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  1. #11
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    23rd April 12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlemalt View Post

    Living in a country with two official languages, and where dozens can be heard on the street everyday, I am quite aware some people are much better than others at picking up another language. It is also possible (even likely) that his Welsh was very rudimentary but enough to impress a little girl. If he did have an aptitude I now wonder how much Cree he may have picked up? I wish I had inherited this talent. I notice when I am in the French parts of Canada and I address someone in that language. They always switch quickly to English. My French must be very painful to their ears.

    The last time I tried to order a couple of coffees and doughnuts at Tim Hortons in french the girl looked rather perplexed and asked 'English?'. I replied in the affirmative and she beckoned over to a bilingual server, much to the relief of us all!

  2. #12
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    The Q is offline Oops, it seems this member needs to update their email address
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    1st February 15
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    Thinking about it further, I wonder whether "speaking their language", was more of speaking as a working man, rather than as speaking like a very educated outsider..
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

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  4. #13
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    2nd March 11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Q View Post
    Thinking about it further, I wonder whether "speaking their language", was more of speaking as a working man, rather than as speaking like a very educated outsider..
    As far as his Welsh goes I doubt we will ever know how good he really was. I only have my old aunts story that he could speak to the people in his congregation. As far as his Scots Gaelic I know he was quite fluent. He even used it professionally after coming to Canada. He had never driven a car until he came to Canada and was never confident driving. My father use to tell stories from his teens and 20's (late 1930's early 40's) of driving him all over central and SW Ontario to small rural Churches to conduct a Gaelic service for the older people. He must have attented a lot of these because though my Dad spoke no Gaelic he could sing a couple of hymns in the language which he liked to do at family gatherings.

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  6. #14
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    24th January 17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdinSteve View Post
    Your story reflects many experiences I have with people from the highlands and islands moving south for work. Economic forces made many to head towards the central belt of Scotland where jobs and money were to be found. Similar social movements can be found across Britain such as people moving to Wales for work in coal mining. It has always been thus and there are no doubt similar examples everywhere.
    As for a Gaelic speaker becoming fluent in Welsh, I have some doubts. Welsh, in common with Latin, pronounces every letter in a word whereas Gaelic is quite different with so many letters silent. There is certainly connections such as “aber” where Abertawe in Wales corresonds to Aberdeen in Scotland. Other coincidences are words such as “gareg” meaning rock in Welsh and “ Carrick” in Scotland but these are probably more related to the Brythonic peoples inhabiting these areas.
    The Aber prefix is definitrly Brythonnic, and the Gaelic Inver is thecequivalent. I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that there was actually a place with an Aber prefix that changed to the Inver prefix within dovumentable history, but I can't remember where I read it or the specifics.

  7. #15
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    18th July 07
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Thomson View Post
    The Aber prefix is definitrly Brythonnic, and the Gaelic Inver is thecequivalent. I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that there was actually a place with an Aber prefix that changed to the Inver prefix within dovumentable history, but I can't remember where I read it or the specifics.
    You may be thinking of "Abernethy" and "Invernethy". However, it has been argued that these do not refer to quite the same place, Abernethy being about a mile up river from Invernethy. It is suggested that "aber-" actually refers to the lowest point on a river that is fordable. To further confuse the issue, some place names seem to be a mixture of p- and q-Celtic e.g. Abergeldie.
    Alan

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