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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 51: Holiday Shopping

'Tis the season to be shopping! And, while our resident Irish speaker Aideen, detests it, she has gallantly provided us with words and phrases related to the annual buying frenzy.
Note: If you'd rather not get mauled at the mall, you can shop on-line in peace and comfort. To explore the offerings we have from a wide variety of Irish sources, please click Shopping.
Photo Credit: ecofriend
Word: shopping
Irish: siopadóireacht

Word: shop
Irish: siopa

Phrase: shopping centre (mall)
Irish: ceantar siopaí
ki-ahn-thahr shup-ee

Phrase: department store
Irish: shiopa ilranna
shup-ah ill-rah-nah

Word: shopkeeper
Irish: siopadóir

Word: shopper
Irish: ceannaitheoir

Phrase: shop window
Irish: fuinneog siopa
fwinn-ih-ohg shup-ah

Phrase: shop soiled*
Irish: smolta ón siopa
smull-thah ohn shup-ah
*Display item that's marked down in price

Phrase: shopping bag
Irish: mála siopadóireacht
mawl-ah shup-ah-dhoh-ir-ukth

Phrase: Good buy (bargain)
Irish: margadh maith
mahr-gah mye

Word: gift/present
Irish: bronnntanas

Word: buying
Irish: ag ceannach
egg ki-ahn-ukh

Phrase: to buy for...
Irish: a cheannach do...
ah khih-ahn-nukh dhuh

Word: price
Irish: costas

Phrase: sale price
Irish: luach saor-reaca
loo-ukh seer-rah-kah

Word: errands
Irish: teachtarachtaí

Phrase: fitting room
Irish: seomra tástála (literally: tasting)
shohm-rah thaws-thaw-lah

Phrase: toy store
Irish: siopa bréagáin
shup-ah bray-gaw-in

Phrase: ribbons and bows
Irish: ribíní agus lúibíní
rib-een-ee ah-gus loo-been-ee

Phrase: gift boxes
Irish: boscaí bhronntanais
buss-kee vrun-thahn-ish

Phrase: Christmas list
Irish: liosta na Nollaig
liss-thah nah null-ig

Word: receipt
Irish: admháil

Phrase: Customer Service
Irish: seirbhís costaiméara
sher-veesh kus-thah-may-rah

Word: Return
Irish: cur ar ais
kur err ash

Phrase: After Christmas Sale
Irish: díolacháin iar-Nollaig
djeel-ukh-aw-in eer null-ig

Phrase: I would like this gift-wrapped, please
Irish: ba maith liom seo a beith fillte mar bheartán bhronntanais, led' thoil
bah whye l-um shuh ah veh fill-tjeh mahr vahr-thawn vrun-thahn-ish, ledh hell

Phrase: I would like this sent to...
Irish: ba maith liom seo a chur ar agaidh ag...
bah whye l-um shuh ah khur err eye egg...

Phrase: Do you have this in a (large/medium/small/extra large?)
Irish: bhfuil sé seo ar fáil agat i miosúr (literally: measure) (mór/meán/beag/sár-mhór?)
will shuh err faw-il ah-guth ih mis-oor (mohr/mi-awn/bi-ug/sawr-wore?)

Phrase: You have come to the right shop/place
Irish: tá tú sa siopa/áit ceart
thaw thoo sah shup-ah/at-itch ki-ahrth

Phrase: He/She loved having his/her photo taken with Santa Claus (Father Christmas)
Irish: Bhain sé/sí sár-taithneamh as a griangraf/ghriangraf a dhéanamh le Deadaí na Nollaig
wahn shay/shee sawr-thah-nuv oss ah green=grahf/ghreen-grahf ah yay-nuv leh daddy nah null-ig

