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Dhá Ainmhí Dhéag, Dhá Bhliain Déag, agus Cén Fhoirm den Alt? Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Bliain an Chapaill

Bliain an Chapaill

Seo (2014) Bliain an Chapaill de réir fhéilire na Síneach.  Agus cad faoi na blianta eile?  Agus na hainmhithe a bhaineanns leo? 

So we’ve all heard that this (2014) is the Year of the Horse (Bliain an Chapaill) in the Chinese calendar.  But how would we say the other eleven Chinese years in Irish?  And what happens to the phrase “of the” as we go from masculine to feminine?  Grammatically, that is!  The biological gender of a specific animal isn’t really relevant for this exercise.  While it’s good to know that Irish has the usual differentiations for male and female animals (stail/láir; tarbh/bó; reithe/fóisc; poc or pocaide/minseach, srl.), grammatical gender is, well, a “capall” of a different color.

Here are the other eleven animals of the Chinese calendar and below that, a fill-in-the-blank exercise.   An interesting aspect of all of this that didn’t occur to me until just now is whether the Chinese word for horse ( ) used for “Year of the Horse” is specifically male or female (a mare) or whether it’s for “horse” as a species in general, neither male or female.  But the words below are the most basic Irish words for each animal even if there are other subcategories like láir, minseach or cráin.  When we get to “rooster,” we know it’s the male of the species.  And for a lot of animals, especially wild ones or those not native to Ireland, we often simply use “fireann” (male) and “baineann” (female), as in “cangarú baineann.”  At any rate, here are the other eleven animals sa bhféilire Síneach:

francach, rat

damh [dahv], ox

tíogar [TEE-gur], tiger

coinín, rabbit

dragan, dragon

nathair [NAH-hirzh], snake

gabhar [GOW-ur, with the “ow” as in “cow” or “now,” not as in “bow-tie”), goat

moncaí, monkey

coileach [KWIL-yukh], rooster

madra (or “madadh” [MAH-duh] or “gadhar” [GYE-ur, rhyming with “tire” or “wire”]), dog

muc [muk, the “u” is close to English “book” but not like English “muck” or “moon”], pig

And what happens to all these words when they come after “Year of the”?  And what happens to the word “the,” which can appear as either “an” or “na“?  Remember: “an” if the noun is masculine, “na” if the noun is feminine, and leid mhór, only two from this group are grammatically feminine:

Bliain ___ Fhrancaigh

Bliain ___ Daimh

Bliain ___  Tíogair

Bliain ___ Choinín

Bliain ___ Dragain

Bliain ___ Nathrach

Bliain ___  Ghabhair

Bliain ___  Mhoncaí

Bliain ___ Choiligh

Bliain ___  Mhadra (or “Bliain __  Mhadaidh” or “Bliain  __  Ghadhair”)

Bliain ___ Muice

Bhuel, “Athbhliain faoi mhaise” faoi dhó (since we just wished everyone that about a month ago) and, fingers crossed that this spelling is an adequate romanization, “Kung Hei Fat Choy!”  Maybe by next year, I’ll have learned what each of the four words means separately and made a stab at learning “ceithre thon na Sínise.”  Idir an dá linn, SGF – Róislín

Agus na freagraí:

Bliain … 1) an Fhrancaigh, 2) an Daimh, 3) an Tíogair, 4) an Choinín, 5) an Dragain, 6) na Nathrach (focal baininscneach a haon sa tsraith seo), 7) an Ghabhair, 8) an Mhoncaí, 9) an Choiligh, 10) an Mhadra (or “Bliain an Mhadaidh” or “Bliain an Ghadhair”), 11) na Muice (focal baininscneach a dó sa tsraith).  Uimhir 12, ar ndóigh, “Bliain an Chapaill.”  

Nasc don phictiúr:

Gluais: baininscneach, (grammatically) feminine; sraith, series


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