famous. It was important in the history of Scotland. And it’s still important to golf and golfers. It has a link to the patron saint of Scotland – St Andrew.

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  • 22 Apr 11: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 614

    Fri, 22 Apr 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh shares an old song with you. The song is old. It’s from the parish of Loch-carron in Wester Ross.Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 15 Apr 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 613

    Fri, 15 Apr 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I was telling you last week about the song The Thistle of Scotland. It was the Loch Fyne bard, Evan MacColl, that wrote it. I was in the parish in which he was born recently. There is a memorial to him at Kenmore, on the shore of Loch Fyne. MacColl was born at Kenmore in 1808. The memorial was erected for him in 1930. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 08 Apr 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 612

    Fri, 8 Apr 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Thistle of Scotland is a famous plant of virtues, Neat plant of the prickly tufts which are provenly hard; A magnificent emblem of my beautiful beloved land, Often its fame kindled a bonfire in my cheek. Do you recognise the verse? Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 01 Apr 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 611

    Fri, 1 Apr 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A new book came out recently. It's called "Gnàthasan-Cainnt". That means "idioms". They are collected from people that belonged to Lewis, Harris, North Uist and Berneray. I'm going to give you an example or two from the book.

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  • 25 Mar 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 610

    Fri, 25 Mar 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I'm going to finish the history of the painting The Death of the Stag by the American painter, Benjamin West. Francis Humberston MacKenzie was going to hang the painting in his castle, Brahan Castle in Rossshire. Through the 1790s, however, the castle was being developed. Thus, the painting remained in London, in Benjamin West's studio. It was there for thirty years. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 18 Mar 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 609

    Fri, 18 Mar 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The painting The Death of the Stag is in the National Gallery of Scotland. It shows Colin Fitzgerald. He is saving the life of King Alexander III. Colin was the progenitor, according to oral tradition, of the MacKenzie clan. The MacKenzies were loyal to the Kings of Scotland. But the fifth Earl of Seaforth, William MacKenzie, supported the Jacobites in their rebellion in 1715. He lost his title and he lost his land. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 11 Mar 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 608

    Fri, 11 Mar 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The painting The Death of the Stag is in the National Gallery of Scotland. It's a large painting. It shows Colin Fitzgerald saving the life of a Scottish King. That was Alexander III. The King was in danger from an angry stag. But who was Colin Fitzgerald? He was an ancestor, according to oral tradition, of the man who ordered the painting – Francis Humberston MacKenzie. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 04 Mar 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 607

    Fri, 4 Mar 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know the National Gallery of Scotland? It's in Edinburgh. In the big chamber, on your right, there is the largest painting in the gallery. In the picture, a Scottish King has fallen from a horse. He and some others were hunting in the Highlands. The King – Alexander III – is lying on the ground. He is in danger from a stag. The stag is angry. Another man is going to thrust a spear into the stag. There are dogs, hunters and other horses. The name of the painting is Alexander III of Scotland Rescued from the Fury of a Stag by the Intrepidity of Colin Fitzgerald. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 25 Feb 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 606

    Fri, 25 Feb 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I'm going to finish the story Great Gulp. The Widow's Son wanted to marry the King's daughter. But the King wasn't willing to give him his daughter. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 18 Feb 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 605

    Fri, 18 Feb 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I'm telling the story Great Gulp. The Widow's Son wanted to marry the King's daughter. The King wasn't willing to give him his daughter. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 11 Feb 11 Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 604

    Fri, 11 Feb 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I was telling you the old story Great Gulp. The Widow's Son built a vessel. He was hoping to marry the King's daughter. The vessel was good at sailing on sea or land. The Widow's Son was the skipper. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 603 04 Feb 11

    Fri, 4 Feb 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Here's an old Gaelic story called Great Gulp. A king had a daughter. She was exceptionally beautiful. Many men wanted to marry her. But she was only going to marry a man who would build a ship that would sail on sea and on land. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 28 Jan 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 28 Jan 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Rev James Stuart [also "Stewart"] made the first translation of the New Testament into Scottish Gaelic. He was the minister in Killin in Perthshire. The New Testament appeared in 1767. James Stuart was born in 1700 in Glen Finglas in the Trossachs. He became a minister in Killin in 1737. Find out more in this week's podcast. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 21 Jan 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 601

    Fri, 21 Jan 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Three people were heavily involved in bringing the Bible to the Gaels of Scotland in Gaelic. The first man was Robert Boyle, the son of the Earl of Cork. The second man was James Kirkwood, a minister who was once living in Perthshire. And the third person? He was Robert Kirk, minister in Aberfoyle in the Trossachs. Kirk brought out the Irish Bible in Latin script for the Gaels of Scotland in 1690. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 14 Jan 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 600

    Fri, 14 Jan 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In the seventeenth century, many people in the Church in Scotland were opposed to the Gaelic language. Thus, no translation was made of the Bible into Gaelic. But the situation was better in Ireland. In the seventeenth century, the New Testament and the Old Testament appeared in Irish Gaelic. They had surplus copies of the Old Testament. They sent some to Scotland. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 07 Jan 11: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 599

    Fri, 7 Jan 11

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I'm going to read a verse from the Bible. It's from the New Testament. Here it is: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That is a new translation of the Gospel according to John, Chapter 1, Verse 1. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 31 Dec 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 598

    Fri, 31 Dec 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    People ask me, "Is Hogmanay a Gaelic word?" Well, no. Hogmanay came into English and Scots from French. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 24 Dec 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 597

    Fri, 24 Dec 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Gaelic for Christmas is Nollaig. We say, "Nollaig chridheil dhuibh" for "Merry Christmas to you". In the old days, there were two Nollaigs – the Nollaig Mhòr and the Nollaig Bheag. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 17 Dec 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 596

    Fri, 17 Dec 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever heard of faire chlaidh? Graveyard watch. Faire chlaidh. People believed that the spirit of a person who had been buried kept watch over the dead. He did that until another man was buried. People didn't want that spirit to keep vigil too long. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 10 Dec 10: Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh 595

