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Tag Archives: bliain

Some Consonant Clusters in Irish (thbhl, thbh, thbhr, thchl, thfh, and ch-chl) Posted by on Dec 21, 2019

(le Róislín) Irish can have up to five consonants in a row, something we rarely encounter in English.  These situations usually occur because a prefix has been added to a word, so the seemingly simple “cleas” (trick) can become “droch-chleas” when we add the prefix “droch-” (bad).  In this case, with “ch” followed by “ch,”…

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Frásaí an tSéasúir (Seasonal Phrases) in Irish: ‘Sona’ or not ‘Sona’? (‘happy’ or not ‘happy’?) Posted by on Nov 30, 2019

(le Róislín, taking a short break from the “Nature Words” series, in honor of the season) ‘Tis the season where we go around wishing people ‘Happy’ (‘sona‘ in Irish) _____ (fill in your holiday). Or do we? One of the most basic words for “happy” in Irish is “sona,” which sometimes appears as “shona,” as…

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Nature Words: Should They Be in a Children’s Dictionary or Not? Let’s Consider the Irish Word “dearcán” (acorn) Posted by on Aug 31, 2019

(le Róislín) Can you imagine a dictionary without the word for “acorn”?  And, in particular, can you imagine an Irish dictionary without the word “dearcán” (acorn)? And now that Dublin’s Phoenix Park has the larger-than-life “Dearcán na nDaoine” near “Áras an Uachtaráin” (the President’s residence) it’s even harder to imagine removing the word “dearcán” from…

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What’s Your New Year’s Resolution (and How to Say It in Irish)? Posted by on Dec 31, 2018

(le Róislín) ‘Sea, an t-am sin den bhliain arís, aimsir na ndea-rún don bhliain nua.  In the word cloud (néal focal) above we see some common topics for “dea-rúin na hAthbhliana,” many of which have to do with health (sláinte).  How many of them do you recognize? Here they are again, with a few pronunciation…

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How to say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” in Irish AND Five Examples of Lenition (Séimhiú), to boot Posted by on Dec 24, 2018

(le Róislín) Around this time of year, we often see the phrases “Nollaig Shona” and “Athbhliain faoi shéan agus faoi mhaise duit.”  Today’s blogpost will look at how to pronounce these phrases and at the reasons why words like “sona” and “bliain” change to “shona” and “bhliain.”  This change of the first letter is called…

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How many ‘happys’ are there in Irish for the various seasonal greetings? Posted by on Dec 14, 2017

(le Róislín) How many ways are there to say ‘happy’ in Irish? Quite a few, but for right now we’ll concentrate on two seasonal variations. One will be for saying ‘Happy Christmas,’ which in US English would be ‘Merry Christmas,’ and the other will be for ‘Happy New Year.’ The bottom line is that neither…

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Saying Ordinal Numbers Out Loud in Irish: Ag rá orduimhreacha os ard i nGaeilge Posted by on Aug 13, 2017

(le Róislín) I’ve sometimes seen otherwise-confident learners of Irish come to a dead stop when they’re reading out loud and come to some numbers.  The basic numbers are challenging enough.  First, one must deal with all the different mutations that follow (dhá chat but seacht gcat).  Then there are all the exceptions due to the…

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