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  5. "Is iad mí Lúnasa, mí Mheán F…

"Is iad Lúnasa, Mheán Fómhair agus Dheireadh Fómhair míonna an fhómhair."

Translation:August, September and October are the autumn months.

October 19, 2014



This has to be the longest sentence I have ever had to write on Duolingo for an audio question! O.O

Epic fail on my part!


Yeah. I usually don't choose the "give up" option, but I did here after listening to it ten times and getting the first three words only (spelled incorrectly). One day, maybe there will be a slooooooow version of this where it will be easier to hear when one word ends and another begins.


It would also be easier if there were just more audio in general for this course. I have gotten pretty far and still feel like I haven't developed my Irish ear yet. Really this course is just helping me read Irish, not spreak or listen to it.


Yes, it is almost impossible for me to remember words that I can't yet say. :(


I very much agree rebecca. Its a great course for learning vocab and a few verbs but orally its not the best


I've felt this way the entire time doing this course. It seems like it has waay less audio than the other DL courses. I've mentioned this in feedback to the mods, and there's a little bit more audio than there used to be, but we could really use more.


Not to mention it is way more difficult than the other Duo courses, at least the ones I have done so far.


In complete agreement


Ya, I pushed the 'give up' button too after a few listens. I was so confused. However, it is a great sentence and I wrote it down to study.


I give up all the time. I am almost done with my tree and still don't know most of the months. It's depresssing.


I don't ever give up, I just go back and do it again and again (and then next day again), until I can do it without fail.

And I am already almost halfways through the tree !!!

This time I missed only one fada on "míonna", so almost there.


@ becky: Probably part of the problem is advancing too quickly where there is no proper foundation to build on.

By repeating prep 1 over and over again, there would be no major confusion over the use of ag/ar. Remembering all those words does just require the effort to go over and over again.

Actually repeating is not even boring, where I don't remember issues. Because then I learn something new, even if it would be for the fifth time. That way Irish keeps being exiting, like a the dement life of a old age person.

What really gets me though, is doing the same mistake over again, which also is part of what learning is about, I think.


Repetition alone won't be enough for everyone. There's something else, and I wish I knew what it was.

I've progressed skill by skill (now crown level by level) and not progressed until I'd memorised each skill completely.

I've even deleted a whole year or more of such progress and gone back and started anew.

However it takes so long to complete skills this way that I almost completely forget previous skills i've taken to max level 5.

I've tried moving on at level 1 etc too. Nothing seems to work. I just can't comprehend how I can do complex math and physics, remember things intuitively that I've not had to deal with for years, but language just won't go in and stay there.


I would still be on the 15th lesson if I didn't move on. I'd be up there with Prep 1 because I just can't remember all those words and what they are used for.


Surely this answer could be added to the legitiamate answers:

"The months of August, September and October are the autumn months."


Yep, and she's actually going quite slowly and precisely, true conversational pace would probably be much quicker, I even heard gaps between words in this, actual gaps.


I answered "Fall months" instead of "Autumn months" and was "not correct" ugh


"fall months" wouldn't be an obvious construction for the people who created the content for the course, but if you report it it may be added as an alternative answer.


Unless there's been a recent change that I'm not aware of, the autumn months are September, October and November.

  • 1519

You should look up the meanings of "Meán" and "Deireadh" (as in "Meán Fómhair" and "Deireadh Fómhair").

The "quarter days" of Imbolc (February 1st), Bealtaine (May 1st), Lúnasa (August 1st) and Samhain (November 1st) have marked the start of the new seasons in Ireland for thousands of years - nothing recent about that.


That's certainly a difference I wasn't aware of, and not a recent one as you say. I'm English. I haven't encountered that before. I'm wondering now if other non-Irish people are confused by it.

The article I've linked to below gives an explanation of the quarter days and does appear to be technically correct but, as the author comments, "If you’re a meteorologist, spring begins on 1 March. If you’re an astronomer, it’s 1 February (or a week-ish later if you’re particularly pedantic)", so there seems to be a recognition in Ireland itself that there's a difference of perception (notwithstanding the historical significance of the quarter days - as I've been told elsewhere, even atheists in Ireland say "Dia duit" when they greet people)


According to the Irish National Meteorological Service website, "Autumn begins on the first of September and continues until the end of November". As it is in England. I counted four different dates suggested as the first day of spring in the comments below the article.

