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  5. "Is maith lena gcat bainne."

"Is maith lena gcat bainne."

Translation:Their cat likes milk.

March 8, 2015



i don't hear "lena" at all in this sentence. Sounds way more like "is maith liom agat" which makes no sense. The new voice overs are much better, but for beginners, they need to pronunciate better, i think. Has anyone else had this problem or is it just me?


Same here. It would be helpful if we were offered the slow repeat for Irish, too, as it is offered for other languages taught by Duolingo, like e.g. Italian and Turkish.


Only languages that have speech synthesis available have a slow speech option. Since speech synthesis wasn’t available for Irish, the Irish course has recordings instead; thus, slow speech isn’t available in the Irish course.


I slowed this with a sound app. The "n" in "lena" is 100% pronounced as an "m". No question. Reported.


I dont know what process you followed, but you're wrong - the only "m" sound in this sentence is in the word maith. The "n" in lena is very clearly an "n".

Here are some examples of what is maith liom sounds like:
Is maith liom an t-earrach

Is maith liom an doras bán

Is maith liom an rothar glas

Is maith liom a bláth

Note that I agree that this exercise is quite difficult to hear and properly parse when you first encounter it, but it's not because the "n" in lena is mispronounced.


Is maith liom a bláth means "I like her flower" - a is the 3rd person possessive adjective, and can mean "his" (a bhláth), "hers" (a bláth) or "their" (a mbláth).


Is maith liom a bláth?

Sorry, this sentence bothers me in this response. It means "I like to flower", yes? With the "a" for to it can't be I like a flower or the flower, yeah? Can you please explain the structure and meaning here.


Is maith liom a bláth Is maith liom means I like the "I" can be found in the compound liom meaning with "me" "a bláth" means her flower


I wrong "is maith liom agat" :( I wish they would go slower and pronounce better. I think when you are trying to learn slow is much better. I know normal people don't talk that way but in order to learn, you must be able to hear the words.


Doing some extra reading here: http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/sindos.htm and apparently a "thing" in Irish is to speak as continuously as possible, which I guess is why "lena gcat" sounds so much like "liom agat"


Thought it sounded exactly like "le MO gcat" ....


It would have to be le mo chat, though.

A part of the problem in this case is that the speakers pronounces gcat as "gut". If she pronounced cat the way it's pronounced by Irish speakers outside Connacht, people wouldn't be hearing agat.


Try headphones, I can distinctly hear it with headphones where I could not without. Once I heard with the phones on it was easy to then hear going forward. It's that first time hearing that is difficult.


more than that, where do we encounter "lena" as a word?


I agree and having much difficulty with audio especially as a beginner.


I hear it perfectly


I hear it the same way as arrikis1. and becky3086


Me too. This confused the hell out of me.


How do tell if "lena" means with him, her, or them?


Or, to copy it out:

  • lena chat - with his cat
  • lena cat - with her cat
  • lena gcat - with their cat


This is the reason I ran away from learning for a while. Just no way I can remember all this, especially without hearing it spoken. These little things need so many more lessons to be learned and I am having trouble filling in the gaps. Here you have told us just one instance with one noun....so many others to learn....it's a bit overwhelming at times.


just learn the rules from the tips in the section on possessives. This part of the language isn't really all that hard once you know the rules. Don't give up!


If you are learning by Android & not on PC many of the lessons, tips, suggestions, and introductions are excluded or missing. This makes the mobile or "pocket lingo" as I call it


You can open Duolingo,com in the browser on your Android phone or tablet and access the Tips & Notes there, even if you use the app to complete the exercises. You can easily switch back and forth between the Notes and the exercises if you do it this way.


Where do you find the tips? I keep losing the link...


The tips are only available on the Duolingo Website, and are displayed immediately below the list of lessons when you select a particular skill.

Duolingo will detect a web browser on a mobile phone, and will (usually) display a "mobile friendly" version of the site that does not display the Tips & Notes.

EDIT - Since the recent website redesign, the Tips & Notes are now available on Mobile devices - click on the light-bulb icon next to the Start button in a Skill to see the Tips & Notes for that Skill.


It truly is. I feel much the same way .... I'm just accepting that it'll be a really long process. I've already tried and given up a few times. This time it's finally starting to gel. In tutoring sessions, I still feel like a blithering idiot, but it's pretty exciting when, over the course of a day, I find myself now able to describe what I'm doing in Irish ....


On the other hand... you're at level 17 in Irish. Respect! :-)


So it works the same way as "a", meaning her, his, their. That's useful.


It works the same way because it's the same "a".

To say "X likes" you say "Is maith le X". When X is a pronoun, "le" combines with the "X", so you get "liom" instead of "le mé", "leat" instead of "le tú", etc.

When X includes a possessive pronoun, (my brother, his cat) the possessive pronouns that start with a vowel are combined with the "le", so you get "lena" and "lenár", and the "a" and "ár" continue to trigger lenition and eclipsis as usual.


Thanks that is super helpful


So it says that "maith lena" can mean his, hers or thiers. How do you tell which one?


a chat - "his cat"
a cat - "her cat"
a gcat - "their cat"

is maith lena chat bainne - "his cat likes milk"
is maith lena cat bainne - "her cat likes milk"
is maith lena gcat bainne - "their cat likes milk"


Ah..thank you...that makes sense!


