How many translations for Tráthnóna?
I had answered Afternoon, once, and was told it could also be Evening. I've just recently been counted wrong when I wrote Evening, when they wanted me to write Night! Another time they wanted Oiche to mean Evening.
When would I use which word? Is there any distinction between the three words? It doesn't seem to be following the same logic I use: Afternoon from noon to the evening meal, Evening until it gets dark, then night until Dawn.
Tráthnóna is usable for any time from the afternoon until nightfall, so it can mean “afternoon” or “(early) evening”. (It comes from tráth nóna, “time/(canonical) hour of noon/evening”; its original meaning was “afternoon”. Bruachnóna, from bruach nóna, “brink of noon/evening”, was an older term for “evening”.) Oíche means “(late) evening” (starting at nightfall) or “night”.
In terms of your definitions, use tráthnóna for “afternoon” and “evening”, and use oíche for “night”.
How, then, is one to know how to answer when asked to translate "Maidin go tráthnóna?" I've been wrong to say Morning to Afternoon, or Morning to Evening. I'm becoming frustrated by repeated failures.
By context, when possible, otherwise, by guesswork — just as one would translate an ambiguous English phrase into another language. Since none of the exercises here have context, both “afternoon” and “evening” should be accepted as translations for tráthnóna. If either of these isn’t accepted in a particular case, report it as an error to be fixed.