Irish Vocabulary Round-up for ‘Comhrá idir Hamstar agus Seirbil’

Posted on 06. Feb, 2016 by in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

 

Bhuel, 'sea, tá mé i mo chónaí i gcás ach níl sé chomh dona sin. Is hamstar mé agus mar sin is cás hamstair é an cás a bhfuil mé i mo chónaí ann. Tá a lán gnéithe maisiúla ann. Bíonn an-spórt agam ar an trealamh aclaíochta i gcomhair hamstar atá istigh ann. Fan go gcloisfidh tú céard atá agam sa chás ... dréimire ... tolláin ... caochóg ... agus a lán rudaí eile ... ( http://www.clker.com/clipart-93844.html )

Bhuel, ‘sea, tá mé i mo chónaí i gcás ach níl sé chomh dona sin. Is hamstar mé agus mar sin is cás hamstair é an cás a bhfuil mé i mo chónaí ann. Tá a lán gnéithe maisiúla ann. Bíonn an-spórt agam ar an trealamh aclaíochta i gcomhair hamstar atá istigh ann. Fan go gcloisfidh tú céard atá agam sa chás … dréimire … tolláin … caochóg … agus a lán rudaí eile … (grafaic: http://www.clker.com/clipart-93844.html )

Our most recent post introduced some vocabulary specific to hamster and gerbil cages, as Hamaltún an Hamstar and Searbhán an tSeirbil compared their accommodations (nasc thíos). Let’s take a closer look and check out some more general vocabulary as well.

A. Céard Atá sna Cásanna?

ámóg [AWM-ohg], hammock

ardán codlata [AWRD-awn KUL-uh-tuh, silent d in “codlata“], sleeping platform

bia [BEE-uh], food

buidéal uisce, a bottle of water

caochóg bheag [KEEKH-ohg veg], small cubby-hole

crandaí bogadaí, seesaw

cúpla tollán, a couple of tunnels

dréimire dreapadóireachta, climbing ladder

giomnáisiam beag déanta as adhmad [GIM-naw-shee-um beg …], with a “hard g” as in “gimlet,” “gimmick,”   or as in “gimp” in some contexts. How many contexts are there for “gimp” and why does it matter? Féach an nóta thíos.

roth hamstair [ruh HAM-stirzh], hamster wheel

tigín [TIGG-een], little house

B. Focail Eile sa Bhlagmhir

an-spórt, great fun

atrapamorfachas [ahn-truh-puh-MORF-ukh-uss], anthropomorphism

bualadh leat [BOO-ul-uh lyat], to meet you, meeting you

buartha[BOO-ur-huh, silent t], worried

fréamh [frzhayv], root

Gaillimh [GAHL-yiv], Galway (example of a “broad” g sound)

galún, a gallon (example of a “broad” g sound)

geal, bright (example of a “slender” g sound)

gealach, moon (example of a “slender” g sound)

geall [gyawl], promise, pledge, bet, wager (example of a “slender” g sound)

geoidil, a yodel (example of a “slender” g sound)

gnúis [gnoosh], face, countenance, sometimes, but not always, specifically negative, as in “Chuir sé gnúis air” (He pulled a wry face). Not the most basic word for “face,” which I’d say is “aghaidh.” “Aghaidh,” by the way, is an interesting word unto itself, one which newcomers to the language are often surprised to find rhymes with “eye” and “I” and “aye” (in IPA transcript /ai/, which is not the sound of “train” or “rain,” despite the spelling). In other words, the “gh” and “dh” are silent.

gotha [GUH-huh, the “t” is silent], appearance, pose, gesture, expression, as in “gothaí gnúise gleoite na hamstar” (the cute facial expressions of the hamsters)

Hamaltún, Hamilton; “A Hamaltúin!” [uh HAHM-ul-too-in], “Hamilton!” in direct address

iora [UH-ruh], usually in either the phrase “iora rua” (red squirrel) or “iora glas” (gray squirrel, not a “green” squirrel–for animals with gray fur, we may use “glas,” which normally means green But for an animal’s fur, it’s understood to mean “gray,” which is normally “liath”

ó am go ham [oh ahm go hahm], from time to time

réitithe, sorted, organized

an rud is tábhachtai, the thing that is most important (from “tábhachtach,” important)

ruga, rug

sanasaíocht, etymology

Searbhán [SH·AR-u-vawn], Sherwin; “a Shearbháin” [uh HAR-u-vaw-in], “Sherwin!” (in direct address)

