"Seachtain nó coicís?"

Translation:A week or a fortnight?

4 years ago

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bhursttn
bhursttn
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(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?

3 years ago

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

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/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

3 years ago

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

3 years ago

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

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruamac
ruamac
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A fortnight is exactly two weeks - no more, no less. There is absolutely no difference between the two terms.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oakreef

I have never heard of this distinction

1 year ago

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

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonathanbost
jonathanbost
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just wondering...if you're American, are you taking English for Spanish speaking people?

2 years ago

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

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sylvain2015
Sylvain2015
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Most people are aware of what fortnight means whether or not they use it in daily speech.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jyxxie
Jyxxie
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Is 'a week or two' too American of me? It wasn't accepted.

3 years ago

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

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruamac
ruamac
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In the above response I refer to Hiberno-English.

3 years ago

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

2 years ago

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

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bisontin
Bisontin
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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"?

4 years ago

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

4 years ago

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

4 years ago

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

4 years ago

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

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/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

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidCarver
DavidCarver
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The etymology is interesting. The French equivalent of "fortnight" is "quinze jours" - which means "fifteen days", whereas "fortnight" means "fourteen nights".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nicolastekar
nicolastekar
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what is a fortnight?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DSDragon
DSDragonPlus
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A fortnight is fourteen nights, and the 15 days surrounding them. In other words, two weeks and a day.

2 years ago

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

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ataltane
ataltane
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That's its etymology ('fourteen nights'), not its present meaning. A fortnight only means two weeks.

6 months ago
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