Úsáid an fhocail “Eircode” i gcomhthéacs Gaeilge Posted by róislín on Jul 24, 2015 in Irish Language
So we’ve all been inundated lately with news of “lainseáil an chórais Eircode,” which could also be called “seoladh an chórais Eircode.” Both phrases mean “the launching of the Eircode system.” But, as happened with the launching of the “euro,” umpteen years ago, one of my first thoughts was, how do we use this word in an Irish sentence? Does it have “inscne” (gender)? Does it have a “foirm iolra” (plural form)? Does it take any prefixed letters the way other Irish words beginning with vowels do? Remember the “t-anna,” “h-anna,” and “n-anna” that we see in phrases like “an t-úll,” “le hAoife,” “seacht n-uaire,” and “blas na n-oráistí“? Do any of those apply?
Bhuel, de réir cosúlachta, the word “Eircode” stays the same in Irish and English. There doesn’t appear to be any actual Irish form like “*ÉirChód” (a hypothetical form, as far as I know). I did find one use of “le hÉirchóde” [sic] but it appears to be anomalous. Also, the word “Eircode” appears to be genderless, like the word “euro,” so Eircode’s website uses the phrase “an Eircode” for “the Eircode.” No question of inserting a “t” before vowels or not –gender’s a moot point here. So no “úll” vs. “an t-úll” issues. And as for “genitive plural,” one context in which the “n-” prefix is used (like “blas na n-úll)”, bhuel, not a sign.
I’ve been searching for a plural form of “Eircode” in Irish, but so far I haven’t found anything definitive. In fact, I haven’t found a plural form at all. I looked through the main sections of the www.eircode.ie/gaeilge website. It’s divided into seven main sections (Cad é Eircode?, Buntáistí, Conas Eircode a fháil, Gnólachtaí, CCanna (Ceisteanna Coiteanta) , Nuacht, and Aimsigh Eircode). But I didn’t see actually see any plural example in all of that. I didn’t follow all the secondary links, so maybe it shows up by chance somewhere, ach ní fhaca mise é. Eolas ag duine ar bith amuigh ansin?
Here are some possibilities for a plural but I’d like to get the official word. The sample sentence I made up to illustrate this point means “Eircodes use numbers and letters,” a basic enough concept.
Úsáideann na hEircodeanna uimhreacha agus litreacha. Or would it be:
Úsáideann na hEircodes uimhreacha agus litreacha. Or:
Úsáideann na Eircodes uimhreacha agus litreacha.
Or would a different plural ending be used? Irish has a lot of plural endings to choose from, since we have patterns like:
-(n)ta: rónta (seals)
-(n)te: línte (lines)
-eacha: cathaoireacha (chairs)
-acha: cathracha (cities)
-í: cailíní (girls)
-aí: bádaí (boats; NB: this is an alternative plural of “bád“–the standard is “báid“)
-ithe: cruinnithe (meetings)
-aithe: rúnaithe (secretaries)
and the inserted “i,” as in:
báid, plural of “bád” (this is the standard plural, as opposed to bádaí )
cóid, plural of “cód”
And, of course, there are some idiosyncratic plurals, either with syncopation, like “soilse” and “doirse,” or completely irregular, like “mná.”
I’ve checked an Vicipéid, not that that’s bun agus barr an scéil as far as Irish terminology goes, but it’s a good place to start. As of the time of this writing, the entry for “Postal address in the Republic of Ireland” hadn’t been translated into Irish, so there were no plural samples there. Getting this article translated seems like a good project for some noble volunteer.
Whatever anyone thinks of the Eircode system, it would be nice if there would be a brief note as to language usage in the Irish version of Eircode’s website. Even if all it does is say there’s no gender, no prefixes. But surely they would have so say something about a plural form. If it’s already there, and I missed it, tá brón orm, but I looked pretty carefully.
At any rate, I’ll be keeping an eye out for the use of Eircode in the plural and any other aspects of the word that have special relevance for Irish language usage. Tá mé fiosrach faoin úsáid! Agus má fheiceann tú féin é, scríobh isteach, le do thoil, leis an eolas. SGF — Róislín
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