"Scríobhaim an leabhar."

Translation:I write the book.

3 years ago



What fascinates me most about Irish is that you can trace impossibly well when a certain word becam important in Irish history. Some animals were not 'known' before the opening towards the world, so their 'stem-language' is English. (f.e eilifint (elephant) in contrast to madra (dog) ) Writing, however, corresponds to the famous Irish Center of Christian book production (Book of Kells/Armagh etc.), so the stem-language for the word 'write' is latin 'scrivere'.

3 years ago

  • 25
  • 1561

eDIL notes that elef(a)int (the Middle Irish form of eilifint ) came from an Irish translation of Lucan’s Pharsalia, so English wasn’t involved; it came to Middle Irish directly from Latin elephantus. (Its form in the Pharsalia was elephans, a third declension variant of elephantus that was closer to its Greek source ἐλέφᾱς.)

2 years ago


I recently came across the Irish word for Hippotamus while looking something else up in the dictionary - dobhareach, which comes from dobhar meaning "water" and each meaning "horse" or "steed".

Hipopotamus comes from the Greek hippopótamos "riverine horse".

I wonder when that came into the Irish language :-)

(There is a famous, or infamous, statue of a rhinoceros in the river Dodder in south Dublin. Nobody knows if it was supposed to be a hippopotamus).

2 years ago

  • 20
  • 18
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 2

Is there a reason "write" and "am writing" are not interchangeable here?

3 years ago


Yes. Irish, like English, has a separate present progressive and present habitual form.

3 years ago


I am writing: Tá mé ag scríobh.

3 years ago
Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.