Irish Language Blog

Archive for September, 2009

Táirge Gearrshaolach Guinness – An Cuimhin Leat É? Ar Bhlais Tú É? Posted by on Sep 28, 2009

I’m still mulling over some good descriptions of Guinness in Irish and the one that comes first to mind, in English, doesn’t seem to exactly fit in Irish.  “Mellow” could be “méith” or “súmhar” or “maothlach” or “lánaibí.”  But these could also mean “fertile,” “succulent,” mushy,” or “fully ripe/mature,” in that order, and none of…

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Lá Breithe Sona Duit, a Ghrúdlann Mhic Aonghusa (1759-2009) Posted by on Sep 25, 2009

Another noteworthy news event gives us the opportunity for a velvety smooth vocabulary lesson.  Yesterday (an ceathrú lá is fiche de mhí Mheán Fómhair) was the 250th anniversary of Grúdlann Mhic Aonghusa.  At least that’s what the name would be in Irish, though there doesn’t seem to be too much precedence for its use.  Although…

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What Comes After “Ceann, Gualainn, Glúin is Cos?” “Súile, Cluasa, Béal is Srón” Posted by on Sep 23, 2009

So you’ve probably been diligently stretching and touching your toes, singing, “Ceann, Gualainn, Glúin is Cos” and wondering what comes next.  Well, maybe you’d already figured it out, but, ar eagla na heagla (just in case):   “súile, cluasa, béal is srón”   Here’s a little more detail on some of the words:   súil…

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“Ceann, Gualainn, Glúin is Cos, Glúin is Cos” – Can agus Sín! (Sing and Stretch) Posted by on Sep 20, 2009

Some of you may already have been singing this, especially if you have a tachrán (toddler) in the house.  Perhaps you know the song as “Cabeza, hombros, rodillas y pies”?  Yes, sometimes “rodillas” is sung as “piernas” and theoretically we should have, dedos de pies, but apparently Spanish pre-school teachers have already decided that phrase…

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Toe Head and the Hag’s Footstep, Co. Cork; The Foot of the Sea, Co. Galway, and Other Geographical Footnotes, Plus Some More Straightforward Vocabulary Posted by on Sep 16, 2009

(le Róislín) Well, as promised, today’s blog has a pedal theme, hopefully not too pedantic and at least as entertaining as it is pedagogic. Let’s start with the actual word for “toe.”  Oops, not so fast. the actual words for “toe” (I think I’ll christen this the TMTM premise in vocabulary – “the more, the merrier,”…

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Irish “From Head to Toe” but without the “Head” (ceann) or the “Toe” (méar coise)! Posted by on Sep 13, 2009

(le Róislín) It’s interesting how languages can have similar idioms but with slightly different vocabulary.  In Irish there are two ways to express the idea of “from head to toe,” but neither of them uses the word “head” or the word “toe.”  Both offer some useful vocabulary, although admittedly, none of these keywords has quite…

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An Deireadh le “Ceann” – Go Ceann Tamaill! Posted by on Sep 10, 2009

Oh, I just couldn’t resist a few more, especially since these compound words are almost transparent – in other words, they mean just about exactly what you think they’d mean.  That’s assuming you spot the cognates, of course:   a) ceanncheathrú [say: KYAN-HYAH-roo, 2nd “c” is silent, “t” is silent]   b) ceannfhocal [say: KYAN-OK-ul…

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