Orduimhreacha agus na hUrláir i bhFoirgnimh (Ordinal Numbers and the Floors in Buildings) | Irish Language Blog

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Orduimhreacha agus na hUrláir i bhFoirgnimh (Ordinal Numbers and the Floors in Buildings) Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Irish Language

(le Róislín; d.a.s. tiocfaidh cuid 2 de “Vocabulary Round-up from ‘More Irish Numbers Practice: Orduimhreacha i dTeidil Scannán'” roimh i bhfad )

Cuir i gcás gur turasóir Meiriceánach in Éirinn thú.  Tá tú i dteach lóistín, ag clárú agus ag fáil eochair do sheomra.  Deir bean an tí go bhfuil do sheomra ar an gcéad urlár agus go bhfuil an staighre thall ansin. 

“Staighre?” a deir tú leat féin.  “Cén fáth staighre má tá mo sheomra ar an gcéad urlár?” 

Tá an chuma ort go bhfuil mearbhall ort. 

Deir bean an tí arís. “Tá an staighre thall ansin.  Tá do sheomra ar an gcéad urlár.  Ó, sea, rinne mé dearmad.  Tá córas eile i Meiriceá.  Anseo in Éirinn, deir muid “bunurlár” (nó “urlár na talún”) don urlár atá ar leibhéal na sráide.  Tá an “chéad urlár” os ár gcionn.  Agus an dara hurlár os a chionn sin.”

“Ó, sea, tuigim anois,” a deir tú.  “Córas difriúil eile.  An oiread sin de dhifríochtaí agus tú ag taisteal.  Celsius agus Fahrenheit.  Ciliméadair agus mílte. Ceintiméadair agus orlaí.  Agus fiú difríochtaí sa Bhéarla, mar shampla, “check” vs. “bill” i mbialann.  Agus “jumper” mar chineál gúna i Meiriceá agus “jumper” mar chineál geansaí in Éirinn agus sa Bhreatain.  

“Bhuel,” a deir bean an tí, “mar a deir an seanfhocal, ‘Beagán de mhórán a mhéadaíonn do dhúil.'”

“Is fíor sin,” a deir tú, “agus bíonn ciall i seanfhocail.  Mar a deir seanfhocal eile, “Ní féidir an seanfhocal a shárú.”

“Ní féidir,” a deir bean an tí.  “Anois, má tá rud ar bith de dhíth ort … piliúr eile … tuáille eile… blaincéad eile  … blaincéad leictreach … ” 

Got it?

Here’s a gluais bheag for readers at a sort of intermediate level.  A full translation is given further down.

cuir i gcás, imagine (lit. put in a case or situation)

mearbhall, confusion

bunurlár (nó “urlár na talún), ground floor

os ár gcionn, above us; os a chionn sin, above that

méadaíonn, increase(s) (briathar)

dúil, expectation, desire

sárú, to surpass

Since the topic of “urláir i bhfoirgnimh” came up in the most recent blogpost (nasc thíos), I thought a little further explanation might help.  The basic idea is that there are two different systems for counting the floors of a building using ordinal numbers (orduimhreacha).  In the American system (and perhaps Canadian — níl mé cinnte … a Cheanadacha?), the ground floor (street level) is also the first floor.  In Ireland and Britain, and as far as I know, in Europe in general, perhaps the world at large, the street level is just called the ground floor and may be marked “0” on an “ardaitheoir” (lift, elevator).  In Irish, then, the “bunurlár” isn’t normally “an chéad urlár.”

It does bring up an interesting question.  What should American learners of Irish do?  Learn the European system for use in Ireland?   Stick to the American system but with Irish words for situations when one is talking in Irish in America?  Más cainteoir Gaeilge i Meiriceá thú, cad a deir tusa maidir le hurláir?  Mar shampla, in óstán:

Tá an Starbucks ar an gcéad urlár, go díreach ar aghaidh, in aice leis an bpríomhshlí isteach.

OR: Tá an Starbucks ar an gcéad urlár.  Téigh suas an staighre agus ….

Bhur mbarúlacha, a léitheoirí? 

The graphic above, which I’ve adapted from the graphic I did for the “Muiscít ar an Deichiú hUrlár” blogpost (an nasc céanna, thíos), shows this in a (hopefully) clear manner.  I will probably always get a kick out of a movie being called “Mosquito on the Tenth Floor,” but really, I did just pick it to translate here to practice ordinal numbers.

Have any of you had any strange experiences traveling, wondering why you were told to go upstairs for the first floor when you thought you were already on the first floor, or conversely, why you went upstairs to what you thought was the first floor (mar shampla, Seomra 101) and couldn’t find what you were looking for?  Which turned out to be on the floor below after all.

And that raises an interesting question for thinking about the future.  When we finally get a hotel on the moon (óstán ar an ngealach), it will no doubt be the result of international scientific and commercial cooperation (which we’re soooo good at, as a species).  So we’ll have to decide how to number the floors, regardless of whether it’s a Lunar Hilton or the infamous “Moonhattan Tilton” (from The Jetsons) or let’s see, how about a Motel 933.66 (Cén fáth 933.66? Freagra thíos).  Córas Meiriceánach (má chuireann Meiriceá cuid mhór den airgead sa tionscadal)?  Córas Eorpach (mar tá a lán tíortha i gceist)?   

