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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 #32 Mothering Sunday

According to our native speaker, Aideen, a special day for mothers has become just as commercialized in Ireland as it has in other countries - whether you celebrate it in Ireland on the third Sunday before Easter, or elsewhere on the second Sunday in May. It's also a relatively new holiday, and while the history books do show that mothers were honored in special ways at a certain time of year, the concept of saying "Happy Mother's Day" is a contemporary custom. For that reason, Aideen cautions us that the following Mother's Day phrases have been translated into literal Irish; they aren't in common usage among native Irish speakers. So, while this isn't exactly an "authentic" Irish lesson, the value lies more in seeing how Irish words and phrases are put together and in learning how they are pronounced.

Phrase: Mother's Day (written)
Irish: Lá Fhéile an Mháthair
Pronunciation:
law ay-leh on waw-hirr

Phrase: Mother's Day (spoken)
Irish: Lá an Mháthair
Pronunciation:
law on waw-hirr

Phrase: Mothering Sunday
Irish: Domhnach Féile na Máthar
Pronunciation:
dhoh-nokh fay-leh nah maw-hahr

Word: Mother
Irish: máthair
Pronunciation:
maw-hirr

Phrase: Mother-in-law
Irish: máthair chéile
Pronunciation:
maw-hirr khay-leh

Word: Gift
Irish: bronntanas
Pronunciation:
brun-thahn-ahs

Word: Card
Irish: cárta
Pronunciation:
cawr-thah

Phrase: Bouquet of flowers
Irish: dornán bláthanna
Pronunciation:
dhur-nawn blaw-ahnn-ah

Phrase: Bottle of Perfume
Irish: buidéal cumhráin
Pronunciation:
bwid-yayl koo-raw-in

Phrase: Box of Chocolates
Irish: bosca seacláidí
Pronunciation:
bus-kah shock-law-idj-ee

Phrase: Thank you
Irish: tá fáilte romhat
Pronunciation: thaw fawl-cheh roh-th

Phrase: Dearest Mum
Irish: A Mham/Mhamaí dhíl
Pronunciation:
ah wahm/wahmee yeel

Phrase: Happy Mother's Day
Irish: Lá an Mháthair faoi shona dhuit
Pronunciation:
law ay-leh on waw-hirr fwee hun-ah gwitch

Phrase: The whole family will go out for lunch on Mother's Day
Irish: rachaidh an chlann uilig amach le h-aghaidh lóin ar Lá an Mháthair
Pronunciation:
rah-khee on khlah-nn ill-ig ah-mahkh leh heye loh-in err law on waw-hirr

Phrase: I gave my mother a gift of..........
Irish: bhronn mé...........ar mo mháthair
Pronunciation:
vrun may.......err muh wah-hirr

Phrase: He gave me a gift of.........
Irish: thug sé bronntanas de........dom
Pronunciation:
hug shay brun-thahn-ahs djeh........dhum

Phrase: We're giving our mother breakfast in bed on Mothering Sunday
Irish: beidh muid ag freastal bricfeasta sa leaba dom mháthair ar Lá an Mháthair
Pronunciation:
bye mwidj egg frah-sthahl brick-fahsthah sah liabah dhum waw-hirr err law on waw-hirr

Phrase: I got cards from all the children and grandchildren
Irish: fuair mé cártaí ó na páistí agus na garchlainne go léir
Pronunciation:
foo-irr may cawr-thee oh nah paw-ish-chee ah-gus nah gahr-khlinn-eh guh lay-ir

Lesson #33 Lent & Easter
This lesson features words and phrases related to giving up favorite foods like chocolate for Lent. Is
Easter imminent? Our lesson covers appropriate words and phrases from Palm Sunday to Easter Monday.


Word: Lent
Irish: Carghas
Pronunciation:
cahr-ahss

Word: Fasting
Irish: troscadh
Pronunciation:
thrus-kah

Phrase: Good Friday (literally Crucifixion Friday)
Irish: Aoine an Chéasta
Pronunciation:
een-neh on khay-sthah

Phrase: Holy Saturday (Easter Saturday)
Irish: Satharn Chásca
Pronunciation:
sah-hahrn khaw-skah

Word: Fish
Irish: Iasc (singular) Éisc (plural)
Pronunciation:
ee-usk (singular) ayshg (plural)

Irish: The priest will celebrate Mass in Irish
Irish: Beidh Aifreann as Ghaeilge á cheiliúradh ag an tsagart
Pronunciation:
bye ah-frunn oss gway-il-geh aw khell-oor-ah egg an thog-ahrth

Phrase: What did you give (are you giving) up for Lent?
Irish: Cad as a bhfuil tú ag staonadh le haghaidh an charghais?
Pronunciation:
kodh oss a my thoo egg sthay-nah leh high an khahr-ish?