    Fri, 10 Dec 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Lochaber Bard, John MacDonald, was recorded by the School of Scottish Studies. He has stories and anecdotes on the Tobar an Dualchais website. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 03 Dec 10: Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh 594

    Fri, 3 Dec 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Calum Maclean met John MacDonald, the "Lochaber Bard", in January 1951. Calum was famous for collecting Gaelic oral tradition. John was famous, at least locally, as a poet and storyteller. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir

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  • 26 Nov 2010: Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh 593

    Fri, 26 Nov 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I'm going to finish the traditional story, Billy. This young guy, Billy, was keen on thieving. The gentleman wanted to set him one more test. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 19 Nov 2010 Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh 592

    Fri, 19 Nov 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I'm contining with the story, Bilidh. Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 12 Nov 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 591

    Fri, 12 Nov 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh has a traditional tale from Barra for you. The name of the story is “Bilidh”. The tale was collected with others in the 19th century. Billy was a farmer’s son who wished to become a master of thievery. Learn more about this character and his wily ways in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 05 Nov 10: Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh 590

    Fri, 5 Nov 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We have a nice song in Gaelic. It's a lullaby. It's name is Uiseag Bheag Dhearg. In the song a child is speaking to a lark. The lark tells where it was sleeping. It slept badly in the bramble bush. It slept badly at sea. But it slept well between two leaves. If it works well, the child will be asleep before the end of the song. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 29 Oct 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 589

    Fri, 29 Oct 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    I was telling you about the Bratach Shìth – or Fairy Flag. It’s in Dunvegan Castle on Skye. People were saying – when it’s raised at a time of conflict, that a fairy host will come. The fairies will give help to the people who have the flag. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 22 Oct 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 588

    Fri, 22 Oct 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Fairy Flag is famous. It’s on the Isle of Skye. It belongs to the Clan MacLeod of Dunvegan. It’s in Dunvegan Castle. In English it’s called the Fairy Flag. The flag is made of silk. It’s very old. And valuable. Learn more about this famous artefact in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 16 Oct 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 587

    Sat, 16 Oct 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Gaelic for The Milky Way is Slighe Chlann Uisnich [“the path of the children of Uisneach]. Milky Way came into English from the Latin Via Lactea. Many languages took their name for the Milky Way from Latin. The Romance languages themselves are like that. In Italy, for example, it’s Via Lattea. The German Milchstraße and the Dutch Melkweg are trans-lations from Latin. As are the names in the Slavic languages. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 08 Oct 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 586

    Fri, 8 Oct 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Scot Gregor MacGregor was in France. He had been involved in fraud. Many people went to Poyais in Central America. MacGregor was praising Poyais. But the country didn’t exist. The people lost a lot of money. Find out more about this scallywag in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 01 Oct 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 585

    Fri, 1 Oct 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Scot Gregor MacGregor was involved in deceit. He created an imaginary country. That was Poyais. It was in the Gulf of Honduras in Central America. MacGregor was saying that he was His Serene Highness Gregor I, Prince of Poyais. Was he out of his mind. No. But he was dishonest. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 24 Sep 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 584

    Fri, 24 Sep 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    More about Neil MacLeod of Lewis. He was a murderer. But he stood against the Fifers who were trying to take Lewis over. To some he was a hero. In the government’s opinion he was a criminal. Learn more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 17 Sep 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 583

    Fri, 17 Sep 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    At the beginning of the seventeenth century, a group of Lowlanders from Fife went to Stornoway. They were the Fife Adventurers. They were going to set up a colony in Lewis. They had support from the King, James VI. Neil MacLeod, and other MacLeods, stood against them. The MacLeods destroyed the Fifers’ stronghold. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 10 Sep 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 582

    Fri, 10 Sep 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In the nineteenth century, there was a Procurator Fiscal in Stornoway called Thomas Drummond. He tried to change the name of the town. He wasn't pleased with Stornoway. Find out more with Ruairidh in this week's little letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 03 Aug 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 581

    Fri, 3 Sep 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh likes the place name Steòrnabhagh. What is your opinion of it? Ruairidh reckons that it’s attractive in English as well. Stornoway. It’s a Norse name. It was Stjórnarvágr. That means the bay of the rudder or the bay of the steering – in English, rudder bay or steering bay. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 27 Aug 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 27 Aug 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Here is the story An Nios agus an Sionnach. The Weasel and the Fox. An Nios agus an Sionnach. It’s from Loch Lomondside. Foxes are very crafty. But this weasel was craftier. Listen to this story in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 20 Aug 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 579

    Fri, 20 Aug 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week Ruairidh was talking about the word samh. That’s the Gaelic for the common sorrel or sourock, Rumex acetosa. He was saying that perhaps the name came from Polish to Yiddish to English to Gaelic. This week, Ruairidh has a story about sorrel depicting its healing properties. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 13 Aug 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 578

    Fri, 13 Aug 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The plant Rumex acetosa is called samh in Gaelic. People call it common sorrel in English. The English name came from the taste of the leaf. It’s sour. In Scots its name is sourock. It’s not too clear where the Gaelic name came from. Does the plant have a strong smell? Find out more in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 06 Aug 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 577

    Fri, 6 Aug 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    At the end of the last podcast, Ruairidh posed a question. I asked what Oidhche nan Seachd Suipearan (The Night of the Seven Suppers) is. Find out what it is in this week’s podcast! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 30 Jul 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 576

    Fri, 30 Jul 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was speaking last week about Seachd Cadalaichean an t-Saoghail. They are The Seven Sleepers of the Earth – creatures that were spending the winter at home, hibernating. They weren’t leaving for a foreign land in the winter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 23 Jul 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 575

    Fri, 23 Jul 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever heard about Seachd Cadalaichean an t-Saoghail? The Seven Sleepers of the Earth. Ruairidh tells us more about them in this week's letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 16 Jul 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 574

    Fri, 16 Jul 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Rev Alexander Pope was a minister in Reay in Caithness. That was in the eighteenth century. He collected Gaelic oral tradition in Caithness. That was around 1739. Learn one of these tales in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 09 Jul 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 573

    Fri, 9 Jul 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Rev Alexander Pope was aminister in Reay in Caithness. That was in the eighteenth century. He was a strong man. He had a stick.He was using the stick to “encourage” people to go to church. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 02 Jul 10 Litir do luchd ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 2 Jul 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Rev Alexander Pope was a minister in Reay (parish) in the eighteenth century. Reay is in Caithness. Mr Pope spoke Gaelic. It was a Gaelic congregation he had. He was a strong man. He had a stick. He was using the stick on the people of the congregation. Learn more about him in this week’s podcast! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 25 Jun: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 571

    Fri, 25 Jun 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Sandy MacDonald was a gamekeeper in the Cairngorms early in the twentieth century. Sandy found something on the hill after the First World War. He thought it was a bomb, but it was a flare. How did it get there?

