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Beagáinín Eile faoi na Séasúir (A Little More about Seasons) Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Na Ceithre Shéasúr

Sula bhfágfaidh muid an t-ábhar seo inár ndiaidh, seo roinnt frásaí eile faoi na séasúir.  Le bheith beacht, seo na focail (geimhreadh, earrach, samhradh, fómhar) i bhfrásaí réamhfhoclacha.  Sa chéad bhlag eile, is dócha, cuirfidh muid na focail seo sa tuiseal ginideach, mar bíonn claochclaithe ansin freisin. 

For this blog, by the way, I’ve inserted some mini-glossaries, closer to the specific words under discussion.  You’ll see four of them.

Gluais (1) don alt sin: ábhar, topic, subject; beacht, specific; claochclú, mutation (here in the linguistic sense); fágfaidh [FAWG-hee], will leave; inár ndiaidh [in-awr NYEE-uh OR in-awr NYAY], after us; réamhfhoclach, prepositional; roinnt [rintch], some; sula, before (used with verbs); tuiseal ginideach, genitive case

Frásaí Réamhfhoclacha (Prepositional Phrases) le “sa” / “san” (in the)

sa gheimhreadh [suh YEV-ruh], in the winter

san earrach [sun AR-ukh], in the spring

sa samhradh [suh SOW-ruh], in the summer

san fhómhar [sun OW-irzh], in the autumn/fall

And here are some dialect variations you may well encounter: sa ngeimhreadh (sung YEV-ruh], sa bhfómhar [suh WOH-irzh], and sa tsamhradh [suh TOW-roo], the latter being fairly specific to Irish as spoken in the North (Dún na nGall, Béal Feirste, srl.).  And yes, that prefixed “t” is applied in Donegal Irish, even though “samhradh” is grammatically masculine.  If you use that Donegal pronunciation, the sound for the end of the word will change slightly from “uh” to “oo.”

So how exactly do we use “sa” and “san“?  Why the two different forms (± the “n”)?

roimh chonsain agus roimh “fhl” nó “fhr”: we use “sa,” as in “sa bhosca,” “sa Spáinn,” “sa fhliúiteog” [suh LyOOTCH-ohg], or “sa Fhrainc” [suh rank], (before consonants, including “fh” in a consonant cluster, like “fhr”)

roimh ghutaí agus roimh “fh”: we use “san,” as in “san uisce,” “san Iodáil” [sun ID-aw-il], “san fhaopach” [sun EEP-ukh], “san fhásach” [sun AWSS-ukh], or “san Fhionlainn“[sun IN-lin]” (before vowels and before “fh,” which is silent, creating an initial vowel sound for these words)

Gluais (2) don méid sin thuas: an Fhrainc [un rank], France; fásach, desert, wilderness, empty place, overgrown place–take your pick, de réir comhthéacs, of course; san fhaopach, in dire straits.  Also, NB maidir lefliúiteog” (piccolo), the phrase “sa fhliúiteog” would imply that something was stuck inside the piccolo, or that somehow, something was in the piccolo, admittedly not all that likely a scenario.  But there aren’t really that many choices to demonstrate lenited “fl”–the others would include “sa fhlumaire” (in the flummery–actually …  I like that example), “sa fhloscmhéadar” (that would imply, I suppose, that some loose part is in the fluximeter), and “sa fhliuchbholgán” (now there’s a nice mouthful of consain chiúine [suh LyUKH-WOL-uh-gawn], meaning “in the wet bulb,” if discussing thermometer bulbs).  There’s maybe a dozen or so more nouns that start with “fl,” but, altogether, not a lot.  Anyone care to send in sampla eile?

Getting back to the word “sa,” it can also be followed by eclipsis, instead of lenition: sa mbosca, sa bhfliúiteog, srl.  For the odd word “faopach,” though, I’ve almost always seen it lenited in this phrase (“san fhaopach“).  So Ghoogláil mé é, and this is what I found:

san fhaopach: 126 amas.  Google didn’t try to suggest any alternatives for this search (cuardach i gcomharthaí athfhriotail)

sa bhfaopach: 30 amas, when Google wasn’t trying to get me to read about either a spa or the SPA (School of Planning and Architecture) in Bhopal, India, for which it would have given me 25,300 hits (at first cull) in the “unquotation-marked” search.  A bhuí le Dia go bhfuil comharthaí athfhriotail ann!  Not that I knew offhand, prior to this jaunt down mórbhealach an eolais, that SPA actually stood for “School of Planning and Architecture” — I just kept wonder as I searched why there were so many spas in Bhopal!

And, actually, there wasn’t as great a difference between na hamais for “san fhaopach” and “sa bhfaopach” as I expected.  Healthy, yes (126 vs. 30), but totally one-sided, no.

I guess Google would be very good at “anagraim.”  GnáthGhaeilgeoir in éadan Google i gcomórtas anagramSmaoineamh suimiúil!  Déjà vu de Garry Kasparov in éadan Ghorm Dorcha à la 1996 nó 1997?  Not that “spa Bhopal” is a very exact anagram of “sa bhfaopach,” since there are ceithre litir left over, but I guess that’s the way Google works.

And finally, here’s a ceistiúchán beag to practice the seasonal phrases, using activities typical for each season.  Of course, linnte snámha faoi dhíon and tithe gloine could change the scenarios, but let’s go for the most basic, predictable answer.  Freagraí thíos.

1. Téim ag snámh.  Cathain? ____________

2. Téim ag sciáil.  Cathain? ____________

3. Bíonn daoine ag bualadh an arbhair.  Anois déantar sin le hinnill bhuailte.  San am fadó dhéantaí le súistí é.  Cathain? ____________

4. Tagann na bláthanna i mbláth (or, to say pretty much the same thing another way: “Bláthaíonn na bláthanna,” or yet again, “Tagann bláth ar na bláthanna” — hmmm, dóigh ar bith lena rá nach bhfuil chomh hathráiteach?).  Pé scéal é, cathain? ____________

Gluais (3) don méid sin thuas: arbhar, corn, in the UK and Ireland “corn” means edible grain such as barley, oats, rye, wheat; athráiteach, repetitive; bualadh, threshing, also “hitting” in general ; chomh, so, as; dorcha, dark, or, in this case, deep, as in Deep Blue; faoi dhíon, indoor, lit. “under roof”; gorm [GOR-um], blue; snámh, swimming; súiste, a flail; teacht i mbláth, coming into flower

Cad é an rud is fearr leat faoin séasúr atá ann anois (an fómhar)?  An aimsir?  Oíche Shamhna?  Dathanna an duilliúir?  Lá Náisiúnta na gCantalóirí (ar an 15ú Deireadh Fómhair i Meiriceá)?  Titim an chearlamáin?  Please write in, i nGaeilge más féidir, and let us know.  And, yeah, that latter will probably require a blog of its own, lá den tsaol, ach lá san fhómhair, más féidir!  And so, no doubt, will Lá Náisiúnta na gCantalóirí, ach mar a dúirt mé go minic cheana, blag éigin eile.

Go dtí sin, SGF, Róislín

Gluais (4) don alt deireanach: aimsir, weather; cantalóir, grouch, grumpy person; cearlamán, droning beetle; cheana, previously, before; Oíche Shamhna, Halloween (just slipping in under the wire to be considered “Fall” or “Autumn,” since “Samhain” (November 1st), traditionally marked the beginning of the New Year and of Winter

Freagraí do cheisteanna 1-4: 1) sa samhradh, 2) sa gheimhreadh 3) san fhómhar, 4) san earrach 

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