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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 60: Cooking

If you like to putter among the pots and pan, this week's lesson should appeal to your palate. However, as our resident translator pointed out, Cookery in general is such a huge topic, we have elected to do a collection of basic terms. We'll follow up this lesson with one or more that are closely related. Note also that we have omitted translations of modern 'implements' such as food-processor, blender, etc. They end up as literal translations and even the native Irish speaker would use the English words anyway.

Phrase: Cooking Terms
Irish: Téarmaí Cócaireachta
tchayr-mee koh-kah-rukh-thah

Word: Kitchen
Irish: cistín

Word: Cooker/Stove
Irish: sorn

Word: Refrigerator
Irish: cuisneoir

Word: Freezer
Irish: reoiteoir

Word: Oven
Irish: oigheann

Word: Grill/broil
Irish: gríoscadh
grees-kah (hard 'g')

Word: Boil
Irish: bruith
Pronunciation: brih
Word: Roast
irish: róstadh

Word: Bake
Irish: bácáil

Word: Fry/sauté
Irish: friochadh/sótáil

Phrase: Deep-frying
Irish: friochadh domhain
frukh-ah dhev-un

Word: Pots/pans
Irish: potaí or gréithe cócaireachta
puth-ee or gray-heh koh-kah-rukh-thah

Word: Steamer
Irish: galchorcán

Word: Knife
Irish: scian

Word: Fork
Irish: forc or gabhlóg
furk or gow (as in cow)-lohg

Word: Spoon
Irish: spúnóg

Word: Cutlery
Irish: sceanra

Word: Plate
Irish: pláta

Word: Cup
Irish: cupán

Word: Measurements
Irish: tomhais

Word: Utensils
Irish: gréithe

Word: Temperature
Irish: teocht

Word: Time
Irish: am

Word: Recipe
Irish: seift

Word: Ingredient
Irish: táthchuid

Word: Grate
Irish: gráthadh

Word: Chop/slice
Irish: gearradh

Word: Meal
Irish: min

Phrase: I have to prepare a meal for six tonight
Irish: Ní mór dom bia a réiteach le h-aghaidh seisiúr anocht
nee mohr dhum bee-ah ah ray-tchukh leh heye shesh-oor ah-nukth

Phrase: The kitchen is always extremely hot after cooking
Irish: Bíonn an cistín i gcónaí plúchta bruite tar éis chócaireacht
bee-un on kish-theen ih goh-nee plookh-thah brih-cheh thahr aysh khoh-kah-rukhth

Phrase: The water is boiling but allow it to boil slowly (simmer) now.
Irish: Tá an t-uisce ar fliuchadh ach cuir ar suanbhruith é anois.
thaw an thish-keh err fliukh-ah okh kwirr err soo-un-vrih ay ah-nish

Phrase: We are having a roast leg of beef on Sunday.
Irish: Beidh hanla máirtfheoil rósta againn Dé Domhnaigh.
Beidh hahn-lah maw-irch-oh-il rohs-thah ah-ginn (hard 'g') djay dhoh-nee

Phrase: I like to have some frozen food in for convenience.
Irish: Is mór an ais dom bia reoite éigin a bheith istigh.
iss mohr on ash dhum bee-ah roh-tcheh ah veh iss-tchee

Phrase: When you have finished cooking, please clean the kitchen.
Irish: Nuair atá an cócaireacht críochnaithe agat sciúr an chistín led' thoil.
noo-ir ah-thaw on koh-kah-rukth kree-ukh-neh-heh ah-guth, shkioor an khish-theen ledh hell

Phrase: Put that on a medium grill/broil.
Irish: Cuir sin ar ghríoscán measartha.
kwirr shin err ghrees-kawn mass-er-hah

Phrase: Where is the omelette pan?
Irish: Cá bhfuil an friuchtán uibheagáin?
kaw will on frukh-thawn iv-ah-gaw-in

Phrase: This will take 30 minutes preparation time.
Irish: Tógaidh seo trioca nóiméad ama ullmhúcháin.
thog-ee shuh thruk-ah noh-maydh ah-mah ull-woo-khawn

Phrase: Give me the rolling-pin.
Irish: Tabhair dom an crann fuinte.
thurr-um* an krahn fwin-tcheh
* 'tabhair dom' are always shortened to this one word pronunciation in natural speech

Phrase: How much flour is needed?
Irish: Cé mhéid de phlúr atá ag teastáil?
kay vaydh dheh floor (as in poor) ah-thaw egg thahs-thaw-il

Phrase: Is it ready to serve up now?
Irish: Bhfuil sé réidh le dháil amach anois?
will shay ray leh dhaw-il ah-mahkh ah-nish

Phrase: We are planning a barbecue for next week.
Irish: Tá fulacht á phleanáil againn le h-aghaidh an tseachtain seo chugainn.
thaw ful-ukth aw flahn-aw-il ah-ginn (hard 'g') leh heye on tshockh-thinn shuh hug-inn

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
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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.

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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