Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Nice to meet you. To meet you.... Deas?

OK, here's another post about Irish but how it has made me think about the English language. Is this something that you have experienced while learning a new language?

Image credit: Jeltovski
I hadn't thought about how much emphasis is placed on the tone of voice while speaking English. If you're feeling quite formal, for example, and say It's nice to meet you quite often the response can be It's nice to meet you, with an emphasis on the last word.

Some would respond with It's nice to meet you too, you too or just grunt but this is simply to add an additional word to the end of the greeting.

In Irish the greeting can be tá sé go deas bualadh leat, and the response can be tá sé go deas bualadh leatsa 

 - with the bonus sé go deas bualadh leatsa chomh maith! if you want to show off ;-)

So the surprise to me was the addition of the sa sound for emphasis, rather than simply adding an additional word to the end. It's another example to me of how the Irish language is formed differently to English.

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