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  • 18 Jun 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh: 570

    Fri, 18 Jun 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In Perthshire, near Amulree, is Glen Quaich. In that Glen is a loch called “Loch Freuchie. How did the loch get its name? Is it derived from the plant – heather? Well, maybe not according to legend. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 11 Jun 09: Litir do Luchd ionnsachaidh 569

    Fri, 11 Jun 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Black, white and red. Three colours that are well known to our ancestors and well used in stories. You will probably have heard of Deirdre and the Sons of Uisne and Ruairidh has a story that involves them and the three colours. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 04 Jun 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 568

    Fri, 4 Jun 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    As Ruairidh was saying last week, he was in the Sami region in the north end of Sweden. He was skiing through the region where people still keep reindeer. He only saw two of them himself, but he saw many people out looking for reindeer. Find out more about hs adventures in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 28 May: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 567

    Fri, 28 May 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Kebnekaise is the highest mountain in Sweden. Ruairidh visited there at Easter time and tells you more about the mountain this week. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 21 May 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 566

    Fri, 21 May 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week, Ruairidh was telling us about Conlaoch, the Scottish hero who was son of the Ulster hero Cuchullin. Conall, who was related to Cuchullin, according to legend. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 14 May 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 565

    Fri, 14 May 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh is going to tell you of a special legend. It is about a strong hero called Conlaoch. He was a Scot. He was a stong hero with links to the Isle of Skye. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 07 May 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 564

    Fri, 7 May 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week Ruairidh was telling us about the different words for elephants and the image that celts had of these great African beasts when Hannibal’s army crossed the Alps to rome on 3BC. Ruairidh continues his theme of elephants in battle in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 30 Apr 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 563

    Fri, 30 Apr 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has a challenge for you this week at the start of the letter. Here are some words from old dictionaries and they all mean the same thing ailp, ailpe, boir, borr and fil. You don’t know them? Never fear, neither did Ruairidh! Find out what they mean in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 23 Apr 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 562

    Fri, 23 Apr 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh finishes the story “The King and the Foal”. The king said to the man, “Come here tomorrow. If you don’t tell me what is swiftest in the world, you’ll lose your head.” Find out what happened in this week's podcast! Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 16 Apr 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 561

    Fri, 16 Apr 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues last week’s story, The King and The Foal. Why not contiue the tale with him in this week’s podcast? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 09 Apr 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 560

    Fri, 9 Apr 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh has a story for you. It is called "The King and the Foal". Why not listen to this week's story in this week's podcast? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 02 Apr 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 559

    Fri, 2 Apr 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was looking at an old page in Mac-Talla. That’s an old newspaper. Mac-Talla was published in Nova Scotia. That was at the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century. Find out what he discovered in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 26 Mar: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 558

    Fri, 26 Mar 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week, Ruairidh was talking about the lynx and how evidence was uncovered proving it was alive in Scotland in the First Century. This week, he looks at why the lynx left and how other countries which still have lynxes are affected by their presence. Learn more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 19 Mar 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 557

    Fri, 19 Mar 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    When was the lynx last seen in Scotland? Ruairidh is certain that you are familiar with the lynx – a big wildcat that lives in the forests in Asia and Europe. It once lived in Scotland. But when and why did it leave? Learn more about the lynx and Celtic words for this mighty beast in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 12 Mar 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 556

    Fri, 12 Mar 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh was looking at an electronic map, it was made between 1747 and 1755 by William Roy. Roy was brought up in Lanarkshire, he was in the Hanovarian Army at the time of the Jacobite Rising. Learn more about William Roy in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 5 Mar 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 555

    Fri, 5 Mar 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh talks of Creag nam Ban, which is near Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire. It's beside the River Dee. And it's above Abergeldie Castle. Creag nam Ban means “the rocky hill of the women”. People say that witches were burned to death there. People still remember the name of one of the witches – Kitty Rankine.

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  • 26 Feb 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 554

    Fri, 26 Feb 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week Ruairidh was talking about John Fraser who was famous for categorising exotic plants. He was born in 1750. Four years later another Gael who was famous for the same reason was born. He was Archibald Menzies. The area was Aberfeldy in Perth. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 19 Feb 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 553

    Fri, 19 Feb 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh is certain that you have heard Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. She was in charge of Russia at the end of the 18th Century. She was powerful. It seems like she was quite fond of plants – find out more about Catherine the Great in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 12 Feb 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 552

    Fri, 12 Feb 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There are a species of plant called Frasera – for example Frasera speciosa. They are named for a guy John Fraser. He was good at collecting plants. He was very famous. And he was a Gael. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 05 Feb 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 551

    Fri, 5 Feb 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has a new word for you, Barbag, well, he expects it’s a new word for many of you. If you are wondering what it is, it is a type of plant. Ruairidh will tell you all about this plant and others that are not native to this country and ponders, how did they get here? Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 29 Jan 10: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 550

    Fri, 29 Jan 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh finishes the story The Black Bodach of Morven. It's from Braemore in Caithness. The men were in pursuit of the Bodach.

