1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Tá cat agam."

" cat agam."

Translation:I have a cat.

September 9, 2014

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelly-Rose

Well at least I won't be forgetting what cat is in Irish. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyra712

Wait, this isn't a mistake? 'Cat' really translates as 'cat'? I thought it was a bug, but apparently it's correct :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyra712

Thank you :) It's awesome to watch a word travel through time and space just by looking at it's translations. However, Slavonic languages ignored Egyptian and Latin in this case (although we are still influenced by them elsewhere). For example, here in Slovakia: cat = mačka. I wonder why it's so different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatTancock

Not all Slavic languages - in Russian it's kot or koshka. This article makes no sense in Google Translate (and I can't really read Slovak) but maybe it has meaning to you? Seems they don't know the etymology. http://kruhy.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/etymologick-slovnk-jna-kulka-m.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyra712

They say the word has hindu/proto-indo-europian origin. In Czech, it's kočka (č is like ch in chicken, if anyone was confused) and Czech/Slovak are otherwise very similar. Google Translate still isn't very good with Slovak, I forgot just how funny it can be. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatTancock

Slavic is really hard for google translate - I suspect it has a hard time with cases and fluid word order. :) Animal names often have funny etymologies because they can be semi-mythical for cultures where they don't exist. What is the overall word for cat in Slovak, as in, all the big cats, like cougars and lions and jaguars? Not mačka still?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyra712

@KatTancock I'm not sure we have a single word for them. The closest phrase is "mačkovité šelmy" - literally translates as "cat-like predators". You could call them just cats, but that sounds a bit too general to me. What about Russian? Is your word/phrase like ours or completely different?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arabella210259

We call them mačka (мачка) in Serbian too :) Both are Slavic languages obviously


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brigids.em

Since I actually do have two cats, but haven't learned numbers yet, I found myself wondering whether "Tá cat agus cat agam" would be at all intelligible to a native Irish speaker? (I accept that it would mark me as at best a raw beginner, but would it get the idea across, however clumsily, until I learn to count things?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

It would be just as intelligible to native Irish speakers as “I have a cat and a cat” would be to native English speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JesseSG

Is the 't' in 'cat' dropped in pronunciation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PinkRose98

How do I say I have seven cats?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Tá seacht gcat agam.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JavaRogers

For those who're interested:

Irish cat, from Old Irish catte, …

English cat, from Old English catt(e) (cognate with Old High German kazza, Old Norse köttr)… ; Middle English catt(e) (reinforced by Anglo-French & Old Northern French cat, from the same source)

French chat, …

Spanish, Catlan, & Portuguese gato, …

Italian gatto, …

German katze, from Old High German kazze, earlier katta, from Proto-Germanic kattuz, …

Russian κοτ, from Proto-Slavic kotъ, …

Greek γάτα, from Ancient Greek κάττα, ...

… All of which are cognates that likely stem from Late Latin cattus, catta, from an Afro-Asiatic language. To quote John Huehnergard, it is "equally likely that the forms might derive from an ancient Germanic word, imported into Latin and thence to Greek and to Syriac and Arabic"—That the word's origin is Germanic rather than Afro-Asiatic, and Guus Kroonen suggests it might've there been borrowed from, essentially, Proto-Uralic käďwä.

Meanwhile, in Czech it's cočka but in Slovak it's mačka.

Chinese has māo (trad. 貓/simp. 猫), simply onomatopœic of cats.

Japanese has kanji 猫 for neko (hira. ねこ, kata. ネコ), shortened from Old Japanese nekoma (hira. ねこま), originally a compound of にゃ nya (onomatopœic) + こま koma ("four-legged animal").

(Sources: Wiktionary.com, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, and Kyra712 :) )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arabella210259

Very interesting, thank you, we call them mačka (мачка) in Serbian as well :)

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