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  5. "Fuair sí griandó agus ní rai…

"Fuair griandó agus raibh ábalta snámh."

Translation:She got sunburn and she was not able to swim.

December 5, 2014



Never heard -got sunburn in Eastern US- either got a sunburn or got sunburned.


That's my experience, too. Also in the midwest.


This might be because I'm not a native English speaker but how come it's "get sunburn" instead of "get a sunburn" or "sunburnt"?


Medical conditions are a mixed bunch in English. Some are used without an article (he has cancer, she has appendicitis), some are used with a definite article (he has the flu, she has the measles), and some are used with an indefinite article (he has a rash, she has a migraine).

In the case of the noun "sunburn"/griandó, English speakers tend to say "I got (some) sunburn on my arms", without an article, though the adjectival form ("sunburnt"/griandóite) is also common - "I got sunburnt yesterday".


Are you from the States or elsewhere? I've never heard "got sunburn" in the US though I do hear "got (some) sun" to mean anything from a tan to a mild sunburn.


Oh! So it's used as an uncountable noun!!

I see! Thank you for the clarification :)


A lot of people saying "got sunburn" is not widely used. As a native English speaker, I would never use the phrase - I would say "got sunburnt".


is ''ábalta'' as terrible english loanword as it sounds to be? Or just a coincidence?


I know this is an old post but it betrays an attitude towards Irish that really annoys me. Ábalta is objected to as a "terrible english loan word" despite the fact that it's been part of the language since at least the 17th century. All languages borrow from each other. It happens. In fact "able" was borrowed from French. That doesn't make it a "terrible French loanword", it makes it an English word with French origin. Just like ábalta is an Irish word with French origin likely via English.

Meanwhile the dreadful Fuair sí griandó isn't objected to at all, despite the fact that it's just English wearing an Irish costume. Compounding, outside of select prefixes, hasn't been a productive means of noun formation since Middle Irish. But since both grian and are native Irish words, none of the purists notice or care that it's not a native Irish construction. None object that Irish already had native words for sunburn like loscadh gréine, dó gréine or dath na gréine. It really irritates me that genuine Irish is often castigated for using English loan words when complete mangling of the syntax and grammar is lauded because lexically it's fully Gaelic. It's an understanding of the language that's only skin deep.


Not sure. But there is another way to say it: in ann.


Like - Ní raibh sí in ann a shnámh?


You don't need the a, but yes. ní raibh sí in ann snámh


Would "...níor fhéad sé snámh." be correct?


'In ann' is actually defined as = ábalta. Ábalta = láidir nó cliste nó oilte go leor chun rud a dhéanamh. But 'in ann' tends to have a wider usage. In the case of a sunburn, she is too weak to swim.. But it really is her choice to avoid the pain: she is able but not string enough to do it...

So both are equall, 'in ann' sounds less formal to me.


Surely swimming in cold water would help!


Why isn't "She got sunburn and she was unable to swim" accepted?


I should have taken note of this comment before falling foul of the same thing three years later.


I was suspicious of griandó so looked it up in FGB. And lo, I see only dó gréine. Which is right?


I'm jumping in at the top level but this is a reply to the whole other sub-thread.

The dual existence of dó gréine and griandó isn't really analogous to "sunburn" and "sun-burn". It's much more akin to if English had "sun-burn" as a loose compound and a group of 2nd language speakers from Paris decided that the correct English word was actually "burnsun" and for some inexplicable reason English dictionaries followed that recommendation. Griandó is just as hostile to Modern Irish as "burnsun" is to English.

This is because Irish, like most other VSO languages, is overwhelmingly head-initial. This means in compounds that the thing being modified almost always precedes the modifier e.g. dó croí or dó neantóige. Contrast that to English which is typically head-final in compound words e.g. heartburn or nettle-sting. Head-final compounds do exist in the modern language e.g. muiceoil (compound of muc+feoil) or leathbhróg - "one shoe from a pair" but they're scope is limited. They're either inherited from Old Irish like muiceoil or they're formed from one of a limited pool of prefixes that are still productive e.g. leath-. Griandó meets neither of these criteria, and it's jarring in comparison to genuine Irish terms like dó croí, dó neantóige or dó talún. It was obviously coined in an office.