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  • 22 Jan 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 549

    Fri, 22 Jan 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Braemore is the town nearest the highest mountain in Caithness – Morven. It is 706 metres above sea leve, it is not that tall, but is a lovely sight. It’s a crofting settlement, but it used to have a much larger population, and people used to tell each other stoies, just as they did all over the Highlands. Here is a story from Braemore – The Black Bodach of Morven. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 15 Jan 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 15 Jan 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There are two villages in Caithness called Ballachly – the township of the cemetery. There is a Ballachly near Dunbeath. It’s quite well known as archaeologists found interestesting ancient artefacts there. It’s from that wee settlement that the story comes this week. Here is the story – “The Witch of Ballachly”. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 08 Jan 10: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 547

    Fri, 8 Jan 10

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We are still in Caithness looking at the area’s heritage through stories. A short tinme ago Ruairidh received some Caithnessian advice on the influence strong drink has on a person. The advice was what one glass hads on a person, two glasses and finally the effect three glasses has on a person. Ruairidh is talking about whisky here. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 18 Dec 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 546

    Fri, 18 Dec 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues with his journey through Sutherland and Caithness, accompanied by stories from this area. He’s travelling over the border of Caithness – to the area of Dunbeath; an area renowned for its rich Gaelic storytelling history. He brings us the tale of the three knots. Both the number three and knots are significant in Gaelic heritage. Learn more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 11 Dec 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 545

    Fri, 11 Dec 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has a story from Cataibh today, it’s about a crofter from Sutherland. Most Crofters were diligent at cutting peats for the cold winter nights and building their stacks. Not all were like this, this particular crofter, he was a thief. Find out about his wily ways in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 04 Dec 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 4 Dec 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh has come across two trees that have Gaelic names, but no English names. He describes these in this week’s podcast. He also describes a tree called “The Làmh Tree”. Find out the origins of this name in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 27 Nov 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 543

    Fri, 27 Nov 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Another letter from Canna this week. Ruaraidh was telling us about Coroghan Castle where the wife of Black Donald of the Cuckoo was held captive. This week, Ruairidh tells us more about this character, a clan-chief who would lock up his wife. Find out more in the podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 20 Nov 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 542

    Fri, 20 Nov 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh leaves the Isle of Eigg this week, but he remains in the Small Isles as he heads off to the Isle of Canna. There is a place in Canna called Coroghon Castle. It’s not a normal castle. In Gaelic it’s called the Corra-dhùn. The steep fort or hill. Although it is not big, it is steep. The building is next to the shore. It is very old. It is in a poor condition. If somebody doesn’t do something soon, it won’t be there long. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 13 Nov 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 541

    Fri, 13 Nov 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Isle of Eigg’s nickname is the Isle of the Big Women. According to oral tradition, it goes back to the Seventh Century. The island was still under the control of the Picts. Indeed, it was under the control of a Pictish queen. Find out more about Eìgg’s nickname and this Pictish queen in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 06 Nov 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 540

    Fri, 6 Nov 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    How familiar are you with Scotland’s islands? This week Ruairidh examines nicknames associated with three islands. Do you where The cross-wise island, The kingdom of the wild forest and The island of the big women are located? Find out in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 30 Oct 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 539

    Fri, 30 Oct 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week, Ruairidh was telling us about what the opinion Gaels had of goats in times gone by. That was that they were capable of killing and eating snakes. Well, it’s interesting how often the goat appears in Gaelic proverbs “The thing that kept the ivy from the goats”. What does that mean? Find out in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 23 Oct 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 538

    Fri, 23 Oct 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    How often have you seen a goat in Scotland? Ruairidh does not mean a big white goat behind a white fence, but wild goats who live in the moors. He has seen some many times, in places like the Black Isle, an Colonsay in Strath Spey and, more recently, in Kinlochewe in Ross-shire. Learn more about these wild goats in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 16 Oct 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 537

    Fri, 16 Oct 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Over the past fortnight Ruairidh has been looking at the poetry and life of Rob Donn. This week, he will take one final look at a piece Rob Donn wrote. This piece is about the difference in attitudes between the Gaels and lowland Scots, in particular the Gaels of the MacKay country. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 09 Oct 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 9 Oct 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Your ears do not deceive you, the introduction to this week’s letter is the same as last week’s, but Ruairidh just wants to say a little more about this poem. Specifically he wants to talk about the Glen that features in this poem, where there was a beautiful forest. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 02 Oct 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 535

    Fri, 2 Oct 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh begins this week’s letter with a refrain from a famous Gaelic poem originating from one of the most northerly points of the Highlands, the MacKay Country (of North Sutherland). It was written by the famous Gaelic poet, Rob Donn. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 25 Sep 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 534

    Fri, 25 Sep 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Eric MacLeod and his family moved to Kerracher on the shore of Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin in Assynt in 1976. The old house wasn’t in a good condition. They had to get a caravan to Kerracher, but unfortunately for them there was no road. Learn more about Kerrochar and the MacLeod family who lived there in this week's podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 18 Sep 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 533

    Fri, 18 Sep 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This summer Ruairidh got the chance to go to a garden that he always wanted to see. It’s a public garden with lovely flowers and it has plenty visitors. In tha way, it’s like Inverewe Gardens or gardens of that type which are all along the Highland coast. There is one difference though, find out what that is, where the garden is and about a family there in this week’s letter. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 11 Sep 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 532

    Fri, 11 Sep 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    More often than not, Ruairidh talks about subjects pertaining to the Highlands. However, this week he will talk to you about an event that occurred, outside the Highlands, although every mothers’ son will understand why this week’s subject affects Ruairidh. Learn what this is and a whole more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 04 Sep 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 531

    Fri, 4 Sep 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week Ruairidh started telling us about The lady of Lawers, who had second sight. It is thought that she lived in the seventeenth century. She planted a tree beside the church in Lawers and she made a prophecy regarding it. At around 1880, two men dug up the tree. As you would expect, things did not go too well for these two. Find out more in this week’s podcast. Accompanying Gaelic text, grammar points and vocabulary are all available at bbc.co.uk/litir.

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  • 28 Aug: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 530

    Fri, 28 Aug 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ben Lawers is above Loch Tay. It is in Perthshire. The mountain is very high. It’s covered with snow in the winter. And it’s famous for plants. Lawers is also the name of a small settlement and an area adjacent to Loch Tay. Gaelic was strong in that area at one time. There was a famous woman once living in Lawers. She had the second-sight. Learn more in this week's podcast!

