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  5. "Cé mhéad?"

" mhéad?"

Translation:How many?

August 30, 2014



Is it the case that both "cá mhéad" and "cé mhéad" mean 'how much'?


Yes, they mean the same thing.


Are thy completely interchangeable? Or are there further distinctions we have yet to learn?:-)


No, purely dialectal. Pick whichever one you like.


So this prompted a thought for me. I've been trying to get my head around the choice of three dialects. As if I need to pick one to focus on to learn. Your answer makes me wonder if that isn't necessary. If I were to mix dialects in my usage, would I be understood? (This makes an assumption that I will ever be able to pronounce anything!!) Of course dialects in English aren't so dramatic. But they are very distinct. Yet if I mix regional dialects in word choice and accent (which I do), I will be understood. Sometimes I do it on purpose, because I enjoy the juxtaposition and have some favorites from both the deep South and from New England.


Who are you worried won't understand you? Anyone who is willing to talk to you in Irish has already indicated that speaking in Irish is a higher priority than absolute clarity - unlike French or Spanish or German or most other languages, you can't speak to a monoglot Irish speaker - all the Irish speakers in Ireland are fluent English speakers too.

Even if you restrict yourself to a minority dialect (and all of the dialects are minority dialects) it's unlikely that you would speak it with the speed and fluency of a native speaker, so you might actually be easier to understand for the majority of Irish speakers who don't speak that specific dialect, but by and large, people who are willing to talk to you in Irish won't usually expect you to have 100% perfect dialect Irish, and if you do have one dialect down pat, it would be expected that you'd be sufficiently experienced to deal with a mix of dialects from other people.

In short, of all the "mistakes" that learners make that would be a barrier to communication, mixing dialect forms is less likely to be a problem than fractured syntax, poor pronunciation and unnatural cadence. By the time you get those issues sorted out, you'll probably have enough exposure to common dialect forms to have developed a degree of consistency.


Excellent:-) Thanks:-)


i clicked 'cé mhéad' and 'how much' came up. Would that be right because i put that in and i got it wrong...


Does this work to say both "how much does this cost" and "how much milk do we have" sorta stuff?


Is MH pronounced like V?


Sometimes. It is in this case.

teangalann.ie usully only provides pronunciations for stem words, so it has few examples of how the lenited versions are pronounced, but there are samples for Mheiriceá


Thank you very much :-) I like the website.


The thing that I don't understand is that Cé means "who" but in this context it means "how". Can someone explain to me why this happens? just so I understand what I'm actually saying.


is an interrogative pronoun - it doesn't just mean "who".

doesn't mean "who" in Cén fáth? (Cén is a compound of and an). It can mean "what" or "which" or "how" (cé chomh fada? - "how far?").


So, does the expression "cé mhéad" literally mean "what amount"? That would make perfect sense.


So hiw do i distinguish between "how much" and "how many", just context clues ?


When you click on the word, It tells you the meaning. You don't learn any thing from it.


@Tayto Why is it pronounced "ke vev"?


It's not pronounced "ke vev". The terminal sound is completely different from the initial sound in the second word.

Depending on your browser, you may be able to slow the audio down to half speed by opening this link and right-clicking on the player control:

(It works well in Microsoft Edge, not so well in Firefox).


Thanks for the link. I can get it to play normal speed, but can't slow it down (Safari). Even in this file though what I hear clear as day is 'kay vev". How do you hear it?


If you can't use a modern browser, you should still be able to download the link as an MP3 file, and use some utility live VLC to slow it down during playback.

The initial "v" sound in mhéad is made without the tongue, with your lower lip touching your upper teeth.The terminal "d" sound is made with the tongue touching between the alveolar ridge and your teeth, and the lower lip doesn't come into play. The sounds are quite distinct.

It is typically a "softer" sound that the "d" in an English word like "made" - perhaps somewhere between "made" and "lathe".


I hear it as rev / vev and no way can I relate this to the actual word.


Yep, that's exactly what I'm hearing too, perhaps 'kay' but definitely 'vev'. So, it's an audio file issue then? What should it sound like?

[deactivated user]

    is cá mhéad also correct?


    As far as I know, it's just a dialect difference. The FGB entry for méad suggests that they are interchangeable, but gives examples using only . It's sister dictionary at focloir.ie also prefers cá mhéad, with only a couple of examples of cé mhéad. potafocal.com, on the other hand, prefers cé mhéad over cá mhéad.

    Duolingo has an exercise for cá mhéad? which it translates as "how much?", but both cé mhéad? and cá mhéad? can be used for either "how much?" or "how many?".

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