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A letter for Gaelic learners with Roddy MacLean.

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Litir 256: Naochadair Chlach na Cùdainn

Nuair a chaidh an leabhar “Reminiscences of a Clachnacuddin Nonagenarian” fhoillseachadh ann an ochd ceud deug, ceathrad ’s a dhà (1842), bha drochaid cloiche ann an Inbhir Nis. Bha i a’ dol tarsainn Abhainn Nis ann am meadhan a’ bhaile agus bha seachd stuaghan innte. Seo na chanas Iain MacIlleathain, “Naochadair Chlach na Cùdainn” mu a deidhinn.

“Mus deach an drochaid a th’ ann a-nise a thogail, bha tè ann a bh’ air a dèanamh le fiodh-daraich is a bh’ air a cleachdadh gus an do thachair an tubaist a bha seo. Bha seann bhean a’ dol tarsainn na drochaid, oidhche geamhraidh a bha seo, agus an drochaid gun rèileachan, le eallach de fhraoch air a druim, nuair a thàinig onfhadh gaoithe sìos an gleann. Thug e am fraoch leis agus thilg e a’ bhana-chreutair bhochd don tuil, anns an do chaill i a beatha.”

Às dèidh seo, chaidh an drochaid a leagail, agus chaidh tè ùr a thogail na h-àite. Bha sin ann an sia ceud deug, ochdad ’s a còig (1685). Phàigh ceithir buidhnean air a son – am baile fhèin, MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain, Foirbeis Chùil Lodair agus Mac Shimidh. B’ e eisimpleir de rud ris an canar an-diugh “com-pàirteachas poblach-prìobhaideach”!

Nise, dhuibhse a th’ air a bhith a’ leantainn eachdraidh cìsean Drochaid an Eilein Sgitheanaich – bidh seo inntinneach, oir bha cìsean air an drochaid seo, gus gum faigheadh ùghdarras a’ bhaile a chuid airgid air ais. Gach turas a rachadh cuideigin tarsainn na drochaid, bha aige ri bodle a phàigheadh. B’ e sin an siathamh pàirt de sgillinn.

Ach bha cuid saor bhon chìs. B’ iad sin muinntir nam fìneachan a chuir airgead a dh’ionnsaigh togail na drochaid. Nam b’ urrainn dhut dearbhadh, mar eisimpleir, gum buineadh tu do Chloinn ’ic Leòid Dhùn Bheagain, gheibheadh tu a-null is a-nall saor ’s an asgaidh. Chan eil Iain MacIlleathain ag innse dhuinn ciamar a dhearbh na Leòdaich gur e Leòdaich a bh’ annta!

Co-dhiù, feumaidh nach robh cùisean fàbharach do Mhac Shimidh, agus reic esan a chòirichean ri ùghdarras a’ bhaile. Bho sin a-mach, cha robh an fheadhainn a bhuineadh do Mhac Shimidh saor bhon chìs tuilleadh. Ach bhiodh cuid dhiubh fhathast a’ seachnadh na cìse. Seo mar a tha Iain MacIlleathain ga mhìneachadh: “ … tha e air a chlàradh, goirid ron linn seachd ceud deug, ceathrad ’s a còig gu ceathrad ’s a sia (1745-6), gur e sealladh cumanta a bh’ ann a bhith a’ faicinn boireannach bochd a’ grunnachadh tarsainn na h-aibhne le fear de ‘thighearnan na cruitheachd’ air a druim, gus gun seachnadh e a’ chìs.”