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  • 21 Aug 2009 : Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 529

    Fri, 21 Aug 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh talks about the meaning of the word "farach" and The Doctrine of Signatures.

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  • 14 Aug 2009 : Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 528

    Fri, 14 Aug 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh talks of the the Island of Boreray in this weeks letter. Boreray means "fort-island" in Old Norse. It's close to North Uist and Berneray.

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  • 07 Aug 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 7 Aug 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh discusses the name 'Eddrachillis Bay'. How did it come to be? It cames from Gaelic and in this letter, Ruairidh explains the meaning.

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  • 31 Jul 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 526

    Fri, 31 Jul 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    More magnificent placenames this week, Ruairidh ponders over Eddrachillis Bay. There is only one way to learn about this place and its Gaelic origins, listen to the podcast!

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  • 24 Jul 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 525

    Fri, 24 Jul 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh recently took a cruise. One of the places he visited was Tobermory, in Mull. Beginning with a very wise proverb, Ruairidh explains some of the things that he saw on the cruise.

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  • 17 Jul 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 524

    Fri, 17 Jul 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Iain Dubh, An Seòladair, has had some adventures. From rescuing and marrying the Princess of Spain from the band of robbers, to giving peace to three dead men. How will this tale end for the most remarkable of characters? Find out in this week’s podcast!

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  • 10 Jun 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 523

    Fri, 10 Jul 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Continuing the adventures of Iain Dubh an Seòladair. Iain is head of the bandits. Learn of what happens when Iain Dubh enters the forbidden room. What does he find? Don’t miss out as this story heats up!

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  • 03 Jul 09 Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 3 Jul 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh continues with his tale of Iain Dubh Leòdhasach, an Seòladair. Learn new phrases and words whilst being entertained by this tale of the sailor from Lewis.

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  • 26 Jun 2009: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 521

    Fri, 26 Jun 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh invites you to listen to the tale of a sailor called Black-haired John! Sit back and relax and learn of this character from the Isle of Lewis.

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  • 19 Jun 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 520

    Fri, 19 Jun 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Although the Cromarty Fisherfolk was a form of Scots, there were loads of words that came from Gaelic. Ruairidh runs through some of them. Have a listen to learn more.

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  • 12 Jun 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 519

    Fri, 12 Jun 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh got a new book recently; it's about a dialect in the Highlands that is becoming extinct. Interestingly, he's not talking about a dialect of Gaelic, but English. It’s the “Cromarty Fisherfolk Dialect”. Learn more in this week’s podcast.

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  • 05 Jun 08: Litir do Luchd ionnschaidh 518

    Fri, 5 Jun 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Ruairidh moves away from Raasay and talks about a lochan in Islay called Lochan na Nigheadaireachd. He wonders if washing was carried out in this lochan. Flora Macdonald wrote memoirs of her youth in Benbecula, in this she describes the joy of clothes washing! Listen to this fascinating tale and learn new words, phrases and Gaelic similes in this week's podcast.

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  • 29 May 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 517

    Fri, 29 May 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This wee Ruairidh takes us to Loch nam Mnà in Raasay. Find out how the loch got its name and who was the mysterious lady of this particular lake!

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  • 22 May 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 516

    Fri, 22 May 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Ruairidh tells us a bit more about Gilleasbaig, or Archibald, Cook. He was a church minister who gave sermons in both English and Gaelic. Sometimes his sermons were so popular, they had to be held outside the church. He also had an opposing view to alcohol to many of his contemporaries. Learn more in this week's podcast.

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  • 15 May 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 515

    Fri, 15 May 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week Ruairidh introduces us to two more Gaelic characters; Archibald and Finlay Cook. Both were born on the island of Arran, but both spoke different dialects of Gaelic. Both brothers were ministers. Archibald travelled and preached in different areas of Scotland.

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  • 08 May 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 514

    Fri, 8 May 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Among those who are buried in Inchmahome, near The Lake of Menteith, is Robert Cunninghame Graham, or Don Roberto as he was known in his second country, Argentina. Learn all about this man who came from the gentry and what happened on the very first ever day that came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday’.

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  • 01 May 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 513

    Fri, 1 May 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We have a treat at the start of this week's podcast! It's another Gaelic riddle, why not pause the podcast and try and solve it? After the riddle, we travel back in time to learn of an important left-wing figure in Scottish politics.

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  • 24 Apr 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 512

    Fri, 24 Apr 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    In the Norwegian town of Otta, there is a statue of a young woman named Pillarguri. She is well known in Norwegian history. In the statue she is blowing a horn. She is commemorating an attack on Scots in Sweden in 1612. In this week’s podcast, find out why the Scots were there and why the Norwegians had to attack!

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  • 17 Apr 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 511

    Fri, 17 Apr 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Have you ever heard of the Battle of Kringen? It is a famous Norwegian battle. Find out all about it and Scotlan's relevance to it, in this week's letter.

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  • 10 Apr 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 510

    Fri, 10 Apr 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy has been ski-ing in mountains in the Rodane in Norway. The Rodane became a national park in 1962. There are small huts and bothys in the Rodane and the Norwegian names for these are very similar to the English names. Find out about these lodges and one in particular with this week's podcast.

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  • 03 Apr 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 509

    Fri, 3 Apr 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    "Mark my word, Pat, she'll be an unlucky ship." This week, hear how Peter Morrison from Grimsay overheard two Irishmen talking as the Titanic launched in Belfast. Did one of the old men see an omen or supernatural warning?

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  • 27 Mar 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 508

    Fri, 27 Mar 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy has a new book, Thugam agus Bhuam, by Patrick Morrison. It is a collection of stories. A wee bit of Patrick's own tale is given and Roddy begins a new tale about when Patrick saw the Titanic. NEW! AN LITIR BHEAG, or The Little Letter is now available as a podcast!

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  • 20 Mar 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 507

    Fri, 20 Mar 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Roddy tells of a place close to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh which is called Croft-an-Righ. Not Croit an Rìgh, but Croft-an-Righ. Without question, it’s a Gaelic name. How did it get its title? Find out in this week's podcast.

