Irish Language Blog

Aghaidheanna Cat (Faces of Cats) — Their Main Features in Irish Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Since we’ve been a roll with comhráite cat (naisc thíos), how about a diagram showing some of the features of a cat’s face?  The above graphic show various features of a cat’s face, most of which are shared with other animals and with humans, so you can get double mileage out of the vocabulary.

One of the features doesn’t occur in humans at all.  Any guesses?  We’ll go through the rest of the terms alphabetically with a few sample sentences and eventually work our way down to that one.

The common theme for these sentences will be counting, mostly one (amháin) or two (dhá), but in the case of the whiskers, six ().  And then there’s Cú Chulainn, with some blanks for you to fill in to complete the sentence about him!

béal: Tá béal amháin ag cat.  A cat has one mouth.

cluas: Tá dhá chluas ag cat.  A cat has two ears.  Note the lenition, “c” changing to “ch.”

éadan: Tá éadan amháin ag cat.  A cat has one forehead.  In fact this would be true for most animals, except a few mythological ones, like Cerberus, who would have trí éadan, or a hiodra, which would have naoi n-éadan, the extra “n-” being prefixed for eclipsis.

guaire: Tá sé ghuaire ag an gcat sa phictiúr.  The cat in the picture has six whiskers.  De ghnáth, bíonn ceithre ghuaire is fiche ag cat.

imreasc: Tá dhá imreasc ag cat agus ag gach mamach (sílim).  Ach ní raibh ach súil amháin ag an gCioclóp Polaiféamas agus mar sin, ní raibh ach imreasc amháin aige.  A cat has two irises, as do all (I think) mammals.  But the Cyclops Polyphemus only had one eye, therefore he only had one iris.

mac imrisc: Tá dhá mhac imrisc ag cat agus ag an gcuid is mó de mhamaigh (ag gach mamach?), ach bhí _____ m(h)ac imrisc _____ ag Cú Chulainn, _____ (g)cinn i ngach súil.  A cat has two pupils, as do most mammals (all mammals?), but Cú Chulainn had _____ pupils, _____ in each eye.  Freagra thíos (answer below).  You may or may not need the letters in parentheses, depending on your answer.

polláire: Tá dhá pholláire ag cat.  A cat has two nostrils.

srón: Tá srón bheag ghleoite amháin ag cat.  A cat has one cute little nose.

súil: Tá dhá shúil ag cat mar atá ag gach mamach.  Ach maidir le hArgas, i miotaseolaíocht na Gréige, bhí céad súil aige.  A cat has two eyes, as does every mammal.  But regarding Argus, in Greek mythology, he had 100 eyes.

Now for the feature that doesn’t apply to people, na scannáin nicteacha, the nictitating membrane, also known as “the third eyelid” (an tríú caipín súile).  Humans don’t have this membrane as such, but we do have a vestigial remnant of it in the corner of our eyes, the “plica semilunaris,” which I had absolutely never heard of prior to writing this blog.  One nictitating membrane would be “scannán nicteach amháin.”  And that phrase, by the way, helps explain why Irish has such a distinctive word for a film or movie (scannán) — the word existed in Irish before movies and meant “membrane,” “pellicle,” or “velum.”

Bhuel, sin é go fóill agus tá súil agam go raibh sé suimiúil agus úsáideach.  SGF — Róislín

Freagra don cheist faoi mhic imrisc: Bhí ceithre mhac imrisc déag ag Cú Chulainn, seacht gcinn i ngach súil.  He had fourteen pupils, seven in each eye.

NaiscComhrá le Cat: translation, pronunciation, and glossary Posted by  on Jun 23, 2017 in Irish Language

Comhrá le Cat

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  1. Heather Rushing:

    I am learning Irish with Duolingo. I also have the pimsleur method CD set. I have had a long time interest in this language – learning a little here and there. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to Ireland but I keep learning as I have time. I tell myself at least I know more Irish than the average American! Ha!
    This cat face diagram is more advanced than I am . I was reading some of it.

    • róislín:

      @Heather Rushing Tá áthas orm go mbíonn tú ag léamh an bhlag. I’m happy that you are reading the blog. Hope you like the cat diagram, even if you said it is kind of advanced. I hope you continue enjoy the Transparent Language products for Irish. Tús maith leath na hoibre!

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