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  5. "Tá sé dorcha."

" dorcha."

Translation:It is dark.

August 26, 2014



In Irish 'dark', 'fair', 'black', 'brown', etc., often refer to the colour of someone's hair. Roisin Dubh, Eoghan Bán, etc. Many Irish names come from these descriptions - The first name Fionn, or the surname Dunne, for instance.

And, when referring to someone with black skin the word 'gorm' is used. Fear gorm - a blue man. The expression 'fear dubh' means the devil.


I always thought that was quite interesting, that in Irish black people are referred to as blue. I heard it is suspected either to come from having made the acquaintance the Berber or North African people, who tended to wear robes died with bright blue die, or perhaps from exposure to people from deep Africa who were so black that there was almost a bluish sheen to their skin.


There is also a tendancy for old norse (which did influence irish slightly) to describe things that are a dark colour or black as being blue (they did the same for red and yellow as well). One theory on the matter that i've found interesting is that they didn't have the tech to easily make a black dye, so dark blue was the closest they got to black. This then leading to blue and black being the same Very specifically, african men who appear in the norse sagas are described as 'blue men' as well.


Yes, that makes sense.


Typically, how would you know if one is saying 'he' or 'it' here? Is it mostly down to context?


'He is dark' should be accepted.


This is accepted at time of writing. 31/08/14


I think its more likely to be "It's dark" as in the colour is a dark shade or it's getting dark outside unless the context tells us that theres a 'he' involved.


Would this also be used to describe the luminescence in a room? as in "It is dark in here"? or would that be tá dorcha é?


That's exactly what the Irish sentence means. It was bright/light outside - now it is dark out.


Which Irish sentence - Duo's or froogy's?


I usually heard that referred to the weather


Isn't Sé usually he?


In the case of "He is dark," can this be figurative?


https://www.focloir.ie/en/dictionary/ei/dark Scroll down to sense 5, sinister: the entry gives the example of 'he has a very dark side to him' for 'tá tréithe an-dorcha ann.' So i would say yes, 'he' could be 'dark' in a figurative way.


I'm still learning so this is just my best guess, but I'd say yes. Unless they have another word meaning dark as-in-morbid specifically. But I doubt that. I'd assume it would be up to context, much like if you said that in English.


Shouldn't it be "Is é dorcha" or "Is í dorcha"?


No, because you're supposed to use the copula is to identify two nouns (in the majority of cases), not to predicate a noun with an adjective. Dorcha is an adjective, so the sentence uses bí/tá.


Is "c" a vowel? It's spelt "dorcha" but pronounced "doroho" and I'm having trouble working out where the middle "o" comes from.

[deactivated user]

    No, "c" is a consonant, and "ch" is the lenited form of "c". Irish has epenthetic vowel, which is pronounced "uh". Epenthic vowels are inserted between a "r/l/n" and "c/g/p/b"


    I put "é" instead of "sé" here, but it wasn't accepted. Is there a definitive way to tell which form of "it" I should be using?


    The subject of an active verb will always be rather than é (and it will be adjacent to that verb). In all other cases, including with the copula, use é.

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