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  5. "Ithimid sa bhialann sa chear…

"Ithimid sa bhialann sa chearnóg."

Translation:We eat in the restaurant in the square.

May 11, 2015



Is "in the square" potentially a colloquialism? Like, when I go downtown, I go to a store "on the square." Here, though, I'm not sure if I'm missing something in the meaning.


Clarification: "on" is marked incorrect.


I'd use "on the square" too. (Kiwi)


personally i'd always say 'in the square'. maybe it's a regional difference? i'm australian.


I would say "We eat AT the restaurant ON the square" (Irish native here)


You've never eaten in a restaurant?


It sounds silly to say "IN" the restaurant because that implies that where were other possibilities. Like up on the roof? In the alley behind it? Or out in front of the door? You eat AT a restaurant.


Preposition choices are often driven by regional/dialectal variation, personal preference, or just spur of the moment whim. I usually say "at" a restaurant but I do sometimes say "in". The meaning is clear. I say "pouring rain" but the English for some reason add a redundant preposition and say "pouring with rain" which I always think sounds like it could be pouring with custard or beer on another occasion. It's called colour and it's great.


So it looks to me like the consensus is that, when I put "at the restaurant", it should not have been marked wrong.


If you had been asked to translate Ithimid ag an mbialann sa chearnóg, you wouldn't have been wrong.


Does that preposition choice convey some subtlety in Irish, as it seems to for us in English?


I would usually only say "IN the restaurant" if it was juxtaposed in context with some kind of outside option, e.g. "Shall we go to the food trucks, or would you rather eat in a restaurant". Even then I'd probably use "at".

Another scenario in which I might say "IN the restaurant" would be if I were talking on the phone with someone who was looking for me, and I was telling them I was "in" as opposed to "out".

Just my American perspective.


Now would this be the same "square" as in the shape?


Céarnog has multiple meanings, as does “square” — a discussion on the interpretation of the reverse translation is here.

  • 1134

Yes. I also would say "on the square." You might say "in the square", but then it would infer that there is some sort of open air restaurant in an otherwise empty space. A city square is empty, and the buildings that border it are "on the square."


Canadian here -- and I say "eat AT the restaurant", which was marked wrong. To my ear, "IN" would sound silly because it sounds like the alternative was ON or UNDER it.


If you use the Drive-Through, you're getting your food at the restaurant but not eating in the restaurant.


... or you could be eating in front of, or behind, the restaurant, or at the side of it, .... All of these are realistic possibilities, when you think about it.


In fact, if you wanted to smoke while eating, you'd have to sit outside the restaurant, not sit within.


Why ' sa chearnóg and then ' sa gcearnóg' ?


It is sa gcearnóg in Connacht Irish, but sa lenites elsewhere.


On the square is more correct.


A cultural question here: In smaller towns and villages in Italy "the square" is the place to be; it's where everyone hangs out, both young and old, individuals and groups. It's usually also the old market place, even if nowadays there's no longer a regular market and people come to cafés and bars. Now I was wondering if it used to be/ still is like that in Ireland. I've seen the square in Kildare, which kinda seems to fit the picture, but there's too much car traffic and the weather was too cold (in February) for people to sit outside. I haven't seen such a square in Galway (and Dublin, as a city, is of course different). But what about smaller towns and villages?


Not really! :-/ It was quite a culture shock for me when I first visited European cities and saw those large, raised, empty concrete squares! I understand that markets were/are held daily or weekly on them, but in general, we don't have open-air markets in towns in Ireland. And when the first big shopping centre built in Tallaght (in Dublin) was called "the Square/ an Chearnóg", it had no meaning for me! The "squares" in Dublin (Merrion, Mountjoy etc) are in fact green parks with railings around them because they were private, only for the residents of the houses built around that green square. In Dublin, there ARE stalls/stands selling fruit and veg, but that's the length of the street on either side (eg Thomas Street). Having said that, in Kenmare town in Kerry, they have a "village square" because that's where the animal market was (and still is!) held, with animals being weighed there before being sold. So obviously, a larger open space was needed. You can check it out online by doing a search for the Tourist Office/Heritage centre and the Lace Design Museum. You'll see though that it's mainly used as a car park because it's on the same level as the road. So it's not a pedestrian area that could be used by anyone and everyone and the open-air stalls aren't even on it, but a little further away. I hope that I didn't ramble on too much and answered your question! And of course, if anyone else has more information, it would be great to read it. :-)

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