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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 49: Clothing

This week, we focus on attire from head to toe; whatever the occasion, from casual to formal, you'll be covered!

Word: Clothes
Irish: Éadaigh

Word: Dressing (donning clothes)
Irish: gléasadh

Word: Dress (frock)
Irish: gúna

Word: Skirt
Irish: sciorta

Word: Blouse
Irish: blús

Word: Suit (of clothes)
Irish: culaith éadaigh
kull-eh ay-dhee

Word: Shirt
Irish: léine

Word: Tie
Irish: carbhat

Word: Trousers (pants)
Irish: bríste

Word: Shoes
Irish: bróga

Word: Socks/Stockings
Irish: socaí

Word: Hat
Irish: hata

Word: Scarf
Irish: scairf

Pronunciation: Boots
Orosh: bútaí

Word: Formal/Informal (casual)
Irish: foirmúil/neamh-fhoirmúil

Word: Tuxedo (literally, dinner jacket)
Irish: seaicéad dinnéir
shak-aydh djinn-ayr

Phrase: She dresses with taste
Irish: Gléasann sí í féin go slachtmhar
glays-ahn she ee fayn guh slahkhth-wur

Phrase: Tidy yourself up!
Irish: Cuir caoi ort féin!
kwirr kwee urth hayn

Phrase: It's always important in the winter to be warmly clad.
Irish: Tá sé tábhachtach i gcónaí sa Gheimhreadh a bheith clúdaithe go maith in aghaidh fuaicht
thaw shat thaw-ukh-thukh ih gohn-ee sah yeev-reh ah veh kloo-dhih-heh in eye foo-ikth

Phrase: This dinner invitation says that it's formal dress
Irish: Tá sé ráite ar an gcuireadh dinnéir seo go mba chóir gléasadh go foirmúil
thaw shay raw-ih-cheh err on gwirr-eh djinn-ayr shuh guh mah khoh-ir glays-ah guh fwirm-oo-il

Phrase: Everybody was wearing their Sunday (best) clothes
Irish: Bhí culaith Domhnaigh orthu go léir
vee kull-eh dhown-ee ur-hoo guh layr

Phrase: I need new shirts to go with that suit
Irish: Tá léiní nua de dhith orm le dul leis an gculaith sin
thaw lay-nee noo-ah dheh yee urm leh dhull lesh on gul-ah shin

Phrase: I have lots (plenty) of clothes for the Summer
Irish: Tá fuilleach éadach agam le h-aghaidh an tSamhraidh
thaw fwill-ukh ay-dhukh ah-gum leh heye on thow (as in cow) -ree

Phrase: My little daughter is able to dress herself now
Irish: Tá m'iníon beag in ann í féin a ghléasadh anois
thaw min-een bi-ug inn on ee fayn ah ghlays-ah ah-nish

Phrase: What are you going to wear for the wedding?
Irish: Cad a bhéas á chaitheamh agat ag an mbainis?
cahdh ah vays aw khah-uv ah-guth egg on mahn-ish

Phrase: He/she put on/took off.....
Irish: Chuir sé/sí air/uirthi....../Bhain sé/sí dhe/dhí......
kwirr shay/she err/irr-hee........../wahn shay/she yeh/yee......

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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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).
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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