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Lesson by "The Irish People"
Sound out these
phrases, while trying to remember the rules you have learned in previous
Laisteas de; daoine
eile; an daoíne dhaonna; seasca faoin gcéad; ba mhaith
liom é; ní bhfaighfeá é; cara; na cairde;
key and translation for these expressions are: (LASH-tuhs de),
south of; laisteas de Luimneach: south of Limerick. (DEEN-uh EL-e),
other persons. The "d" is broad, with tongue tip against
the upper front teeth.
(un DEEN-e GAY*-nuh),
the human race. The first "d" is slender, with tongue tip
against the ridge behind the upper front teeth. The second "d"
is aspirated broad "d" and gets a (g) sound, with a trace
of sound resembling English "w" after it.
gay*d), sixty percent. Pronounce the "f" with lips out,
and a sound resembling English "w" will naturally follow
(buh VWAH luhm
ay*), I would like it.
ay*), you wouldn't get it. "Aigh" often takes the sound
The "r" is broad, rolled somewhat.
the friends. The "d" here is slender and may sound as if
a "y" followed it: (KAHR-dye).
close friend. The "ch" sounds like the German "ach"
sound that you know from radio and television imitations.
The Irish word
"baile" (BAHL-e) has several meanings: town, village, farm,
home, small settlement. "Sa bhaile" (suh VWAHL-e) or "ag
baile" (eg BAHL-e) means "at home". "Baile"
is often part of the name of Irish towns. It is anglicized as "Bally".
Mispronunciations of this type were often deliberate and had the purpose
of ridiculing and disparaging the central cultural legacy of Ireland,
its language. One way to help in maintaining the language is to give
Irish towns their Irish names at all times.
of "baile" in town names:
An Baile Mór
(un BAHL-e mohr), the big town. Ballymore is the anglicized version.
Baile an Tobair
(BAHL-uhn TOH-bir), town of the well. "Tobar" is "well",
and "tobair", with a slender "r", is the possessive
case, meaning "of the well". Ballintober is the anglicized
Baile na Sionnaine
(BAHL-e nuh SHUHN-in-e), town of the Shannon. "An tSionnain"
is the "the Shannon", and "na Sionnaine" is the
possessive case, meaning "of the Shannon". Ballyshannon
is the anglicized version.
Do not confuse
"baile" with "béal" (bay*l), mouth or entrance:
Béal Átha na Sluaighe (bay*l aw* nuh SLOO-e), mouth
of the ford of the hosts. The anglicized version is Ballinasloe.
Here is a recognition
review of some of the vocabulary and grammar from past lessons. Read
the essentials aloud. If yo do not grasp the meaning immediately,
look at the translation below. This is not a translation exercise,
so do not translate word for word.
Rith amach agus faigh an madra. Rith sé isteach chun an leabhar
a léamh. An labhraíonn sí leis an múinteoir?
Béarfaidh mé ar an mbuachaill sin. Nár fhill
siad abhaile fós? Bíonn siad ag stopadh ag an stáisiún
gach oíche. Ná coimeád iad. Aontaím leat,
a Mháire. Nach raibh tú i do sheasamh in aice na tine
t-airgead go léir. Dúirt sé nach ndearna sé
é. Is é sin an fear. Is docttúir é. Dochtúir,
an ea? Sea. Nach raibh mála aici? Sílim nach raibh.
Bhuail muid é. Chuala mé nach raibh sé chomh
maith leat. Is é Séan é. Nach í Bríd
í? An bhfuil an bainne ólta agat?
Key to some of the above words: (ri uh-MAHK*; feye; LOU-uhr;
BAY*R-hee; EE-huh; kim-AW*D).
Translation: Run out and get the dog. He ran in to read the
book. Does she talk with the teacher? I will catch that boy. Didn't
they return home yet? They usually stop at the station every night.
Don't keep them. I agree with you, Mary. Weren't you standing next
to the fire for a while?
We lost all the
money. He said that he didn't do it. That is the man. He is a doctor.
A doctor, is it? It is. Did't she have a bag? I think that she didn't.
We struck him. I heard that he wasn't as good as you. It's John. Isn't
it Bridget? Have you drunk the milk?
If you found some of these sentences difficult, you may profit from
a review of past lessons.
Where You Stand
At the present
stage of your study, you know the basic forms of the verbs. You lack
only the conditional, exemplified by "I would go", the habitual
past, some of the imperative mood, which gives commands, and also
the free form or impersonal, which will allow you to say such thoughts
as "It is bought here" or "people buy it here".
There are still many verbs that you need to bring your vocabulary
up to the desired level, but you are well into the language now.
Noun plurals are
a topic that must come soon. We will work slowly into this, with the
objective of developing your ability to sense what a plural form should
be from the singular form of the word.
Once we have given
you a good vocabulary of verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, we
will begin on idioms, which are speech forms whose meaning is not
readily apparent from the individual words. All languages have these.
An example: "Cuireann sé isteach air" means "He
interferes with him", not "He puts in on him". Many
of these idioms, or cora cainte (KOH-ruh KEYENT-e), make use of prepositions,
such as "ag", "ar", "le", and others
that you will soon learn. You know a number of idioms already, as
you will discover.
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(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.