In my experience of English culture people generally do judge the seasons by the weather and most would be surprised I think to learn that August is an autumn month in Ireland, or that February is a spring month when their senses would suggest otherwise. Some might even think you're joking. I'm reminded of that song "If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring" - I can't imagine anybody wanting to live in a world where every day was 1 March, much less 1 February.

Very interesting to ponder on. Go raibh maith agat.


I'm English too, but live in Galway now. It still confuses me that February is counted as spring and August as autumn! Apparently it's to do with the grass growing seasons, which makes sense, since it's the important thing when you're farming grass-fed livestock!


Interestingly, one of the hover hints suggested 'harvest' which made a lot of sense to me instead of 'fall' or 'autumn' (those months being harvest months - at least where I have lived - rather than what I know as autumn or fall) but when I actually used 'harvest' (which made total sense in the sentence) I was marked wrong.


"If you’re a meteorologist, spring begins on 1 March. If you’re an astronomer, it’s 1 February (or a week-ish later if you’re particularly pedantic)"

If you’ve noticed astronomers being pedantic about Spring it’s probably due to those with a responsibility or interest in measuring the Solar Year accurately. The Solar Year is the time taken for the Earth to complete an orbit of the Sun (approx. 365.24219 days on average)

One way of doing this, (there are others), is to measure the variation in time between the March Equinoxes, but you have to nail precisely when the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the elliptical plane.

The March Equinox isn’t strictly speaking the ‘start of Spring’ but you will hear astronomers who are focused on the Equinox refer to it as such. That would be Northern Hemisphere astronomers of course.

There’s a lot of calibration of various bits of expensive kit here and several Km’s above us dependent on being accurate with this data so they can be forgiven a bit of pedantry. There’s several interesting ’local’ events in Spring you’d miss if you were out by a few days and observing junk in our solar system’s your thing.


Probably not on planet duolingo though, where the deer speak English and ducks read newspapers.


To my ear, "míonna" is mispronounced here. It's spoken as if there's an 'í' ('ee' sound) at the end of the word. To my knowledge, there should be a definite 'ah' sound at the end of míonna. Reported.

  • 1519

It's not mispronounced. In this speakers dialect, -a plural endings are typically pronounced as -aí.



The speaker has no issue pronouncing míonna in other examples. It's all well and good to have dialect but on a learning platform, there should at least be consistency.

  • 1519

For better or worse, there is no single "standard" for pronunciation in Irish. So learners are going to encounter plurals when they start listening to and speaking with other Irish speakers. It is what it is, and the speaker's "inconsistencies" actually reflect that reality.


Even if I had all the words, I used the wrong conjugations.


Much easier to translate when it's all written down


‘The month of August, the month of September and the month of October are the months of autumn.’ should, IMO, also be accepted as more literal translation.


Is it possible, that you would be missing the genitive? "an" / "na" for "the"?


"... mí an Lúnasa ..."

Also I would not 100% agree with ProinsiasOFoghlu 's suggestion above (partly due to this same reason), but I could not come up with a proper response, though I tried.


Anyone have a simple way to remember when it is "fómhair" or "fómhar", likewise "nollaig" or "nollag". I'm nearly at the end of this section and I still don't know the difference.

  • 1519

An fómhar is the nominative form of "the harvest season" or "the autumn".

fómhair is the genitive form - therefore Meán Fómhair ("middle of autumn") and Deireadh Fómhair ("end of autumn") and míonna an fhómhair - "months of the Autumn".

You have a similar situation with Nollaig - the nominative form, meaning "Christmas", whereas mí na Nollag ("month of Christmas") uses the genitive form. (Nollaig is feminine, so the genitive form uses na even in the singular).

It is more common to see the genitive form having a slender ending (eg fómhair) but Nollaig is a little bit unusual in that it's nominative has a slender ending, and it's the genitive form that has the broad ending.

The key point is that "of" is a genitive marker - "end of autumn", "month of christmas", etc, all require the genitive, and that's why you see things change in phrases like Deireadh Fómhair and Mí na Nollag and Dé Domhnaigh, etc.


