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  5. "Am bi thu a' cluiche teanais…

"Am bi thu a' cluiche teanais?"

Translation:Do you play tennis?

March 31, 2020



Why is it teanais? AFB says teanas (with teanais as the genitive). Dwelly has teinis (which we can assume is obsolete) and Mark has no related word.

But more importantly, all the voices for the different questions say teanas, i.e. with a broad s. So is teanais a typo, or a regional variant (that should be pronounced with a slender s)?


Never even noticed..! We'll get it fixed, it ought to be teanas.


My notes may be wrong, but I remain confused. Why is "Am bi" translated as Do you? in some instances and Will you? in other sentences? I understand that the "bidh" family can be used to convey continuous action, and "a h-uile" certainly suggests as much. But why, in this particular sentence, can it not also be understood as an invitation to a specific game - "Will you play tennis?"


Will you play tennis? would be just an cluich thu teanas? to which one could respond with cluichidh or cluichidh mi teanas in full sentence.

Traditionally the forms with the bi verb + a’ (ag) + verbal noun have continuous meaning (like English I am doing, I will be playing). And the Duolingo course keeps this way of translating those construction (so bidh mi a’ dèanamh is translated as I will be doing and not I will do).

But then the future tense (as it is commonly called, although IMO non-past would technically be more precise) has both future and present-habitual (or long-lasting) meaning (similar to English simple present).

So gabhaidh e may mean both he will take (in the future) and he takes (at some times, repeatedly) in eg. Gabhaidh e bracaist a h-uile madainn He takes breakfast every morning, or scrìobhaidh sinn might mean both we will write and we write, eg. Sgrìobhaidh sinn litir thuige a h-uile là We write (to) him a letter every day.

And this works for the bi verb too. While tha means is at the moment, right now, bidh means will be (future) as well as is habitually, is over a long period of time (habitual present).

So bidh e a’ dèanamh is both he will be doing and he does (or, as one could say in Irish English, he does be doing which is more literal translation of the Gaelic here).

So I believe both will you be playing tennis and do you play tennis? should be accepted answers but will you play tennis? would need a different sentence: an cluich thu teanas?


Sgoinneil! I could not have received a more instructive answer. Tapadh leibh, a thidseir.


I answered this with will you be playing tennis? and was marked wrong. struggling to understand why? have reported it


It seems a lot of Gaelic words are English words with weird spelling


Some are. But some are not really English words. Some linguists use the term helicopter effect to refer to the phenomenon of criticising a Gaelic word on the grounds that it is a rip-off of the English even when the word is not English in origin. English helicopter is a 'weird spelling' of French hélicoptère from Ancient Greek ἕλιξ (hélix, “spiral”) + πτερόν (pterón, “wing”). Some other equally 'weird' spellings are

□ Afrikaans Helikopter □ Asturian Helicópteru □ Bosnian Helikopter □ Catalan Helicòpter □ Cebuano Helikopter □ Danish Helikopter □ Greek Ελικόπτερο □ English Helicopter □ Esperanto Helikoptero □ Spanish Helicóptero □ Estonian Kopter □ Basque Helikoptero □ Finnish Helikopteri □ French Hélicoptère □ West Frisian HelikopterScottish Gaelic Heileacoptair □ Galician Helicóptero □ Croatian Helikopter □ Haitian Elikoptè □ Hungarian Helikopter □ Indonesian Helikopter □ Ido Helikoptero □ Italian Elicottero □ Jamaican Elichapta □ Latin Helicopterum □ Limburgish Helikopter □ Lingala Elikɔptɛ́lɛ □ Latvian Helikopters □ Macedonian Хеликоптер □ Mongolian Нисдэг тэрэг □ Malay Helikopter □ Dutch Helikopter □ Norwegian (Nynorsk) Helikopter □ Norwegian (Bokmål) Helikopter □ Occitan Elicoptèr □ Oromo Helikoopterii □ Papiamentu Helikopter □ Portuguese Helicóptero □ Romanian Elicopter □ Sicilian Elicòttiru □ Scots Helicopter □ Serbo-Croatian Helikopter □ Slovak Helikoptéra □ Slovene Helikopter □ Somali Helicopterka □ Swedish Helikopter □ Swahili Helikopta □ Tagalog Helikopter □ Turkish Helikopter □ Waray Helikopter

The Gaelic does't really stand out as unusual in that list does it?


