"Glas, bán agus oráiste nó dearg, bán agus gorm?"
Translation:Green, white and orange or red, white and blue?
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Without context, one can’t provide a definitive answer, but my guess would be that it refers to the colors of the flag of Ireland and of the flag of the UK. Note that Article 7 of the Irish constitution uses flannbhuí rather than oráiste to describe that third of the Irish flag. (Flannbhuí is a compound word — “blood red” + “yellow”. Oráiste is not traditionally used as a color adjective.)
I think that we, compared to English speakers anyway, have some advantages here.
First of all, we already speak more than one language (English starts in primary school, French and German in high school, and the smarter kids also get Latin and Greek), so we are already familiar with thinking of language as merely a tool to convey ideas, and we are already familiar with the fact that grammar and idioms can be completely different in other languages (English natives always assume every word is English, and always have to remark on how funny it is when a foreign word means something else in English, such as the Swedish 'fart') .
Secondly, some of the sounds that Irish has, which are new to English speakers, are not that strange at all to Dutch speakers. In fact, the first time I heard spoken Irish, it just sounded like unintelligible Dutch to my ears. We have a lot of throaty G/CH sounds, and depending on regional dialect we also roll our Rs. It doesn't transpose to Irish one-on-one but it's far closer to it than English is.
Still, though, Irish is unlike any language I know, so this is not at all taking away from the achievements of that person you saw on TV!
If this exercise is taken to refer to the colours of the Irish flag, it's interesting to note that the constitution of Ireland actually specifies the colours as uaine, bán agus flannbhuí.
Uaine is tough to nail down precisely but often refers to particularly bright and artificial greens while glas refers to more natural hues of green (but also grey and blue at times).
Flannbhuí is a very rare, dated term for "orange". Oráiste wasn't a fixture of the traditional language, and for most purposes orange was considered buí. At times to be more precise about the hue, or for poetic purposes flannbhuí would be used instead. The first element flann is an archaic word that means "blood red".
Wealthy Northern Europeans were growing oranges in greenhouses in the 1600's, so they were reasonably well known to some "Northern Europeans" 400 years ago, though it's unlikely that there were many Irish speakers among them.
Irish, like English, doesn't require the Oxford comma - I'm not sure where "recognizing" comes into it.
The Oxford comma is just an optional style element - you can use it or not use it, in English or in Irish. I'm not aware of a canonical Style guide for Irish, but it is not used in An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, (for example An Aimsir Chaite, an Aimsir Ghnáthchaite agus an Modh Coinníollach and Ainmfhocail dar tús Consan seachas d, t agus s).
Funnily enough, while it is often called the Oxford comma it is actually much more common in the US than in Ireland or Britain.
The Oxford Comma is very definitely a style element. That's why "The Chicago Manual of Style" and "U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual" mandate the use of the serial comma, but the "Associated Press Stylebook" advises against it, and "The Economist Style Guide" notes that most British writers only use it where necessary to avoid ambiguity. (Quotes from the Wikipedia article on the Serial, or Oxford, Comma).
Your example is an example of a comma being used to avoid ambiguity. On the other hand, if you change your sentence to "I love my mother, Lady Gaga, and Humpty Dumpty", it creates ambiguity that is resolved by removing that Oxford Comma.
The fact that a comma in a particular position can change the meaning of a sentence isn't the question. But insisting on the use of a comma where it doesn't change the meaning of a sentence is a matter of style, not grammar. Adding "Oxford commas" in this exercise would not change the meaning of the sentence, because they are simply elements of style.
I believe not -- it pains me, as an Oxford-comma fan, to say. Of the languages I'm currently studying only Danish (in certain crircumstances) provides for the "serial comma", though there may be others.
P.S. One of the funniest language-usage remarks I've read for some time is this, from the French-language Wikipedia:
"La plupart des manuels de style de la presse écrite déconseillent son usage, peut-être à cause du manque de place."
Wow! I wonder how many millions of newspaper column-inches have been saved over the years by the omission of the occasional serial comma?
I'd venture to suggest that far more paper-producing forests have been sacrificed in the cause of perpetuating that French practice of inserting a space in front of every question mark and colon! :)
Dim-ond-dysgwr, I don't know on which French-language Wikipedia page you read this. I checked on the "virgule" page and found no mention of this. I just want to remind people reading this that Wikipedia is an open collaboration project and even if its pages regularly go through editing, verifications and corrections... Not everything found on it is necessarily approved by scholars or specialists. The reason you mentioned in your quote doesn't look like a widely accepted explanation. Anyway I'm not a specialist on french journalism but I can assure you that most french people KNOW how and when to use the comma (well... at least those who started school before the late 90's or have a "Baccalauréat" know it
I'm not sure, but I've always interpreted it more as a 'hard stop' after one letter.... and then continuing on to the next letter/portion, thus causing a seeming 'addition' of a vowel sound -- 'gor-m', which may, due to a more fluid flowing from one letter into the other, sound like a vowel has been inserted?