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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


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?

  • 1451

Please read the comments before asking a question that has already been asked and answered.


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.


Am i hearing "nam NA" or "nam Ra"? Its kinda fast.

  • 1451

You're hearing na mrá. As explained in some of the other comments, in Ulster Irish and Connacht Irish, certain words that contain an n after another consonant, such as mná and cnoc, are typically pronounced with an "r" sound rather than an "n" sound.



Is connach connemara? Thank you for the link! Also congrats on your incredible streak! I have joined in your following :) travelling to ireland in may with my 87 year old grandmother.. first timers

  • 1451

Connemara is an area in County Galway. Galway is in Connacht.

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