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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 39: Golf - Part Two

When we put up the previous lesson, we realized that there were quite a few key words and phrases we had forgotten to include. Aideen, our resident Irish speaker and translator has kindly filled in the blanks.

One of her many resources is Professor T. de Bháldraithe. Aideen says: "He turned out to be more of a golfer than I thought. Digging deep through his 'small print', I found most of them. (the missing words and phrases). However, his experience seems to have been just at the driving range and putting green because he hasn't got anything for fairway, rough or sand trap but, strangely, he's got a golfing word for hazard!! Anyway, I've given word combinations for those which I think any golfer could use and be understood. I've translated fairway and rough as 'smooth' and 'uneven' grass."

Word: Fore!
Irish: Fainic! or Faire!
fah-nic or fah-reh
(literally 'Danger')

Word: Swing
Irish: luascadh

Word: Stance
Irish: seasamh

Word: Fairway
Irish: féar mín
fayr meen

Word: Rough
Irish: féar aimhréidh
fayr ahv-ray

Word: Sandtrap
Irish: gaiste ghainimh
gahsh-cheh gah-niv

Phrase: Water Hazard
Irish: fiontar uisce
fiun-thahr ish-geh

Word: Tee
Irish: tí

Word: Divot
Irish: fód

Word: Driver
Irish: tiománaí

Phrase: Golf Cart
Irish: trucall gailf
thruk-ahl golf

Phrase: Keep your head down
Irish: ná árdaigh do cheann
naw awr-dhig dhuh khian
(Literally 'Don't raise your head')

Phrase: Keep your eye on the ball
Irish: ná lig don liathróid as do radharc
naw lig dhun lee-roh-idj oss dhuh rye-ahrk
(Literally 'Don't let the ball out of your sight')

Phrase: Do you mind if we play through
Irish: bhfuil cead againn imirt ar aghaidh
will kiahdh ah-ginn im-irtch err eye

Lesson 40: Gardening

Word: Gardening
Irish: garraíodóireacht

Word: Garden (in the US Yard)
Irish: gáirdín or garraí
gawr-djeen or gahr-ee

Word: Gardener
Irish: garraíodóir

Word: Flower
Irish: bláth

Word: Lawn
Irish: faiche or plásóg
fah yeh or plaw-sohg

Word: Hedge
Irish: clai

Word: Plants
Irish: plandaí

Phrase: Rose bush
Irish: rósóg

Phrase: Rose garden
Irish: rósarnach

Word: Weeds
Irish: fialaí

Phrase: Herb garden
Irish: luibhghort

Phrase: Vegetable garden
Irish: gáirdín or garraí glasraí
gawr-djeen or gahr-ee

Phrase: Garden hose
Irish: píobán gáirdín
peeb-awn gawr-djeen

Word: Spade
Irish: spáid or rámhainn
spaw-idj or raw-vinn

Word: Hoe
Irish: grafóg

Word: Wheelbarrow
Irish: barra rotha
bah-rah ru-hah

Phrase: Garden party
Irish: cóisir gáirdín
coh-shir gawr-djeen

Phrase: I like to garden (tend my garden)
Irish: is maith liom beith ag saothrú mo gháirdín
iss my lih-um veh egg seeh-roo mug ghawr-djeen

Phrase: Here is the lawn-mower. I will reward you (give you the value of your labour) if you mow the lawn for me
Irish: Seo an lomaire faiche. Tabharfaidh mé luach do shaothair duit má lomaíonn tú an fhaiche dom
Shuh on lum-irr-eh fah-yeh. Thur-ee may loo-ukh dhuh hee-her dhitch maw lum-ee-in thoo on ah-yeh dhum

Phrase: It is time to weed the garden. It's hard spadework
Irish: Tá sé in am an ghort a ghlanadh. Is obair spáide deacair é
Thaw shay in ahm on ghurth ah ghlah-nah. Iss ub-irr djahk-irr ay

Phrase: In Autumn (Fall) we will dig the main crop of potatoes
Irish: Is sa bhFomhair a bheidh príomh-bharr na bprátaí á bhaint againn
Iss sah voh-irr ah veye preeve-vahrr aw wanch ah-gwinn

Phrase: I keep all the tools in the shed
Irish: choinním na h-uirlisí go léir sa bhothán
kwinn-yeem nah hur-lish-ee guh layer sah wuh-hawn

Phrase: Can we afford to get new garden furniture this year?
Irish: Bhfuilimíd in achmhainn troscán gáirdín nua a fháil i mbliana?
will-ih-meedj inn ahk-vinn thruss-kawn gawr-djeen noo-ah ah khiahn-ahkh ih mbleen-ah?

Phrase: The tomatoes in the greenhouse (glasshouse) are thriving
Irish: Tá rath ar na trátaí sa teach gloine
Thaw rah err nah thraw-thee sah tshih-ahkh glin-neh

Phrase: Rain is needed badly, the soil is very dry
Irish: Tá báisteach de dhíth, tá an ithir an-tirim
Thaw baw-ish-tchiuk djeh yeeh, thaw on ih-irr on-chir-im

For More Basic Irish please click here: Irish Index

Image: Gaeilge Beo from
All Posters and Prints.


Thu, Jul 27, 2017
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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

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).
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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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