Irish Language Blog

Saying ‘North’ and ‘South’ in Irish (A Follow-up to the Blogpost on North and South Korea) Posted by on Apr 28, 2018 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

grafaic:; By Photograph: NASA (NASA World Wind Globe, version 1.4) [GPL ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; Teacs Gaeilge le Róislín, 2018

How quickly time passes!  It seems like yesterday (inné) that we were all caught up in distinguishing Pyongyang (príomhchathair na Cóiré Thuaidh) from PyeongChang (láthair na gCluichí Oilimpeacha Geimhridh, 2018).  Now the news from that part of the world (Leithinis na Cóiré) is getting even more interesting (níos suimiúla fós).  So this seems like a good time to review the terms for North and South, which we had introduced earlier, in the February 21, 2018, blog post, ” How to Say ‘North Korea’ and ‘South Korea’ in Irish, and Some Other ‘North/South’ Combinations” (nasc thíos).

First, let’s recap the phrases we introduced previously, but not by handing them to you on a silver platter!  The translations (na haistriúcháin) are up to you, although, as usual, the answers (na freagraí) are below (thíos), together with some notes.  This is quite straightforward really, alternating  “south” and “north.”  First, the popular names and then the official names for the two countries:

  1. An Chóiré Theas: _____ _____ (btw, for newcomers to Irish, remember the initial “t” of “theas” is completely silent, so the word sounds more or less like “hass” as in “hassle”)
  2. An Chóiré Thuaidh: _____ _____ (pronunciation tip: the final “-dh” is silent)

It’s interesting (and no doubt symbolic) that the full official names of these two countries do not include any reference to “north” or “south”

  1. Poblacht na Cóiré: _____ _____ _____
  2. Daon-Phoblacht Dhaonlathach na Cóiré: _____ _____  _____  _____ ______                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next, some of the other North/South phrases we introduced last time (not related to Korea):

5. Baile Átha Cliath Thuaidh: _____  _____

  1.  Baile Átha Cliath Theas: _____ _____
  2. Meiriceá Thuaidh: _____ _____
  3. Meiriceá Theas: _____ _____

And then there were the “Souths” without “Norths” and the “Norths” without “Souths,” at least not in most official terminology.

  1. An Afraic Theas; _____ _____
  2. An tSúdáin Theas: _____ _____ (Pronunciation tip: the ‘S” is silent)

And now a couple of “Norths” without official  “Souths”:

  1. An Mhuir Thuaidh: _____  _____
  2. An Réalta Thuaidh: _____ _____

So that was the group we did in the previous blogpost.  Now for a few more south/north contrasts connected to Korea:

  1. Uachtarán na Cóire Theas: _____ _____  _____  _____  _____    Is é Moon Jae-in a ainm.
  2. Ardcheannaire na Cóiré Thuaidh: _____ _____ _____  _____  _____  _____    Kim Jong-un atá air.
  3. Daonra na Cóiré Theas: _____ _____ _____  _____  _____    ca. 51,446,000 (2017)
  4. Daonra na Cóiré Thuaidh: _____ _____  _____  _____  _____   ca. 25,369,000 (2015)
  5. won na Cóiré Theas (aonad airgeadra): _____ _____ _____  _____
  6. won na Cóiré Thuaidh (aonad airgeadra): _____ _____ _____  _____

And here’s an interesting contrasting set, glaochóid don dá thír.  Agus cad is ciall le “glaochód.”  Leid: is é “+353” glaochód na hÉireann.

  1. Glaochód na Cóiré Theas: _____ _____ _____  _____  Is é +82 é
  2. Glaochód na Cóiré Thuaidh: _____ _____ _____  _____  Is é +850 é.

By the way, if you’re interested in reading more about Korea in Irish, here’s one title at least that I can recommend: Idir Dhá Shaol, leis an Athair Pádraig Ó Murchú, foilsithe 1989, dara cló 1990, tríú cló 2002 (nuair a bhí  Corn Sacair an Domhain sa Chóiré Theas agus sa tSeapáin agus an-suim sa Chóiré mar thír); nasc thíos.

