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  5. "Seinnim an pianó, seinneann …

"Seinnim an pianó, seinneann mo dheartháir an fhidil agus seinneann mo dheirfiúr an bainseó."

Translation:I play the piano, my brother plays the fiddle and my sister plays the banjo.

January 4, 2015



Ireland apparently rejects the Oxford comma


...and then my sister married Joe and became a tongue twister...

Bhí bean ag Joe Is bhí banjo ag Joe Is bhí banjo ag bhean Joe B'fhearr go deo Joe ar an mbanjo Ná bean Joe ar an mbanjo go deo.


What does the entire tongue twister mean?

[deactivated user]

    Joe had a wife and Joe had a banjo and Joe's wife had a banjo. Joe on the banjo was much better than Joe's wife on the banjo always.


    I wouldn't take grammar hints from song lyrics. The last thing a writer should worry about is proper grammar. Its all about the flow


    Seinnim an chláirseach. :)


    I don't think "the" is necessary in English and was going to report as "my answer should have been..." except that I don't know if you can say it the same way in Irish, in which case I would be wrong.

    For example, in English, you can say either "I play the piano", or "I play piano" and the same for other instruments. In Irish, can you say, "Seinnim pianó", or is the article needed?

    [deactivated user]

      "Seinnim ceol" = "I play music".

      "Seinnim an pianó" = "I play the piano".

      In UK English I think it is "I play the piano".


      I've seen both. Mostly it's song lyrics that come to mind. For example, David Bowie, in Ziggy Stardust, says, "Ziggy played guitar." Then there's another song by Brenda Russell (I have absolutely no idea why I remember this) that says, "When he played piano in the dark." My question was really whether you can do that in Irish or not.

      [deactivated user]

        I think the article is required in Irish, see http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/artikel.htm Down near the bottom of the page it gives usage of the article. Point 15 might be relevant to your query. With songs, omitting the article might just be the use of poetic licence.


        GRMA. So then, when I look at teanglann.ie, they seem to want the preposition "ar" with seinm (to play on an instrument: seinm ar veidhlín, mar shampla. (http://www.teanglann.ie/en/eid/seinm).

        This is what happens when you start asking questions! ;-)

        [deactivated user]

          Yes, to have "ar" actually makes more sense. So then it would be: "Seinnim ar phianó"?

          Just shows how little I know!


          That looks like a pretty bad Béarlachas in Duolingo. Have a lingot for the find. ;-)

          And FGB examples also agree with that: http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/seinn


          (I’m replying here because the message which I’m really replying to doesn’t have a Reply link.)

          So then it would be: “Seinnim ar phianó”?

          Yes — this would be a situation where ar lenites.

          Another example that isn’t directly found in the modern dictionaries is the imperative Seinn leat an port! (“Play the tune!”) — this use of le seems to correspond with definition 12. of le¹ (“Used elliptically“) in the FGB.

          I wonder if the ability to play a musical instrument could be expressed as e.g. Tá seinm aici, in the same way that one could say Tá snámh aici of the ability to swim? (It’s not in the FGB entry for seinm.)


          An bhfuil d'ainm "Mumford?"


          Seinnim an ocarína. (Is that how one would spell ocarina in Irish?) c:


          It’s ócairín, so it would be Seinnim ar ócairín.


          Piano is spelled as if it were an Irish word but pronounced as an English word


          It’s likely that pianó is an English loan word (which itself was adapted from Italian).

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