"Is cailín ceolmhar í."

Translation:She is a musical girl.

June 5, 2015

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I can't spell Irish words i haven't seen before the first time i hear them! How was i supposed to know it was mh and not bh? They sound the same! Doesnt that count as a typo?


Apparently not.


why isn't it "cailín cheolmhar"?


Because, although it refers to a female person, "cailín" is grammatically masculine, so the adjective is not lenited here.


Yes, the -ín ending on "cailín" makes it a masculine word.


When the -ín is a diminutive ending, it makes a word like cailín masculine. When the -ín isn’t a diminutive ending, the word could be feminine, e.g. braillín.


Eureka! This is the first time I have heard the "masculinity" of cailín explained in terms of being diminutive , similar to "maedchen" (a -umlaut) in German . I researched in my new Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla and see that there is, indeed, an entry for "caile-girl" Also, after learning that a and á are two distinct letters in the Irish language I was surprised to see that they are mixed together indiscriminately under "a" in this dictionary


Then why is it í and not é?


Because that would mean "He is a musical girl".

Grammatical and natural gender don't always agree. In this case you use the pronoun that accurately describes the physical subject, not the grammar.

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