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IRISH LANGUAGE Q&A

Q&A Le Siobhán Agus Aisling – Thursday September 24th 2020

August’s Live Q&A with Aisling and Siobhán took place in September 2020. Watch it above!

  • A hathair: A athair (his father) grammatically doesn’t take a h, so that we can tell if it is his or her father we are talking about. M’athair, d’athair, a athair, a h-athair, ár/bhur, a n-athair. 
  • An chéad áit (an chéad + a noun that starts with a consonant would take a h e.g an chéad bhliain.)
    An dara háit because dara ends in a vowel and áit begins in a vowel and it’s easier to say dara háit rather than dara áit 
  • Direction words. Different words are used depending on what you’re saying (If you’re heading in a direction, if you are stationary, if you are coming from a direction, etc). It’s precise When you think of how the direction of the wind it forecasted you will see similar changes in English: easterly, westerly etc. 
    west = iarthar, western = thiar, westerly = aniar, westward = siar 
  • Mac Giolla Eoin – McGlone: Giolla = devotee, man-servant, messenger, shop boy. That is true that Kil in surnames, such as Kilbride emerged from Mac Gioll (Bhríghde).
  • However, in the case of place names, such as County Kildare, Kil stands for Cill which historically means church. Nowadays, cill means a churchyard and therefore is often used to refer to a graveyard and to burial, Cré na Cille (churchyard soil).
  • Good surprise:
    • Dar fia
    • mo léir
    • go bhfóire Dia orainn
    • th’anam an diabhail
    • ná deas
    • Ag magadh atá tú! = No! You’re joking!
  • Shock/fed up:
    • a thiarcais
    • in ainm Dé
    • As ucht Dé = For God’s sake! (literally “from the breast of God!”)
    • Dia ár sábháil = God save us!
    • mo náire
    • Ná habair! = Don’t tell me! (shock)
    • bailigh leat
    • imigh leat = go away
    • gread leat = shove off!
    • A Mhaighdean! = What on earth! (O Virgin!)
  • Praise:
    • An-fhear/bhean
    • ard-fhear/bhean
    • hup
    • an phointe/chúl
    • mo ghraidhin (bravo)
    • Bulaí fir! = Good man!
    • Bulaí mná! = Good woman!
    • Bulaí girsí! = Good girl!
  • Bad/sad:
    • mo léan
    • mo bhrón
    • ní maith liom do thrioblóid
  • -sa:You would add the suffix ‘sa’ for emphasis, to emphasise that it is on YOU as opposed to anyone else. Same for domsa, agamsa, fúmsa etc.
  • Táimid” vs. “… atá ionainn”:
    • “Táimid” before adjectives: Táimid go maith (We’re well). Táimid greannmhar (We’re funny) 
    • “… atá ionainn” after nouns: Éireannaigh atá ionainn (It’s Irish we are). Mná atá ionainn (It’s women we are).
  • Mnemonics:
    • DNTLS – dentals
    • Urú/eclipsis: Many Boys | Go Camping | Near Ditches | BeHind Fences | No Girls | Back Packing | Down There
  • An Gorta Mór vs. An Drochshaol: In my experience, an Gorta Mór is the historical name, and ‘an Drochshaol’ is often used by people in speech to emphasise the struggle people faced during that time. But all in all, they are interchangeable.
  • Séimhiú/Lenition: after an- eg. an-mhaith. After a feminine noun eg. bean mhaith. After most prepositions eg. ar dhoras. In the Ulster dialect, after a preposition + the definite article “an”: ag an gheata. 
  • Go fóill: Ulster – sounds more like /foal/. Munster – more /fo-il/. Connacht – Go fóileach. It may depend on both dialect and the individual speaker.

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10 thoughts on “Q&A Le Siobhán Agus Aisling – Thursday September 24th 2020”

  1. Jessica Ashlee McGuire

    Hi There,

    I’m new to this community, and was wondering what the approximate timelength for this session would be? I could possibly squeeze it in during lunch. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Jessica and welcome to the community! 😀

      Our Q&A sessions are usually between 30 mins to 1 hour. If you need to squeeze it in, we can make sure to answer your question at a time that suits you 🙂 The full Q&A is also posted on our blog afterwards in case you miss the live stream.

      Le beannacht,
      Aisling

        1. So glad you enjoyed, Jessica! 😀

          Why not try our taster course and sample our material for free? We have lots of lessons for complete beginners like yourself.

          The best place to start as a complete beginner is to learn basic phrases like hello, goodbye, introducing yourself. The alphabet is also important for getting a grip on pronunciation and spelling. We cover all of this and more in our courses/cúrsaí.

          Here is a link to our taster course: https://www.bitesize.irish/membership/taster/

          Hope this helps!

          Le beannacht,

          Aisling

    1. Hi Mark,

      We haven’t hosted any Q&A’s in the morning time before, but we will definitely keep it in mind moving forward.

      The full recorded Q&A will also be posted on our YouTube channel afterwards in case you miss it 😀

      AIsling

    1. Great to hear, Damian!

      If you’d like to try out some of our material for free, we have a taster program that allows you to sample our learning resources before becoming a member. You can sign up for our taster program through this link: https://www.bitesize.irish/membership/taster/.
      We have lots of material for complete beginners, as well as those wishing to brush up on or improve their Irish.

      Le beannacht,
      Aisling

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