Scottish Gaelic Translation
March 30, 2007 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know how to say "Family Man" in Scottish Gaelic?

This is not Irish Gaelic, which is more prevalent or Welsh Gaelic either. I cannot reach the person that translated for me in the past. If you know Scottish Gaelic or could point me to someone who does, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
posted by Berts76 to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Welsh, of any kind, isn’t Gaelic. It’s Brythonic.

Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are really close. As in, Chicago-vs-Sydney(, Australia) close, were the two to adopt written languages closely reflecting local pronunciations and idioms. If you can get the phrase from someone confident in Irish—my underinformed suggestion would be “fear le grá mór don chlann”—and then confirm spellings for Scottish Gaelic from someone with some acquaintance—but not necessarily the same confidence—with the language, that wouldn’t be a terrible solution.

Though, of course, finding someone with decent Scots Gaelic would be much better. I would suggest soc.culture.scottish as a first resort.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 2:56 PM on March 30, 2007

Actually, there are some striking differences between them. I speak Irish quite well but when I was in Edinburgh at a Gaighlig learners group discovered quite quickly that they are different enough not to be mutually understood. Luckily there was a guy there who spoke both who helped me when I didn't remember the Scots Gaelic form of something.

The other problem is one of culture. A literal translation from one language to another often doesn't make sense in the new language.

I suggest you join the Scottish Gaelic Language beginners forum ( and ask there.

Aidan: I find it curious that you translated "family guy" as "man with great love for his family" ... I would have gone for the simpler "fear na clainne" or "man of the family". I could go on by saying that another Irish word for family are teaghlach, but then I'd be on an Irish tangent.

My heavy-duty dictionaries are in another location at the moment, so I'm sorry I can't help you very much.

Here are some online dictionaries:


There is no such thing as "Welsh Gaelic". The Gaelic languages are Irish, Manx, and Scots Gaelic and are on the Goidelic side of the Celtic language tree. Welsh, Breton, and Cornish are on the Brythonic side. See also if you're interested.
posted by Kit at 4:24 PM on March 30, 2007

typically saying "An ~Whatever~" means that this male named O'Whatever is THE male Whatever in this area. Obviously this is a hugely nuanced thing in terms of where you use the word "An" and who gives a shit.

In relation to the term "family man" I'm not sure there is a direct translation but "man of the house" or some variation of fir na teach would be the closest imho. Normally in Gaelic there is a woman of the actual house and a man of the household so it's sort of a weird translation with no direct meaning. House/household/family are quite different, at least in my hometown.
posted by fshgrl at 1:20 AM on March 31, 2007

And yes, there is no Welsh Gaelic. They speak Welsh in them there parts, which I can't understand at all.
posted by fshgrl at 1:21 AM on March 31, 2007

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