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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (April-June) » Some strange stuff « Previous Next »

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Phil (159.134.209.161 - 159.134.209.161)
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 08:14 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Here's some sentences in Gaeilge:


Dúirt sé gur milleadh é.

Bhí mé ag cruinniú.


Everyone can give ONE translation into English for each of them. This should be interesting.


-Phil

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Aonghus (159.134.58.43 - 159.134.58.43)
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

He said that it was spoiled

I was at a meeting

the first sentence is ambiguous, there is no clue to what é refers to, and it could refer to the person whose speech is being reported.

The second is not. If I was collecting something, I would say what I was collecting.

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alec1 (62.254.104.28 - 62.254.104.28)
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

These -phrases taken out of context -don't tell us much

In english

I was driving...

Could be a car.

Could be a golf ball.

Or a farmer driving his cattle.

Or driving somebody mad

Context is EVERYTHING

Ag crinniu for instance can mean -either 'collecting/gathering' as a verb

Or 'at a meeting'(noun)

I don't think it serves much purpose to guess which one when there are no clues.

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alec! (62.254.104.7 - 62.254.104.7)
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 05:38 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

There is little point in trying to second guess meanings whwn there is no context.

Eg

Yesterday I was driving..

Driving car?

driving a golf ball?

driving the cattle?

driving the wife mad?

'ag crinniú' can be either

gathering(verb)
or
at a gathering(meeting)- noun

Is there really any point ?

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alec1 (62.254.104.7 - 62.254.104.7)
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

oops

sorry for posting twice

when I looked my 1st one was not there!

so I started over agaain!

apologies!

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Phil (159.134.209.197 - 159.134.209.197)
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 06:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Bhí mé ag cruinniú

So how would you say, "I was gathering"?

-Phil

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 11:05 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Gathering what?

You might say
Bhí mé a chruinniú - I was collecting it
Bhí mé ag cruinniú (rud éigin, airgid, abair)
Bhí mé ag bailiú (rud éigin)
Bhí mé a bhailiú

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 11:22 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Oops
An fada sin arís
Bhí mé á chruinniú - I was collecting it
Bhí mé á bhailiú

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Maidhc Ó G. (65.128.201.135 - 65.128.201.135)
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 07:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
Curiosity was killing me on this one, and I waited to see how those with better knowledge might hash it out. OK, I have, and now I'd like to give it a try.
I get - Bhí mé ag cruinniú. I was gathering. "Ag" denoting the usage of an action verb. (An 'at' word by Phil's description.)
Bhí mé "ar" chruinniú. I was at a meeting/gathering.
Bhí mé "i" gcruinniú. I was in a meeting/gathering.
Yes, "Bhí mé ag cruinniú." is an incomplete idea as it doesn't say 'what' the person saying it was gathering, but the person whom it is being said to may still understand the message that an action was performed.
Or am I just crazy?!
Slán,
Maidhc.

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 04:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I would always interpret Bhí mé ag cruinniú as I was at a meeting, cruinniú being a noun as well as a form of cruinnigh

If it were being used as a verb, it needs an object!
After all, "I was gathering" is ambiguous too.

ar chruinniú may be right, but I wouldn't use it, ditto i gcruinniú.
But then, I don't say I'm in a meeting in English.

From An Foclóir Beag
cruinniú [ainm briathartha][ainmfhocal firinscneach]
bailiú, teacht nó tabhairt le chéile; slua daoine (labhairt le cruinniú); teacht chun cinn (cabáiste, prátaí, ag cruinniú).

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Maidhc Ó G. (65.128.208.72 - 65.128.208.72)
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 10:02 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I realized that cruinniú is the noun form about 10 minutes after I'd already signed off and didn't have time to come back.
And after reading a little further in Ó Siadhail,( I just got mine only days ago, finally.) - He seems to treat "ag" as 'at' a location pretty much always and "ar" to mean 'on' a surface. ( though not always.)
So, yeah, Bhí mé ag cruinnigh. - I was gathering. ( I realize that there is still the issue of the missing object of the predicate, but we are talking about spoken ideas where fragmented sentences, one must admit, are commonplace even if incorrect.)
Bhí mé ar cruinniú. - I was at a meeting.( Actually, that example is in my dictionary. I found Ó Siadhail's usage of 'ag' a few minutes later. - Perhaps this can decided as the difference between being 'at' or 'on' a location by the speaker.)
Bhí mé i gcruinniú. - I was in a meeting. This may be an American way of saying something.

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Jen (63.100.108.20 - 63.100.108.20)
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Maidhc, a chara,

I'm a complete novice, so I may be way off base here, but...

If "ar" is to mean 'on' a surface, then I wouldn't say "Bhí mé ar cruinniú". One would not be 'on' a meeting, rather 'at' it. So I would think "ag" is more appropriate.

