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  5. "Off the girl."

"Off the girl."

Translation:Den chailín.

November 6, 2014



Why does Duolingo sometimes have this as "off" the girl and sometimes it is "of" the girl? Which is correct?


Both, but see ataltane's comment below.


Except you wouldn't use 'de(n)' to translate 'the phone of the girl' - you'd use the genitive for that, to indicate possession.

You only need to use 'of' to translate 'de(n)' occasionally, such as 'of' in 'made of' (tá sé deanta de chlocha = "it's made of stone") and in what's called the partitive (indicating some or part of something, such as duine de na buachaillí = "some of the boys").

Generally, take the base meaning of "de" to be "off, from". And remember, the word is not defined by the random collection of English prepositions that happen to translate it.


You made my "de."


"And remember, the word is not defined by the random collection of English prepositions that happen to translate it"

Very true for the prepositions in Irish, an excellent point. Most of the prepositions have only a moderate connection to the English preposition commonly used to translate them.


De would also be used instead of the genitive when the first noun is undefined and the second is defined , because using the genetive would make the first noun defined ...

Hata den chat = a hat of THE cat Hata an chait = THE hat of THE cat


Yeah, adpositions in general tend to shift a lot. They tend to occupy a certain range of conceptual space, and even for closely related languages, the exact boundaries of that space rarely line up perfectly. Even within languages there can be overlap, and across languages, a perfect one to one comparison is virtually never present for even one adposition.


What does "off the girl" mean? Is it an idiomatic phrase in Irish? In English it would be the equivalent of saying "kill the girl".


I think it's a pure grammatical exercise, not intended to have a great deal of meaning.

We could invent a context for it, weird though it may be: "Hey, remember that girl we saw who fell asleep during her picnic and there was a spider crawling on her? Is the spider still on that girl?" "I just checked. The spider has crawled away. It is off the girl."


Why isn't "Den gcailin" correct ?


Because den lenites its noun rather than eclipsing it.

EDIT: The 2016 version of the Caighdeán also allows eclipsis after either (den and don) or (sa).


"Den gcailín" is actually used in Kerry, but not the other dialects.


I just love it that so many people on here know so much more than I do. I hope Dust514 is still around for this answer - it is really encouraging to see that his (or her) logical deduction is part of the language in a dialect! Would not have known that if you hadn't popped in.


That explains why i was so confused i just assumed I'd it wrong in my head but nah its just the Kerry Irish lmao


Why is there an h


Lenition is a change of an initial consonant sound that is applied in various grammatical situations in Irish. Ablaut in English is akin to it, where a change in a verb’s root vowel sound signifies a grammatical change, e.g. sing/sang/sung. Lenition is expressed in Roman type by following certain initial consonants with an H. (In Gaelic type, lenition is instead expressed by putting a dot on top of those consonants.)


Why does this translate to "Off the girl" while Duolingo's "Den bhuachaill" doesn't allow "off the boy" as a translation?


They probably missed that one for buachaill. Report it if it's still happening.


Why is the answer not "den na chailín?"


"na" is used for plurals: "na cailíní", "an" is for the singular and "an" is already included in "den" (de + an = den)


So, 'Den chailín' is the right answer. My brain has blipped - why don't we need the definite article here? Is 'den' a contraction of 'de' and 'an'? In which case, den úll, den madra, den cat, etc?


Yes, den = de + an, so den úll, den mhadra, den chat, etc. The rule is to lenite when possible, except for words that begin with D, S, or T, which remain unlenited, e.g. den dlí, den sráid, den teach.


Ah! Knew I'd find the answer in here. I initially wrote den an cailín which is wrong.

Is it the same for don (do + an ?) and san (sa + an ?)? The eclipsis notes specifically described the contractions with an, but not the lenition ones.


Yes, the same applies for don = do + an, and sa = i + an. (San is used in place of sa before a vowel sound, e.g. san uisce, san fhéar.) Note that the 2016 version of the Caighdeán also allows eclipsis after either (den and don) or (sa).


Thank you, Scilling! That explains it, and is actually a far easier rule to remember than I had thought it would be.


Because den causes lenition.


Why isint it ón gcailín


Ón means “from the” rather than “off the”.


so den means 'of' and 'off'?


Den can mean either “of the”, “off the”, or “from the”.


So how would I say get off me?


of the girl or off the girl ? Which one is correct ?


From reading ALL the answers above, including ataltane's answer (the most helpful), here's the answer to your question : BOTH "of" and "off" are correct, even though English language gives two different meanings to these prepositions. You just have to bear in mind that "of", "off" (AND "from") are approximations of the true meaning of "Den" which doesn't have a TRUE EQUIVALENT in English. But that's only my understanding of/off/from the comments I read above... I could be mistaken.


It's "of", not "off". You should fix this.


In what context does duolingo expect us to use this sentence in?


It should be of, not off, correct???


No, not correct.

The earlier comments provide examples of den chailín translating to "off the girl" as well as examples of "of the girl".


If the phrase is: " den buchaill," is the translation: "of the boy?"


Just idle curiosity but I notice that 'de' (and various forms thereof) also means 'of' in various Romance languages. Is it just a coincidence? Does anyone know?


The French "de" comes from Latin "dē”, with the general idea of “away from”, “of”, “about” (prepositions seldomly function alike in different languages). So you can see how that could have evolved into the modern Romance forms.

However, it's not likely that the Celtic languages got the form from Latin. It's more likely that Latin and Irish developed the form from a Indo-European root “de” meaning “towards” and of course the meaning of the connection changed with time. Indo-European is the parent language of most of the European languages, from 4-5000 years ago.

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