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mo anam cara/charaid

Posted: 2018-10-30, 14:55
by th.schoepker
Hi there,

could you please help me? What is the difference betweeen

mo anam cara and mo anam charaid?

Many thanks
Thorsten

Re: mo anam cara/charaid

Posted: 2018-10-30, 15:27
by kevin
I assume the language you're interested in is Irish. Both things look a bit like Irish, but aren't really. So I guess the main difference is that the latter is three letters longer?

The closest real Irish thing would be "m'anamchara", which means something like "my spiritual adviser".

Re: mo anam cara/charaid

Posted: 2018-10-30, 17:06
by silmeth
m’anamchara could also mean ‘my confessor’ (the one who listens to my confession in a church).

cara m’anama would be a possible more literal translation for ‘my soulmate’, literally ‘the friend of my soul’, but it is not a popular idiomatic phrase in Irish.

You can read on the Geeky Gaeilgeoir blog what’s wrong with *mo anam cara, and what are the alternatives.

If you look for a translation of ‘soulmate’, some possibilities, from the ones listed there, are grá mo chroí (love of my heart) or mo chéadsearc (my primary love) or mo shíorghrá (my eternal love) for a romantic ‘soulmate’, or mo dhlúthchara (my close friend) or cara m’anama for a non (necessarily) romantic one.

As for the original question about the difference – one could say the first, *mo anam cara, is bad Irish, as it uses Irish words; while the second, *mo anam charaid, is bad Scottish Gaelic, as it’s equally ungrammatical, but uses Scottish word for ‘friend’, ie. caraid.

Re: mo anam cara/charaid

Posted: 2018-10-30, 19:31
by linguoboy
silmeth wrote:As for the original question about the difference – one could say the first, *mo anam cara, is bad Irish, as it uses Irish words; while the second, *mo anam charaid, is bad Scottish Gaelic, as it’s equally ungrammatical, but uses Scottish word for ‘friend’, ie. caraid.

Caraid, being an old dative form in both languages, is also reportedly found in contemporary Cois Fharraige.

I originally read *mo anam caraid as a munged attempt of putting the second element in the genitive and then adding a vocative slendarisation. But that's almost certainly overthinking it.

Re: mo anam cara/charaid

Posted: 2018-10-31, 11:04
by kevin
silmeth wrote:m’anamchara could also mean ‘my confessor’ (the one who listens to my confession in a church).

Ah, yes! That's the one I had in mind first, but then couldn't remember the English word, so I just picked a translation from teanglann. :)