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Uair ar son an Domhain (Earth Hour): 29 Márta 2014 ó 8:30 i.n. go 9:30 i.n. Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

One of the newer phrases to be “i mbéal an phobail” is “Uair ar son an Domhain” (Earth Hour).

Tosaíodh é san Astráil sa bhliain 2007 le hocáid “lights-out” (“soilse múchta,” is dócha) i Sydney.

Anois ceiliúrtar “Uair ar son an Domhain” i thart fá 7000 áit ar fud an domhain.

I mbliana ceiliúrfar “Uair ar son an Domhain” ar an 29ú lá de mhí an Mhárta idir 8:30 i.n. agus 9:30 i.n.   Is cuma cén t-amchrios ina bhfuil tú.  An t-am sin i d’amchrios féin atá i gceist. 

Tá roinnt daoine ar son an choincheapa seo, “Uair ar son an Domhain.”  Agus tá daoine eile ina aghaidh.  Ach pé ar bith barúil atá agat faoin gcoincheap, is fiú breathnú ar na focail sa téarma.

1) “Uair” is a pretty basic vocabulary word in Irish, usually learned quite early on.   First let’s look at the basics, then a few phrases:

an uair, the hour

uaire, of an hour

na huaire, of the hour

uaireanta, hours OR adverbially, “sometimes”

na huaireanta, the hours

na n-uaireanta, of the hours

There’s also a special plural form that looks like the “tuiseal ginideach uatha” form: uaire.  This is used after numerals, and generally takes an “h” or an “n” prefix, depending on the number (3-6 get “h;” 7-10 get “n-“):

trí huaire, ceithre huaire, cúig huaire, sé huaire (with the “h” prefix)

seacht n-uaire, ocht n-uaire, naoi n-uaire, deich n-uaire (with the “n-” prefix, indicating “urú)

Note that this word can also mean “time,” but in a more general  sense  than “an t-am” (as in “Cén t-am é?”).

Here are some phrases:

den chéad uair, for the first time

ar feadh uaire, for an hour, lit. for (the) length (of) an hour

an uair seo den bhliain, this time of (the) year

uair sa bhliain, once a year, lit. once “in the” year

uaireanta scoile, school-hours

Cá huair? (another h-prefix) OR Cén uair?

Related Irish words include “uaireadóir” (a watch) and “uaireolaíocht” (horology), but not “horoscope,” which is “tuismeá.”

2) ar son: this is a “compound preposition” (a 2-word phrase serving as one preposition) and is one of many ways in Irish to say “for” (some others include: le haghaidh, i leith, i bhfabhar, thar cheann, in amhlachas, mar, do, and  amhail — definitely ábhar blag eile!)

The two words creating this phrase are “ar” (on) + “son” (a noun meaning “sake,” “behalf,” or “account,” but usually limited to this or similar phrases).  “Son” on its own, with its extended meanings, like happiness” and “prosperity” isn’t very widely used in everyday spoken Irish, i mo thaithí féin, ar a laghad.  More typical words for “happiness” include “sonas” (from the same root) and “gliondar.”  And for “prosperity,” we more typically have “rath” (not “ráth,” which is a “earthwork ring-fort,” often anglicized as “rath,” without the “fada“) and “séan” (not “Seán,” the man’s name, although we could wish Seán séan!)  But once again, that could lead us down the garden path of synonyms and near synonyms.

Ar son” itself usually shows up in phrases like:

ar son na bpáistí, for the sake of the children

ar son na ndaoine, on behalf of the people

Note the urú (eclipsis) after “na” before plural nouns in the above phrases.

ar son na síochána, for the sake of (the) peace

ar son an fhir sin, on behalf of that man

ar son na mná sin, for the sake of that woman

In the above examples, note that the use of the “tuiseal ginideach” (“na síochána” for “an tsíocháin;” “an fhir” for “an fear;” and “na mná” for “an bhean”)

As “account,” the word “son” usually implies “because of,” as in:

Is fiú Toy Story a fheiceáil ar son na ríomhbheochana atá ann, It’s worth seeing Toy Story on account of the computer animation that is in it.

3) And finally, we have the word “domhan” (earth, world), showing up here in the “tuiseal ginideach” as “domhain.”   Here are some of the forms of “domhan,” with representative examples:

an domhan, the world, the earth; An Domhan Thoir, The Eastern World

an domhain, of the world, of the earth; acmhainní an domhain, the resources of the world.  NB: “Acmhainn” can either be a collective noun meaning “resources” or it can be pluralized, as “acmhainni.”

na domhain, the worlds, and if we can postulate a context for it, “the earths” — b’fhéidir i bhficsean eolaíochta?

na ndomhan [nuh NOH-wun], of the worlds (or “of the earths,” if the context warrants such a transalation); Cogadh na nDomhan.  An dtuigeann tú an frása?  Muna dtuigeann, tá an t-aistriúchán thíos.

Bhuel, that brings us to the end of our basic phrase for today, “Earth Hour.” It’s interesting to note that the Irish translation adds the words “ar son,” meaning “for the sake of,” so “Uair ar son an Domhain” is literally “An Hour for the sake of the Earth.”

Beidh sé suimiúil a bheith ag breathnú ar na spéartha oíche amárch le feiceáil an bhfuil siad an-dorcha ar fad, mar gheall ar na soilse múchta. – SGF, Róislín

Aistriúchán: Cogadh na nDomhan, The War of the Worlds (le H. G. Wells)

Tuilleadh eolais: http://www.earthhour.org/

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