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  5. "Cad a deir an sionnach?"

"Cad a deir an sionnach?"

Translation:What does the fox say?

August 29, 2014



Go raibh maith agat! That's great!


They're wile scary sounding. After hearing some out in the fields growing up I always reckoned that the fox inspired the idea of the cry of the Bean Sidhe! :D


The Bean Sidhe has always scared me!


Are you from the North? My family are and they say 'wile'.


Tá mé i mo chónaí i gcontae Tír Eoghain in aice le an teorann.


Tír Eoghain? Tá sé contae mo theaghlach. Cén baile, is féidir liom a iarraidh? Tyrone is ainm do mo nia.


I answered "What says the fox?" and was marked wrong. So, in English...is this form archaic already? I'm just curious.


Better as "What saith the fox" :)




Yes, that's an archaic phrasing. You'd be understood, but nobody uses that outside of poetry and such.


Yes, a native English speaker would never say 'What says the _?'.


You would hear it in Lord of the Rings


Not true. I'm a published, professional writer with an MA from a writing-intensive university (and a native speaker). I can assure you that native speakers still use this construction. It's odd and flowery-sounding, but definitely still in use in daily life. English is kind of all about variety. shrug


Where? I've got a background in linguistics and have not encountered a dialect where this is modern usage, so I am curious!


"What say you?" can show up when someone wants to add a slight bit of playful emphasis. Or, if they have been studying a lot of German . . .


Well, I'm not actually a native speaker. har har


It's stilted, but still perfectly correct. I know people who say things this way, and I use this construction myself, but (with the possible exception of a few local variants) most people who use this phrasing are being deliberately poetic or flowery.

I hear it enough, though, that I think calling it archaic is going too far. "What saith the fox" (mentioned below) is genuinely archaic, but "what says the fox" is still correct. It's just quirky.

If Duo chooses not to mark it as "right", rest assured, that's just because it's odd, not wrong.

[deactivated user]


    Archaic does not mean "incorrect," and that is archaic, at least in most widely-spoken dialects of English.


    I've been known to use it, as a native American english speaker, but it's an anachronism.


    It really depends on where you live. It would not have seemed odd when I lived in various areas of NY but on the West Coast of the US people would know what you meant and probably answer but you won't hear therm use it themselves much.


    Yes, most people would say (in America at least), "what does the fox say".


    I am a native English speaker and I do say that. Really!!!!!!


    I sometimes say "What say thee", but usually to be humorous. That's as close as I get to "What says the fox?"


    I use "And what says you?" when asking a friend for an opinion... but only to native English speakers... don´t want to confuse my international friends lol


    It's not archaic. It's not even obsolescent. It's alive and kicking all over the place. Possibly poetic, possible arch, possibly lofty. But alive.

    How goes the war on terror? (John Arquilla, Leeds University 2014) How goes the war? (Clifford May, April 2003) "Well, Hardy, how goes the battle? How goes the day with us?" (Admiral Lord Nelson - Battle of Trafalgar 1805) "How goes it?" (Idiomatic, widely used, somewhat quirky = "How are you?")


    You'd be the first one I've heard.


    Ja, I say similar things...


    Say is abair or inis, isn't it? Where does "deir" come from...??? Confused


    The verb say (abair) is one of the 11 irregular verbs in Irish. Unfortunately you have to learn these verbs off by heart as they don't follow the standard rules. Here are all its forms: http://www.teanglann.ie/en/gram/abair

    Inis means tell rather than say. It is a regular verb so the standard rules apply.


    Ta se an greannmhar.


    'Cad a deireann ...' was accepted as correct in another exercise. 'Deireann' is apparently the present habitual tense, whereas 'deir' is the present (simple). However, the distinction isn't observed by every speaker, apparently. http://www.daltai.com/discus/messages/12465/13182.html?1101981187


    Why there is no lenition in "deir"? In another Duolingo example, "Cád a theastaíonn uathu?", "a" lenites. See also teanglann.ie, word "a" 6.1a.


    I went back to the Lenition lesson and this was the only mention of "deir" I could find:

    '7. Other Words

    Lenition is also used after the phrase nuair a when, the prefixes ró- too and an- very, and the word má if (unless the next word is a version of tá or deir). Other special cases will be highlighted in other lessons.'

    "Cad a deir an sionnach?" doesn't really fall under this rule since "ma" isn't used, but because "deir" isn't lenited here even with "ma" absent, I'm guessing it may fall under the other 'special cases' the text mentions.

    [deactivated user]

      Would "Cad deir an sionnach" basically mean the same thing?


      Good question. The grammar books say "cad" needs to be followedby a relative clause. Cad é an áit, an fáth... Cad a déarfá. But it may be OK in the case of deir.


      We say whatever the hell we want- Tails reaction video


      what is "a" in this question? I can´t find any information on this in the notes section.


      It's easy to give the rule, not to easy to say why. As you know, "a" is the relative pronoun. The rule is that a question word (cad, conas, cén) is followed by a relative clause. You're asking, as it were, "What is it that the fox says? " "Cé a bhuaigh?" "Who is it that won" - "who won?". For more, see: http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/satz4.htm


      cad a d means deireann and sionnach What does the fox say


      My favorite one yet...


      Snyuff Snyuff Snyuff Snyuff Snyuff Snyuff, meaow meaow meaow

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