"Seachtain coicís?"

Translation:A week or a fortnight?

November 13, 2014

31 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bhursttn

(I'm American.) I find the very fact that a word for a two-week period exists odd. If I wanted to talk about a 26-week period in Irish (random even number chosen) would I use the Irish translation of "26 weeks" or "13 fortnights"? Which is more commonly used by native Irish speakers, and is there any difference?

December 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

I’d imagine that “half year” or “six months” would be used rather than “13 fortnights” or “26 weeks”, in the same way that one would likely use a smaller amount of a larger unit of measurement than a larger amount of a smaller unit of measurement.

“Sevenight” (pronounced sennet ) was long used in English alongside “week”.

April 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lee_OCee

To reply to your original question, I highly doubt that one would ever refer to a 26-week period as "13 fortnights". There may be more accomplished gaeilgeoirí than myself who may know of instances as gaeilge where time is measured in fortnights, but to my knowledge this is not usual at all. :)

That being said, whether you find it odd or not, " fortnight" has been around for a very long time and it is widely used in the UK, longer so in fact than the existence of US varieties of English. :P

February 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ataltane

Talking about Irish & UK English here, but by extension also about the Irish work coicís, you'd never say "13 fortnights" in normal speech. I can just about imagine someone says "a fortnight or two ago", but the most common way it's used is just as a singular noun meaning "two weeks". And the expression "two weeks" is very common too.

March 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DSDragon

There is technically a difference between two weeks and a fortnight. Two weeks is 14 days and either 13 or 14 nights. A fortnight is specifically 14 nights, and 15 days.

September 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruamac

A fortnight is exactly two weeks - no more, no less. There is absolutely no difference between the two terms.

February 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oakreef

I have never heard of this distinction

January 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

I does not exist in English, though the French version is "quinze jours" (15 days) which is usually translated as a fortnight" in British English.

February 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonathanbost

just wondering...if you're American, are you taking English for Spanish speaking people?

February 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bhursttn

Yeah, I was just curious how they teach English. I'm pretty much fluent in Spanish, so that's the one I chose to take a few English lessons through.

February 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvain2015

Most people are aware of what fortnight means whether or not they use it in daily speech.

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jyxxie

Is 'a week or two' too American of me? It wasn't accepted.

June 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruamac

Yes, I would think that, 'a week or two,' is 'too American' in this context. If I was to ask someone how long they were going on holiday for I would say, 'Are you going for a week or a fortnight?' If I were to ask them, 'How long are you going for,' and they hadn't quite made their mind up, they might say, 'For a week or two.' Therefore, the expression, 'A week or two,' implies some uncertainty as to the exact period of time.

September 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruamac

In the above response I refer to Hiberno-English.

September 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bush6984

I typed "One or two weeks?" and was counted wrong as well (25 April 2016)

American here as well, and have only ever heard the term "fortnight" in a Hebrew class, since none of us knew WTF they were referring to.

Week-- שָׁבוּעַ Fortnight-- שְׁבוּעַיִם

April 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zauber32

I've heard fortnight in British English. I have never heard it in an American context, and allowing any American English alternatives seems odd to me.

June 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bisontin

Would it be reasonable to translate coicís as "two weeks", or is there some nuanced distinction made between "fortnight" and "two weeks" that would be expressed in choosing "coicís"?

November 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Etymologically, coicís (before the reform, spelled as {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}cóiciḋis, {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}coicṫiḋis, {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}coigḋís, or {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}cóigṫiḋis) shares the same Old Irish roots as a cúig déag (“fifteen”) — it originally represented a fifteen day period, and at the beginning of the 20th century could mean either a fifteen day period or a fortnight. “Fortnight” is its only meaning now.

November 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bisontin

Thank you for your responses. I asked mainly because "fortnight" is not used at all, ever, in the part of the world I live, so it is interesting to me when this distinction is made.

November 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

If you were making a translation for, say, a US English audience, then “two weeks” could very well be a better choice than “fortnight” for coicís, since “fortnight” isn’t used much in US English. It’s certainly best to tailor a translation for the intended audience.

November 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrewly

I'm very thankful Irish went through a spelling reform. I shudder at the thought of trying to learn the spelling system pre-reform, since its still extremely challenging as is.

April 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/B-mhongoadh

although just a relative beginner , I like the old spellings, (I'd hope to learn them when it's not daft to do so) and always feel the silent letters are, still , kinda -there

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidCarver

The etymology is interesting. The French equivalent of "fortnight" is "quinze jours" - which means "fifteen days", whereas "fortnight" means "fourteen nights".

January 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

It's just better translated as fortnight. dhá seachtain is two weeks.

November 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicolastekar

what is a fortnight?

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DSDragon

A fortnight is fourteen nights, and the 15 days surrounding them. In other words, two weeks and a day.

January 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruamac

A fortnight is two weeks. If someone were to say, 'A fortnight from today,' they would mean two weeks from now, not two weeks and one day.

February 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ataltane

That's its etymology ('fourteen nights'), not its present meaning. A fortnight only means two weeks.

May 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TadhgMonabot

Why is 'an' not at the beginning of this sentence - an seachtain no coicis?

December 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1222

an tseachtain means "the week".

If you meant the other an that you see at the start of questions, that's the interrogative particle an and it is used to modify a verb. There is no verb in this "sentence", therefore you can't use an interrogative particle.

December 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TadhgMonabot

Tuigim, go raibh mo agat agus Nollaig shona dhuit

December 23, 2018
Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.