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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
On these pages, we will make a valiant effort to provide you with useful words and phrases. One of our subscribers, Aideen, grew up speaking Irish at her mother's knee. She has generously agreed to help us with our lessons. We have put her comments and pronunciations in green.
Note: The spellings and pronunciations used by Aideen are based in her own natural use of Connemara Irish but they have been kept simple, so as to be readily understood in any part of Ireland 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 the Irish language, but not in the English language; it's difficult to 'reproduce' them in writing in English. 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.
When Irish Eyes are Smiling.
Its common knowledge that Irish people, in general, are emotional. So we were surprised to see that we had done very little to cover heart-scalded
occasions. While weve seen this phrase in a good many Maeve Binchy novels, according to our native Irish speaker, its a real' Dubbelin' English expression that you'd hear down with the barrow-women in Moore Street and it doesn't easily translate! (But she gave it a go).
Irish: féachaint fhearghach
Pronunciation: fay-khay-khintch ahr-ghukh
Pronunciation: mahrg(hard g)-nyukh
Word: Tear (s)
Irish: deoir (deora)
Pronunciation: djohr (djohr-ah)
Word: Expression (facial)
Irish: fáscadh aghaidh
Pronunciation: faws-kah eye
Irish: comhghoilliúnach or comhbrón
Pronunciation: koh-gwell-oon-ukh or koh-vrohn
Irish: croíúil (literally: full-hearted)
Irish: croi briste
Pronunciatiion: kree brish-theh
Word: Keep cheerful (your strength).
Irish: Coinnigh do mhisneach.
Pronunciation: kwinn-ee dhuh vish-nukh
Phrase: Full of fun/High-spirited
Irish: lán de spraoi
Pronunciation: lawn dheh spree
Phrase: We wish you joy for/from it
Irish: Go dté sé ár biseach duit
Pronunciation: guh jay shay awr bish-ukh dhitch
Phrase: The film was so sad, it made me cry
Irish: Bhí an scannán chomh brónach sinn gur tháining na deora leis.
Pronunciation: vee on skahn-awn khoh brohn-ukh shin gur hawn-ig nah djoh-rah lesh
Phrase: Slicing onions brings tears to my eyes
Irish: Tagann deora im shúile nuair a bhíonn iniúin á shliosáil agam
Pronunciation: thah-gun djohr-ah im hoo-il-eh noo-irr ah vee-un in-yoon aw hlish-aw-il ah-gum
Phrase: I'm always in a bad mood on Monday.
Irish: Bíonn fonn ghruama orm chuile Luain
Pronunciation: bee-un fun groom-ah urm kwill-eh loo-in
Phrase: He smiled away all my fears
Irish: Bhain sé aoibh a bhí ar an eagla díom
Pronunciation: wahn shay eev ah vee err on ahg-lah djeem
Phrase: She always comes up smiling
Irish: Ní chuireann an saol drochmhisneach uirthi
Pronunciation: nee kwirr-un on seel dhrukh-vish-nukh irr-hee
Phrase: His voice was full of emotion
Irish: Bhí tocht mór sa ghlór
Pronunciation: vee thukth mohr sah ghlohr
Phrase: Is there any glimmer of hope?
Itrish: Bhfuil aon ghealán dóchais ann?
Pronunciation: will ayn yahl-awn dhoh-khish on
Phrase: She glanced angrily at them
Irish: Thug sé súil fheara dóibh
Pronunciation: huh she soo-il ah-rah dhoh-iv
Phrase: He was grinning like a Cheshire cat (literally: a car was driving his grinning)
Irish: Bhi cár go ghluais ar a gháire
Pronunciation: vee cawr gug ghloo-ish err ah ghaw-ir-eh
Phrase: They came to sympathise with us on our loss (troubles)
Irish: Tháinig siad le casú ár dtrioblóide linn
Pronunciation: hawn-ig sheedh le kahs-oo awr dhtrib-loh-djeh lin
Phrase: He appealed to the emotions (heart) of the crowd
Irish: Tharraing sé croí an tslua
Pronunciation: hah-ring shay kree on thloo-ah
Image: Theatrical Masks edited and adapted from bronze masks available for sale at the Burt Reynolds Museum (we are not joking!). Please click: Burt Reynolds Museum
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
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
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.
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.
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