Slán,
Jen

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Maidhc
I've a feelin "ag" versus "ar" is a matter of dialect/preference
I would say
Bhí mé ar aifreann - I was at mass
but
Bhí mé ag cruinniú - I was at a meeting

But I can't think why!
in a meeting is an Americanism (this Irishman thinks)

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Maidhc Ó G. (65.128.204.77 - 65.128.204.77)
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 01:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I believe that "ag" vs. "ar" is a personal or dialect preference also. The first lessons I was able to find were in Munster dialect, but I've now begun studying Ó Siadhail which is in the Cois Fhairrge dialect. Being that my family originally came from Mayo, I felt this would be closer to they way they spoke. I do also listen to "Giota Beag" now and then - it's important to get a rounded experience, though I think that I myself will, hopefully, gravitate towards a more authentic usage of the northern Connacht dialect. It's dicussions like this that keep it really interesting on many levels.
Slán,
Maidhc.

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Phil (159.134.209.233 - 159.134.209.233)
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 02:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I was on a taxi

SOUNDS WEIRD

I was on the bus

See, there's loads of little irregularites like that in all languages, eg.

Bhí mé ar scoil

I was at school.

-

Bhí mé ar chruinniú

I would say that if I was on a meeting, but I'm not, I'm at a meeting.

-

I started thinking about this when I started thinking about things like this:

(I HAVEN'T PUT MUCH THOUGHT INTO THIS SO GO EASY ON THE LAUGHING)

Say if there's a house down the road from you and it's in bits, falling apart. One day you ask your da can you go and break it down with a sledge hammer. He goes "NO DEFINITELY NOT". And then the next day, they have the following conversation:

"Cá raibh tú, a bhuachaill!!!" arsa Daid

"Bhí mé ag milleadh an tí atá síos an bóthar" arsa mise

-

"Where were you boy!!" said Daid

"I was at the destruction of the house that's down the road"

-

But then I realized it could mean

"I was destroying the house down the road"

But really I was watching the builders destroy it.

-

There's a problem.

This is probably one of those questions that a fluent speaker could only properly answer

-Phil

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil,
off the top of my head I'd say

"Bhí mé ag milleadh an teach"
means
I was destroying the house

"Bhí mé ag milleadh an tí"
means
I was at the destruction of the house

But bear in mind that I haven't opened a grammar book in nearly 20 years...and even then I worked on intuition most of the time.

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Phil (159.134.209.57 - 159.134.209.57)
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 01:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Bhí mé ag milleadh an teach

Bhí mé ag milleadh an tí


That would be dead handy, but both of them have to be "tí". And even if they didn't have to be, you've still got nouns that don't take a 'h' and don't take an urú and whose genetive is either spelt them same or pronounced them same as the root of the noun. eg:

An carr ( the car )

doras an cairr ( door of the car )

Spelt differently but pronounced the same. And you know how I feel about stupid spellings.

---

On a totally unrelated note:

Éire = Ireland

as opposed to "An Éire"

but, Bank of Ireland = Banc na hÉireann.


All I can say here is obviously "Éire" is the definite article, ie. there's only one of them, so "an" is not needed. Can anyone think of any other nouns like this?

-Phil

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alec1 (62.254.100.8 - 62.254.100.8)
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 04:57 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Na hÉireann (after Bank) is an tuiseal ginideach

Éireann is the t/g of Éire

Ireland is not really a noun.

It's a country.

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Aonghus (159.134.58.3 - 159.134.58.3)
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 06:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I don't follow your argument Phil
If teach is the object of ag milleadh, then it will be accusative, not genitive.

Off the top of my head
Bhí mé ag milleadh an teach
(Bhí) (mé) (ag milleadh) (an teach)
(Verb) (subject) (more verb) (object)
I was destroying the house

Bhí mé ag milleadh an tí
(Bhí) (mé) (ag) (milleadh an tí)
(verb) (subject) (at) (object)
I was at the destruction of the house

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Phil (159.134.209.227 - 159.134.209.227)
Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 06:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Bhí mé ag milleadh an teach

About 2 months ago, I would've thought nothing wrong with that. Then I started to notice strange things like:

Bhí sé ag lorg eolais

"eolais" is the genetive.

Bhí sí ag crá an buachalla.

"buachalla" is the genetive.

And my Gaeilge teacher also told me that "ag ___" is followed by the genetive. eg.:

Ag labhairt Fraincíse
Ag caitheamh an lae
Ag tógáil an tobair.

-Phil

And to AlecL, could you please atleast presume that I have half a brain.

Here's my logic:

"Éire" = Ireland

"Éireann" = of Ireland

So "Bank of Ireland" should be "Banc Éireann"

BUT................. wait

it's "Banc NA hÉireann"

which SUGGESTS that Ireland = "An Éire".

-Phil

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 04:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil
Allied Irish Banks = Banc Aontais Éireann
Bank of Ireland = Banc na hÉireann

you need to get away from the idea that there is just one correct way to deal with "of"

Bunreacht na hÉireann, Alt 4
Article 4

The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.

Airteagal 4
Éire is ainm don Stát nó, sa Sacs-Bhéarla, Ireland.

On the other, I need to check.
I'm fairly sure my reading is correct, but like I said, it's been years since I opened a grammar book. What was your teachers response to solving/avoiding the ambiguity?

