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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 59: Travel

It's that time of year when many people are packing their bags and leaving for a holiday in Ireland. Whether it's your first trip or you've been many times before, our collection of words and phrases might come in handy. At the very least, they'll be fun to practise on the tour bus or in the car!

Phrase: Travel and Touring
Irish: Taisteal agus Turas
thahsh-thul ah-gus thurr-ahs

Word: Airport
Irish: aerphort

Word: Airplane
Irish: eitleán

Phrase: Train Station
Irish: stáisiún traeneach
sthaw-shoon thrayn-ukh

Phrase: Bus Station
Irish: busáras

Word: Passenger
Irish: paisinéir

Word: Ticket
Irish: ticéid

Word: Passport
Irish: pás

Phrase: Travel Agency (agent)
Irish: gníomhaireacht taistil
gneev(hard 'g')-err-ukhth thahsh-thill

Word: Holiday (vacation)
Irish: saoire

Phrase: Reservation for...
Irish: á chur in áirithe...
aw khurr in aw-rih-heh...

Phrase: Travel bags
Irish: Málaí taistil
maw-lee thahsh-thill

Phrase: Travel expenses
Irish: costais taistil
kuss-thish thahsh-thill

Phrase: Tour bus
Irish: bus turais
bus thurr-ish

Phrase: Scenic route
Irish: bealach seó
bah-lahkh show

Word: Accommodation
Irish: lóistín

Phrase: Departure dates
Irish: dátaí imeachta
dhaw-thee im-ukh-thah

Phrase: Car hire
Irish: ligint ghluaisteáin
lig-intj ghlooish-thaw-in

Word: Petrol (gas)
Irish: peitreal

Phrase: We are going on a trip/tour to/around...
Irish: Táimid ag dul ar turas go/thart ar...
thaw-meedj egg dhull err thurr-ahs guh/hahrth err...

Phrase: He has travelled the world.
Irish: Thug sé cuairt na cruinne.
hug shay coo-irtj nah krinn-yeh

Phrase: We travelled six hundred miles in one day.
Irish: Rinne muid sé chéad míle in aon lá.
rinn-eh mwidj shay khaydh mee-leh in ayn law

Phrase: Going there is a traveller's joy.
Irish: Is gabhrán é dul ansin.
iss gow(as in cow)-rawn ay dhull on-shin

Phrase: We like to get away from (home, location etc.) as often as possible.
Irish: Is breá linn bog as ionad chomh minic agus is féidir linn.
iss brah lin bu oss un-adh khoh min-ick ah-gus iss fay-djir lin

Phrase: I missed the bus.
Irish: D'imigh an bus orm.
djim-ee on bus orm

Phrase: Have you not got your bags packed yet?
Irish: Nach bhfuil do mhálaí pacáilte agat fós?
nahkh will dhuh waw-lee pahk-oil-cheh ah-guth fohs?

Phrase: When do we have to be at the airport?
Irish: Cathain a mbeidh orainn bheith ag an aerphort?
kah-hin ah mye urr-in veh egg on air-furth

Phrase: What time does the plane leave?
Irish: Cén uair a imíonn an t'eitleán?
kayn oo-irr ah im-een on thetch-lawn

Phrase: There is always a long queue (line) at immigration.
Irish: Bíonn líne fada i gcónaí ag inimirce.
bee-un leen-eh fah-dhah ih goh-nee ag in-im-err-keh

Phrase: We're taking travellers' cheques with us.
Irish: Táimid chun seiceanna taistil a thógaint linn.
thaw-mwidj khun sheck-ah-nah ah hoh-gintj(hard 'g') lin

Phrase: We'll be sad to leave this place and go home.
Irish: Beidh brón orainn an áit seo a fhágáil agus fill abhaile.
by brohn urr-in on awitj shuh ah aw-gaw-il ah-gus fill ah-wah-leyh

Phrase: This baggage is so heavy, we need a trolley.
Irish: Tá an bagáiste seo chomh trom, tá trucáil de dith orainn.
thaw on bahg-aw-ish-theh shuh khoh thrum, thaw thruck-aw-il djeh yeeh urr-in

Phrase: I know the dining-room is now closed, but could we please have a plate of sandwiches and a pot of coffee, as we have been travelling since morning and are very hungry?
Irish: Tá fhios agam go bhfuil an seomra bia dúnta anois, ach an bhféadaimíd pláta ceapairí agus pota caifé a fháil led' thoil, mar bhíomar ag taisteal ó mhaidin agus tá gionach ocrais orainn?
thaw iss ah-gum guh will on shohm-rah bee-ah dhoon-thah ah-nish, ockh on vaydh-ah-midj plaw-thah kiap-ah-ree ah-gus puth-ah cah-fay ah oil ledh hell, mahr vee-mahr egg thahsh-thul oh wahdj-in ah-gus thaw giun-ukh uck-rahs uru-in

Phrase: Where is the nearest (xxxx)?
Irish: Cá bhfuil an (xxxx) is cóngaraí?
caw will on (xxxx) iss cohn-gahr-ee

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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