I wonder… has anyone else noticed that in many languages, the expression is ‘more or less’?

Italian – più o meno

Spanish – mas o meno

French – plus ou moins

But funnily enough, although the people of the Netherlands regularly appear in the top ten of lists of ‘most happy inhabitants’, it’s less or more in Dutch – min of meer.

The Gaelic lessons are going well but pronunciation is still a bigger problem than with any other language I’ve ever tackled. I’m intrigued to see that there is some Italian (yeah, okay, probably Latin but I didn’t take Latin at school, something I rather regret now) recognisable in spoken words (not written – most written words still look like consonants forgetting where they are at the office Christmas party!). For example: pàipear-sgriobhaidh. This means writing paper and the writing part is pronounced ‘scrivi’ which is Italian for ‘you write’. ‘Sugh’ means juice, which is almost ‘sugo’.

And did you know that there’s no x in the Gaelic alphabet? Or how easy it is to type Garlic by mistake?

I’m booked to spend a couple of weeks in Scotland in July, and some of that time will be on Islay (home of Laphroaig malt whisky) trying to communicate with the natives in Garlic, Gàidhlig there.

Does ‘more’ come first in your language?