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Bunús na Gaeilge - Basic Irish Language

There is no other way to revive Irish than for a crowd of people to spread it.
- Douglas Hyde

Note: The spellings and pronunciations used are based on Aideen's own natural use of Connemara Irish but they have been kept simple, so as to be understood where there are differences in the language.
For example, the word 'feicfidh' is used only in Connemara Irish; in Leinster, Ulster and Munster the word is 'cífidh'. There are two pronunciations; Leinster/Munster - kee-fee; Ulster - chee-fee.


The biggest problem for people whose native language is English is that the soft 't' and 'd' are in Irish, but not in English; it's difficult to 'reproduce' them in writing. Where I use 'th' and 'dh' here, they are best achieved by putting your tongue gently behind your front upper teeth."


Click here for our words & phrases Index.


Lesson 45: Body "Language"

Our lesson this time around focuses on parts of the human anatomy. It's long overdue. We had to laugh when Aideen, our resident Irish speaker, told us that the dictionary she uses (compiled by de Bháldraithe and published by the Irish government) did not deem it "necessary" to include a translation for the phrase 'he swivelled his hips.'

Phrase: Body 'Language'
Irish: 'Teanga' Chorp
Pronunciation:
tjih-ahn-gah khurp

Word: Physiology
Irish: Coirpeolais
Pronunciation:
kurp-ohl-ish

Word: Body
Irish: corp
Pronunciation:
kurp

Word: Head
Irish: ceann
Pronunciation:
kih-ahnn

Word: Hair
Irish: gruaig
Pronunciation:
groo-ig

Word: Blonde/Brunette/Grey/Brown/Red/Black
Irish: duine fionn/cailín donn/liath/donn/rua/dubh
Pronunciation:
dhinn-eh fih-un/kahl-een dhunn/lee-eh/ehunn/roo-ah/dhuv
Note:While the word dearg is used for all other red-coloured matter, rua is always used for hair


Word: Eye
Irish: súil
Pronunciation:
soo-il

Word: Eyebrow
Irish: mala
Pronunciation:
mah-lah

Word: Nose
Irish: srón
Pronunciation:
srohn

Word: Freckles
Irish: bricíní
Pronunciation:
brik-ee-nee

Word: Ear
Irish: cluas
Pronunciation:
cloos

Word: Lips
Irish: liopaí
Pronunciation:
lih-up-ee

Word: Mouth
Irish: béal
Pronunciation:
bayl

Word: Cheek
Irish: leiceann
Pronunciation:
lek-ahnn

Word: Teeth
Irish: fiacla
Pronunciation:
fee-uk-lah

Word: Face
Irish: aghaidh
Pronunciation:
eye

Word: Shoulder
Irish: gualainn
Pronunciation:
goo-lun

Word: Chest
Irish: ucht
Pronunciation:
ukth

Word: Waist
Irish: com
Pronunciation:
kum

Word: Arms
Irish: géaga
Pronunciation:
gay-gah
Note: literally 'limbs' or 'branches'


Word: Elbow
Irish: uillinn
Pronunciation:
ill-in

Word: Hand
Irish: lámh
Pronunciation:
lawv

Word: Wrist
Irish: caoil láimhe
Pronunciation:
kweel law-iv-eh
Note: literally 'narrowing of hand'


Word: Finger
Irish: méar
Pronunciation:
mayr

Word: Thumb
Irish: ordóg
Pronunciation:
ur-dhohg

Word: Fingernail
Irish: ionga
Pronunciation:
un-gah

Word: Back
Irish: cúl
Irish:
cool

Word: Hips
Irish: corróg
Pronunciation:
kur-ohg

Word: Bottom
Irish: bun
Pronunciation:
bun

Word: Thigh
Irish: léis
Pronunciation:
laysh

Word: Leg/s
Irish: cos/cois
Pronunciation:
kuss/kush

Word: Knee
Irish: glúin
Pronunciation:
gloo-in

Word: Shin
Irish: lurga
Pronunciation:
lur-gah

Word: Ankle
Irish: murnán
Pronunciation:
murr-nawn

Word: Foot
Irish: troigh
Pronunciation:
threh

Word: Heel
Irish: sáil
Pronunciation:
saw-il

Word: Toe
Irish: méar coise
Pronunciation:
mayr kush-eh

Phrase: He threw out his chest
Irish: chuir sé ucht ar féin
Pronunciation:
kwirr shay ukth err fayn

