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  5. "Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge."

"Labhraíonn Gaeilge."

Translation:He speaks Irish.

August 31, 2014



Please don't use this phrase to express that someone has the ability to speak Irish. It's really, really unacceptable. The correct phrase is, 'Tá Gaeilge aige'. In Irish we say that we 'have' a language, rather than that we 'speak' it. 'Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge' would be used to say that he speaks Irish at a particular time or in a particular place. 'Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge ar an traein,' - 'He speaks Irish on the train.'


Go raibh maith agat! That is totally right. I know bc. I studied on YT and blogs.


So if someone were speaking Irish (at that moment) and someone were to ask me what language they are speaking, I could use this (and be kind of mean as obviously they dont understand Irish if they need to ask what language is being spoken


That would be Tá sé ag labhairt as gaeilge.


So a woman would say: "Tá Gaeilge aici", right?

Still trying to commit gender to memory, please correct me if I'm wrong.


Tá Gaeilge aici is "She has Irish" (meaning that she has the ability to communicate in Irish).

It doesn't matter whether it's a man saying it or a woman saying it.

Tá Gaeilge agam - "I have Irish"
Tá Gaeilge agat - "You have Irish" (one person)
Tá Gaeilge aige - "He has Irish"
Tá Gaeilge ici - "She has Irish"
Tá Gaeilge againn - "We have Irish"
Tá Gaeilge agaibh - "You guys have Irish"
Tá Gaeilge acu - "They have Irish"


In fact, my Irish friends use this structure even speaking English. The would say «he has Spanish». And I find this lovely.


Helppp!! Pronunciations are difficult there should be a speaker for pronunciations :( I hope you guys agree!! And if somebody have a pronunciation of this please tell


I agree entirely! Why can't you roll over an Irish word to hear it spoken also. You should allow the learner to hear every possible Irish word spoken wherever it appears, and sentences in both regular and slow modes. The other languages allow this.


Duolingo’s speech synthesis software doesn’t support all of the phonemes of Irish (and slow mode is only supported in courses with speech synthesis), so recordings had to be made instead. It takes time, talent, and money to create recordings and associate them with their corresponding exercises. There are over 3000 recordings to be found in the Irish course, and every word in the course is found in at least one recording; I doubt if Duolingo would be willing to pay for recordings to be made for the other several thousand Irish exercises currently without sound.


Oh, so you're saying that the only recordings that the Irish set has is for entire sentences? And not for individual words? If so, I see the difficulty, but I still feel that there are many instances where a sentence is displayed that has a recording for it, but still does not have some UI to invoke playing the recording in that instance. Please check that all sentences with a recording have a way to play whenever they are displayed. Also, for individual words how about, as suggested here, having the Duolingo UI developers give a link directly to forvo?


Recordings only exist for sentence exercises (and there are many sentence exercises without recordings), but some of the recorded sentences have only one word, e.g. Eilifint. — apparently there is a distinction in the Duolingo infrastructure between “word” exercises and “sentence” exercises, although recordings of one-word “sentence” exercises (i.e. of statements rather than of questions) could in theory also be used as recordings of “word” exercises. Since I have no connection whatsoever with creating the Duolingo courses, I shall not do that checking; if you’d like to do so, feel free. To my knowledge, there are no direct links from Duolingo exercises to recordings at forvo.com; one problem is that the recordings at forvo.com are of varying accuracy and fidelity, and I’d guess that Duolingo wouldn’t want to directly link to recordings over which it has no control (or licensed use).


I look up all new words in teanglann's Irish dictionary, and if I don't find them there, I go to Forvo. Between the two of them, I've found almost every word... and the pronunciations in teanglann are by native speakers. You've probably discovered this by now, but if you haven't, both of those are very helpful!


My question said tá Gaeilge was also a correct choice. I'm curious as to the difference between labhraíonn sé Gaeilge and Tá Gaeilge aige. When to use each one? Is there a difference?


The phrase “Tá … ag …” is certainly the most common phrase indicating knowledge of a language, but it indicates knowledge, so “Tá Gaeilge agam” means “I know Irish”. “Labhraíonn … …” on the other hand refers to the act of actually speaking a language, as opposed to simply knowing how to speak it. So “Tá sé ag labhairt Gaeilge” means “he is speaking Gaelic”.


Labhraíonn sé gaeilge means he speaks Irish and tá gaeilge aige means he has Irish :)


Why is "he speaks Gaelic" wrong? Gaelic is just another word for the Irish language, right?


