Irish Language Blog

Cár rugadh thú? Rugadh i … / in … mé. (The Irish for ‘Where were you born?’ ‘I was born in …’) Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in Irish Language

(le Róislín), A crying newborn, a few days after birth, Evan-Amos-Own work, Public Domain, Téacs Gaeilge le Róislín, 2018

Since we just looked at the topic of breech birth (breith tóna) in the most recent blog (nasc thíos), I thought it might be good to look at a more general topic concerning birth – a question we often ask and answer:

Cár rugadh thú? Where were you born?

Now we’ll look at five possible structures for the answers, depending on the place name.

1.. Rugadh i ____ mé.  I was born in _____.  (probably the most common answer, especially if we’re talking about places outside Ireland: i mBostún, i bhFilideilfia, i Nua-Eabhrac, i Londain, i bPáras, i mBéising, i bPeiriú, i gCeanada, srl.  In Ireland, of course, there are many examples as well: i nGaillimh, i mBéal Feirste, i nDoire, i nDún na nGall, i gContae Dhún na nGall, i gCorcaigh, i mBaile Átha Cliath, srl.)

2.. Depending on the place name, this could also be:

 Rugadh in _____ mé.  I was born in ____ (if the place name starts with a vowel, like “Uachtar Ard.” The phrase becomes “in Uachtar Ard,” almost like English, except, of course, the anglicized spelling of Uachtar Ard would be “Oughterard,” Co. Galway)

3.. Or the answer could also be:

Rugadh sa _____ mé.  I was born in _____ (if the place name includes the definite article, “the,” as in “An Clochán Liath,” which becomes “sa Chlochán Liath,” or, depending on dialect, “sa gClochán Liath.”  “An Clochán Liath’ is the Irish for “Dungloe,” by the way (Co. Donegal)

4.. Yet another possibility is:

Rugadh san _____ mé.  I was born in _____ (if the place name includes the definite article, “the,” AND starts with a vowel, for example, in many country names, like “An Astráil” or “An Ostair”, which become “san Astráil” or “san Ostair.”  And those two place names are, respectively, Australia  (lit. in Irish, “the Australia”) and Austria (and lit. in Irish, “the Austria”).

5.. And finally, possibility number 5, probably not real common, compared to the others, but nevertheless important:

Rugadh sna _____ mé, I was born in _____. (if the place name is plural AND includes the definite article.  Examples could range from a specific town, whose name happens to be plural, like Na Cealla Beaga, giving us “sna Cealla Beaga”, or country names which are inherently  plural, such as “Na Stáit Aontaithe,” which gives us “sna Stáit Aontaithe”  And those, in case you didn’t recognize them, are Killybegs (Co. Donegal) and the United States.

Now can you figure out how to say where you yourself were born?

Rugadh i _____ mé.

Rugadh in _____ mé.

Rugadh sa _____ mé.

Rugadh san _____ mé.

Rugadh sna _____ mé.

Please write in and let us know, if you wish.   It’s a good workout, figuring out which category your place name fits into.

So you can see that we accomplished two goals with this blogpost.  We practiced the verb “rugadh” (was born) and we practiced five different ways to say “in” in Irish (i / in / sa / san / sna).  Hope you enjoyed it.  SGF — Róislín

Nasc (an t-iarbhlag faoi bhreith tóna)The Irish phrase for “breech birth” (yet another use of the Irish word ‘tóin’) Posted by  on Jul 23, 2018 in Irish Language

Nasc le cleachtadh ar an bhfocal “rugadh” agus a lán stair shuimiúil sa bhreis.  Dátaí breathe daoine móra le rá agus cad a bhí sa nuacht ar a lá a rugadh iad: (Tá an tsraith ar fáil ag am scríofa an bhlag seo; níl a fhios agam an mbeidh sé ar fáil sa todhchaí).

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  1. Seán Moran:

    Rugadh i dTrenton Nua Gearsaí mé blianta fada ó shin..

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