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  5. "Is maith leat an mhairteoil."

"Is maith leat an mhairteoil."

Translation:You like the beef.

August 26, 2014

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sigmacharding

Can anybody explain why "mairteoil" becomes "mhairteoil" with a "h" in this situation?

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mairteoil#Declension

I cannot work out this one exactly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexinIreland

"Mairteoil" is a feminine noun and therefore gets a "h" (séimhiú) after the definite article "an".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnLonDubhBeag

Also note that there is a lenition hidden in the modern spelling. The old spelling was Mairtfheoil, in which you can see "feoil" the word for meat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMcCat

This is going to kill me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NiallT

Yeah, it's like in English where the word "shepherd" is a herder of sheep. Where's the E gone? Argh, it's killing me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMcCat

Never mind that. What about English words that end with "ough"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuspey

so beef is the meat from the mart, the place to buy and sell animals; cows, pigs etc... is there any relation to this and the irish word for Tuesday: Dé Máirt? were there areas that marts happening on tuesdays?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnLonDubhBeag

Mart is the Irish word for a cow carcass, hence:

Mairteoil = Mairtfheoil = Cow carcass meat.

Máirt for "Teusday" is a gaelicisation of the Roman god Mars.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KerrieSalsac

Does that mean that muiceoil means pig carcass meat? I saw the similarity and was trying to figure out why when I find your comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnLonDubhBeag

Very close. 'Muc = pig' so the exact same process occurs:

Muiceoil = Muicfheoil = Pig meat.

The older spelling had the 'fh' to indicate it came from feoil = meat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KerrieSalsac

Thanks :) It's always helpful to understand how and why when possible :P Lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Howard
  • 1453

Why not "You like beef." which would be more natural in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NiallT

Because "an" is the definite article ("the"). But it does bring up a question. Lots of European languages DO use the definite article with "in general" uses - me gusta los perros is both "I like dogs" and "I like the dogs". Does Irish work this way?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

It does for some types of words, e.g. abstract nouns and languages, but it’s the exception rather than the rule in Irish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/styrk_

could this sentence be used as a question with the right intonation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NiallT

Nope. Verbs always need to change to form questions. In fact, in conservative dialects, there is no question intonation at all (or so I'm told).

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