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Lesson by "The Irish People"
English has no
sound comparable to Irish broad "d". Pronounce it by placing
the broadened tongue tip against the back of the upper front teeth,
with the front of the tongue along the roof of the mouth before the
hard ridge that you can feel behind the upper front teeth. This sound
occurs when the nearest vowel in the word is "a", "o",
or "u". Try these:
two; dath (dah), color; duine (DIN-e), person; doirt (dirt), pour;
dó (doh), to him; doras (DUH-ruhs), door; damhsa (DOU-suh),
dance; dún (doon), close; dlúth (dloo), compact.
drain; droichead (DRUH-huhd), bridge; druid (drid, close in; púdar
(POO-duhr), powder; acadamh (ah-KAHD-uhv), academy; airgead (AR-i-guhd),
money; bád (baw*d), boat; duilleog (dil-YOHG), leaf; ródaí
broad "d" is sounded, pronounce it like "g" in
English "goat". Examples:
mo dhoras (muh
GUH-ruhs), my door; mo dhá dhán (muh gaw* gaw*n), my
Inside a word,
or at a word end, aspirated broad "d" usually indicates
a special sound for the letter group in which it is. Examples:
end; moladh (MUHL-uh), praising; adhmad (EYE-muhd), timber, wood;
adhain (EYE-in), kindle.
By now you should
have some ability to form the comparative of most adjectives. There
are some irregular ones, however. Some are only slightly irregular.
"Cóir" (KOH-ir), just, is one. Its comparative is
"córa" (KOH-ruh) instead of "cóire".
"Deacair" (DAK-uhr), difficult, becomes "deacra"
(DAK-ruh). The most important of the highly irregular ones are in
the vocabulary below.
good; fearr (fyaw*r), better
small; lú (loo), smaller
big; mó (moh), bigger
olc (uhlk), bad;
measa (MAS-uh), worse
te (te), hot;
teo (tyoh), hotter
fine; breátha (bi-RAW*-huh), finer
likely; dóichí (DOH-hyee), more likely
easy; fusa (FU-suh), easier
Read these sentences
aloud, putting the comparative forms in them.
(olc) 1. Is olc
an madra é sin, ach is _ _ _ _ _ an capail ná é.
(beag) 2. An _
_ _ _ _ an teach (tahk*) seo ná ár dteach?
(te) 3. Nach _
_ _ _ _ an pláta ná an cupán?
4. Ní _ _ _ _ _ an lá seo ná an lá eile.
Is _ _ _ _ _ an cóta seo ná an cóta a bhí
ort inné (in-YAY*).
6. Is _ _ _ _ _ an scéal sin ná an scéal a d'inis
do chara dúinn inné.
(furasta) 7. Ní
_ _ _ _ _ an ceacht (kyahk*t) seo ná an ceacht a thug (hug)
an múinteoir (moo-in-TYOHR) dúinn.
(maith) 8. Nach
_ _ _ _ _ na bróga seo ná iad sin?
Key: 1. measa; 2. lú; 3. teo; 4. breáthá;
5. mó; 6. dóichí; 7. fusa; 8. fearr
1. That dog is
bad, but the horse is worse. 2. Is this house smaller than ours? 3.
Isn't the plate hotter than the cup? 4. This day isn't finer than
the other. 5. This coat is bigger than the one you had on yesterday.
6. That story is more likely than the one your friend told us yesterday.
7. This lesson isn't easier than the one the teacher gave us. 8. Aren't
these shoes better than those?
To put a sentence into this form of comparative in Irish, Change "John
is taller than Mary" to "Is taller John than Mary",
which then easily becomes "Is airde Seán ná Máire".
After a little practice, you will be able to dispense with this, because
the adjective form will come naturally to your mind first.
Ó, a Shéamais! Nach tusa an fear cróga, a bheith
amuigh inniu! (oh uh HAY*-mish. nahk* TU-suh un far KROH-guh, uh ve
uh-MWEE in-YOO). Oh, James! Aren't you the brave man to be out today!
(SHAY*-muhs): Lig isteach mé (lig iish-TYAHK* may*). Is fuaire
an lá seo ná lá eile ar bith a raibh mé
amuigh ann (is FOO-i-re un law* shuh naw* law* EL-e er bi uh rev may*
uh-MWEE oun). Let me in. This day is colder than any other I was out
is measa na bóithre sa chathair ná na bóithre
i lár na hÁise. (AH-guhs is MAS-uh nuh BOH-i-re suh
K*AH-hir naw* nuh BOH-i-re i law*r nuh HAW*-she). And the roads in
the city are worse than the roads in the center of Asia.
Ná bí i do sheasamh ag an doras oscailte. Tar isteach
go tapaidh. (naw* bee i duh HAS-uhv eg un DUHR-uhs OH-skil-te. tahr
ish-TYAHK* goh TAHP-ee). Don't be standing at the open door. Come
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(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.