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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.


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).


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.


The speaker notably uses some dialectical pronunciations, particularily Munster ones (the audio in general is appalling btw in case you didn’t know yet). ‘ao’ is ‘í’ is Standard Irish, and also in Connacht and Ulster, but in Munster it is pronounced like ‘é’. Likewise ‘aoi’ in Munster may be either ‘é’ or ‘í’ (depending on the origin of the word).


For the time being, I'm trying to limit my exposure to the audio. My goal is to develop a consistent accent and I'm focusing on the Connacht one as I think it has more speakers, is in many ways medial between Munster and Ulster, and has influenced the standard orthography the most. I know I have my own bad pronunciation habits that I need to unlearn (e.g. in the past six months, I completely forgot about the pronunciation of "ao"! Thanks for bumping this!), but I think the audio here is only going to make more, so I'm waiting for the new audio with bated breath.


That seems like a great thing to do. I’m more or less doing the same, except my Irish family is from Donegal so I’m trying to focus on the Ulster accent (which is a bit more difficult starting from the standard language, I can understand why you’re going for Connacht). Lately I find I’ve been doing ever better, it also helps that I read out loud every phrase I read/type before moving on to the next one. Still, it’d really be great if they found proper audio at some point, as I also find myself ignoring the current one. In the meantime www.teanglann.ie is a great resource for when you’re not certain of a word’s pronunciation (and they’ve also got different files for the three main dialects).


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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