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  5. "I am a vegetarian."

"I am a vegetarian."

Translation:Is veigeatóir mé.

April 12, 2015



"Veigeatóir"? Feoilséantóir is the more common word, surely.


We accept both. We just made a judgement call to teach "veigeatóir"


I thought 'táim' or 'tá mé' would have been accepted as well?


This is a classification/identification sentence. Irish, similar to Spanish, requires a different verb to express those, namely the copula.


so would "Is ni veigeatoir me" mean I'm not a vegetarian?


Ní veigeatóir mé - I am not a vegetarian.


Here, 'veigeatóir' is pronounced with a 'soft g,' the 'g' sounding more like a 'j,' but here ( https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/f%c3%ador-veigeat%c3%b3ir ) all 3 examples (one each from Ulster, Connacht, and Munster) pronounce 'veigeatóir' with a 'hard g,' that is, like every 'g' i have ever heard in any other Irish word. Which is preferable, the 'hard g' or 'soft g,' or does it matter?

(sorry about 'hard g,' 'soft g,' 'sounding more like a j,' and other terminology: i never seem to learn IPA, no matter how much of it i drink.)


Maybe you drink too much at a time :-) An Anki deck such as this one


could help you. Try and learn one, two or three cards a day, not more. If you need to know more signs, you can add new cards to the deck or use another ready-made deck in this list:



Mujen I'm guessing those are for computers?


There are versions of Anki for computers and phones: https://apps.ankiweb.net/

The same decks can be used with any version of Anki.


As it's clearly a portmanteau of a loan word and the typical óir ending for nouns that describe thing/people by their function or actions, if you approach it from the point of familiarity with the original loan word, you'll pronounce it with a "soft g", but, if you first encounter it in the written form, you're more likely to use a "hard g", even though there is no existing word that veigeat comes from.

Like seisiún, the "loan-word" pronunciation may stick, or it may be supplanted - as it's already a word that some people object to (incorrectly, in my opinion), the pronunciation is not really the main issue with the word, as there won't be any confusion about what you mean, or even how to spell it, based on the pronunciation.


When I originally learnt Irish there was no letter "v" in the Irish alphabet!


I forgot the extra I and a in the word... I don't see why a spelling mistake is always marked wrong, especially the times I have all the letters but accidentally swapped a pair...


which 'i' is the 'extra' one? :0) i, too, had trouble spelling veigeatóir at first. the memory trick i came up with was to think of the line, 'vegetarians do not EAT anything with a PAIR OF EYES:' the english word 'eat' appears in the middle of 'veigeatóir' (not really, of course, but you can see 'eat' there), which seems appropriate, as veigEATóir refers to people based on what they 'eat,' and that's how i remembered the 'a;' the phrase 'pair of eyes' prompted me to remember that there are two (letter) i's in the word. as for where to put the two i's, note that in the word 'pair,' the 'i' is not only the third letter from the beginning but also the next to last letter in the word; same with the pair of i's in veigeatóir: the first i is the third letter, and the second i is next to last. by now, i just know how to spell the word, and no longer need to remember the prompt. i find that with enough repetition, practice, and study, i don't need such memory tricks as often, even for new words, as i have become more familiar with the way the spelling corresponds to the pronunciation and meaning. i also learn through being corrected, such as when duo dings my spelling. anyway, good luck.


If you forget one letter, the answer is accepted and there is a message saying that there was a typo in it. If you forget more, the answer is refused.

I cannot see any extra letter in that word. The i and the e around the g show that it has to be pronounced slender (palatalised), the a in gea is the actual vowel, pronounced like e in "the (cat)" because it is unstressed.


Is this not another way that is still correct? Ta me veigeatoir. Is veigeatoir me with the fada gave the point.



Tá mé (noun) is a fundamental grammatical error in Irish - it is never correct.

You cannot use the verb ( in the present tense) to directly link two nouns/pronouns. You must use the copula is. (Indirect links with prepositions are sometimes appropriate or necessary).


Feoilséantóir is the more correct word as aforementioned, veigeatóír is an anglicism, it's a makie-uppy word, whereas feoilséantóir comes from the irish verb to deny or decline 'séan'. Therefore, feoilséantóir should be the go-to, and veigeatóir the back-up?


feoilséantóir is an old religious term that long predates the modern concept of vegetarianism, as "vegetarian" is itself a "a makie-uppy word", coined in the 19th century. Insisting that "feoilséantóir is the more correct word" is a sort of reverse-béarlachas.

