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  5. "Dúnann sé an bainne."

"Dúnann an bainne."

Translation:He closes the milk.

September 2, 2014



The verb "Dún" reminds me of a question. Do you turn on/turn off the lights in Irish, or do you open/close them like I've seen in other languages?


During my last brief encounter with Irish many many moons ago when I was a wee lad we used the verb druid for close as in "Druid an doras le do thoil" Dun,I was told was an old word not used anymore It seems like it has made a comeback !


Druid is the most common word in the Ulster dialect for 'close', so I would guess you were taught Irish in Ulster.


There is another possible explanation - your teacher was wrong.

[deactivated user]

    Not so. Druid is perfectly correct.


    I didn't say that druid was incorrect - Dominic said that "Dun, I was told, was an old word not used anymore".

    The person who told him that Dún is an old word that isn't used anymore was wrong. Dún didn't need to make a comeback, as it never went away. It might not be used in Donegal, but it is used elsewhere.


    I have to say that when I have been in Donegal and Northern Ireland - Donegal being much Northern in its dialect (my Grandparents were Irish speakers from Ulster, though to the east of Donegal) I never had a problem with 'dún'. And speaking to my Dad (a fluent Irish speaker) he has never heard that 'dún' was an old-fashioned word on its way to obsolescence. (To be fair, he's from the South, but having married my Mum and having moved up North he's pretty accustomed to most dialects, to the extent that he thinks of Scottish Gaelic as being a slightly tricky dialect - a bit like Texan English compared to the Queen's English.) He does know 'druid' as an alternative to 'dún.'

    Anyway - the verb as presented here would be the standard one (not just polite Irish, but simply Irish as understood by everyone across the country) so the teacher who said otherwise must have been quite biased toward his local dialect. There was at one time a prejudice against Ulster Irish by people who said it wasn't 'real' Irish because the accent and dialect leaned toward a Scotttish sounding dialect. As a result, a lot of people started to buck against that prejudice. I wonder if the teacher concerned wasn't one of the people justifiably offended by this prejudice? If a bunch of academics from the South told me that my grandparents couldn't speak 'real' Irish (even though they clearly did, if in Northern Irish dialect) and if a bunch of Southerners said 'that's not Irish, that's Scots Gaelic, you folks aren't even Irish anyway, you've been settled' (which was a genuine argument and insult at the time) I'd probably be offended if my regional preference for 'druid' was insulted. And I might defend my local dialect as 'real' 'modern' Irish in the face of that prejudice as well.

    I suspect that is what has happened.

    Anyway. The sentence in this course is fine. The politics of linguistics isn't fine in any shape or form - it's bloody tragic, but I hope the above helps to explain things.


    I probably got that impression many years ago at school because they taught Ulster Irish.Interestingly there is another word I found for "close" in the Collins Irish Dictionary "iaigh"..Why use only one when you have a choice of three!!!.Or does someone know a fourth one ???

    [deactivated user]

      Why use only one when you have a choice of three!!!.

      Yes indeed. Druid an doras. Iaigh an doras. Dún an doras.
      This use of Druid is new to me, thanks for letting us know about it. In my part of the country Druid is usually used with le to mean "to draw near to". For example:
      Bhí an ghrian ag dul faoi agus é ag druidim leis an mbaile mór.
      "The sun was setting as he drew near to the town".


      "shut", "fasten", "seal" are just a few of the alternative words that you might be able to use in English in a phrase like this, and there are lots of others that you could use for "close" when used in other phrases.


      Yes, that's Ulster Irish. To me it sounds like "Drig an doras". I enjoy hearing Irish spoken, and it's always interesting to hear different words.

      In fact, I've heard Manx too, and while I would never have understood it written down, I got the gist of what they were saying because it sounded so similar to Irish. Surprised me. I hadn't realised that Manx and Irish are closely related until I heard some spoken aloud.

      [deactivated user]

        You said that the teacher was wrong.
        (a) The teacher taught that Druid was the word for "to close".
        (b) The teacher said that Dún was an old word not used anymore.