Agus bha plòigh aig cuid de mhuinntir Inbhir Nis fhèin airson a’ chìs a sheachnadh. Bha an fheadhainn seo a’ fuireach gu siar air an abhainn agus madainn na Sàbaid, an àite a bhith a’ dol tarsainn na drochaid don eaglais, thigeadh iad cruinn air pìos fearainn, a bh’ ann an sealladh na h-eaglaise, airson iomain a chluich. Nuair a thigeadh am ministear agus a choitheanal a-mach às an eaglais às dèidh an t-searmoin, chitheadh iad na cluicheadairean a’ briseadh na Sàbaid. Cha robh am ministear toilichte ach, nuair a dh’fhaighnich e dhiubh carson nach robh iad anns an eaglais, thuirt iad ris gur e cìs na drochaid a chuir stad orra.

Dh’aontaich bàillidhean a’ bhaile a’ chìs a thogail Là na Sàbaid. Ach bha aig daoine fhathast ri a pàigheadh air gach là eile dhen t-seachdain. Agus chan eil an Naochadair ag innse dhuinn cuine a chaidh a chìs a thogail no cuine a ghrunnaich am boireannach bochd mu dheireadh tarsainn Abhainn Nis le fear spìocach air a druim.

Faclan na seachdaine

Faclan na seachdaine: naochadair: nonagenarian; rèileachan: railings; MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain: Macleod of Macleod; Foirbeis Chùil Lodair: Forbes of Culloden;Mac Shimidh: Fraser of Lovat; com-pàirteachas poblach-prìobhaideach: public-private partnership; Leòdaich: Macleods; a’ seachnadh: avoiding; a’ grunnachadh: wading; plòigh: ploy, strategy; iomain: shinty; bàillidhean: baillies (civic leaders).

Abairtean na seachdaine

Abairtean na seachdaine: bha drochaid cloiche ann an Inbhir Nis: there was a stone bridge in Inverness; bha stuaghan innte: there were seven arches in it [fem.]; nuair a thàinig onfhadh gaoithe: when a blast of wind came; thilg e a’ bhana-chreutair bhochd don tuil: it hurled the poor creature into the flood; b’ e eisimpleir de rud ris an canar: it was an example of something which is called; dhuibhse a th’ air a bhith a’ leantainn X: for those of you who have been following X; gus gum fàigheadh ùghdarras a’ bhaile a chuid airgid air ais: so that the town authority could get its money back; gach turas a rachadh cuideigin tarsainn: every time that somebody would go across; gum buineadh tu do Chloinn ’ic Leòid: that you belonged to Clan Macleod; reic e a chòirichean ri ùghdarras a’ bhaile: he sold his rights to the town authority; gus gun seachnadh e a’ chìs: so that he would avoid the tax; thigeadh iad cruinn air pìos fearainn feurach: they would come together on a piece of grassy land; a bh’ ann an sealladh na h-eaglaise: which was in sight of the church.

Puing-ghràmair na seachdaine

land; a bh’ ann an sealladh na h-eaglaise: which was in sight of the church.

Puing-ghràmair na seachdaine: Before reading beyond this sentence I would like you to scrutinise the text for nouns, or other words, which are governed by the feminine singular (third person) possessive article (a, followed by an unlenited word, ie “her...”)... How many did you find? Compare your list to mine: mu a deidhinn (about it [fem.]); a bh’ air a dèanamh le fiodh-daraich (which was made of oak wood [drochaid is fem.]); a bh’ air a cleachdadh (which was used [ditto]); le eallach de fhraoch air a druim (with a load of heather on her back); anns an do chaill i a beatha (in which she lost her life); chaidh tè ùr a thogail na h-àite (a new one was built in her place – the possessive article is here hidden in na h- which is a combination of ann an and the feminine article); le fear de ‘thighearnan na cruitheachd’ air a druim (with one of the ‘lords of creation’ on her back); bha aig daoine fhathast ri a pàigheadh (people still had to pay it [cìs is fem.]); le fear spìocach air a druim (with a miserly man on her back).

Gnàths-cainnt na seachdaine

Gnàths-cainnt na seachdaine: gheibheadh tu a-null is a-nall saor ’s an asgaidh: you would get back and forth free of charge. A-null is a-nall: back and forth.

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