"Seo lèine-t."

Translation:This is a t-shirt.

December 15, 2019

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eilidh19845

Speaker's Seo sounds more like Seall


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GPla3F

Yeah, this keeps tripping me up, too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidBane

This is a problem that pops up when learning any language. There's only so many sounds we can make so some words are bound to sound alike. Learning to differentiate between them when listening to a wide variety of people is vital to learning a language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FiferWD

What really throws one off here is the pause. One does not normally say, "This is, a tshirt."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eilidh19845

It is actually the quality of some of the RECORDINGs-not regional accents- that are difficult to hear


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elunna

I don't quite agree. In "Seall" you can hear the "ll" although it depends on who's talking, I guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

It is always the case in any living language that the way one phoneme sounds in one dialect may be close the the way another phoneme sounds in another dialect. In some dialects (including most of the recordings of seall on this site), the broad ll is quite /w/-like. How much /w/ there is in seo can vary by dialect. On Duolingo there isn't usually much, but the example in seo tunnag does have quite a lot of /w/. So yes it does depend on who's talking, and there are definitely good examples on Duolingo where one person's seo sounds like someone else's seall. D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FiferWD

I though that it sounded a bit more like Seo, but went for seall because, who would say, "This. Is a t shirt". Was this meant as a sort of challenge?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

This is a perfectly normal sentence in Gaelic, so no it is not meant as a challenge but just a normal teaching exercise. But you have made a really important point here that is not adequately discussed in the notes and which has not been discussed at all (as far as I know) in the discussion pages.

In English, French, German, Spanish etc. we are used to all sentences having verbs in, except for a small number of exceptions that we are so familiar with that we don't even think about it, such as

Yes

which is a perfectly valid sentence. This means that when you see a sentence in Gaelic that doesn't make sense in English without a verb you are desperately looking for the verb. You found one by imagining it said Seall.

In Gaelic there is one other specific situation where we can have a sentence with no obvious verb. It is the word is. You have seen this verb, meaning 'is, are, am', but not nearly as much as you would have done on the Irish course. This is where the problem starts. It is not used that often. We have another word for 'is', namely tha and the rule in Gaelic is simply 'Only use is where it specifically says so in the notes.'

But there is another problem, that is especially confusing because this word is so rare in Gaelic, and that is that this word sometimes disappears (although grammar books prefer the word 'absorbed'). They do not go into details in Gaelic, simply because it really only occurs in set expressions such as we have here, but I think it is a good rule of thumb that if you see a sentence that does not make sense without a verb, imagine the word is is there. So just learn the set expressions they teach, such as seo x which means 'this is an x'.

A consequence of this, and also proof of what is going on, is that if you take any sentence like this and put it in the past or conditional, bu appears. You would not say this very often, but you could in theory say

Bu seo lèine-t
This was a t-shirt
This would be a t-shirt

Note that this is so rare that I am not actually sure if most people would lenite the seo. It is marginal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NorthwoodsNina

It's not that there is no verb. It's the pause. "Seo. Leine-t." This is. A t-shirt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

Having reviewed my post, I agree it may not be what was meant. However, my point was based on the fact that FiferWD suggested there was a gap before the 'is' (which is different from what you wrote). But this is wrong as the 'is' is assumed to be part of the Seo. I was just explaining how these sentences should be interpreted.

Anyway, having listened to the audio for several of the sentences that come up if you click on the blue word at the top of this page, I agree it is not very clear. I can tell the difference between the two words, but it is not that easy, and there is a gap. The gap is not as big as the gap you get after Seall and I think it is just the person reading very slowly, word by word. Nevertheless, it is misleading, as it is not pronounced as in normal speech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanS181824

Anyone know the etymology of léine-t? It's t-léine in Irish and I'm curious how it changed into the Scottish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

It appears the original word was English and was spelt T-shirt. The difference is essential to the origin as it is in the shape of a T, not a t! The capital version has always been at least 10 times more popular. Imgur

