"An freastalaí."

Translation:The waiter.

December 26, 2014


Sorted by top post


Best translated as the attendant which is gender neutral. anyone that attend to you. even a paramedic.

February 6, 2015


I wrote server which is supposedly wrong, despite the word's root in freastail - serve


“The server” should be accepted; if that’s what you’d written and it wasn’t accepted, then be sure to use the Report a Problem button to bring it to the attention of the course creators.


Is "attendant" synonymous with a "waiter"? I wouldn't have said so (in Ireland, to me at least, "attendant" sounds odd to describe someone who works in a restaurant).

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A "waiter" is someone who "attends to you needs".

If you go to a busy restaurant, you may have to wait for a table. Does that make you a waiter?


Agreed for use in Ireland. Attendant in Ireland refers primarily to a role where some degree of public duty is implied, eg male health care assistants on psychiatric wards used to be called attendants and so was the none-driving assistant to an ambulance paramedic; it was used extensively in the care sector, but also in cemeteries, health facilities like swimming pools and other roles that had a suggestion of skilled assistance plus duty.

'Waiter' in Ireland was once used only for trained 'front of house' restaurant staff. It can now mean anyone in any type of cafe who takes orders from tables but not anyone who serves just at the counter.

America is different in this regard and they can use waiter and attendant in similar ways. They have attendants in hotels.


In English, it is politically correct to have professions named as "gender neutral", yet in French it is the opposite : words are modified to make professions "feminine" when they were not,ie masculine...Isn't that interesting?

[deactivated user]

    Yes, and it's similar in Welsh

    • athro = teacher (male)
    • athrawes = teacher (female)
    • canwr = singer (male)
    • cantores = singer (female)

    and even in Irish

    • bangharda = policewoman
    • banfhreastalaí = waitress
    • banfhlaith = princess

    See entries near banfhlaith in Ó Dónaill's dictionary.

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    Note that the term bangharda is officially defunct - the rank of Bangharda was done away with over 30 years ago, and all recruits, to An Garda Síochána, both male and female, now start at the rank of Garda.

    The higher ranks never used gender specific designations.

    Irish also avoids the chairman/chairwoman/chairperson confusion in English with the use of cathaoirleach.


    This is quite an interesting scenario. A language lacks gender differences in a place where English has them. (waitress/waiter)

    [deactivated user]

      The same applies to actor/actress.


      Yup. But its a male noun nonetheless. Go figure


      It's a masculine noun, not a "male noun". This is mainly a grammatical category, and does not really have much to do with gender.


      What do you mean? I looked up definitions of 'masculine' to see what the definition is within the context of gramma, but could only find references to 'attributes of men and boys' etc and other clearly gender based definitions. Is this none gender based definition something specific to Gaeilge grammar?


      Yes, I get that it can be difficult to detect why certain words have been attributed to masculine or feminine, but the definition of masculine and feminine is still linked to gender.

      The degree to which individual people define their individual gender(s) is separate to definitions of genders themselves.

      The same surely goes for words? How much a ship could be referred to as 'she' in English is subjective, but the definition of feminine is based on gender.

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      No, the use of the term "gender" in grammatical terms is not related to human sexuality, for the simple reason that the vast majority of nouns in languages are things that have no "natural gender", for the simple reason that shoes, chairs, bottles, books, shovels, wheels, etc simply don't copulate. Things that do have a natural gender mostly sort themselves into appropriate grammatical genders, but there are plenty of exceptions, and they are not minor things hidden away in the dark recesses.

      The classicists who formalized the study of grammar decided to call these categories "gender". There is enough overlap with natural genders for those things that have natural gender that it was a fairly reasonable thing to do, but they could have come up with a completely different label, and it wouldn't have made any difference to the study of grammar, because in grammatical terms, there is no inherent contradiction in the fact that cailín is a masculine noun.


      waiter and waitress are both accepted


      "The server" was accepted for me.


      As a masculine noun following "an," why was it not lenited?


      In the nominative case, you lenite feminine nouns after the definite article, not masculine ones (an fear, but an bhean).


      Thank you. I was thrown off by the fact that follow "A" meaning "his" one lenited "seanathair" but not following "A" meaning "her."


      The possessives are even more fun than that!

      a sheanathair - "his grandfather"
      a seanathair - "her grandfather"
      a athair - "his father"
      a hathair - "her father"

      [deactivated user]

        The rule is simple:

        • a (= his) lenites consonants that can be lenited.
        • a (= her) has no effect on consonants.
        • a (= his) has no effect on vowels.
        • a (= her) prefixes h to a vowel.

        His father and mother = a athair agus a mháthair.

        Her father and mother = a hathair agus a máthair.


        Thank you, moloughl. And the example you give is one I will live by.


        Thanks, Knocksedan. The grandfather-grandfather formulation is my current favorite for illustrating the Byzantine nature of the Irish language.


        It would not accept the assistant


        My mistake. I meant attendant, though I have come across freastalaí siopa, meaning "shop assistant" which is probably what was in the back of my mind.


        They who wait on tables

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        We had to wait on a table for 25 minutes before we were seated last night.


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