I had no difficulty understanding the recorded voice. I still got it wrong though ! I put 'her cat'


That would be ls maith lena cat.


That does not sound correct, I hear "is maith liom agat bainne"!


I heard exactly what arrikis1 heard very confusing


Nach maith le gach cat bainne?


Even after seeing the answer, I still hear "is maith liom agat bainne."


Why wouldn't we use leí or leo here? Why lena for all?


In English, "him" is a pronoun and "his" is a possessive adjective. "with him" is leis and "with his" is lena. When the object is feminine, English uses the same word "her" for both the pronoun and the possessive adjective, but the Irish for "with her (pronoun)" is léi and "with her (possessive adjective)" is lena. When translating "with her", you have to figure out which "her" you mean - that's not a problem for "him/his" or "them/their".

It might be clearer in an example like
rithim leis - "I run with him"
rithim léi - "I run with her"
rithim lena mhadra - "I run with his dog" (rithim le + a mhadra - lenition makes it "his")
rithim lena madra - I run with her dog (rithim le + a madra - no lenition makes it "possesive her")

To complicate things just a little bit, there are actually 2 different versions of leis - it can mean "with him", (le + ) as above, but it is also used when le occurs before a definite article, so rithim leis an madra means "I run with the dog", and rithim leis na madraí means "I run with the dogs".


SatharnPHL Go raibh maith agat as an miniú soiléir sin ar ghramadach an Bhearla. Chuir sé úsaid na hEireann ar ' lena' soiléir dom.
Aris go raibh maith agat as do chuid am ag cabhrú liom. Anne 1 Noone


Thanks so much for pointing that out and the further explanation! Makes sense now. I just need to keep practicing till I get the hang of it :) But this is very helpful, go raibh maith agat!


Thanks for spelling this out.

I can't see any mention of the construction/word "lena" = "le" + "a" in the "tips" section for this lesson.

I suspect the insertion of "n" is so obvious to a native speaker that it in turn simply throws us learners with close to zero input outside duolingo.



Bear in mind that Duolingo courses are designed to teach by doing, with the exercises demonstrating how to use the language. The Tips are ancillary, and the vast majority of users don't even realize that they are there.



Normally I can just sort of work it out by "look, listen, try, fail, try, succeed, cement" but on this section I crashed and burned.

thanks for the bail out


Anyone who is from ireland knows this is how irish people speak, this person is actually very clear compared to most who speak fluentyl


Excuse me, but the pronunciation, isn't too good.


The pronunciation is fine, for someone from Connacht. People from other regions of Ireland would have a slighty different pronunciation, especially for cat


Very good, but the pronunciation must be independent from the local dialect, for a correct learning.


For socio-political reasons, Irish doesn't have an agreed standard pronunciation, just a range of regional/dialect pronunciations. The Caighdeán Oifigiúil that the course is based on more or less standardizes the grammar, and there are de-facto standard spellings in Ó Dónaill's Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, de Bhaldraithe's English-Irish Dictionary, and Foras na Gaeilge's New English-Irish Dictionary.


Go Raibh Céad Mile Agat, A Chara Uasal Knocksedan . Tá a fhios agam an foclóir seo. Is foclóir seo go hiontach! Slán Tamall, A Chara Uasal.


It would be a help if "cat" was not pronounced as "cut"


This matches my answer but it keeps marking it as wrong


dominic_doherty the lena and gcat coming so slose together sounds like liom agat. Even when I got it right I was still marked as wrong


Is maith le mo is what i hear not lena


eclipse signals plural possessive. in Irish, where 2 items could count as singular, would' "they /their " indicate at least 3 people i



Where did you get the idea that 2 items could count as singular?

Is maith lena gcat - "their cat" - 2 or more people, 1 cat.


I haven't yet reached the module on numbers


Does the "... lena gcat..." sound like "linn a goat..." to anyone else? I marked it correct, but I sure struggled. I think in this case it was more luck than skill.


The problem with what you hear can often be simply the Irish accent. When my parents spoke in English , the ‘e’ was never said as in ‘egg’ but more a cross between the English ‘e’ and ‘i’. So when I hear the pronunciation of ‘Lena gcat’ sounding like ‘ ‘linn a got’ , it sounds just as it should. Like it’s being said by an Irish person .


That's very helpful. I tried at first to learn pronunciation by-the-book, but it doesn't work that way, and honestly, it doesn't in English, either. Thanks.


Even if the pronunciation is a bit unclear here (and it is, otherwise there wouldn't be so much comment on it) what she means to say is "lena gcat". It's not a dialect thing, it's only lena, lena, lena, lena, lena ..., anything else has to be a different word or combination of words.


Does Irish do the same thing English does, where people often use "their" to refer to a person of unknown gender, or when the exact identity of a person is unimportant?


Sample sentence(s)?


“Someone left their backpack in the kitchen.” “This author is terrible; I hate their writing style.” “My cousin gives their cat milk.”


Sorry for the delay in getting back. No, it would have to be his or her in Irish. Many languages have different words for for male and female so for them the "problem" doesn't arise.


Very had to catch lena.

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