úinéir [OON-yayrzh], owner; úinéara [OON-yayr-uh], of an owner; an úinéara, of the owner

thar a bheith [har uh veh], “very” (in this context)

Bhuel, sin roinnt focal a bhi sa chomhrá. Tá súil agam go raibh siad suimiúil. SGF — Róislín

Nóta (maidir leis an bhfocal “gimp” i mBéarla): The word “gimp” has at least four unrelated meanings in English. Three of the four are a) a type of thread or cord, b) gumption, and c) a limp. These are pronounced with the “hard g” like “giomnáisiam.” The fourth “gimp,” meaning “slim” or “neat,” is sometimes spelled “jimp” and has the “soft g” sound (like English “j”). The story of these words must be a saga unto themselves. Why not just use English “gecko” or “get” as an example of the “hard g” pronunciation for this blog? Well, I could have but I wanted to get as close as possible to the actual “giom-” sound of the Irish word. The closer the syllables are, the better I think they work as pronunciation aids. Very few English words actually start with “gim-” and of the handful of others, “gimcrack” has the “j” sound for the “g,” and “gimbals” (used in a ship’s navigation) can be pronounced with either a “g” sound or a “j” sound, so those examples don’t help. Anyway, there’s some interesting food for thought for a future blog post–an Ghaeilge ar “gimcrack” agus an Ghaeilge ar “gimbals.” Lá éigin!

Nasc: Comhrá: Searbhán an tSeirbil agus Hamultún an Hamstar ag caint faoina gcásanna Posted on 31 Jan, 2016 by róislín in Irish Language (http://blogs.transparent.com/irish/comhra-searbhan-an-tseirbil-agus-hamaltun-an-hamstar-ag-caint-faoina-gcasanna/ )

Comhrá: Searbhán an tSeirbil agus Hamaltún an Hamstar ag caint faoina gcásanna

Posted on 31. Jan, 2016 by in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Seirbil óg [By Officially Mr X at en.wikipedia / Later version(s) were uploaded by Hohum at en.wikipedia. (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

Seirbil óg [By Officially Mr X at en.wikipedia / Later version(s) were uploaded by Hohum at en.wikipedia. (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

Since we talked about hamstair in the most recent blog, I figured we might as well do seirbilí this time. So first, let’s look at the different forms for the word “seirbil” and then a few other words that have a similar pattern.  Then we’ll have a little comhrá between a seirbil and a hamstar, not that they really can talk, of course, but a little antrapamorfachas never went astray.

To start with,

seirbil, a gerbil

an tseirbil, the gerbil. Why “ts”? It’s a variation on the lenition, where, for the letter “s,” we do “ts” instead of the normal process of changing to “sh” (as in “a shúil,” his eye, or “mo shúil,” my eye). Other examples with the “ts” pattern are “sráid, an tsráid,” “snáthaid, an tsnáthaid,” “slat, an tslat,” and “súil, an tsúil.”

seirbile, of a gerbil (cás seirbile, a gerbil cage)

na seirbile, of the gerbil (cás na seirbile, the cage of the gerbil)

And the plural forms:

seirbilí, gerbils,

na seirbilí, the gerbils

seirbilí, of gerbils (cásanna seirbilí, gerbil cages)

na seirbilí, of the gerbils (cásanna na seirbilí, the cages of the gerbils)

One point to note is that when Irish borrows a word from English that starts with a “soft” g sound, it sometimes will change the spelling so the word starts with an “s”.  A few more examples, besides “gerbil / seirbil” include:
giraffe – sioráf

ginger, sinséar

George, Seoirse

Georgian, Seoirseach

The only two “g” sounds in Irish are the broad “g” (as in “galún” and “gotha” and “Gaillimh“) and the slender “g” sound (as in “geal,” “gealach,” “geall,” and “geoidil“).  Neither of these has the “sshh” quality of the “g” of “gerbil.”

Hamstar i gcás hamstair -- nach gleoite é (i)? [http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=5228&picture=adorable]

Hamstar i gcás hamstair — nach gleoite é (i)? [http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=5228&picture=adorable]

So that’s gerbil(s).  And how about a quick review of “hamster” in Irish: an hamstar, dath an hamstair, na hamstair, and cásanna na hamstar, with the only real variation occurring at the end of the word, “-ar” or “-air.”

