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  5. "Cuardaíonn na póilíní an tea…

"Cuardaíonn na póilíní an teach nua."

Translation:The police search the new house.

October 22, 2014



Just to point out: Póilíní is rarely (or never) used to describe the Irish police, they're always called the gardaí (garda singular), even when speaking English. Póilíní is often used for members of the PSNI (Northern Irish police), or to differentiate between the gardai and the PSNI on news reports if some incident is a joint operative, or occurs on both sides of the border


Just to add to that, the official name for the police force in Ireland is An Garda Síochána (pronounced: On Gawrd-ah Shee-oh-kawn-ah), translated literally as The Guardians of the Peace. The singular word is garda (pronounced: gawrd, meaning guardian) and the plural word is gardaí (gawrd-ee, meaning guardians).

Colloquially in the English language, Irish people will often refer to police as "guards", an English language play on their official Irish term. Police might be used occasionally instead of guard but "guard" will be the most prominent term used by the Irish population. Póilíní means police, both in relation to Northern Ireland and police officers abroad.

Interestingly, while 'gardaí' is the plural term for Irish police officers, the similarly spelled 'gadaí' (pronounced gawd-ee) is the word for 'thief'.


Sounds like "córdaíonn na póilíní an seach nua".


is it supposed to sound like seach? or is there supposed to be a more noticible "t" sound"


Clearly it was bought with stolen money from that bank robbery


The net is narrowing around Pól


Is there a difference between "to look for" and "to search"?


Looks like British English is more commonly spoken in this course, as far as English translations go.


as someone learning the connacht dialect, I'm only just noticing how "nua" is pronounced much more like "nu" than with the diphthong one would intuitively assume.(which is right for Ulster). Its really helpful copying and pasting sentence into the abair TTS to see that our reading out loud of sentences isn't too far off our target dialect. Extra searches with forvo and teanglann.ie when necessary helps to confirm unexpected findings.


This is not as ambiguous as the other examples. Unless the house blew away in a storm or floated away on an iceberg, it is not likely to mean "determine the location of the house" and very likely to mean "serve the warrant and then check every room."

  • 1447

Duolingo doesn't usually accept slang (Where would you draw the line? I can think of half a dozen slang terms for "police", many of them derogatory, some archaic).

That said, if you were translating a text from English into Irish you could translate "cops" as "póilíní" (or as "Gardaí" if the translation is about or set in Ireland) and when translating a text from Irish to English, you should use whichever synonym for "police" is most appropriate in context.


What other sort of police were you thinking it might be?


Hi Satharn Thanks for your latest note I don't think anybody suggested that the Irish word for police should not be included in the course . We accept that nothing in that sentence confirms that the action took place in Ireland. But equally there is nothing to suggest that it didn't .

People from overseas love little nuggets of information such as the police are called the guards or Gardaí. It often becomes a topic of conversation.

Regarding the North of Ireland people up there either Irish speakers or not would have no problem with the use of the name Gardai . In fact BBC N.I and UTV use the name Gardai when they are reporting on crime etc.

All that has to be done is to have a default where either police or Garda is accepted.

Regarding an earlier post where you questioned the English translation as guardians of the peace , that is the version since the 1920's and the version that is commonly accepted.

  • 1447

I'm sorry Brian, but you're kidding yourself if you think that An Garda Síochána means "guardians of the peace". I didn't "question" anything, I explained that that's just a made up name used by people who don't understand Irish, and who have no knowledge of the history of the force, or where the name came from. As for it being "commonly accepted", even if that were true, so are "the cops" and lots of other far less complimentary epithets - you don't accept an inaccurate and illogical answer just because it's been passed around by a small minority who don't care that it's wrong.

You've also started to argue against yourself now. If you agree that the BBC and UTV do and should use Garda and Gardaí when referring to police activity in the Republic, then by your own argument the fact that the exercise doesn't use Garda in the original, must mean it's not referring to a police activity in the Republic, therefore the English translation shouldn't use Guards/Garda/Gardaí.

