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We recently saw a video giving the pronunciation for counting from 1 to 20 in Irish (https://blogs.transparent.com/irish/irish-numbers-1-20-with-video/ OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-t5NzoxdfE). In November, many countries recognize an t-aonú lá déag (the 11th day) as a day to remember iarbhaill na bhfórsaí armtha (veterans of the armed forces). Even more specifically, a nóiméad ciúnais or some other searmanas may be observed at exactly 11:00 a.m., when the Sos Cogaidh ending the hostilities of An Chéad Chogadh Domhanda took effect. It was actually signed shortly after 5 a.m., Paris time, on that morning. While last year, 2011, marked the most numerically remarkable anniversary of this event, 11/11/11, noteworthy for its struchtúr palandróim, it’s a topic of interest in any year. For more on the 11:00 a.m. timing, see nóta A (thíos).
So let’s take a closer look at the number “eleven,” using it as a maoluimhir (independent number), bunuimhir (cardinal number), orduimhir (ordinal number), and uimhir phearsanta (personal number).
a) maoluimhir: a haon déag (Maoluimhreacha are used for phone numbers, route or flight numbers, lottery ticket numbers, addresses, and other situations where you’re not actually counting amounts, like na huimhreacha rúnda sa chlár teilifíse LOST de chuid ABC, más cuimhin leat iad: 4 8 15 16 23 42)
b) bunuimhir: aon chapall déag [ayn KHAH-pul djayg], eleven horses (Bunuimhreacha are used for actually counting objects and animals, but for counting people, see “uimhir phearsanta,” below)
c) orduimhir: an t-aonú huair déag, an t-aonú lá déag, an t-aonú mí déag, the 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month. Orduimhreacha are used as in English, to indicate rank within a series. Except for “an chéad” (the first), orduimhreacha cause an “h” to be prefixed before vowels, as in “an dara huair,” from “uair,” or “an tríú húll,” from “úll.”
d) uimhir phearsanta: aon duine dhéag [ayn DIN-yuh yayg]. The “uimhreacha pearsanta,” such as “beirt” (two) and “tríúr” (three), are used for counting people from one to ten, and sometimes twelve. For “eleven” and groups of 13 or more people, however, the “personal number” is no different than the “bunuimhir,” as we might use to count “aon bhosca dhéag” or “aon chapall déag“.
So that’s four ways to use the number “eleven” in Irish for different purposes. Here are a few more samples:
a) a haon déag a chlog, eleven o’clock
b) ar an aonú huair déag, at the eleventh hour (note that the “t-” disappears when we put “t-aonú” in a prepositional phrase)
c) ionsaithe 11 Meán Fómhair, the September Eleventh Attacks
d) Apollo a hAon Déag, and
e) the following dialóg, which some of you may recognize. I don’t think the scannán from which it is taken was ever dubbed into Irish, so this is my translation (an Béarla i nóta B thíos)
Nigel: Téann na huimhreacha go léir go dtí a haon déag. Féach, trasna an bhoird go hiomlán, a haon déag, a haon déag, a haon déag …
Marty: Ó, feicim. Agus téann an chuid is mó de na haimplitheoirí suas go dtí a deich?
Nigel: Go díreach.
And finally, here are a couple of well known phrases using the number “eleven” in English that do not refer to the number in Irish:
a) Eleven Plus, An Teist Aistrithe, the “transfer test,” largely phased out in the late 1960s and the 1970s in England and Wales and in 2008 in Northern Ireland. Administered when most children were eleven years old, it determined whether they would get a place in a “grammar” school (academic secondary school) or whether they would attend a secondary “modern” or secondary “technical.”
b) eleven-banded armadillo, armadailín mór earrnocht, lit. big naked-tailed armadillo (aka, broad-banded armadillo, in case you were wondering). The “naked-tailed” bit sounds intriguing, but it’s the “elevenlessness” in Irish that’s relevant here. Armadillo carapaces can have from 20 or so down to 3 bands, but, of course, our purpose here is simply to look at phrases actually featuring the number 11. For whatever reason, Irish describes this animal by its size and tail, not by the number of carapace bands. So we won’t start counting bandaí armadailín here, d’ainneoin an chraic a bheadh ann! Ábhar blag eile, b’fhéidir.
Ar an nóta zó-eolaíoch sin, SGF, Róislín
Nóta (A) faoin am 11:00 (roimh nóin) nuair a thosaigh an sos comhraic:
So, come to think of it, 11 a.m. in Paris time presumably would have been 6 a.m. in the Eastern Time Zone (East Coast America and much of northeastern Canada) and it would mean amanna éagsúla eile sna criosanna ama eile. So, in many countries, the cloganna wouldn’t have been reading 11 a chlog at the exact moment an Sos Cogaidh took effect.
I did start to wonder, as I wrote this, if the idea of criosanna ama was fully established by 1918, the last year of WWI, and, in case anyone else was wondering, the answer appears to be “yes.” Various dates and individuals are associated with the first concept of time zones, but the system seems to be well entrenched by the earlier 20th century. A Scottish-born Canadian, Sir Sandford Fleming, of Kirkcaldy, Fife, is given the most credit for developing the system, which he began planning after he missed a train in Bun Dobhráin, Co. Dhún na nGall, due to the misleading way the amchlár was printed.
Nóta (B): Seo an t-athfhriotal scannáin sa bhunteanga, Béarla:
An cuimhin leat an scannán? Seo an teideal i nGaeilge: Seo É Polladh Dromlaigh. I mBéarla, teanga an scannáin? This Is Spinal Tap. Ar ndóigh, scigchlár faisnéise atá ann, ní clár faisnéise ceart!
Gluais: aimplitheoir, amplifier; amchlár, time-table; athfhriotal, quotation; d’ainneoin, in spite of; dromlaigh, of (the) spine; polladh, puncture; rúnda, mysterious; scigchlár faisnéise, mockumentary; sos cogaidh, armistice; sos comhraic, cease-fire