Well, now that we’ve got our hamstair and our seirbilí sorted, how about a little dialogue between them?  A little far-fetched, maybe, but no more so than any other talking animal story, or for that matter, the talking squirrel dialogue (an comhrá idir an dá iora) in a previous blog in this series (nasc thíos).

Seirbil: Dia dhuit!

Hamstar: Dia’s Muire dhuit!  Cén t-ainm atá ort?

Seirbil: “Searbhán” atá orm.  Cén t-ainm atá ortsa?

Hamstar: Mise Hamaltún.  Go deas bualadh leat, a Shearbháin.

Searbhán: Go deas bualadh leatsa, a Hamaltúin.  Cá bhfuil tú i do chónaí?

Hamaltún: Tá mé i mo chónaí i gcás mór i seomra codlata m’úinéara.

S: An bhfuil sé go deas?

H: Ó tá, tá tigín ann agus dréimire dreapadóireachta agus giomnáisiam beag déanta as adhmad agus crandaí bogadaí  agus roth hamstair agus cúpla tollán.  Agus ar ndóigh, buidéal uisce, ceangailte de thaobh an cháis, agus babhla do mo chuid bia. Céard faoi do chás féin, a Shearbháin?

S: Ó, tá mo chás-sa deas go leor freisin.   Tá cuid de na rudaí céanna atá i do chás-sa i mo chás féin.  Ach tá ámóg agam freisin, í crochta ó ardán codlata.  Mar sin is féidir liom codladh ar an ámóg nó in airde ar an ardán nó faoin ardán, i gcaochóg bheag taobh thiar de bhalla.  Is breá liom mo chás.

H: An ligtear amach as do chás thú ó am go ham?

S: Ó, ligtear.  Is féidir liom rith thart ar an ruga nó léim a thabhairt ó lámh amháin m’úinéara go dtí an lámh eile.  Is an-spórt é.  Agus céard fútsa, an ligtear amach tusa freisin ó am go ham?

H: Ligtear, ach amanna bím buartha mar tá cat mór ag m’úinéir freisin.  Ach ó am go ham, bíonn sé go deas.  Hmm, b’fhéidir gurb é sin an fáth go dtugtar “hamstar” ar mo leithéid.  Is “ó am go ham–star” a ligtear amach muid.

S: Feo!  Sin drochimeartas focal ar fad.   Chuala mise go dtagann an focal “hamstar” ón bhfocal  “chomestoru” sa  tSeanSlavóinis Eaglaiseach.

H: Ó, bhabh!  Ní raibh a fhios agam sin.  Agus céard faoin bhfocal “seirbil.”  Cá as a dtagann sin?

S: Deirtear go dtagann sé ón bhfocal “yarbu” san Araibis.  Tagann “gearbú” (jerboa) ón bhfréamh céanna.

H: Thar a bheith suimiúil.  Bhuel, sin ár sanasaíochtaí réitithe.  Anois ar ais go dtí an rud is tábhachtai dúinn, an bia.  Feicim mo chuid ag teacht anois.  Neam!

(Cuireann lámh ollmhór píosaí cairéid sa chás agus tosaíonn Hamaltún a bheith ag ithe.  Tarlaíonn an rud céanna i gcás Shearbháin).

Bon appétit dóibh!  – Róislín

nasc: Comhrá: Diarmaid agus Dearbháil agus Na Dearcáin, Posted on 10. Oct, 2015 by róislín in Irish Language (http://blogs.transparent.com/irish/comhra-diarmaid-agus-dearbhail-agus-na-dearcain/)

Gluaisín: fréamh, root; sanasaíocht, etymology; ó am go ham, from time to time; Searbhán, Sherwin

Which Celtic Language Has 5 Words for ‘Hamster’ (Leid: Ní hí an Ghaeilge í!)