        To say that the teacher was wrong means that both (a) and (b) were wrong. If you intended only (b) to be wrong then you should have said so. The teacher was correct about his own area but misinformed about the rest of the country.

        In the days when Irish was more widely spoken than it is nowadays there was considerable variation in the words used in different localities. I attended a talk last week where the speaker spoke about Irish words in use in his area during his young days. There was a woman present who grew up in a Gaeltacht in Donegal yet she had never heard of many of the words mentioned.


        As the teacher is probably long dead(he was a heavy smoker) he is now beyond caring but I think it would be a good idea to have an official body to produce a standard version of written and spoken Irish understandable by all in all parts of Ireland to avoid confusion.Maybe there is I don't know!


        To say that the teacher was wrong means that both (a) and (b) were wrong.

        That's a rather odd standard - where do you draw the line? What if the teacher taught 11 things, and 10 were wrong, and only one was right, would you complain if someone said that the teacher was wrong?

        Mutual intelligibility between the dialects is much greater now that it was even 50 years ago - but it's likely that speakers of Donegal Irish are now far more likely to recognize Dún than speakers of other dialects are to recognize Druid. You can't fault his teacher for not predicting that, but at the same time, I think Dominic probably has a better appreciation that some of what he learned form his teacher needs to be understood in a slightly different context.


        Huh. How weird! I'm going to ask my Dad about this one! I'm obviously no expert in Irish, but I've never heard that 'dún' was old-fashioned. I'm 45 - maybe it made it's come back when I was a kid? I'll let you know what me Da says!


        "He closes the milk"!? This makes no sense to me.


        Tá an bainne dúnta anois, ach tá an bhó ag tabhairt amach mar sin féin.


        the notion of closing milk is nonsensical. milk can be closed no more than water can. In any language(I'm open to correction - answers on a postcard). It is intrinsically unclosable. In colloquial hiberno-english the phrase could be, and indeed is used between consenting adults. To use this phrase as an actual pedagogic example, is however unacceptable, and seems to me to be sloppy. suggestion - buidéal bainne


        In Ireland this sentence would be used on a daily basis in English. People leave out the vessel e.g. the bottle/carton/container all the time. It is an Hiberno-English sentence.


        Thanks. I do wish I could give lingots with the app -the function vanished a few months ago!

        [deactivated user]

          In Ireland this sentence would be used on a daily basis in English.

          Then it must be a local use or confined to certain groups for I have never heard it before. This course is described as "Irish from English" not "Irish from Hiberno-English". Bear in mind that a great many people who are following this course come from outside Ireland and would expect that standard English would be used. It is difficult enough for them to learn Irish without having to grapple with a strange version of English as well.


          Hiberno-English is English (and not "a strange variety of English"), as are American English, Canadian English, the many varieties of British English, etc. etc. There is no Standard English. We all just muddle along in mutual incomprehension.

          Just don't ask for a ride in Ireland, ask to borrow a rubber in an American schoolroom, ask for a tuque in a British shop, or ask a Canadian whether he would prefer lamingtons or a pavlova for dessert, even though it's all English.

          And, by the way, this is a common example of metonymy--when I was a kid, I would be scolded for not "screwing the top on the juice," so that the lid fell off in the glass of the next kid to pour himself a drink. Now that I'm well and truly grown up, I "uncork the wine," when it's the bottle, not the liquid, that is corked.

          [deactivated user]

            A person from outside Ireland learning Irish on DL would find Hiberno-English strange as the many comments show.

            There is no Standard English.

            Definition of Standard English
            : the English that with respect to spelling, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary is substantially uniform though not devoid of regional differences, that is well established by usage in the formal and informal speech and writing of the educated, and that is widely recognized as acceptable wherever English is spoken and understood

            Would you use Hiberno-English to apply for a job with an international company?
            Would you use it to formally correspond with a company or organisation?


            I am a person from outside Ireland, and I can't agree with your first statement. Some people are always going to complain! And the "many comments" complaining about Hiberno-English seem to come from just you and a fellow called Orcak.

            There is a definition of Standard English, but we do not have an Académie française or even a Caighdeán Oifigiúil to keep track of what is standard and what not. My late mother-in-law startled a guy at the desk of an Arizona motel when she said she was "going to get [her] port from the boot"--Standard (Australian) English, but incomprehensible to a speaker of Standard (American) English. If you tell the average American that someone is giving out to you, don't expect him to understand you. We "give out" programs at the door of a theatrical event, we don't "give out" to each other..

            We have a lot of expressions in American English (raincheck, home run, end run) that come from sports not played in other parts of the English-speaking world, and not everyone understands them. Apparently a "twelfth man" in cricket is a second-string player, not good enough to be one of the top eleven, who may come in as a replacement. My hometown (American) football team considers the fans to be a "twelfth man" who plays a valuable part in supporting the eleven who are on the field. I'm not willing to give up the richness of the various dialects. What a boring language English would be if we left out any word that might mean something different in another dialect.

            I'm not a fan of the homogenization of language. We would lose more than we would gain if we lost expressions that come from different parts of the English-speaking world.

            No, I would not use Hiberno-English in the situations you mention because Americans sound stupid when they try to sound Irish, not because one dialect is inferior to another.

            Hiberno-Irish is not incorrect English any more than American English is. Students from all over the world, many of whom have learned (a variety of) British English, come to the USA to study every year and manage to make the transition. I have confidence that users of Duolingo will be able to do the same when learning Irish, although some will surely give out about it..

            [deactivated user]

              I have to back up a level to reply to your last comment. There are more than two of us as this one discussion shows.

              I'm not a fan of the homogenization of language.

              But you seem to be a fan of the homogenisation of opinion. Those of us who express dissent at some of the sentences that appear here for translation don't do so for the sake of it but in order to have the course improved. It should be possible to have English sentences that are unambiguous and intelligible to anyone from around the world who has a knowledge of the English language.


              Agree. Why can't we be closing doors or windows in these practice sentences, instead of liquids, laugh out loud!


              I don't think it's unacceptable. There is an intrinsic link between Irish and Hiberno-English. To use another dialect of English would be silly as some phrases would not translate appropriately. A good example in this section is 'bím ag rith' - 'I do be running'.

              You would have a point if Hiberno-English didn't exist.


              If this legitimises it for you, consider that 'Fermer le lait' is said also in French.


              I think we've found the careless guy who left the milk out! Now it's gone off.


              where did it go?

              [deactivated user]

                It's nonsensical in Irish too.

                Cuireann sé an corc sa bhuidéal bainne would make more sense.


                It's been years - decades even! - since I've seen a milk-bottle!

                And a cork in a milk bottle? I used to have a Dublin Millennium milk bottle lamp that had a plug(!!), but, to paraphrase the old song, "but a cork in a milk-bottle sure I've never seen before!"

                [deactivated user]

                  Corc here doesn't literally mean 'cork'. It was common in my young days to refer to any type of bottle top as a 'cork'.
                  See "open" (verb 1 b) here
                  Also see phrases here


                  None of those examples directly support the idea that corc would be used in association with buidéal bainne specifically, just that putting a cork in a bottle or taking a cork out of a bottle are common actions, which isn't in dispute.

                  But the sentence isn't about buidéal bainne, it's just about bainne, which is far more likely to come in a (closable) carton these days, and I'm not convinced that anyone would say cuireann sé corc sa cartán bainne.

                  [deactivated user]

                    Má ghlactar le corc chun top/lid etc a chiallú is féidir an abairt thuas a úsáid. Muna n-oireann sin duit is féidir clárclaibíncaipín a úsáid.
                    Pé scéal é, chun bainne a dhúnadh is gá dó a bheith i laistear agus ansin claibín a chur ar an laistear.


                    Cuideoidh an comhrac sin léi Gaeilge a fhoghlaim aníos, gan amhras. An-obair.


                    Finally a sentence I will use daily

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