Phrase: I gave (have given) up _____ for Lent (insert word from list below)
Irish: Táim ag staonadh ó____le haghaidh an charghais
Pronunciation:
thaw-im egg sthay-nah oh____leh high an khahr-ish

Word: Sweets
Irish: milseáin
Pronunciation:
mill-shaw-in

Word: Beer
Irish: beoir
Pronunciation:
be-oh-ir

Word: Sugar
Irish: siúcra
Pronunciation:
shoo-krah

Word: Chocolate
Irish: seacláid
Pronunciation:
shok-law-idj

Word: Smoking
Irish: caitheamh tabac
Pronunciation:
kah-iv thuh-bahk

Phrase: We will be taking part in (doing) the Stations of the Cross
Irish: Beidh Turas (literally 'journey') na Croise a dhéanamh againn
Pronunciation:
bye thur-ahs nah krush-eh aw yay-nev ah-ginn

Word: Easter
Irish: An Cháisc
Pronunciation:
On Khaw-ishk

Phrase: Easter Sunday
Irish: Domhnach Cásca
Pronunciation:
dhoh-nukh caw-skah

Phrase: Holy Thursday
Déardaoin Cásca
Pronunciation:
djayr-dheen caw-skah

Phrase: Maundy Thursday
Irish: Déardaoin Mandála
Pronunciation:
djayr-dheen mahn-dhawla

Phrase: Good Friday
Irish: Aoine Cásca
Pronunciation:
ee-neh caw-skah

Phrase: Easter Saturday
Irish: Satharn Cásca
Pronunciation:
sah-hahrn caw-skah

Phrase: Easter Monday
Irish: Luan Cásca
Pronunciation:
loo-un caw-skah

Phrase: Palm Sunday
Irish: Domhnach na Pailme
Pronunciation:
dhoh-nukh nah pah-il-meh

Phrase: Easter egg
Irish: cúbóg or clúdóg
Pronunciation:
koo-bohg or kloo-dhohg

Phrase: Chocolate eggs
Irish: uibheacha seacláide
Pronunciation:
iv-ekh-ah shockh-lawi-dj-eh
Word: Lamb
Irish: uaineoil
Pronunciation:
oo-in-oh-il

Word: Chicken
Irish: sicín
Pronunciation:
shi-keen

Word: Ham
Irish: ioscaid
Pronunciation:
iss-kidh

Word: Rabbit/Bunny
Irish: coinín
Pronunciation:
kuh-neen

Word: Lily
Irish: lile
Pronunciation:
lih-leh

Phrase: Easter Bonnet
Irish: boinéad na Cásca
Pronunciation:
bwinn-aydh na caw-skah

Phrase: Stations of the Cross
Irish: Turas na Croise
Pronunciation:
thruss nah kresh-eh

Phrase: Paschal Candle
Irish: Coinnle na Cásca
Pronunciation:
kwenn-leh nah caw-skah

Phrase: May the blessings of Easter be on you
Irish: Beannachtaí Ná Cásca ort (singular) or oraibh (plural)
Pronunciation:
Bann-akh-thee nah caw-skah urth (singular) or ur-iv (plural)

Phrase: We will be having roast lamb for Easter Sunday lunch
Irish: beidh uaineoil rósta againn le h-aghaidh lón Dhomhnach Cásca
Pronunciation:
bye oo-in-oh-il rohsthah ah-ginn leh heye lohn goh-nukh caw-skah

Phrase: The altar will be decorated with lilies for Easter
Irish: beidh an altóir maisithe le lilí le le h-aghaidh na Cásca
Pronunciation:
bye on awl-thoh-ir mahsh-ih-heh leh heye na caw-ska

Phrase: Have you got the paint and brushes to colour the Easter eggs?
Irish: bhfuil an péint agus na scuaib agat leis na chúbóíg (or chlúdóig) a dhathú?
Pronunciation:
will on pay-inth ah-gus nah skoo-ib ah-guth lesh nah khoo-boh-ig (or khloo-dhoh-ig) a gah-hoo

Phrase: I'm glad the fasting days are now finished
Irish: tá athas orm go bhfuil na laetheanna troshcaidh thart
Pronunciation:
thaw aw-hahs urm guh will nah lay-hanna thrus-kah hahr-th


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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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.
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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



Slanguage
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.
See our Article A Bit of the Blather
Click here for Slanguage


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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