GAELIGE: Is go dte tu mo mhuirman slan


Senior Member
Bangkok - Thai
I watch the film "The Nightingael".
In this scene the girl sings old Irish song.

I wish I were on yonder hill
Tis there I'd sit and cry my fill
And every tear would turn a mill
Is go dte tu mo mhuirman slan
I'll sell my rock, I'll sell my reel

What's that part mean?
I search online dict, it said "My SLAN's marman is"
It doesn't make sense.
  • Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Correct spelling:

    go dté tú (may you go, subjunctive tense) mo mhuirnín (my darling) slán (safely).

    So, “may you go safely, my darling”.

    Cork Irish

    Senior Member
    British English
    Not in this case, no. Is go dté tú = may you go. “Is” is used in a lot of different constructions, see Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla (Ó Dónaill): is.
    In this case, "is" means "agus" ("and"). There is a word "is", which is the copula, a form of the verb "to be" used in classification/identification sentences, such as is fear mé, "I am a man", but the copula can't be used before go dté tú, as there is no identification/classification going on. There are, as you say, many constructions with "is" in, such as "tuairim is", "timpeall is", and they are listed as meaning 5 (pleonastic uses) under "agus" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, but in such cases the "is" is an abbreviation of "agus" (tuairim agus, timpeall agus).


    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    You’re right Cork - rereading it I don’t know why I said it wasn’t an ’agus’ when it clearly is. Brainfart moment, perhaps :D