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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 #28 - Saint Brigid & Spring

In Ireland long ago, the first day of Spring fell on February 1. Back then, it was called Imbolc - the feast of the Goddess Brigit (see our Article St. Brigid - the giveaway). When Christianity came to Ireland, the goddess was transformed into the saint. Today, Lá Fhéile Bríde - St. Brigit's Feast Day - is more commonly used than Imbolc. So, this lesson is in honor of the saint and the coming of spring.

Phrase: St. Bridget's Feast Day (1 February)
Irish: Lá Fhéile Bríde (Lá Feabhra)
Pronunciation:
law ay-leh bree-djeh (law feow-rah)

Word: Spring
Irish: An t-Earrach
Pronunciation:
on thah-rahkh

Phrase: St. Bridget's Cross
Irish: Crois Bhríde
Pronunciation:
crush vree-djeh

Word: Rushes
Irish: luachra
Pronunciation
: loo-khrah

Word: Garden (yard)
Irish: gáirdín
Pronunciation:
gawr-djeen

Word: Spring Flowers
Irish: bláthanna an earraigh
Pronunciation:
blaw-nah on arr-ee

Word: Vegetables
Irish: glasraí
Pronunciation:
gloss-ree

Word: Farm
Irish: feirm
Pronunciation:
firm

Word: Farmer
Irish: feirmeoir
Pronunciation:
firm-eeor

Word: Snowdrop
Irish: plúirín sneachta
Pronunciation:
ploo-reen shnokh-thah

Word: Daffodil
Irish: croimchinn
Pronunciation:
crum-khinn

Phrase: The cross is made from plaited rushes
Irish: Tá an crois déanta as luachra thrilseánaithe
Pronunciation:
thaw an crush djayn-thah oss loo-khrah thrill-shawn-ih-heh

Phrase: The St Bridget's cross is placed in the eaves on February 1 to ward off fire and storms from affecting the house
Irish: Cuirtear Crois Bhríde sa mbunsileán Lá Feabhra chun chosc a chur ar thinte agus stoirm teacht i bhfeidhm ar an dteach
Pronunciation:
kwir-thahr crush vree-djeh sah mun-shil-awn law feow-rah khun khusk ah khur err thin-cheh ah-gus stherm chokth ih vyem err on djeokh

Phrase: Together with St Patrick and St Colmcille, St Bridget is the Patron Saint of Ireland
Irish: In éineacht le Naomh Pádraig agus Naomh Colmcille, is í Naomh Bríde Naomh Éarlamh na hÉireann
Pronunciation:
in ay-nahkhth leh neeve paw-dhrig ah-gus neeve culm-kill-eh, she neeve Bríde Neeve ayr-lahv nah hay-runn

Phrase: The coming of the first snowdrop heralds the ending of the winter weather and, when I see the first daffodil, I'm certain it is over
Irish: Le teacht an chéad phlúirín sneachta is fógra é go bfhuil aimsear an gheimhridh ag dul ar gcúl ach, nuair a chím an chéad chroimchinn, táim cinnte go bfhuil sé thart.
Pronunciation:
leh chokhth on khay-dh floo-reen shnokh-thah iss foh-gra ay guh will eyem-sherr on yeeve-reh egg dhull err gool okh, noo-ir ah kheem on khay-dh khrum-khinn, thaw-im kinn-cheh guh will shay hahrth

Phrase: It's now time for us to tidy up the garden (yard) to be ready to plant (sow) flowers
Irish: tá sé in am anois slacht a chur ar an ngáirdín chun é a dhéanamh réidh le h-aghaidh na bláthanna a chur
Pronunciation:
thaw shay in om ah-nish slakh-th ah khur err on ngawr-djeen khun ay ah yay- nahv ray leh heye nah blaw-nah ah khur

Phrase: It's at the beginning of Spring that the farmer tills the soil so that we may have crops and vegetable in abundance later
Irish: Is ag tús an Earraigh go saothraíonn an feirmeoir an talamh chun a ullmhú go mbeidh raidhse toradh an talúin agus glasraí againn ar ball
Pronunciation:
iss egg thoos on ah-ree guh seeh-ree-unn an firm-eeor on thah-lahv khun guh meye rye-sheh thur-ah on thah-loon ah-gus gloss-ree ah-ginn err bawll

Lesson #29 - Music
Music is so much a part of Irish life, we thought it would be fun to devote a lesson to that topic.

