For the suffix - úil see: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/-%C3%BAil#Irish. They have a separate entry for the suffix with an etymology. Wiktionary is about as reliable as anything else for etymological questions although there are a lot of gaps. The other main sources are McBain's dictionary for Scottish Gaelic (available online; but over 100 years old and you have to recheck the derivations) and the dictionary of the Royal Irish Academy (which usually only takes you back to Old Irish).
But it's not the paper that's important. If I'm reading "the newspaper" then it's the actual stories and information contained within the paper that is the crux of the statement, erego it doesn't matter whether I read it on paper or electronically, I'm still reading the news. Even many of the electronic news sites still call themselves a "newspaper" even though no actual paper is involved.
People do say “I read it in the paper” where I’m from, but with “the paper” only meaning “the newspaper”. This idiom also exists in Irish, where one can say Léim sa pháipéar é, where páipéar = páipéar nuachta = nuachtán (rather than nuacht ). Since this idiom has a standard meaning in both languages, one can translate “paper” meaning “newspaper” in this sentence as páipéar and preserve the meaning.
Your use of “I read it in the paper” with “the paper” meaning “the online newspaper” could well become the standard meaning in both languages over time if printed newspapers become increasingly scarce.
Since you’re studying German and Spanish here also, you’ll also find that idiomatic English expressions will usually not translate directly to these languages as well. May your studies be successful!
I disagree with your description of “I read it in the paper” in describing something not read in a paper as an idiomatic norm. I read news both in a newspaper and on Web sites, and I’ve never described anything that I’ve read on a Web site as having been read “in the paper”. If Web sites prefer to call themselves “newspapers”, that’s almost certainly a shortened form of “online newspapers”, in which context makes clear that no processed wood pulp is actually involved.
I agree that “I read about that in the news” could be used no matter the medium — “the news” here refers to the collection of information in which “that” was read.
That blurring between your usage of “in the news” and “in the newspaper” in English doesn’t happen in Irish — an nuachtán áitiúil only means “the local newspaper”, an nuacht áitiúil only means “the local news”, sa nuachtán only means “in the newspaper”, and sa nuacht only means “in the news”. The distinction is clear in Irish, and I don’t understand why that clear distinction should be blurred through an idiomatic non-standard English translation.
I agree that the medium is unimportant — as I’d noted before, news is information, not the medium. That’s why “news” implying “paper” is a false premise, and helps to explain why nuacht and nuachtán are two different words with two different meanings. Nuachtán is only translatable as “newspaper” (or “journal”) — it’s the medium containing news, not the news itself.
John, I’m not here to be argumentative in the least, but you have my curiosity piqued...
Where in the US do folks say “I read it in the paper” when they aren’t specifically talking about a physical newspaper?
As a native Texan, I can’t think of any time I’ve heard it said that way...
Granted, there are vast idiomatic differences even from region to region within Texas, but this is a new one to me.
As John's comment is over 4 years old, and he hasn't participated in Duolingo for over a year, he's probably not going to reply.
For my part, I read the Irish Times online most days. If I'm telling someone about something that I read, and they say "Where did you hear that?" I might well answer "It was in the paper", where "the paper" is more a synonym for "The Irish Times" than "the newspaper". I wouldn't say "It was in the paper" if I was talking about something that I read on some online source, other than a locally available newspaper.
Note also that the question was "where did you hear that?", even though I didn't "hear" it, I read it.
You are welcome to disagree with me if you like, but that doesn't make you correct. There are 25 distinct major dialects of English within the US alone. People might not say "I read it in the paper" where you are from, but I can tell you with certainty that it is a normal idiomatic expression where I live.
The most important part of your reply is that Irish does not have a direct translation to English and idiomatic English expressions don't carry over to Irish. That's really the point of it and something I need to try to remember. For that point, I thank you.
I think that you're missing my point. Saying 'nuachtán' is only translatable as a physical newspaper seems restrictive. Few people read the news in an actual paper anymore. I haven't touched an actual physical paper copy of a newspaper in probably close to 5 years. But, it's still an idiomatic norm to say "I read it in the paper", even though I didn't actually read it in the paper, I read it on a website. There are many websites that call themselves a "newspaper", despite being delivered electronically. Thus, it still doesn't matter if it's an actual physical paper or not. "nuacht" is a more general term that could mean news from a family or friend, or from an employer or something, whereas "newspaper", regardless of actual medium implies news from an official news agency. Whether I read about a news story on the website or in a physical newspaper, I would still say "I read about that in the news". It has the same meaning as "read it in the newspaper".