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  5. "Na mná."

"Na mná."

Translation:The women.

August 25, 2014



so.. an bean = the woman, na mná = the women, correct ?


Yes, correct.


But why? That's...weird.


Basically, the forms used to be benā and benās. In Old Irish, many vowels got deleted so you ended up with ben and bnā (unsure at what point the -s disappeared). Then b became m because of the following n, and so you get bean vs mná


As for the disappearing -s: it actually reduced to an 'h' sound which then ceased to be pronounced unless a vowel followed it, in which case it stuck around: and that's how the h-prothesis of the plural article na (originally sindās) came to be!


i gave u a lingot because why not


an bhean = the woman


an bean = the woman and na mnà = the women. I thought an and na where used for plural so can someone explain why its not an bean = woman and na bean = the women?


An/na is a definite article, a helper word roughly equivalent to English "the"; it agrees in number with the noun it describes, an for singular nouns and na for plurals.


"mn" is pronounced as "mr"? I'm confused.


In Munster Irish, yes. That's why 'Luimneach' is 'Limerick' in English, rather than something more like 'Lim-nick'. I don't use Munster Irish so I say something like 'Lim-nuch' but the English name comes from the pronunciation of the city in the local dialect.


This comment has it completely backwards. Munster Irish is one of the only two native dialects, the other being Aran Islands Irish, that pronounces "mn" as it's written. Every other Goidelic dialect, whether it be Irish, Scottish or Manx, has shifted "mn" to "mr." It's likely the variety of Irish spoken in Limerick also had this shift, but this dialect is extinct and is not reflective of the Munster Irish still extant elsewhere.


I've never heard it as 'mr' as far as i can remember, that's what took me to the comments. I'll stick with the "mn" so.


How would I say "na mná"? Would it sound like " na vah" or "nam nah" or "na wah"?


Either "nam-NAW", or "nam-RAW", depending on the dialect. Here are recordings of the word mná in the three main dialects.


Oh thanks! I'll go with the Connacht dialect since I'm there most, and also because it's easiest to pronounce haha go raibh maith agat.


How can i hear this ?


Ok, so the na and the mná get pressed together into "nam-NAW," right? It's not "na nam-NAW"? Sort of like French where the article and the noun get pressed together to avoid double vowel sounds?


The most I do this, the more I do with Munster dialect. Make so much more sense to my ears.


Na men-aw in munster iris we tend to prounance words closer to what the look like.


Can I get a brief explanation on how bean became mná?


Historically (reconstructed for Proto-Celtic) these were ben-ā, ben-ās. By the time of Old Irish they had become ben, mná. So the singular case+number suffix (-ā) was dropped over time, but not the plural one (-ās), and the first syllable of the plural was reduced until its vowel disappeared. Then the b nasalized since it was next to the n.

ben-ā > ben- > ben- > bean ben-ās > bn-ā > mn-á > mn-á


Excuse the formatting.


What dialect do they use? I heard "Mra". Also, I'm interested in the Connacht dialect.


Is it just me or the N sounds like R in mná?


This is what I hear...Niim raaw


I got a litttle bit confused with An , na , Bean and mna


An is the definite article in singular Na is the definite article in plural Bean is "Woman" (singular) Mná is "Women" (plural)


Oh, na is for the plural?


It is, yes. There are just two definite articles in Irish: an (singular both genders) and na (plural both genders). However, it gets complicated in the genitive case (an tuiseal ginideach) where you'll see na used with singular nouns, depending.


I don't exactly remember what the tuiseal ginideach is, but the name still strikes fear from my school days.


How do you say it? Mimraw???


an bhfuil sé cosúil le Áine Ní "Cruhoor" is ainm domsa? Níl aon 'r' i mo h-ainm ach tá sé deirte "Cruhoor"> An bhfuil an pronunciation Duolingo based on that custom, wherever it came from?


I find so confusing and misleading that the spelling is non accompanied by the pronunciation (as here, «na mná» pronounced «na mrá»). This divergence of spoken language from spelling (or spelling from spoken language) looks more like an English cultural issue (with unpredictable pronunciation, where «ghoti» could be pronounced «fish») that I expected non to affect the beautiful Irish writing. I understand that different dialects have different pronunciations, but in the dialects of other languages I know (Italian, Spanish, German...) the spelling is changed accordingly to match the pronunciation (or, at least, the pronuncuation is not considered correct and wouldn't be used in a course - for example, no one would use Andalusian pronunciation as an acceptable/standard in a Spanish course).

I have no authority to decide in which aspects Irish should use English habits, but expressing this uncomfortable feeling I had when I started learning English makes it a bit easier to deal with it. Am I the only one who feels so?


The status of the dialects in Irish is not the same as those dialects of Italian, Spanish or German. Irish doesn't have a "standard" spoken dialect, the standard is a written standard only, and while there are certain words that are associated with specific dialects, and have their own spellings, the particular pronunciation shift in this word is well recognized and standard, and words like mná, cnoc and cnámh have a standard spelling, but are pronounced with an "r" sound in certain dialects. Both this pronunciation and the pronunciation with "n" are considered correct.


In that case, why aren't both forms, «mná» and «mrá» accepted as written forms? In Spanish you can write «aquí» or «acá», it's not like only one is written, but both are spoken. Spelling and pronunciation work in parallel. When it's accepted that they don't match, we are on the slippery slope that English (or Danish, and in part French) entered long ago. One of the many things I like of Irish is that when I see a new word I already know how to pronounce it, I don't need a key (until now).


If you want to study Spanish, go ahead and study Spanish, with a word having multiple different spellings. The accepted spelling of mná in Irish is mná, even among those who pronounce it, and words like cnoc and cnámh, with an "r" sound. You don't have to pronounce mná with an "r" sound, as mná with an "n" sound is a perfectly acceptable pronunciation.


Thanks for taking the time to answer.

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