"Are you musical?"
Translation:An bhfuil tú ceolmhar?
Is this is the proper use of "ceolmhar" in Gaeilge? I know in Gàidhlig the "mhar/mhor" ending means more like "to possess the quality of" and not "to possess an inclination toward". For example, in Gàidhlig if someone has a nice singing voice you could say they had "guth ceòlmhor"--meaning their voice possessed a musical quality--but to say someone with a musical inclination or ability is "ceòlmhor" in Gàidhlig would be an Anglicization that would likely sound weird to a native speaker. Rather you would probably need to say that person had a talent or passion for music. Does Gaeilge not make this kind of distinction with these types of adjectives?
As a sample, these are the -mhar and -mhór adjectives that I’d found in Irish that begin with A and don’t have variants spelled with other suffixes:
- ábhalmhór (“colossal”)
- ághmhar (“warlike, valiant”)
- anmhór (“huge, enormous”)
- aolmhar (“containing lime; lime-white”)
- ármhar (“slaughterous, destructive”)
They seem to be a mix of “possessing the quality of” and “possessing an inclination toward”. Ághmhar and ármhar could arguably be either, depending upon context.
Unless those words have meanings beyond what you list, I'm not sure they can be either/or. I mean, to say someone is "warlike" in nature or personality is not the same as saying they are a "person of war/someone who engages in warfare". But at least in English if you were to blur thse two senses it wouldn't seem as weird as trying to say someone is "musiclike" when you mean they are a "person who is musicially inclined".
In Gàidhlig, from what I can find, ceòlmhor still firmly means musical in the sense that melodious and harmonious are also suitable English translations and not that someone has musical ability or talents. Dwelly's even lists using it to describe a person in the Harris dialect means "funny" or "queer" (as a synonym for funny or unusal, not in a LGBTQ sense). I'd be interested in learning whether this broader use of ceolmhar and any similar mhar/mhór adjectives in Gaeilge is commonplace, or more specific to particular dialect.
Gàidhlig can be quite nuanced and fussy about how to describe things in ways that aren't always easily explained in English, and I've come to understand that this is very much part of how Gàidhlig speakers think. It's something rooted deeply in their Gaelic language, but it's unclear to me if this Gàidhlig precision in using descriptors has a parallel in Gaeilge. Suffice to say, I know there are important differences between Gàidhlig and Gaeilge--I just want to be sure I have a good understanding of whether this is one or not.
I’m completely unfamiliar with Gàidhlig, so I can’t contribute anything there. The definitons that I’d provided above for those adjectives are the only ones that were shown in the dictionary. Two definitions were provided for aolmhar, which is why I’d presented both of them, separated by a semicolon.
For ághmhar, I’d describe a warlike person as someone who possesses an inclination toward war, but I’d describe a valiant person as someone who possesses the quality of valiance. I see ármhar similarly, with a slaughterous person as someone who possesses an inclination toward slaughter, but a destructive person as someone who possesses the quality of destructiveness.
This is why I’d describe ághmhar and ármhar as arguably being either, if the dividing line is “possessing the inclination toward” vs. “possessing the quality of”.
Yes I agree that it seems an Anglicisation. Irish constructs are different to English ones but because English is overwhelmingly dominant it seems to me that even native Irish speakers sometimes use the English construct rather than the more subtle Irish one.
I put "An bhfuil an ceol ionat?" but of course it was rejected.
As a matter of interest how would you ask the question in Gàidhlig?
What is annoying is that when I said "An bhfuil féith an cheoil agat?" which literally means "Do you have the talent of music?" it marked it incorrect, even though this is a much better way to say it.
Source: I am a fluent Native Irish speaker