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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)


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?


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??????????"


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.


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


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


Why is it "an oideachas" ?


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?.

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"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”?

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You can think of the whole phrase in whatever way makes you comfortable. The "because" in this case is the same "because" as using buí for "yellow" or buachaill for "boy" - that's how you say those things in Irish.


OK, let me put it this way. Are you saying that even though in most cases "A has Y" is expressed in Irish as Tá Y ag X, in the one (and only) unique particular case where A = education and B = purpose, then the proper form is Tá Y le X. Are you saying that this pair of words, and ONLY this pair of words, requires the used of le instead of ag? Or are there other cases of "X has Y" wherein le is used instead of ag?

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Can you differentiate between "Education has a purpose" and "there is a purpose to education" in English? If you can't, then why would Irish use tá ... ag ... to express something that can be expressed without "have" in English?

There are a number of examples on the NEID entry for "purpose" that demonstrate that the proposition le is used for that concept, even when cuspóir isn't the noun used.

"what's the purpose of the trip?" - cén cuspóir atá leis an turas?

"it serves no purpose" - níl aon fheidhm leis, níl aon úsáid leis

"their sole purpose in doing this was ..." - an t-aon chuspóir a bhí leis seo acu ná ...;

"it has no medicinal purpose" - níl aon fheidhm leighis leis

"each of them has a specific purpose" - tá sainfheidhm le gach ceann acu

One other example comes to mind:
"the ayes have it" - tá an lá le lucht tá


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"?

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