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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 57: Irish Wildlife

This week's lesson focuses on the mammals, birds, and fish commonly found in Ireland. It's by no means complete - for example, there are about 375 birds listed as present in the country, whether as migratory or as permanent residents!

Phrase: Wild Animals
Irish: Ainmhithe Allta
Pronunciation:
ahn-vih-heh ahl-thah
* Note; Although the Irish word 'fiáin' (fee-aw-in) is generally used for 'wild', in the case of animals, it is 'allta'


Word: Deer
Irish: fia
Pronunciation:
fee-ah

Phrase: Fallow Deer
Irish: fia fionn
Pronunciation:
fee-ah -fih-un

Phrase: Red Deer
Irish: ruaphoc
Pronunciation:
roo-ah-fuk

Word: Doe
Irish: eilit
Pronunciation:
ell-itch

Word: Stag
Irish: poc/fia fireann
Pronunciation:
puck/fee-ah

Word: Antlers
Irish: binn
Pronunciation:
binn

Word: Fawn
Irish: oisín
Pronunciation:
uh-sheen

Word: Hare
Irish: giorria
Pronunciation:
girr-ee-ah (hard 'g')

Word: Rabbit
Irish: coinín
Pronunciation:
kun-neen

Word: Fox
Irish: madra rua (literally: red dog) or sionnach
Pronunciation:
mah-dhrah roo-ah or shih-unn-ukh

Word: Cub
Irish: coileán
Pronunciation:
kwell-awn

Word: Badger
Irish: broc
Pronunciation:
bruk

Word: Otter:
Irish: dobharchú
Pronunciation:
dhuv-ahr-khoo

Word: Squirrel
Irish: iora
Pronunciation:
ih-urra

Phrase: Connemara Pony
Irish: gearrchapall Chonamara
Pronunciation:
gih-ahr-khahp-ull khun-ah-mah-rah

Word: Bat
Irish: smiste
Pronunciation:
smish-theh

Word: Shrew
Irish: dallóg
Pronunciation:
dhahl-ohg

Word: Hedgehog
Irish: gráinneog
Pronunciation:
groin-ih-ohg

Word: Mouse
Irish: luch
Pronunciation:
lukh

Word: Stoat
Irish: easóg
Pronunciation:
ass-ohg

Word: Otter
Irish: dobharchú
Pronunciation:
dhuv-ahr-khoo

Word: Seal
Irish: rón
Pronunciation:
rohn

Word: Porpoise
Irish: muc mara (literally: sea pig)
Pronunciation:
muck warra

Word: Swan
Irish: eala
Pronunciation:
ah-lah

Word: Goose/Geese
Irish: gé/géanna
Pronunciation:
gay/gay-ahnah

Word: Duck
Irish: lachan
Pronunciation:
lah-khahn

Word: Corncrake
Irish: traonach
Pronunciation:
three-nahkh

Word: Sparrow
Irish: gealbhán
Pronunciation:
gih-ahl-vawn

Word: Skylark
Irish: fuiseog
Pronunciation:
fwish-ohg

Word: Blackbird
Irish: londubh
Pronunciation:
lun-dhuv

Word: Wren
Irish: dreoilín
Pronunciation:
dhroh-leen

Word: Pigeon/Claypigeon
Irish: colúr/crécholr
Pronunciation:
kull-oor/kray-khull-oor

Word: Frog
Irish: loscán
Pronunciation:
luss-kawn

Word: Toad
Irish: buaf
Pronunciation:
boof

Word: Lizard
Irish: laghairt
Pronunciation:
lye-irtch

Word: Salmon
Irish: bradán
Pronunciation:
bradh-awn

Word: Trout
Irish: breac
Pronunciation:
brack (literally: speckled, as the word is used in Barm Brack!)

