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Is é an t-am sin den bhliain é arís! It’s that time of year again! Déanamh dea-rún agus briseadh na ndea-rún. Making resolutions and breaking the resolutions.
Let’s first look at the Irish word for “resolution” itself and then we’ll look at a few popular New Year’s resolutions.
The Irish for “resolution” in the New Year’s sense is “dea-rún,” which can also mean “good intention.” “Dea-rún” is a compound word, consisting of “dea-” (good, as in dea-ghuí) and rún,” which has a whole slew (slua!) of meanings on its own:
mystery, as in “rún diaga”
secret, as in “faoi rún” or the TV show Ros na Rún
purpose, as in “rún daingean”
plan (evil), as in “rún ceilge,” and
loved one, as in “A rún mo chroí” or the song, “Eibhlín a Rún,” aka “Eileen Aroon”.
So, while “dea-rún” does mean “resolution” of the New Year’s making-and-breaking kind, it doesn’t mean “resolution” in general. “Dea-rún” specifically means a “good resolution” or a “good intention.” For “resolution” in the political or administrative sense, the word would just be “rún,” as in “Chuir siad rún os comhair an chruinnithe” (They put a resolution to the meeting). But in my experience, we encounter “rún” meaning “secret” or “mystery” much more often than we see it meaning “resolution.” It’s even the basis of “rúnaí” (a secretary), since in both Irish and English, the core concept of a “secretary” is someone who keeps your secrets (rúin) for you.
“Rúin” is the plural form, so “dea-rúin” means “good resolutions.” But in a phrase like “briseadh na ndea-rún,” we go back to “rún” without the inserted “-i-” because we’re saying “the breaking of the good resolutions.” Or in more technical jargon, because it’s in the genitive plural.
“Dea-” is used as a prefix in some other useful words also: dea-aigne (goodwill), dea-bhlas (good taste), dea-chlú (good reputation), dea-nós (good custom), and dea-scéal (good news). The hyphen is always used after the prefix “dea-.”
How about combining this with the phrase “New Year” or “New Year’s”? Well, that gives a variety of interesting possibilities, including a good workout of the “tuiseal ginideach” (genitive case). Of the samples below, the first one is the most popular that I’ve found online, but I have to acknowledge that the sample is small since I only found about 100 references, total, to New Year’s resolutions in Irish, using some form of “dea-rún” or “dea-rúin.” The English phrase, “New Year’s Resolutions,” yielded a tidy 180,000,000 hits at the first go-round. Oh well, you can’t compare úlla and oráistí. Irish has about 250,000 active speakers, with about 50,000 being native speakers. English has, need I mention it, about 1.8 billion speakers at various levels, and about 360 million native speakers. But <osna>, anyway!
Here are the possibilites for combining “dea-rún” with “new year,” in rough order of popularity according to what I found online, with some pronunciation tips:
1. dea-rún na hathbhliana [… nuh HAH-VLEE-uh-nuh], from “athbhliain”
2. dea-rún don bhliain nua [… dun VLEE-in NOO-uh], from “do” + “an” + “bliain” + “nua”
3. dea-rún na bliana [… nuh BLEE-uh-nuh], from “bliain”
4. dea-rún don athbhliain [… dun AH-VLEE-in], from “do” + “an” + “athbhliain”
5. dea-rún athbhliana [… AH-VLEE-uh-nuh], from “athbhliain”
6. dea-rún na bliana úire [… nuh BLEE-uh-nuh OO-irzh-uh], from “bliain” + “úr,” a nice example with the aidiacht in the tuiseal ginideach as well!
For plural examples, “dea-rúin na hathbhliana” seems to lead the pack, followed by “dea-rúin na bliana.”
At any rate, here are a few popular resolutions for you to match up. Well, actually, four widely cited ones, and one specific to language learning. Bain sult astu, and if one of them is “do dhea-rún” féin, déan iarracht gan é a bhriseadh, go ceann tamaillín, ar a laghad. Ach nach bhfuil Lá Vailintín thart an coirnéal agus é ag bagairt go mór, le seacláid, seacláid, SEACLÁID i ngach siopa, réidh le cathú a chur orainn? Amach leis na milseáin Nollag i bhfaiteadh na súl faoin am seo den bhliain agus isteach leis na milseáin Vailintín! Sula mbeadh “Dia le m’anam!” ráite agat!
Banc Focal: meáchan, airgead, jab níos fearr, níos lú alcóil, snas
1. _____ a chur i dtaisce
2. _____ a fháil
3. _____ a chailleadh
4. _____ a chur ar mo chuid Gaeilge
5. _____ a ól.
Freagraí thíos. SGF agus cloígh le do dhea-rún chomh fada agus is féidir — b’fhéidir go deireadh mhí Eanáir — which is about when most people give up. Misneach, a chairde, misneach! – Róislín
Gluais: agus is féidir, as is possible; cathú, temptation; cloígh le, adhere to; cuid, share of, portion of; “Dia le m’anam!” — loosely equivalent to “Jack Robinson” in English as an expression to indicate quickness; fáil, to get, getting; i bhfaiteadh na súl, in the twinkling of the eyes; misneach, courage
1) airgead a chur i dtaisce, to save money
2) jab níos fearr a fháil, to get a better job
3) meáchan a chailleadh, to lose weight
4) snas a chur ar mo chuid Gaeilge, to put “polish” on my Irish
5) níos lú alcóil a ól, to drink less alcohol (saoirseacht do Guinness, áfach!)