I just finished Pronouns 1. I was a little surprised to see the multi-use nature of tá: tá úlla uiam. I want apple. The prep pronoun "from" is being used here. Can some Irish speakers give me some insight to how this works in the Irish me? Literally, it looks something like apples have from me, or something like that.
And it is equivalent to teastíonn úlla uiam. In one of the question discussions, it was mentioned that teastíonn would be used for needing something, while tá is for want? Is this accurate?
One of the more fascinating aspects of trying to learning a new language is the mindset that created it. It gives some insight to how the people maybe see the world, because our language will influence how we express the ideas, and thus effect how we perceive things.
Irish, like English, uses phrasal verbs, where a verb plus a preposition gives a different meaning than the verb by itself — an English example would be “make up” (reconcile) vs. “make” (create). Irish depends upon phrasal verbs with bí more than English does with “be”; bí ó is used to mean “want” (and at least in some dialects, “need”, as a shortened form of bí ag teastáil ó), and bí ag is used to mean “have”. Teastaigh ó is used to mean either “need” or “want”. (Note that tá is the present tense form of bí, and teastaíonn is the present tense form of teastaigh.)
The literal translation of Tá úlla uaim is “Apples are from me”, but word-for-word translations often don’t supply a phrase’s usual meaning; “I want apples” would be its usual meaning. Similarly, in English, “He kicked the bucket” rarely refers to an actual bucket having been kicked.
> In one of the question discussions, it was mentioned that teastíonn would be used for needing something, while tá is for want? Is this accurate?
In certain dialects, yes. teastaigh, in Connemara, can only mean 'need', and you'd use either bí ag iarraidh (most common) or bí ó (less common in general statements, but about the same in questions/negatives).
> It gives some insight to how the people maybe see the world, because our language will influence how we express the ideas, and thus effect how we perceive things
Yeah... no. That's called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and it's been thoroughly debunked in the strong form.
I think of ó/uaim/uaidhe, etc in the symbolic sense of "away from", as in, "An apple is away from (or distant from) me, but I want it to be closer (at me, in Irish)." There is an implied sense of longing in describing something as distant from you, to reflect the implied ownership of having something located at you.
In this context I would think of 'uaim' as 'want', like - It is the apples that I want. The tá is there to show you what tense it is. (e.g. as opposed to Bhí úlla uaim - I wanted apples). [Interesting, I never noticed before that uaim was used in two different ways, now it sounds really dramatic, like the apple was missing from the person and they need it to be complete :) ha]