Gaelic Word of the Week – the National Bàrd – am Bàrd Nàiseanta

Every Friday, you can learn a little both about Gaelic and about the Scottish Parliament through Gaelic Word of the Week our  a mini podcast on Soundcloud. Here you can read the text and see extra content and pictures.

The 25th of January is Burns night – Oidhche Bhurns. On this night people all over Scotland – Alba, and all over the world – an saoghal, will be celebrating the birthday of the national bard, Robert Burns.

For this reason, our Gaelic Word of the Week is Am Bàrd Nàiseanta  -the national bàrd.

The influence of Robert Burns – am Bàrd Nàiseanta can be seen is all over the Scottish Pàrliament – Pàrlamaid na h-Alba!

If you walk past our Canongate wall, a quote from his poem To a Louse is engraved in the Canongate Wall. This poem and more information about Burns features in the Parliament’s Gaelic audio resource about the Canongate.

Our art collection also features Robert Burns Match Heads by David Mach. These are two busts of the national bàrd – am bàrd nàiseanta – made from match heads – one of unlit matches, the other of spent matches.

At the official opening of the Scottish Parliament – Pàrlamaid na h-Alba – in 1999 a Burns song, A Man’s A Man for ‘a That, was sung by Sheena Wellington.

And one of our committee rooms is named the Burns room in memory of Am Bàrd Nàiseanta.

Incidentally, the Gaelic for poet is bàrd which is very similar to the word bard. This is also the root for the surnames Baird and Ward which come from Mac a’ Bhàird – son of the poet. Another word for bard in Gaelic is filidh which also forms the basis of the Gaelic name Mac an Fhilidh – McNeilly or Neilly.

Robert Burns is, of course, famous for writing in Scots. Did you know, however, that the entire works of am Bàrd Nàiseanta – have been translated into Gaelic? This was done by the late Rev. Roderick MacDonald – father of none other than our Deputy Presiding Officer Lewis MacDonald MSP. Published in 1992, this was the first translation of the entire works of Robert Burns – am Bàrd Nàiseanta – into any language.

And talking of Scots, as Scots and Gaelic have been spoken side by side for so long in Scotland, many words have come into Scots from Gaelic and vice versa. Many words relating to the landscape have come into Scots from Gaelic, such as loch, brae –bràigh, glen – gleann, strath – srath, and ben – beinn.

Another word from Gaelic in Scots is sonsie – happy which is famously mentioned in Address to a Haggis and comes from the Gaelic sonas – happiness or joy. The Gaelic for haggis is taigis which appears to be a loanword from Scots.

Another borrowing into Scots – and English – from Gaelic which will come in useful for Burns Night is whisky. This from the Gaelic for whisky uisge-beatha – literally the water of life.

This week’s Gaelic word of the week is Am Bàrd Nàiseanta – the National Bàrd.

Of course, many in the Gaelic community have suggested that the Gaelic poet Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair also has a claim to be considered as our Bàrd Nàiseanta – but we’ll look at him in a future Gaelic Word of the Week!

Alasdair MacCaluim

Gaelic Development Officer

Gaelic Word of the Week – Rùn na Bliadhna Ùire #gàidhlig

Every Friday, you can learn a little both about Gaelic and about the Scottish Parliament through our Gaelic Word of the Week – a mini podcast on Soundcloud.

This week our word of the week is Rùn na Bliadhna Ùire – new year’s resolution. And this year our new year’s resolution it to post the text up for each Gaelic WoW here on our blog!

We will also sometimes expand the text so we can go into more detail than we can do in the podcast and this way we can also add some pictures.

Here is the text for this week:

Bliadhna mhath ùr a chàirdean – happy new year everybody!

Our first Gaelic Word of the Week for 2021 is rùn na bliadhna ùire – new year’s resolution

This is the time of year when many people make their new year’s resolution – rùn na bliadhna ùire. Have you made any this year? A lot of people have decided to make learning Gaelic or improving their Gaelic one of their rùn na bliadhna ùire for 2021. If you can count yourself as one of them, we’d like to say– glè mhath – very good! We’ll do all we can to help you through our Gaelic resources, twitter account and more!

The word rùn is an interesting one. It can mean resolution like a new year’s resolution or a motion passed by a meeting of a Parliament! Here at Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, however, we usually use the word gluasad for a motion.

Rùn can also mean someone or something you love. If you like the band Runrig, you may know the song Dùisg mo Rùn – which means “wake up my love”.

Rùn can also mean intention or will – droch rùn is bad intention and deagh rùn is good intention or will. You might hear these in Gaelic news programmes where they discuss court cases for example.

And rùn or rùn-dìomhair can even mean a secret!

These are a lot of meanings for such a little word but in practice it is easy to work out the meaning of Rùn from the context! It’d be a little strange to assume the Presiding Officer was talking about love, rather than a motion in the Debating Chamber for example!

If your rùn na bliadhna ùire is to work on your Gaelic, why not follow our Gaelic twitter account @ParlAlba both to help your Gaelic and learn more about Pàrlamaid na h-Alba!

And for information about all the Gaelic learning opportunities in Scotland and worldwide, check out the official one-stop shop website for Gaelic learning

This week’s Gaelic Word of the Week is Rùn na Bliadhna Ùire.

This week’s Gaelic Word of the Week has been read by Alasdair MacCaluim, Gaelic Development Officer, whose successful Rùn na Bliadhna Ùire in 1992 was to learn Gaelic!

Alasdair MacCaluim

Gaelic Development Officer

Sgrùdadh air Bòrd na #Gàidhlig – Aithisg Oifigeil ri faighinn sa Ghàidhlig

Chùm Comataidh Sgrùdadh Poblach agus Iar-reachdail na Pàrlamaid seisean fianais air 24 Sultain far an do ghabh iad fianais mu Aithisg Sgrùdaidh Bhòrd na Gàidhlig airson 2018/19.

Màiri NicAonhais, Cathraiche Bhòrd na Gàidhlig agus i a’ toirt seachad fianais

Tha eadar-theangachadh Gàidhlig de dh’Aithisg Oifigeil an t-seisein, anns an do ghabh a’ Chomataidh fianais bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig agus bho Riaghaltas na h-Alba ri fhaighinn a-nis.