Irish Language Blog

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Irish Words for Sneezing and Coughing — Sraothartach agus Casachtach (COVID-19 terms) Posted by on Feb 18, 2020

(le Róislín)  In keeping with the novel coronavirus terms introduced in the previous blog (nasc thíos), we add a few more terms here: sneezing and coughing, and related terms like “droplets” and “salivary.” Let’s start with “sneeze” and some of its various forms.  The most basic, in my experience, is “sraoth a ligean” (lit. to…

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Coronavirus Terms in Irish:  A-Z  (aisdúichiú go zónóiseach) Posted by on Jan 31, 2020

(le Róislín) There are, of course, many ways to look at and discuss the ongoing coróinvíreas, but, since this is a language-learning site, how about the tried and true method of ord na haibítre (alphabetical order)?  Irish to English — and that may be a bit of a challenge since the Irish alphabet doesn’t typically…

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Saying ‘The First of the Month’ in Irish and Other Special Names for ‘First Days’ (pt. 2: April, May, June) Posted by on Jan 18, 2020

(le Róislín) Cén lá a dtarlaíonn damhsa mar seo? Cén bhliain a ndearna na cailíní sa phictiúr an damhsa seo, i do bharúil: sna 1930í? sna 1940í? sna 1950í? sna 1960í? sna 1970í? sna 1980í? sna 1990í? Ar ndóigh, is féidir linn a bheith cinnte nach raibh sé san aois seo. Freagra thíos, bunoscionn. Grafaic…

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Saying ‘The First of the Month’ in Irish and Other Special Names for ‘First Days’ Posted by on Dec 31, 2019

(le Róislín) From New Year’s Day (1 Eanáir) to World AIDS Day (1 Mí na Nollag), there are significant events on the first day of each month of the year.  Some, like Lá Domhanda SEIF, are of profound importance in recognizing the issues of 21st-century life.  Others, like *Lá Náisiúnta Brioscaí Baile (1 Deireadh Fómhair), are…

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Some Consonant Clusters in Irish (thbhl, thbh, thbhr, thchl, thfh, and ch-chl) Posted by on Dec 21, 2019

(le Róislín) Irish can have up to five consonants in a row, something we rarely encounter in English.  These situations usually occur because a prefix has been added to a word, so the seemingly simple “cleas” (trick) can become “droch-chleas” when we add the prefix “droch-” (bad).  In this case, with “ch” followed by “ch,”…

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Frásaí an tSéasúir (Seasonal Phrases) in Irish: ‘Sona’ or not ‘Sona’? (‘happy’ or not ‘happy’?) Posted by on Nov 30, 2019

(le Róislín, taking a short break from the “Nature Words” series, in honor of the season) ‘Tis the season where we go around wishing people ‘Happy’ (‘sona‘ in Irish) _____ (fill in your holiday). Or do we? One of the most basic words for “happy” in Irish is “sona,” which sometimes appears as “shona,” as…

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Nature Words in Irish, pt. 7: Holly (following ‘acorn’ to ‘herring’) Posted by on Nov 18, 2019

(le Róislín) Which words should be in a dictionary and which ones should be removed after a certain period of time?  We can all probably agree that for modern English pocket dictionaries, we probably don’t need to take up space with words like “apricity” or “yelm,” although I’m delighted to find them in Landmarks, Robert…

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