Not quite. Gaelic is actually a group of three languages, which falls under the wider grouping of "Celtic Languages." In fact, if you say Gaelic (not gay-lick, but gal-lic), odds are you're referring to Scots Gaelic. The third one is Manx, which was spoken on the Isle of Man.

[deactivated user]

    Manx IS a living language again ;)


    Kyrio! Is that true?! Do you have any official source for that? Any link, Web page? I'd like to read about this for a future research at college. Thank you!

    [deactivated user]



      This is a list of resources in and about the language: http://www.language-archives.org/language/glv

      And this is the official document from the Manx government describing the geographical distribution of the speakers: http://www.gov.im/lib/docs/treasury/economic/census/manxmap.pdf

      I hope that helps!


      Ah, okay. Thanks for the explanation.


      It would be a bit like calling English Anglo-Frisian, which is a language family.


      thanks for clearing that up galaxyrocker. I didn't understand that either :P


      i'll give you a thumbs up for your profile-pic


      Is anyone else having a horrible time trying to link the pronunciations with the spelling? Like "labhraíonn." It looks like it should be said "la-bra-EE-on" but it's pronounced, so far as I can tell, "LOUD-un."


      Using an English approximation, it'd be like "Loureein" where "Lou" is the vowel of "Loud". But that's only an approximation, and I suggest learning the IPA.


      Thank you, that was just what I meant.:-)


      I hear something like louwreeon. the only thing i know about Irish spelling is that they have no w and no v, so they use mh and bh instead.


      I know I'm a year late but thank you for this. I knew their alphabet was smaller but I hadn't made those connections yet. This will definitely help


      I cannot distinguish between "si" and "she" as spoken by the questioner


      I had similar issue but I believe that eventually your ears adjust to pick correct part of the information - hearing is in general a very complex process and some fine tuning is sometimes needed. But yeah - it is interesting when you first tackle the spoken language and all you can hear is that they say "agus" every now and then.


      Can "he speaks Gaelic" be acceptable? Irish is a nationality you can purchase for €350. Gaelic is a more appropriate term


      The course is "Irish for English speakers", and we look up words in the "English-Irish Dictionary" at teanglann.ie and the "New English-Irish Dictionary" at focloir.ie.

      If you search your favourite bookshop for books to help you learn "Gaelic", you'll find plenty of books teaching Scottish Gaelic, not Irish.


      Is there a difference between "Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge" and "Ta labhraíonn sé Gaeilge"?


      Tá labhraíonn sé Gaeilge does not make any sense. It would translate as "He is speaks Irish."


      I always get confused with I speak He speaks She speaks and we speak


      yes, it's very confusing


      What about Tá Gaeigle sé? Is it the same?


      You need an ag form here, so "aige"


      Exactly. Tá Gaeilge aige means "He speaks Irish" as in "He has the ability to speak Irish", whereas Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge means he habitually speaks Irish (ar an traen, for example).


      No, this isn't right because it basically means, 'Irish is he.'


      so in this one "Gaeilge" pronounced "Gay-il-geh"?


      any tips on how to remember how to spell labhraionn


      Does anyone else have this problem? I cannot tell the difference between sí and sé with this speaker on audio.


      I agree! In an earlier excercise ''se'' is pronounced as 'shay', & ''si'' as 'she'. It's not necessarily confusing, but more inconsistant


      the word 'labhraionn has 3 syllables. Labh-ri-onn. The speaker uses 2 syllables Labh-rann. This is incorrect either the spelling or the pronunciation. Please correct. If it is 2 years since comments began, it is a shame that the error goes uncorrected.


      Cannot hear spoken phrases


      "Gaeilge" sounds totally different in other dialects. The Munster dialect I can't hear a second G sound at all. It sounds like "galen". But farther back in the throat.


      That’s because it’s a different dialect-specific word, Gaelainn. (Similarly, another dialect-specific word, Gaeilic, is used in Ulster.)

      [deactivated user]

        Is it just because of the dialect of Irish that I am used to hearing, speaking, and learning in school and at home, or is the i-fada (I can't use fadas with this keyboard) not being pronounced? Is this correct in other dialects?


        It is being pronounced, it just quick.


        the spelling keeps tripping me up; where is the logic of the spelling explained??


        My question isn't specific to this lesson, but it's related. Why say we're learning "Irish"? I always thought the language was known as "Gaelic"


        Where did you get that impression? It obviously wasn't from Ireland, where most of the Irish speakers live. Mention Gaelic to someone in Ireland, and they'll assume you're talking about football.


        Ironic how it doesn't accept "He speaks in Irish.", since labhraíonn is about a habit, not ability.

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