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  5. "Dè an t-ainm a th' oirbh, at…

" an t-ainm a th' oirbh, athair?"

Translation:What is your name, father?

December 29, 2019



I really struggled with this one. I got it, because I looked at the words and could only find one phrase in them, but it sounded nothing like what I expected, especially the a th'oirbh bit. :-(


Amanda, see above, reply by "tj4234".


It was more the pronunciation than the syntax, but thank you. :-)


At first glance, this doesn't strike me as a very natural question. Or does the "athair" refer to "Father" as the priest? In that case, "Father" should begin with a capital "F" rather than with a lower case "f". (Nit-picking, I know, but Duolingo rather pushes learners in that direction...)


It could mean either! :)


I asked my parents what their names were when I was a kid :) back in those tragic days when I realized their names weren't "mum" and "dad" :'D


The "t" in front of "ainm" and the "th" in front of "oirbh" - are they just because each of the following words begins with a vowel, or do they have an actual meaning?


Yes to both.

If memory serves ainm is feminine and since it starts with a vowel it gets an t- as its definite article.

Th' is short for tha. In fact most instances where you see an apostrophe in Gaelic are because the apostrophe ks replacing a vowel. 'S for example is short for is.

Tha approximately means "is".

The full phrase literally means "what is the name that is upon you? Father."


A small correction: masculine nouns starting with a vowel get the t- in nominative after the article, eg. an t-athair the father, an t-ubhal the apple, and ainm is masculine. :)


Is "father" used as a general term of respect for an older man? Or is the use restricted to either a biological or a spiritual father?


Sasha, I am a beginner at Gaelic (although it was my mother's native language), but in a childhood on Islay I never heard the word 'father' being used except in the family relationship. In the catholic outer isles I assume it would also have been used of the priest.


I sense a dramatic family story here...

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