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  5. "Cá bhfuil an Taoiseach?"

" bhfuil an Taoiseach?"

Translation:Where is the Irish prime minister?

August 29, 2014



Throughout this lesson, if I'm given Taoiseach to translate, it's accepted 'Prime Minister'. That's what I typed for this, and got marked wrong...


Same here. It seems like it should accept simply "prime minister"


"Prime minister" would be príomh-aire. Taoiseach specifically refers to the head of the Irish government.


Yes, but it is inconsistently enforced.


The words 'Taoiseach' (Prime minister) and 'Dail' (parliament) are two of the most common Irish words routinely used by journalists in Ireland and Britain (somehow). In fact the 'only' irish words routinely used (don't get me started) in the Anglophone press. A literal translation might be 'leader, but prime minister is perfectly fine. The same could be said for Chancellor Merkel - it's a title!


A literal translation is "chief". Which also works as an answer here.


it translates to "Irish Prime Minister" in the application for some reason. The british prime minister is the equivalent in terms of function in the government but Taoiseach actually translates to chief or cheiftain of a clan.


Does that mean you can't use the word "Taoiseach" to refer to the prime minister of another country?


I did a bit of research and prime minister translates to "Príomh-Aire" and is used to refer to prime ministers of other countries, (e.g. An Príomh-Aire na Spáinne nó an Príomh-Aire na Breataine, the Prime Minister of Spain or the Prime Minister of Britain). Also from CSPE in school, An Taoiseach is defined as the head of government or prime minister in the constitution of Ireland, so I guess "Irish Prime Minister" is also a valid translation. The Irish language newspaper Foinse is a contemporary online publication with plenty of examples.


I would still suggest that that is an infelicitous translation in English. If, for instance, I wanted to refer to the monarch of Japan, I would see nothing wrong with simply leaving the word Tenno in Japanese, thus emphasizing his difference from other monarchs. It would also, however, be acceptable to refer to him as the Emperor, emphasizing his similarity with other emperors throughout human history. To refer to him all the time as the Japanese Emperor or the Emperor of Japan, however, would be stilted in English, and I would certainly recommend a student not use it. Similarly, when I refer to the Taoiseach in conversation in the United States, I usually simply refer to the title in Irish, because the Irish do, apparently, make this distinction in the language (not that I see much difference in function). That's fine, and if I have to explain to someone what a taoiseach is, I simply say it is the Irish term for their prime minister. I'm not going to go around saying Irish prime minister, though.


I think if you were writing in English about another country's leader/monarch, you would likely use their language's term for him/her on first reference, with an explanation after it (in brackets) to explain in English what this means, and thereafter you could refer to him/her by either their official name in that language, or in the English version.

For example, and this is an English-language newspaper meant for people outside of Ireland: "Today in Dublin, the Taoiseach (the Irish Prime Minister) announced that he is, in fact, the orange-eating, blue-coat-wearing Pol (Paul) from Duolingo's online course in Irish. The Taoiseach went on to say that he isn't very fond of blue coats, but that he always eats before the crab."

That is, more or less, how we used to write things when I worked in government.

I'm just going to use Taoiseach from now on whenever I see it, since it is going to take me forever to remember how to spell it.

  • 1808

...and he apparently frequently sees groups of elephants! (although this may be related to his preference for beer and wine)


Really loved the news story! I makes everything I've learned in this course clear at last!


Precisely. Taoiseach is the word the Irish use for the Irish prime minister. It shouldn't be translated.


I'm from N. Ireland, and I can confirm that we do indeed say 'Taoiseach' in English. There is no other word that would be used.

  • 1808

Yes! I've seen it used in "historical fiction" novels about early Ireland, when the characters refer to their chieftain


As this is a course about Ireland and the Irish language, writing simply "Prime Minister" should suffice, ratrher than "Irish Prime Minister". Both are accepted answers, but the "Irish" seems to me to be superfluous. We are not talking about comparative political sysrems, when it might be relevant to differentiate between the Irish Prime Minister as compared to the Prime Minister of another country.


Taoiseach ONLY refers to the head of the Irish government. So ONLY Taoiseach should be used.


Given that "Taoiseach" is used by English speakers in Ireland, and in the English-language press, is anyone else tempted to translate this just as "where is the Taoiseach?" (I didn't; I've seen how Duolingo likes things. But I am tempted!)


I did. It was accepted. I would always refer to the leader of Ireland as the Taoiseach, never Prime Minister or 'Leader' / 'Chieftain' which is what I would translate it as.


Thanks! It's good to know that Duolingo accepts "Taoiseach" in its English translations.


I never knew there was an english word for "taoiseach". I thought it was english


No, but it's always used in English rather than being translated as Prime Minister or similar. Unlike (for example) the German Kanzler who is always called the Chancellor.


I get that this is the translation but I always found it strange to expressly teach ones to translate it to "Irish prime minister" saying as we always use (An) Taoiseach even in english conversation/publications and even the nuacht in English. Feel like they should have covered this in the "notes" for this section, but it seems the developers left a note to themselves about what the section was about, rather than populating it with useful stuff. But fair do's.


The vast majority of users don't even know that there are notes, never mind actually read them. Many more people use Duolingo as an app on their phone than use the website, and an awful lot of those who use the website have never clicked on the light-bulb icon.


Right now? sitting on a back bench.


Not exactly. He's still Taoiseach. And Shane Ross is still minister, even though he didn't get reelected


Can't Taoiseach translate into Taoiseach


Only if you spell it properly.

Duolingo accepts "Taoiseach" in the English translation of any Irish exercise that contains Taoiseach.


The only things about Ireland in this are to do witg Dublin or the taoiseach

  • 1808

Really ?? bogs, hurling, Blarney Stone/Blarney Castle, Cork....have all appeared in lessons I've seen so far


Originally when I did this course, this was counted as a "wrong" answer. The only correct answer was "where is the leader". Has the course changed so that Taoiseach (with a capital "T") now is accepted as prime minister?


I always write Taoiseach and it's never been marked wrong. It would sound really odd to me to call the Taoiseach anything else as that is the title he is given in the British press.


How would you say "Where is the English Prime Minister"?


Strictly speaking, England doesn't have a Prime Minster of its own - though "the British Prime Minister" is also a bit terminologically inexact!

Cá bhfuil Príomh-Aire Shasana? - "Where is the English Prime Minister?"
Cá bhfuil Príomh-Aire na Breataine? - "Where is the British Prime Minister?"


So...I wrote "taíseach" and it counted it right. It didn't even mention a spelling mistake. The main benefit that I see in Duoling is that it helps with spelling, which is tricky in Irish. But bow it's not even going to help with that...???


It's been happening all day. Is this something new or just a glitch?


My phone inserted a Tao symbol when I wrote Taoiseach.

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