Word: Music
Irish: ceoil
Pronunciation:
keohl

Phrase: Traditional Music
Irish: ceoil traidisiúnta
Pronunciation:
keohl thradh-ish oon-thah

Phrase: Irish music
Irish: ceoil na hÉireann
Pronunciation:
keohl nah hay-run

Phrase: Music of the country/land
Irish: ceoil na tíre
Pronunciation:
keohl nah chee-reh

Word: Musician
Irish: ceoilteoir (plural: ceoilteoirí)
Pronunciation:
keohl-thoh-ir (plural:kee-ohl-thoh-ree)

Word: Song
Irish: amhrán (plural: amhráin)
Pronunciation:
ow-rawn (plural: ow-raw-in)

Phrase: Soldiers' Song (National Anthem of the Irish Republic)
Irish: Amhrán na bhFiann
Pronunciation:
ow-rawn bah vee-un

Word: Tune/air
Irish: fonn
Pronunciation: fun

Bodhrán (no translation, the Irish word is always used)
Pronunciation:
bow-rawn

Phrase: Uilleann Pipes
Irish: píopaí na n-uilleann
Pronunciation:
pee-uh-pee nah nill -inn
(uillinn is elbow)

Word: Fiddle (violin)
Irish: fidil
Pronunciation:
fidh-ill

Phrase: Penny whistle
Irish: feadóg phingin
Pronunciation:
fa-dhohg fin-yin

Word: Harp
Irish cláirseach or cruit
Pronunciation:
klawr-shiukh or kritch

Word: Voice
Irish: guth
Pronunciation:
guh

Word: Concertina/Accordion
Irish: cáirdín or bosca cheoil
Pronunciation:
kawr-djeen or bus-kah kheoh-il

Phrase: Music Festival
Irish: Fleadh Cheoil
Pronunciation:
flah kheoh-il

Phrase: My favorite Irish song is.....
Irish: Is an t-amhrán is breá liom
Pronunciation:
iss on thow-rawn iss brah li-um

Phrase: She has a sweet, musical voice
Irish: Tá guth binn, ceolmhar aicí
Pronunciation:
thaw guh binn keohl-wur ek-hee

Phrase: I find it difficult to sing in tune
Irish: bíonn deacair orm cur leis an bhfonn
Pronunciation:
bee-un djack-ur urm jkr lesh ahn vunn

Phrase: Be quiet! Listen to the music!
Irish: Bí (plural: Bíogai) ciúin! Éist an cheoil!
Pronunciation:
bee (plural: bee-uhgee) kewn! Ayshth on kheohl!

Phrase: He is the best fiddler in the county
Irish: is é an fidléir is fearr sa chontae
Pronunciation:
shay ('is é as one word) on fidlayr iss fahrr sah khun dhay

Phrase: They are very musical people
Irish: Is daoine iad go bhfuil tuiscint maith acú don cheoil
Pronunciation:
iss dheen-ee eedh guh will thish-kintch my ahkoo dhun kheohl

Phrase: There will be a big concert in the theatre next week
Irish: beidh ceolchoirm mór san amharchlann an tseachtain seo chugainn
Pronunciation:
bye keohl-khwirm more sahn owr-khlahnn on tcheock-thunn shuh hug-inn

Phrase: Both of them play in an orchestra
Irish: seinneann an bheirt acú i gceolfhoireann
Pronunciation:
shenn-ahn an veh-irch ahkoo ih geohl-irnn

Phrase: I like to sing in the church choir
Irish: is maith liom chanadh i gcór na h-eaglaise
Pronunciation:
iss my li-um khahn-ah ih gohr nah hahg-lesh-eh


For More Irish words & phrases please click here: Irish Index

Image: Gaeilge Beo from
All Posters and Prints.


 

Wed, Feb 27, 2013
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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
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.

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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