Irish Language Blog

Mionbhlag: Comhaireamh Síos go dtí an Bhliain Úr Posted by on Jan 1, 2010 in Irish Language

Mionbhlag: Comhaireamh Síos go dtí an Bhliain Úr


We’re coming to the end of Oíche Chinn Bhliana (New Year’s Eve), also known as Oíche na Coda Móire (the night of the big portion), so you might want to count down to the stroke of midnight.  It’s not always so easy to count backwards in a language you’ve learned, so in case you’re getting ready, seo é:


a deich


a naoi


a hocht


a seacht


a sé


a cúig


a ceathair


a trí


a dó


a haon


Athbhliain faoi Mhaise! a flourishing new year, lit. new year under adornment or beauty


Some people add “faoi shéan,” which has a similar meaning to “faoi mhaise.”  Séan” means “sign,” “omen,” “good luck,” and “prosperity.”   Faoi” (under) causes lenition (can’t escape that even on the cusp of the new year), giving us “faoi shéan” (fwee hayn). 


I did once see the second phrase written with a misplaced long mark, that is, the síneadh fada was over the “a,” not over the “e.”  A rather drastic mistake, showing us the importance of long marks.  The phrase had been written as “faoi Sheán,” which would mean “under Seán.”  To which I can only chuckle.  So on that note, I’ll schedule this blog to appear in the last minute of the old year, in case you want to shout it out loud with your friends or family.

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  1. Seán:

    I want to say thank you very much for posting these Irish Blogs. Even though born (Dundalk) and raised (Belfast) in Ireland I hadnt a word of Irish until cúpla bliain ó shin. I had to do a some time in jail where an inmate tought me the basic principles of Irish. Ever since, I am tryin to learn and speak Irish as much as I can. For even though I think the Irish are a proud nation, we all keep speakin the language of a nation that has been our oppressor for many centuries.
    Blogs like yers surely help to bring back new life to the Irish language, they’r very instructive. So, thanks again!

  2. Róislín:

    A Sheáin, a chara,

    Tá áthas orm go bhfuil tú ag baint suilt as na blaganna seo. Go raibh maith agat as scríobh.
    Athbhliain faoi mhaise agus lán de Ghaeilge duit!


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