"Níl iontu ach béir."

Translation:They are only bears.

4 years ago

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Jillianimal

Famous last words...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ecreature

Came to see this, was not disappointed

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cait48
Cait48
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I think I've actually said that sentence, or something similar. (The bears in our woods are actually pretty timid, while the cougars . . . )

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MhaireMt
MhaireMt
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What is so 'only' about a bear??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/roentgen
roentgen
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They could be like Pooh Bear: only bears of very little brain. Oh bother.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/donna382364
donna382364
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love it

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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I think that the “only” notes that they’re not e.g. a mixed pride/streak/sloth of lions, tigers, and bears, but rather that they’re exclusively bears.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cait48
Cait48
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i interpreted it to mean that they are merely bears, not something worse.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Czesiunia
Czesiunia
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And these bears need a duck...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/songoftheskies

Would a more literal translation be "They are not but bears"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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A literal translation would be “Aren’t in-them but bears”.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StanStanDaMan

How about they are merely bears?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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That would be a possible translation of its meaning, but it wouldn’t be a literal translation.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StanStanDaMan

I can see that the usual translation "only" would work for Irish and UK English speakers, but I'm starting to suspect that there is more divergent evolution between US and UK/Irish English than is usually discussed.

Realizing also that my own language is divergent from American standard I would say "Merely" is a better fit for me, but I memorized the usual translation.

I think that rote memorization is actually one of the strengths of this course. If you think about it, babies learn their native language by brute force memorization.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/walgen
walgen
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could be wrong, but i think the point was that either merely or only would both be translating for general sense, not literal.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/I2cGAc67
I2cGAc67
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I translated the sentence as "they are not but bears" and was marked wrong, which is wrong, and reported it. "They are not but bears" or "they are nought but bears" are correct translations. Though I am fond of scilling's literal translation. "Is nought in them but bears!" 100% ursine essence : )

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

In the last 10 years, how often have you used the construction "they are not but ..." and how often have you used "they are only ..." in real life?

The purpose of an exercise like this isn't just to teach you how to read an Irish phrase, in which case a crude "literal" translation will do, but to teach you how to translate your daily idiomatic English into Irish, in which case that crude literal translation is less than useless, because it doesn't help when you want to translate "they are only ..." into Irish.

There are instances when a "literal" translation is appropriate, and there are times when a "literal" translation will impede your learning progress. This exercise is one of the latter.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/roentgen
roentgen
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In some English dialects they say "is/are nought but" and in others "not but".

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

I'm willing to bet £/€/$ 10 that not only is that not true of I2cGAc67's dialect, but that I2cGAc67 has never even been in the same room as someone who would habitually say "not but" instead of "only".

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cquark
cquark
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Now, if they were panthers, we'd need to run.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/David870992

Could this sentence also be "Níl ach béir iontu"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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No.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeffFoster14
JeffFoster14
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I took it to mean that they are ordinary bears, not Beornings.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rpling731
rpling731
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How would "they are THE only bears" be translated?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

That is slightly complicated. The Irish for "He is the only bear (in the zoo)" is Is é an t-aon béar (sa zú) - or more literally, "that is the one bear in the zoo".

You can't use an t-aon with the plural béir, so you say níl aon bhéar eile sa zú - "there isn't any other bear in the zoo". You can add ach iad/"but them" for emphasis.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rpling731
rpling731
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Gmra

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArgusC
ArgusC
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If they are "only bears," then the speaker must be "just a snack."

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/foolimeoir

Cén fáth nach bhfuil "there are only bears in them" ceart?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/roentgen
roentgen
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I think because while that may be literally what it says that is not what it means.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hec10tor
hec10tor
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is maith lei Pol an beir.

2 years ago
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