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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 37: Books and Reading
If you like to read, you'll enjoy this week's offering. The words are good, practical vocabulary builders; and, while you may not actually use the phrases, their value lies in observing how sentences are structured in Irish. They're also very useful for practising your pronunciation.
Irish: siopa leabhair
Pronunciation: shup-ah liaw-err
Irish: seilf leabhar
Pronunciation: shelf liaw-err
Irish: véarsa* or ceathrú
Pronunciation: vayr-sah or kih-ahth-roo
*This is one of the very rare occasions where the letter 'v' is permissible to use in the Irish language. Strictly speaking, the letter 'v' is not in the Irish alphabet and its sound is usually achieved by using the letters 'bh'.
Phrase: Line of poetry
Irish: líne filíochta
Pronunciation: leen-eh fill-ee-ukth-thah
Irish: cruimh leabhar
Pronunciation: kriv liaw-err
Phrase: I'm a bookworm. I prefer to spend more time reading books than watching television
Irish: Is cruimh leabhar mé. Is fearr-de liom níos mó ama a chaiteamh ar leitheoireacht leabhair ná breathnú ar an dtelefís
Pronunciation: Iss kriv liaw-err may. Iss fahr-djeh li-um nees moh ah-mah ah khah-uv err lay-hih-eeoh-ir-ukhth leabhar naw brah-noo err on dell-eh-feesh
Phrase: I like to read a review of a book first
Irish: Is maith liom léirmheas ar leabhar a léamh ar dtús
Pronunciation: Iss mye li-um layr-vas err liaw-err ah lay-uv err dhoos
Phrase: Now it is so easy to buy books on the Internet
Irish: Anois tá sé an-éasca leabhair a cheannach ar an Idirlíne
Pronunciation: Ah-nish thaw shay on-ay-skah liaw-err ah khiann-ukh err on ih-djirr-leen-eh
Phrase: Have you ever written poetry?
Irish: Ar scríobh tú filíocht riamh?
Pronunciation: Err schreeve thoo fill-ee-ukth reeve?
Phrase: You should go to see the Book of Kells in Trinity College, Dublin
Irish: Ba chóir duit dul chun Leabhar Cheannanas Mór i gColáiste na Trionóide, Baile Átha Cliath, a fheiscint
Pronunciation: Bah khoh-ir dhitch dhull khun liaw-err khi-ahn-ahn-ahs more ih gull-aw-ish-cheh nah thrin-oh-ih-dje, bahl-yeh aw-hah khlee-ah ah esh-kinch
Phrase: I know it was made into a movie but I much prefer the book
Irish: Tá fhios agam gur chuireadh in oiriúint do scannán é ach is túisce dom an leabhar
Pronunciation: Thaw iss ah-gum gur khwirr-eh in err-oo-inch dhuh scon-awn ay okh iss thoo-ish-keh dhum on liaw-err
Phrase: I use our school/university reference library very often
Irish: Is fíor-mhinic a bhainim úsáid as leabharlann na scoile/h-ollscoile
Pronunciation: Iss feer-vin-ik ah wahn-im oos-aw-idj oss liaw-err-lahnn na skwell-eh/hull-skwell-eh
Phrase: Who is your favourite author?
Irish: Cé an t-údar is ceanán leat?
Pronunciation: kay on thoo-dhahr iss kih-ahn loh-ahth?
Phrase: I must clear out my bookcase. I have collected too many magazines there
Irish: Ní mór dom mo leabhragán a ghlanú. Ta an iomairce irisí ansin agam
Pronunciation: Knee more dhum muh liawr-ah-gawn ah glon-oo. Thaw on um-ir-keh ir-ish-ee on-shin ah-gum
Lesson 38: Golf - Part One
Ever played golf in Ireland? It's no idle boast that the Emerald Isle has some of the most picturesque courses in the world. And they're challenging as well. Which is why movie stars like Mike Douglas fly in from the states just to play a round. In this week's lesson, Aideen offers words and phrases related to what one wag described as the greatest excuse for a walk. We especially like the phrase for Golf Club - as in the one you might belong to - sounds suspiciously close to Come and Golf!
Phrase: Playing golf
Irish: ag imirt gailf
Pronunciation: egg im-irtch golf
Phrase: Golf Club ('implement')
Irish: maide gailf
Pronunciation: mah-djeh golf
Phrase: Golf Club ('society')
Irish: cumann gailf
Pronunciation: kum-ahn golf
Phrase: Golf course
Irish: machaire gailf
Pronunciation: mahkh-err-eh gailf
Phrase: Putting Green
Irish: plásóg amais
Pronunciation: plaw-sohg om-ish
Note: Same word for noun and verb
Phrase: Round of golf
Irish: dreas gailf
Pronunciation: dhr-ahs golf
Phrase: Will you be free to caddie for me tomorrow?
Irish: An mbeidh tú saor giollaíocht a dhéanamh dom amárach?
Pronunciation: on my thoo seer gih-ull-ee-ukth ah yay-nuv dhum ah-mawr-ahkh
Phrase: I like to go to watch a big tournament
Irish: is breá liom dul ag breathnú ar ilchomórtas mór
Pronunciation: iss brah li-um dhul egg brah-noo err ill-khum-ohr-thahs more
Phrase: You are a very good golfer
Irish: tá údarás maith agat ar an ngalf**
Pronunciation: thaw oo-dhah-raws my ah-guth err on ngolf.
** (literally: you have 'authority' over the golf)
Phrase: Have you ever thought of turning professional?
Irish: ar smaoinigh tú riamh ar é a ghlacadh mar ghairm?
Pronunciation: err smwee-nee thoo reev err ay ah ghlokh-ah mahr ghah-rim?
Phrase: He lost the game on the (putting) green
Irish: chaill sé an chluiche ar an bplásóg (amais)
Pronunciation: khah-ill shay on khlikh-eh err on blaw-sohg (om-ish)
Phrase: She has a handicap of 14
Irish: tá buntáiste de cheatheir-déag aicí
Pronunciation: thaw bun-thaw-ish-the dheh khiah-hir-djayg ek-ee
Note: The Irish word for a golf 'handicap' - 'buntáiste' - is the same word for 'advantage' when used in other contexts!
Phrase: How many members does that Club have?
Irish: an mó baill atá sa Chlub sin?
Pronunciation: ah moh bweel ah-thaw sah khlub shin?
Phrase: We (will) have to get up early in the morning to go out to practise
Irish: ní mór dúinn éirí go luath ar maidin chun chleachtadh
Pronunciation: knee mohr dhoo-inn eye-ree guh loo-ah err mah-djin khun khlihah-kh-thah
Phrase: I was really surprised to take (win) that round from him
Irish: Bhí sár-íonadh orm an dreas sin a chur air
Pronunciation: vee sawr-een-ah urm on dhr-ahs shin ah khur err
Phrase: I'll have to buy a new cabinet in which to keep all my trophies*
Irish: beidh orm almóir nua a cheannach lem chomhraimh go léir a choinneáil
Pronunciation: bye urm ahl-more noo-ah a khih-ahn-ahkh lem khoh-riv guh lay-ir ah khuin-oil
*Aideen couldn't resist putting in this last phrase. And we concur. May all your shots be straight and accurate - in Ireland, or anywhere else.
For More Basic Irish please click here: Irish Index
Image: Gaeilge Beo from All Posters and Prints.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013
Bitesize Irish Gaelic
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Eoin is a native Irish speaker who you can listen to in the online lessons.
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And last but certainly not least, they are proud of the Irish language and want more people to speak it.
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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
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.
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
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
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