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  5. "Chan eil mi air bhioran."

"Chan eil mi air bhioran."

Translation:I am not excited.

November 30, 2019



Why does "excited" get broken into two words while other adjectives don't? Is it just the way it is?


Because Gaelic isn't using an adjective here but an idiomatic phrase, meaning literally "I am on a sharp pointy stick".

air = preposition "on"

bioran = a pointy stick-like thing


Seriously? That is superb! Absolutely loving this language so far. I suppose it's sort of similar to the English phrase 'On tenterhooks', as meaning anxious or excited.


Had not thought of that, but it would feel exactly the same - not very comfortable. Originally, tenterhooks were for stretching cloth so the phrase meant stressed/tense as much as excited. (Tenter is related to tense and the cloth would be quite literally stressed.) In fact both Mark and AFB give 'on tenterhooks' as one of the meanings. I am not actually familiar with it as meaning 'excited' so it must be a dialect thing.


In that case, is there an actual word for excited or do we only used the idiom?


Usually just the idiom :)


Thankyou! Very helpful:)


Why is 'r' sometimes not pronounced 'r' and sometimes it is? I'm thinking of 'air' and 'idir' where the 'r' is pronouced as 'th' and 'd', and in bhioran it is pronounced as 'r'.


The letters surrounding the 'r' affect its sound. If it's i and/or e -- the "slender" vowels -- in some dialects, it will have a slightly breathy sound that comes close to 'th'. With the broad vowels (a, o, u), it's more like a simple 'r'.


Can somebody explain why bioran is lenited to bhioran in the phrase air bhioran? air does not normally cause lenition of the following word, does it?


reader clearly says...chan eil mi air a bhioran


It's not unusual at all for an extra "uh" sound (= schwa) to be inserted between some pairs of consonants in Gaelic. The linguistic technical term is epenthesis. 'Airgid' (= money) is a good example. It sounds like it has 3 syllables.


Not hearing the alleged extra "a" at all


Why is it sometimes 'chan eil' and sometimes only 'cha' is sufficient?


Generally cha(n) goes with a verb, but there is one exception, and that is is. It only applies to this verb and only in this tense. Here the is is replaced by nothing in the negative and question forms. The historical reason is not fully understood. So

  • Tha mi air bhioran → Chan eil mi air bhioran
  • Bu toil leam sin → Cha bu toil leam sin


  • Is toil leam sin → Cha toil leam sin



Spelling was xorrect i missed a space between mi and air


I have not seen this discussed here before, but all the evidence from what people report Duolingo counts as an error and what it doesn't points to Duolingo analysing sentences on a word-by-word basis. It splits your sentence at the spaces and then sees if each word is correct. So you should be able to see that even though this is a pretty minor error in term of meaning and pronunciation, it would completely defeat Duolingo. Bad luck.

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