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Phil (159.134.209.253 - 159.134.209.253)
Posted on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 02:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

All I'm pointing out is the following:

Banc na hÉireann = Bank of THE Ireland.

-Phil

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Phil (159.134.209.253 - 159.134.209.253)
Posted on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 02:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Regarding solving the ambiguity, I don't know.

BTW, the ambiguity I hate most in Gaeilge is:

Tá Seán á bhualadh.

I know there's ways around it but they don't make sense.

-Phil

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Aonghus (159.134.58.161 - 159.134.58.161)
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 05:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil, thinking about it again
I believe
Banc na hÉireann is emphasising that oneness of the Bank! Not of Ireland; since Ireland is a proper noun that's obvious.

As for the ambiguity of tá Seán a bhualadh, that is only ambiguous taken out of context. Whereas Bhí mé ag milleadh an tí is trickier.

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Aonghus (159.134.58.161 - 159.134.58.161)
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 05:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

btw: You have actually got me to the point where I'm seriously considering buying an Irish grammar!

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Phil (159.134.209.107 - 159.134.209.107)
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post Print Post

And I'm thinking about speaking the language and finding out for myself!

I really do think that Gaeilge is a really well thought out language with loads of features and all. Beats English by a mile anyway.

-Phil

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Aonghus (159.134.58.48 - 159.134.58.48)
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 03:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Having bought the grammar book, I find
a) you were perfectly right about
ag milleadh taking the genitive.

milleadh, noun, destruction
milleadh, saor bhriathair (damned if I know what that is in English, it seems to cover a couple of bases; the infinitive and participles for one, and also the passive voice)

ag milleadh destroying: ag + saorbriathair is used to convey an ongoing action.

milleadh an tí : the destruction of the house
ag milleadh an tí: destroying the house

So the only way I can think of sidestepping the ambiguity in your original sentence is to change it.

Bhí mé ag milleadh an tí : I was destroying the house

Bhí mé i láthair ag milleadh an tí: I was present at the destructionjof the house

Bhí mé ar faire ar mhilleadh an tí: I was watching the destruction of the house

Usually the wider context will make what is being said clearer, if not, you just have to adjust what your saying.

I wouldn't say that Irish is a thought out language, there is only one of those taht has any reasonable number of speakers, and that's Esperanto.

But Irish is a language which has a rich written and spoken tradition going back two thousand years.

If you learn a few languages, which you should, you'll see that there is always some ideas which can be conveyed more elegantly in one language than another.

Go n-eirí leat i'd fhoghlaim.

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Aonghus (159.134.59.223 - 159.134.59.223)
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 06:33 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Mo leithscéal, tá botún sa mheid a scríobh mé thuas
I made a mistake above

ag + ainm bhriathara a úsaidtear chun gníomh leanúnach a chuir in iúl!

so we have:
milleadh - noun
milleadh - saor bhriathair, used for passive
Milleadh an teach - the house was destroyed
milleadh - ainm bhriathair, verbal noun
milleadh an tí - the destruction of the house
ag milleadh - destroying.

The sentences above are correct, I just gave the wrong explanation. That's what comes from skimming through a grammar book. My apologies.

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Phil (159.134.209.68 - 159.134.209.68)
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 07:20 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Milleadh an teach inné.

The house was destroyed yesterday.

Chonaic mé milleadh an tí.

I saw the destruction of the house.

-

Past Tense Saor bhriathair = Ainm briathair

NOT ALWAYS:

Tógadh an teach inné.

The house was built yesterday.

Chonaic mé tógáil an tí inné.

-

And it never works at all for 2 sound verbs:

Bunaíodh an scoil

The school was founded.

Chonaic mé bunú na scoile.

I saw the founding of the school

-

Might get myself a grammar book too.

-Phil

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Phil (159.134.209.68 - 159.134.209.68)
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 07:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Is there anything wrong with these sentences:

That's the man that was happy


Sin an fear a bhí áthasach.

Sin an fear ar go raibh áthas.

-Phil

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Al Evans (208.188.101.145 - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 09:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

With hardly any authority at all, it seems to me that it should be

Sin é an fear....

And that the second sentence should be

Sin é an fear a raibh áthas air.

But my grammatical instinct is barely beginning to develop....:-)

--Al Evans

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Phil (159.134.209.179 - 159.134.209.179)
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"a raibh"

I wanna use "go raibh" so that there's no ambiguity, eg.:

Is é sin an fear a bhuail Seán

a) That's the man that hit Seán
b) That's the man that Seán hit

Is é sin an fear gur bhuail Seán

That one definitely means B

A would be "Is é sin an fear a bhuail Seán".

-

That's the house I was in
That's the house in which I was

Sin an teach i go raibh mé

That's the house that was on the street

Sin an teach a bhí ar an tsráid.

-Phil

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Aonghus (159.134.59.62 - 159.134.59.62)
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 03:08 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'd write
Sin é an fear a raibh athás air
or
Sin é an fear go raibh athas air

Sin an teach inar raibh mé
or
Sin an teach go raibh mé ann

I'm fairly sure that i + go doesn't work.

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