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Lesson by "The Irish People"
The letter pair
"eo" usually represents the sound "oh". Hold it somewhat longer than
if it were in an English word, and do not add the short (oo) sound
in English (oh). Examples of "eo" beginning a word: eolas (OH-luhs),
knowledge; eorna (OHR-nuh), barley.
If a consonant
comes before the "eo", the consonant gets its slender sound, and there
is often an audible (y) sound, between consonant and "eo". Examples,
with slender consonants you learned to pronounce in Lessons 1 and
2: ceo (kyoh), mist; deo (dyoh), end; geoin (GYOH-in), hum; teo (tyoh),
warmth. Other examples: beo (byoh), living; feoil (FYOH-il), meat;
meon (myohn), mind; neodrach (NYOH-druhk*), neutral.
If an "s" comes
before the "eo", no (y) sound is heard, only the (sh) of slender "s".
Examples: seoid (SHOH-id), jewel; seomra (SHOHM-ruh), room; seó
(shoh), show. Do not confuse "seó" with "seo" (shuh), meaning
"this". "Seo" is an exception to the general (oh) pronunciation for
"eo". "Deoch" (dyuhk*), a drink, is also an exception.
The word "seomra"
is another exception in parts of Ireland, where it is pronounced (SHUHM-ruh).
In general, the (oh) sound in "seomra" is not held as long as in most
To say that a
person or object is not in some general class, use these forms:
mé (nee dohk*-TOO-ir may*), I am not a doctor.
tú (nee dohk*-TOO-ir too), You are not a doctor.
é (nee dohk*-TOO-ir ay*), He is not a doctor.
í (nee dohk*-TOO-ir ee), She is not a doctor.
sinn (nee dohk*-TOO-ir shin), We are not doctors.
sibh (nee dohk*-TOO-ree shiv), You (plural) are not doctors.
iad (nee dohk*-TOO-ree EE-uhd), They are not doctors.
connected with this are:
mé? (un dohk*-TOO-ir may*) Am I a doctor?, etc., and: Nach
dochtúir mé? (nahk* dohk*-TOO-ir may*), Am I not a doctor?
To answer these
questions , the forms are:
Is ea (sha),
It is so, I am.
(nee HA), It is not so, I am not. A longer answer is: Ní hea,
ach múinteoir (nee HA, ahk* moo-inTYOHR), I am not, but I am
(AY*R-uh-nee), Irish persons
bhanaltra (BAHN-uhl-truh, un VAHN-uhl-truh), nurse, the nurse
buatais, an bhuatais
(BOO-tish, un VOO-tish), boot, the boot
bad; (as weather)
go leor (goh
(er DOOS), at first, first
Go through "is",
substituting all the nouns above except "buatais", in the following
pattern: An páiste mé?, Ní hea, ach Éireannach.
An páiste tú? Ní hea, ach Meiriceánach.
An páiste é? Ní hea, ach dlíodóir.
Etc. Continue to: An páistí iad? Ní hea, ach
Then change to:
An Éireannach mé? Ní hea, ach Meirceánach.
Etc. In each sentence, make sure that you use the proper number, either
singular or plural.
(PAW*-dri-geen): Dia daoibh, a mham agus a dhaid (DEE-uh-geev, uh
vwahm AH-guhs uh gahd). Hello mom and dad.
(maw*-REEN): Dia duit, a stór (DEE-uh git, uh stohr). Conas
tá tú? (KUN-uhs taw* too) Hello, dear. How are you?
Tá mé go maith (taw* may* goh mah). Lá garbh
sa scoil inniú (law* GAHR-ruhv suh skuhl in-YOO). Céard
é sin ar an mbord? (kay*rd ay* shin er un mohrd) I'm well.
Rough time in school today. What's that on the table?
Is subh í, ach bain diot an cóta agus na bróga,
ar dtús (is soov ee, ahk* bwin DEE-uht un KOH-tuh AH-guhs nuh
BROHG-uh er DOOS). Tá do chosa fliuch (taw* duh K*UH-suh flyuk*).
It's jam, but take off the coat and shoes first. Your feet are wet.
Tá an aimsir dona go leor (taw* un EYEM-sheer DUH-nuh goh lohr),
The weather's bad enough.
(DOH-nuhl): Suas an staighre leat, agus ná bí ag piocadh
ar an arán (SOO-uhs un STEYE-ruh lat, AH-guhs naw* bee uh PIK-uh
er un uh-RAW*N). Up the stairs with you, and don't be picking at the
Cá bhfuair mé an páiste sin? (kaw* VOO-ir may*
un PAW*SH-te shin) Where did I get that child?
Note: In the
word "aimsir", the first syllable approximately rhymes with the English
word "chime" not with the phrase "buy 'em".
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(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.