There is an element of randomness as to how words get lent to other languages, especially when it is done by common usage rather than official edict (as happens with maths terms used in school, for example) and there are arguments on both sides.

t-léine is a simple calque on the English

lèine-t is thinking about word order. Qualifiers (whether adjectives or possessives) go after the noun in Irish and Gaelic

crys-t in Welsh (but *crys T in one dictionary)

I did a Wikidata dump - see bottom of page and got

□ Afrikaans T-hemp □ Breton T-shirt □ Welsh Crys-T □ Danish T-shirt □ German T-Shirt □ English T-shirt □ Esperanto T-ĉemizo □ Estonian T-särk □ Finnish T-paita □ French Tee-shirt □ Manx Lheiney-T □ Luxembourgish T-Shirt □ Latvian T krekls □ Malay Kemeja-T □ Dutch T-shirt □ Norwegian (Nynorsk) T-skjorte □ Norwegian (Bokmål) T-skjorte □ Norman Tee-corset □ Polish T-shirt □ Swedish T-shirt □ Tagalog T-shirt □ Turkish Tişört

So the only ones on the list that put the T at the end are Malay, Welsh and Manx as does Gaelic (not on the list).

I looked at some other borrowings from English:

Irish Gaelic Welsh
Oifig an phoist Oifis a' Phuist Swyddfa bost
Ríomhphos Post-d E-bost

(Note that p lenites to b in Welsh)

All we can really tell from this small sample is that there is no consistency in adapting English words, but the languages of Britain do seem a little more keen on moving the qualifier to the end that Irish is.

(Note that we call our Celtic language Gaelic (pronounced Gallic) or Scots Gaelic. Scots is the English-like language of which Ulster Scots is a variety. All our accents have pointed downhill since 1988.)

So the only ones on the list that put the T at the end are Malay and Manx as do Gaelic and Welsh (not on the list).

I looked at some other borrowings from English:

Irish Gaelic Welsh
Oifig an phoist Oifis a' Phuist Swyddfa bost
Ríomhphos Post-d E-bost

(Note that p lenites to b in Welsh)

All we can really tell from this small sample is that there is no consistency in adapting English words, but the languages of Britain do seem a little more keen on moving the qualifier to the end that Irish is.

(Note that we call our Celtic language Gaelic (pronounced Gallic) or Scots Gaelic. Scots is the English-like language of which Ulster Scots is a variety. All our accents have pointed downhill since 1988.) D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Highlander.Flori

Very good, a Daibhidh, VERY GOOD ... tapadh leat / tapadh leibh a thidseir (I think you are a YOUNGER teacher than me ;) ... by the way - what would "thank you VERY MUCH" be - "gu math - gu mòr / gu leòr" ?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Macbyr0n

Definitely sounds like seall


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StripyStockings

Could this also mean "this t-shirt"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eilidh19845

Would that not be lèine-t seo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

Yes, but you need an article:

An lèine-t seo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eideadh

I decided that for understanding this sentence it actually doesn't make much difference if (in this case) he says Seo/Seall. But in person it would be obvious from the context of the lèine-t...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

I have listened again to the recording and it is definitely wrong and misleading. I agree totally with FiferWD. There is a big pause after the seo. So although he is clearly (to an experienced ear) saying seo, the pause pretty clearly (and hence misleadingly) makes it sound like two separate clauses. So in my view, this sentence is completely unfair as a listening exercise and should be re-recorded or changed to a translation exercise.

You can go to this page and listen to the same speaker saying

  • Seall, tha lèine-t orm.
  • Seo lèine-t.

The words are clearly different but the pause is much the same, even though there is a comma in one and not the other.

Although the recordings are really good in terms of pronunciation, a lot suffer from the same problem that they sound like someone is trying to read them out of context and failing to get realistic intonation. In some cases there are even mistakes in the words that make it sound like they have misunderstood what the sentence is meant to say because it is out of context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NorthwoodsNina

The pause and inflection do make it sound like Seall! Leine-t.

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