Speak Irish: Earrach!
by Bob Carney
Cén chaoi a bhfuil sibh? Tá suil agam go bhfuil sibh go maith. Mary and I walked the dogs this morning, the coldest day in awhile. The hounds love snow and the cold; Doolin is warm in his little tartan coat from Casey’s, and Mary and I were dressed like characters in a Jack London story.
The handful of people we encountered this morning after a quick “good morning” had a comment about the weather. In Ireland, the topic of weather can be part of any conversation with anyone you meet. Hopefully as you go through this month’s vocabulary, it is a bit milder.
On the topic of walking, I just finished a book by Shane O’Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin and past Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. The book is titled, “In Praise of Walking, The New Science of How We Walk and Why it’s Good for Us.”
For those of us that are regular walkers, he shares the science behind what we already know and experience. I always feel refreshed or cleansed after a good walk in the woods.
Professor O’Mara explains the physical and mental health benefits walking regularly can produce. I’ve always felt it is good for the body, the mind and the soul. I listened to a podcast a while back with a young Native American woman talking about the difference between organized religion and spirituality. She said, “Religion is sitting in church thinking about fishing, spirituality is fishing, thinking about your creator.” It’s a good analysis of how I feel when I’m outdoors walking.
One of our readers sent me a link to a lecture on YouTube on The Origins of the Irish, noting the number of Clevelanders with roots in Co. Mayo, and it reminded me of a poem by Antoine O’Raifteirí about spring and Mayo. Go raibh maith agat Rich A.!
Anois teacht an earraigh, Now coming of the spring,
(ah-nesh chahkt ahn air- och)
beidh’n lá dul chun síneadh the day will be lengthening
(bay un dul kuhn shee nay)
‘s tar éis na Féil Bríde, and after St. Bridget’s Day
(‘s tar esh na fail breedge)
ardóidh mé mo sheol. I shall raise my sail.
(ar-dah may moe hole)
Ó chuir mé mo cheann é ní Since I put it into my head
(oh kur may moe kyawn aye nee)
stopfaidh mé choíche go seasfaidh I shall never stay put until I shall stand down
(stopfah may kee-ka guh shes-ah)
mé sios i lár chontae MhaighEo. In the center of County Mayo.
(may shees ih lar kohntee mayo)
Tá sé (taw shay) it is
Níl sé (neel shay) it isn’t
An bhfuil sé? (ahn will shay) is it?
Nach bhfuil sé? (nohk will shay) isn’t it?
Beidh sé (bayd shay) it will be
Lá (law) An lá (ahn law) day the day
Inniu (inn-yoo) today
Anocht (ah-nohkt) tonight
Aimsir (ahm sheer) an aimsir (ahn ahm sheer) weather, the weather
Earrach (err-och) spring
Samhradh (sow-ra) summer
Fómhair (foe-ur) autumn
Geimhreadh (geer-rah) winter
Oíche (ee-ha) an oíche (ahn ee-ha) night the night
Maidin (mo-gin) an mhaidin (ahn woh-gin) morning the morning
Grian (gree-un) sun
Gealach (gull-ach) moon
Fuar (foo-er) cold
Té (cheh) hot
Fliuch (fluyhk) wet
Gaofar (gwee-fer) windy
Tirim (cheer-um) dry
Grianmhar (gree-un wer) sunny
Ceomhar (kyo-wer) foggy or misty
Seaca (sha-ka) frosty
Sneachta (shnok-ta) snow
Fliuch-sneachta (fluyhk shnok-ta) sleet
Scamallach (skom-ah loch) cloudy
Meirbh (mer-iv) muggy or humid
Báisteach (baw-shtuk) rain
Stoirm (stor-im) storm
Go breá (guh braw) fine
Go deas (guh jess) nice
Go maith (guh mah) good
Go dona (guh dunn-uh) bad
Níl go dona (neel guh dunn-uh) not bad
Go h-álainn (guh hawl in) beautiful
Go h-iontach (guh hee-un tach) wonderful
Céad bheos an earraigh (kayd weh-us ahn err-och) the first breath of spring
Cén chaoi a bhfuil an aimsir? (kat hee will anh am-sheer) How is the weather?
Tá sé gaofar. (taw shay gwee-fer) it’s windy
Tá sé ag cur báistí. (taw shay ag cur bawsh-tee) it’s raining
Tá se ag stealladh báistí (taw shay ag shtell-ah bawsh-tee) it’s pouring rain
Tá an aimsir go h-iontach. (taw ahn am-sheer guhhee-un-tach) The weather is wonderful
Tá an lá go deas (taw ahn law guh jess) It’s a nice day
Nach bhfuil sé go h-álainn? (noch will shay guh hawl-in) Isn’t it beautiful?
Bain taitneamh as an lá. (ban tah-niv as ahn law) Enjoy the day
Cén aimsir a bheidh í ndán dúinn? What is the weather forecast?
(ken am-sheer a vayd ee nahn doo-in)
Tá sé gealta fuar anocht. (taw shay gell-ta foo-er ah-nocht) It’s promised to be cold tonight.
Tá se go h-álainn anois, buiochas le Dia. It’s beautiful now, thank God.
(taw shay guh hawl-in ah-nesh bwee-uh kuss le dee-uh)
Get out and walk and enjoy the weather!
Slán go Foíll!*
Bob Carney is a student of Irish history and language and teaches the Speak Irish Cleveland class held every Tuesday at PJ McIntyre’s. He is also active in the Irish Wolfhounds and Irish dogs orginizations in and around Cleveland. Wife Mary, hounds Morrighán and Rían and terrier Doolin keep the house jumping. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.