"Tá an obair dodhéanta."
Translation:The work is impossible.
Tá an obair dodhéanta = the work is impossible so if I want to say "It is impossible work" = Is obair dodhéanta é. correct?
"work" and "job" aren't entirely equivalent - "job" tends to be used for something you are paid to do, for example, and where it isn't ("I have 2 or 3 jobs to do around the house", for example) it's a countable noun.
I think it would be unusual to translate obair as "job", unless there was a very clear context that indicated that "work" wouldn't be appropriate.
Grammatically, "It is impossible work" is a copula-style sentence, and "The work is impossible" doesn't require the copula.
I'd disagree with mologhl, though, about the translation. Is obair dodhéanta í is "It is impossible work", where "impossible" is an adjective describing an attribute of the work.
Is dodhéanta an obair í would translate best as "the work is impossible", but it is stressing the impossibility of the work ("it is impossible, the work", if you like).
Your reference gives these two examples of the use of the copula with an attributive adjective:
Is duine deas é. = He is a nice person. (emphasis on person)
Is deas an duine é. = He is a nice person. (emphasis on nice)
Both are acceptable and they translate to the same English sentence. The only difference is in the emphasis.
Your reference also gives the following information:
The copula with a predicative adjective is also common in the following cases:
with adjectives with a subjective judgement in exclamatory clauses:
One of the examples given is:
Ní furasta í an teanga seo! = This language is not easy!
On reflection this also fits the sentence given in this exercise so another acceptable form is:
Is dodhéanta í an obair!
The source I used for my translation is Gearrchúrsa Gramadaí by Brian Mac Giolla Phádraig, M.A., LL.D. I based it on these two examples:
Is olc an scéal é.
Is fliuch an lá é.
Your reference also makes the following interesting observation:
In older textbooks this (bí and adjective ), despite its common use, is stylistically frowned upon. However, it was not the copula with predicative adjective , but the use of attributive adjectives was recommended instead.
Also: Is duine mór é sin = That is a big person (instead of Tá an duine sin mór or Is mór é an duine sin = That person is big).
Going by that then Tá an obair dodhéanta would be stylistically frowned upon and either Is obair dodhéanta í or Is dodhéanta an obair í would be better!
I think you're dismissing "the older textbooks" clause a little bit too lightly there - there are lots of things that older textbooks frown upon (in English as well as Irish!) that are perfectly acceptable, and indeed there are constructions in older textbooks that would be stylistically frowned upon today!
The key point though, is that Tá an obair dodhéanta is not a copula-style sentence, but "It is impossible work" is, so one isn't necessarily a good translation for the other.
I did suggest that the copula statement Is dodhéanta an obair í should be rendered as the non-copular "The work is impossible", but that's mainly because the more literal copula-style English translation would be frowned upon, stylistically :-).
The Is deas an duine é example is interesting, because it if you translate it as "He is a nice person", you leave out the definite article an that is in the Irish sentence, but if you translate it as "The person is nice" you leave out the é. That's less obvious with Is dodhéanta an obair í, because we don't use a gendered pronoun in English, so it's disappearance is less noticeable, and "the work is impossible" (discard the í, keep the an) feels like a better fit that "it is impossible work" (discard both the í and the an).
I am not dismissing the "older textbooks" clause at all, quite the opposite!
If you read it again you will see that he points out that although it is very common, the use of bí + adjective is frowned upon and the use of the copula + attributive adjective is recommended instead and in preference to the copula + predicative adjective. That is, the preferred order in the older textbooks is:
Is obair dodhéanta í OR Is dodhéanta an obair í depending on emphasis.
Is dodhéanta í an obair sin
Tá an obair dodhéanta
The translation of Is duine deas é and is deas an duine é is not mine but is that given by the author of your reference.
In my part of the country the present generation defers to the knowledge of Irish that the previous generation has and they in turn defer to the generations before them. This is because Irish was used much more widely by the older generations and also was much less influenced by English than it is today. Irish has a long history, including being actively suppressed over several centuries by the then rulers of the country. The further back one goes, the less the influence of English and so Irish is in a more natural state.
In 1817 Edward O'Reilly published an Irish-English dictionary which was updated in 1864. The preface to it makes for interesting reading.
You are ignoring the implication of the "older textbooks" clause, which is that newer textbooks don't agree. Irish isn't a dead language, it's still changing, just as it has always changed. Older textbooks are just that, older - they aren't better or purer, any more than Shakespeare or Chaucer spoke better English than your or I, just different.
You're also missing the point about the duine deas example, and the difference between it and the obair dodhéanta example. You can't literally translate either Is deas an duine é or Is dodhéanta an obair í so you have to make a stylistic choice about how best to express that sentence in English - I explained why I think that "The work is impossible" gives a better sense of the meaning of is dodhéanta an obair í than "it is impossible work", and why the same logic doesn't apply to a sentence that includes a gendered pronoun. None of that is relevant to the choice of which phrase to use in Irish.
While your translation conveys the same information, DL seems to require a more literal translation.
In Irish your sentence would be Is dodhéanta an obair í. (obair is a feminine noun)
Does dodhéanta not follow the caol le caol, leathan le leathan rule ? The pronunciation is the one of a slender dh, but how do we know that when it is surrounded by a o and a é ?
Dodhéanta is a compound word consisting of do + déanta so the caol le caol rule does not apply.
Here the prefix do means 'difficult' or 'hard'. It lenites the verbal adjective déanta.
There are lots of words in Irish that begin with the prefix do, e.g.
dochúlaithe = irreversible
dochraí = unsightly, unseemly
docheolta = dissonant
Go raibh maith agat, tá sé an-spéisiúil =) I haven't learnt verbal adjectives yet, but if my understanding is correct, dodhéanta literally means “difficult to do” then ? I see in the dictionary that déanta can also mean complete or finished…
"un-doable" is a better "literal" meaning (and it doesn't mean that it can be "undone")- it's not a question of difficulty, it's supposed to be essentially impossible.
Other examples would be dodhíolta - "unsellable", or dodhóite - "Incombustible" (unburnable) or dofháil - "unobtainable".
Obair is similar to Obra in Spanish. I find that similarity to be interesting.
They’re similar because they’re both descendants of Latin opera (“work”, “labor”).