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Traein na nDineasár: Gluaisín do Théamamhrán an Chláir Teilifíse (Cuid 2/3) Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

In the last blog, we looked at some vocabulary from the téamamhrán for a popular clár teilifíse for children, “Traein na nDineasár.”  In this blog, we’ll continue with some words and phrases from this song.   As before, I’m not presenting them in ord na haibítre, but in sequence, as they appear in the song, which you can hear (i nGaeilge) at

Súil siar ón mblag deireanach: an cuimhin leat iad seo?  1) fadó fadó, 2) Bean Uí Tearanódóin, 3) ina suí, 4) ag goradh, 5) ceann le ceann, 6) beagán níos mó (translations at the previous blog, )

Anois, an chéad chuid eile den ghluaisín:

7) fiacla dúbailte: double teeth.  And yes, I double-checked this and found out that, yes, indeed, tá fiacla dúbailte ag an Tyrannosaurus rex.  Now why didn’t I know that already?  B’fhéidir go raibh sé ar eolas agam cheana ach rinne mé dearmad ar an bhfíoróidín sin.  Ceist mhaith do “Trivial Pursuits,” áfach!

Where did the Tyrannosaurus rex come in?  Remember, in Dinosaur Train, “Buddy” is the T. rex who hatches in the pteranodon nest, so his distinctive features are described in the song.   I initially assumed that this emphasis on Buddy’s fiacla meant that the pteranodons didn’t have teeth, but a brief scamper around the Internet suggests that the question of pteranodon teeth is fraught with confusion, error, disagreement, and plain old geographic variation, so I won’t belabor the point here.   Another ábhar best left to the pailé-ointeolaithe.

I guess a pteranodontist would know about ceist na bhfiacla, so if you can find one, we could ask him or her!   Of course, if tearanódóin don’t have fiacla, they wouldn’t need seirbhísí  an, errmm, *tearanódóntóra.   Which probably means that *tearanódóntóirí are pretty scarce, dare I say about as scarce as … hen’s teeth!

8) cosúlacht, similarity.  So the song tells us that the baby T. rex doesn’t look like a mham [uh wam], just like the lachín ghránna in Andersen’s tale didn’t resemble a mhamsa, since the lachín ghránna wasn’t really a lachín at all, but was actually an “éan eala” (cygnet, lit. chick of swan).   Andersen’s lachín ghránna didn’t resemble a mham, since the mother was a lacha.  Likewise, Buddy, an dineasár, doesn’t resemble his ucht-mháthair because he is a dineasár (T. rex) and she is a teireasár (tearanódón).

I don’t actually remember if Andersen’s lachín was supposed to be male or female in the story, but male rings a bell so I used the masculine possessive forms in the paragraph above.  But if the lachín were female, we’d say “a mam” for “her mom/mam/mum” and “a mamsa” for “HER mom/mam/mum”, with the “-sa” suffix added for contrast or emphasis.  If “a” means “his,” we say “a mham” (his mom), but if “a” means “her,” we say “a mam.”  The word “a” can mean “his” or “her” and we need context in order to translate it exactly.  That same single-letter word, “a,” can also mean about 9 more things, but we’ll leave those for blaganna eile.

The word “lachín” itself is grammatically feminine, (despite the “-ín” ending), so if we were talking about a generic duckling, we would use the feminine forms (a mam, a mamsa, etc.).

So, all that just to discuss “cosúlacht.”  But before we leave “cosúlacht,” I’ll note a few more phrases using this word for “similarity” in very different contexts, to delight the hearts of the staitisteoirí among you.  Seo cúpla sampla i gcomhthéacs staitistiúil (aistriúchán thíos):

a) comhéifeacht chosúlachta

b) maitrís na gcosúlachtaí (as opposed to the “maitrís chosúlachta”!)

c) prionsabal na cosúlachta

And that’s almost a blog’s worth, but let’s do a few more straightforward ones before we leave cuid a dó den tsraith seo.

9) difriúil, different

10) ainmhí [AN-iv-ee, note the inserted vowel sound between the “n” and the “mh”], animal

And to wrap up, who can guess the nicely alliterative word that fits in the next line of the song, coming between “dineasár” and “den scoth“?  An freagra sa chéad bhlag eile, or, ar ndóigh, by listening to the song at the nasc above.  Don’t be discouraged if listening to the song the first time around you don’t get all the words.  It took me, um, about deich n-uaire (ten times) to get it all down.  BTW, that wasn’t “deich n-uaire” in the sense of “ten hours,” just “ten times.”  Hopefully it won’t ever take me ten hours to transcribe a song of approximately 100 words!

An chéad uair eile, cuid a trí, agus deireadh an amhráin!  SGF, Róislín

Aistriúchán do 8):  

a) comhéifeacht chosúlachta, coefficient of similarity (and please don’t ask me to use either of those in abairtí, i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla!)

b1) maitrís na gcosúlachtaí, matrix of similarities

b2) maitrís chosúlachta, similarity matrix

c) prionsabal na cosúlachta, similarity principle

And lo and behold, there you have, before your very eyes, the word cosúlacht in a) the genitive singular lenited, b1) genitive plural eclipsed, b2) genitive singular lenited used attributively, and c) genitive singular with no lenition, following “na.”  Who’duh thunk it, that all of that would surface as we discussed T. rexíní?

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