1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Itheann na mná ceapaire agus…

"Itheann na mná ceapaire agus ólann siad bainne."

Translation:The women eat a sandwich and they drink milk.

August 30, 2014



Multiple women eating one sandwich? I think this sentence should be altered.


Why so? Two women could be sharing a sandwich...maybe they're on a diet? Or maybe a groups of woman are sharing a massive sandwich for the sake of it? We can't judge these women for eating the one sandwich...


My guess is that if they were eating sandwitches, it would be plural in the Irish sentence, and we should be able to catch that. Given my current level in Irish I wouldn't be able to make the plural "sandwiches", though :D


However, cén fáth nach bhuil siad ag ólann tae?


I kinda agree with Ditty, maybe accept both? Seems like both can be used. Just a thought.


Both can't be used. This sentence can only mean "The women eat a sandwich ..."


Use of singular implies one sandwich per person. In a more general context if each person has or can have only one of an item the singular is always used. For example "their heads" in English goes into Irish as "a gceann" (their head) - "a gcinn" (their heads) would sound most strange as it would that they had more than one each. The sentence as it stands is correct.


In Philadelphia, it's common to have a hoagie the length of the table sliced into small segments at catered luncheons. https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-50af4cde5151b5f2674aaa9f67cd5254


Y'know, I wouldn't have thought of that, but I think that's pretty widespread. I remember doing that at a couple of companies where I worked.


perhaps the word "each" is implied here as in colloquial speech


When I hear the word "mná" it sounds like "mraw". I keep hearing an "r" sound.

How is it pronounced?


According to wiktionary, mná is pronounced /mˠɾˠɑː/ in Connacht. Link: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mn%C3%A1


For people who don't understand the International Phonetic Alphabet, a link to the sound database at www.teanglann.ie might be more helpful:

In both Ulster Irish and Connacht Irish, certain worlds that are spelled with an "n" have an "r" pronunciation. (cnoc is another example that crops up on Duolingo). In Munster Irish, and for most people who aren't native speakers from Connacht or Ulster, the "n" is pronounced as an "n".


Could mean simply two women. My mom and I split sandwiches still when we get together, just like we did when I was younger. I think it is fine ;)


I think we should here the "d" in siad as I thought she was saying "se" ie he


Although the d in siad might not be easily heard in this recording, the two vowel sounds are clear, so it still makes sense to conclude that siad was spoken rather than .


Na mná sounds like "na mrra." Is that standard?


One of two acceptable pronunciations. In the south it's pronounced "mnaw" as spelt.


what is the plural of sandwich?


I put "The women are eating a sandwich and drinking milk." Does this sentence imply that a "they" othwr than the women are drinking milk?


Your translation would be "Tá na mná ag ith ceapaire agus ag ól bainne," I think. (Maybe mbainne?) (Also my sentence structure may be flawed, as I'm nowhere near fluent yet.) Ag ith would mean that they are presently eating and ag ól would be them presently drinking.


Almost right - it's ag ithe. And there is no eclipsis, so you were right the first time with ag ól bainne. (After ag+verbal-noun you use the genitive, but in this case, the genitive of ceapaire is ceapaire and the genitive of bainne is bainne).

The important point is that Irish and English both differentiate between the simple present (itheann na mná - "the women eat") and the present progressive (tá na mná ag ithe - "the women are eating"). Some other languages don't make that distinction, but you can't translate the simple present in Irish or English into the present progressive in English or Irish.

Because the Subject comes before the verb in English, it is technically possible to skip a repeated subject (the first subject is still before the second verb). But in Irish the subject comes after the verb, and you can't have one subject apply to both verbs. Siad refers to na mná.


Thanks for the correction, Satharn. Sorry about that, Heithr.


Thank you both. I am starting to get it!


Thought it was ólann sibh.... not that clear when learning


The speaker needs better and more clear pronunciation. I heard sibh, not siad. Also, mná is being pronounced incorrectly. I know a Gaeilgoir who teaches Gaeilge and he does not pronounce mná as mrá like the speaker in this app.


The speaker is clearly saying siad, not sibh. If you think that you hear sibh, that's a reflection on your abilities, not on the speakers pronunciation.

You are also completely wrong about the pronunciation of mná. In both Connacht Irish and Ulster Irish words like mná, cnoc, gnó and de ghnáth are pronounced with an r sound. Irish speakers from Munster and most non-native speakers pronounce these words with an n round, but this speaker is from Connacht, and her pronunciation of mná is absolutely correct.


Perhaps if the speaker didn't drop off at the end of the word is would be more clear. I listened to it several times after I got it wrong and still couldn't hear it clearly so when it cam up again at the end I just typed what it said the correct word was before. There was no need for you to belittle my abilities.

I have not seen anything in Duolingo that tells me what province the speaker is from and it wouldn't help to know that anyway since I am not familiar with the different dialects. You seem to like trying to make non-speakers of the Irish language feel inferior instead of trying to help. Why bother replying if you are only going to cut people down? The person I know who teaches Irish is a native of Ireland, from Dublin, and he is a teacher. Dublin is in the province of Leinster and you did not mention anything about those from Leinster and how they would pronounce mná. So don't emphatically state that I am completely wrong if you don't know the facts.

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