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  5. "Is oibrí é m'uncail."

"Is oibrí é m'uncail."

Translation:My uncle is a worker.

December 22, 2014



Are there any particular connotations for worker here? Would it imply manual labor, or is it more all purpose?


No, there’s no particular connotation; it’s all-purpose.


Interesting that "é" is needed even when a more specific subject is named.


The “sub-subject” pronoun in a classificational copular statement with a definite subject is optional in Ulster Irish.


Just to be clear, in Ulster dialect this could be Is oibrí m'uncail?


How about "He is a worker, my uncle" ? (That would be the way French Canadians--among other-- would say it in English.)


Are you claiming that a French Canadian would never say "My uncle is a worker", or are you saying that French speakers sometimes use French grammatical structures when speaking English?

The comma in "He is a worker, my uncle" serves a purpose, indicating that the subject and the predicate are out of order. The equivalent in Irish would be M'uncail, is oibrí é.


I am not "claiming" that the French Canadians never say "my uncle is a worker," only reporting that from my experience with the Franco-Americans of Maine that "He is a worker, my uncle" is not an uncommon construction, and that it is not limited to them.


I said "The worker is my uncle" and got marked down. this should be accepted.


"My uncle is a worker" is a "classifactorial clause" of the Copula,(you are assigning your uncle the classification of worker) and the structure is Is + Predicate + é/í/iad + Subject

The subject of the sentence "My uncle is a worker" is "my uncle" - m'uncail, the predicate is "a worker" - oibrí, so Is oibrí é m'uncail is "My uncle is a worker".

"The worker is my uncle" is an identification clause - you are identifying the worker as your uncle, and "the worker" - an t-oibrí is the subject, and "my uncle" - m'uncail is the predicate. The structure of an Identification clause is IS + é/í/iad + P + S so

Is é m'uncail an t-oibrí is "The worker is my uncle".


Nah, "worker" should not be definite.


can this also be used to mean my uncle is a hard worker, in addition to he is a worker (in a specific job)?


"worker" is a noun in both of those cases, so oibrí is appropriate, though I'm not sure exactly how you'd say "a hard worker". The NEID offers ag obair go crua for "working hard", but I'm not really sure that you'd use crua for "a hard worker", because it usually connotes hardness/stiffness (crua-adhmad, cruabhruite.

The NEID offers dícheallach and díograiseach for ["hard-working"]


The FGB offers Is docht an t-oibrí é for “He is a hard worker” (my emphasis, based upon the copular structure), so I presume that oibrí docht would be “a hard worker” (though perhaps docht is “hard” here more in the sense of “unyielding”).


docht and crua seem to overlap in some of this type of phrase -

Greim crua - "tight grip", Snaidhm chrua - "fast knot", Buille crua - "hard blow"
Greim docht - "tight grip", Snaidhm dhocht - "tight knot", Buille docht - "severe blow"

Ag obair go crua - "working hard", Lá crua oibre a chur isteach - "to put in a hard day’s work", Seachtain d’obair chrua - "a hard week’s work" ("a week of hard work" or " a hard week of work"?)
Obair dhocht - "tough work"

Tá géarbhach crua gaoithe ann - "it is blowing hard"
Gaoth dhocht - "stiff wind"

Looking at many of the examples for crua in the FGB, it seems that crua is used in many of the same ways that we use "hard" in English (physically stiff, difficult, cruel, etc) and that oibrí crua can be used (it is used as an example in the NEIDs definition of "industrious", though I prefer the EIDs oibrí dícheallach.

Thug siad am crua do "they made things hard for him" (they gave him a hard time)
An bheatha chrua - "hard life"
An braon crua - "strong drink" (a drop of the hard stuff)
Croí crua - "hard heart"
uisce crua - "hard water" .

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Would "My Uncle is a labourer" be an acceptable translation of this sentence, or would there be a better way of writing that?


"labourer" implies physical labour, oibrí doesn't - it doesn't exclude it, so oibrí can be used for "labourer", but oibrí is also used in many phrases where "labourer" would be inappropriate - oibrí oifige - "office worker", oibrí sóisialta - "social worker".

The 1959 English Irish Dictionary suggests oibrí or saothraí for "labourer" (saothar means "Work, labour; toil, exertion; stress, effort"). The more modern New English Irish Dictionary suggests saothraí or sclábhaí, but gives the example of "farm labourer" - oibrí feirme, but for "day labourer" it suggests saothraí lae.

I think that nowadays, most oibrithe would not be considered "labourers". It would be misleading to assume that oibrí meant "labourer".


Why not just 'is m'uncail oibrí'? :-/


If you would be OK with "Me Tarzan, you Jane" in English, then "is m'uncail oibrí" would be about right.


That wasn't an answer to the question.


If you're capable of understanding what's wrong with "Me Tarzan, you Jane", then yes, it was an answer to the question.


Hello! This question isn't necessarily related to this exercise, but I was wondering if Irish can differentiates between 'paternal' and 'maternal' family members.

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