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  5. "Tha aon asal agam."

"Tha aon asal agam."

Translation:I have one donkey.

March 29, 2020

19 Comments


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

Òbh òbh! Chò eibhinn! Asal sounds like ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤, took a guess and, yes, it was donkey!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

Looks like you have been censored (black hearts) for writing A plus double S. This is ridiculous :-)


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

The number of hearts = the number of letters so I think you have to think of some 8-letter synonym for ass.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

Italian "asinello" maybe


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

I'm sure that's it. It means a small ass, but I cannot see what is offensive about a term for a diminutive mammal. Here is a lovely asinello from the internet. asinelloI tried to search for the English phrase, but for some odd reason, a Google search did not reveal any pictures of actual asinelli. And that is before I turned safesearch off.


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

Sandra908885: When I searched for the English phrase one ass I did not get any pictures of donkeys. So I took safe search off in case they were being censored for some reason - and I still didn't get any pictures of donkeys. Try it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

Anyway, there would be no reason for Duo to censor Asinello, maybe Fiona will enlighten us ...


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

Indeed not. I wondered if it was the feminine plural of this word, asinelle. Then I wondered if was some other word that began with the same letter, had an s in nearly the same place and ended with the same two letters.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

why on earth do you need to take off safe search to look for donkeys?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

asal - like Esel in German


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

No one knows where this word comes from but it has spread all over Europe. Most dictionaries claim most of these words come via Latin, but I don't know if there is any evidence that the Germans or Celts got it from there. There was jus an enormous bias towards derivations from 'posh' languages like Latin.

Wiktionary list all these descendants for the Latin word:

Franco-Provençal: âno Italian: asino Lombard: asen Ligurian: âze Old French: asne Middle French: asne French: âne Norman: âne Walloon: ågne → Old Norse: asni Faroese: asni Icelandic: asni Elfdalian: åsn Norwegian: asen → Northern Sami: ásen Old Swedish: asne, asni Swedish: åsna → Finnish: aasi Old Occitan: asne Catalan: ase Occitan: asne Old Portuguese: asno Galician: asno Portuguese: asno Old Spanish: Spanish: asno → Cebuano: asno Romanian: asin, asân Romansch: asen, asan, esan Sardinian: àinu Sicilian: àsinu Venetian: àxeno → Celtic: Brythonic: Breton: azen Old Cornish: asen Welsh: asyn Old Irish: asan Middle Irish: asan, assan → Old English: assen, assa Middle English: as, ass, asse English: ass → Samoan: asini


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S.Sol.5

Modern Norwegian for donkey is esel, asen is pretty antiquated (shows up in the bible and people usually need it explained), they both have the same source though. Also makes it very easy for me to remember asal as it's just esel with a.


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

Interesting. I have been doing a bit more analysis a year after I posted.

Firstly, though, no one said this was the main word. They simply listed it as a word that was derived from Latin asinus. But in fact the English ass is much the same. You are more likely to hear about Jesus riding on an ass, but you are more likely to see a donkey in a field in the 21st century.

There is a separate list of words they claim are derived from Latin asellus 'small or young ass or donkey', which is, if you follow the links,

Old Irish: asal (see there for further descendants)

  • (descendants not listed)

Proto-Slavic: *osьlъ 

  • East Slavic: Old East Slavic: осьлъ (osĭlŭ) Belarusian: асёл (asjól) Russian: осёл (osjól), осёлъ (osjól) → Eastern Mari: осёл (osël) → Kildin Sami: о̄ссел (ōssʹel) → Udmurt: осёл (osjol) → Yakut: осёл (osyol) Rusyn: осел (osel) Ukrainian: осе́л (osél) South Slavic: Old Church Slavonic: Old Cyrillic: осьлъ (osĭlŭ) Bulgarian: осел (osel) Serbo-Croatian: Cyrillic: о̏сао (ȍsao) Slovene: ósəł West Slavic: Czech: osel Kashubian: òseł, osoł Polish: osioł, osieł Slovak: osol Sorbian: Lower Sorbian: wósoł Upper Sorbian: wosoł

Proto-West Germanic: *asil 

  • Old English: esol Old Frisian: *esel North Frisian: eesel Saterland Frisian: Íezel West Frisian: ezel Old Saxon: esil Middle Low German: esel Low German: Esel Plautdietsch: Äsel → Danish: æsel → Estonian: eesel (or from German) → Norwegian: esel → Polabian: asål Old Dutch: esil Middle Dutch: ēsel Dutch: ezel Afrikaans: esel → Sotho: esele → Xhosa: i-esile → English: easel Negerhollands: esel Limburgish: aezel Old High German: esil Middle High German: esel Alemannic German: Esel Cimbrian: éezel Central Franconian: Essel German: Esel → Estonian: eesel (or from Middle Low German) → Lower Sorbian: ezel → Tok Pisin: esel Luxembourgish: Iesel Rhine Franconian: Pennsylvania German: Esel Yiddish: אייזל‎ (eyzl)

Gothic:[Gothic text removed as Duolingo threw a fit and went on strike] (asilus)

  • (possibly) Proto-Slavic: *osьlъ (see there for further descendants)

So we have as well as all the SN terms, a whole heap of SL terms which they claim come from the diminutive in Latin. This is the usual form in a big range of languages throughout Germanic, Slavic and Celtic, and I find the idea that this widespread term, in an area where Latin influence on basic vocabulary was weak, and where these non-diminutive terms allegedly come from a Latin diminutive, quite preposterous.

It seems that the SN term was the Latin term, and the first translators of the Norrwegian Bible may well have chosen to use the more Latiny term, but the everyday term was probably the SL one, like in neighbouring languages and language groups, not directly related to Latin.

I put my money on the SL and SN terms having diverged long before Latin existed.


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

8 letters is correct.... however my term symbolised more the temperament that an asal can often have, sounds similar to asal and can also be used to describe rather unpleasant nasty people. In short, my humour was being very childish in that moment!

On a seperate note, duo accepts the term ass in addition to donkey here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

OK, now I get it .. though I would have said 7 letters, unless you used a hyphen!


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

No - the point is that ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ must refer to an 8-letter word as they use one ❤ per letter. Therefore there must have been a r as the second letter. The version with an s second letter is a taboo replacement - that is a politer word has been used to replace the word that Duo does not like. And this is where all the trouble started. This innocent 3-letter word for an animal has become an alternative spelling for a 4-letter word that Duo does not like - and hence the 7-letter word has become a replacement for the 8-letter word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

Right, I was thinking of the American term, seeing that Duo is highly Americanized (note the Z)


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

I had not realized how rare the version with an r is in America until I looked at an Ngram.

But as I say, the version with an s is just a respelling of the version with an r.

But it has now got even more confusing, since this confusion between the 7- and 8-letter words has now resulted in us in the UK using the 4-letter word to mean 'someone who is as stupid a donkey', which does not actually make sense.

And notice that not everyone in the UK puts an s in realized. The z (called /zed/) is used by traditionalists in words made by adding -ized to another word, such as realized and Americanized, but not in words with other etymologies such as analysed which comes from analysis. But each to their own. No variety of English has logical spelling.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra908885

I know all about it .... I work as a translator and there are clients who want American spelling, analyze is one word that particularly annoys me.

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