Okay, I don't get this one. If I translate it word by word I get something like "to be an apple have" because I thought that tá is a form of "to be" (tá tú - you are). So why do I use "to be" here? Or is this some kind of exception and tá does not mean "to be"?
Ah yes the joys of Irish- prepositions are seemingly valued over verbs (where we may use a verb in English a preposition is used in Irish).
I read a very interesting book on the development of language called "The Unfolding of Language" by Guy Deutscher. In it, he talks about the idea that in virtually every example, these verbs like "to have," which express rather abstract ideas, evolve from common prepositions like this, where physical nearness is associated with ownership.
Arabic has the same construction. "It is to me" or "it is with me" is far more common than a verb like "I possess (such and such)" which is possible, but sounds ridiculous.
That's the beauty of language learning, it destroys your preconceptions about how information has to be ordered, e.g. the idea that "to have" must be expressed verbally. Once you get over your first language biases, learning more is easier.
Similar to Russian ,except they use genitive, whereas the Irish and Arabic appear to use dative?
They have one similar feature in common. That doesn't make the two languages like each other.
No, it isn't. But this construction is close to the Russian one with the same meaning
The Celtic group (which Irish belongs to) and the Slavic group (which Russian belongs to) are both part of the Indo-European tree--but then, so are the Germanic group (which English belongs to) and the Romance group (which Spanish belongs to). And these are all on the European part of the tree, which ignores quite a bit that's worth checking out. It's quite a tree: http://www.theguardian.com/education/gallery/2015/jan/23/a-language-family-tree-in-pictures
I speak serbian, which is rather similar to russian, obv, but I read somewhere that irish and serbian are eerily similar, have nearly identical grammar, and bunch of similar words... I can tell you one thing, from this first lesson, I see nothing, NOTHING similar, except that maybe, MAYBE, if you close one and a half ear, I guess ithim can sound similar to jedem... barely.
Now I know how Irish speaks in english... Gaelic is very challenging language, just like Basque! Hahaha :D
I am a native Russian speaker and after translating "an apple is at you" word-for-word into Russian I realized that the way we express the idea of ownership is the same in Irish and Russian, minus the fixed word order, which isn't really the case in Russian - we are more likely to put it as "an apple is at you", even though the word order can change. Now it's much easier for me to grasp the idea
I recently came across some academic work that differentiates between "H-Languages", that have a transitive verb for "have", and "B-Languages" that use a construction with the verb "be" for this purpose.
English, German, Spanish, Czech, Mapudungun, and Paraguayan Guaranı ́are "H-Languages". Russian, Latvian, Sakha, Korean, Hungarian, Irish, Peruvian Quechua, and Hindi are "are B-languages".
It's called an ergative construction, if I remember it right. In Russian there is a similar one, like "with you there is an apple", which sounds in it more natural than "I have an apple"
Definitely not an ergative construction in Russian. Russian has no ergative, I can say it as a Russian native speaker with a degree in linguistics
Rather IS an apple at you. Tá is the present tense of the verb to be, and so means "is" or "are", rather than "be".
("Be", incidentally, is "bí"!)
Ah, that makes a bit more sense & I think I'm slowly getting it! Thanks :)
Irish has lots of that kind of thing. The language has a lot of 'prepositional pronouns' where prepositions are conjugated for person. They're mostly pretty predicable in form.
Also, 'bí'/'tá' is often used with prepositional phrases to express various kinds of 'being'. For instance 'tá bron orm' means 'I'm sad' (also, 'I'm sorry'), but literally translates as 'is sadness on-me'. 'tá ... ar rud' typically used to express feelings and other sensations.
I need some examples, I have... you have... he/she has... Please help me, I didn't found anything :(
tell me please if that is ok: I have an apple: ta úll agam, You have an apple: ta úll agat, He has an apple: ta úll aige, etc
Well, "tá" doesn't mean "be", exactly. It's present tense, and means "is" or "are".
Then again, "agat" doesn't mean "have". It means "at you" ("at" is ag and "you" is "tú", but you can't say ag tú - they always have to be combined into agat).
So the sentence means "there is an apple at you". This is the way you say "you have an apple".
Thanks for the explanation. Before your explanation I don't know how 'agat' means 'at you'.
