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  5. "Labhraíonn m'aithreacha Gaei…

"Labhraíonn m'aithreacha Gaeilge agus Béarla."

Translation:My fathers speak Irish and English.

August 26, 2014



I get it that same sex marriage exists and people often refer to a stepfather as 'father' (before anyone accuses me of being homophobic) but I have a question.

Would the term 'fathers' as used here ever have the meaning of 'forefathers'?

[deactivated user]

    According to www.teanglann.ie, the only word for forefather is "sinsear".There is no example or translation used that suggests that "athair" can ever have the meaning of forefather.


    That's what I'm wondering.


    I wondered the same - I found on Wiktionary that athair can have the meaning 'ancestor' too: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/athair#Irish


    There is no pop-up translation of "aithreacha", which means "fathers" (plural) into English here. It just gives the Irish "aithreacha" again. I have reported it.


    Its a good idea to always integrate other resources whenever you're learning a language and not rely on only one resource. This provides great reinforcement of the material yiuve already learnt or fill gaps on your knowledge.. Unfortunately no course will provide everything you need every time no matter how good. Some people learn best from context and not knowong everything thats coming at you is also great practice for actual language encounters where you need to use inference, edixated guesses or sheer mad stabbing on the dark . Dont give up! Do your best and march on.


    It won't accept '...Gaeilge and English.' only '...Irish and English.'

    I think that some words which relate to identity should be accepted into any other language as they are written in their own, so an English translation should accept Gaeilge, and Bearla should not be 'required' in Gaeilge.

    I hold this view because both my first and family names are in the Gaeilge spelling. My family never Anglicised a very Gaeilge surname. However, I've been forced many times to misspell or choose wildly different spellings of my name just to accommodate English language official forms with dictatorial spelling mandates, no apostrophes, no triple vowels etc; and frankly whilst I let it wash over me in my youth the world has thankfully progressed (as the gender based discussion here shows) and I now take that intrusion into my identity as a form of racism.

    Sure 'Irish' is used in English by the Irish in Ireland, myself included, to mean Gaeilge and I've no problem with that in everyday use; but if I'm asked to name that language anywhere 'Gaeilge' should never be refused.


    Sentences like this make me feel that little bit more welcome here! Thank you! (& Ignore the butthurt haters.)


    Could this also be used like padres to mean parents?


    In the singular would it be "Labhraíonn m'aithreach Gaeilge agus Béarla."?

    • 1343

    "father" - athair
    "fathers" - aithreacha




    Wow, and how were were supposed to know what "m'aithreacha" was?


    Yup, got it again and still didn't know it. I am just going to give up and move on and hope the rest of the course still has something to teach me because I really hate that all these strange words and contexts are being thrown at us with no prior knowledge of what they are. It does not help one learn.


    Nah, nothing still.


    Ok, i understand that there is same-sex marriage in modern days world, but biologicly speaking this sentence isn't correct. Generaly: please do not abuse Duolingo to spread your ideology, thanks! A human can only have ONE Mother and ONE father - naturaly speaking.


    One day, you might meet a Gaeilgeoir who has two fathers. And if you don't - well great, you still learnt the plural of 'father'. Tá an fear sa chuisneoir mar ithim roimh an bportán. Is eilifintí muid ma tá na plátaí bándearga ina gcodladh. Cad é sin don te sin nach mbainneann sin dó?


    In this species, one only has one father. What is this trying to say?


    In this species, gay marriage exists. What are you trying to say?


    Just that this is an unusual sentence in a language learning context. I'm not trying to say anything like you're suggesting. Besides, does gay marriage exist in Ireland? Have I missed something?


    Okay I mean yeah that's fair, but I guess the idea is to normalize this sort of sentence, you know? This sentence (and others - both in this language and the others that Duolingo currently offers) are trying to make an effort to be less heteronormative. There is no real need for this sentence to sound strange apart from the fact that many of us simply aren't quite used to the concept of talking about "both my fathers" or "fathers" - in plural - referencing one's parents. The idea is for these tiny steps in media representation to open things up and make the website as a whole a bit more LGBT* friendly - and ideally the whole world can open up to the concept as that more speakers are able to talk about things in a less heteronormative way. Besides, regardless of whether or not gay marriage is legal or recognized or even exists in Ireland, that's kind of beyond the point because I'm sure a lot of people learning through Duolingo come from outside of Ireland and (hopefully) from places where gay marriage does exist. So even if you may not have a context in which to talk about gay marriage in the original country of the language, there are now speakers who do have a need for it.


    I'm in the mobile app, so I don't know how old this conversation is, but for the record, Republican Ireland has had same-sex marriage since late 2015. They also had same-sex civil partnerships before that, and civil partners had equal adoption rights several months earlier. Besides which, they had some opportunity for adoption years before.


    Fair enough about the LGBT stuff, but that wasn't what I was thinking at all originally - I thought it must be a mistake. It is still in Beta, and there are plenty of mistakes to report. I didn't automatically presume that this sentence was trying to be 'heteronormative'.

    There are millions of wrongs to be righted in the world, I just don't consider it the job of a language-learning site, even one as great as Duo, to do that, that's all, especially when it results in potentially confusing sentences. If I heard that sentence on its own, I would stop the speaker and ask for clarification.


