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  5. "Cofaidh! Tapadh leat a bhràt…

"Cofaidh! Tapadh leat a bhràthair!"

Translation:Coffee! Thank you, brother!

November 30, 2019



I think I've missed the difference between 'tapadh leat' and 'tapadh leibh' is one for names and the other for titles?


"Leat" (with you) is familiar and singular (used with friends, younger people, fellow students, young family members) and "leibh" is used for the plural and also in the singular as a sign of respect for older people, including older family members.


Thankyou, that's what I needed to know :)


we have this in Dutch je and u like in German Du and Sie


Yes you have this in Dutch. We have an extreme form in English, with you related to u completely taking over from the now-obsolete thou.

But no one seems to know where Sie comes from, as shown in English Wiktionary and German Wiktionary. English Wiktionary says

The German Sie expresses distance in the relation between two persons. It is not perfectly correct to say that it expresses respect. Sie has never been used to address gods and saints. Towards parents it was only briefly used during the 18th century by some of the upper classes. (In both of these cases, however, Ihr was formerly possible alongside du.) Even royal highnesses used to be addressed as du, albeit not personally but in songs and poems (compare the famous Heil dir im Siegerkranz).

Sie is identical in form to the third person plural pronoun sie (“they”) and takes the same verb form. The "polite" Sie is distinguished in writing by capitalization.

So Ihr is the plural, used, at least formerly, as a polite singular, whereas Sie is a mystery. D

Welsh and French operate an identical system. Many other European languages have some other system for showing respect, but no others, as far as I know, have exactly the same system as Gaelic/Welsh/Dutch/French. Not even Irish which has no polite form – it just uses in the singular and sibh in the plural.


Sehr interessant. Tapadh leibh!


"You" as opposed to "thou" also expressed formality. In English, the King James Bible was translated with "thou" to speak to God. It denotes familiarity and closeness, not necessarily lack of respect (although it was used for that too). After colloquial English had mostly dropped the familiar "thou, thee, thy, thine," it lingered in love poems and prayers. In Shakespeare, people use "thou" to anyone younger and/or of lower social status and to insult people. Young people use it with their contemporaries. Romeo and Juliet "thou" each other immediately, and Juliet uses "thou" with her nurse, but "you" to her parents.


I was not aware of those details about Shakespeare, so thank you. As for the KJV, I am aware of when Thou was used for God, but not convinced that it was intentionally familiar. It does not make sense to address the same person as 'Lord', or even 'Lord God Almighty' and also with the familiar 'Thou'. There is nothing I have read in the Bible to suggest we should be familiar with God. I think that is a reason invented afterwards. There is another possible reason, and that is that the Bible was the word of God, and as such, it could not be changed. So they always chose the translation that was literally as close to the Latin (and in later translations, the Greek or the Hebrew) as possible. So if the Latin or Greek uses the singular Tu/Su then the English must too, as with the Gaelic, Welsh, etc.

  • αποκριθεις δε αυτω ο πετρος ειπεν κυριε ει συ ει κελευσον με προς σε ελθειν επι τα υδατα (TR1500)
  • Respondens autem Petrus, dixit: Domine, si tu es, jube me ad te venire super aquas (VULGATE)
  • And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water (KJV)
  • Agus fhreagair Peadar è, agus a dubhairt se, A thighearna, ma's tu ata ann, iarr ormsa teachd a'd' ionnnsuidh air na h uisgea-chaibh (TN1813)
  • A Phedr a’i hatebodd, ac a ddywedodd, O Arglwydd, os tydi yw, arch i mi ddyfod atat ar y dyfroedd (BWM)

I think this quote from Matthew 14:28 is typical in making familiarity clearly inappropriate. D


/leibh/ is for formal and/or plural


I'd like to know this as well (didn't want to make a different thread)


If a Monk gave you coffee, would you say Tapadh leibh Brathair? How is that different from Ollamh?


"Ollamh" doesn't lenite because it begins with a vowel. I think if you were using "Brother" as a title, it would be capitalized. I don't think a monk has ever given me coffee, but, hey, you never know.


Didn't know that! Thanks! :-) Have a lingot! Mòran taing a charaid!


There is controversy on the internet, but historically, you (as a lay person) looked up to a monk (who was a priest) and called him 'Father', so it would be tapadh leibh, Athair. They addressed each other as 'Brother', so it would be tapadh leat, a Bhrathair. Friars (word related to bràthair ) were a rank below monks and not priests. Almost by definition of calling someone 'Brother', you are putting them on an equal level with you, so tapadh leat, a Bhàthair would be right. But I'm sure it's not that simple in real life. D


Are "r"s usually a th or f sound?


They are usually an r sound, but quite weak as in English, not strong as in Scots. The th is a Lewis dialect variation which is apparently spreading.


I've heard that "bh" sounds like a V. Is that something that varies with regional dialects?


It usually sounds like "v" in English, but there are exceptions, and not just regional variations. Listen all you can and you'll catch when it sounds different.


Yes. Or /w/. In all European languages I know, apart from English and Welsh (and maybe her sister languages?), that have either, they are pretty confused. Latin v was originally /w/ and changed later. German w is /v/ in the standard dialect but not all dialects. Foreigners often get them confused in English. They are so interchangeable that you should generally regard them as different ways to pronounce the same phoneme. In both Gaelic and Irish it varies with dialect, broad/slender, bh/mh, position in word etc. and sometimes there is just no obvious logic. So understand both and say whatever comes naturally after doing this course, but don't worry about it, as people will still understand you, even if they wonder where your accent is from. Get used to understanding either when you hear them. D


Cofaidh Tapadh leat a bhrathair


In which cases we put "a" before a name of person we talk to?


When you are talking to someone you always put a before the noun/name you use for them if it starts with a consonant. If it begins with fh, look at the next letter.


I think that both should have been accepted even if they put it as a typo especially when you typed what you heard or what you thought you heard


I disagree. They are testing you on an important difference. This is very different from the situation on the Welsh course where people cannot hear the difference between gaiff and geith which are both more similar in sound and identical in meaning. In that situation many people think it is unfair to mark you down for a small difference which is really just how different people pronounce the same thing. But this is different for two reasons. Firstly, leat and leibh differ significantly at both ends of the words, with phonemic contrasts (that is the differences affect meaning) and secondly because the meanings of the two words are significantly different and you have to learn which to use when, and how to pronounce them so people can tell which you are saying.


Sometimes they both sound the same depending on the person saying it and the way you hear it through the audio so maybe they should accept both and let you know in a coment that you should use this one as they both are used in thank you


Is "bh" like an english "v"?


And note that with most young speakers and learners, bh and mh are indistinguishable. The only way you can tell them apart is knowing the unmutated form or the same word in a different language.

Some older speakers retain a difference, but that will not be needed on this course.

Also note that whilst /v/ is most common, some people in some dialects in some words say /w/, with no clear rules for when. There are some words, such as leabhar 'book' where virtually everyone says /w/, so Wiktionary's version is a bit over-simplistic. This word is also a good example of how to tell from another language, as the word is related to English library. The important thing about the v/w distinction is not to worry. They may seem completely different to English ears, but a Gael will simply regard them as dialect differences.

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