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  5. "Ólann an tIodálach fíon agus…

"Ólann an tIodálach fíon agus itheann an Francach cáis."

Translation:The Italian drinks wine and the French person eats cheese.

August 30, 2014



A francach (lower case!) is a rat. We could have some fun with the translations. (No disrespect meant to French people--I just find it funny how our nationalities are used to mean other things. In German, an Amerikaner is a type of biscuit/cookie, and a Franzoser is, I believe, a wrench. I don't know the etymology of these words.)


Ha, I speak German and I've never heard about this! So, naturally, I checked the etymology: 1) Amerikaner is a corruption of "Ammoniakaner" because people used to use ammonium bicarbonate instead of baking powder (sodium bicarbonate). 2) The correct form for this one is actually "Franzose". Basically, it's a two-headed monkey wrench. The funny thing is, a "normal" monkey wrench is called an "Engländer" (Englishman) :) I couldn't find the etymology (I guess it was brought to Germany from France?), but apparently, it's called "French wrench" in several Slavic languages. The more you know! :)


"Ich bin auch ein Berliner."


Again, I don't think "... the French..." should be accepted here. You have to form a noun from the country name in English, "a Frenchman", in this case, and you can't simply use the name of the country.


It accepts "the Frenchman" for "an Francach".


I wrote "the French person", and it was accepted, but i was unsure what they expected. Saying just " the French" might be better if the first half used the word "person" explicitly. I agree it's at least uncommon.


I answered it a little more literally - “...the French eats...”, and it accepted my answer.

It was awkward, to be sure.


I think "the French" means "all the French people", but you say a French man". On another subject is the written stress so important in Irish: I couldn't here any difference in pronunciation in tIodálach, and my only mistake was to forget it.


Why isn't the "t" separated from "Iodálach" with a hyphen?


The hyphen is there to tell you that the t or n is not the first letter of the word, it's just a prefix. When the word is capitalized, you don't need a hyphen to indicate that - the word is still capitalized, but the prefix isn't, so the hyphen is superfluous, therefore you leave it out.


I see, I totally forgot about that one. Would it still be a mistake, however, if I write "an t-Iodálach"?


Yes, it is considered an error to use the hyphen with a capitalized noun (I mean in Irish generally, not just by Duolingo).


Why can I say "the French person" but not "the Italian person"?


Put it the other way around - why can you say "the Italian" or "the German" or "the American" when talking about a single person, but you can't say "the French" or "the Irish" or "the English". It's just one of the weird things about English.

It's likely that the "Italian person" wasn't included in the list of answers because "person" isn't necessary, and strictly speaking an duine Iodálach is "the Italian person".


Okay. Thank you.


But wouldn't that mean the french person should technically be "an duine Francach" also .. ??


No. The fact that English can't say "the French" without adding "man"/"woman"/"person" as a qualifier, but it can say "the German" or "the Italian" or "the American" without a qualifier, doesn't mean that Irish needs to add a qualifier for "the French person" - Francach can be translated as "Frenchman", "Frenchwoman" or "Frenchperson" as appropriate.

English is just weird.


These all sound like stereotypes... And I love that because I'm a tourist!


I got the sentence wrong because i felt it meant "The Italian drinks wine and eats the French cheese". How would that sentence actually be written?! I guess I've not had any sentences before where the same person does two actions, so maybe that comes later in the course...


Let's start with "the French cheese". In Irish, adjectives usually come after the noun that they qualify, and cáis is a feminine noun, so "the French cheese" is an cháis Fhrancach.

The second issue is that the basic structure of an Irish sentence is VSO, rather that the SVO of English. In English, a leading subject ("the Italian") can apply to both following verbs, "drinks" and "eats", because the subject is still before the 2nd verb.

In Irish, the subject follows the verb, so the subject of the first verb can't implicitly become the subject of the 2nd verb - you would have to explicitly state the subject - itheann sé an cháis Fhrancach. In the case of itheann an Francach cáis, an Francach is the subject, and cáis is the object.


Thanks, that explains it nicely!


... ólann an tÚcránach tae ... cé leis an séabra?


We also drink a lot of wine in France


I can see the link of French and Francach (culture was called the Franks long ago), but what is the origin of the word for Italian???


In this case you should pay more attention to how this word sounds instead of how it is written. This is basically the standard word for Italy used in many other languages, "iodál" sounds a lot like "Italy", but with a voiced plosive. Just in case you were asking about the origin of the name "Italy" in general: there are several theories, none of which has been definitively proven. I like the one where "Italy" means "land of calves", since "vitulus" means "calf" in Latin. Another theory says that the region was named after the legendary king Italus. In any case, an etymological dictionary would probably be more helpful :)

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