Phrase: we have a limit of ten euros on our gift exchange at work. You can't buy much for that these days
Irish: san áit oibre s'againne tá teorainn de dheich Euro ar nár malartú bhronntanais. Ní féidir mórán a cheannach leis sin san lá atá inniu ann
sahn aw-itch eye-breh shog-inn-neh thaw choh-runn djeh yah Euro wee nawr mahl-ahr-thoo vrun-thahn-ish. nee fay-djir mohr-awn ah khih-ahn-nukh lesh shin sahn law ah-thaw inn-nioo on

Phrase: I'm all done with all my shopping. What a relief!
Irish: táim críochnaithe lem siopadóireach uilig. Nach faoiseamh sin!
thaw-im kreekh-nih-heh lem shup-ah-dhoh-ir-ukth ill-ig. nokh fwee-shiv shin!

Phrase: I have some shopping to do
Irish: Tá agam le rudaí a cheannach
Thaw ah-gum leh rudh-ee ah khi-ahn-ukh

Phrase: I bought this ( ) cheaply
Irish: Fuair mé an ( ) seo i saorchonradh
foo-ir may on ( ) shuh ih see-khun-rah

Phrase: I always budget in advance for Christmas
Irish: Déanaim soláthar roimh ré le haghaidh na Nollaig
Djay-nim sull-aw-hahr rev ray leh heye nah null-ig

Phrase: It's always difficult to think of a Christmas gift for........
Irish: Bíonn sé deacair i gcónaí smaoineamh ar bronntanas Nollaig do..........
Beeiun shay djah-kir ih goh-nee smwee-nuv err vrun-thah-nahs null-ig dhuh.......

Phrase: Don't forget to buy wrapping-paper
Irish: Ná dearmaid páipéar beartán a cheannach
Naw djahr-midh paw-payr bahr-thawn ah khiahn-ukh

Phrase: I'll meet you in the Women's Department at noon
Irish: Casfaidh mé leat i Roinn na mBan um nóin
Kahs-ee may li-ahth ih reyenn nah mahn um noh-inn

Phrase: We must make time to take the children to visit Father Christmas (Santa Claus)
Irish: Ní mór dúinn am a chur ar láithair na páistí a thabhairt ar chuairt ar Deadaí na Nollaig
nee mohr dhoo-inn ahm ah khur err law-hirr nah pawsh-thee ah hoh-irtch err knoo-irtch err daddy nah null-ig

Phrase: We'll need a big trolley*
Irish: Beidh trucáil mór ag teastáil againn
Bye thruck-aw-ill mohr egg thahs-thaw-ill ah-ginn
*shopping cart

Phrase: Where are the toilets (washrooms/bathrooms/restrooms)?
Irish: Cá bhful na leithris?
Kaw will nah leh-rish?

Phrase: Do you think this will be big enough for him?
Irish: A' gceapann tú go mbeigh seo mór go leor dó?
ah gih-ah-pahn thoo guh my shuh morh guh li-ohr dhoh

Phrase: We can do (be able to) the grocery shopping (marketing) on the way home
Irish: Béimíd in ann an siopadóireacht grosaéra a dhéanamh ar an mbealach abhaile
Bye-meedj inn on on shup-ah-dhoh-ir-ukth gross-ay-rah ah yay-nuv err on mahl-ukh ah-wahil-leh

Phrase: I did the bulk of my Christmas shopping on the Internet
Irish: Dhein mé mórchuid dem siopadóireacht Nollaig ar an Idirlíne
Yen may mohr-khwidj djem shup-ah-dhoh-ir-ukth null-ig err on idj-irr-lee-neh

Phrase: Do they take (credit) cards here?
Irish: An nglacann siad le cártaí (thaisce) anseo
On nglahk-ahn sheedh leh kawrthee (hahsh-keh) on -shuh

Phrase: My feet are killing me
Irish: Tá an deabhail im chois
Thaw on djow-ill im khush
(literally: The Devil is in my feet!)

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.)
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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Here is a good follow-on to our words and phrases.
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Irish - English
English - Irish

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.
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Click for Oxford Pocket.

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