    Biology, really? Ducks can read newspapers, but Duolingo must slavishly follow biological facts about reproduction when describing social relationships, even though social relationships in real life don't?


    I mean I hate to be the one to point it out, but it's not the sentence or Duolingo that's being heteronormative, it's you (and people like you, because you're by no means alone).

    You originally thought it was a mistake precisely because the 'norm' in society is currently a heterosexual relationship. I mean sure, Duo's Irish is new and in Beta and everything - and it's important to report mistakes, but the only reason you'd see this as a mistake is if you're assuming that I don't have two fathers - assuming that my parents are in a heterosexual relationship.

    That's kinda the definition of heteronormativity.

    And as far as the millions of wrongs in the world that need to be righted - I agree that many of them are not within the jurisdiction of a language learning site to try to fix - but in this case, in the case of changing the way we talk about relationships, parents, and gender. The way the LGBT community is passively suppressed by the language we use to talk about these things. This is something that a site like Duolingo can help.

    Imagine. Just imagine. Let's say that out of the 25,600 learners that Duo says are learning Irish, half of those have come across this sentence. And let's say that half of those people decided to click this thread and read all the way down to our comments. If even this many people bothered to get the bottom of this comment, I have just educated almost SEVEN THOUSAND people.

    7K strangers on the internet from all over the world who now know just a little bit more about heteronormativity and will hopefully be more sensitive to the issue when it comes up.

    I said it before and I'll say it again: Representation matters. The only reason the sentence sounded like a mistake is because we simply aren't used to hearing "fathers" in plural, referring to one person's parents.

    Well now there's this incredible medium - this language learning site - that can spread this awareness and representation all over the globe. Can you really ask Duo to stop this representation just so that a few people don't have to ask for clarification?


    I think we're talking at cross purposes. I feel like a word has been redefined here, and you ("and people like you", to use your phrase) want me to accept that without having any chance to respond for fear of being branded 'heteronormative'.

    "the only reason you'd see this as a mistake is if you're assuming that I don't have two fathers " - nope, that's not the only reason, you may well have two parents that are men, but for me the word "father" has a biological connotation. That's why I see it as a category mistake here. I don't consider that a question of representation. It's just what the word means to me.

    Imagine. Just imagine. We do away with the word stepfather, in the name of representation, of course, and simply call them all - biological fathers and stepfathers - 'fathers'. Why would we do that? Children are hugely more at risk of violence from stepfathers than fathers, that's just how it is, sadly, and that shouldn't be allowed to be linguistically spirited away. We are right to have different terms - they are different roles.

    If you call them both your parents fathers, then you use language to veil the fact that one of them is (or may be - neither may be, in fact) your biological father, and (at least) one isn't. For me that's extremely obvious: it's an important distinction, and to deny that because of 'representation' is to wilfully obscure an important fact about biology.


    This is four years old, but i am always again shocked how ideology can suck one's brain out of one's head. Speaking about "heteronormativity" or whatever you want to say as it would be a crime to simply believe, that homosexuality is "unnormal" . Well i will tell you something: The last time someone stood up and claimed that he was right, and that the others were all just wrong educated, manipulated and ignorant people who need to be "shown the right sight to the world" , this man was for sure someone with a totalitarian mind. In general, whenever i come across someone who has such a high "selfesteem" , that he thinks he were right and the rest needs to be "converted" because he didn't even come to the idea that HE COULD be wrong and the others could be right, i lose faith in humanity. Can't you just accept that nature or god or whatever you believe in has made humans in a way that only form intersexual relationships new humans can aspire ??? Is it so hard to accept that sex/gender is in fact NOT a social concept, brought up by humans to splitt the society in Rulers and Vicitims ? If you don't believe just get rid of your pants and look what you have between your legs and tell me if you realy believe that what you will see is a social construct ! I will tell you something: I believe that everyone should just do what he thinks is right, but not if he destoys the basis of litteraly every humans society up to this point with his opinion. You can demand communism - fine. You can demand fascism - i hate it but ... finde, think so if you like. But nobody has ever questioned the fact that a family is a woman , and man and children. It's ok for me when homosexual couples live together but it's not a family thenn because a family is - by deffinition- a couple that can have natural children or already has some! Oh and i know what you will say now. You will accuse me of hatespeech, but you know what: If you are so intolerant, that you call every opinion that is different thenn yours hatespeech, thenn you should realy wonder if MAYBE you are intolerant and if mabye YOU have a short-sightened worldview. Cheers


    In this species, serial monogamy is widely practised, leading children to acquire genetic fathers, birth fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, I-just-assumed-he-was-my-fathers, and so on, all before bringing gay marriage into it.


    this is disgusting. gay adoption is Satan. imagine how messed up the kids would be


    Don't have to imagine. I know kids whose parents are gay. I know kids whose mother has left the father for a woman. I know kids whose father has transitioned from male to female. The children are all perfectly fine. Absolutely lovely kids, and probably with a more broad-minded view of the world.


    It is a shame that Duolingo is being used for base political purposes. When will we learn the Gaeilge for "goodthinkful"?

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