Irish Lesson 84

Pronunciation Review

If "eo" begins a word, pronounce it (oh). Some examples: eolas (OH-luhs), knowledge; eorna (OHR-nuh), barley; Eochaill (OHK*-hil), Youghal, an Irish seaport. The "e" is not sounded in this case, but it often is sounded like English (y) when a consonant precedes the "eo". Examples: ceo (kyoh), mist; beo (byoh), alive; fuinneog (fwin-YOHG), window. The (y) sound practically disappears when "l", "r", or "s" precedes the "eo". Such words as "leo" (loh), with them; "leor" (lohr), enough; and especially "bileog" (bil-YOHG), sheet of paper, have a trace of this after the slender "l", but "gleo" (gi-LOH), tumult, does not.

In a few words, such as "deoch" (dyuhk*), a drink; "seo" (shuh), this; and "anseo" (un-SHUH), the "eo" has a short (oh) sound that is closer to (uh) in English.

Pronunciation Exercise

Read these words aloud, phrase by phrase. Do not try to get the meaning. Then look at the key directly under the exercise to verify your pronunciation. Go direach roimh thionól na comhairle -- cuireadh a thuilleadh postanna ar fáil -- agus i ndiaidh srian a chur le hollmhairiú earraí.

Chomh maith leis sin -- tá cúrsaí go dona faoi láthair -- go háirithe trí oibriú an chiste. Sa chéad dul síos -- beidh a fhoinsí féin teacht isteach aige -- le gníomhaíochtaí a shárú. Idir lucht talmhaíochta agus tionscail a laghdú -- an amhlaidh nach bhfuil a fhios ag an gcúntasóir.

Key:

(goh dee-RAHK* rev hin-OHL nuh KOHR-le -- KIR-uh uh HIL-uh POHS tuh-nuh er FAW*-il -- AH-guhs in-YEE-uh SREE-uhn uh K*UR le houl-VWAHR-oo AH-ree. hoh MAH lesh shin -- taw* KOOR-see goh DUH-nuh fwee LAW*-hir -- goh HAW*-ri-he tree IB-roo uh HYISH-te. suh hyay*d duhl SHEES -- be uh IN-shee fay*n tahk*t ish-TYAHK* e-GE -- le GNEEV-ee-uhk*-tee uh HAW*-roo. ID-ir luk*t TAHL-vwee-uhk*-tuh AH-guhs TIN-skil uh LEYE-doo -- un OU-lee nahk* vwil is eg un GOON-tuh-soh-ir)

Grammar

The words for "my", "your", "his", etc, can appear with the genitive or possessive case. Examples for the first declension, a group of nouns all of which are masculine, are:

leabhar mo mhic (LOU-uhr muh VIK), my son's book ("the son's book" would be "leabhar an mhic" (uh VIK).

ceann ár mboird (kyoun aw*r MWIRD), head of our table ("head of the table" would be "ceann an bhoird"(uh VWIRD).

The words "mo", "do", and "a" meaning "his", all aspirate initial consonants in the following word.

The word "a" meaning "hers" does not change the initial consonant in the following word, but causes "h" to go before an initial vowel.

The words "ár"; "bhur" (vwoor), your (plural); "a" meaning "theirs", all eclipse initial consonants in the following word, and cause "n" to precede an initial consonant.

With a term like "os comhair" (ohs KOH-ir), before, in front of, an expression like: os comhair an chairr (uh K*AHR), in front of the car, is easy to understand. If you wish to say "in front of me" in Irish, however, you must say: os mo chomhair (ohs muh K*OH-ir). In this, the word for "my" modifies the noun "comhair". This form is necessary because Irish has no word for "of me" or "mine", only for "my".

Other examples of this:os ár gcionn (ohs aw*r GYOON), above us

i m'aice (i-MAK-e), near me

inár n-aice (in aw*r NAK-e), near us

ina láthair (in uh LAW*-hir), in their presence (also "in his presence" and "in her presence"; the context or other words in the sentence tell you which is the meaning)

in bhur measc (in vwoor MASK), in your midst

Vocabulary

These words are all from the first declension and therefore are masculine and end in a broad consonant in the basic form, which is the nominative singular.

uachtarán, an t-uachtarán (un TOO-uhk*-tuhr-aw*n), an uachtaráin (un uhk*-tuhr-aw*-in), na huachtaráin; president, the president, of the president, the presidents

ollamh, an t-ollamh (un TUHL-uhv), an ollaimh (un UHL-iv), na hollúna (nuh huh-LOON-uh), proffesor, etc.

gearán, an gearán (un gyar-AW*N), an ghearáin (uh yar-AW*-in), na gearáin; complaint, etc.

ciorcal, an ciorcal (un KEER-kuhl), an chiorcail (uh HYEER-kil), na ciorcail (nuh KEER-kil); circle, etc.

suíochán, an suíochán (un see-K*AW*N), an tsuíocháin (uh tee-K*AW*N), na suíocháin; chair, seat, etc.

margadh, an margadh (uh MAHR-uh-guh), an mhargaidh (un VWAHR-uh-gee), na margaí (nuh MAHR-uh-gee); market, the market, of the market, the markets

turas, an turas (un TOOR-uhs), an turais (uh TOOR-ish), na turais; trip, etc.

praghas, an praghas (un PREYES), an phraghais (uh FREYESH), na praghsanna (PREYES-uh-nuh); price, etc.

geall, an geall (un GYOUL), an ghill (uh YIL), na geallta (nuh GYOUL-tuh); promise, bet, etc.

nóiméid, an nóiméid (un NOH-may*d), an nóiméid (uh NOH-may*d), na nóiméid; minute, etc.

muileann, an muileann (un MWIL-uhn), an mhuilinn (uh VWIL-in), na muilte (nuh MWIL-te); mill, etc.

slipéar, an slipéar (un shli-PAY*R), an tslipéir (uh tli-PAY*R), na slipéir; slipper, etc.

Drill

Cuir Gaeilge orthu seo (OHR-huh shuh):

During the trip; during my trip; during our trip.

In front of me; in front of the professor; in front of my professor; in front of our professor.

He is finishing the circle; he is finishing my circle; he is finishing their circle.

Key: Le linn an turais (le LIN uh TOOR-ish): le linn mo thurais (muh HOOR-ish); le linn ár dturais (aw*r DOOR-ish).

Os mo chomhair (ohs muh K*OH-ir); os chomhair an ollaimh (un UHL-iv); os chomhair m'ollaimh (MUHL-iv); os chomhair ár n-ollaimh (aw*r NUHL-iv).

Tá sé ag críochnú an chiorcail (uh KREE-uhk*-noo uh HYEER-kil); tá sé ag críochnú mo chiorcail; tá sé ag críochnú a gciorcail (uh GEER-kil).

(c) 1999 The Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.