"The man walks with his dog."
Translation:Siúlann an fear lena mhadra.
one time the sentence is written "siúlann an fear lena mhadra", the other time "siúlann an fear lena madra" - what's right now? or is this again a dialectal variety?
As far as i read elsewhere where an answer was provided to a similar question, i believe it is because lena can mean his or her. In the case it is his, lenition takes place, hence the mhadra. In one case you read his and in the other her, and lenition shows you which is which.
If you strengthen your "lenition" skill (and maybe check the notes), you'll be reminded that "a madra" is "her dog" and "a mhadra" is "his dog".
You can see the Tips & Notes in the browser on your phone. (At the time the message you are responding to was written, I don't think you could access the discussions on the phone apps either).
... as Simeod explained a month ago - but thanks for the gratuitous comment
No, Simeod explained the grammar. I suggested you and anyone else who gets this problem might want to go over mutations again (which you may have done for all I know). They put Eclipsis and Lenition near the beginning of the course for a reason. There's no need to be aggressive.
Youre welcome! As a matter of fact I just made the same mistake and went to read the comments. Stumbled upon this one. Found it clear. Then realised it was I who had written it. Sigh
It depends on context, I guess. Same way it would in English. Generally, I'd go with the man walking his own dog.
Wouldn’t it be lena madra rather than lena mhadra to translate “with their dog”?
I thought "lena" was only for coming 'le + an/na'. Can is also be used as it is here, lena madra, lena mhadra and how many more cases is it used in. More importantly, is there a section on DuoLingo which I'm forgetting dedicated to this specifically? (Or am I on it? ._.)
lena mhadra = his dog? lena madra = her dog? lena madra = their dog? M cannot eclipse?
If above is correct, how can one tell if it is her or their dog?
You can't. It's entirely down to context! With letters that don't mutate at all you can't distinguish 'he' from 'she' either - lena leabhar for example.
It's not as hard to deal with as you might think - think of how English does just fine without distinguishing you (sing.) and you (plur.). Somewhat tangentially, Lithuanian doesn't distinguish 'he works', 'she works' and 'they work', and that works out fine for them too.
Even the mutations can lead to ambiguities sometimes: a bhás (his death) sounds the same as a bhfás (their growth)!