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Ba bheag go…
Posted: 22 May 2015 10:17 AM   Ignore ]  
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Can someone explain what this means at the start of a sentence?

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Posted: 22 May 2015 11:31 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Something like “it was barely that…”.  If you use the advanced search feature at http://www.focloir.ie and search for the Irish string is beag or ba bheag you’ll get lots of examples in context that will help make it clearer.

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Seáinín Mac Conraoi
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Posted: 22 May 2015 11:49 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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gerrynobody - 22 May 2015 10:17 AM

Can someone explain what this means at the start of a sentence?


I don’t know.
Some ideas:


is beag nach = almost ...


so, perhaps:

ba bheag go = almost not ... ?


or:

is beag liom é = I think it too little/less
is beag dom é = It is too little/less for me


so, perhaps:

ba bheag go = It was/would be too less that ...?


or:

ní beag go = It’s enough that


so:

ba bheag go = it was/would be not enough that ...?

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Posted: 25 May 2015 08:21 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Tuigim anois! Ní raibh sé chomh deachair agus a shíl.
Míle maith agaibh smile

Feel free to correct any mistakes, lenition etc!

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Posted: 27 May 2015 03:38 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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“Ba bheag” seems to mean something different if it’s followed by go/gur/nar than it does followed by a prepositional pronoun, i.e. liom, dom, etc.  I think “Ba bheag go” (or in most cases probably “ba bheag gur/nar”, unless it is followed by an irregular verb) means “(it) almost .. (past tense clause)”.  I.e. “ba bheag go ndearna me e”  I almost did it (?).  This one is speculation on my part, as it seems like it’s usually followed by a negative particle, for ex.  “ba bheag nar leagadh me” I was almost knocked over.  I think “ba bheag go” is likely not correct Irish but probably intelligible.

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Posted: 27 May 2015 04:30 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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For what it’s worth, here’s what I found searching in The New Corpus for Ireland (http://corpas.focloir.ie) There were only find 5 results for ba bheag go and in 4 of the 5 phrases it was ba bheag go deo….  Here are the examples:


Ba bheag go deo maoine a bhí ag formhór an ocht milliún gnáthdhaoine.—Anois, ANOIS
Ba bheag go deo iad cearta na Gaeilge sa mhéid go raibh ceart ar bith ag an teanga.—Feasta, Feasta
Ba bheag go mbrúdh sé a chuid tuairimí síos do scórnach.—www
Bhí seisean trí bliana is tríocha sa bhliain 1939. B’ as Contae Ua Fáile é agus ba bheag go deo a eolas ar Ghaeilge nó go raibh sé thart ar 18 mbliana.—Feasta, Feasta
Ba bheag go deo Tra Li I gcomparaid le Londain agus b’ aoibhínn gach ball I suilibh Mhaidhc , Droichead Ui Mhorainaa , Cnoc Bhreanainn , Droichead an Chama , Gleann na nGealt , Luachair , Sliabh Luachra , Abha na Scail agus idir sin agus an Daingean chonaic siad Baile an Ghoilin agus an Choill Mhor faoina bhun ait a raibh Lord Ventry ina chonai ann , agus go bhfuil Colaiste Ide ann inniu—www, Péist an Mheán-Oíche

 


Ba bheag gur… returned two others:

 

Ba bheag gur chuir sé trua orm le bheith ag beathnú ar Shohel Nozawa agus é i gcruth titim faoi bhráid na gceamaraí.—www, AN PHOBLACHT/REPUBLICAN NEWS
Ba bheag gur phléasc díon an Shed!—Lá, Lá

 


Note that the Corpus results come from crawling various resources.  I don’t think they necessarily reflect “good” Irish.

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Posted: 28 May 2015 03:17 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Interesting, thanks for that.  That would have never occurred to me, but it looks like “ba bheag go deo” is a pretty common idiom unto itself.  To clarify for the OP, “ba bheag go deo” means something like “it was very little (that)” (ba bheag = it was little, go deo = common way of intensifying any statement), i.e. “Ba bheag go deo maoine a bhí ag formhór an ocht milliún gnáthdhaoine” = most of the 8 million ordinary people had very little property/wealth, lit. it was very little property/wealth that most of the 8 million ordinary people had.  At least that’s how I interpret it.  To the OP, it would help to know the source sentence if we’re to answer as best as possible.

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Posted: 01 June 2015 04:49 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I came accross it twice in a paper I was trying to translate by Nicholas Canny.

“Ba bheag an difríocht a rinne na socruithe seo do chéimíocht shóisialta na n-úinéirí Éireannacha.”
(These arrangements made little difference to the social rank of the Irish landowners.)

“Ba bheag go mba Phrotastúnaigh dhíograiseacha uilig iad na coilínigh Shasanacha agus Albanacha a d’aistrigh go hÉirinn sna blianta seo.”
(Very few of those English and Scottish colonists who moved to Ireland in these years were enthusiastic Protestants.)

Are my translations correct?

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Posted: 01 June 2015 08:00 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Yes.  In Connacht in particular, it is common to see “gur” replaced by “go mba” in the preterite and conditional.  That’s why you’re seeing it there.

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Posted: 02 June 2015 06:15 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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gerrynobody - 01 June 2015 04:49 PM

“Ba bheag go mba Phrotastúnaigh dhíograiseacha uilig iad na coilínigh Shasanacha agus Albanacha a d’aistrigh go hÉirinn sna blianta seo.”
(Very few of those English and Scottish colonists who moved to Ireland in these years were enthusiastic Protestants.)

Are my translations correct?

I would have thought it meant “Almost all colonists ... were enthusiastic Protestants”, but I could be wrong… Does the rest of the paragraph give any clues as to how to interpret this sentence?

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Posted: 02 June 2015 06:41 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Yes I am guessing from the context it was written it would be suggesting “very few.” Maybe “enthusiastic” is the wrong word here-“fervent” or something like that might be a better choice. In the context of the article I think he is trying to suggest that other matters besides religion were prioritised by the colonists.

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Posted: 02 June 2015 12:50 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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You could be right Onuvanja.  However it seems most phrases where the “is beag/ba bheag” mean “almost” are followed by a negative particle.  I can’t find clarifying examples in any dictionary.  All forms of “is beag/ba bheag” in O Donaill’s and De Bhaldraithe or focloir.ie either have a negative particle (where they mean “almost”) or no particle at all (where they mean some variation of “it is/was little”.

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