Irish Lesson 69

When "n" starts a word and the nearest vowel in the word is "a", "o" or "u", pronounce this "n" by spreading the tongue and pressing it against the upper front teeth. Practice this broad "n" sound in: ná, nó, nuair (NOO-ir), nach, nocht.

If "n" begins a word but the nearest vowel is "e" or "i", pronounce the "n" with the tongue tip on the hard rim behind the upper front teeth. You will often hear a faint (y) sound as you continue pronouncing the rest of the word. Practice this sound in: néad (nay*d) or (nyay*d), ní, nead (nyad), neimh (nev), neodrach (NYOH-druhk*).

If the "n" is inside or at the end of a word, pronounce it as you do in English. Practice on: lán, rón, anuas (uh-NOO-uhs), móin (MOH-in), lean (lan), glanaim.

If a double "n" inside a word is near an "e" or "i", pronounce it (ny). Examples: bainne (BAHN-ye), tinneas (TIN-yuhs).

Double "n" at a word end following "i" may get a (n) or (ny) sound, the latter being close to (ng). Examples: linn (lin) or (liny); álainn (AW*-lin) or (AW*-liny). The (ny) sound makes a combination like "álainn é" sound (AW*-lin yay*).

REFLEX EXPRESSIONS

Learn these expressions for quick use in thought and speech:

Céard faoi? (kay*rd fwee), What about it?

Céard fútsa? (kay*rd FOOT-suh), What about you?

Céard fúthu? (kay*rd FOO-huh), What about them?

Tamall ó shin (TAH-muhl oh hin), a while ago.

Is duitse é seo (is DIT-she ay* shuh), This is for you.

COMHRÁ (KOH-raw*), CONVERSATION

In this week's long conversation, we will break up the sentences into phrases by hyphenation, to give you practice in working by phrases, something which is important in learning Irish. Go over each sentence in Irish until you can say it easily and understand what is meant, making use of the English translation if needed. Do not translate into English. Next, cover the Irish and try to express the English in Irish. You do not need to get the exact wording of the original Irish, only the sense of it.

Bláthnaid (BLAW*-nid): A Phóil (uh FOH-il), bíonn rud beag -- do mo bhodhrú (duhm VOU-roo) -- le tamall anois (le TAH-muhl uh-NISH). Blathnaid: Paul, there's a small thing bothering me for a while now.

Pól (pohl): Céard é sin? (kay*rd ay* shin) Airgead, an ea? (AR-i-guhd un a) Paul: What's that? Money, is it?

Bláthnaid: Ó, ní hea. Tá gach rud -- go han-mhaith (goh HAHN-uh VWAH) -- maidir leis an airgead (MAH-dir lesh un AR-i-guhd). Oh, it's not. Everything is very good in the matter of money.

Pól: Ó, tá áthas orm (taw* AW*-huhs OH-ruhm) -- é sin a chloisteáil (ay* shin uh K*LISH-taw*-il). Níorbh fhéidir liom (NEE-ruhv AY*-dir luhm) -- mórán cabhrach (moh-RAW*N KOU-rahk*) -- a thabairt duit (uh HOO-irt dit) -- sa chás sin (suh k*aw*s shin). Oh, I'm happy to hear that. I wouldn't be able to give you much help in that case.

Bláthnaid: Creidim thú (KRED-im hoo), -- ach is fadhb bheag (feyeb vee-UHG) -- an fhadhb (eyeb) atá agam anois. Bíonn buairt orm (BOO-irt OH-ruhm) -- le pictiúr na teilifíse (le PIK-tyoor nuh TEL-i-feesh-e). Ní bhíonn sé soiléir (suh-LAY*R) -- chor ar bith (K*UHR er i). Agus preabann sé (PRAB-uhn shay*) -- go minic. I believe you, but the problem I have now is a small problem. I have trouble with the television's picture. It's not clear at all. And it jumps often.

Pól: Rinne an fear (RIN-ye un far) -- a chuir isteach é -- botún, b'fhéidir (buh-TOON, BAY*-dir). An bhfuil an leabhairín treorach (LOU-uhr-een TROHR-rahk*) -- agat? The man who installed it made a mistake, perhaps. Do you have the instruction booklet?

Bláthnaid: Tá an t-ádh leat (un TAW* lat). Choinnigh mé é (K*IN-ee may* ay*). Seo dhuit é (shuh GIT ay*). You're in luck. I kept it. Here it is for you.

Pól: Hmm. Mórán léaráidí ann (moh-RAW*N lay*r-AW*-dee oun). Ó, feach anseo! Treorach faoin aeróg (TROHR-rahk* fween ay*r-ROHG). Hmm. A lot of diagrams there. Oh, look here! Instructions on the aerial.

Sílim go bhfuil an trioblóid (trib-LOH-id) -- san aeróg. Feictear dom -- go bhfuil an aeróg seo againn (uh-GIN) -- ro-ghearr (roh YAHR). Tá aeróg níos faide (nees FAD-ye) -- ag teastáil uainn (uh TAS-taw*-il WOO-in) -- go soiléir. I think that the trouble is in the aerial. It seems to me that this aerial of ours is too short. We need a longer aerial, clearly.

Bláthnaid: Cad ba cheart dúinn (kahd buh hyart DOO-in) -- a dhéanamh anois -- más ea? (maw* sha) What should we do now, then.

Pól: Tá orainn (OH-rin) -- sreang mhiotail a fháil (srang VI-til uh AW*-il) -- agus í a chur -- an fhuinneog amach (un in-YOHG uh-MAHK*). Bainimis triail as sin (BWIN-i-meesh TREE-il as shin). We must get a metal wire and put it out the window. Let's try that.

(c) 1998 The Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.

Irish Lesson 68 Irish Lesson 70

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