This hasn't gone unnoticed by those who study the language. Sjoestedt-Jonval writing about Blasket Irish makes the earliest remarks on compounding I'm aware of. She notes, "These calques (of English compound words) are most often of a bookish or artificial character, the spoken language preferring either to borrow the word from English or translate it by a noun+genitive phrase" (translation is my own). De Bhaldraithe writing about Cois Fharraige Irish in the 50's mentions it's no longer productive to form compounds except by putting two adjectives together. Ahlqvist specifically mentions the tension between neologists who are fond of "hysterocentric" (i.e. English-style) compounds and the living language which prefers "proterocentric" (i.e. noun+genitive) compounds, and wonders if the reason why speakers are slow to accept neologisms is related to this difference. His encouragement for language planners to consider Irish's typological linguistics in coining neologisms unfortunately seems to have gone unheeded e.g. duchtobair, aghaidhluach, domhainfharraige, amfhearann

As for the sentence in the exercise it probably would be best to sidestep the issue entirely and have Irish like Bhí sí dóite ag an ngrian/ón ngrian agus ní raibh...


I'm afraid your negative prejudices are clouding your judgement on this issue. Unlike foreign academics, native speakers don't differentiate between compound words that are "inherited from Old Irish like muiceoil or [are] formed from one of a limited pool of prefixes that are still productive e.g. leath". Their native speech is entirely compatible with "head-final" compound words like bialann, gluaisrothar, ardeaglais, drochaimsir, seanbhean, banríon, dáilcheantar and it is irrelevant to native speakers whether these words are "old" or "new", they just "are".

You can be pretty sure that duchtobair was coined by Irish speaking construction workers from Connemara or Kerry working in London or New York long before any civil servant in Dublin had even the slightest notion of documenting it, and the same is probably true for many new compound words. That such compounds are influenced by English there is no doubt, because every last one of those native Irish speakers that coin these terms is already as fluent in English as any of us can ever hope to be in Irish, but I see little evidence one way or the other to suggest that such new compounds are being generated by 2nd language speakers (who are more likely to look up an old word that they don't know in a dictionary than they are to coin a new one) rather than by bi-lingual "native speakers".


Your list of examples isn’t nearly as persuasive as you think. Drochaimsir and seanbhean both draw from the limited pool of productive prefixes. Banríon is an inherited term, and Ahlqvist specifically mentions how the ban- prefix in a word like bandochtúir is bookish and dated compared to dochtúir mná. Lann isn’t a living word on it’s own in Modern Irish so bialann and related words hardly are felt with the force of compound words. Even then many of them are also artificial; I’ve never encountered iarsmalann in the wild. Finally dáilcheantar is precisely the kind of technical term that has zero currency in the spoken language. This leaves árdeaglais and gluaisrothar as your only legitimate examples, and neither is totally comparable to griandó seeing that neither is a noun+noun compound, though gluaisrothar does betray a similar artifice when compared to bád mótair or bád gluaisteáin for “motor-boat”.

You can be pretty sure that duchtobair was coined by Irish speaking construction workers from Connemara or Kerry

Actually I’m quite certain it wasn’t. These workers would have either just used “ductwork” as a borrowed term or they’d have translated it as obair duchta. This is because the productive way of modifying nouns by other nouns in Modern Irish is by putting the modifier in the genitive after the head noun. This is discussed in no uncertain terms in all three of the works I’ve cited, if you’d bothered to actually consult any. Head-initial English-style compounds exemplified by muiceoil are relics, using an obsolete strategy that has been in constant decline since Irish switched to VSO word order. Their origin in Old Irish is precisely why they’re intelligible but not the pattern isn’t productive. Modern day Irish speakers hardly have to be cognizant of these Old Irish origins for them to still treat those words differently.

