In today’s Dear Bitesize post, I’m answering two questions that came in recently to Bitesize Irish Gaelic. The first learner asked if we know anything about dialect of Irish spoken in Co. Louth. Another Irish language learner wished to know how to say “have a good day” in Irish Gaelic.
My ancestors came from a town in Co. Louth. Do you know anything about the Irish they spoke there?
Though it may come as a surprise to some, a distinct native dialect of Irish survived in Louth, a border county on the northeast coast, until about the 1930s. Thankfully, recordings have been made of a number of Louth speakers. According to the 2016 census, about 800 people speak Irish daily outside of the education system in Co. Louth. Thousands of others claim to be able to speak Irish.
- Here is a 1931 recording of the days of the week.
- You can hear a recording of a Louth man counting from one to twenty here, also from 1931.
- Hear is one of the stories that are available online, most of them with English translations: An ceann gamhna (The Calf’s Head)
Now, on to our second question:
I would like to know how to say “Have a good day”.
Not only is this a handy sentence to know but it is also fairly easy to construct and remember, especially if already have a basic understanding of how to say “have” in Irish.
“Have a good day” is “Bíodh lá maith agat”
Now, before we break that sentence down, we’ll have a quick look at how to say “have“.
You were to say “You have a dog” you would say “Tá madra agat” “Tá” is the present tense form of the verb “bí,” which means “to be.” Now, to turn that sentence into an order i.e. “Have a dog!” You would reword it as “Bíodh madra agat!” “Bíodh” is the imperative form of the verb “bí“.
Now that we know that “bíodh” is the imperative version of “tá” let’s look at what the other words mean.
Lá means day
Maith means good, well.
Agat literally means “at you” and is a form for the preposition “ag“. This is the preposition used when saying that someone is in possession of something.
You can learn more about saying “have” in the Bitesize lesson Verbs: to have and by watching our new video lesson at this link (enthusiast members only).
Therefore, the Irish for “Have a good day”, “Bíodh lá maith agat“, literally means “Be day good at you”.
That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading!
If you’ve ever got any grammar questions, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Le gach dea-ghuí, (Best wishes,)