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  5. "Ríomhaire na leabharlainne."

"Ríomhaire na leabharlainne."

Translation:The library computer.

November 2, 2015



My brain does not compute. Why not 'the library's computer?'


It should have been “the library’s computer” — see galaxyrocker’s first reply to roentgen above.

  • 1843

it accepted "the library's computer" from me with no problem...but also noted that another solution is "the library computer"


Again, please see galaxyrocker’s first reply to roentgen above. This course still has a number of places where wrong answers are accepted and right answers are rejected.

EDIT: I think that aisling-taibhse was referring to the “The library computer” translation shown at the top of this discussion rather than “the library’s computer“ not being accepted.


Yeah! I knew this was wrong! That was amazing for me :)


Why "the" library computer instead of "a"?


So two things.

1) this translation is wrong. The phrase given above is 'the library's computer'. 'The library computer' would be an ríomhaire leabharlainne, with the genitive being used as an adjective.

2) it's definite because of na there.


How do you know when the genitive should be used as an adjective? Is it when one noun is used to describe another noun?


Yes. When it's used for description rather than possession. Let's take the two words above:

The library's computer = the computer of the library - The library owns the computer, so it's possession and thus ríomhaire na leabharlainne

The library computer = A type of computer. Library is describing computer, thus an ríomhaire leabharlainne


The na is before leabharlainne... does this not mean that it is the library that is definite?

I would have thought that the library computer (i.e. the computer of the library, with both being definite) would be an ríomhaire na leabharlainne and that a library computer (i.e. a computer of the library) would be ríomhaire na leabharlainne. If that is not the case then how would I say a library computer?


But the library computer is not 'the computer of the library'. It's 'a computer of the type library'. 'Of the library' itself signifies possession, but 'library computer' is a noun phrase with an adjective. Same with 'the library computer'. Personally, I think it's better to drop the 'of' and use the Saxon genitive in English to test And library computer would be ríomhaire leabharlainne


Ah hah - the cause of my confusion appears to be our differing English, not Irish. :)

In the English that I speak, Australian English from NSW, we commonly use this form in exactly the way you apparently do not. It's not exclusively this way, but it's totally normal. I could have taken the English version of the sentence in the way you did, as that's also a valid option in the English that I speak, but it's not the only option and for whatever reason I instinctively went the other way.

Now I know how Irish sees these sentences.



It's not just Australian English... the same is true in American English, at least in the particular dialect I'm accustomed to. It's perfectly normal to use "the library computer" to mean "the computer of the library", and in fact interpreting it to mean "the computer of the type library" seems a bit of a stretch, if only because the libraries (around here at least) don't really have special types of computer. If I were to say I was going to use the computer belonging to the library, I'd say I was using the library computer, not the library's computer. So yeah, the translation is perfectly fine (at least according to some English dialects). In fact, "the library's computer" comes across (to me) as rather pedantic and unnatural -- I suppose you could make a case that it's technically correct, but it's not something I'd be likely to actually say.


Bahhhh. That's what I get for skipping the "genitive" section the second time around. Dang it. Thank you, galaxyrocker.


So would this also translate loosely to "a computer of the library"? Because then there would be an ambiguity whether it means a specific computer or not.

A library could conceivably have only one computer.

Just to clarify again:

How would one say "a computer of the library"?


"The computer of a library" as in "the computer of a library typically runs catalogue software" or some such construct.

Thanks. I'm confused.


"a computer of the library" would be ríomhaire de chuid na leabharlainne. Literally: A computer of the library's share.

Also, "the computer of a library" = "the library computer", in my opinion... And, honestly, I'd rarely, if ever say, "the computer of a library" in normal speech.


The library's computer was accepted


Why "na" and not "an"?


Leabharlann is a feminine noun, and when you put a feminine noun into the genitive, you use na as the singular definite article.

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