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  5. "Léine gheal."

"Léine gheal."

Translation:A bright shirt.

August 29, 2014



Why does lenition occur here? Maybe I'm missing something but it doesn't seem to fall under any of the situations in which lenition occurs....


Singular feminine nouns cause lenition of the following adjective. Léine is feminine singular.


there shouldn't be lenition here, it's the beta's mistake. "geal" would only lenited if there was an article before "léine". you're not missing a thing :)


No, this lenition is correct — see toOliya’s comment. (But note that singular feminine nouns in the genitive case do not lenite their attributive adjectives.)


Why this one needs an article? "bright shirt" was marked wrong.


It’s been fixed to no longer require an indefinite article.


Why doesn't this require an indefinite article?


Because a literal translation of an indefinite word doesn’t require an indefinite article in English, e.g. as a headword in an English dictionary.


@andyroo93 I'd already covered that. If you need quotes around it, it doesn't count because it's outside normal grammar. "shirt" is just short for "The word 'shirt'".


I'd still like an example where you would use "bright shirt" without a determiner, and without referring to its meaning (i.e. as a translation or a dictionary entry).


In a set of instructions: “Remove bright shirt from packaging.”


OK! Let me start using your rule. "Because literal translation of indefinite word doesn't require indefinite article in English, e.g. as headword in English dictionary."


If that sentence were a literal translation of an indefinite word, then that would be a fine counterexample.


OK! Thanks for that! I think my point has now been proven that in everyday usage, a determiner is needed. It's only dropped in dictionaries or headlines (instructions can follow the same rules as headlines). You would never use it this way in formal writing or casual speech.


It wouldn’t be used that way in formal writing (excepting dictionaries ;*) ), but it could be used that way in casual speech — e.g. if you meet a friend and you’re uncharacteristically wearing a bright shirt, your friend might greet you by saying “Whoa — bright shirt!”.


But I don't talk like a dictionary! If someone says "What are you wearing?" I won't respond by saying "Shirt" or "Bright shirt" (unless I'm about to drop from exhaustion). I'd say "A shirt" or "A bright shirt". Can you give me any examples where you'd use a countable noun in English without a determiner (apart from saying "the word 'shirt'" or similar)?


“I drink beverages.”

EDIT: Updated my example to accommodate CJ.Dennis’ unnoted modification to his comment after having written my first example.


An example is when someone asks you what 'léine' means in English and you reply, 'shirt'.


Why isn't it "the bright shirt" then "a bright shirt" someone answer my question pls thnx


There's no definite article ("the"/"an"). EDIT: That's the Irish definite article, which just happens to be almost identical to the English indefinite article...


The first time geal appeared i checked and it said bright or light, but when I translated this as a light shirt I got an incorrect. It has to be a bright shirt. Doesn't make sense.


English uses one word for two very different qualities - Irish uses two different words. When people refer to "a light shirt" is a shirt, they mean one that isn't heavy - léine éadrom.


It could also mean light in colour as opposed to dark (as in a dark suit).


It could. But it doesn't - that's a "light-coloured suit".


That was just an example. Any way the point is, why does duolingo say it means either bright or light as alternatives, then say one of them is wrong the next time the word appears?


Because translation isn't a mechanical word for word exercise (if it was we would have had reliable machine translation decades ago).

You weren't asked to translate the word geal, you were asked to translate the phrase léine gheal, and in that context, "light" is a misleading translation, because English uses the word "light" for two very different concepts, and the default understanding of most English speakers when the read "a light shirt" is "not heavy", rather than "bright".


As said already by others, in English, a light 'shirt' or any other piece of clothing generally refers to its weight/fabric etc.

Even considering it to be a 'light-coloured' shirt doesn't accurately describe 'bright' or 'geal'.

There is always light during the day, but it isn't always bright during the day.

When clothing is referred to as 'bright', it is being highlighted that it isn't dull. This could relate to both its colour and design.

There can also be a significant difference between something which is 'light-coloured' and 'bright-coloured'. Light colours are often muted or dull, while bright colours are the opposite.

Buy paint, and you'll see the different between 'light yellow' and 'bright yellow'.

Therefore, I think it makes sense that light isn't considered correct. The sun always shines light, it doesn't always shine bright.


Ok. I take issue with this stance. I know this is a late reply, but your reply was late also. So,

All these critiques of "When you say 'light-shirt', you are typically referring to the weight, since English has two meanings for the word." seem to be reaching to me.

This isn't about English. This is about Irish. If geal translates to "light", referring to color, then that should be accepted as an answer. You could say that thinking of "light" could be confusing, since it has a second meaning in English, but the same could be said of "bright" which can also refer to someone's intelligence.

"Light" should be accepted as an answer for translating "geal". Either that, or "light" should be removed as one of the viable translations from the earlier section.

If we're talking strictly literal translations, then "light" should be accepted, and if we're talking how best to learn Irish, then it should be removed from the earlier section. Personally, however, I remember it easier as "light", simply because I prefer that word.


a word like geal in dutch, geel, means yellow. So close. So confusing :)


Well, yellow is a bright color. Wonder if there is an Indo-European linguistic connection : )


Dutch geel has a common Proto-Indo-European root with Irish glas ; that root word meant “green, yellow”. Irish geal comes from a different Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to shine”.


Why is 'a light shirt' wrong?