Phrase: It seems his leg is broken
Irish: is cosúil go bhfuil a chos briste
Pronunciation:
iss kuss-oo-il guh will ah khuss brish-the

Phrase: She has blue eyes
Irish: tá súile ghoirme aici
Pronunciation:
thaw soo-il-eh ghurm-eh ek-ee

Phrase: I have brown hair
Irish: tá gruair donn orm
Pronunciation:
that groo-ig dhunn urm

Phrase: She shook hands with me
Irish: chroith sí lámh liom
Pronunciation:
khreh she lawv lih-um

Phrase: My back hurts
Irish: tá tinneas ar mo chúl
Pronunciation:
that chin-ahs err muh khool

Phrase: She twisted her ankle
Irish: leon sí a murnán
Pronunciation:
lih-un sh ah murr-nawn

Phrase: Get down on your (two) knees
Irish: Caith síos ar do (dhá) glúine
Pronunciation:
kah shee-us err dhuh (ghaw) ghloo-in-eh

Phrase: He put his arm around her waist
Irish: chuir sé lámh faoine com
Pronunciation:
kwirr shay lawv fwee-neh kum

Phrase: I have a blister on my heel
Irish: tá spuaic ar mo sháil
Pronunciation:
that spoo-ik err muh haw-il

Phrase: From head to toe
Irish: ó cheann go méar coise
Pronunciation:
roh khih-ahnn guh mayr kush-eh

Note: This caught our eye. Yes, we know it isn't gaeilge, but it is fascinating. If nothing else, it is certainly language (and Irish language as well.)
Slanguage
by Bernard Share
...for all 'decent skins', 'crawthumpers', horse-protestants', 'hard chaws' and 'strong farmers'...a dictionary of Irish slang that's as amusing as it is informative.
Click here for Slanguage


For More Basic Irish please click here: Irish Index

Image: Gaeilge Beo from
All Posters and Prints.

 

Thu, Jul 9, 2015
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Bitesize Irish Gaelic

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Irish Grammar
by Noel Mogonagle

This book is excellent for beginners who are wanting a book that gives basic grammar without all the extra information that confuses beginners. The book is well laid out, with information very easy to find. Amazon Reviewer

Here is a good follow-on to our words and phrases.
Click for Irish Grammar.

Irish - English
English - Irish
Dictionaries

Note: We have yet to see a dictionary with phonetic pronunciations for each word. We suspect this is partly due to the variations. Providing for all four 'green fields' (Connacht, Leinster, Ulster and Munster), would be cumbersome at best. Still, someone may do it some day. Until then, these are all very good and recommended. Serious students will have more than one; they are inexpensive.

These two (either or both) are the handy-references needed to go with a good grammar or 'teach yourself' course.
We would need both (and some other help) if found wandering in a Gaeltacht late at night.
Amazon has an offer of either one combined with a grammar for a reduced price.
Click for Collins Gem
Click for Oxford Pocket.

Wicked Irish
by Howard Tomb

While I wouldn't recommend you use many of these phrases, this is a terribly funny book. I picked it up after leafing through it at the store and finding phrases about sheep and inns and the hazards of driving in Ireland without insurance. Each little section starts out innocuously enough, then quickly degenerates into truly funny comments. If you like Monty Python or BlackAdder, this will really make you laugh. If you liked the Father Ted tv show, this little book will make you keel over giggling. Ah, go on, ya eejit, buy it already! Amazon Reviewer
(We want this, you may see a few on these pages - watch out).
Click for Wicked Irish


Teach Yourself Irish Complete Course
by Diarmuid O'She & Joseph Sheils

An easy-to-use program for learning on your own, or can be used as supplemental material for your classes. These new editions have been thoroughly revised and updated to include the engaging dialogues and helpful exercises you have come to expect from the Teach Yourself series.
Click for Teach Yourself

Learning Irish
by Micheal O'Siadhail

The Best Irish Course Available! Three years ago I decided to learn Irish, and in the next two years I bought three different courses. The first two were simply useless, (that's the obvious reason for my buying new courses) you could learn some phrases, but not construct sentences yourself. Learning Irish, on the other hand, is an excellent book, which gives you a thorough vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. It consists of 36 lessons, all containing vocabularies, grammar instructions, texts and excercises. Amazon Reviewer.

Click for Learning irish


 

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