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How to say An Irish Blessing in Irish

In this new addition to our How to Say series, you’ll learn a famous Irish blessing.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat 
/Guh ny-ree on boh-har lyat/ 
May the road rise to meet you 

Go raibh an ghaoth go brách ag do chúl 
/Guh ruh on ghwee guh brawkh eeg duh khool/ 
May the wind be always at your back 

Go lonraí an ghrian go te ar d’aghaidh 
/Guh lun-ree on ghreen guh cheh air dye/ 
May the sun shine warm upon your face 

Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna 
/Guh ditch-a on wah-shtukh guh meen air duh fawr-ken-na/ 
May the rains fall softly upon your fields 

Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís, 
/A-guss guh mool-ee-midg leh khay-la a-reesh/ 
And until we meet again 

Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú. 
/Guh gwin-ye Jee-a ih mus a law-iv-eh hoo/ 
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

This topic was requested by one of our Grow members over on Pobal.

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17 thoughts on “How to say An Irish Blessing in Irish”

  1. Learning the Lords Prayer. thanks to Bitesize Irish!. Your presentation is clear and makes it easy with the phonetic transcriptions. I’m told this is a great way to begin a language. It’s how 18th century Cardinal Guiseppe Mezzofanti learned each of some 30 languages. Always beginning with the Lords Prayer. By the way I have a question about the saints on the shelf behind you in the video of How To Improve Your Irish at Home. Could you tell me please who they are? I fancy one might be Saint Brigit? I’ve an interest in learning some of the prayers associated with her. Thank you in advance.

    1. That’s excellent! I’ve also heard that that’s a great way to help you learn a language. They’re Naomh Breandán (St Brendan the Voyager) agus Naomh Íde (St Ita, the Irish patron saint of education).

  2. Lovely to hear the Irish blessing in Irish. My Papa Pearson from Donegal used to have the English translation on a plaque in the front hallway, but the Irish is so much nicer! Thank you.

  3. You translate “Go n-eiri an Bother leat” to mean “May the road rise with you.”
    How about “May you be successful in life’s journey”?
    May the road rise with you, indeed. Who are we, Sisyphus?
    You should know better.
    Michael Lynch, pulling (own) hair out…what’s left of it…

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      I have translated “Go n-éirí an bóthar leat” in writing as “May the road rise to meet you”, as it is a well-known phrase. “May the road rise with you.” is the literal translation. In the video, I also translate it as “May you prosper on your journey” or “May your journey go well”, which would be it’s more precise translation, in terms of meaning.

      1. Dáithí Í Búitigh

        You have made the common mistake in assuming that ‘éirigh’ only means ‘rise’. When it’s used with ‘le’ it means ‘to succeed in or with’:
        ‘Déirigh sé leis an comortas’ – he succeeded (won) the competition

        1. Thank you for your comment, Dáithí. Éirígh can indeed mean to succeed/win when paired with the preposition le. “D’éirigh sé” means “he arose” or even possibly “he/it became” (D’éirigh sé fuar = it became/got cold) but “D’éirigh leis” means “He/it succeeded/won”. “He won the competition” would be said as “D’éirigh leis sa chomórtas”. The phrase “Go n-éirí leat” is common and means “Good luck” or “May you succeed” but it could be literally translated as “May it rise with you” though of course, that makes little sense when said to English word for word.

    2. Some people say and,this is how I first heard this blessing–‘May the road rise up to meet you.’
      meaning make your walk easy

    3. It has always annoyed me that go n-éirigh an bóthar leat was incorrectly translated and made no sense. It’s a pity the incorrect translation is being perpetuated here. “Go n-éirigh leat” means “May you succeed.” Go n-éirigh an bóthar leat means “May your journey succeed.” As a rule of thumb languages often cannot be translated literally or directly.

      1. Maith thú. Thís is an American invention, created by someone with little functional Irish. It’s a bit like the old “Tá sé fear” nonsense.

        1. Tomas O'Dubhlaoich

          It is said that a language is only truly dead when the last remaining speakers spend their time arguing about its grammer..

  4. Go raibh mile maith agat, Siobhan!
    This is a familiar blessing that I love. I’ll look for it in Irish and English so that I can familiarize myself with the Irish and practice it aloud. …and increase my vocabulary.
    Ellen J

  5. Dia duit Siobhan
    Hope I got that right thank you for your video,I am working through it and I now have further Irish words to add to my growing list, and compiled my own dictionary of a sort writing to to pronounce each word,I’m getting there slowly,.
    Hoping Santa will bring me Collins dictionary.
    Thank you for your video’s stay safe.

  6. Your efforts in restoring the Irish language is commendable. It will be a long hard road to negotiate but don’t lose heart.
    I can only admire you from afar.

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