I never thought about it that way!


I was a bit surprised when I processed the data on Wikipedia. But I do also agree that some spelling is strange. Firstly I don't see the need to respell at all if the word is pronounced as the original (as heileacoptair isn't) but pizza seems fine the way it is (and I cringe at it being masculine in Gaelic).

And I don't see how tidsear represents the sounds in teacher. I pronounce it the same as English except that my tongue touches my teeth. I would write tìtear except that there's no way to represent the broad t at the beginning. Tennis is also problematic. I don't actually say that in Gaelic as it's not a natural combination of sounds. So I woulds say tennas so I think the Gaelic spelling is reasonable. The question is whether we should use a new spelling or stick with the original - many languages put up with the original French spelling of tennis regardless of their own convenstions, althoug others do alter it. Just for interest, here is the list:

□ Afrikaans Tennis □ Alemannic Tennis □ Anglo-Saxon Tennis □ Aragonese Tenis □ Asturian Tenis □ Azerbaijani Tennis □ Bavarian Tennis □ Bashkir Теннис □ Belarusian Тэніс □ Bulgarian Тенис □ Breton Tennis □ Bosnian Tenis □ Catalan Tennis □ Chechen Теннис □ Czech Tenis □ Chuvash Теннис □ Welsh Tenis □ Danish Tennis □ German Tennis □ Zazaki Teniswan □ Greek Αντισφαίριση □ English Tennis □ Esperanto Teniso □ Spanish Tenis □ Estonian Tennis □ Basque Tenis □ Extremaduran Tenis □ Finnish Tennis □ Faroese Tennis □ French Tennis □ West Frisian Tennis □ Irish Leadóg □ Galician Tenis □ Hakka Mióng-khiù □ Fiji Hindi Tennis □ Croatian Tenis □ Haitian Tenis □ Hungarian Tenisz □ Indonesian Tenis □ Interlingue Ténnis □ Ilokano Tenis □ Ido Teniso □ Icelandic Tennis □ Italian Tennis □ Javanese Tènes □ Karakalpak Tennis □ Kabiye Teniisi □ Kyrgyz Теннис □ Latin Teniludus □ Luxembourgish Tennis □ Lezgian Теннис □ Lingua Franca Nova Tenis □ Limburgish Tennis □ Lithuanian Tenisas □ Latvian Teniss □ Macedonian Тенис □ Mongolian Теннис □ Malay Tenis □ Mirandese Ténis □ Low Saxon Tennis □ Dutch Tennis □ Norwegian (Nynorsk) Tennis □ Norwegian (Bokmål) Tennis □ Northern Sotho Thenisi □ Occitan Tennis □ Livvi-Karelian Tennissu □ Picard Tennis □ Pennsylvania German Tennis □ Polish Tenis □ Portuguese Ténis □ Romansh Tennis □ Romanian Tenis □ Rusyn Теніс □ Russian Теннис □ Kinyarwanda Tenisi □ Sakha Теннис □ Sicilian Tennis □ Scots Tennis □ Sardinian Tennis □ Serbo-Croatian Tenis □ Slovak Tenis □ Slovene Tenis □ Samoan Tenisi □ Somali Ciyaarta Teeniska □ Albanian Tenisi □ Sundanese Ténis □ Swedish Tennis □ Swahili Tennis □ Silesian Tyńis źymny □ Tajik Теннис □ Turkmen Tenis □ Tagalog Tennis □ Turkish Tenis □ Ukrainian Теніс □ Uzbek Tennis □ Vietnamese Quần vợt □ West Flemish Tennis □ Waray Tenis □ Walloon Tenisse □ Yoruba Tẹ́nìs

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