I hope there will be something like this in the future. This Irish is really really new for me. The VSO, pronunciation, etc.
Tá can also effectively mean "there is/there are". Like hay in Spanish or há in Portuguese. This sentence translates as "There is an apple at you" That's just the way it's put in Irish.
EDIT: Disregard the comparison with hay/há!
That's debatable. If you want to make an existential statement in Irish, then you generally need the adverb 'ann', e.g. 'tá úll ann' = 'there's an apple', or 'tá trí úlla ann' = 'there are three apples'.
Tá .... agat. = You have....
Tá ... agam = I have...
It is not helpful to think of it as "at me/you".
For all intents and purposes yes, it means You have an apple, and that's how it should be thought of but it's always helpful to know the true translation when trying to make sense of a new language. Some people were wondering why does tá (to be) have to be in a sentence stating "You have an apple", and the literal translation explains why.
While this seems to be a good shortcut now, be careful that it doesn't trip you up later. A lot of the preposition conjugations will no doubt show up in a little while.
I actually find it very helpful, but different people learn differently. :-) I do have a question about this, though. In Scottish Gaelic the same construction is used to talk about knowing a language. Tha Gàidhlig agam - I know Gaelic (lit. The Gaelic is at me). Is this the same in Irish?
Grammatically speaking, Scottish Gaelic and Irish are largely the same. It's in matters of phonology, orthography, and vocabulary where they really diverge.
And yes, this is one of those cases where they're almost exactly the same: tá gaeilge agam.
I've heard bilingual Irish people talk about a person 'having' a language when they were speaking English, so the Irish Gaelic idiom seems to have shaped at least some people's use of Irish-dialect English. It was really cool to hear how the expression carried over! :-)
It's far from confined to that example or to bilingual Irish people. Hiberno-Irish, the vernacular language of Ireland, has absorbed so many features of Irish that it's hard to know where to start listing them. This holds even for the majority of Irish people who have next to no Irish.
For a brief intro, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiberno-English#Grammar_and_syntax , though the influence goes beyond grammar and syntax and into phonology
Yes.. being an absolute beginner I think I'm going to continue to think of it this way until I get a bit more comfortable and can appreciate all of these peculiarities.
Can someone please clarify why "agat" seems to rhyme with the English "afoot?" Understanding how pronunciation works would make spelling so much easier...
The second 'a' is in an unstressed syllable, with means it's reduced down to /ə/. The speaker is mispronouncing it a bit as it shouldn't be /ʊ/ as she's pronouncing it, but a schwa. The Wikipedia article on Irish orthography has a good explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_orthography
Judging from how the idiomatic translation is "You have" and the literal translation says "At you"...I take it there is no Irish verb that means "to have" exactly?
Nor does it have a verb meaning 'to need'. For that, you use 'bí' + 'ó', so if you wanted to say 'I need money', you'd say 'tá airgead uaim'. This is actually a common pattern in langauges: languages that don't have a specific verb meaning 'have' will invariably lack a verb meaning 'need'. Russian, for example, behaves similarly.
This is exactly the kind of gem a philologist like me loves to stumble across!
So if Irish doesn't have "to have" and instead says "is at", and accordingly does not have "to need", then what is the literal English translation for how it's expressed in Irish?
Except that's not really true in any real sense. You're more likely to use 'есть' with the preposition 'y' followed by a noun in the genitive case to indicate possession in Russian than you are to use 'иметь'.
By this point, the forum becomes not wide enough for us to keep arguing, so it seems both of us will keep our points at ourselves :) Cheers!
The proper way to translate 'иметь' into Irish would be 'is + le', i.e., 'is liom rud' = 'I own something', or 'is leo bord' = 'they own a table'.
Seriously though, I try not to make assertions without doing my research first.
"X is more likely than Y" doesn't mean "Y is not really true", does it? You're actually free to say "иметь" without anyone with half a brain cringing at you. Russian's had this construction since forever, look in any older books, look at idioms like "иметь представление/смысл/значение", and people will use whatever they find stylistically fitting, thank you.
'иметь' is more akin to the English verb 'own' than 'have', and they're not equivalent or interchangeable.
