Talk

Advanced search

Any Scots Gaelic experts about?

(22 Posts)
AHintOfStyle Tue 17-Apr-18 16:26:20

Scots: Uphauch,
Scottish Gaelic: Ubhalaidh

Is there a literal translation for either of these words? They’re both a version of the same place name but I wondered if the name means anything (for example ‘house on the hill’ )

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 17-Apr-18 22:01:11

They're a literal translation of the placename Uphall.

However, before becoming Uphall- the area was named on maps as Uphall or Abhall which is gaelic for apple tree or orchard. A lot of old Celtic names from the area come from the local features, flora and fauna that surround it. So it could be a placemarker name. (Strathbrock= Valley of the Badger). It seems that Uphall was adopted as a local name in the early medieval period when the area was Christianized.

cdtaylornats Tue 17-Apr-18 23:37:25

Sort of fake Gaelic name - literal translation of Uphall.

Scottish railways get a lot of this - apparently someone ruled all stations must have a Gaelic name so you get real names like Glasgow/Glaschu and made up ones Uphall/Ubhalaidh.

It is a waste of money - I've yet to meet a Gaelic speaker who didn't know English. It would be more sensible to provide Hindi signs, though I suspect we will get Mandarin signs along soon.

AHintOfStyle Tue 17-Apr-18 23:52:19

Many thanks both of you. Was hoping to disprove the apple connection but obviously have to admit defeat 😞

Thanks again, appreciate it.

AHintOfStyle Tue 17-Apr-18 23:54:47

also, if it makes you feel better, Uphall station doesn’t have a translation on its signs - they just say Uphall.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 18-Apr-18 00:25:33

I like languages but would agree that the signage is a TOTAL waste of public funds.

Sorry that you couldn't disprove the apple connection- but at least you can argue that it's currently a bastardised version of Abhall.

(I also like that if you say Abhall it sounds like Apple.)

aquamarine1 Wed 18-Apr-18 13:25:30

Yes he gaidhlig for apple is ubhal, pronounced oo-al.

iismum Wed 18-Apr-18 13:39:49

Scotrail is a private company - the bilingual signage has nothing to do with public funding. Scotrail made a commercial decision to put bilingual signage in all places where a Gaelic name exists (as far as I know they don't make up Gaelic names) because they think this creates an interesting branding which is appealing to tourists and residents (some, obviously not the ones who bleat about public money) alike. It's the same with the Coop in the Highlands and Islands.

I hate the argument that we should have [insert random language] signs instead of Gaelic. Gaelic is a Scottish language that has been brutally suppressed for centuries and - whilst it is still a vibrant living language - is at risk of dying out. There's lots of research that makes it clear that visible use of the language (e.g., in bilingual signs) makes a big difference in the survival of minority languages. The death of a language means the death of a culture, and it's so sad that people would rather see this than invest a tiny amount of money in supporting the language, even in cases where it makes clear financial sense.

Sorry for the rant - it just really gets me!

cdtaylornats Wed 18-Apr-18 15:58:59

Okay why not signs in Scots. I dislike the focus on Gaelic as the "Scottish" language. It was never ubiquitous and pushing it into lowlands areas is just bad culture.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 18-Apr-18 17:26:52

I don't know why it's shoehorned into areas where it has no historical or cultural relevancy.

MaybesAye Wed 18-Apr-18 17:44:12

What areas would these be specifically?

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 18-Apr-18 17:53:01

Most suburbs of Glasgow. (Excepting the West End and Finnieston which has a strong link).

