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“chuala thú?”
Posted: 24 November 2011 09:01 AM   Ignore ]  
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I would appreciate your help, thanks!

I’m reading An Odaisé in Irish. (Aistritheoir: Monsignor Pádraig de Brún)  It is in the Munster dialect.
Numerous English translations are available online, but I occasionally have trouble reconciling the Irish with the available English. 

My problem today is regarding a passage from of Book VIII:

“A Ardrí mhóir Alcanús an ghradaim is aired ar na tuatha, chuala thú ag éileamh na craoibhe do chuallacht rince Fhaidhicé.  B’in deimhniú dhom ar t’fhocal, is a fheabhas a bhí, líonann mé d’alltacht. “

Butler’s translation from the Greek:

“King Alcinous, you said your people were the nimblest dancers in the world, and indeed they have proved themselves to be so. I was astonished as I saw them.”

So, “chuala thú” can be translated as “you said?” or this phrase could be “you were heard to claim?”

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Posted: 24 November 2011 09:57 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Here, “chuala” means “I heard”, so “chuala thú” is “I heard you”.
That’s Munster Irish smile (or maybe old Munster Irish, I don’t know if people still say that now).

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Is fearr Gaeilg chliste ná Gaeilg bhriste
Agus is í Gaeilg Ghaoth Dobhair is binne

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Posted: 24 November 2011 12:52 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Lughaidh - 24 November 2011 09:57 AM

(or maybe old Munster Irish, I don’t know if people still say that now).

I know a person from Múscraí who says:

Do chuala - I heard

Do chonac - I saw

Duart (sp.?) - I said

etc.

But he is almost 87 years old, so he may not be representative of the typical Irish speaker from Munster.

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Posted: 24 November 2011 01:14 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Chuala (meaning “chuala mé” or “chualas”), chonac (meaning “chonaic mé” or “chonaiceas”), and dúrt (dúirt mé” or “dúras”) were very common fifty years ago as was the auxiliary verb “do” before verbs in historic tenses.  Some speakers continue to use these forms but they must be fed up with being misunderstood and corrected.  These forms are common in the older songs and literature also.  I think they are most common in the Munster dialects.

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Posted: 24 November 2011 02:39 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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You’re right Jeaicín.
A couple of years ago, the same person that I mentioned earlier, was teaching me how to say “I’ll be back” - Bead thar n-ais.

He mentioned that they are now teaching everyone to say “beidh mé” instead of “bead” - But he said if somebody tells me I’m “wrong”, I should go ahead and hit them over the head LOL

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Posted: 24 November 2011 03:41 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Jim,

I don’t know if this helps, but when I saw the word “thú” I realized it couldn’t be “you” as the subject of the verb, since thú is right next to the verb. If “you” were the subject, “tú” would be required instead.  So the use of “thú” instead of “tú” is tipping us off that “you” is not the subject, but must be the object, or something else.

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Posted: 24 November 2011 03:49 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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That’s not all.  Good Irish speakers can also call on a further feature of the Irish verb long neglected in the schools: the relative forms.  Scottish Gaelic lists them side by side with the narrative forms but the Irish authorities having been obliged to teach Irish in the schools made sure that only the most attenuated form of the language was to be taught. All the rest “was no longer used.”  Says who?

While on this topic the words chuala, chonac, dúrt, and bead remind us of the “how to say yes in Irish” issue.  The answer is to use the verb from the question without subject, object or embellishment. 

“Ar scríobh Seán an litir?”
“Scríobh.” (or Scrígh or whatever form you prefer)  Don’t put a pronoun with it. Pare it down to the minimum. 

But see how the clever Munster people succeeded in doing just that while retaining a foirm tháite that is still assumed to contain the subject pronoun, “Chonac.”  The phrase “That form is no longer used” should never be expressed by anyone in favour of teaching and using Irish.  No matter what such people think there will be incidences of such forms being used for the next fifty years.  They are sometiimes called “foirmeacha siocaithe” (frozen forms) but those of us who are not really bothered by An Caighdeán Oifigiúil can still choose to use them if and when we like.

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Posted: 25 November 2011 04:43 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Go raibh maith agaibh, helpful and interesting.

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Posted: 13 December 2011 02:31 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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An Saol Ó Dheas (The Southern Life) is a Raidió na Gaeltachta programme broadcast every weekday from a studio in West Kerry. It’s a magazine type programme with stories from the five main Munster Gaeltachtaí. If you listen to it, you’ll hear the synthetic forms of verbs (i.e. chonac, bhíos, thugadar, etc.) being used still by native speakers of all ages. You’ll also hear “thú” instead of “tú” and numerous other Munsterisms. These are all still very much in common usage if this programme is anything to go by.

If you’re overseas, or it just doesn’t suit you to listen to the programme live, it is available as a podcast from the following link:

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_ansaolodheas.xml

You can paste this link into iTunes or equivalent if you want to subscribe.

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Posted: 14 December 2011 01:12 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Thanks for posting the link to An Saol Ó Dheas; that’s just what a learner like myself needs - Maith thú!

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Posted: 15 December 2011 06:30 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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I think you will also hear “do” before the past tense used in many instances on “an Saol ó dheas”.

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Posted: 16 December 2011 07:11 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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An saol o dheas is probably my favourite programme on RnaG, both in terms of knowing what is going on locally and listening to native speakers using all those wonderful forms of verbs

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