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  5. "Education has a purpose."

"Education has a purpose."

Translation:Tá cuspóir leis an oideachas.

September 9, 2014



Why is it "leis" here instead of "ag"?

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I made a little research on GnaG and it seems that "le" can express property in the same way as "ag" (but "le" is the only choice whean dealing with body parts or acquaintances). Still, I could not find any particular reason why "ag an oideachas" should not be considered correct here. I hope someone will show up and enlighten us.


And why "an"...?


Could Oideachas be in the following category: "5. (With abstract nouns, in general reference) An grá, love. An ceol, music. An t-ocras, hunger. An tsláinte, health. An fhíodóireacht, weaving. An chaint, speech." ?(http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/an)


OK, most of us get that Irish uses leis instead of ag here, but no one has explained WHY. That is, what are the rules concerning use of leis to express "having something? For instance, would "I have a purpose" be Tá cuspóir liom? Would "Education has a price" be "Tá praghas leis an oideachas"?


Ok, still have no idea why "leis" is in this sentence. Whatever...it doesn't matter.


With a foreign language, sometimes you just have to note, accept and learn certain constructions. After all this language leads off with the verb and answers questions using the same verb instead of "yes" or the negative form instead of "no". After a while (years actually) my mind is somewhat used to this.


Indeed! Sometimes I just accept that the explanation is "... because Irish!"


That part actually made sense to me. If this could make sense too however remotely, it would help.


Why is it "an oideachas" ?


If I restructure to remove the English idiomatic expressions, I feel that I get a common meaning that "there is a purpose for one to have an education". So the sense that I get then is that the "purpose" comes along "with" the education rather than being a property of or possessed by the abstract object called "education". Does that help at all?


We still don't know why ag isn't acceptable. Anybody discovered this yet? Is it perhaps that leis is used with concrete or abstract nouns, and ag only with concrete nouns?.


"ag" isn't acceptable because it would sound weird. Why would it sound weird? Because you don't use "ag" that way. Why not? Because it would sound weird. How do you know it would sound weird? Because nobody else says it that way.

That's the essence of idiomatic usage.


Could you explain a bit about what the boundaries of the idiom are in this case? For example, is the idiom involved because of the use of oideachas or cuspóir (or both, or neither)?


Same doubt. Is it because you can’t ‘have’ a purpose, because an abstract noun can’t ‘have’ something, or is this kind of ‘having’ just expressed with another preposition since there is no idea of possess in Irish in the first place? I looked up cuspóir in the dictionary and its first meaning is just ‘target’, then ‘purpose’. Can I think of the whole phrase as “there is a purpose [an end] in/through/by education”?


Because the English given is not a literal translation. That doesn't work in many cases and you have to dig down to the underlying meaning then match it to something equivalent in the culture of the other language. There is an expression for Gaeilge that comes from literal translation: Bearla cáis. (English cheese) It sounds condescending, doesn't it?


The word that you're looking for is béarlachas - it has nothing to do with cheese!


GRMA. I only ever heard the term, without seeing it in text. Sensing a sort of denigration in using it, my hypothesis made sense at the time. The Collins app gives "anglicism" and it looks as if "cas" (twist) is compounded with Béarla. So is this from the grammatical order being twisted into English order?


The chas ending is more like "ism" in English.

Anglacánachas - "Anglicanism (about religion)"
Caitliceachas - "Catholicism"
impiriúlachas - "imperialism"
ábharachas - "materialism"

Even oideachas can be understood this way - oide being a teacher or tutor - if "tutorism" was a word, it could mean "education".


D'fhoghlaim mé rud éigin nua inniu!. GRMMA.


Thanks for the correction. I was really scratching my head until I read your post, thinking:

"It means English cheese??????????"


I had a gut sense that "ag an" was wrong but did it anyway because I didn't know how else to say it. I would probably have never thought of "leis an".


Think I've finally figured out what SatharnPHL and other were trying to say about this. Take this incredibly generic sentence.:

"X has Y"

In most cases, this would be Tá Y ag X in Irish. But, if "X has Y" can be sensibly reworded in English as "There is Y to X", then Irish would have it as Tá Y leis X

For example, "Paul (X) has an apple (Y)". Saying this as, "There is an apple (Y) to Paul (X)" makes no sense, so it would have to be "Tá úll ag Pól".

But, "His madness (X) has a method (Y). Saying this one as, "There is a method (Y) to his madness (X)" makes perfect sense in English, thus Irish would translate his with le instead of ag. (Note, I have no idea how to say madness or method in Irish).

Hopefully, this answer is both correct and understandable. Would appreciate comments on either aspect.

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