Cha Bhruidhinn an Deamhain a’ Ghàidhlig / The Devil Doesn’t Speak Gaelic

Informant: Mr. Hughie Mac Kenzie, Christmas Island, 
Beaton Institute Tape #656


Transcription and Translation: Hector MacNeil



Bha fear ris an canadh iad Steaphan Aonghais Dhòmhnaill a’ fuireach shuas ann am parraisde, Iona. Bha e ‘fuireach leis-fhèin ann am bothan ri taobh an rathad agus chaidh e car truaghan anns a’ cheann agus bhiodh e ‘g ràdh gum biodh e ‘cluinntinn fuaim bruidhneadh a’ tighinn thuige anns an oidhche agus gu fac’ e faileas-sgaoile a’ ruith mun cuairt air an taigh. 



Thachair e ris an t-sagart latha air a’ rathad is thuirt e ris an t-sagart, “Tha bòcan,” ars esan, “A’ cur trioblaid orm a h-uile h-oidhche.”



“Chan e bòcan a tha sin idir ” ars a’ sagart “O’n a tha sin an deamhain.”



“Chan e an deamhain a th’ann” arsa Steaphan.



“‘Se” ars a’ sagart.



Arsa Steaphan, “Gu dè mar an dìobhal mór a bhiodh e na dheamhan agus e ‘bruidhinn Gàidhlig?!”


There was a man who they called, Stephen (the son of Angus the son of Donald) living up in the parish of Iona. He was living by himself in a little house beside the road and he went a bit weak in the head and he’d be saying that he’d be hearing the sound of talking coming to him in the night and that he’d see a ghostly apparition running around the house.

He met the priest on the road and he said to the priest, “There’s a spirit” he said “Bothering me every night”.

“That’s not a spirit” said the priest “Because that is the Devil”.

“It’s not the Devil” said Stephen.

“Yes it is.” said the priest.

Says Stephen, “How in the Devil could he be the Devil and him speaking Gaelic!”

(Editor’s Note: There is a belief, common among Gaels, that the Devil cannot speak Gaelic.)