1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "He speaks Irish because he i…

"He speaks Irish because he is an Irish speaker."

Translation:Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge mar is gaeilgeoir é.

May 2, 2015



One of the options I got was: "He speaks Irish because he is a crab"


The first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club.


"Gaeilgeoir" implies much more than speaking Irish - it encompasses also a love of all things Irish.


The English word "Gaeilgeoir" implies more. The Irish world Gaeilgeoir means "Irish speaker".


I'm still confused about when I need to put the pronouns right after the copula. There is "Is é mo laoch" as one example and "Is innealtóir mé" for another, and "Is é Pól an Taoiseach" or is it "Is é an Taoiseach Pól" for "Paul is the Prime Minister of Ireland" vs. "The Prime Minister of Ireland is Paul"?

  • 2136

In both SVO languages I know, the "because" clause could come at either the beginning or the end of the sentence, whereas I believe the "because" clause must come at the beginning in the SOV language I know. In Irish, then, must the "because" clause come at the end, or could you break the VSO rule and say "Mar is gaeilgeoir é labhraíonn sé Gaeilge"?


There are some emphatic constructions that can be used to break the VSO rule, but I don’t think that there’s such a construction that would allow an entire clause (other than a subordinating clause beginning with go or nach ) to be “fronted”.


Should Tá Gaeilge aige... also be accepted? That's what all my Irish friends told me :)


Tá Gaeilge aige = He has (knows) Irish. Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge = He speaks Irish


It's common usage in many places for "He speaks Irish" to mean the same thing as "He knows Irish". I'd probably be more likely to say "He speaks in Irish" for the meaning given here.


I am wondering the same - I remember from an earlier lesson that this should be correct.

Edit: perhaps the difference between the two is that Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge means he is at that moment having an interaction in the Irish language, while Tá Gaeilge aige means he's fluid in the language?


The English phrase "he speaks (language)" is ambiguous. It can mean that he regularly/frequently/on specific occasions speaks that language, or it can mean that he has the ability to speak that language, (even if he hasn't said a word in that language in years). Irish is more specific.

"He has the ability to speak Irish because he is an Irish speaker" sounds a bit backwards to me - is gaeilgeoir é mar tá gaeilge aige would make a bit more sense. It makes more sense to translate "He regularly converses in Irish because he is a Gaeilgeoir" with labhraíonn sé, and that's the most obvious meaning of this exercise.

Note also that tá Gaeilge aige doesn't automatically imply complete fluency - you can have a little bit of a language or a lot.


The translation, 'Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge mar is gaeilgeoir é,' capitalizes 'Gaeilge' but leaves 'gaeilgeoir' in lowercase. Many English grammars do not capitalize words such as 'anglophone' and 'francophone' when such words are descriptors; however, I understand that standards vary (e.g., the standard Canadian government usage is to capitalize such words ('Anglophone,' 'Francophone') whether the words are used as adjectives or nouns; whereas, Canadian newspapers generally prefer to leave such words in lowercase - except, of course, when there is some other reason to capitalize them).

As for Irish, the Focloir.ie entries I have seen all capitalize 'Gaeilgeoir':

[entry for 'token'] there was a token Gaeilgeoir on the panel [:] bhí Gaeilgeoir amháin ar an bpainéal de ghrá na cosúlachta, bhí Gaeilgeoir amháin ar an bpainéal ar mhaithe le cur i gcéill

[entry for 'population']: there was a large Irish-speaking population [:] there bhí pobal mór Gaeilgeoirí ann

Any idea whether always capitalizing 'Gaeilgeor,' even as a descriptor, is the preferred style in Irish? Does the Irish Government or press or the Official Standard (an Caighdeán Oifigiúil) have a preference?


I was using swipe text on my android and labhraíonn got mistyped. (Mossing the "í". It was accepted as a typo. I don't recognise it as a word without the í. Just wondering if it's an actual word.


I didn't capitalise the L and it said I used the wrong word.


"Tá Gaeilge aige mar is Gaeilgeoir é" I though that would have been accepted


Can we use habitual present (bíonn sé ag labhairt... ) in this case, since speaking in the language is an action that seems to happen regularly?


My gut reaction is to say no in this specific case.

Bíonn sé ag labhairt na Gaeilge agus é ar scoil is OK because it highlights the repetitive or habitual nature of the act of speaking. But is Gaeilgeoir é is a permanent state, so the repetition implied by bíonn seems out of place.

That said, it's not intrinsically ungrammatical as far as I can tell, and it might depend on the context - bíonn an fear sin ag labhairt Gaeilge leis féin gach lá, mar is Gaeilgeoir é ach níl aon Ghaeilgeoirí éile thart.

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.