1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Tá an sicín ar an bpláta."

" an sicín ar an bpláta."

Translation:The chicken is on the plate.

August 30, 2014



With this sentence, pláta is spelled with a b, and with another (ithim ar do phláta), it's spelled with a ph. I do not understand this inconsistency with the eclipsis. Could someone explain?


There are different situations where lenition and eclipsis are used. You will see fuller information in the "Tips and notes" for those skills, but here are two relevant examples for your question:

  • Lenition is used after the possessive adjectives my, your (singular), and his: mo phláta, do phláta, a phláta.
  • Eclipsis is used after the phrase ar an (on the), for example ar an bpláta. It is also used after a lot of similar phrases where you have a preposition followed by the word an: ag an bpláta, leis an bpláta, roimh an bpláta..


Thanks a lot! I hadn't started the lenition lesson yet when I asked, but now that I've gone through both the lenition and eclipsis lessons, it all makes a little more sense. :)


Why not "there is a chicken on the plate?"


This is not accepted because of the definite article ("an") used in the a Irish sentence.


so if i had written "there is THE chicken on the plate" (which sounds weird to me ^^) it would have been correct/accepted?


No, because it's not correct English.


the speaker pronounced "ar" as "ed" - in other sentences it sounds like "ar" - why this time was it definitely "ed"? (Because that was impossible for me to translate by sound.)


Irish "r"s have more flap to them than English ones. This makes it sound like an English d, which has a bit more tongue to it in Irish.

I believe another point of confusion could be that in some places "ar" (on) is pronounced like "air" (on him, said like "eh" followed by a slender "r", even though "ar" is written as broad). Micheál Ó Siadhail's "Learning Irish" gives it that way, and it sounds like how I heard it from my father (Galway). It sounds between "ed", a French "eh, j'...", or perhaps a very fast "edge", with the tongue flapping once rather than resting.


Pointed this out on a similar question in this set where the same mistake is made, but it sounds in the recording like she's saying "ar a bpláta" which means "on their plate". Is their a particular reason why the n in "an" isn't being enunciated before bpláta (especially since it very clearly is earlier in the sentence)?


Seems like the two stops (N and B) get run together. Bet if/when they do a turtle speed audio we'll hear it.


I couldn't respond to your later response, but there is in fact one that is audibly unclear - ar a(n) bpláta. The plate (an bpláta)/their plate (a bpláta) will sound similar/identical.


Generally you don't pronounce the 'n' of 'an' before a consonant. Those whose exposure to Irish has mainly been through school generally pronouce the 'n' in all cases, so you will hear it around, even if it's not really correct.


I'm sorry, but elision is a normal part of ordinary speech, in both Irish and English (and presumably many other languages). That doesn't mean that you must elide at all times to be "correct".

There is nothing "incorrect" about the lack of elision in any of these exercises:
Tiomáineann an fear an gluaisrothar
Múinteoir is ea an fear
Léann an páiste
An fear agus an buachaill


I never suggested that the elision was represented in writing.

I accept that it's not 'obligatory', and I shouldn't have used that word 'correct'. Still, my experience is that natives elide much more frequently than even competent nonlearners do.


Also my comment on correctness was in the context of the questioner wondering if "ar a bpláta" was wrong.


And my response was in the context of your "even if it's not really correct."

It is "correct" - really!


Reading your comments got me wondering how to tell "on (the/his/her) plate" apart when they're elided. It dawned on me that they're be distinct -- B, F, and P. Thanks!


And, even if the "n" were not elided, in this environment (followed by [b]), it would be articulated as [m]. This fact makes it even more susceptible to assimilation with the [b].??


Any tip to learn how to pronounce, people? I'm Spanish speaker


I highly recommend abair é .ie and foclóir.ie - I've been using them for years!


Ok this sentence was WEIRD


Why can't it be "There is chicken on the plate"?


The second "an" sounds like "i" to me, my ears need help!


Is it just my hearing or does anyone else have trouble woth the sounds? Ar an sounds like "et a" and ag sn sounds like "egg an"

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.