Giving up meat for Lent doesn't make you a vegetarian, but it does make you a feoilséantóir.


Neither de Bhaldraithe (EID) or Ó Dónaill (FGB) agree with you. Neither recognises veigeatóir and both have Feoilséantóir = Vegetarian. And why does Duolingo refuse to recognise 'recognise' and keep putting a red line under it?


I can't find any reference in either de Bhaldraithe or Ó Dónaill to eating meat during Lent, or any mention of when feoilséantóir first turned up in the Irish language. In what way do they disagree with the points that SatharnPHL made about the two "makie-uppy" words, "vegetarian" and veigeatóir?

Sometimes a neologism is a better choice for translating a neologism, rather than reanimating an old word that has some overlap in meaning. tearma.ie and focloir.ie both recognize that.


SatharnPHL seems to suggest that 'feoilséantóir' is not a suitable word for 'vegetarian'. EDI and FGB both disagree. It was he, not I, who made reference to eating meat during meat during Lent. It was also he, not I, who referred to the word being coined in the 19th century.


Why would Irish speakers have coined a word in the 19th century to describe Lenten practices that that had been observed for over a millenium?

"vegetarian" is itself a "a makie-uppy word", coined in the 19th century.

Feoilséantóir wasn't coined in the 19th Century, "vegetarian" was. The word feoilséantóir predates the modern concept of vegetarianism, and doesn't describe that concept, as modern vegetarians don't consider vegetarianism to be an act of penance.


You responded to a 3 line posting that makes certain specific statements. Neither the EID nor the FGB has anything to say about any of the specific things that SatharnPHL actually said, including the fact the the word "vegetarian" was first used in the 19th century (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism#Etymology).

It's a bit tautological to say that the dictionary doesn't agree in response to a post that is explaining the problem with that very dictionary definition. (Where do you think RosiefromPeru got it from?).


I understood SatharnPHL post to imply that 'feoilséantóir' , because it was coined in the 19th century to refer to not eating meat in Lent, was "not the more correct word". If I interpreted it incorrectly I apologise. I was merely making the point that it is defined in both EID and FGB as such and that neither of them make any reference to 'veigeatóir'. I think this whole argument is rather pointless as only intended to draw attention to the generally recognised authorities on the Language. Whether one agrees with them or not is of no concern to me. REPLY to Below: Apart from in direct quote from SathernPHL, I never said anything about a word being coined in the 19th Cetrury, and I never used the phrase "makie-uppy word". I have no problem with 'veigeatóir', I was merely pointing out that it is not in either of two standard dictionaries, both of which have the same different word for 'vegetarian'. If the word had been coined for religious regions one would expect to find it defined by the Jesuit lexicographer, Dinneen, but it is not!


Feoilséantóir literally means a meat denier. A more accurate term might be feoilstaonaire. In any case I expect that the average native Irish speaker would be more likely to say; "Is vegetarian mé"!


Precisely - feoilséantóir is a word that is focused on "meat", "vegetarian" is a word that is focused on "vegetable". Perhaps you can see why a vegetarian might prefer to use a word that isn't "meat" focused to describe themselves.


Isnt Taim veigeatoir also correct?


veigeatoir is a noun, and táim (noun) is never correct.


No. Either 'Is V. mé' or 'Táim i'm V.' or'V. is ea mé'


I was very confused reading your answer, as "V." with and uppercase "V" is usually shorthand for "verb" - I guess you just didn't feel like typing veigeatóir 3 times.

Your second example would be written Táim i mo veigeatóir, and you might expect an anois at the end. It has the implication of a change of status.


I am sorry about the confusion and you guessed the reason exactly. I apoligise also for the misplaced apostrophe, but why 'anois'? "Táim im veigeatoir agus bhí mé riamh!"


im is the Irish for "butter".

You may hear Táim i mo veigeatóir as "Táim im veigeatóir", but when writing it, it's worth sticking with i mo for the sake of clarity..

táim i mo veigeatóir implies a temporary status, or recent change - it doesn't really go with bhí mé riamh.


(1) Féach FGB, l. 700: im 5= i mo! (2) Táim ag dul in aois, ach nílim buartha faoi mar deir tú liom gur stáit sealadach atá ann! Féach FGB l. 106: bí..3. (used as a copula) (a) (With preposition i followed by posessive pronoun and noun) Tá sé ina shagart, he is a priest.


