View Single Post
Old 09-19-2016, 07:25 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,101
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Just because two languages are in the same language family does not mean that one can make a "word for word" translation between the two languages.
Especially between languages with significantly different grammar and structure like English and Irish.

The English sentence:

"The girl is walking"

Word for word the same concept translated from Irish:

"Is the girl at walking"

In Irish the word order is Verb-Subject-Object as opposed to English which is Subject-Verb-Object. As just one example. Unlike English, you don't invert the verb and subject order to ask a question. Also, while English will change the ending of words Irish often changes the beginning of words. Another outstanding oddity: Irish has neither "yes" nor "no" as discreet words. If someone asks you "are you doing something?" you have to answer either "I am" or "I am not", you can't just say yes or no because neither of those words exist in Irish (though Irish speakers might borrow them a lot these days - they might wind up as language immigrants).

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Which is why word-for-word translations are often confusing, nonsensical, or useless.