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This passage spoken in an Ulster Irish dialect
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- Seán: Dia dhuit! Is mise Seán. Cad is ainm duit?
- Siobhán: Dia's Muire dhuit. Is mise Siobhán. Conas a litrítear Seán?
- Seán: Litrítear S-e-a-fada-n. Conas atá tú?
- Siobhán: Go maith, agus tusa?
- Seán: Iontach, go raibh maith agat.
- Siobhán: Go maith! Slán leat, a Sheáin
- Seán: Go dtí amárach.
|Béarla (English)||Gaeilge (Irish)|
|Hello||Dia duit (deea ditch)|
|Good morning||Lá breá duit!/ Maidin mhaith!|
|Good night!||Oíche mhaith!|
|See you tomorrow!/ Until tomorrow||Go dtí amárach!|
- Dia duit means literally God be with you, the correct response is Dia is Muire Duit (God and Mary be with you). The plural is Dia daoibh and Dia is Muire daoibh.
- Dia daoibh, a rang.
- Good morning, class!
- Lá breá, a Mháire
- Good morning, Mary
- Slán go fóill!
- Bye, see you soon!
What's your name?
- Cad is ainm duit?
Asking someone's name in Irish is different from English, the direct translation would be something like 'What name is on you?' 'Cad is ainm duit?'
The reply can be either:
- (Person's name) is ainm dom, e.g. Seán is ainm dom
This repeats the phrasing of the question and could be translated directly as Seán is the name on me. Another possible reply, as we saw in the dialogue is
- Is mise (Person's name), e.g. Is mise Siobhán
This literally means I am Siobhán.
Duit - To You
'Duit' is the compound form of 'do' (to) and 'tú' (you). In Irish, prepositions (for example, to, with, on, etc) are usually combined with the personal pronoun (me, you, they, etc) to form distinct words. The full table for 'do' is below. You'll notice these are the same forms used in the greeting Dia dhuit/dhaoibh.
|to you (plural)||daoibh|
- Cad is ainm duit? [Cahd is ahn-m ditch]
- What's your name?
- Peadar agus Robárd is ainm dóibh.
- Their names are Peter and Robert.
- Cad is ainm dó?
- What's his name?
- Cad is ainm dóibh?
- What are their names?
How are you?
|How are you?||Conas atá tú? [cun-nus uh-tah too]|
|An bhfuil tú go maith?|
|Fine||Go maith [Go mah]|
|Bad||Go dona [Go do-nuh]|
|And you?||Agus tú féin?|
|Thank you||Go raibh maith agat|
Go raibh maith agat literally translates as May good be upon you.
- Robárd: Dia dhuit, a Róisín. Conas atá tú?
- Hello, Roisín. How are you?
- Roisín: Go hiontach, go raibh maith agat. Agus tusa, a Robáird?
- Very well, thanks. And you, Robert?
- Robárd: Go maith freisin. Slán leat!
- I'm good too. See you later!
- When talking to someone directly, an 'a' is put before the name and the name is changed to the vocative case. This will be dealt with in a later lesson.
- When two vowels come together, a 'h' is usually put before the second vowel. In this example, a 'h' was put between 'go' and 'iontach'
How do you spell that?
|How is it spelled?||Conas a litrítear é?|
|It is spelled...||Litrítear...|
|B as in Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)||B mar Baile Átha Cliath|
- Robárd: Dia duit. Robárd is ainm dom. Cad is ainm duit?
- Good day. My name is Robert. What's your name?
- Brian: Dia is Muire duit. Brian is ainm dom. Conas a litrítear Robárd?
- Hello. My name is Brian. How do you spell Robert?
- Robárd: Litrítear é mar seo, R (mar Rothar); O (mar Oráiste); B (mar Baile Átha Cliath); A fada (mar Árainn); R (mar Rothar); D (mar Duine).
- It's spelt R (as in Rothar(Bike)); O (as in Oráiste(Orange)); B (as in Baile Átha Cliath(Dublin)); A fada (as in Árainn(Aran, islands off the west coast of Ireland)); R (as in Rothar); D (as in Duine(person)).
- Brian: go raibh míle maith agat. Slán, a Robáird!
- Thanks a lot. Goodbye, Robert.
- Irish only has one accent mark, resembling the French acute accent, called the síneadh fada (long mark) or simply fada.
In this lesson, you have learned
- How to greet people (Dia dhuit; Conas atá tú; Slán).
- How to introduce yourself (Roisín is ainm dom).
- How to introduce others (Robárd is ainm dó).
- How to say how you are (Go hiontach; go dona; go maith).
- How to spell your name (Litrítear P-E-T-E-R).
- How to ask others about any of the above (Cad is ainm duit?; An bhfuil tú go maith; Conas a litrítear é?).
Irish now has one diacritic, the sineadh fada. There was a second in use in Old Irish - the sí buailte or ponc séimhithe, which is a dot on top of consonants. For example, this diacritic, when represented as a dot on top of the letter b converts the b sound to a v sound. The sí buailte was replaced in Modern Irish with the use of a h immediately after the affected character, thusly the b with the dot on top is now written as bh, etc. The buailte was pronounced bool-che.