I obviously understood what you meant by "im", or I wouldn't have suggested an alternative, but many learners might be confused by it, so unless you expect people to leaf through a dictionary to understand what you're trying to say, I suggested that you stick with

"preposition i followed by possessive pronoun and noun".

The fact that the FGB translates tá sé ina shagart as "he is a priest" doesn't mean that people won't interpret your táim i mo veigeatóir as "I have recently become a vegetarian". For example, the NEID gives tá sé ina fhear as one translation of "he's grown to manhood" with it's implication of a recent change, or tá sé ina shamhradh for "summer has arrived", or tá sé ina ghéarchéim for "it has come to a crisis". The fact that you chose not to use the copular construction invites the reader to assume that you intended to convey that temporary or recent status.

As you're posting comments on a website, I'd also suggest that it would be far easier for both you and the people reading your comments to include the URLs to the online version of the FGB, rather than page numbers for the paper tome that will have no relevance to most readers of your comment here.


Copying and pasting the content from those pages will also save you from making the occasional typo.

(You can find those NEID examples above at


This is a somewhat pointless discussion, arising from three suggestions I made in reply to cernunian's incorrect one. You suggest two errors in my second suggestion and I quoted the recognised authority on the modern language to refute your argument. If you are not prepared to accept these that, of course is your right. You quote no authority for your objections, and that is also your right. I think it is time to put this discussion to bed. Go raibh míle maith agat agus go dtéigh tú slán.


I explained - with references as authoritative as the FGB - why your naive reliance on a bare dictionary quote might mean that your suggestion doesn't convey the meaning that you think it does. If you're happy to be misunderstood but "technically correct according to an out of context quote from the dictionary", that's fine, but you were making a suggestion for someone else's benefit, and that person might prefer to be clearly understood, despite what the dictionary might imply.

But if you want a more specific statement explaining this nuance, Nancy Stenson's "Basic Irish: A Grammar And Workbook" has this to say:

A challenge for the learner is to know what determines the choice in cases like those below:
(a) Is múinteoir é.
(b) Tá sé ina mhúinteoir.
? He is a teacher.
(a) B’innealtóir é.
(b) Bhí sé ina innealtóir.
? He was an engineer.

The two sentences in each pair have the same translation, but they are not identical in meaning. The sentences labelled (a) can be taken as basic statements defining the person that the pronoun é refers to in each instance. Being a teacher or engineer is part of his identity. In the (b) sentences, focus is more on what he does for a living.
The in + possessive construction can also be understood as indicating a state in the first examples – he is (currently) a teacher; he was (once) an engineer (but has, perhaps, changed careers). In contrast, the sentences of (a), with the copula, imply a more inherent condition, a permanence of the characteristic as part of the person.

Mairéad Ní Ghráda's widely used "Progress in Irish" has this to say on the matter:

When we wish to say that someone is (now), was (at one time), or will be (in the future) something, we use the same construction as for sitting, standing, etc.
Nuair a bheidh mé mór, beidh mé i mo mhúinteoir, when I am big, I shall be a teacher.
Deir Seán go mbeidh sé féin ina fheirmeoir, Sean says that he will be a farmer.
“Ba mhaith liom a bheith i mo bhanaltra,” arsa Máire, "I should like to be a nurse," said Mary.
Bhi sé ina ghasúr beag cúpla bliain ó shin, ach tá sé ina bhuachaill breá ard anois, he was a little boy a few years ago, but he is a fine, tall fellow now.
Bhi sí ina cailín deas, tráth, ach tá sí ina seanbhean chaite anois, she was once a pretty girl, but she is now a worn old woman.
Tá sé ina mhac léinn fós, ach beidh sé ina dhochtúir i gceann bliana, he is still a student but he will be a doctor in a year's time.

Again, the implication is that the status referred to is not permanent.


Can you please explain how my quote from Ó Dónaill is out of context, and if you can, could you please put it in its correct context? Neither of the extracts quoted by you suggests that my sentence is incorrect. Indeed Ní Ghráda (from whose bookshop I frequently bought during my schooldays) gives as a example "...ach tá sí ina seanbhean chaite anois". If that is not permanent can we expect rejuvenation? You may, of course, refer to your earlier suggestion that I should have added 'anois'. But Ní Ghráda's example is comparing the 'cailín deas' of the past with the 'seanbhean'of the present. The sentence in this exercise is a bald statement without comparison explaining my present attitude to eating meat and does not therefore require the qualification 'anois'.