And here’s a tip for teachers: as I said before, in the previous North/South blogpost, reversing these phrases to go from English to Irish is also good  practice, especially for a classroom exercise.  Most people find it harder to go from native language to target language and they usually find that reading or listening to the target language is easier that speaking or writing it.  So it would be a great review tool to reverse the language sequence of all of the above phrases.  Anyway, I hope this proved timely and reasonably challenging — even if the north/south pattern was quite consistent!  SGF — Róislín

Freagraí agus nótaí:

  1. An Chóiré Theas: South Korea
  2. An Chóiré Thuaidh: North Korea
  3. Poblacht na Cóiré: Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  4. Daon-Phoblacht Dhaonlathach na Cóiré: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

5.. Baile Átha Cliath Thuaidh: North Dublin

  1. . Baile Átha Cliath Theas: South Dublin
  2. Meiriceá Thuaidh: North America
  3. Meiriceá Theas: South America
  4. An Afraic Theas; South Africa (no northern counterpart as a nation; of course there is “An Afraic Thuaidh” as a region).
  5. An tSúdáin Theas: South Sudan. The northern area, from which South Sudan split, is generally known in English as “Sudan” (The Republic of the Sudan) and in Irish as “an tSúdáin” or “Poblacht na Súdáine,” that is to say, with no mention of “north.”  After pursuing some further geographcial research online, I found that the northern area is, in fact, sometimes known as “North Sudan,” but I don’t remember ever hearing that term at the time of the split, when it was making international headlines, in 2011.  I do remember thinking that it was interesting that the southern country was called “South” but the other country didn’t seem to be called “North.”  Anyway, if we do want to say “North Sudan,” we’d combine “an tSúdain” with the word “Thuaidh” for “North.”  But in my Google search, anyway, it gets no hits online so I doubt it’s used much in Irish.
  6. An Mhuir Thuaidh: The North Sea. There’s no exact counterpart called “The South Sea” (fad m’eolais) but there are several phrases where “South Sea” is used as a modifier, such as “Baothchuideachta na Farraige Theas” (the South Sea Bubble) and “Oileáin na Mara Theas” (the South Sea Islands). Note that there are two different keywords for “sea” here, “farraige” and  “mara/muir,” but of course, that’s really a topic for blagmhír éigin eile. 
  7. An Réalta Thuaidh: The North Star. AFAIK, there’s no exact counterpart, unless “Cros an Deiscirt” (the Southern Cross) is considered, but linguistically, it’s not really the same structure at all. “Deiscirt” really means “of the South,” and is a noun, not an adjective.
  8. Uachtarán na Cóire Theas: the President of South Korea. (or: Uachtarán Phoblacht na Cóiré)
  9. Ardcheannaire na Cóiré Thuaidh: the Supreme Leader of North Korea (or Ardcheannaire Dhaon-Phoblacht Dhaonlathach na Cóiré)
  10. Daonra na Cóiré Theas: the population of South Korea
  11. Daonra na Cóiré Thuaidh: the population of North Korea
  12. won na Cóiré Theas (aonad airgeadra): the South Korean won, lit. the won of South Korea
  13. won na Cóiré Thuaidh (aonad airgeadra): the North Korean won, lit. the won of North Korea.
  1. Glaochód na Cóiré Theas: South Korean Calling Code. Is é +82 é
  2. Glaochód na Cóiré Thuaidh: North Korean Calling Code. Is é +850 é.

Nasc don iarbhlagmhír faoin  gCóiré Thuaidh agus faoin gCóiré Theas: How to Say ‘North Korea’ and ‘South Korea’ in Irish, and Some Other ‘North/South’ CombinationsPosted by róislín on Feb 21, 2018 in Irish Language

Naisc don leabhar a scríobh an tAthair Ó Murchú: a) nó b)

Agus naisc faoi na cathracha Pyongyang agus PyeongChang (agus litriú PyeongChang vs. Pyongchang)

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