Make a real connection to your Irish heritage
Feeling like you could never crack Irish Gaelic?
Break it down into easy Bitesize portions, with the free "Irish for Beginners" email course by Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
Enter your name and email address below to get started (and we'll never spam you):
Lesson by "The Irish People"
Two letter groups,
"adh" and "agh", are usually pronounced (eye) when in accented syllables
inside a word. Here are examples for "adh":
Tadhg, a man's name
(SLEYE-daw*n), a cold, hay fever
(oh REYE-lee), O'Reilly
If the letter
group "adh" is at a word end or in an unaccented syllable, it does
not take the (eye) sound. For example:
summer; ionadh (OON-uh), wonder. Many verbal nouns are similar: dúnadh
(DOON-uh), closing; briseadh (BRISH-uh), breaking; glanadh (GLUHN-uh),
na néalta (nay*l, nuh NAY*L-tuh), cloud, the clouds
(SLEYE-daw*n) a cold
feoil, an fheoil
(FYOH-il, un OH-il), meat, the meat
beoir, an bheoir
(BYOH-ir, un VYOH-ir), beer, the beer
bain, ag baineadh
(bwin, uh BWIN-uh), cut, reap; also part of expressions such as "bain
diot an cóta" (bwin DEE-uht un KOH-tuh), take off your coat.
ith, ag ithe
(i, eg I-he), eat
ag ithe an aráin
(un uh-RAW*-in), eating the bread
ag ithe an bhricfeasta
(vrik-FAS-tuh), eating the breakfast
ag ithe mo lóin
(muh LOH-in), eating my lunch
ag ithe feola
(FYOH-luh), eating meat
ag ithe prátaí
(PRAW*-tee), eating potatoes
(aw* I-he), eating it
sin, eating that
seo, eating this
orm (OH-ruhm), I am recovering
cnag, ag cnagadh
(kuh-NAHG, uh kuh-NAHG-uh), knock; as in "ag cnagadh ar an doras",
knocking at the door
ól (ohl, eg OHL), drink
bainne (BAHN-ye), drinking milk
tae (tay*), drinking tea
uisce (ISH-ke), drinking water
caife (KAHF-e), drinking coffee
mo chaife (muh K*AHF-e), drinking my coffee
beorach (BYOH-ruhk*), drinking beer
(aw* ohl), drinking it
sin, drinking that
seo, drinking this
ag féachaint ar (FAY*-ahk, uh FAY*-uhk*-int er) looking at
ort (OH-ruht), you have a cold
NOTES ON VOCABULARY
- This vocabulary
gives you many phrases combining "ag ithe" and "ag ól" with
nouns. The drills for the next few weeks will stress these to familiarize
you with ways of phrase formation.
- The forms "ag
ithe", "ag cur", etc., are often followed by nouns in the genitive
case, becoming in English : "of the _____". "Ag ithe feola" is literally
"at eating of meat". The genitive case of Irish nouns is formed
in several ways. You will gradually learn to recognize these, so
that you can form the case for new words.
don't change at all for the genitive, such as "bainne". Others
may change a final broad consonant to a slender, such as "lón,
an lóin", or "arán, an aráin". A few nouns
add a syllable, such as "beoir, na beorach" or "feoil, na feola".
- In Irish, you
don't "have" illnesses. Instead, they are "on" you. "Tá slaghdán
ar Shéamas" means "James has a cold". Recovery,happiness,
sorrow, anger and the like are also "on" you.
(NEE-klaw*s): Éist (ay*sht)! Tá duine éigin ag
cnagadh ar an doras (taw* DIN-e AY*-gin uh kuh-NAHG-uh er un DUH-ruhs).
Listen! Someone is knocking on the door.
Cé hé sin (kay* hay* shin) ag an doras? Who's that at
Seán anseo. Oscail an doras agus lig isteach sa teach mé.
It's John here. Open the door and let me in the house. Tá sé
ag cur báistí amuigh anseo (uh KUR BAW*SH-tee uh MWEE
un-SHUH). It's raining out here.
O, tá tú anseo faoi dheireadh (fwee YER-uh). Fan nóiméad,
más é do thoil é (fahn NOH-may*d, MAW* shay*
duh HIL ay*). -- Isteach leat, a Sheáin (ish-TYAHK* lat, uh
HYAW*-in). Oh, you are here at last. Wait a minute please. -- In with
Dia daoibh, a Niocláis agus a Chóra (DEE-uh yeev, uh
NEE-klaw*sh AH-guhs uh K*OH-ruh). Hello, Nicholas and Cora.
Dia's Muire duit, a Sheáin. Conas tá tú ar chor
ar bith? (HUHR er bi) Hello, John. How are you, anyway?
Tá me go maith, agus conas tá sibh (shiv) féin?
I am well and how are you yourselves?
Táimid go maith leis, ach tá slaghdán ar Chóra.
We are well, too, but Cora has a cold.
Tá biseach orm anois (uh-NISH), áfach (AW*-fuhk*). I
am recovering now, however.
Bain diot an cóta, a Sheáin. Take off your coat, John.
Ina dhiaidh sin (in-uh YEE-uh shin), tar amach i seomra an bhidh (tahr
uh-MAHK* i SHOHM-ruh un VEE), agus bíodh (BEE-ohk*) cupán
tae agat (uh-GUHT). After that, come out into the dining room and
have a cup of tea.
Oíche dhorcha is ea í (EE-hye GUHR-uh-huh sha ee). Féach
ar na néalta dubha (nuh NAY*L-tuh DOOV-uh). A dark night it
is. Look at the black clouds.
you like to learn Irish Gaelic with audio pronunciation?
can really start to learn to speak Irish with Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
It's a full online learning program.
Then take the free
for Beginners email course by Bitesize Irish Gaelic. Every couple
of days, you'll get a mini-series of free Irish language lessons. Each
lesson is full of interactive audio recordings.
- Would you like
to make a connection with Ireland?
- And speak the
native language of the Irish?
- Do you find
it difficult to learn from reading only text?
Irish with Irish for Beginners, by Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
<<back to top of page>>
(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.