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  • 13 Mar 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 506

    Fri, 13 Mar 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    There is a route in Edinburgh called Piper’s Walk. It’s on Arthur’s Seat. Roddy will tell you how Piper’s Walk got its name – at least, according to oral tradition.

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  • 06 Mar 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 505

    Fri, 6 Mar 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Roddy researches how Arthur's Seat, situated in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park, got its name and whether or not it's connected to King Arthur.

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  • 27 Feb 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 504

    Fri, 27 Feb 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy got a letter himself this week. The correspondent advised him to type in 'Caithness' into the online version of Dwelly. One hundred and twenty four words cropped up and Roddy takes us through the most unusual words

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  • 20 Feb 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 503

    Fri, 20 Feb 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A valuable resource for Gaelic learners over several generations has been Edward Dwelly's dictionary. There are many interesting words to be found within its pages, Roddy looks at some of these words and their origins. Two plucky people recently put the dictionary online, listen to how they achieved this mammoth task!

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  • 13 Feb 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 502

    Fri, 13 Feb 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know the word muir? It means “sea”. A’ mhuir – the sea. Do you know the word tìr? It means “land”. An tìr – the land. Muir is tìr – the sea and the land. Both are important in the Gaidhealtachd. Well, this week Roddy has a conundrum for you: what does 'Muir-thìreach' mean? He explains in the later and brings a whole host of intriguing words that appear in a new online dictionary.

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  • 06 Feb 2009: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 501

    Fri, 6 Feb 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Do you know what the word Cùtach means? Many apply it to today's dialect of Gaelic. Do you agree? The word also leads Roddy to think about the dialect of Gaelic that orginated from Aberdeen.

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  • 30 Jan 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 500

    Fri, 30 Jan 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy is delighted to present the 500th Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh and would like to thank those who have contacted him regarding Litir. This week's letter concludes the tale of Cù Fhearchair Bhàin. What exactly happened to Fraoch on that night? What was that devilish sound the couple heard? Find out by listening to this week's podcast.

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  • 23 Jan 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 499

    Fri, 23 Jan 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Listen to the story of an amazing dog in Cù Fhearchair Bhàin. It is about a wonderdog called Fraoch who was an excellent sheepdog and was quite a character! In this tale, we'll hear of what happened to a couple who came to the master's house one eerie night........

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  • 16 Jan 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 498

    Fri, 16 Jan 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We come to the end of our fascinating journey along the Antonine Wall. Roddy looks at the other names of Forts that may have originated from Gaelic. He finishes by ruminating that although the Romans only used the wall for a generation, the legacy has lasted much longer.

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  • 09 Jan 09: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 497

    Fri, 9 Jan 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    More fascinating stories emerge from the forts that run along the Antonine Wall. Are you familiar with how the name Bearsden came to be the name of the town. It was not the original name of the town and only came to be after a technological advancement. find out what it was and much more in this week's podcast.

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  • 02 Jan 09: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 496

    Fri, 2 Jan 09

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Bliadhna Mhath Ùr! The first letter of the year and Roddy is looking at the biggest structure that the Romans ever built in Scotland, the Antonine Wall. A brief history of Antoninus is given, connections and comparisons to Hadrian are made, before Roddy gives us an introduction to the first couple of forts along the wall.

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  • 26 Dec 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 26 Dec 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy examines more Galatian history and culture and wonders what sort of language they spoke

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  • 19 Dec 08: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 494

    Fri, 19 Dec 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy looks at one of the most famous letters ever written, one that's been translated into many different languages.

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  • 12 Dec 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 493

    Fri, 12 Dec 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    As the sorry chapter of Robbie Northway ends, another opens about another bothy-dwelling character. The old fox, or James McRory Smith, lived in a bothy in Strathcailleach for thirty years. Listen to this week's podcast to learn all about his wiley ways!

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  • 05 Dec 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 492

    Fri, 5 Dec 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The final instalment of the strange tale of the Northways unfolds. The twists and turns unfold and unfurl, but does the tale of Robbie echo similar circumstances to events that happened years ago in the area?

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  • 28 Nov 08: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 491

    Fri, 28 Nov 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The strange case of the Northways and their animals moving into a bothy caused uproar with local crofters. It caused the authorities quite a headache. Learn more by listening to the podcast!

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  • 21 Nov 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 490

    Fri, 21 Nov 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Roddy examines several Sutherland place names. Also, hear an unusual story about a couple who moved into Srathan Bothy in 2000 along with their animals.

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  • 14 Nov 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 489

    Fri, 14 Nov 08

    Duration:
    7 mins

    This week Roddy re-acquaints us with an offical bird of state in America. The name of the bird looks like a Greek word, however the name originated from Gaelic. Find out about the name, the state and the mighty bird itself!

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  • 07 Nov 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 488

    Fri, 7 Nov 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The final instalment of the fascinating school, Keil School, is given. Rugby and Gaelic are added to the school's curriculum - two big, bold moves!

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  • 31 Oct 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 487

    Fri, 31 Oct 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The foundations of the school in Keil were laid by Sir William MacKinnon. Find out more about the Kintyre Technical School.

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  • 24 Oct 08: Litir do luchd ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 24 Oct 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Campbeltown in Kintyre is the setting of this week's letter. Roddy points out a striking memorial in the town. The figure is of William MacKinnon, a wealthy mercant who originated there.

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  • 17 Oct 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 485

    Fri, 17 Oct 08

    Duration:
    7 mins

    In this final instalment, we find out what effect McKenzie's policies had on the Maori. We learn which areas he was radical in and what area he was extremely conservative in. We also learn of how Sir John died.

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  • 10 Oct 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 484

    Fri, 10 Oct 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Last week we found out what incident shaped Sir John McKenzie's policies. Find out this week about one of those policies and the "999 year lease".

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  • 03 Oct 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 483

    Fri, 3 Oct 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Sir John McKenzie, a famous Gaelic-speaking 19th century politician, is the subject of this week's letter. Find out how some etched names on a church window influenced him

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  • 26 Sep 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 26 Sep 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The terrible consequesnces of the statutes of Iona are further explored in this week's letter. Find out the effects that this had on the Gaels and Gaelic.

