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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 #11 - Beverages & Drinks
Just so you know, the Irish refer to anything that isn't alcoholic as a beverage.

Beverages:
Word: Tea
Irish: Té
Pronunciation:
tay

Word: Coffee
Irish: Caifé
Pronunciation: cah-fay

Phrase: I'd like a cup of tea
Irish: Ba mhait liom cupán Té
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um cup-awn tay

Phrase: I'd like a cup of coffee
Irish: Ba mhait liom cupán Caifé
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um cup-awn cah-fay

Phrase: We'd like a pot of tea
Irish: Ba mhaith linn pota Té
Pronunciation:
bah wah linn puh-tha tay

Phrase: We'd like a pot of coffee
Irish: Ba mhaith linn pota Caifé
Pronunciation:
bah wah linn puh-tha cah-fay

Word: Milk
Irish: Bainne
Pronunciation:
bann-yeh

Word: Lemonade
Irish: liomanáide
Pronunciation:
lim-un-aw-idje

Word: Water
Irish: uisce
Pronunciation:
ish-geh

Phrase: I'd like a glass of milk
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne bainne
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um glinne-eh bann-yeh

Phrase: I'd like a glass of lemonade
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne liomainéide
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um glinne-eh lim-un-ay-dje

Phrase: I'd like a glass of water
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne uisce
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um glinne-eh ish-geh

Phrase: I'd like a glass of cider
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne siodre
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um glinne-eh she-dreh

Phrase: I'd like ice with my drink, please*
Irish: Ba mhaith liom oighear san deoch sinn led' thoil
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um eye-er san djee-uch shin ledh hell
*Literally translated for Irish idiom - I'd like ice in that drink please.

Drinks
Word: Drinks
Irish: Deochanna
Pronunciation:
dee-yuch-ahnnah

Word: Whiskey
Irish: Uisce Beatha
Pronunciatiion:
ish-ge bah-hah

Word: Beer
Irish: Beoir
Pronunciation:
bee-oh-ir

Word: Wine
Irish: Fíon
Pronunciation:
fee-un

Phrase: Red Wine
Irish: Fíon dearg
Pronunciation:
fee-un djearg

Phrase: White Wine
Irish: Fíon bán
Pronunciation:
fee-un bawn

Phrase: I'd like a glass of beer
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne beoir
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um glinn-eh bee-oh-ir

Phrase: I'd like a pint of beer
Irish: Ba mhaith liompiontae beoir
Pronunciation:
bah wah ly-um pee-yun-thah bee-oh-ir

Phrase: A bottle of red wine please
Irish: buidéal fíon dearg led' thoil
Pronunciation:
bwi-jail fee-un djerg ledh hell

Phrase: Please let me get the next round*
Irish: Beidh seo ormsa
Pronunciation:
Bye shuh urm-sa
*I've not translated this directly, as it is not usually said in that way. When it's time for the next round, we would say, "I'll get these" and that's what I've translated.


Lesson #12 - Clothing

Word: Clothes
Irish: Éadaí
Pronunciation:
ay-dhee

Word: Coat
Irish: cóta
Pronunciation:
coh-tha

Word: Sweater
Irish: geansaí
Pronunciation:
gan-zee

Word: Skirt
Irish: sciorta Pronunciation:
skerr-thah

Word: Shoes:
Irish: brógaí
Pronunciation:
broh-geeh

Word: Dress
Irish: gúna
Pronunciation:
goo-nah

Word: Pants
Irish: brístí
Pronunciation:
breesh-thee

Word: Hat
Irish: hata
Pronunciation:
hah-tha

Word: Cap
Irish: caipín Pronunciation:
kop-een

Phrase: What should I wear today?
Irish: Céard ba chóir dom a chaitheamh inniu?
Pronunciation:
kay-erdh bah koh-ir dhum ah chah-iv inn-you?

Phrase: Bring a raincoat
Irish: Tóg cóta báistí leat
Pronunciation:
thohg coh-tha baw-shtee lee-ath

Phrase: Isn't she wearing a lovely dress?
Irish: Nach aoibeann an gúna sin uirthi?
Pronunciation:
Noch eeven an goo-nah shin ir-hee?

Phrase: You should dress warmly
Irish: Ní mór duit éadaí níos troime a chaiteamh
Pronunciation:
Knee more dhitch ay-dhee knees thrim-eh ah chah-iv Phrase: I'd like to buy an Aran sweater
Irish: Ba mhaith liom geansaí Áran a cheannach
Pronunciation:
Bah whye li-um gan-zee aw-ran a khian-ock

Phrase: Is it necessary to wear a hat for the wedding?
Irish: Ar gá dom hata a chaiteamh ag an mbainis?
Pronunciation:
Err gaw dhum hah-tha ah chah-iv egg on mon-ish?

Phrase: These shoes are not comfortable
Irish: Tá na brógaí seo mí-chompóirdeach
Pronunciation:
Thaw nah broh-geeh shuh mee-khum-pohr-dhuch


Irish Lesson #13 - Entertainment
Heading out on the town for entertainment, Irish-style? Here are a few Irish words and phrases to add to your vocabulary. We had to grin when our Irish translator gave up on bowling and line-dancing. She says: "Just couldn't find suitable translations for them. I suspect that the English words are just slotted into Irish conversation, like the French "Le Weekend"! May be so.

Word: Theatre
Irish: Amharclann
Pronunciation:
our-chlann

Word: Cinema
Irish: Pictúrlann
Pronunciation:
pick-thoor-lan

Word: Nightclub
Irish: Club Oíche
Pronunciation:
club ee-heh

Word: Pub/Bar
Irish: Óstáin
Pronunciation:
oh-sth-law-een

Word: Hotel
Irish: Óstlann
Pronunciation:
Oh-sth-lawn

Word: Concert
Irish: ceolchoirm
Pronunciation:
kee-ohl-quirm

Word: Play or drama
Irish: dhraw-mah
Pronunciation:
dhraw-mah

Word: Film/movie
Irish: scannán
Pronunciation:
scan-awn

Word: Dancing
Irish: Rince
Pronunciation:
rin-keh

Word: Television
Irish: telefís
Pronunciation:
tell-eh-feesh

Word: Traditional Music
Irish: Ceol traidisiúnta
Pronunciation:
Kee-ohl thrad-ish-oon-tha

Word: Museum
Irish: iarsmalann
Pronunciation:
ears-mah-lan

Word: Art Gallery
Irish: Gailearaí
Pronunciation:
Gailearaí

Word: Park
Irish: Parc
Pronunciation:
paw-rc

Phrase: There will be good traditional music at the pub tonight
Irish: Beidh ceol traidisiúnta maith ag an óstáin anocht
Pronunciation:
bye kee-ohl thrad-ish-oon-tha my egg on oh-sth-law-een ah-nucht

Phrase: What is showing at the cinema now?
Irish: Céard tá ar siúl ag an bpictúrlann faoi láthair?
Pronunciation:
Kay-erdh that er shool egg on bip-thoor-lan fwee law-hir


For More Irish words & phrases please click here: Irish Index

Image: Gaeilge Beo from All Posters and Prints.


 

Thu, Jul 9, 2015
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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.

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We would need both (and some other help) if found wandering in a Gaeltacht late at night.
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