Posted on 28. Jan, 2016 by in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

B'fhéidir go mba chóir dúinn "HAMSTERICULA" a thabhairt ar an hamstar seo! Ach deir an grianghrafadóir nach bhfuil ann ach go bhfuil an hamstar ag méanfach (yawning). Ní starrfhiacail atá ann ach clárfhiacail. Ar ndóigh, mise a chuir Gaeilge ar an gcur síos. Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil Gaeilge ag an ngrianghrafadóir. (By Emmaeatsporridgelots (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yawning_white_syrian_hamster.jpeg)

B’fhéidir go mba chóir dúinn “HAMSTERICULA” a thabhairt ar an hamstar seo! Ach deir an grianghrafadóir nach bhfuil ann ach go bhfuil an hamstar ag méanfach (yawning). Ní starrfhiacla atá ann sa phictiúr ach clárfhiacla! Ar ndóigh, mise a chuir Gaeilge ar an gcur síos. Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil Gaeilge ag an ngrianghrafadóir. (By Emmaeatsporridgelots (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yawning_white_syrian_hamster.jpeg)

Bhuel, as the title of this blog post suggests, Irish isn’t the Celtic language that has five words for ‘hamster.’   Or as “an leid” in the title said, “Ní hí an Ghaeilge í.”

In fact, we can take care of the Irish word for ‘hamster’ quite tidily:

hamstar, a hamster.  Note that the one concession to Irish spelling is the change from “-ster” to “-star.”  And why do we bother with that?  The ever-present “vowel harmony” rules (caol le caol agus leathan le leathan).   For a bit more on vowel harmony, féach an nóta thíos.

an hamstar, the hamster

hamstair, of a hamster (roth hamstair, a hamster wheel)

an hamstair, of the hamster (roth an hamstair, the wheel of the hamster  — a specific hamster in this case)

hamstair, hamsters

na hamstair, the hamsters

hamstar, of hamsters (cineálacha hamstar, kinds of hamsters)

na hamstar, of the hamsters (gothaí gnúise gleoite na hamstar, the cute facial expressions of the hamsters)

So, cad í an teanga Cheilteach a bhfuil cúig fhocal aici ar “hamster”?  Is í an Bhreatnais í (It’s Welsh).  Agus seo iad.   I’ve included the literal translations from Welsh to Irish here.  For the English, please see na haistriúcháin below.

Mura raibh gotha gnúise gleoite ag an hamstar sa phictiúr eile, déarfainn go raibh gleoiteacht go leor anseo don bheirt By Dalius Baranauskas - Own work, CC BY 3.0, $3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamster#/media/File:Roborofskiohamster.jpg)

Mura raibh gotha gnúise gleoite ag an hamstar sa phictiúr eile (thuas), déarfainn go raibh gleoiteacht go leor anseo don bheirt (By Dalius Baranauskas – Own work, CC BY 3.0, $3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamster#/media/File:Roborofskiohamster.jpg)

1) bochdew (boch, leiceann + tew, ramhar).  I don’t think there’s a single word in Irish with the exact equivalent meaning, but since Irish allows for the creation of a lot of compound words, I’d say we could improvise with “*ramharleicneachán

2) bochog (plucach, ach é mar ainmfhocal)

3) llygoden fochog (luch phlucach)

4) twrlla’r Almaen (marmat na Gearmáine)

5) codlyg, b’fhéidir ón dá fhocal Breatnaise seo: “cod” (mála, púitse, folaíóg) + “llyg” (dallóg fhraoigh).  Ach níl mé cinnte.  Eolas ag duine ar bith ar an liosta?

Sin iad: bochdew, bochog, llygoden fochog, twrlla’r Almaen agus codlyg, agus an chiall “hamstar” orthu go léir.

Hoodathunkit, as they say!  Cúig fhocal ar “hamster”!  Anois, hmmm, meas tú go bhfuil níos mó ná focal amháin ar “mhuc ghuine” sa teanga sin?  Nó sa Ghaeilge, fiú?  Nó i dteanga ar bith eile?  Agus céard faoin tseirbil?  Ábhar machnaimh agus b’fhéidir ábhar taighde lá éigin na coise tinne.  

Tá súil agam gur bhain tú sult as mblag trítheangach i bpáirt seo, má tá hamstar nó hamstair agat mar pheata(í) nó muna bhfuil.  Dála an scéil, má tá hamsta(i)r agat, cén t-ainm atá air / uirthi / orthu? – Róislín

Nóta: If we left the “e” in the final syllable of “hamster,” it would break the vowel harmony rules for Irish, since “e” is slender (caol) and “a” is broad (leathan).  Vowel harmony should probably be a post unto itself, but for now, suffice it to say that, in Irish, if you have broad vowel (a, o, u) on one side of consonant, you have to have another broad vowel on the other side of the consonant, not an “e” or an “i” since “e” and “i” are considered “slender.”  Prominent exceptions include “anseo” and “ansin,” but then, they used to be two separate words, so the rule didn’t apply.  Ar aon chaoi, there’s always an “eisceacht” to make the “riail.

