"There is a spider on the book."
Translation:Tá damhán alla ar an leabhar.
Does anyone know if the words 'damhan' and 'alla' have meanings on their own if if they are just 'Spider' together?
Alla is probably a worn-down form of allta, meaning “wild” — e.g. madra alla or madra allta, “wolf”.
Damhán by itself means “small ox”, since it’s a diminutive of damh, “ox”. (Damh alla means “stag”.) However, my guess is that the arachnid damhán is instead related to damhsa, “dance”, “leap” — that a more literal translation of damhán alla would be “wild little leaper”.
Why?! The spider did nothing to you. It is more afraid of you than you are of it.
Why does tá damhán all ar an leabhar mean there is a spider on the book rather than the spider is on the book?
"the spider" is an damhán alla.
"The spider is on the book" - Tá an damhán alla ar an leabhar. "A spider is on the book" - Tá damhán alla ar an leabhar - "There is a spider on the book"
The key issue here is that, in English, "a spider is on the book" and "there is a spider on the book" mean the same thing, but "there is a spider on the book" is a more natural translation in most cases.