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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 54: Planning a Party

Planning a party? Make it even more fun with custom items for St Patrick's Day or any special occasion. And while you're planning, practise the words and phrases from this week's lesson to help you get organised.

Word: Party
Irish: cóisir

Word: Party (very informal)
Irish: spraoi/scléip

Word: Invitation
Irish: cuireadh

Word: Reply
Irish: admháil

Word: Guest
Irish: cuairteoir

Word: Menu
Irish: bia-chlár
bee-ah khlawr

Word: Venue
Irish: láthair

Word: Supper
Irish: suipéir

Word: Decorate
Irish: maisiú

Word: Celebration
Irish: ceiliúradh

Word: Christening
Irish: báisteadh

Word: Birthday
Irish: lá breithe
law breh-heh

Word: Engagement (marriage)
Irish: gealltanas

Word: Graduation
Irish: bronnadh céime
brun-ah kay-meh

Phrase: Anniversary of...
Irish: cothrom na...
kuh-rum nah

Phrase: Lights (lightings) and sounds
Irish: soilsí agus fuaimeanna
syel-shee ah-gus foo-im-ah-nah

Word: Music
Irish: ceoil

Phrase: We must remember that there will be some older people attending
Irish: Ní mór dúinn chuimhniú go mbeidh roinnt éigin dhaoine níos sinne i láthair
nee mohr dhoo-in kwiv-noo guh my ryntch ay-gin (hard 'g') gwee-nee nees shin-eh ih law-hirr

Phrase: It's lovely when everybody enters into the spirit of the occasion
Irish: Is breá an rud é nuair a ghlacann chuile le dearcadh na hócáide
iss braw on rudh ay noo-ir ah ghlahk-ahn khwill-eh leh djahr-kah nah hoh-caw-djeh

Phrase: We must ensure that the engaged couple enjoy themselves as well
Irish: Caithfimid a sholáthar go mbaineann an lánúin ghealltanas taithneamh as chomh maith
kah-ah-midj ah hull-aw-hur guh mahn-ahn on law-noo-in gih-ahl-thahn-uss thah-nuv oss khog mye

Phrase: X will be in charge of decorating the venue and the lighting and sound
Irish: Beidh X i gceannas maisiúchán agus soilsí agus fuaimeanna
bye X ih gih-ahn-ahs mahsh-oo-khawn ah-gus syel-shee ah-gus foo-im-ah-nah

Phrase: I'd like to invite the whole neighbourhood
Irish: Ba maith liom cuirí a chur amach don chomharsanacht uilig
ba whye li-um cwirr-ee ah khur ah-mahkh dhun khohr-sahn-ahkhth ill-ig

Phrase: We have to put a limit on the total number of guests
Irish: Ní mór dúinn teorann a chur ar an uimhir iomlán de chuirteoiri
nee more dhoo-in choh-run ah khurr err on iv-ir um-lawn djeh khoor-tchoh-ir-ee

Phrase: Has that extra food been ordered?
Irish: Bhfuil an bia breise sin curtha faoi ordú?
will on bee-ah bresh-eh shin kur-hah fwee ur-dhoo?

Phrase: I'm glad it's over and that we made it a great success
Irish: Tá áthas orm go bhfuil sé thart agus gur dheinimear rud maith de
thaw aw-hahs urm guh will shay hahrth ah-gus gur yen-ih-mahr rudh mye djeh

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
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.

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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