"Her house is far away."

Translation:Tha an taigh aice fada air falbh.

June 2, 2020

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Thanks Silmeth, I'm not academic and these explanations are very helpful. What do you mean by 'alienable possession'? I'm not familiar with the term


Alienable possession is explained in the tips to the Body 2 skill and also greatly explained in two articles: Possessives and syllabic structure or Ar n-Athair a tha air nèamh and Aig, air agus ann an or The severed head on the Akerbeltz wiki.

In short – Gaelic expresses two kind of possession:

  • inalienable – things that are inherently yours and you cannot easily dispose of them or make them someone else’s: your body parts, family members, feelings…
  • alienable – things that you can buy or sell, pass along, mostly material possession but also more distant acquaintance with people…

Inalienable possession is expressed by possessive pronouns, eg. my father is m’ athair, my hand is mo làmh, but alienable uses a different construction: an taigh agam my house.

Of course there are exceptions (eg. my husband is an duine agam even though my wife is mo bhean), so you need to bear that in mind when you see one of those construction when you’d expect the other from the general pattern.

As for tips and notes to the lessons – you can read them on the web browser version of Duolingo – open a web browser (either on your mobile device or a desktop computer) and head to https://duolingo.com and log in. Unfortunately they are not available in the Duolingo mobile app. You can also read them on https://duome.eu/tips/en/gd.


why is the 'an' needed here?


I was wondering also


Because that’s the construction used for alienable possession: Y’s X is: an X aig Y, lit. the X at Y. An taigh aice the house at her. You might think of it as the house of hers in English if it helps you.


I always forget the definite article in these. :/


If you are comparing languages that have not been living next to each other for 1000 years, such as English and Greek, Arabic or Italian then you just have to accept that the logic applied to the article is different. But if you are learning a neighbouring language, such as Gaelic, Irish, Welsh or French, then the logic for the various possessive structures that use the definite article works just the same as English, IF you use the same structure in the two languages. This sentence is not saying 'her house' but 'the house at her' as silmeth explains. If you always find the right structure first, and then translate, it will always work.

The major exception to this is if you are learning German. They used to 'do it like us' but they introduced a new and unique form of possessive a couple of centuries ago. Norwegian has some very confusing articles but I think the same logic as English and Gaelic is hidden underneath.


Excellent Silmeth and thanks again. As we say in engineering 'if all else fails, read the instructions' :)


"Fad" or "fada"? Is this a dialect thing again?


Good question. It looked wrong to me (there was no sound), so I looked it up.

Firstly, GOC does not mention it, except one example of fad- as a prefix.

Mark (2003) gives the following

  • Fada is an adjective meaning 'long'
  • Fad- is used as a prefix
  • Fad 'is often an abbr form of fada and the following expressions really belong to that section where you will find examples cho fad ’s, air cho fad ’s, dè cho fad ’s …?, fad às / fuar fad às, fad air falbh, fad air ais, fad a-mach, fhad ’s

So the word is an adjective in these expressions, so fada is correct - at lease in writing. But no one would actually say that before a vowel, as far as I know. It's just a pity I can't find a way to hear any of these sentences. D


The LearnGaelic dictionary has spoken pronunciations for almost all its entries. I found the following list for fad: https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/index.jsp?abairt=fad&slang=both&wholeword=false


Thank you. That is a useful link for how to pronounce it, and it is well worth reminding people of it, but what I said was really meant as a complaint about the way Duolingo works – it is not always possible to find the audio for the sentences unless you actually happen to be doing the exercise. That is why I cannot comment on how it is pronounced in these sentences or whether it is usual.

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