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Comhrá: Searbhán an tSeirbil agus Hamaltún an Hamstar ag caint faoina gcásanna Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 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 inhabitants of Georgia (the country), muintir na Seoirsia, but note, an ghnáthúsáid do “the inhabitants of Georgia” (the U.S. state) — muintir Georgia.  

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” or “j” 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

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