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  5. "Bunreacht na hÉireann."

"Bunreacht na hÉireann."

Translation:The Constitution of Ireland.

July 14, 2015



How come "bunreacht" doesn't follow the spelling rule for vowels? Is it a compound word?


Yes — bun- + -reacht (“basic” + “law”), like German Grundgesetz.


What in the sentence is telling that the translation should have a "the" at the beginning?


The "na" in the middle makes the whole phrase definite.


I see! What if I wanted to say "Constitution of Ireland" without the "the"? I'm still not sure about how that works.


Give me a sentence with "Constitution of Ireland" without the "the".


Like how the US Bill of Rights doesn't have a "the" in front. Something like this: http://theeasterrising.eu/220CivilWar/jpg/Constitution.jpg


We apply different rules in English when we are creating the title of a book or some other work - for example we typically capitalize each noun, and we can drop an initial definite article. So you can't draw a simple conclusion by comparing a title in English and Irish. For example, the correct title of William Golding's work is "Lord of the Flies", but Tolkien's collection is called "The Lord of the Rings". In Irish those titles are Tiarna na gCuileog and Tiarna na bhFáinní, even though there is a leading "The" in the second title.

Unless you can come up with an ordinary circumstance where you would say "Constitution of Ireland" without a definite article, (or quotation marks"), then the circumstance doesn't arise where you need to need to understand how to translate it.


You just put "the" in front of "US Bill of Rights".

You can see a picture of the front cover of Bunreacht na hÉireann here


I'm referring to the Bill itself. It doesn't say "the" Bill of Rights. And it doesn't say "the" constitution either. So there is no way to distinguish it whether it has a "the" or not. OK, that helped.


You're missing the point - the normal rules for constructing a sentence don't apply to titles, and you can't assume that Irish and English follow the same rules. Bunreacht na hÉireann doesn't mean "Constitution of Ireland", it means "the Constitution of Ireland".


Well, I still don't get it; but I appreciate the effort put into the explanation. Thank you for your time.


That I did not know. Thank you.


So all the words that doesn't follow the spelling rules in Irish might be compounded words like bunreacht here?


Yes. Some might be historically compound words that are no longer perceived as being compound words (e.g. arís, which came from Middle Irish afhrithissi ), though it’s possible that recent loanwords into Irish could take time to acquire a nativized spelling.


Aréir, is that another one?


Aréir came from irráir, which had a variety of alternate spellings — irōir, arráir, arráer, arāir. It’s possible that it might be related to fáir, but there’s no clear evidence of an etymological source such as ar fháir.

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