Braoin has used the article with áilleacht, i..e., leis an áilleacht versus le háilleacht. Perhaps the long modifier requires it? Or can it be either? What do others think about it?
I don’t think it’s needed. In this instance, the definite article feels the same to me in Irish as it does in English, which changes the meaning of the phrase (though not radically so). I prefer it without the article here.
Okay so what I think I'd do if I wanted to keep the "Our" in it is I would use "Tá ár" instead of "Tá an" right?! Does "Tá ár" mean Our & "Tá an" me The?Tá
means ‘is’ (or ‘are’). In Irish, the verb always comes first in the sentence. Ár
does indeed mean ‘our’, and an
what is the difference between "dhár" & "do na"?Dhár
is a dialectal form of dár
, which is do
‘to/for’ + ár
‘our’. In do na
, the second word, na
, is the definite article in the plural (an
is the singular).
So an croí
‘the heart’ (singular); but na súile
‘the eyes’ (plural).
I see that you said the "do na" is more Irish but does it mean the same thing?
It means the same, yes. In English, when discussing parts of the body, you nearly always use possessive adjectives to qualify them: you say “I’m washing my
hands”, “I cut my
finger”, etc. In Irish, it’s more common to use simply the definite form: “I’m washing the hands”, “I cut the finger”, etc. The meaning is the same as in English.
In this case, you can choose freely in Irish whether you want ‘our eyes’ or ‘the eyes’. I wouldn’t even say ‘the eyes’ is more natural Irish than ‘our eyes’ here, though in many structures it definitely is. In this example, though, I’d say they’re equal; neither feels un-Irish.
Oh & I noticed that one of the words have a different letter placing, Breandán has "gcroí" & Chaitríona has "croí" whats the difference in that also?
That’s purely grammatical. It’s a process called eclipsis.
Many centuries ago, before Old Irish, the sequence of a nasal followed by an unvoiced stop or f (that is, n or m followed by a p, t, or c—the latter always pronounced as a k, never as an s) developed into the voiced counterpart of the stop.
So, nc became g; mp became b; and nt became d. This took place inside words (as is common in languages): so the word idir
‘between’ is cognate to Latin inter-
, and cúig(e)
‘five’ is cognate to Latin quinque
, which is easy to see once you know that d is the Irish outcome of nt, and g is the outcome of nc (or, as here, of nqu[e]). But unlike in most languages where such changes happen, in the Celtic languages, the changes also happened and stuck across word boundaries.
So if you had a word that originally ended in n or m, and then the next word begins in a p, t, or c, then that gets screwed up, too.
Now, the word ár
was at that point something like *áron
, and croí
begins with a c. So (ignoring the spaces between the words, and the fact that croí
is not how that word would have looked two thousand years ago), *ároncroí
. This concept of the first consonant in a word being voiced like that because of a previous word is what is known as eclipsis.
At some point, *áron
lost its final syllable and became just ár
, but the effect it had on the following word still lingered on. So people continued to say the g instead of a c. They couldn’t quite figure out how to best represent that in writing for many hundred years, but nowadays it’s consistently written so that you first
write the consonant spoken (g), and then
the ‘real’ consonant, the one that the word begins with if it’s not next to a word that triggers eclipsis.
So when you write ár gcroí
, the c is silent—it’s just there to let you know that the word actually begins with a c; the c has just been eclipsed into a g.
The definite article an
, conversely, never ended in a nasal consonant, so no such change ever took place there: an croí
just remains an croí
I hope that explains it understandably.