Irish Language Blog

Cén Sórt Ceoil Is Fearr Leat? What Kind of Music Do You Like Best? Posted by on Jun 14, 2009 in Irish Language

Cén Sórt Ceoil Is Fearr Leat?  What Kind of Music Do You Like Best?


First let’s try some even more basic phrases:


Is maith liom rac-cheol.  I like rock music. [for “maith,” say: mah, the “t” is silent]


Ní maith liom rac-cheol.  I don’t like rock music.


(Remember that breathy “ch” sound – if not please check back with the June 11 blog!)


Now, can you put in the other types of music we discussed previously; I’ve given you the exact number of spaces for the prefixes:


Is maith liom ___  ___ ___ ___cheol.  I like jazz.


Ní maith liom ___  ___ ___cheol.  I don’t like pop music. 


Is fearr liom punc-cheol ná ceol grúinse.  I prefer punk music to grunge music.


Is é ceol miotail an ceol is fearr liom.  Metal music is the music I like best (i.e. my favorite).  In this sentence, “liom” indicates that the statement is in the first person (I like).  The question has “leat,” indicating second person (you like).    


What answers do you think might be given in the following situations:


A. Comrádaí seomra (Seán) ag caint le comrádaí seomra eile (Liam) an chéad lá ar ollscoil; iad beirt 18 bliain d’aois [one roommate talking to another on the first day of university, both 18 years old]


Seán: Cén sórt ceoil is fearr leat, a Liam?  [What kind of music do you like best, Liam?]


Liam: Is fearr liom __________________________ thar aon ghrúpa ceoil eile. [I like _____ more than any other music group.]


B. Beirt chailíní deich mbliana d’aois (Avril, Úna), an chéad oíche ag campa samhraidh [two 10-year-old girls on the first night at a summer camp]:


Avril: Cén sórt ceoil is fearr leat, a Úna? 


Úna: Is fearr liom __________________________ thar aon ghrúpa ceoil eile.


The answer would likely be Miley Cyrus for both girls, but maybe someone will have a different

freagra (answer).  Duine ar bith?  Anyone?


C.. Beirt fhoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge ar chúrsa idirnáisiúnta  sa Ghaeltacht (Gretchen, Carlo); iad beirt thart fá 40 bliain d’aois [two Irish learners on an international course in the Gaeltacht, both about 40 years old]


Gretchen: Cén sórt ceoil is fearr leat, a Charlo? 


Carlo: Is fearr liom __________________________ thar aon ghrúpa ceoil eile.


I’d vote for Carlo choosing Na Taoisigh, the name many Irish-speakers use for The Chieftains.  Maybe he could add, “go mór mór, an CD Santiago a rinne siad i 1996.”  Smaointe ar bith eile? Any other thoughts?


If you have any nominations to fill in the blanks, please sent them to the comments.  


Pronunciation tips:

campa samhraidh: KAHM-puh (the “uh” is like the “a” in “about” or the interjection, “uh,” when an English speaker doesn’t know what to say next) SOW-ree (that’s “sow” like the animal, not the verb)

taoisigh: TEESH-ee.  This is the plural of “taoiseach,” a term you’ve likely heard on the Irish news; the position is similar to a prime minister.  But in ancient Ireland, it would simply have meant “a chieftain.” 

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  1. kathleen:

    for filling in the blanks, ceol tradisunta here — do you know the music of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and/or Julie Fowlis? Especially the album they have done together, Dual — music in Scots Gaelic (Julie) and in Irish (Muireann), exploring similarities and differences. Have some things about it over at ‘bóthar an cheoil’ if of interest. Thanks for that — I knew it but hadn’t given it much thought, good idea.

  2. Róislín:

    A Chaitlín, a chara,

    Go raibh maith agat as a bheith páirteach. Than ks for participating. I’ll have to look more into Nic Amhlaoibh and Fowlis. I feel sure I
    ve heard them; have they been played on Thistle and Shamrock much, an bhfuil a fhios agat (do you know)?

    All the best – R

  3. kathleen:

    I know Julie Fowlis has been played on Thistle and Shamrock before, and I expect Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh has as part of Danu, but I am not sure that the recording Dual that the two have made together has been played there.

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