Q&A Le Siobhán Agus Emma – Thursday May 27Th 2021


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

  • The Irish words for “uncle” and “aunt” look and sound very much like English. Is it a coincidence? Did the words change over time?
    • Uncail does seem to be borrowed from English, originated from Anglo-Norman uncle, from Old French oncle, from Latin. Has been in Irish as far back as 1705. Another way to say uncle: deartháir athar/máthar (father’s/mother’s brother). Aintín, or aint, seem to only have appeared in the early 20th century. Deirfiúr athar/máthar would be another way to say it, which means father’s/mother’s sister.
  • I know “Chuaigh mé ag dul isteach sa bhaile” means ‘I went Into town’ but how do I say in Irish ‘I was in town’?  
    • Bhí mé sa bhaile mór. = I was in town.
    • Chuaigh mé isteach sa bhaile mór. = I went into town.
    • Rachaidh mé isteach sa bhaile mór. = I’ll go into town
    • Nuacht mhall – the weekly news read slowly. A transcript and a glossary is in the episode description. 
    • Vifax – Practice your Irish with clips from the daily news on TG4 (Irish language TV) on There’s also a worksheet available for each clip, including a transcript of the audio on the last page of the pdf.
    •– stories with both text and audio.
  • What part of the country is Siobhán from/which dialect does she speak? I’ve noticed that she pronounces w for bh not v. Have I got my pronunciations confused from learning from different teachers?
    • Bh next to a broad vowel (a,o,u): Munster Irish – often a v | Elsewhere: usually a w (can depend on the particular word)
    • Bh next to a slender vowel (i,e): v sound
    • Same goes for mh!
  • In English, you can add “y” to the end of nouns to make them adjectives (thirsty, sleepy…), is this done in Irish?
    • Usually -ach or -amh ending. For example, tuirseach (sleepy/tired), ocrasach/ocrach (hungry), grianmhar (sunny)
  • Please can you tell me if there are any books available that teach Irish through English which include written exercises for practising grammar, vocabulary etc. 
  • Are “ceapaim” and “creidim” in Irish similar to “I think” and “I believe” in English? Can “creid” be used to say “believe that”, “believe in” and “belief” in Irish?.
    • Ceapaim gur tusa an chéad duine eile. = I think you’re next.
    • Creidim gur tusa an chéad duine eile. = I believe you’re next. 
    • Creid = to believe
    • Creidim i nDia = I believe in God.
    • Creidim é. = I believe him/it. 
    • Creidim ionat. = I believe in you.
  • “Ar fad” and “ar bith” have so many meanings and are used so often. What is the most useful translation of each?
    • ar fad = altogether (literally, in length)
    • ar bith = at all/any | (áit ar bith – anywhere, am ar bith – anytime)
  • Do any of your tutors speak Ulster Irish, please?

P.S. What did you learn from this Q&A? Leave a comment below!

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2 thoughts on “Q&A Le Siobhán Agus Emma – Thursday May 27Th 2021”

  1. Hello Sibhan and Emma. Grateful thanks to you and all of the team for all your wonderful posts and videos. I am in my late fifties and have always wanted to learn Irish. I am from Dublin originally and despite years of being taught Irish at primary and secondary school, I never managed to retain anything beyond a few words and phrases. I was so pleased to find your site. You are all such a pleasure to listen to and your suggestions are always so helpful. You have directed me to so many wonderful online resources. Present commitments prevent me from signing up to the Bitesize Irish course, but I hope to be able to take it up later in the year.
    Many thanks again,

    1. Go raibh maith agat, Ann!
      I am glad you’re enjoying Bitesize and taking what you want from it. If you ever feel like committing to our courses, you can have a look on our membership page to find the right membership plan for you.
      Le beannacht

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