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"Iain and Isabel, do you like the house?"

Translation:Iain agus Iseabail, an toil leibh an taigh?

December 11, 2019



Yikes, I can never spell Iseabail..


Ha, I just tripped up on this too, and I'm usually so good with it. Ealasaid gave me trouble for a while too.


What is the purpose of the first 'an'?


interrogative (question) particle


just happens to be the same as 'an'='the'?


Yes. There are homonyms that mean 'the', '?' (as here), 'their', 'in'. They all change to am before a labial p, b, f, m. Welsh is much more confusing, so don't complain.


Is it me, or do both the names always begin with a vowel when there are two people on this course? If I'm addressing Iain and Màiri, would I say Iain agus a Mhàiri, Iain agus Mhàiri or Iain agus Màiri? If you forced me to pick, I'd go for the middle option...


Yes - it's just you - and me. They always both begin with a vowel but I am not sure if I have seen both with a consonant. This is not good as your question about Iain and Màiri is a good one.


I wondered what the exact translations would be for "leam", "leat" and "leibh" as I'm rather confused by the connection between "toil leibh" and "tapadh leibh" for example


The short answer is 'with me', 'with you' etc. It is what they call a prepositional pronoun, which just means a preposition joined to a pronoun. But they are synthetic, just like verbs in some languages. Put simply, that means they are irregular and you have to learn them. There is no way to guess from the above how to say 'with her' for example. Le by itself is just 'with' and is also used for belonging and ownership. So you are saying 'thanks with you' or 'thanks belonging to you'.

Toigh means 'agreeable, pleasant' so An toigh leibh an taigh? (to give the original spelling) means 'Is pleasant with you the house?'

Toil is a word that sounds similar in this sentence, and for some reason that is beyond my comprehension, got accepted as the standard spelling. So use it but you will often see the more logical toigh as well. D


is there a reason you have to use leibh rather then leat? do you always use formal when speaking to multiple people? Leat was displayed as an option. but then I got it wrong for using leat rather than leibh


It's a bit like in French 'tu' vs 'vous'. You use the plural to be formal. So I suppose that in English we are always formal as we only have the plural 'you' now ('thou' being the singular) :)


Iain agus Isebail, you're talking to more than one person so you always use 'leibh' which is plural (and also formal/ polite singular).


On this course they like to give clues as to which 'you' to use. They use one name or a word for a young person if they want thu and two names or someone you show respect to if they want sibh.


Try to think about it the other way round: not 'using the formal when talking to more people' but 'talking as if to more people when being formal' - because whether to be formal may be uncertain, but plural means plural.


I wrote "An toil leibh an taigh, Iain agus Iseabail?" Why is it deemed totally incorrect to express this the other way round? The meaning is identical as are the words


For a simple practical reason, nothing to do with whether it is a valid translation:

It is simply that it is a lot of labour for the volunteers who write the course, just to put in all the valid answers with one word order. It would literally double the labour if they allowed arbitrary reversals of the two parts. So however valid the translation, please don't do it unless there is a good reason - such as it being a requirement of the language you are translating into.


Similarly, "Iseabail agus Iain, an toil leibh an taigh?" is semantically correct but not really a direct translation, and would take too much time to program.


What's wrong with my answer?


We can't see your answer, so can't tell you, I'm afraid.

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