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IRISH LANGUAGE Q&A

Q&A Le Siobhán Agus Emma – Thursday June 17Th 2021

Watch back June’s Live Q&A with Siobhán and Emma above!

  • I was schooled in Irish and since renewing my interest in Irish, it is coming back fairly quickly and I desire to engage with others in the same situation. Is there a form for the likes of us?
    • Most people attending Irish language groups/classes would also be in the same circumstances. Now with so much being online, it’s easier than ever to connect with groups in Ireland.
  • “Bíodh seachtain deas agat” have a nice week. 3rd person pl. form imp. of bí? “Agat” – at you: is it common to use the imp. 3rd person form of bí to a single person? Bíodh with agat instead of agaibh?
    • Bíodh is used instead of as your asking that the person have something rather than be a certain way. The agat in the sentence also signifies having, such as in the phrase Tá madra agat, you have a dog. If you were to say Have a dog!, it would be Bíodh madra agat!
      • Tá madra agat. = You have a dog.
      • Have a dog! = Bíodh madra agat!
      • ‘bí ciúin’ – be quiet (1person) | ‘bígí ciúin’ = be quiet (2+ people)
  • How do I get back into practicing Gaeilge Gach Lá? Any recommendations for filtering out distractions and maintaining Gaeilge Gach Lá?
    • There are so many different types of distractions for sure. Filtering out noise or even other languages – RnaG or other radio stations such as Raidio na Life, Music or Podcasts as Gaeilge can help.
    • If you’re working on vocabulary, try labelling some things that you use often in your house so you can visualise the words. As time goes by you will associate these words with their names as Gaeilge. Main point is to enjoy it whatever way you’re doing it and never be too hard on yourself.
    • Listen to the radio or an audiobook (Leighleat.com & Leighanois.com). Sing along to songs that are as Gaeilge.
  • Is there, or will there be a list of on-line Irish classes that will continue to be offered, preferably from native Irish speakers?
    • As part of our GROW membership, a weekly call takes place every Tuesday hosted by Siobhán. This gives you a chance to practice with other speakers as well as get some insight into grammar each week. We also have a monthly ‘Glaoch Cogar Mogar’ where we have more of an informal chat and do some reading which lets you focus on pronunciation as well as your conversational skills.
    • Peig.ie
  • How do you pronounce “cn” words eg. “cnoc”, “cniotáil”. On Forvo, the cn sounds like /kr/. Words with both “mh” and “bh” such as neamhbhásmhaireacht (deathlessness) – is /naws-air-ackt/ correct?
    • Teanglann is a good place to find the pronunciation of a word in the three primary dialects. In Munster Irish, the n in cn is pronounced as an n but in Connacht and Ulster Irish the n would be pronounced as an r. When pronouncing “cnoc” and “cniotáil” with the n as an n, you’ll hear there what’s called an auxiliary vowel or guta cúnta between the c and the n, so it sounds as if there’s a little u or the like between them. Elsewhere, they would be pronounced “cnoc” and “cniotáil”. This also applies to gn such as in gnó and mn in mná.
    • Neamhbhásmhaireacht, deathlessness or immortality, Siobhán would say it as /nyav-was-wer-ukht/ and Emma would say it as /nyav-vas-ver-ukht/
  • Clarification on the correct use of Fem/ Masc possessive pronoun “a”. Example: (Fem: Tá a bróga gorm. Her shoes are blue.) For Masc nouns, do we aspirate both noun and adjective, or just the noun?
    • Tá a bhróga gorm. = His shoes are blue.
    • Tá a bróga gorm. = Her shoes are blue.
    • Tá a mbróga gorm. = Their shoes are blue.
  • How would I say in Irish I had a mug of tea or coffee and how would I ask ‘Could I have a tea/coffee to take away’? 
    • Bhí muga/cupán tae agam. Bhí muga/cupán caife agam. = I had a mug/cup of tea. I had a mug/cup of coffee.
    • An bhféadfainn cupán tae / caife a fháil le tabhairt liom? = Could I have a cup of tea/coffee to take away?
    • Ba mhaith liom tae/caife le tabhairt liom, le do thoil. = I would like tea/coffee to take away, please.

We want to help you achieve Gaeilge Gach Lá – Irish Every Day. We’ve a whole set of resources collected for you in our Gaeilge Gach Lá email series. It starts with an ebook for 10 secrets for Gaeilge Gach Lá. You’ll also get our weekly newsletter with upcoming live Q&As. Get the Gaeilge Gach Lá emails from Bitesize Irish.

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