Thanks, after I posted my comment I was thinking it might have something to do with masculine and feminine. I'd get one right and apply the same spelling principle to the other which of course is wrong and get very frustrated. I'll just have to remember the "i" in Nollaig works opposite to the "i" in Fómhar in the Nominative and Genitive cases.

  • 1519

Unfortunately, figuring out the correct genitive isn't always straightforward, and it's not as simple as masculine vs feminine (which isn't all that straightforward in Irish anyway!).


This is great! Thanks. :-))


The autistic English pedant in me finds it very difficult to write 'the autumn months'. I feel it should either be 'the months of Autumn' or 'the autumnal months', neither of which is accepted.


Love this thread. Not only learning Irish


Why would "August, September, and October are autumn months." not be valid? To my still-developing understanding, the "an" in "míonna an fhómhair" is part of the genitive construction, and so "autumn months" and "the autumn months" have no way to be distinguished because you can't have a second an/na starting a genitive phrase like that. Is it a subtlety of the sentence structure that makes it definitive, or should I flag this next time?

  • 1519

míonna an fhómhair - "the months of autumn"/"the autumn months" míonna fómhair - "months of autumn"/"autumn months"

Is míonna fómhair iad mí Lúnasa, mí Mheán Fómhair agus mí Dheireadh Fómhair - "August, September, and October are autumn months"

The order for a classification clause ("X is a Y" - Is Y é X) and for an identification clause ("X is the Y" - Is é X an Y) are different.


She said míonní not míonna.

  • 1519


That's fairly typical of Connacht Irish - plurals that are end in a are pronounced as though they end in .

You can hear the same thing in these exercises:
Tá na babhlaí agus na spúnóga ar an mbord
Bronntar na duaiseanna gach
Codlaíonn an bhean bhocht ar na sráideanna
Seolfar litreacha amárach
Tá na treoracha as Gaeilge


There is so much going on in this sentence. Mind: boom.


why is mh pronounced like v instead of w and also why is it mionna an fhomhair (like whats with the an)



(Oddly, the pronunciation example on teanglann.ie for mí Mheán Fómhair doesn't have an example from Connacht, but both the Ulster and Munster versions have a "v" sound for the slender mh in Mheán and a "w" sound for the broad mh in Fómhair)

The an in míonna an fhómhair is the "the" in "the months of autumn". You see this structure used in phrases like bean an tí ("the woman of the house"), muintir na háite ("the local people"), Bunreacht na hÉireann ("the Constitution of Ireland") - the definite article comes before the 2nd noun in these types of phrases, not the first, and the 2nd noun is genitive, so the definite article becomes na for feminine nouns, even in the singular.


Okay. Aren't September October and November the autumn months. Or if we're going by the equinox and solstice some of September October November and most of December? What madness is duolingo teaching the chrildrenz? August is a summer month!

  • 1519

Check out the meaning of the words meán and deireadh (as in Meán Fómhair and Deireadh Fómhair).

The Irish people have marked February 1st as the first day of spring for over two thousand years, with Bealtaine marking the beginning of Summer, Lúnasa marking the start of harvest/autumn/fall, and Samhain marking the start of Winter. Those feasts fall on the first day of the months that are named for them.

  • 1519

If September is the middle (meán) of Autumn (fómhar) and October is the end (deireadh) of Autumn, then August is an autumn month.

As explained in the other comments, February 1st has been celebrated as the first day of Spring for thousands of years - Google was't even in beta back then!


Why is there lenition?? What's triggering it?

  • 1519

Deireadh Fómhair is "the end of autumn" - fómhar is the genitive of fómhar. With Mí Dheireadh Fómhair, you add another genitive into the mix, but when you get two genitive nouns in a row, the first one retains the nominative form but is lenited, so you get Mí Dheireadh Fómhair rather than Deiridh Fómhair. The same thing occurs in Mí Mheán Fómhair.

For míonna an fhómhair, in the genitive case, it is masculine nouns that are lenited after an.


I only didn't use THE, in the answer. imediately it is considered to be wrong. I never see anywhere in this irish sentence an or na. so I think are autumn months should also considered to be right.


míonna an fhómhair


Okay, I didn't notice that.

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