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  • 19 Sep 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 481

    Fri, 19 Sep 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A terrible event in the Gaels' history occurred 400 years ago. Roddy looks back on the Statutes of Iona and the terrible effect that they had on the Gaelic language.

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  • 12 Sep 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 480

    Fri, 12 Sep 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy travels to Wales this week. He is enchanted by the red kite. The hawk was obliterated in Scotland twenty years ago. The hawk has a rich history which is illustrated in this week's podcast.

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  • 05 Sep 08: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

    Fri, 5 Sep 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy explores the history of Stanley in Perthshire this week. The region's Gaelic roots are explored as he looks to the area's cotton mills. The thistle's importance also stemmed from that area, saving Scots from a vicious end from some barefooted, bloodthirsty Vikings!

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  • 29 Aug 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 478

    Fri, 29 Aug 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    An ancient feud between the MacSorlie family and Clan Chattan in the Glen Nevis area comes to a violent conclusion when an irate piper plays a war tune. You’ll find out what happened and how the cave, Uamh Shomhairle, played its part and got its name in this week’s podcast.

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  • 22 Aug 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 477

    Fri, 22 Aug 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Continuing the theme of the Orkney islands, Roddy sails down the Òigh-sgeir in the hope of seeing some sharks, but what happens when he and his fellow voyagers get a bit more than they bargained for?

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  • 15 Aug 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 476

    Fri, 15 Aug 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy is at sea for this week's letter. On a recent trip to Orkney he discovered seasickness for the first time.

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  • 08 Aug 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 475

    Fri, 8 Aug 08

    Duration:
    7 mins

    Could the origin of the ancient Kirkwall Ba' game lie with the battle between two earls? This was a vicious and bloody battle in which even the victor ultimately met his violent end!

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  • 01 Aug 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 474

    Fri, 1 Aug 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The place-names of Orkney are examined this week, including the Glens of Kinnaird on Hoy. Roddy questions whether this name is of Highland origin, just as scholar Hugh Marwick had done years beforehand.

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  • 25 Jul 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 473

    Fri, 25 Jul 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The similarities between Highland and Scandanavian place names are examined this week. During a recent trip to Orkney, Roddy discovered the majority of the island's place names derived from the old Norse language.

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  • 18 Jul 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 472

    Fri, 18 Jul 08

    Duration:
    7 mins

    Find out what became of the prince in the final instalment of 'The Three Green Dogs' tale. Also, Roddy offers an explanation as to how the village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond got its name.

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  • 11 Jul 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 471

    Fri, 11 Jul 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The fascinating tale of 'The Three Green Dogs' continues this week. In this part, the prince comes under the influence of somebody out to do him harm. Listen to this letter and find out what the wrongdoer does and how the mighty hounds react to this!

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  • 04 Jul 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 470

    Fri, 4 Jul 08

    Duration:
    7 mins

    A magic tale of three green dogs, Knowledge, Swiftness and Heaviness are the topic of this week's letter. They are bought by a prince and they help him catch deer, but can they help their royal owner overcome battle with some mischievous giants?

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  • 27 Jun 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 469

    Fri, 27 Jun 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Gaelic speakers in Scotland are confident that they have a Gaelic minister looking after the language's interests. Roddy looks to the nineteenth century, when there was a movement to protect Scottish and Irish Gaelic, in Canada!

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  • 20 Jun 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 468

    Fri, 20 Jun 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Cho beò ri eun, cho marbh ri cloich. Ruairidh brings you a wealth of Gaelic similies in this week's letter.

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  • 13 Jun 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 467

    Fri, 13 Jun 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Gaelic has many names for the fingers! Roddy starts off this week's letter with a rhyme his kids learnt at nursery and muses on how the fingers got their splendid names.

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  • 06 Jun 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 466

    Fri, 6 Jun 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week's letter looks at the Isle of Skye's famous mountains, The Cuillins. There are many theories as to where their name came from, ranging from two Gaelic heroes, a plant, to ancient Norse words from Viking invaders!

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  • 30 May 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 465

    Fri, 30 May 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    We all know of St Columba, who connects Scotland with Gleann Cholm Cille in Ireland, however, this week Roddy tells of another connection. Listen to this tale of a very famous Jacobite fleeing Culloden to Gleann Cholm Cille. Can you guess who it is?

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  • 23 May 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 464

    Fri, 23 May 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, a magic mist in a Donegal glen is explained in a St Columba folk tale.

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  • 16 May 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 463

    Fri, 16 May 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The traditional tale of "The Lass that Was Sold" reaches its incredible conclusion. Prepare to be amazed as to what happens at the end of her epic journey!

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  • 09 May 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 462

    Fri, 9 May 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The traditional tale of "The Lass that was Sold" continues in this week's letter

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  • 02 May 08 Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 461

    Fri, 2 May 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The traditional tale, The Lass that was Sold, is the subject of Letter 461.

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  • 25 Apr 08 Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 460

    Fri, 25 Apr 08

    Duration:
    7 mins

    This week, Roddy tells about the ghost of the redcoat soldier, Arthur Davies.

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  • 18 Apr 08 Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 459

    Fri, 18 Apr 08

    Duration:
    7 mins

    Arthur Davies, a wealthy, well-liked redcoat soldier is the subject of this week's letter.

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  • 11 Apr 08 Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 458

    Fri, 11 Apr 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy continues the tale of the last Jacobite to die on Drumossie Moor at the Battle of Culloden, join him as he recounts the life and times of Patrick Grant!

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  • 04 Apr 08: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 457

    Fri, 4 Apr 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The Battle of Culloden is visited in this week's letter. Roddy remembers Patrick Grant, the last man to die on the battlefield and recounts his story.

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  • 28 Mar 08 - Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 456

    Fri, 28 Mar 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week's letter discusses Springtime.

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  • 21 Mar 08 - Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 455

    Fri, 21 Mar 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The original Gaelic names given to the months of the year are the subject of this week's letter.

