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  5. "An bhfoghlaimíonn sibh na nó…

"An bhfoghlaimíonn sibh na nótaí?"

Translation:Do you learn the notes?

July 28, 2015



That's an huge word.


What exactly does this sentence mean? Learn notes like musical notes? otherwise in English you study notes from class, not learn them


Yes, musical notes would be the most likely meaning.


How would you pronounce 'bhfoghlaimíonn'?


“Wohlameen”, “vohlameen”, “wowlameen”, or “vowlameen” are all possibilities.


I've been pronouncing (a)íonn as if it had two syllables, like ee-un. Is that incorrect?


I believe that the o in -(a)íonn is there only to ensure that the nn is pronounced broad.

EDIT: The adjective críonna is pronounced with three syllables in the Connacht and Munster recordings, which is a (modern?) exception to §112 of Aids to the Pronunciation of Irish :

The digraphs {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}ái, {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}aí, {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}ói, {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}ío, {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}úi, and {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}íu present no difficulty as the vowel carrying the {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}síneaḋ always gets its full long value, and the other vowel is a mere glide.

From §46 of the same work:

The real function of glides, then, in Irish writing is to indicate the broadness or slenderness of the adjacent consonant.


It's not wrong, but I wouldn't over-stress the second syllable, it's really just a relaxation of the hardness of the "ee" just before the consonant.


I had are you learning the notes-and it wa marked wrong .. I have a feeling it should be correct


There is no "are" in An bhfoghlaimíonn sibh na nótaí?.

Irish and English both differentiate between the simple present (An bhfoghlaimíonn sibh na nótaí? - "Do you learn the notes?") and the present progressive (An bhfuil sibh ag foghlaim na nótaí? - "Are you learning the notes?").

Some other European languages don't make this distinction, but in Irish and English they are distinct tenses. You can't use the present progressive to translate a sentence that is in the simple present.


I thought sibh was for 'they'


Siad is "they". Sibh is the plural "you".

For example, a teacher addressing the class would say An bhfoghlaimíonn sibh na nótaí?, but if the teacher was talking to a single student, they would say An bhfoghlaimíonn na nótaí?


Isn't it just foghlaíonn sibh ? No need for the im


No. While foghlaim does have two syllables, it is treated as a 1st conjugation verb, and the present tense ending is added to the end -
foghlaimím - "I learn"
foghlaimíonn tú - "you learn"
foghlaimíonn sé - "he learns"
foghlaimíonn sí - "she learns"
foghlaimímid - "we learn"
foghlaimíonn sibh - "you learn"
foghlaimíonn siad - "you learn"

  • 1285

Shouldn’t this be the second conjugation with the í - íonn ending?


You're right, foghlaim is a 2nd conjugation verb, but unlike many other 2nd conjugation verbs, the last syllable isn't modified in any way. The endings are 2nd conjugation endings, but the stem used is the root form (foghlaim), which is normally a mark of 1st conjugation verbs.

  • 1285

Thanks for lifting my confusion! :)


teanglann gives "learn" and "teach" as alternatives for the verb 'foghlaim' (vt & i). So would "I teach Irish" and "I learn Irish" translate identically?


No. foghlaim means "learn", múin means "teach". But while it is ungrammatical to say "I can learn you fishing" in English (even though it is immediately comprehensible), you can say Is féidir liom iascaireacht a fhoghlaim duit in Irish, but it is only "teach you" because of the duit - leave that out, and you have "I can learn fishing".


Thanks for this. http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/foghlaim seems to contradict, in giving 1. Learn. 2. Experience. 3. Instruct, teach.


No, it doesn't contradict. Look at the example provided for that 3rd listing: Rud a fhoghlaim do dhuine - "to teach sth. to s.o" - you need the do for that interpretation, and you only translate it as "teach" in that case because "to learn something to someone" is, at best, unconventional English.

You can think of foghlaim as having a default direction, and you can over-ride that direction with do.

Have a look at the entry for "teach" on focloir.ie, and see how the two examples that use foghlaim also change the subject.


I finally got round to looking at this. The vagaries of prepositions seem to be part of the difficulty. I'm thinking about replacing Item 3(A) with 3B, and obviate the use of 'learn' here, which seems out of context in the teanglann entry.

3A. Instruct, teach.

Rud a fhoghlaim do dhuine
A thing that~is taught to someone

3B. Learn

Rud a fhoghlaim do dhuine
A thing that~is learned by someone


It really isn't about the prepositions - the verb "learn" has narrowed it's meaning in English, and no longer means "to teach" - foghlaim still has that aspect.

From Dictionary.com:

The transitive sense (He learned me how to read), now vulgar, was acceptable from c.1200 until early 19c., from Old English læran "to teach" (cf. Dutch leren, German lehren "to teach," literally "to make known;" see lore), and is preserved in past participle adjective learned "having knowledge gained by study."


I hear people say "That'll learn you!" rather than "that'll teach you!" when someone makes a mistake - I don't know if they're trying to be ironic, or if it's just an example of the older, broader meaning that has managed to survive.


"Are you learning the notes" was not accepted. I do not see the difference.


"Are you?" - An bhfuil tú?

An bhfuil tú ag foghlaim na nótaí?

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