Word: Eel
Irish: eascann
Pronunciation:
ahs-kahn

Word: Butterfly
Irish: feileacán
Pronunciation:
fell-ih-kawn

Word: Dragonfly
Irish: snáthaid mhór
Pronunciation:
snaw-hidj wohr

Ladybird (ladybug)
Irish: bóin
Pronunciation:
boh-in

Word: Bee
Irish: beach
Pronunciation:
bahkh

Word: Wasp
Irish: puch
Pronunciation:
pukh

Word: Spider
Irish: damhán alla
Pronunciation:
dhow-awn ahlah

Word: Midge (the tiny gnat that drives people and animals crazy in the summer)
Irish: corrmhíoltóg
Pronunciation:
kurr-veel-thohg

Phrase: We are strongly opposed to fox-hunting. It's a cruel sport.
Irish: Táimid go mór i gcoinne fiaich sionnach. Is spórt cruálach é.
Pronunciation:
thaw-mwidj guh mogr ih gwinn-eh fee-ukh shih-unn-ukh. iss spohrth kroo-awl-ukh ay.

Phrase: Fox-hunting is very popular in Cork.
Irish: Tá seilg an tsionnach ana choitianta ar fud Chorcaigh.
Pronunciation:
thaw shell-ig on chunn-ukh onah khuh-chee-unthah err fugh khur-khee

Phrase: Boxing Day and New Year's Day are traditional times for a fox-hunt.
Irish: Siad Lá Nollaig agus Lá le Stiophán na laethe traidisiúnta le h-agaidh fiaich sionnach.
Pronunciation:
sheedh law null-ig ah-gus law leh stiff-awn nah lay-heh thrah-dhish-oon-thah leh heye fee-ukh shih-unn-ukh

Phrase: The thrill of the chase.
Irish: Eiteog sa dul faoi thóir.
Pronunciation:
etch-hohg sah dhull fwee hoh-ir

Phrase: You can see hundreds of deer in the National Parks.
Irish: Tá na céadta fia le feiscint sna páirceanna náisiúnta.
Pronunciation:
thaw nah kaydh-that fee leh fesh-kintch snah paw-irk-nah naw-ish-oon-thah

Phrase: The top of cliffs are great for bird-watching.
Irish: Is íontach barr na h-aillí le dul ag breathnú ar n-éin.
Pronunciation:
iss een-thukh bawr nah hahl-yee leh dhull egg brah-noo err nayn

Phrase: There are no snakes left in Ireland since the time of St. Patrick. Irish: Níl aon nathair fágtha in Éireann ó aimsir Phádraig Naofa.
Pronunciation:
neel ayb nah-irr fawg-hah in ay-run oh eyem-shirr faw-rig nee-fah

Phrase: You need a licence to hunt deer in Ireland.
Irish: Ní mór ceadúnas a fháil le dul ag seilg fia in Éireann.
Pronunciation:
nee mohr kih-ah-dhoon-ahs ah oil leh dhull egg shell-ig fee-ah inn ay-run

Phrase: We will go duck-shooting next month when the season begins.
Irish: Rachaimid ag foghlaeireacht lachain an mhí seo chugainn nuair a bhéas an séasúr tosaithe.
Pronunciation:
rahkh-ah-midg egg fow-layr-ukth lah-khinn on vee shuh hug-inn noo-ir ah vays on say-shoor thuss-ih'heh

Phrase: We are (will be) going deer-stalking next week.
Irish: Béimid ag dul a' fiaich an tseachtain seo chugainn.
Pronunciation:
bey-mwidj egg dhull a' fee-ukh on tshokh-thin shuh hug-inn

Phrase: To run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
Irish: An chreach a shoilg agus an torr a chosc.
Pronunciation:
on crack ah hell-ig ah-gus on thurr ah khusk

Phrase: He's (a person) a sly fox!
Irish: Is sliomadóir é!
Pronunciation:
iss shlum-ah-dhoh-it ay


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

Start learning on line with a free trial!

Why Learn Irish with Bitesize Irish Gaelic?
Eoin is a native Irish speaker who you can listen to in the online lessons.
Sasa has helped develop the lessons from the perspective of a complete beginner.
Audrey has created conversation lessons to get you speaking Irish.
And last but certainly not least, they are proud of the Irish language and want more people to speak it.
Affordable, fun and effective - To learn more, Click Bitesize Irish


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.


Children's Irish Dictionary
by Hippocrene Books

As a total beginner in Irish, this has taught me quite a few words. The illustrations are beautifully done, and best of all, each word is given a rough English spelling of its pronunciation. Edited from an amazon review.
Click here for Kid's Irish Dictionary.


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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