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  5. "The shop sells Irish wolfhou…

"The shop sells Irish wolfhounds."

Translation:Díolann an siopa cúnna faoil.

September 8, 2015



Mícheart. Rud neamhbheo is ea siopa. Ní féidir leis aon rud a dhéanamh. Déantar rudaí ann. Incorrect. A shop is inanimate. It can't do anything. Things are done there.


Tá an ceart ar fad ad. Bheadh "Tá cúnna faoil á ndíol ag an siopa" agus "Díoltar cúnna faoil sa siopa" níos fearr.


Can planes fly? Or can they only be flown? Can a lamp shine, or can it only be shone? Can a box contain things, or can it only be used to contain things? Can a book prop up a wobbly table?


The question is: does Irish tend to us inanimate objects as active/direct subjects of verbs, or is it influenced by the English language...

In English, it is a figure of speech, which has become so natural that is it considered totally natural . Is it forced on/in Irish?

Would Peg have said it, or is it one of those times where it smacks of transposition from English, grammatically correct, but not as natural in English...

The same way that Irish prefers singular when English prefers plural; that Irish is very strict on the usage of tenses when English is OK with "Don't worry, I see him tomorrow".

The question is: is it part of the "genius" of the Irish language, or is it part of the influences from English.

Granted people will get it, it is technically correct, but does it make people smile the way we smile when foreigners twist the English to fit their idiomatic ways of using figures of speech.


What is the answer? Is it unnatural in Irish for a shop to sell things or not? Was it unnatural once but has now become accepted?


I'll look it up myself, but a literal translation of cúnna faoil would be appreciated by anyone who has one.

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