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  • 14 Mar 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 454

    Fri, 14 Mar 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Saint Paul's mystical powers over animals are the subject of this week's letter

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  • 07 Mar 08: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 453

    Fri, 7 Mar 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A Celtic tale is disclosed, this week. Travel with Roddy to a Breton Monastery and learn about Saint Paul!

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  • 29 Feb 08: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 452

    Fri, 29 Feb 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Letter 452 tells the story of The Beggar's Death.

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  • 22 Feb 08: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 451

    Fri, 22 Feb 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A Perthshire ghost is the topic of this week's letter.

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  • 15 Feb 08: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 450

    Fri, 15 Feb 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A gaelic song about curling is the subject of this week's letter.

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  • 08 Feb 08: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 449

    Fri, 8 Feb 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Roddy tells us of a 19th century song written about curling.

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  • 01 Feb 08: Litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh 448

    Fri, 1 Feb 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Roddy looks at the shamrock and the unique position it holds in Irish storytelling.

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  • 25 Jan 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 447

    Fri, 25 Jan 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy visits a new exhibition about whales which leads him on to tales about a very famous whale!

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  • 18 Jan 08: Litir do luchd-Ionnsachaidh 446

    Fri, 18 Jan 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Various expressions, similar in both Gaelic and Scots, are examined.

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  • 11 Jan 08: Litir do luchd-Ionnsachaidh 445

    Fri, 11 Jan 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The sailing boat, The Linnet, is the subject of this week's letter.

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  • 04 Jan 08: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 444

    Fri, 4 Jan 08

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A tongue twister from Broomton is the topic of this week's letter.

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  • 28 Dec 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 443

    Fri, 28 Dec 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A verse about Dornoch is the topic of this week's letter.

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  • 21 Dec 07: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 442

    Fri, 21 Dec 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    19th century poverty is central to this week's letter. Roddy outlines the situation and describes a modern group that ensure the impact is never forgotten.

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  • 14 Dec 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 441

    Fri, 14 Dec 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Find out what happens when Roddy accepts an invitation from an Irish Haad of State to visit the most beautiful place on the Emerald Isle`!

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  • 07 Dec 07: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 440

    Fri, 7 Dec 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, hear all about Finan MacDonald from Knoydart who fought a bison with his bare hands and survived!

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  • 30 Nov 07: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 439

    Fri, 30 Nov 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Another story abouth Boban Saor from Mingulay. This time Roddy explores the extraordinary way that his son got his wife.

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  • 23 Nov 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 438

    Fri, 23 Nov 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    From Mingulay to Cape Breton, Roddy gives us a different account of what happened to Boban Saor in this extraordinary tale!

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  • 16 Nov 07: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 437

    Fri, 16 Nov 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A new book about the people of Mingulay is the topic of this week's letter. Although he's reluctant to give too much away, he shares a tale about one of the island's characters.

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  • 09 Nov 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 436

    Fri, 9 Nov 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Johann Von Lamont's short biography comes to its interesting conclusion.

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  • 02 Nov 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 435

    Fri, 2 Nov 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The transformation from to Iain MacIlleDhuibh Johnann Von Lamont, the famous Highland Anstronomer is outlined in this week's letter. A brief history is given on his amazing life.

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  • 26 Oct 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 434

    Fri, 26 Oct 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    You'll have stars in your eyes when you listen to this week's letter. Roddy indroduces the most famous astronomer to hail from the Highlands, however from the chap's name, you'd be correct to have your doubts!

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  • 19 Oct 07: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 433

    Fri, 19 Oct 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Continuing the recent theme of saints associated with the lovely landscape of Loch Lomond, Roddy turns his attention to a buddy of Paisley.

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  • 12 Oct 07: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 432

    Fri, 12 Oct 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Roddy divulges last week's mystery and reveals the popular folklore and the the Scottish hero who's to blame!

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  • 05 Oct 2007: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 431

    Fri, 5 Oct 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    This week, Roddy takes us on a journey to an island near Loch Lomond, Inchcailloch. He outlines the island's intriguing history and leaves us wondering what exactly is out there?

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  • 28 Sep 07: Litir do Luchd Ionnsachaidh 430

    Fri, 28 Sep 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Children's rhymes and sayings from the different areas of Scotland are on the tip of Roddy's tongue this week. Listen and love his comparisons and distinctions from all over Scotland!

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  • 21 Sep 07: Litir Do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 429

    Fri, 21 Sep 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Discover what happened in this month's letter when King James I invited the clann chiefs of the Highlands to meet him in 1427.

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  • 14 Sep 07: Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 428

    Fri, 14 Sep 07

    Duration:
    7 mins

    Roddy revisits last week's 15th century poem and examines its inspiration - The Battle of Inverlochy.

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  • 7 Sep 2007: Litir Do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh 427

    Fri, 7 Sep 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A comparison between a 15th Century Gaelic poem and a traditional: proverb. Roddy wonders what came first?

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  • 31 Aug 07: Litir do Luchd Ionnsachaidh 426

    Fri, 31 Aug 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    An tale of a spear with supernatural powers!

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  • 24 Aug 07: Litir do Luchd Ionnsachaidh 425

    Fri, 24 Aug 07

    Duration:
    4 mins

    A tale of Cuchulainn's strength and might, as he battles warriors single-handledly in Ireland!

    Download 2MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • 24 Aug 07: Litir do Luchd Ionnsachaidh 425

    Fri, 24 Aug 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A tale of Cuchulainn's strength and might, as he battles warriors single-handledly in Ireland!

    Download 3MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • 24 Aug 07: Litir do Luchd Ionnsachaidh 425

    Fri, 24 Aug 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    A tale of Cuchulainn's strength and might, as he battles warriors single-handledly in Ireland!

    Download 3MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • 17 Aug 07: Litir do Luchd Ionnsachaidh 424

    Fri, 17 Aug 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Cuchulainn and Fionn MacCumhail make heroic appearances in this week's letter!

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  • 10 Aug 07: Litir do Luchd Ionnsachaidh 423

    Fri, 10 Aug 07

    Duration:
    6 mins

    The 18th Century Gaelic poet Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair is the topic of this week's Letter.

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