Irish Language Blog

Cultacha Samhna Móréilimh [best-selling] na Bliana 2010 Posted by on Oct 31, 2010 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Here’s  some vocabulary you might enjoy for putting together the names of some of this year’s most popular Halloween costumes.  Some of these are specific trademarked figures, so please note I’m not actually recommending renaming the characters into Irish – just breaking the vocabulary down into its component parts.  Each name I’ve picked has two parts, so part of the name will come from Colún A and the other part from Colún B.  But the Colún A word isn’t necessarily first in the actual phrase in English.  Just to mix it up.

Colún A                                                   Colún B.

1. solasbhliain                                      a. fhiáin            

2. beach                                                 b. haitéir

3. ar buile                                               c. seabhrán

4. fear                                                      d. Mario

5. deartháireacha                                e. damhán alla

Apparently, Lady Gaga was this year’s most popular pop culture costume for adults.  So I could have made her entry 6 in the exercise above.  But should we translate “Lady” in her name, especially since she’s a real person?  Mostly the word “Lady” seems to remain in English no matter what language she’s being discussed in.  But if you’re bound and determined to translate her name into Irish, you could use “bantiarna” (lady, as a title).  “Gaga,” though, would remain the same.  Honorific titles in Irish include the definite article (“the”), so you’d include “an” at the beginning (An Bhantiarna Gaga) just as you would for “an Dochtúir Ó Murchú” (Dr. Murphy) or “an tAthair Ó Murchú” (Father Murphy).   Or “an tAthair Ted.”

The further question to me, though, is that every time Lady Gaga appears, she’s in costume, so which, if any, would be an chulaith Lady Gaga is aircitíopúla?  Or did this year’s Halloween shops offer dosaenacha feisteas Lady Gaga?  Caithfidh mé a admháil nár thug mé sin faoi deara!  Slán go fóill — Róislín

Leid: is do pháistí is mó é uimhir a 2, go mór mór do thachráin

Freagraí: 1c. seabhrán, buzz (one of many words for “buzz” ach sin scéal eile); solasbhliain, lightyear; 2a. beach fhiáin, bumblebee (lit. wild bee); 3b. haitéir, hatter; ar buile (mad, lit. “on madness,” as in the “Poc” song); 4e. fear, man; damhán alla, spider;  5d. deartháireacha, brothers; Mario, Mario, ar ndóigh (sloinne ceart ar iarraidh ach tá an cheist sin seanphléite ar an Idirlíon, má tá suim agat ann).

Nóta ar an bhfocal “bantiarna”: This is one of the few compound words for female occupations that don’t take their gender from the core word of the compound, in this case, “tiarna” (lord), which is masculine.  One other is “banaltra” (nurse), a word now considered “dated” but still in use and grammatically feminine.  The lenition of “b” to “bh” in the form “an bhanaltra” shows that it’s feminine.  The word “banaltra” is now typically superseded by altra, (an t-altra), which is a masculine noun.  In contrast, though, we have many examples of female occupational terms that are grammatically masculine, like banphrionsa (princess), bandia (goddess), banchliamhain (daughter-in-law), and bangharda (policewoman, a female garda).

Nóta ar an bhfocal “culaith” (costume).  This also means “suit” in general: culaith [KUL-ee], costume; an chulaith [un KHUL-ee], the costume (lenited because it’s grammatically feminine); cultacha [KUL-tukh-uh], costumes.  Cf. culaith snámha or shnámha, bathing-suit; culaith bhréidín, tweed suit; culaith Aifrinn, Mass vestments, etc.

Gluais: admháil, to admit, acknowledge; is aircitíopúla, most archetypical (from aircitíopúil); caithfidh mé [KAH-hee may], I must (also means “I throw, I spend, etc., but once again, sin scéal eile); cliamhain [KLEE-uh-win], son-in-law; dia, a god or deity; feisteas [FESH-tuss], outfit (n); prionsa (prince); tachrán [TAHKH-rawn], toddler; thug mé sin faoi deara, I noticed that (preceded by “níor” or “nár,” the phrase is negative)

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