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  5. "Cén áit?"

"Cén áit?"


September 11, 2014



.Cén áit= .Cén= What .áit= Place .Cèn áit=What place ."What place?" is like "Where?" ♡(:

February 17, 2015


Is there any difference in using between "cén háit" and "cén áit" ?

September 11, 2014


I believe you meant Cá háit, but no, there's no difference.

September 11, 2014


yes i meant cá háit. thanks

September 11, 2014


Looks like there is a mistake in the tips for this topic, imho, and i don't know where to report of it. An oibríonn tú sa chathair? Oibríonn (sí) . Something here is wrong; i think it's tu in place of si, but i'm not an expert.

March 12, 2015


"Áit" sounds like the German word "Ort," and they both mean "place." Are they related somehow?

February 6, 2015


Without checking, it seems unlikely. I wouldn't read too much into the simularity of single-syllable words.

The long answer:

McBain's etymological dictionary of the Gaelic language, which is for Scots Gaelic but also good for Irish, says

Scots Gaelic ŕite, a place; Irish and Early Irish áit. Possibly from Celtic [pō-d-ti], [*panti]? The root is [pō-d], [ped], as in Latin oppidum "village", Greek. pédon, ground, Sanskrit padám, "place".

(It's quite normal for the letter p to disappear in the development of Indo European to Irish. Hence Latin pater, German Vater, English "father"—all with p or a modified version of it—as compared to Irish athair)

Interestingly, he then adds: "Stokes has referred [áit] to the root that appears in German Ort, place, Norse oddr, Old English ord, point, Proto-Germanic uzd-, Indo-European uzdh-; but this in Gaelic would give ud or od.

So Stokes agrees with your idea, but McBain doesn't. But this text is 100 years old.

The 2003 Handbook of Germanic Etymology by Orel says (under fetan) that the old Indo-European word represented by IE. pedó and Hittite pedan, both meaning place (the same as mentioned above), is represented in Germanic languages by Old Norse fet "a step, pace" and also in Old Irish by ed "period". This word-family is also related to the one that gives the various "foot" words (though not the Irish word for foot, cos).

That just leaves the question of Ort: Witkionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ort) says it's from Proto-Germanic *uzdaz (“point”), from Proto-Indo-European *wes- (“to stick, prick, pierce, sting”) + Proto-Indo-European *dʰe- (“to set, place”).

So the short version of the long answer: Irish áit is related to "foot" (think "foot" with the f missing), while German Ort is from a different root, *uzdaz "point", which does not yield any familiar words in English.

March 9, 2015


Go raibh maith agat.

March 10, 2015


Why can't I use just "cá" to indicate the irish translation of "where," as it shows up in the Tips & Notes?

January 11, 2015


I have the same question. I thought 'cá' means 'where'? and 'cá hait' means 'what place.' Granted, I wondered what the difference between them was, but I don't understand why 'cá' is not accepted as 'where'.

April 1, 2015


The problem is that the lesson is simplifying it. Cá is used for where questions, but it's also in 'cá mhead' = 'how many' and 'cá huair' = 'what time'. The dictionary at www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/cá describes its uses.

September 30, 2015



November 27, 2015


No idea. áit is "place" so I translated it as "where place?" which is nonsenical, so I put the English equivalent of "Where at?" and of course that's not right.

January 20, 2015


You are looking at the hint for each word, but if you look at the top together the two words mean "where?" but the first word by itself means "what" or "which" and the second word by itself means "place". "What place?" does mean "Where?"

March 17, 2016


Cá áit? is not nonsensical. It's an Irish phrase that translates to "where?". Expressions in Irish are not judged sensible or nonsensical by translating them literally into English and saying if that makes sense or not!

March 10, 2015


Yep, I'm not sure why they ignore so many of the phrases that they would be very properly translated into. "Proper" English or not. "Where at?" is absolutely common through most of the English-speaking world. We hold to our Germanic roots, no matter how much the "scholars" try to force Latin rules onto our language.

August 14, 2018


I thought "cá bhfuil" was where. Started getting really confused, found this thread here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6187816/C%C3%A1-bhfuil-s%C3%AD Apparently "cá" is a contraction for "cén áit", and if you just wanna say "where" without specifying, you can ask "cén áit?"
(In case anyone has the same question.)

October 9, 2017


Regional dialects can result in widely different pronunciations. This sounds fine, albeit difficult to me.

March 6, 2018


Is "aw-ee-ch" a proper pronounciation? I'm trying to learn Connacht here.

March 16, 2018


Using the app, I have had it given both as "Cá háit" and "cén ait"... is there a difference in the intentions or are they interchangeable?

August 18, 2018


Wrote 'where' for this.. It came up in red marked wrong with correct answer suggested as 'where'!!! (?)

May 1, 2019
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