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 #11 - Beverages & Drinks
Just so you know, the Irish refer to anything that isn't alcoholic as a beverage.
Phrase: I'd like a cup of tea
Irish: Ba mhait liom cupán Té
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um cup-awn tay
Phrase: I'd like a cup of coffee
Irish: Ba mhait liom cupán Caifé
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um cup-awn cah-fay
Phrase: We'd like a pot of tea
Irish: Ba mhaith linn pota Té
Pronunciation: bah wah linn puh-tha tay
Phrase: We'd like a pot of coffee
Irish: Ba mhaith linn pota Caifé
Pronunciation: bah wah linn puh-tha cah-fay
Phrase: I'd like a glass of milk
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne bainne
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um glinne-eh bann-yeh
Phrase: I'd like a glass of lemonade
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne liomainéide
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um glinne-eh lim-un-ay-dje
Phrase: I'd like a glass of water
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne uisce
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um glinne-eh ish-geh
Phrase: I'd like a glass of cider
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne siodre
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um glinne-eh she-dreh
Phrase: I'd like ice with my drink, please*
Irish: Ba mhaith liom oighear san deoch sinn led' thoil
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um eye-er san djee-uch shin ledh hell
*Literally translated for Irish idiom - I'd like ice in that drink please.
Irish: Uisce Beatha
Pronunciatiion: ish-ge bah-hah
Phrase: Red Wine
Irish: Fíon dearg
Pronunciation: fee-un djearg
Phrase: White Wine
Irish: Fíon bán
Pronunciation: fee-un bawn
Phrase: I'd like a glass of beer
Irish: Ba mhaith liom gloinne beoir
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um glinn-eh bee-oh-ir
Phrase: I'd like a pint of beer
Irish: Ba mhaith liompiontae beoir
Pronunciation: bah wah ly-um pee-yun-thah bee-oh-ir
Phrase: A bottle of red wine please
Irish: buidéal fíon dearg led' thoil
Pronunciation: bwi-jail fee-un djerg ledh hell
Phrase: Please let me get the next round*
Irish: Beidh seo ormsa
Pronunciation: Bye shuh urm-sa
*I've not translated this directly, as it is not usually said in that way. When it's time for the next round, we would say, "I'll get these" and that's what I've translated.
Lesson #12 - Clothing
Irish: sciorta Pronunciation: skerr-thah
Irish: caipín Pronunciation: kop-een
Phrase: What should I wear today?
Irish: Céard ba chóir dom a chaitheamh inniu?
Pronunciation: kay-erdh bah koh-ir dhum ah chah-iv inn-you?
Phrase: Bring a raincoat
Irish: Tóg cóta báistí leat
Pronunciation: thohg coh-tha baw-shtee lee-ath
Phrase: Isn't she wearing a lovely dress?
Irish: Nach aoibeann an gúna sin uirthi?
Pronunciation: Noch eeven an goo-nah shin ir-hee?
Phrase: You should dress warmly
Irish: Ní mór duit éadaí níos troime a chaiteamh
Pronunciation: Knee more dhitch ay-dhee knees thrim-eh ah chah-iv Phrase: I'd like to buy an Aran sweater
Irish: Ba mhaith liom geansaí Áran a cheannach
Pronunciation: Bah whye li-um gan-zee aw-ran a khian-ock
Phrase: Is it necessary to wear a hat for the wedding?
Irish: Ar gá dom hata a chaiteamh ag an mbainis?
Pronunciation: Err gaw dhum hah-tha ah chah-iv egg on mon-ish?
Phrase: These shoes are not comfortable
Irish: Tá na brógaí seo mí-chompóirdeach
Pronunciation: Thaw nah broh-geeh shuh mee-khum-pohr-dhuch
Irish Lesson #13 - Entertainment
Heading out on the town for entertainment, Irish-style? Here are a few Irish words and phrases to add to your vocabulary. We had to grin when our Irish translator gave up on bowling and line-dancing. She says: "Just couldn't find suitable translations for them. I suspect that the English words are just slotted into Irish conversation, like the French "Le Weekend"! May be so.
Irish: Club Oíche
Pronunciation: club ee-heh
Word: Play or drama
Word: Traditional Music
Irish: Ceol traidisiúnta
Pronunciation: Kee-ohl thrad-ish-oon-tha
Word: Art Gallery
Phrase: There will be good traditional music at the pub tonight
Irish: Beidh ceol traidisiúnta maith ag an óstáin anocht
Pronunciation: bye kee-ohl thrad-ish-oon-tha my egg on oh-sth-law-een ah-nucht
Phrase: What is showing at the cinema now?
Irish: Céard tá ar siúl ag an bpictúrlann faoi láthair?
Pronunciation: Kay-erdh that er shool egg on bip-thoor-lan fwee law-hir
For More Irish words & phrases please click here: Irish Index
Image: Gaeilge Beo from All Posters and Prints.