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  1. #1
    Join Date
    25th October 19
    Gleann Sýdh, Alba
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    Post Letter Writing Phrases in GÓidhlig

    Feasgar math a chÓirdean, just in case anyone would find it useful I thought I'd share some GÓidhlig email/letter writing phrases & expressions:

    When writing a letter or email, the GÓidhlig equivalent of "dear so-and-so" is "a charaid".


    Alasdair a charaid - Dear Alasdair/Alexander (literally "Alasdair, friend", like "Alasdair my friend")
    Eilidh a charaid - Dear Eilidh/Helen

    Notice this works for both genders. It's common for GÓidhlig speakers to have both a GÓidhlig name and an English/Scots name, but even if someone doesn't, you can still use this construction -

    Stacey a charaid - Dear Stacey
    Max a charaid - Dear Max

    It appears at the top of the letter just as "Dear John," and so on.

    The more formal equivalent, such as for someone you don't know i.e. the GÓidhlig equivalent of "dear sir" or "dear madam" is:

    A charaid ch˛ir, - literally "kind friend", though c˛ir can be more positive than simply "kind" i.e. good natured, nice. This is unisex.

    For a less formal example i.e. more casual miss out "ch˛ir" and just say "A charaid"

    When writing to a group of people in the same way you would use:

    A chÓirdean c˛ire, - literally "kind friends", this is still quite formal & in my opinion would do the job just fine for "ladies and gentlemen" - again "c˛ire" can be missed out for more casual letters

    In contemporary GÓidhlig writing & conversation I have not heard many equivalents for "Mr." or "Mrs." You will sometimes hear "Bean-uasal" and thus "A Bhean-uasal" when addressing a lady but this is not so common today; it translates literally as "noble woman". Similarly there is "Duine-uasal", a noble man, which you will sometimes hear in Scots writing as "dunnywassal", and thus when addressing said gentleman you would say or write "A Dhuine-uasal" but this is all very, very formal & I have almost never encountered it from contemporary native GÓidhlig speakers.

    When signing off a letter there are a number of useful expressions:

    Le d¨rachd - With regards i.e. the GÓidhlig equivalent of "Regards" in a letter
    Le deagh dh¨rachd - With good regards
    Le fýor deagh dh¨rachd - With very good regards (you will sometimes see Leis instead of Le here, which is optional)

    And some contemporary speakers inc. 1st language native speakers use a literal English translation -

    D¨rachdan - "Regards"
    Le d¨rachdan - "With regards"

    This is a perfectly acceptable option, though the former examples are more traditional. D¨rachdan is quite informal.

    These all work as GÓidhlig equivalents of "regards" as well as "yours faithfully" and "yours sincerely" and can be said at various levels of formality, though something like "le fýor deagh dh¨rachd" would be more formal than "D¨rachdan"

    I have seen some people writing "SlÓinte" as a sign-off, and I haven't seen it from native speakers but I think that's still quite a nice thing to do if you want something simple. It simply means "health", from the GÓidhlig toast "slÓinte mhath" - good health. Note that the accent must be like Ó, not ß as this would be more common in Gaeilge/Irish.

    It's perfectly acceptable to use these introductions/conclusions even within an English or Scots letter or email as a way to express one's heritage or support for the Gaelic language & people, much as people from France may begin an English letter with "Bonjour" or the like.

    If anyone wants any more information please let me know!

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