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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.

Going on Holiday
Going on holiday/vacation? In this lesson you will find words and phrases related to the annual trip for some rest and relaxation. Also, be sure to check Lesson 53 which covers the great outdoors and words such as beach as well as Lesson 59 which focuses on Travel and phrases like travel agent.

Word: Brochure
Irish: leabhrán (literally, small book)
Pronunciation: li-aw-rawn

Word: Destination 
Irish: ceann 
Pronunciation: kih-ahn

Word: Overseas 
Irish: thar lear 
Pronunciation: hahr li-ahr

Word: Europe 
Irish: Euróip  
Pronunciation: Europe

Word: Continent   
Irish: measarthacht 
Pronunciation: mahs-ahr-thowkth

Phrase: Around the World  
Irish: thart an domhain
Pronunciation: hahrth on dhow (as in cow) -in

Word: Rates 
Irish: praghasanna 
Pronunciation: price-eh-nah

Phrase: Package holiday
Irish: beart seer-eh 
Pronunciation: bahrth seer-eh

Phrase: Family holiday 
Irish: saoire chlainne 
Pronunciation: seer-eh khlinn-eh

Word: Cost 
Irish: costas 
Pronunciation: kus-thahs

Word: Discount
Irish: lascaine
Pronunciation: lahs-kah-neh

Word: Flight 
Irish: eitilt 
Pronunciation: etch-iltch

Word: Cruise/Voyage
Irish: crúisleann 
Pronunciation: croos-leann

Word: Ferry 
Irish: bád taisteal 
Pronunciation: bawdh thahsh-thahl

Phrase: Air-fare 
Irish: costas aeir 
Pronunciation: kus-thahs air

Phrase: Train Fare 
Irish: costas traein 
Pronunciation: kus-thas thrain

Phrase: First class 
Irish: céad grád 
Pronunciation: kaydh grawdh

Phrase: Round-trip
Irish: turas thart timpeall
Pronunciation: thruss hahrth chimp-ell

Phrase: One-way 
Irish: singil 
Pronunciation: shin-gil

Day-Trip /Excursion:
Irish: turas lae 
Pronunciation: thruss lay

Phrase: Booking (Buying the tickets)
Irish: ceannach na ticéid/lóistín
Pronunciation: kih-ahn-ukh nah tick-aydh/loh-ish-tcheen

Phrase: High-season
Irish: séisiúr  árd 
Pronunciation: say-shoo-ir  awrdth

Phrase: Off-season
Irish: séisiúr íseal
Pronunciation: say-shoo-ir eesh-ill

Word: Itinerary/Schedule
Irish: sceidiúl
Pronunciation: skedh-oo-il

Word: Reservation
Irish: cur in áirithe 
Pronunciation: kur inn awr-ih-heh

Phrase: All-incnclusive
Irish: gach rud réitethe 
Pronunciation: gahkh rudh ray-tcheheh

Word: Luggage/bags 
Irish: bagáiste 
Pronunciation: bahg-aw-is-tche

Word: Pack (verb) 
Irish: pacáil 
Pronunciation: pahk-aw-il

Word: Accommodations
Irish: lóistín
Pronunciation: lohish-tcheen

Word: Hotel 
Irish: Óstán 
Pronunciation: ohs-thawn

Word: Inn 
Irish: Óstlánn 
Pronunciation: ohs-thlawn

Word: Hostel
Irish: óstaireacht
Pronunciation: ohs-thah-rukth

Word: Caravan
Irish: carabhán
Pronunciation: caravan

Word: Cottage
Irish: teach beag
Pronunciation: tee-ahkh bee-ug

Phrase: Holiday Home
Irish: teach saoire
Pronunciation: tee-ahkh seer-eh

Word: Lodge/Villa
Irish: teach
Pronunciation: tee-ahkh

Phrase: Bed & Breakfast
Irish: leaba agus bricfeasta 
Pronunciation: li-ah-bah  ah-gus brick-fah-stah