After all this happens in English too e.g. “Under no circumstances will I do that” is displays a relic V2 word order inherited from Old English but the construction is fossilized. It’s limited to certain negative adverbs and is no longer readily productive in Modern English i.e. I can’t say “Badly want I a new pair of shoes”. The acceptable uses of this pattern are acceptable because they’re inherited directly from earlier stages of English, while my example isn’t acceptable because it wasn’t inherited. Every English speaker intuitively understands the differential acceptability between these two examples even if they don’t realize why this is the case.

but I see little evidence one way or the other to suggest that such new compounds are being generated by 2nd language speakers (who are more likely to look up an old word that they don't know in a dictionary than they are to coin a new one)

I don’t know the origins of every neologist, and I don’t have hard statistics about the usage of these words. Logic permits a line of argumentation with the exact opposite conclusion quite easily however. Since all native speakers are bilingual in English, if they don’t know a word in Irish they’re happy to just slot in the English one. It’s the 2nd language crowd that objects to this practice, and that insists there be an Irish word for every English word in the dictionary. After all these purely aesthetic concerns matter much more to 2nd language speakers than to natives, who by and large are just trying to communicate with their neighbors and families.

I'm afraid your negative prejudices are clouding your judgement on this issue

My negative thoughts on the issue would much more accurately be described as post-judices, because they only formed once I’d attained a certain level of Irish and realized the facts. Griandó can only look artificial after it’s compared to living terms like dó neantóige or dó croí. Duchtobair can only be judged ridiculous after comparison to genuine Irish like obair adhmaid, obair scoile and obair tí. I drew this conclusion without the help of anybody, though similar conclusions drawn from descriptive studies of Irish as it’s spoken have certainly buoyed my convictions.

In fact I think it’s you who are letting your pre-conceived beliefs cloud your judgement, namely the belief that compound words like griandó or duchtobair or beachtheiripe are, despite their obvious departure from spoken Irish norms, justified because they see use by native speakers. This is contrary to what’s reported by Sjoestedt-Jonval, De Bhaldraithe and Ahlqvist. It definitely is contrary to my own experience, where very often in speech and even in writing English loan words are used in preference to these neologisms. This is the substance of my complaint, that neologists flout the rules of traditional Irish to create these terms that no one uses anyway. If these neologisms had a firmer footing in the traditional language, then maybe they’d see wider adoption. Either way I certainly find this present state of affairs distasteful, and I don’t see how anyone reasonably acquainted with the idiom of native Irish could draw a different conclusion.


fuair sí dó gréine agus ní raibh sí in ann snámh. Perhaps has a better sense that she was not in a position to swim rather than not able. ( I don't like the sound but ábalta is used; just not in all areas)


Is there a past tense for «ní féidir léi» ?


Ba fhéidir léi would be my guess :P


Spelled b'fhéidir. Those mean can/might. They are associated to practicality to do, authorisation, likelyhood, of something happening.

Negative: ní féidir / niorbh fhéidir.

I would not see that as an obvious choice here, unless expressing doubt if someone suggest they saw her swim, and you argue that she couldn't have been swimming...


I've lived everywhere from Alaska to southern California, to northern Maine to North Carolina and it is always got a sunburn or got sunburned. I'm assuming, judging from some of the spelling in earlier lessons, that this is UK or Irish english. They often omit the articles For example: In US, "in the/a hospital", in UK "in hospital".

[deactivated user]

    Do people get "frostbite" in Alaska, or is it always "a frostbite" or "frostbitten"?


    I've always heard have/had or got/get frostbite. I've never heard anyone say frostbitten in a serious way. From your name, are you in Ireland? My mother was from NI and my son and I are relocating to Ireland as soon as we can get our passports sorted.

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