You'll note that I have never said that táim i mo veigeatóir isn't a translation of "I am a vegetarian", I have consistently said that it conveys the information that your status as a vegetarian is recent or temporary - vegetarianism isn't part of who you are, it's just something you're currently doing. The English phrase "I'm a vegetarian" doesn't convey that nuance, but tacking "now" on at the end does change the context, and allows that interpretation.

The example of tá sé ina shagart in the FGB, with its translation as "He's a priest" is out of context simply because it doesn't provide sufficient context to understand the difference between is sagart é and tá sé ina shagart. If you do a search for the phrase tá sé ina shagart, you'll come across numerous links to a biography of the writer Pádraig Standún, but the full sentence is tá sé ina shagart paróiste i gCárna - his status as parish priest, though it might last for 30 years, is a role he has assumed, it isn't part of who he is - he is currently the parish priest in Carna. An article in An tUltach contains the line Tá sé ina shagart i dTuar Mhic Éadaigh i ndeisceart Mhaigh Eo, ar bhruach thiar Loch Measca, ar an teorainn le Contae na Gaillimhe, again with the the focus on place, implying that "he is currently a priest in Tourmakeady".

de Bhaldraithe's EID also contains tá sé ina shagart, as a translation of "He is in holy orders", but it also contains an alternative translation tá sé ag caitheamh chóta Chríost, capturing the sense of transition involved in assuming holy orders.

Ní Ghráda's seanbhean chaite current status may indeed be her last as a living person, but she is making the point that she has transitioned from something else into being a worn old woman, unlike Peig, for instance, who started her book with the line Seanbhean is ea mise anois, a bhfuil cos léi san uaigh is an chos eile ar a bruach.

Unlike becoming old, transitioning out of vegetarianism doesn't require rejuvenation, so the implications of choosing to describe yourself with táim i mo veigeatóir rather than Is veigeatóir mé (or Peig's Munster Irish equivalent Veigeatóir is ea mise) are real. When you say that táim i mo veigeatóir

is a bald statement without comparison explaining my present attitude to eating meat and does not therefore require the qualification 'anois'.

you're correct - as long as you understand that the anois is implied, whether you state it explicitly or not, but your equation of is veigeatóir mé with táim i mo veigeatóir suggests that you don't really understand this implied anois.

Just as labhraím Gaeilge and tá Gaeilge agam are both "correct translations" of "I speak Irish" that don't mean the same thing, táim i mo veigeatóir and is veigeatóir mé don't mean the same thing, even though they can both be translated as "I am a vegetarian".

There are probably situations in which it really doesn't matter whether you say tá sé ina mheicneoir iontach or is meicneoir iontach é, but it seems to me that with veigeatóir it probably does matter, and the simplest way to indicate this difference, without writing reams of explanation, is to make the implied anois explicit - táim i mo veigeatóir anois.


The difference between "Is...é" and "Tá sé ina..." is that the former only can be used when referring to the intrinsic nature of the subject. You CANNOT for instance say "Tá sé ina Éireannach." or "Tá sé ina ainmhí" or "Tá sé ina shliabh" because being Irish, an animal or a mountain is the intrinsic nature of the subject. Being a vegetarian is not part of anyone's intrinsic nature, nor is being a priest, and can therefore be expresses in either form. I find little to disagree with in your latest post and see no reason to continue this discussion.


Being a vegetarian is not part of anyone's intrinsic nature, nor is being a priest

You apparently don't know many vegetarians. Or priests. :-)

But it sound like you're now arguing that Is veigeatóir mé cannot be used, because you now say that that construct

only can be used when referring to the intrinsic nature of the subject.

Bíonn gach duine ag iarraidh a bheith ina Éireannach an t-am sin den bhliain.

Dúirt sé féin nach dtiocfadh leis a bheith níos bródúla as bheith ina Éireannach, agus ag deireadh an lae, nárbh é sin an rud is tábhachtaí?

gur féidir le haon duine bheith ina Éireannach ach an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim & a úsáid.


I am sorry but my last post, I now see, is somewhat ambiguous! What I intended to say was that only the "Is...é" form can be used when referring to an intrinsic quality. You, with some justification I must admit, interpreted it the other way around. "Tá sé ina..." implies becoming and therefore cannot be uses in reference to what someone intrinsically is. One can become Irish for St. Patrick's Day or through speaking Irish, but that does not make one intrinsically Irish. One makes a conscious decision to become a vegetarian or a priest. I apologise for the confusion, I should have expressed myself more clearly.

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