Irish Lesson 86

In this lesson and several succeeding lessons, we will review the grammar and vocabulary that you have learned up to now. The review will be through conversation. The translations, in the right column, are literal, not quite as you would speak in English. This is done here to make the Irish forms more understandable from the viewpoint of grammar.

Read and pronounce phrase by phrase at first, until you can repeat the entire sentence. It will help if you have someone to speak with, of course.


Dónall (DOHN-uhl): Dia dhuit, a Bhreandáin (uh vren-DAW*-in).   Hello, Brendan.

Breandán (bren-DAW*N): Dia’s Muire dhuit, a Dhónaill (DEE-uhs MWIR-uh git, uh GOHN-il). Conas tá tú inniu?   Hello, Donald. How are you today?

Dónall: Ó, táim cuíosach maith (KWEE-sahk* mah) inniu. Conas tá tú féin ar an lá breá seo? (er un law* bi-RAW* shuh)   Oh, I am fairly well today. How are you yourself on this fine day?

Breandán: Ar fheabhas (er OUS). Nach maith leat an aimsir seo? (nahk* MAH lat un EYEM-sheer shuh)   Excellent. Don’t you like this weather?

Dónall: Is maith liom í (luhm ee), ach is fearr liom an t-earrach (ahk* is fahr luhm un tahr-UHK*). Is fearr an t-earrach ná an fómhar (naw* un FOH-uhr),   I like it, but I prefer the spring. The spring is better than the fall.

Breandán: Tá an ceart agat (taw* un KYART uh-GUHT). Tá an t-earrach níos (nees) fearr ná an fómhar. Bíonn na laethanta níos fuaire anois (BEE-uhn nuh LAY*-uhn-tuh nees FOO-i-re uh-NISH).   You are right (you have right). The spring is better than the fall. The days be colder now.

Dónall: An gceapann tú (un GYAP-uhn too) go mbeidh sé ag cur sneachta (goh ME shay* uh kur SHNAHK*-tuh) go luath? (goh LOO-uh). Tá amhras ormsa (taw* OU-ruhs OH-ruhm-suh).   Do you think that it will be putting snow soon? I myself doubt it.

Breandán: Níl fhios agam (NEEL is uh-GUHM). Chuala mé go mbeidh an aimsir néaltach anocht (K*OO-uh-luh may* goh ME un EYEM-sheer NAY*L-tuhk* uh-NOHK*T).   I don’t know. I heard that the weather will be cloudy tonight.

Dónall: Ní chloisim (nee K*LISH-im) faisnéis na haimsire (FASH-nay*sh nuh HEYEM-sheer-e) go minic (goh MIN-ik). Cé’n t-am (kay*n TOUM) a bhíonn sí ar an raidió? (er un RAH-dee-oh)   I don’t hear the weather report often. What time does it be on the radio?

Breandán: Cloistear beagnach gach uair é (KLISH-tyuhr BYUHG-nahk* gahk* OO-ir ay*).   It is heard nearly every hour.

Dónall: Ar chualathas aréir (er K*OOL-uh-huhs uh-RAY*R) timpeall a hocht a chlog é? (TIM-puhl uh HOHK*T uh K*LUHG ay*)   Was it heard last night about eight o’clock?

Breandán: Chualathas ag an am sin é, go deimhin (K*OOL-uh-huhs eg un OUM shin ay*, goh DEYE-in).   It was heard at that time, certainly.

Dónall: Níor (NEE-uhr) chualathas i mo theach féin é. Ní raibh mé (nee REV may*) ag éisteacht leis an raidió (eg AY*SH-tyahk*t lesh un RAH-dee-oh). Ní éistim (nee AY*SH-tim) go minic leis an raidió.   It wasn’t heard in my house. I wasn’t listening to the radio. I don’t listen to the radio often.

Breandán: Má éistfidh tú (maw* AY*SHT-hee too) leis an raidió anocht (uh-NOHK*T), cloisfidh tú (KLISH-hee too) faisnéis na haimsire.   If you listen to the radio tonight, you will hear the weather report.

Dónall: Cloisfimid í (KLISH-hi-mid ee), má éistimid léi (maw* AY*SH-ti-mid lay*). Éistfidh mise léi (AY*SHT-hee MISH-e lay*) ar a laghad (er uh LEYE*uhd).   We will hear it, if we listen to it. I will listen to it, at least.

Breandán: Dála an scéil (DAW*-luhn SHKAY*-il), ar éist sibh (er AY*SHT shiv) leis an gceolchoirm (lesh un GYOHL-k*uhr-im) inné? (in-YAY)   By the way, did you listen to the concert yesterday?

Dónall: D’éisteamar le cuid di (DAY*SH-tuh-muhr le KWID dee), ach ansin (ahk* un-SHIN) bhí orm (vee OH-ruhm) dul chuig an siopa (duhl hig un SHOHP-uh). Ní raibh ar mo bhean (er muh VAN) dul in éineacht liom (duhl in AY*N-ahk*t luhm) agus d’fhéad sí (DAY*-uhd shee) a éisteacht léi.   We listened to part of it, but then I had to go to the store. My wife didn’t have to go with me, and she was able to listen to it.

Breandán: Chuala mé go raibh ceolchoirm eile aréir.   I heard that there was another concert last night.

Dónall: Cén saghas (kay*n SEYES) ceolchoirme a bhí ann? (uh vee oun)   What kind of concert was it?

Breandán: Ceolchoirm na gcat (nuh GAHT). Bhí siad ag béiceadh (vee SHEE-uhd uh BAY*K-uh) ó am an tsuipéir (oh OUM uh tu-PAY*-ir) go meán-oíche (goh myaw*n EE-hye).   Concert of the cats. They were howling from suppertime until midnight.

Dónall: Beidh siad ullamh (BE SHEE-uhd UL-luhv) don chlár mór (duhn k*lahr mohr) ar an raidió, mar sin.   They will be ready for the big program on the radio, then.

Notes: “Na cait” is “the cats”, but “na gcat” is “of the cats”. “Cat” is a first-declension noun, ending in a broad consonant. “Aimsir”, weather, is feminine, and “of the weather” is “na haimsire”. The formation of the genitive case for feminine nouns such as this differs from the method in the first declension. We will take this up in a short time, but for now merely learn the phrases, such as “faisnéis na haimsire”.

“Laethanta”, the plural of “lá”, is a violation of the spelling rule you have learned (broad to broad and slender to slender), but in this case there is no ambiguity in the pronunciation clues. The “ae” is (ay*), equal to “é”; the “a” is necessary to show that the “l” is broad. The transition to the unaccented “than-” is easily done.

©1999 The Irish People

Irish Lesson 85 | Irish Lesson 87

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