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PostPosted: Fri 10 May 2024 10:44 pm 
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To say "I like to play music", google translate gives Is maith liom ceol a sheinm

and this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdmBc6LWT8w

gives: Is maith leis a bheith ag seinm ceoil

Can somebody help me to understand the difference between these two translations? Thank you.

Also, when the woman from the video says the phrase, I'm not hearing the "a" between liomn and bheith.


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PostPosted: Fri 10 May 2024 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu 22 Dec 2011 6:28 am
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Location: Corcaigh
msv133 wrote:
To say "I like to play music", google translate gives Is maith liom ceol a sheinm

and this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdmBc6LWT8w

gives: Is maith leis a bheith ag seinm ceoil

Can somebody help me to understand the difference between these two translations? Thank you.

Also, when the woman from the video says the phrase, I'm not hearing the "a" between liomn and bheith.


Google is right. The more direct translation for what you asked for is is maith liom ceol a sheinm.

The option given by Bitesize is fine grammatically, but it actually translates to "he likes to play music". If you want to use this construction to say "I like" instead of "he likes" you just change the word leis to liom, so is maith liom a bheith ag seinm ceoil. I notice in the video that she actually pronounces liom, and their phonetic transcription is clearly for liom also, so this is just a typo they made.

The reason it looks different is because it uses a construction with the verb "to be", so a direct translation of it is more like "he likes to be playing music". This construction is absolutely fine in Irish, just a different way of saying the same thing as is maith leis ceol a sheinm.

Here's a breakdown:

is maith liom = I like
is maith leis = he likes

ceol a sheinm = to play music
a bheith ag seinm ceoil = to be playing music

In fluid speech the a is inclined not to be pronounced. It's there more in spirit than in fact, more in orthography than in pronunciation.


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PostPosted: Fri 10 May 2024 11:34 pm 
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Some native speakers say "a bheith", as there are other circumstances in the language where "bheith" has "a" in front of it, but it is actually ungrammatical, like the native speakers of English who say "I could of", etc. There is no infinitival particle in Irish, and so it should be: is maith liom bheith ag seinm. Bheith ag seinm has a progressive meaning "playING".


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PostPosted: Tue 14 May 2024 10:26 am 
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Joined: Tue 14 May 2024 10:16 am
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Thanks for the explanation. I realized I was wrong before too.


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