Somehow I don’t recall the orbiting Hilton space station hotel in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey as having floors, so the numbering of floors is a moot point there (as far as I remember).  I do remember the flight attendant walking “bunoscionn” to reach the passenger to serve the food, in what was it, some sort of shuttle?  Ach urláir dhifriúla — ní cuimhin liom.  Of course they might be called “decks (“deiceanna“) at that point, anyway.  Bhuel, if anyone remembers better than me, about floors in that space-station Hilton, please do let me know.  Meanwhile, rewatching 2001 for the umpeenth time goes back onto my to-do list.  Last time was after having the privilege of meeting the two lead actors, Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea in person at a convention.  Now it’s to look at space-station architecture, if only to satisfy my own curiosity and to figure out how to describe the structure in Irish.

Anyway, here’s the full translation of the convo above and below that the answer to why $933.66.  And now there’s one more detail to watch for as you discuss foirgnimh, lóistíní, and gormchlónna — uimhriú na n-urlár.   Sometime in the future we’ll also discuss whether triskaidekaphobia (fóibe roimh an uimhir trí déag) is also an issue for buildings in the Gaeltacht, but how many are there there that actually have thirteen floors?  Or fourteen floors minus the unlucky 13th one?  Which would also be an interesting topic for the future.  Meanwhile, the next blogpost will be the continuation of “Vocabulary Round-up from ‘More Irish Numbers Practice: Orduimhreacha i dTeidil Scannán.'” SGF — Róislín

Aistriúchán

Imagine you are an American tourist in Ireland.  You are in a lodging house, registering  and getting your room key.  The bean an tí (proprietress/landlady/housewife) says your room is on the first floor and that the stairs are over there.

“Stairs?” you say to yourself.  “Why stairs if my room is on the first floor?”

You look confused.

The bean an tí says again, “The stairs are over there.  Your room is on the first floor.  Oh, yes, I forgot.  There is another system in America.  Here in Ireland, we say “ground floor” [urlár na talún also means ground floor”] for the floor at street level.  The “first floor” is above us.  And the second floor is above that.”

“Oh, yes, I understand now,” you say.  “A different system.  So many differences while you are traveling. Celsius and Fahrenheit.  Kilometers and miles.  Centimeters and inches.  And even differences in the English, for example, “check” vs. “bill” in a restaurant.  And “jumper” as a kind of dress in America and “jumper” as a kind of sweater in Ireland and Britain.”

“Well,” says the bean an tí, “as the proverb says, “Variety is the spice of life.”

“That’s true,” you say, “and proverbs contain wisdom.  As another proverb says, ‘It’s not possible to surpass the proverb.'”  [NB: English would probably just say “a proverb” here]

“Yes [lit. “it isn’t possible,” agreeing with the previous statement], says the bean an tí.  “Now, if you need anything else … another pillow … another towel … another blanket … an electric blanket … ”

Dála an scéil, is duitse an abairt dheireanach seo, a Vicí.C., má tá tú ag léamh an chomhrá seo! 

BTW, the word “bean an tí” is so well known in Irish English today that I’m not putting it in bold here in this translation.  I do use the bold font sometimes to draw attention to Irish words that aren’t typically part of Irish English.

Nóta: normally in Irish we wouldn’t say “the bean an tí,” using “an” (the) first and then the set phrase “bean an tí”  because it would mean having two definite articles in one possessive noun phrase, which doesn’t happen in Irish.  Remember, in Irish, “cóta an chailín” means “the coat of the girl,” with no “an” in front of “cóta.”  Similarly “cota Cháit” means “the coat of Kate” although the word “an” (the) doesn’t show up at all.  Of course, we can also translate it as “Kate’s coat,” which doesn’t have “the” in English either.  English can use either style (Kate’s coat OR the coat of Kate).

Freagra: Why 933.66? To arrive at the figure 933.66, I used this site (http://www.in2013dollars.com/1962-dollars-in-2117?amount=6&future_pct=0.03).  Of course, I have no idea what the dollar amount will actually be, or if we’ll even still be using physical money by 2117.  I couldn’t find a similar predictive site for the euro. Nor do I have any idea how many years it will be until we have a hotel on the moon (óstán ar an __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __, remember?).  But it seemed like a fun thing to try.  And since Motel 6 got its name from its original $6.00 a night price tag (in 1962), I figured checking the inflation value predicted for 2117 would be fun.  And 933.66 sounds futuristic enough to be mildly convincing.  Or at least attention-getting!

Nasc don iarbhlagmhír: Vocabulary Round-up from ‘More Irish Numbers Practice: Orduimhreacha i dTeidil Scannán’ (Cuid/Part 1) Posted by  on Aug 20, 2017 in Irish Language

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