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  5. "Níl sé taobh thiar di."

"Níl taobh thiar di."

Translation:He is not behind her.

December 5, 2014



What does taobh thiar literally mean?


It would be nice if the lesson also gave the literal meaning, I find it makes it easier to remember.


I agree. It makes it easier to understand the context. Knowing now that "taobh thiar" means literally, "back side" makes it easier to make the connection between what's written and what is meant by it.


I just think of a "thief here" sneaking up from behind to remember


But thiar is west, no???


It can mean 'west' as well. It has more than one meaning.


Taobh = side

and I think 'thiar' also means 'in the west' (Celtic worldview in relation to sun).

So is the Gaelic word for 'front' the same as for 'in the East'?


Why not ‘west of her’?


It would only be interpreted as “west” in an adverb of place, so taobh thiar di could be interpreted as “west of it” for a feminine place, e.g. of a river (since abhainn is feminine).


But what if we were saying that he is not physically located to the west of her? Would it still be Níl sé taobh thiar di, or would it be something else? But would agree that without context that says otherwise, "behind" is far more likely what is meant here.

Also, can *Níl sé taobh thiar di." also me that he is not giving his support and/or approval to her?


Ah, do we like this pronunciation of taobh? I'm getting really confused by the orthography if so.


Agreed; I thought it would have been the same ao = í that we've been seeing. Just when I thought I was getting a handle on the orthography too...


The ao = í thing makes sense, but I found the ending consonant confusing; shouldn't the bh be broad? It sounded slender to me so I looked into it and I doubt I'm the only one confused. On teanglann.ie and the Connacht and Munster pronunciations are pretty similar to the one here:


For contrast, check this variant form, which should only differ by having a slender bh:


It sounds the same except there's no on-glide; so that means that in the first example it is in fact broad. But why does it sound like a /v/ instead of a /w/? The answer is that the dialects differ, and in particular Connacht Irish has two allophones of broad bh; from Wikipedia:

"/w/ (which can be written as ⟨bh⟩, ⟨mh⟩, or ⟨v⟩) has two basic allophones: the labiovelar approximant [w] and the velarized voiced labiodental fricative [vˠ]. The distribution of these allophones varies from dialect to dialect. In Munster, generally only [vˠ] is found,[11] and in Ulster generally only [w] is found.[12] In Connacht, [w] is found word-initially before vowels (e.g. bhfuil [wɪlʲ] 'is') and [vˠ] in other positions (e.g. naomh [n̪ˠiːvˠ] 'holy', fómhar [ˈfˠuːvˠəɾˠ] 'autumn', and bhrostaigh [ˈvˠɾˠɔsˠt̪ˠə] 'hurried'[13][14])."

Edit: in retrospect, I should have realized that this is consistent with how "ubh" is pronounced.


Can this also be metaphorical, i.e. 'he does not support her', or is 'taobh thiar' only literal?


Can I say "Is aoibhinn liom do thaobh thiar"? Or can back side not include an actual backside?


You could say that, but it wouldn’t refer to that person’s corporeal posterior. ;*)


The person saying it says de not di!!!


I hear "a" before "taobh." Does anyone else?

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