The multilingual wug test poses problems

English: One wug, two wugs
French: Un wug, deux wugs
Spanish: Un wug, dos wuges
Norwegian: Ett wug, to wug
Dutch: Een wug, twee wugen
German: Ein Wug, zwei Wüge
Hindi: Ek wug, do wug
Hindi: Wait, what gender is a wug?
Hindi: Ek wug, do wugẽ?
Irish: Aon wug, dó wuig Wug amháin/Aon wug amháin, dhá wug
English: The wug is playing. The wugs are playing.
Irish: Tá an wug ag súgradh. Tá na…wuig ag súgradh?
Irish: Hold on, what declension is “wug?”
Irish: Wuga? Wugaí? Wugacha?
Irish: Wait, do I need to soften the “w”? CAN I soften the “w”? Do I even have a “w”?

Internet stranger, if you are going to make a joke on how the wug test doesn’t transfer to another language, you should probably make sure you can construct ‘one X’ and ‘two X’ in that language!

TL:DR; The point about not necessarily being sure what kind of plural to form is legit. However, the translation into Irish is grammatically incorrect, and even in its correct form does not require use of a plural noun, much like (apparently) the Norwegian example. For fun and profit, I have included an alternative test that does require a plural noun. This gets two birds with one stone, I think - you keep the point about uncertain plural formation, and you also emphasise the post’s original point that an exact translation of the test won’t always have the plural-production that’s the goal of the English original.

(Followers I apologise, this is a tag rant that got hella out of control >_>)


'Dó' is the name of the number two: you can count “one, two, three” with it (“a haon, a dó, a trí”), but you can't count things. For that, you need ‘dhá’. Similarly, if you want to denote a singular thing you need to describe it as a ‘[thing] amháin' with an optional ‘aon’ thrown in at the start, for if you want extra emphasis on it being just one single thing all by itself. The ‘dó X’ is particularly glaring, because ‘aon’ can at least optionally appear with ‘amháin’ and there are ordinary cases where you find ‘aon’ paired with a noun**.

Significant further explanation of the edits is behind the Read More, for any language/linguistics nerdos who dare to venture there.

**e.g. Ní raibh aon rud fágtha = There wasn’t anything left.

(Sorry, I have just been seeing this post around tumblr and the incorrect Irish has been driving me CRAZY! I started drafting this after the first few times and decided to leave it, but it showed up a few more times, and then showed up on another random blog just there now and IT WAS THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK MY FRIENDS. Just… having the correct words for ‘one’ and ‘two’ is kind of a basic one. And particularly when counting nouns is central to the whole point of a post.)

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In Ireland it is illegal to sell alcohol on Good Friday. This leads to a situation where on Holy Thursday people will buy obscene amounts of alcohol to tide them over until they can buy alcohol again on Saturday. People are so afraid of wanting to have a drink and not being able to that they will buy alcohol when otherwise they would not.