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  5. "He is as happy as a shoe."

"He is as happy as a shoe."

Translation:Tha e cho sona ri bròig.

February 16, 2020



As it says in the tips for this lesson: "Hawk-eyed learners among you may notice that the word bròg has been slenderised to bròig. We do not go into the grammar as to why this happens here (didn't want to rush it), but the change is caused by an aspect Gaelic's dative case."

[deactivated user]

    It really would be helpful if you did rush it.


    We didn't rush it because this is the final skill of the tree and the dative case is not really something you can throw in at the end for the sake of it. It'll be explained in more detail when we release Tree 2.


    Any idea when that may be?


    Could someone explain the appropriate contexts for the use of toilichte as opposed to sona for happy please


    I second that so I looked them up

    AFB Dwelly Mark
    sona content, happy Lucky, fortunate. Happy, in a state of happiness, blessed felicitous, happy
    toilichte happy, glad, pleased, satisfied, delighted Pleased, Satisfied, contented, gratified content, contented, glad, happy, pleased, satisfied

    I have put all the past-participle endings in bold. Toilichte is a past participle so it is no coincidence that lots of the translations end in ed. That means you can be contented with something or by something, so there is a sense of causation. I think sona is more a general state of being, whereas toilichte is your response to something. But apart from that I think the words are fairly interchangeable, like the various words that are given as translations.


    Why happy as a shoe? Is this actually a saying? Or just duolingo being funny


    It’s a real saying! :)


    Is it used ironically, though? After all, who'd want to be a shoe? Unless originally it used to be be something like "happy as a shoe carried over a river", or "a shoe worn only on sundays" or "a shoe kept for a sunny day in Fort William"?


    Is a shoe happy? I thought that they'd be downtrodden.

    Or, Is this a sarcastic saying?


    This is certainly not sarcastic. It is a perfectly normal thing to say. We have loads of these weird expressions in both Gaelic and English. See here for several examples of 'as happy as a ...' with some rather dubious explanations.

    I do not know if this happens in other languages, or if it is in fact a Celtic custom that has spread into English.


    Here in Germany, we are not as happy as a shoe but we are "as fit as a sports shoe" - so we merged the Gaelic sayings for fit and for happy into one :-). I cannot think of anything for "as happy as ..." in German offhand, though ...


    Well happiness is pretty modern as a state to aspire to. Our word is Norse, but it was not a common word, because it was not seen as an important state of being. There is one guy in the sagas who was happy. He was what we would call happy-go-lucky. Happy meant relying on fortune rather than virtue. He spent all his money on a polar bear, and set of to have some adventures with the bear.

    I am assuming you are regarding glücklich as the German equivalent, but this originally had a very different meaning, relating to knightly virtues. Like happy I think it is a word that has changed over time to represent the new concept of happiness.

    I don't think sona would have been translated as happy in the past. In fact none of the dictionaries I looked in gave it as the first meaning:

    • Mark (2003) – 'felicitous, happy
    • AFB – 'content, happy'
    • Dwelly – 'luck, fortunate; happy'

    So if the German word has changed meaning (and I have no idea when) then that could explain why it does not occur in this sort of saying. I notice from an Ngram plot that the word was virtually unknown before 1500, reached a peak in 1790, died down again to almost nothing, then suddenly shot up this century. I am wondering if the new popularity is with a different meaning than in the eighteenth century?


    Why does bròg become bròig?


    See Alan169059's question. In other words, you'll have to be patient.


    Why as happy as a shoe?

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