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  5. "Dúnaim an nuachtán gach lá."

"Dúnaim an nuachtán gach lá."

Translation:I close the newspaper every day.

September 19, 2014



I suppose if you read a newspaper every day, you would also close it (or put it down) everyday... But I've never heard it said before.


In most sentences like this, it seems to me that gach could be translated by either every or each. Here, though, as so often, my problem is with the verb. This sentence sounds odd to me. If dunaim here means to close physically, an object like a door or a window should have been chosen. If it means I am the editor of the paper and I am making sure all the layout is ready to be printed, then the object should have been the shop or the store. I am left here wondering if this is a metaphor or if it is meant literally.


I took it literally, as in when I am finished reading the newspaper, I physically close the newspaper that I am holding.


I just struggle to think when I might possibly say that in its literal sense. "I close the wine" or "I close the milk" that were used as other examples in this lesson I could picture saying, but not this, unless I were the editor closing up the shop for the night.


This is a physical closing. Think of it like the daily closing of a book which is read a chapter at a time, rather than the daily closing of a business. (However, it could be used metaphorically too, e.g. do chroí a dhúnadh ar rud, “to harden your heart against something”).


Yeah but they all sound bizarre to me. "Closing" newspapers, wine or milk, is a strange way of putting it in English. They should be presented with different translations. Sure you can close a book, but 'close' and 'newspaper' make an unlikely colocation. Same with wine and milk.


Close the door, the gate, the refrigerator, your mouth. All those sound natural to me. Close the milk also sounds natural to me (leaving the milk open is something my daughter used to do with alarming frequency). Closing the newspaper is nothing that I have ever heard anyone mention. If you don't like the way someone leaves the newspaper, you might say refold the newspaper. If you don't like that the person is reading it while you are trying to talk to him, you might say put down the newspaper. For some reason, and I don't know why, close the newspaper just sounds very odd to me. I guess close the wine sounds a little odd too. But I have definitely heard it when my wife wanted me to put one of those little stoppers in the wine bottle.


@scilling - For a newspaper, I don't know. 'Tidy', 'put away'... maybe it doesn't have a regular verb like that.

The thing is, we're learning 'dún' here, so I would suggest an alternative object for 'dún' in the first pace, one that is more straightforward and doesn't distract from learning. There are so many less metaphorical ways of using that verb that would be more or less the same in Irish and English, like 'dún an doras', or 'close your mouth', etc, as James says. It's just strange to me that they chose milk and newspapers to associate with the verb 'close'.


Do you use “opening a newspaper” to describe when you start to read it? I do, and so I consider “closing a newspaper” to be equally valid to describe when I stop reading it.


What would you suggest as an alternative translation to closing a newspaper?


Thank you very much. Still weird, but now I am certain I understand what it means.


Perhaps finish?


Final sentence was perfect imagery.


You fold a newspaper when you are done.


Well, for an English speaker, closing the wine and the milk might sound a little weird, but if this sounds natural to an Irish speaker, then I think it's fine to learn it that way. After all, we already learned that :"I have x" is expressed as "Tá x agam" (x is at me).

Personally, I think closing the newspaper makes sense, similar to closing a book, as scilling mentioned. Also, we are learning the verb "to close". It would be more confusing to use a different verb (I put the newspaper down) just so that it translates neatly to English -- one might be stuck thinking that "Dúnaim" can also be used as "I put down".

[deactivated user]

    Closing the wine and the milk is as weird in Irish as it is in English. It seems to me that the sentence was composed in English first and a noun chosen to go with "Close" without thinking too deeply about it and then the sentence was translated into Irish. In Irish one expects some context for a sentence so that it makes sense, it is not natural to just make up random sentences.


    Agreed that a lot of the sentences aren't really natural, but it does force you to get good at constructing sentences that you might actually use for your own purposes.


    About the newspaper, maybe "to put down".


    Perhaps it is a news web page, for which the verb "close" is not unusual.


    This entire thread is hilarious. Close the newspaper makes perfect sense, i have said it a thousand times and heard it as much. "Can you close the newspaper and pay attention?" "I closed your newspaper and put it back on the counter." "Close the newspaper, don't just leave it on the couch." Same with closing milk and wine. When you're done, you close it up. I have, like, three different variations of special tools to close up wine. Are these really not things you people say? Weird.


    P.S. since, knowing Duolingo this will definitely come up, I am American. So I would say this is common American usage. Can't speak for other English speaking areas.


    It cannot be too terribly common in any case, since one sees few people in the United States holding physical newspapers anymore. When I was growing up in the Pacific Northwest, even though we subscribed to several daily newspapers, I do not remember that phraseology being used, nor later when I lived in the Northeast of the United States. I'm sure some people might say it, the same way I would say it of a book or magazine, though I just never heard it applied to a newspaper. The sentence as a whole, though, sounds even weirder because of the use of "every day."


    I read them myself but I am a little unusual. Close them all the live long day, if it makes you happy.


    I think this does need clarification...are we learning a (strange to an English speaker) idiom, or isit a poor example of a verb?

    [deactivated user]

      I think it is more a poor choice of noun to go with the verb.

      • Dúnaim an doras.
      • Dúnaim an fhuinneog.
      • Dúnaim an mála.
      • Dúnaim mo bhéal.
      • Dúnaim mo shúile.
      • Dúnaim an geata.
      • Dúnaim an leabhar.

      These are all better examples in Irish of using the verb dún.


      Is this a common phrase in Irish? Is it something people use on a regular basis? Is it idiomatic? Is it like "to kick the bucket" in English? Having nothing to do with kicking or buckets--generally speaking-- but understood in it's idiom as "to die"? If so, does it perhaps mean something like, "I read the (whole) newspaper every day"? Because otherwise, it's rather awkward in English. I can't think of a single instance in which I would use it as oppose to some other phrase. I can't see myself using it at all. Is it as awkward in Irish?

      • 1399

      dún means close, the opposite of open. That's all. There is no particular significance to it's use with nuachtán, as should be quite clear from reading the earlier comments.

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