MaybesAye Wed 18-Apr-18 18:04:48

There was Gaidhlig all over the central belt and in Ayrshire and Arran till recently. There have also been Gaels in Glasgow and its environs for centuries. Gaidhlig as a language has been spoken at one time or another in most of Scotland. You need only check place names for evidence. There were other languages too. I don't recognise your assertion that it pertains only to to the west end. 🤔

MaybesAye Wed 18-Apr-18 18:04:53

There was Gaidhlig all over the central belt and in Ayrshire and Arran till recently. There have also been Gaels in Glasgow and its environs for centuries. Gaidhlig as a language has been spoken at one time or another in most of Scotland. You need only check place names for evidence. There were other languages too. I don't recognise your assertion that it pertains only to to the west end. 🤔

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 18-Apr-18 18:36:32

The Gaels were part of the pre-medieval kingdom of Dalriada spanning Ireland and the West coast of Scotland.

Their culture and language spread across Scotland for 3 centuries until the Norman conquest. After which, Gaelic language and culture was contained to Ireland and the Highlands and Islands.

It's hardly a language that's indicative of a nation. It was spoken widely for a very short time alongside numerous other Brittonic and Goidelic languages.

Celticlassie Fri 20-Apr-18 21:57:27

Most suburbs of Glasgow. (Excepting the West End and Finnieston which has a strong link).

There were always traditionally a lot of Gaels in a lot of areas in Glasgow - Ibrox, Cardonald, Kings Park, to name a few.

cdtaylornats Fri 20-Apr-18 22:59:29

The death of a language means the death of a culture

Doesn't seem to have killed Roman, Egyptian or Cornish

tabulahrasa Mon 28-May-18 23:30:16

“Uphall station doesn’t have a translation on its signs - they just say Uphall.”

Which is a bit weird anyway, the station is in uphall station, which is a completely separate place from uphall.

cdtaylornats Tue 29-May-18 06:59:51

You have to be careful of ascribing names to Gaelic. I remember a Time Team program where they found a confusing name of a farm on a map and couldn't work out why it had that name. Delving into it they found that in the past someone had taken a Danish farm name and decided it must have been Gaelic and translated that.

ronatheseal Wed 13-Jun-18 20:24:34

The only part of mainland Scotland where we can be sure Gaelic wasn't spoken widely was Roxburghshire. It's not right to say that Gaelic is just as random language in Scotland, its the language that gave Scot and Scots their name, it was spoken over most of the territory of Scotland until about 200 years ago and by most of the people until 200 years before that, but it has never really died out anywhere because of continuing migrations from surviving native areas. It is the surviving representative of the Celtic speech that has been spoken in Scotland since the Bronze Age (Gaelic and Welsh were probably the same language until Roman times). There were native Gaels speaking native dialects of Gaelic within commuting distance of Glasgow and Edinburgh until about a century ago. Aberdeenshire Gaelic died out only in the 1980s. Glasgow was a village in the early 1700s, Scotland had no big cities until then, and became a city with thousands of Argyllshire Gaels, supplemented in the next century by other Highland and Irish migrants. Gaelic is as critical to Glaswegian history as it is to the history of Skye or Badenoch.

The name for Uphall is not a 'fake' name, the name is Gaelic. You can have Gaelic names not in Gaelic orthography,, Kilmarnock is Gaelic whether or not you render it as Cille Mheàrnaig. Gaelic uses different orthography from English, i.e. different letters alone and in combination have slightly different sounds. Rendering place-names in Gaelic means rendering them in Gaelic orthography, this does not make them fake! Moscow isn't fake, it's the English word for Mосква. Neither is Moskva, and Moscobha isn't fake either.

cdtaylornats Wed 13-Jun-18 21:07:43

The language in Scotland from the Bronze Age was Pictish. Killed off by invading Gaelic.

ronatheseal Wed 13-Jun-18 21:53:14

@cdtaylornats No. Pictish didn’t exist until the 4th century AD at the earliest, if it existed. In the Bronze Age Celtic had probably just come into being, Insular Celtic (the direct ancestor of Gaelic and Welsh and Pictish if it existed) didn’t even exist. In the Bronze Age a Common Celtic language existed, perhaps very similar to the ancestor of Latin and other Italic languages.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: