1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  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?



Much an solas = quench the light

Las an solas = ignite the light


I love how even the most mundane things sound so much more dramatic in Irish.


Yes! And I love that, even though there aren't direct curse words, things like 'to f-' sound so much filthier. 'Do you want a fierce and thrusting night of passion?' 'They were slapping skin all night long.' Etc.


Please, please, please put these translations here. I beg you.


Ag bualadh craicinn :)


Thank you Deactivated User!


I knew it!.This is a site for robots to learn Irish.Hence all the weird phrases. We will soon be asked to translate. "You will obey or be exterminated !!!!" Call out the Garda Siochana,Baile Atha Cliath will soon be attacked by robots looking for intelligent life on this planet.Just shout Pol guys its the only name they have.Someone will answer !!!!


The weird sentences do serve a learning purpose though. Because they are odd you are forced to think about your answer - you can't be certain that your first, natural, thought is the right one. And some of the stranger images that arise fix the terms in your heard. For example, my son will always remember the Irish for fridge, since now he knows that's where we keep the women.


Same with engines! We much agus las an inneal!


I like it! Go raibh maith agat.


Are those expressions imperative? Could I use them to boss my son about? (Or he me?)


The sentence at the top of the page? ("Dúnann sé an bainne."???) That's a statement.

If you want to boss one person, just use the base form of the verb with no subject--kind of like we do in English--Dún an doras, Scuab an t-urlár, Ith do lón, and so on.


Go raibh maith agat!


And to think, Dominic, I've never even been to the jailtacht!


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!


        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!


        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.


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


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

        Related Discussions

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