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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (July-September) » Describing word confusion « Previous Next »

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Ceilí (170.215.29.51 - 170.215.29.51)
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I am REALLY new to this language, and I don't even know how to uhm, conjugate words yet. I was looking at examples and saw "bad dogs" as "madraí dána" yet when i consult a foclóir Béarla-Gaeilge, bad comes out as "dona" and dogs as "madraí". The word bad has changed obviously.. does that happen when you describe words? Like what would "pretty parrot" be? pearóid gleáite? -ní thuigim!-
I appriciate any help..

-Ceilí

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 04:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

dona and dána are two subtly different words.

dána is usally translated as "bold" and has the two meanings bold has in English too (brave and "not good")

dona means unlucky or evil

"pretty parrot" pearóid gleoite

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James (199.112.55.122 - 199.112.55.122)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 05:19 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Yes, words change and no, dona didn't change.

As Aonghus (my solid source for all things Gaeilge) has indicated dona means "bad" but in an evil or unlucky sense. Dána means bold but in negative sense as in a misbehaving woman, "Bean dhána". Dána, however, must now undergo a change called lenition. Séimhu is the Irish word for this change and it means "to soften" which is the effect it has on pronunciation--it softens the hard "d" into a blend between a "d" and a "y". This is required because Bean is feminine. A misbehaving horse would be "capall dána" with no change to dána because Capall is masculine. This is for singular nouns and the modifying adjectives.

For Plurals, as in the case of "madraí dána": Madraí is the plural of madra (dog => dogs). It ends in a vowel. Nouns in the plural that end in vowels or broad consonants do not impart lenition, feminine or masculine--doesn't matter. In this case, I think madra is masculine, but, as stated, in the case of plurals it doesn't matter.

Hope this helps more than it confuses. Don't be discouraged. This is what makes Irish FUN!!

Le meas,

James

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Dawn (66.19.56.24 - 66.19.56.24)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 12:59 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ceilí,

The easiest way to learn the declensions and conjugations is to get a dictionary or grammar book with good charts.

Below is a chart I drew up for myself, containing the nominative singular and plural nouns with the adjective mór. The first word in each group is singular, and the second is plural.

Feminine

1. noun with initial consonant - bileog

an bhileog mhór / na bileoga móra


2. noun with initial vowel - oifig

an oifig mhór / na hoifigí móra


Masculine

1. noun with initial consonant - rang

an rang mór / na ranganna móra


2. noun with initial vowel - árasán

an t-árasán mór / na hárasáin mhóra


3. initial consonant with slender plural

an bád mór / na báid mhóra


I wish I could write these our in a clearer format than is allowed here. Hope they are clear enough as is. I have just repeated them to myself until I have them memorized. If a Gaeilgeoir could confirm it, that would be great.


Dawn

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Ceilí (170.215.29.51 - 170.215.29.51)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 01:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Oh thank you very much you guys. I'm going to save this for future reference. I can't seem to find very many books (in stores, cant buy off the internet yet) on Gaeilge. Any recommendations?

-Ceilí

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Dawn (66.19.56.24 - 66.19.56.24)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 02:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Yes, they are quite scarce.

As far as dictionaries go, I know a lot of people here would recommend Foclóir Póca. I am not very familiar with it. I personally have Foclóir Scoile, which is an amended version, and I really like the format of it. It has several charts and tables for nouns, verbs, adjs., geographical names, and languages.

As far as instructional books, I'll leave that to the experts. :)

Dawn

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Oliver Grennan (217.155.45.123 - 217.155.45.123)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 07:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Try your local library too, you'd be surprised at what you might find....

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James (199.112.55.122 - 199.112.55.122)
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Go to any local bookstore and ask them to order your books for you. It might take a while, but they can get just about anything you want if you have the title, the author or, ideally, the ISBN.

These are my recommendations.

1) Learning Irish by Micheal O Siadhail. Don't even begin to try this without the accompanying tapes. It's long on grammar and short on explanation. That leads me to my second recommendation

2) Irish Grammar: A Basic Handbook by Noel McGonagle. (ISBN 0-7818-0667-4) This is a nice compilation of Irish grammar rules. When you first get it you'll be confused beyond reason. As you stay involved on this web-site, as you delve deeper into O Siadhail, all of it will start to make sense.

3) Foclóir Póca. It's the best dictionary I've come across. There's a pretty straightforward pronunciation guide with each definition. It's small but it's really handy to have.

I don't have O Siadhail in front of me, so I can't give you the ISBN. This is a very popular book, though, so it shouldn't be difficult for any decent bookstore to locate. I would recommend Waldenbooks, Books-A-Million,....I've spent the last 6 months in Africa....can't recall the others...but you get my drift.

The Foclóir Póca is available off of this site and I'm sure you can send them a check rather than order on-line. Again, the bookstores may be able to help. I found mine in the student bookstore at Duke University....used, though.

Finally, and most importantly, stay involved with this site. I don't work for these guys and I don't have any ulterior motive...it's just a darn fine group of people. I am constantly amazed at the depth of knowledge on all things Irish, not just the language, that is present on this site. When you get completely confused, terribly discouraged and downright dejected....log onto this site...they'll get you back on track!

Hope this helps.

Le meas,

James

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Jonas (213.243.178.51 - 213.243.178.51)
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 05:48 am:   Edit Post Print Post

The ISBN of Learning Irish is 0300084161, make sure you get both the cassettes and the book; both are necessary. I fully support the recommendations James has given, those three books are by far the most useful.

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Maidhc Ó G. (67.235.185.130 - 67.235.185.130)
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 09:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Also visit www.litriocht.com
You may not yet be able to buy on-line but, you can still look up the info you need to take with you to the book store.
I've looked these up for you.
English Irish Dictionary (De Bhaldraithe)
ISBM #1-85791-036-2 21.59 Euros.
or ISBM #1-85791-035-4 15.24 Euros. I'm not sure why one costs more than the other. I didn't read the full descriptions. Possilbly one is a hard cover and the other a soft.
There's tons more. Good luck.
-Maidhc.

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