You can иметь представление (have a notion), a thing can иметь смысл (make sense), but you would hardly say я имею яблоко it would sound eh... strange, you would say " у меня есть яблоко". Moreover, if you say in the past tense "я имел яблоко", instead of the normal "у меня было яблоко", it may be interpreted as "I f...cked an apple", excuse my French, but that is how it is :), especially if you say it with English intonation or something :)
Russian does have a verb "to have" (иметь), but its usage is very specific and it is never used in phrases like "I have an apple", it would sound just awkward in most cases.
I find it easier to think of it as:
Ta ull agat= An apple is yours (= you have an apple).
On similar line of thought, I would think it means "your apple" but I might be too early in the lessons to say that for sure is same as possessive. I just think of it as similar to in french where one can say "La pomme est à toi" which literally translates as "The apple is at you."
O_o "ta se" = he is, " ta ... agat" = You have. Am I completely on the wrong track?
Tá means "is." It's "agat" and "sé" that change it from "he is" to a possessive. (Sorry for butting in! Explaining things helps me remember...)
huh. I'm not disputing what you're saying (actually this is a tangent), but I'm wondering now what the word order is for "Ta" (which I probably read recently in the section tips X) ) otherwise since I think the Irish copula "Is" seems to usually put what English would use as a predicate before what we'd think of as the subject. (usually we say "I am x" or "he is w" while it seems to be "Is x me" and "Is w e")
So, um... V adj S or V S adj here?
I can't seem to pronunciate it at all. I say "ta ta ta" and duo writes "da da da" I feel like I have a speech impediment. :-(
Don't feel disheartened. The Irish pronunciation is very tricky (I assume that's why even the Irish prefer to speak English). The only thing you can do is continue and hope to improve in the speaking area.
wondering if the apple is going to play an overwhelming role in the following lessons like it does in French. It got a bit boring to be honest. Oh well, excited to learn this language along with French.
Tá úll agat.
Let's break this down.
Tá is one of the two ways to say "to be" in Irish (roughly similar to Spanish). In some uses such as this one, it can be thought of as "there is".
úll means "apple". Irish does not have the indefinite article (a/an in English).
agat literally means "at you". Irish does not have the verb "to have". Instead of saying "You have X" they say "There is X at you".
That is such a rare pronunciation of agat. Sounds like "agoot". Duo should be teaching us Donegal Irish instead.
Sounds fine to me, not rare at all, I'm from Munster and regularly listen to a lot of Munster and Connaught Irish.
That is only because you are unfamiliar with it. Once you get used to it, it will be normal.
I'm sorry, I didn't need it explained to me why it is strange to me. lol I think it is naturally implied by the word "strange" that, to me, would necessitate that Irish is not and has not yet become 'normal'. :) My comment was more intended as a compliment to the language itself, that it was so far the most unique and altogether different language I have encountered.
It's only strange to you because you're comparing it to your native language.
No, it is strange because I am comparing to all of the languages that I've encountered in my life to this point. There will obviously be similarities and differences between any two things in life. My comment was that, subjectively, this language is the most different from all of the languages that, in my limited experience, I know something of.
My attempt at a literal translation is "Is [an] apple at thee" which has no ambiguity. Perhaps the verb being first might throw some (e.g. English speakers) into thinking it's a question. It's not.
Question: could "ta ùll ag tu?" Also work? Or is it absolutely mandatory to contract "ag tu" into "agat"?
You've? You've an apple? That's using the contraction You've in a confusing sense
If you were to directly translate this, it means something like "you have an apple on you" according to my Irish family.
a must come before a consonant sound and
an must come before a vowel sound. Since "apple" starts with a vowel sound, the indefinite article must be
I thought it would be cool to learn Irish because I'm part Irish, but man, this is hard. Any tips?
Read all of the comments in this thread. It's a pretty good place to start.
In English, "a" and "an" are both used as the indefinite article.
"a" is used before words that start with a consonant sound, and "an" is used before words that start with a vowel sound.
a big apple
an upset unicorn
cheers i'm irish i'm just on this for the craic but it just frustrated me hahah
How is agat used, it diesnt make much since, and someone dumb it down for me if you explain
Why is 'Tá úll agat' means 'You have an apple'? How do i how to put have an?