1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Tá sé taobh thiar dom."

" taobh thiar dom."

Translation:He is behind me.

October 19, 2014



Taobh thiar díom


Díom = de + me. Dom = do + me. Behind from (off, of) me vs. Behind to me. Are the two correct? Or is some of them an influence of English in Irish?


Gramadach na Gaeilge notes that "In Munster, de and do are used one and the same".

I don't think it's an influence from English - neither preposition is particularly "natural" for an English speaker, where "behind" doesn't take a preposition.


GRMA! EDIT from computer: You must be right, I was just thinking from my own language through English.


So a literal translation (if I am correct) would be: He is side-west to me. Yeah? I can't quite make out how 'side-west' translates to 'behind'.


If a "literal" translation doesn't make sense to you in the first couple of seconds, then forget about it - Irish isn't just English with different words, it's a completely different language that predates English, and English picked up lots of usages from other languages that aren't reflected in Irish usage. Relying on "literal translations" to explain things to you is a bad habit if you expect it to always work.

In this case, the "west" meaning comes from original "behind" meaning, not the other way around.

When you are facing the rising sun, behind you is west, and the south is on your right, and on the left is north


My mind was just blown away with this facing-the-sun thing and etymology O.O


Is this the correct explanation or is it just your way of explaining it to yourself?


I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm pretty sure it isn't a coincidence that the words for the "left" and "right" happen to align with the words for "north" and "south" in Irish, and that "behind" and "west" are the same. I'm sure someone has written a paper on it, but I haven't looked.

Even in English, it is believed that "East" derives the Indo-European root word for "shine" and that the word "Orient" (as in "the Orient") is derived from the Latin verb for "to rise". Irish hasn't gone through as many mutations as English has, so it's easier to see the connections between the words.


This way of naming cardinal points is certainly of Indo-European origin. In Sanskrit, and in more recent languages of India, east is in front, south to the right, west behind, but north is up (because of the Polar Star, which is symbolically the highest point of the world).


This is fascinating! But I don't understand how left, clé, and north, tuaisceart, align.


As I pointed out 4 years ago, the connection is with tuath, not clé - tuathal is "anticlockwise", and taobh tuathail amach is "inside out", Dinneen listed the noun tuaitheal as "the left hand side, the north, the north side; the wrong side of clothes, etc." and the adjective tuaithealach as "sinister, awkward, wrong, incorrect, rude, uncivilized; left-handed; north, northern;".


Oh, that is interesting, Knocksedan! Thank you!


Could it have to do with the sun rising intheeast and facing the sunrise thewet is behind . Does that explain it.


Could this also mean "He is behind me" in the sense that "He supports me", or is that just an idiom in English?


It does not mean that. There are examples listed for that meaning, however, in the Behind entry of EID


Ah! So: "Tá sé mar chúl cinn agam." What does that mean literally then, so I remember it?


The literal translation is "He is like back of head at me"


I wrote that "Tá sé taobh thiar dom" means "he is behind me". This seems not to be correct. The right answer should be "he is behind me". I do not see what is wrong with my answer!


Sometimes the site's engine hiccups and marks something incorrect even though it is the correct answer. It's just a thing that happens rarely.


If this was a line from a sit-com, the full sentence would be "Tá sé taobh thiar dom, níl sé?"

[deactivated user]

    If you mean "He's behind me, isn't he?" the ending is "nach bhfuil sé?".


    Yeah, I realized that I had made that mistake a while after posting it and never went back to edit the comment. Ah well.


    I heard "Tusa taoibh thair dom" ,did anyone else? Thanks


    The s in tusa is a broad s (sounds like "ss"). The s in Tá sé is a slender s (sounds like "sh").

    A slender s and a broad s are two completely different sounds, and it is clearly a slender s in this recording - Tá sé, not tusa.

    You can access the audio directly here, and slow it down to hear it more clearly.

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