Aistriúchán: Breatnais go Gaeilge go Béarla

1) bochdew (boch, leiceann  / cheek + tew, ramhar / fat), so “fat-cheeked one”.  My improvised Irish compound word, “*ramharleicneachán,” also means the same thing.  I would have to admit, though, that the two-syllable Welsh compound word “bochdew” does have a certain succinct appeal that the five-syllable “*ramharleicneachán” doesn’t.

2) bochog (plucach, / full-cheeked).  The Welsh and Irish words are primarily adjectives, so we might consider this as meaning “full-cheeked one.”

3) llygoden fochog (luch phlucach / large-cheeked mouse)

4) twrlla’r Almaen (marmat na Gearmáine / German marmot)

5) codlyg: Perhaps “codlyg” is from these two Welsh words: “cod” (bag, pouch, pod) + “llyg” (shrew).  But I’m not sure.  So “pouch-cheeked shrew,” perhaps?  Anyone on the list know?

Needless to say, the Welsh word “cod” (bag, etc.) has no relation to the codfish, which is “penfras” in Welsh (lit. fat-head, large-head, or greasy-head — hmm, and how are we supposed to interpret that?).  Not that “cod” is the most basic word for “bag” in Welsh–in my experience, at any rate, that would be ‘bag‘ (pl: bagiau, my bag: fy mhag, a.y.y.b)

The only thing I can find out about the history of the word “codlyg” is that it shows up in D. S. Evans’ An English and Welsh Dictionary (1858).  Relatively early for talking about hamsters, it seems to me, but, then, maybe the term was presumed to mean wild hamsters.  Actually … are there wild hamsters?  It seems like a bit of an oxymoron, but I suppose that must be the origin somehow.  Now that I think of it, I wonder when people started keeping hamsters for pets.  Hmmm, taighde do lá na coise tinne.

Getting back to “cod” part of “codlyg,” it is interesting to note, that much like Welsh, the Old English language had a word “codd” for a “bag,” “pouch,” or, ermm, baglike male anatomical part, which led to, yes, “codpiece.”  Now, lo and behold, I have been speaking Irish and Welsh for years and never needed the word “codpiece,” so I decided to look it up in both languages.

For Welsh, we have “copis” (basically “codpiece” without the “d” sound in the middle, I assume) and another word “balog,” which can also mean “a flap,” although a mere flap, I think, would not offer quite the same degree of “protection” for the contents of the codpiece.   In case you were wondering, Welsh “copis” doesn’t mean “coppice” (thicket of small trees, etc.); the Welsh for that is “coedlan.”  Remember, in terms of language connections, not all that looks like a cognate is a cognate.

As for Irish, I’ve just checked about a dozen dictionaries, new and old, and can find neither hide nor hair of a word for “codpiece.”  I imagine one could use “cochaillín,” which can have a range of meanings (small cloak, small hood, small bag, small trawl-net–if there is such a thing, small cowl, small pod, small husk, small cupule, which is actually already somewhat diminutive, and, finally, if talking about animals, small scrotum).  But that’s all still a bit speculative since I haven’t noticed the use of “cochaillín” in a context where it could mean “codpiece.”

If anyone reading this does know the Irish word for “codpiece,” please do write in and let us all know.  We’re waiting with bated breath (but not holding said breath)!

Anyway, considering “cochaillín” for “codpiece,” makes me all the gladder that I chose “clóicín” for Clóicín Dearg, my translation of Little Red Riding Hood (Cincinnati: Another Language Press, 2001, ISBN: 1922852553).

What’s the deal with “clóicín” vs. “cochaillín“?  When I was working on the translation, I thought it was problematic enough that “cochaillín,” the other possible choice for the “little hood” part of “Little Red Riding Hood,” could also mean “a small spit of phlegm” (based on “cochaille,” a spit of phlegm).  If we understand “cochaillín” as derived from “cochall,” then, yes, it would mean “a small hooded cloak”.  And now we have third, if somewhat out-of-context translation for “cochaillín” (codpiece), which casts a whole new dimension to the story.  Linguistic wonders never cease

Clóicín,” on the other hand, pretty much just means “little cloak.”

Of course, we’re always supposed to understand language in context but …, bhuel, suimiúil!

Well, that footnote turned out to be almost as long as this blog post itself, but, I hope that it will at least lead to us finding the Irish word for ‘codpiece.’