The NEID indicates that geal as an attributive adjective would not be used to mean “light” in the sense of “pale-colored”. However, geal- can be used as part of a compound word to indicate such a color, e.g. gealbhuí  for “light yellow”.


Thanks - this was not clear from the lessons so far or I simply missed it. I had also never heard of the NEID so that pointer alone is worth another "Thanks!"


Why does geal need an lenition so its gheal?


Because léine is a feminine noun, and "attributive adjectives agree with the noun in case, number and gender", so geal is lenited so that it agrees in gender with the léine.


why does take a ' H ' ? what is the rule ?


The process of adding that h is called "lenition" and it's presence in this exercise is explained twice in the earlier comments.

You can also read more about lenition in the Tips & Notes for the Lenition skill


go raibh maith agat mo chara . Tigim anois é chuaigh mé ar ais aris.


I hear 'Léinn í gheal' here. Anybody else?


Gibt es hier jemand der Deutsch spricht? Icj komme mit den gesetzen der Buchstaben nicht zurecht. Warum bei Frau bean ein h rein kommt umd manchmal nicht.


If you want to say 'bright shirts', is it Léinte geal or gheal? I'm guessing geal because of the 't'. Thanks


Attributive adjectives agree with their nouns in case, number and gender. If you look at the Grammar page for geal on Teanglann. ie, the nominative plural is geala, or gheala if the noun ends in a slender consonant.

Léinte ends in a vowel, so it's léinte geala.


Tá ceist agam nach bhfuil ‘a bright white shirt’ ceart freisin? Ciallaíonn 'Geal', a very bright white chomh maith le díreach 'bright', nach bhfuil sin ceart? Brilliant white freisin. Tá sé chomh bán leis an sneachta ar na cnoic. Níl ann ach mo bharúil fhéin.


Why is it gheal and not geal?


léine is a feminine noun, and attributive adjectives agree with the noun, so adjectives of feminine nouns are lenited.


Why isn't it a light shirt? Thinking of wearing thinner clothing in the summer.


Because the Irish for "light" meaning "not heavy" is éadrom. Geal means "bright"

"it's light as a feather" - tá sé chomh héadrom le cleite
"a lightweight fabric" - éadach éadrom
"the moon was bright enough to read by" - bhí an ghealach sách geal go bhféadfá léamh


The FGB shows éadrom being used as an adverb with colors,

éadrom glas, éadrom gorm, light green, light blue.

but it isn’t used by itself as an adjective to mean “pale-colored”.


I have a comment on the pronunciation of "gheal." Sounds a lot like English "yowl" rather than having a short "a" (like in apple) vowel sound. Given what I think I know about Irish pronunciation, I was expecting that "ea" would sound more like that short "a" in apple.


I'm surprised that you hear a sound like "yowl" in this exercise - it definitely sounds more like the "a" in apple to me.

The unrelated word geall does rhyme with "yowl" in Munster (especially in the phrase mar gheall).



Thanks for your reply. Good to get validation that "ea" in "gheal" is pronounced like English short a in apple, regardless of artifact of recording and how it came across to me (I did listen several times). Also appreciate the info about "gheall" and how it is pronounced in Munster. Cheers!


Would "A bright woman" be bhean gheal?


In English, "bright" usually means "intelligent" when applied to a person. geal does not have that meaning.

bean ghéarchúiseach is one alternative.


Its the bright shirt


"a" bright shirt, rather than "the" bright shirt. That would be "an léine gheal" .


does "bright" have a color connotation in Irish that I'm not picking up on? As an American, I cannot imagine ever describing a garment this way unless it had lights attached to it.


Fellow American, a "bright shirt" would indicate to me that it's garishly flashy colored, like neon.


Not Irish, but in Australia if we say something is 'bright', we usually mean the colour is not a pastel colour. We would also say a colour could be 'dull' if it isn't bright.

E.g. The highlighter had a bright green colour. But her grey shirt was very dull.


I´m surprised to hear that about American English! In Irish and UK English bright means up the colour spectrum towards white. So pink, yellow, orange, light blue, cream are all "bright" colours.

The opposite is a "dark" colour: obviously black, brown, dark grey, dark blue, dark red, dark green, purple etc.


The contrast in US English would be “bright” vs. “dull” or “muted”, and “light” vs. “dark”. If you’re familiar with the Munsell color system, which categorizes colors into three dimensions — hue, chroma, and value — a color with a high chroma (regardless of its value) would be called “bright” here, and a color with a high value (regardless of its chroma) would be called “light” here.


Agreed with Huffdogg. We would say a pastel shirt, light shirt, or even more likely, a "light-colored" shirt, to distinguish from one of light weight. We'd rarely use "bright" as a color description on its own, unless the shirt were virtually neon, and then it would be emphasized to indicate "loudness" of color, as is "That is certainly a BRIGHT shirt" of a fuschia, lime, and electric blue print, which would certainly not be considered pastel!


In UK English, it's quite normal to comment "Ooh, that's a bright outfit she's wearing" if someone was wearing say, a lot of orange or highlighter-pink. Us English people are sort of... soft, if that makes sense. Likewise, if someone was wearing all black, we might say "That's a dark outfit he's wearing."


We use "bright" in combination with another color, but never on its own.


As a native English speaker and American, I have to disagree with you. I am not disputing your own experience - if you have never heard people refer to bright colored objects, then you haven't - but I sure have.

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