1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Blarney."


Translation:An Bhlarna.

May 22, 2015



The further I go, the more confused-er I get.

What does the “an” do in this phrase?

  • 1457

Many Irish language placenames contain a definite article that is typically not included in the English transliteration of the placename.


Cén fáth a bhfuil an focal seo ann ? Why is this word here ?


Sure, why not? :P It was added to the "Ireland 1" skill so we could teach things like "Blarney Castle" or "the Blarney Stone". These are things that many non-Irish people using this course would be familiar with (plus, Blarney castle is our course's monument, so it seemed fitting to add this word to allow us to teach related phrases)


Having been there multiple times, I can certainly say it represents Ireland in a very major way, and it is definitely relevant to Irish culture.


It represents the decline of the Irish language, as castles like this would have been a significant foothold for the English language in Irish speaking areas. It's a rather ironic choice of mascot for the Irish course, as well as providing a non-descript logo that has no particular association with Ireland, but what's done is done.


Which is why when I was in Ireland I visited no castles.


Never thought of that....


And what's won is won, and what's lost is lost and gone forever ??? Not the language I hope !!

  • 1457

It's a line from the closing verse of Phil Coulter's The Town I Loved So Well.


No one tells you the stoner's been pissed on as a joke and tons of people go to kiss it yearly. lol


Not sure how to ask this question... What would "Blarney" be used as in Ireland? Here in the US, we think of "blarney" as tall tales or gift of gab. I get this word usage from my Irish relatives who tell a great tale about the King of Blarney Castle :)

  • 1457

Blarney is a town just outside Cork City, with a castle that contains a stone that you can kiss to get the gift of the gab.

There was never a King at Blarney castle.


Doesnt An Bhlaran mean the blarney

  • 1457

No. That place-name uses a definite article in Irish, but the place-name in English doesn't.

Táim ag dul go dtí an Bhlarna - "I'm going to Blarney"


Even with these odd ones mixed in, I never remember what they are :( (took 3 tries on this one) I love that they are trying to mix in at least one sentence from previous lessons but I do wish there was a way to push the review button and actually get a review from any of the sentences you have already learned instead of just a review of one section of lessons.


Why does it have a definite article in front of it? It is not indicated in the English. We were asked to translate Blarney, not "the Blarney".

  • 1457

You were asked to translate it into Irish and the name of that town in Irish requires a definite article, just as the names of many countries require a definite article - an Fhrainc, an Ghearmáin, etc.

The name existed in Irish long before it was translated to English, and the English translation doesn't contain a definite article because place-names in English usually don't.


Very helpful, thank you, I didn't know that.

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