"Seolfar litreacha amárach."
Translation:Letters will be sent tomorrow.
Sounds like the kind of threat kids at a Gaelcholáiste might hear from their principal .. ;)
One will send letters tomorrow? That would be excessive, I guess. And I imagine that in America "one" used impersonally or as a gender-neutral pronoun, active or passive, might be seen as pretentious or haughty. It is possibly used more in the UK, but still much less than in former times. It's a pity, though. Why should Germans enjoy the undoubted benefits of man and the French those of on while English speakers dodge around a useful tool? One ends up missing their opportunity, don't you?
And you both demonstrate the real problem with "one" - it doesn't mean an unspecified agent, it means "me, but I don't want to admit it".
I just took a class here in the States from a lady from Dublin, and she pronounced every f in every future tense and even in "féin". I asked her about it and she says pronouncing all the Fs is correct. She's been speaking Irish since she was 2. She says no one has ever corrected her about it, even through all her schooling to teach Irish.
I think it's a Munster dialect thing. I personally prefer pronouncing the F's.
In Munster, only the autonomous has the F's pronounced. In all other cases the F acts as "th", devoicing nearby consonants.
Pronouncing féin with an initial /f/ sound is possible (mainly in some parts of Munster); perhaps a dialect that always pronounces the F in all future tense (and conditional mood) conjugational suffixes as /f/ can also be found in Munster?
There is no such dialect, neither Clare, Tipperary or Limerick Irish would have done it either when they were alive.
My understanding was that /f/ féin was never a universal in a particular dialect — that where /f/ was a possibility, the choice of /f/ vs. /h/ was determined in part by the preceding sound. The recording of Pádraig Ó Cruadhlaoich from Co. Cork here has féin with /f/ more often than féin with /h/ — granted, that recording was made in 1928, so his choices of when to use /f/ vs. /h/ could very well be different from those of a Cork Irish speaker of today.
Sorry, I was talking about the -f- in the conditional and future.
The f in féin does vary, I'll post more later.
This isn't the future tense in the same way that seolfaidh is. It's the future autonomous, and it is pronounced there. Note: It's really no longer used as a passive by native speakers, and means something more like "They will send letters tomorrow." when speaking about a generic "they"
Unless you mean that seolfar is only used when you want to sound like a pretentious knob, I don't think it's quite correct to say that native speakers mean something like "One will send letters tomorrow". (This was written before galaxyrocker edited his post to change his original "One will send letters" to now read "they will send letters").
At least in my dialect of Hiberno-English, "letters will be sent" isn't any more passive than seolfar litreacha is in Irish.
"Letters will be sent" is a passive construction. The subject of the sentence -- "letters" is the patient of the main verb -- "sent". The subject of the verb is not the agent behind it.
Perhaps a better way to translate the autonomous would be with a generic "they" though -- "They will send letters tomorrow"
"Letters will be sent" is a passive construction
It's really no longer used as a passive by native speakers
You can't be prescriptive for English and descriptive for Irish. Native speakers of English use "Letters will be sent" as an agentless form, exactly paralleling the autonomous seolfar litreacha.
"Letters will be sent" is a far more accurate translation of the actual meaning of seolfar litreacha than "One will send letters", which, in modern spoken English, doesn't imply an unspecified actor, it only implies pretentiousness.
I agree that there are sentences where the true sense of the autonomous in Irish can be conveyed by introducing an impersonal "they" or "you" into the English translation. This, though, isn't of them.
I'm not being prescriptive. By linguistic terms, "letters will be sent" is not an active sentence. It's a passive sentence. "Letters" is the subject of the sentence, but it's the patient of the main verb -- "sent". That's what defines a passive. The letters are not the agent of the sentence; that would need to be added by a prepositional phrase involving 'by' (as is common in all passive sentences)
And that's actually one good clue this sentence isn't passive in Irish: there is no possible way to explicitly mark an agent, because it's already there (unlike the examples with Tá beoir á hól agam). It used to be marked, but it can't take one anymore. There's also the fact that here 'litreacha' isn't a subject of seolfar, but an object (a better example is the fact that it would be Glantar é* instead of Glantar sé)
I do agree that sometimes the English passive is the best translation for the Irish autonomous, but to say that it's a passive is misleading at best.
I also admit that "agentless" was a bad descriptor for the Autonomous form -- impersonal would be a better one. It's a general agent.
The autonomous basically translates as "They", in the unspecified sense. Occasionally it is best translated by "one" as well.
It can also be used to avoid giving information as to who did something.
Whether the 'f' is pronounced or not is dialect dependent (as are most pronunciation issues). In Connemara in general, and in Cois Fharraige in particular, you rarely hear the 'f' in any verb suffixes, even in the conditional. In other dialects you do.
It does sound like it. Amáireach is the more prevalent spoken form in West Munster, but it's not confined to there, so this is probably the speaker's natural pronunciation.
To me, she's saying 'litrí' rather than 'litreacha', am I right or is my hearing just really bad??
She is saying "litreachaí", using a slightly different plural ending. The current speaker does this in a number of exercises where the plural ends with an "a", but she pronounces them as though they end in "aí".
(there are other exercises where she pronounces the same words with the "a" ending)