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Lesson by "The Irish People"
The Letter "s"
in Irish is sounded (s), as Americans pronounce "s" in "sun", if the
nearest vowel in the word is "a", "o", or "u". This is the broad "s".
Try: sál (saw*l), saol (say*l), só (soh), solas (SUH-luhs),
sú (soo), súil (SOO-il). If "s" is next to an "e" or
an "i", pronounce it (sh), like?the "sh" in English "shawl". This
is the slender "s". Examples: sean (shan), séid (shay*d), seilide
(SHEL-i-de), sín (sheen), siar (SHEE-uhr).
If another consonant
is between the "s" and the "e" or "i", the broad sound may be heard.
For example: smig (smig), spéir (spay*r), srian (SREE-uhn),
"is" is an exception. Always say (is), never (ish), and of course
We return to
"tá" this week, following your introduction to "is". Before
we take up the new work, review "tá" quickly by reciting "tá
mé, tá tú, etc. Níl mé, níl
tú, etc. An bhfuil mé, an bhfuil tú, etc. Nach
bhfuil mé, nach bhfuil tú, etc." Review lessons 4 to
6 if you have forgotten any of this. It is vital to know.
To say the equivalent
of "I am reading" in Irish, we add a word called a verbal noun to
"tá mé", with the preposition "ag", meaning "at", before
the verbal noun. Learn these examples:
ag léamh (taw* may* uh LAY*-uhv), I am reading.
ag scríobh (neel shay* uh shkreev), He is not writing.
An bhfuil siad
ag imeacht? (un vwil SHEE-uhd eg im-AHK*T), Are they departing?
Nach bhfuil tú
ag éisteacht? (nahk* vwil too eg AY*SH-tyahk*t), Aren't you
"ag" as (uh) before a verbal noun starting with a consonant, and as
(eg) before a verbal noun starting with a vowel.
form serves as in English--to show that an action is going on at present.
There is also a way, as in English, to say that an action takes place
off and on but may not be going on now. To understand the difference,
compare "I am walking" with "I walk".
A few verbs do
not follow this pattern.. Irish is much like English in this. In Irish
you", not "I am understanding you".
"I see it", not
"I am seeing it".
"I hear him",
not "I am hearing him".
The first part
of a verbal noun nearly always looks and sounds somewhat like the
imperative of the verb, although the verbal noun is usually longer
and has an added syllable. From now on, learn the verb's imperative
and verbal noun together, as in the vocabulary below.
The term "ag
léamh" (uh LAY*-uhv) literally means "at reading". "I am reading
a book" becomes "I am at reading of a book". The word "book" in this
form takes a slightly different look and pronunciation from the one
you have learned, (LOU-wuhr). It changes to "leabhair" (LOU-wir),
the genitive case. We will introduce you to this by the phrase method,
so that you will have a good background and an inventory of examples
by the time we begin studying how nouns change.
Learn these expressions
for quick use in thought and speech:
do thoil é (MAW* shay* duh HIL ay*), Please.
Go raibh maith
agat (gu-ruh MAH huh-guht), Thank you.
romhat (FAW*L-tye ROH-uht), Welcome to you.
Dia sinn (goh suh-VWAW*-luh DEE-uh shin), May God save us.
ag dul (tay*, uh DUHL), go
tar, ag teacht
(tahr, uh TYAHK*T), come
ag scríobh (shkreev, uh SHKREEV), write
ith, ag ithe
(i, eg I-he), eat
imigh, ag imeacht
(IM-ee, ag im-AHK*T) depart, leave
ól (ohl, eg OHL), drink
faigh, ag fáil
(feye, uh FAW*-il), get
ag déanamh (day*n, uh DAY*N-uhv) do, make
ag siúl (SHOO-il, uh SHOOL) walk
rith, ag rith
(ri, uh RI) run
ag éisteacht (ay*sht, eg AY*SH-tyahk*t) listen
foghlaim (FOU-lim, uh FOU-lim), learn
fan, ag fanacht
(fahn, uh FAHN-uhk*t), wait
A Dhóirín, tá sé ag éirí
dorcha (uh GOH-i-reen, taw* shay* eg EYE-ree DUHR-uh-huh). Cá
bhfuil Una? (kaw* vwil OON-uh) Jerry: Doreen, It's getting dark. Where
(DOH-i-reen): Níl a fhios agam (neel is uh-GUHM) cad atá
sí a dhéanamh (kahd taw* shee uh YAY*N-uhv). I don't
know what she is doing. Fan nóiméad go bhfeicfidh mé
(fahn NOH-may*d go VEK-hee may*) Wait a minute until I see. Go sabhála
Dia sinn! (goh suh-VWAW*-luh DEE-uh shin) May God save us! Tá
sí ag siúl amuigh i lár na sráide! (taw*
shee uh SHOOL uh-MWEE i law*r nuh SRAW*-de) She's walking out in the
middle of the street!
tá na gluaisteáin ag dul thairis (AH-guhs taw* nuh GLOOSH-taw*-in
uh duhl HA-rish). And the autos are going past her. Téigh amach
agus faigh í (tay* uh-MAHK* AH-guhs feye ee). Go out and get
Tá mé ag dul amach go díreach anois (taw* may*
uh duhl uh-MAHK* goh dee-RAHK uh-NISH). I going out right now. Nach
díol trua mise? (nahk* DEE-uhl TROO-uh MISH-e). Isn't it an
object of pity that I am?
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(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.