The bottom line is that "Gardaí" is not the English for póilíní.


Hi Satharn Let us be reminded that the issue here was the non inclusion of the words Guards, Garda, Gardai in the Irish course. It is now accepted that when the action occurs in the republic that terminology can be used in translation if preferred. It can be taken that as it is an Irish course the action would normally be in Ireland. So let's hope that Duo makes that change. I think you misunderstood my reference to the tv in Northern Ireland . I thought that you were concerned about offending anybody. I'm just letting you know that nobody would be offended.

Now as to the guardians of the peace , as you know, you can't simply translate two words from one language to another and say that's what that name means. You often have to use other words to give the true meaning of the name.

  • 1447

You've obviously convinced yourself that black is white. Good luck to you.


Thanks for that , but I'm afraid to say you got it wrong again'

I was trying to explain to you what is black AND white to most people. That is that the police in Ireland are named Na Gardai or Guards never the police. This has been so for almost a hundred years.

Best of luck

  • 1447


many people have pointed that we have Gardai in Ireland they are not called police.

  • 1447

And the question isn't "How would you say this in Ireland?", it is "Translate this sentence into English" and the English for póilíní is "police".

Have a look at the logo on the Garda website:


Hi Satharn, I can see where your confusion arises , as you can see from their web site . Their name is an Garda Siochana which is what should appear in the Irish sentence. The hint should say police or as they are know in English the guards. As you know the translation is guardians of the peace , The name was chosen as they were founded during a very troubled period of history . Which is why that name was chosen.

I hope you find this helpful.

  • 1447

First of all, while the course was written by Irish people living in Ireland, it wasn't written just for people living in the Republic of Ireland.

Póilín is a word in Irish. There were policemen in Ireland before An Garda Síochána came into existence, and they were called póilíní. Cuardaíonn na póilíní an teach nua is a a sentence in Irish. You can use it in Belfast, where the Guards don't have jurisdiction. You can use it in London, where the Guards don't have jurisdiction. You can use it in Chicago, where the Guards don't have jurisdiction. There are Irish speakers in all of those cities. You can also use the sentence in Dublin, Galway, Cork or Limerick, as every member of An Garda Síochán is a póilín.

Secondly, An Garda Síochána doesn't mean "Guardians of the Peace". It was set up as "The Civic Guard" (note the singular Guard, referring to the organization, not the multiple members) and adopted the name Garda Síochána na hÉireann in 1923, and is called An Garda Síochána, with the singular An.

Garda is not the Irish for "guardian*, and if you wanted a literal translation of An Garda Síochána, it would be "The Peace Guard", though when the organization is referred to with an name in English, it is the original name, "The Civic Guard" that is used. "Guardians of the Peace" is a makey-up name for people who don't understand Irish, and who don't know the history of the police force in the Republic.


I have read your comments, nobody is suggesting that the Gardaí have any jurisdiction out side of the Republic . But in the Republic that is the name they are called . In fact there is no slang name for them in common usage. Everybody knows that there was a police force in Ireland prior to independence. Which is the very reason post independence a non para military force was formed . They were and are an unarmed police force . Where appropriate their correct title should be used.

  • 1447

You said this just a few posts back:

Their name is an Garda Siochana which is what should appear in the Irish sentence.

That would only be true if this exercise was written purely for use within the Republic of Ireland. But even within the Republic of Ireland, people watch British and American police shows on TV every day, and some of those people discuss these TV shows in Irish - and they use the word póilíní when doing so, not Gardaí. There is absolutely nothing about this exercise that says that it can only be referring to policemen in the Republic of Ireland searching a house in the Republic of Ireland. (Because. obviously, there are Irish police officers living and working on the Island of Ireland who are not members of An Garda Siochána, and who are not called Guards in English. Some of them probably even speak Irish).

So, as an Irish speaker, even in the Republic of Ireland, póilín and póilíní are words that should be in your vocabulary. Which is exactly why this exercise exists.

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