Word: Amenities/Adventure/Activities
Irish: eachtraí 
Pronunciation: eachtraí

Phrase: Attractions/Things to see
Irish: radharcanna
Pronunciation: rye-ahrr-kah-nah

Phrase: Places to go
Irish: áiteanna le feiscint
Pronunciation: aw-itch-ennah le fesh-kintch

Word: Tour 
Irish: turas 
Prtonunciation: thruss

Word: Tourist 
Irish: turasóir 
Pronunciation: thruss-oh-ir

Phrase: Tour Guide
Irish: cuntóir thurai
Pronunciation: kunth-oh-ir hur-ish

Phrase: Sight-seeing
Irish: dul timpeall
Proninciation: tchimp-ell

Word: Map
Irish: léa rscáil
Pronunciation: layer-skaw-il

Word: Directions
Irish: treoir
Pronunciation: throw-ir

Word: Museum
Irish: múiseum
Pronunciation: museum

Word: Monument
Irish: dealbh
Pronunciation: dee-ahlv

Word: Scenery
Irish: radharc
Pronunciation: radharc

Word: Camera
Irish: ceamara
Pronunciation: kam-ahrah

Word: Film (for a camera)
Irish: scannán 
Pronunciation: skahn-awn

Word: Photograph 
Irish: griangraf 
Pronunciation: green-graf

Word: Postcard 
Irish: cárta phoist 
Pronunciation: kawr-thah fwisth

Phrase: How much annual leave do you get? 
Irish: Cé mhéid saoire bhliantúil a faigheann tú? 
Pronunciation: kay vaydh seer-eh vleen-thool a eye-ahn thoo

Phrase: Do you have a passport?
Irish: Bhfuil pás agut? 
Pronunciation: will pahs ah-guth
Phrase: Have you ever been to Ireland?
Irish: An raibh tú riamh in Éireann? 
Pronunciation: on row (as in cow) thoo reev inn ay-runn

Phrase: What did you enjoy there most?
Irish: Céard ba mhó a thaitin leat ansin? 
Pronunciation: kayrdh bah wo ah hah-hin li-ath an-shin

Phrase: Would you like to go back again? 
Irish: An mian leat dul ar ais arís? 
Pronunciation: on meen li-ath dhull err ash ah-reesh

Phrase: Did you travel there in a car or by bus or train?
Irish: Ar thaisteal sibh le gluaisteán nó leis an mbus nó an traein?
Pronunciation: err hash-thahl shiv le gloosh-thawn noh lesh on mbus noh on thrayn

Phrase: We prefer to spend our holidays at the seaside  
Irish: B'fhearr linn ár saoire a bheith cois farraige
Pronunciation: bahr linn awr seer-eh ah veh kush ahr-ah-geh

Phrase: We really enjoy camping
Irish: Bainimid an-taithneamh dul ag campáil
Pronunciation: bahn-ih-meedj on-thah-niv dhull egg cahmp-awl

Phrase: We really like to go hill-climbing
Irish: Is maith linn dul ag seoladh cnuic
Pronunciation: iss mye lin dhull egg show-lah knick

Phrase: A night in a pub, with good music and craic, now that's what we really like
Irish: Oíche sa teach tábhairne, le ceol maith agus an craic, sinn is fearrde  linn
Pronunciation: ee-heh sah tih-akh thawrn-eh, leh kih-ohl mye ah-gus an crack, shin is  fahr-djeh lin

Phrase: Bon Voyage 
Irish: turas maith 
Pronunciation: thruss mye

Phrase: Safe Journey, Safe home 
Irish: turas maith, slán abhaile    
Pronunciation: thruss mye, slawn ah-wah-lieh


It is always a good idea to learn some travel-related native language phrases whenever you take a trip. When purchasing airline tickets you definitely need the attendant to understand whether you want Business Class Airfare or economy class airfare. You wouldn't want a language barrier to result in an increase in your travel expenses.

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.


Mon, Jan 16, 2017
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Here is a good follow-on to our words and phrases.
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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.
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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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