How to convey the meaning of something “working” for somebody.

Fáilte (Welcome) Forums General Discussion (Irish and English) How to convey the meaning of something “working” for somebody.

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  • #36350
    Seáinín
    Participant

    I have bumped up against this before and am running into a dead end again. I often use the English word “work” to convey that something is “acceptable” or “feasible” or “desirable” to myself or someone else. For instance, when trying to schedule a meeting, asking “will that time work for you?”. In another context: “would it work for you if I do this?” or “It doesn’t work for me when you do that.”

    I’m having a heck of a time figuring out how to convey a similar meaning as Gaeilge. (In fact, it is hard to find any reference to this use of the word “work” in English dictionaries, which is weird because I hear it being used this way all of the time.) It doesn’t look like direct translation of the word “work” is going to do it. None of the references I’ve looked at for the word “oibre” or “saothar” and their relatives suggest a use with a similar meaning. I can ask if something is possible (“féidir”) or satisfactory (“sásúil”) or feasible (“indéanta”) but none of the definitions or usage examples get to what I am trying to convey. I am assuming, therefore, that there’s an idiom rather than a word that expresses this idea.

    Thoughts?

    #42496
    Wee_Falorie_Man
    Participant

    Well, the first sentence, “Will that time work for you?” is the same as saying “Will that be a suitable time for you?” so I would use oiriúnach for that sentence. Hopefully, somebody who is more fluent will come by and throw in their two cents 🙂

    #42497
    Bríd Mhór
    Participant

    An bhfuil tú sásta leis…. ?

    #42498
    aonghus
    Participant

    An bhfeileann sin duit?

    http://potafocal.com/Metasearch.aspx?Text=feiliúnach&GotoID=focloirbeag

    I think you will find that this use of “work” is a) recent, b) mostly your side of the pond! And Irish dictionaries are regrettably rather old. The new dictionary when and if produced may address that.

    #42500
    Aislingeach
    Participant

    Perhaps “inghlachta”?

    #42512
    Cúnla
    Participant

    Yeah, as Bríd and Aonghus suggest, maybe something like:

    An mbeifeá sásta dá ndéanainn x?

    “Would you be okay with me doing x?”

    An mbeifeá sásta x a dhéanamh?

    “Would you be okay with doing x?”

    Or:

    An ndéanfaidh mé x?

    “Shall I do x?”

    An bhfeilfeadh sé sin duit?

    “Would that be suitable?”

    Or:

    An bhfeicfidh mé ansin thú?

    “I’ll see you then?”

    (Má fheiceann tú aon bhotún, a Bhríd, abair é!)

    #42517
    Onuvanja
    Participant

    Sometimes, you might also use the expression “déanfaidh sé cúis dhom”, in order to convey that what is proposed or available “will be sufficient” or “will do” for you.

    I wonder if Gaeltacht speakers might nowadays say things like “oibríonn sé dhomsa”… or would that be “deargsheafóid”? 🙂 Céard a cheapanns tú, a Bhríd?

    #42518
    aonghus
    Participant

    I’d say that calque is possible.

    But I’m fairly sure nobody would say “saothraíonn sin domsa”

    Saothar -> work for gain and to produce a result
    Obair -> more general.

    You could certainly say “Níl an solas ag obair”

    #42519
    Dáithí
    Participant

    When we say something works, like “the TV is working,” wouldn’t the Irish verb be feidhmigh? So, to convey the meaning of something “working” for somebody, maybe we could say “feidhmíonn rud eigin le duine eigin” or “ta rud eigin ag feidhmiú le duine eigin”?’

    An bfheidhmíonn sin leat?

    #42520
    Onuvanja
    Participant

    There’s “réitigh le”, which means more or less “be to smb’s liking”, “get on with smb”, but I doubt whether you can say “an bhfeidhmíonn sin leat”.

    #42521
    aonghus
    Participant

    When we say something works, like “the TV is working,” wouldn’t the Irish verb be feidhmigh?

    Not really. Feidhmigh has a different meaning, *how* something works, its purpose. “As feidhm” means out of order certainly.

    But the bottom line is that trying to shoehorn a recent American idiom into a word for word Irish translation is not how idiom or language works!

    feidhm [ainmfhocal baininscneach den dara díochlaonadh]
    úsáid, seirbhís; gnó, diúité, obair (tá sé in aois feidhme); éifeacht (an dlí a chur i bhfeidhm); iarracht (feidhm a thabhairt ar rud); gaisce, aicsean (fear feidhme); gá, riachtanas (an rud atá d’fheidhm ort, níl feidhm dom a rá)

    #42523
    Dáithí
    Participant

    When we say something works, like “the TV is working,” wouldn’t the Irish verb be feidhmigh?

    But the bottom line is that trying to shoehorn a recent American idiom into a word for word Irish translation is not how idiom or language works!

    But that’s precisely what you tried to do yourself in your initial response above. And after looking up the meaning of “feil” in FGB, if think you’re spot on.

    Aonghus, when you end your sentences with exclamation points, as you’ve done above, I get the impression that you’re scolding or worse yet, angry about something. I’d like to remind you that this is a learners’ forum, and as such, try to show some patience when posting here. It would be nice to see this forum return to the old days, when there were many students who actively participated here, and they weren’t afraid to ask questions and make mistakes.

    #42524
    aonghus
    Participant

    I apologise.
    I don’t use exclamation marks to scold. Emotion doesn’t translate well into written words, and I probably should have softened the above with an emoticon. But I don’t like them.

    Also, I disagree with your analysis of my use of “feileann” – this does not mean working, it means suitable.

    Seánín’s original problem was sticking too close to the word “work” instead of translating the concept. That is what one must do.

    #42526
    Séril Báicéir
    Participant

    I agree that it’s better to find a phrase that conveys the needed “meaning” rather than just a word that translates directly.

    #42529
    Dáithí
    Participant

    A look at the entries for “feidhmigh” at http://www.potafocal.com/Search.aspx?Text=feidhmigh
    may help to open the mind to the possibility that words can translate directly. The Irish we speak and learn is a living language, where loan words occur and phrases get translated, sometimes directly, as seems to be the case with some of the Beo entries contained in the citing of feidhmigh above.

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