Irish Lesson 85

Pronunciation Review

In the letter group "io", the "i" is often the letter pronounced, the "o" merely indicating that the next consonant has its broad sound. Some examples:

fios (fis), knowledge; crios (kris), belt; giota (GI-tuh), piece; bior (beer), point; ciorcal (KEER-kuhl), circle; síol (sheel), seed.

In other cases, the "o" is pronounced instead of the "i". Examples: siopa (SHOP-uh), store; liom (luhm), with me; pioc (pyuhk), a bit. This occurs when the "io" is in an accented syllable and is followed by "c, g, ng, b, p, f, m".

If the "i" has a sineadh over it, then the "ío" group receives the (ee) sound, as in: fíor (FEE-uhr), true; bíoma (BEE-muh), a beam.

Pronunciation Exercise

Read this aloud, phrase by phrase. Do not try to get the meaning. After reading it, look at the key directly following the exercise to verify your pronunciation.

Bhí cónaí ar roinnt teaghlach ansin -- le linn an chorónaithe. Théadh Seán timpeall -- go dtí na tithe sa chomharsanacht -- agus is minic daoine ag fiafraí conas a tharla é sin. Nuair a thug sé cuairt uirthi -- d'fhan an díon ar an séipéal -- tar éis bunú na scoileanna móra. An tslí ar sheasadar leis an teanga Ghaeilge -- trí dhánta ardchaighdeáin a chumadh inti.

Key: vee KOHN-ee er rint TEYE-luhk* un-SHIN -- le ling uh k*uh-ROHN-uh-hee. HAY*-uhk* shaw*n TIM-puhl -- goh DEE nuh TEE-huh suh K*OH-uhr-suhn-uhk*t -- AH-guhs is MIN-ik DEEN-uh uh FEE-uhr-ee KUN-uhs uh HAHR-luh ay* shin. NOO-ir uh HUG shay* KOO-irt IR-ee -- DAHN un DEE-uhn er un SHAY*-pay*l -- tahr AY*SH BUN-oo nuh SKUHL-uh-nuh MOR-uh. un TLEE er HAS-uh-duhr lesh un TANG-uh GAY*-lig-e -- tree GAW*N-tuh AHRD-heye-DAW*-in uh K*UM-uh IN-tee.

Grammar

To show that a person owns something, we use forms like "carr Sheáin" (kahr HYAW*-in), John's car. To show a less close connection, similar to "Dublin harbor" or "harbor of Dublin", the form is "cuan Bhaile Átha Cliath" (KOO-uhn vlaw* KLEE-uh). The initial consonant in the second word is usually aspirated, if it can be. Other examples:

muintir Shéamais (MWIN-teer HAY*-mish), James's people.

oibrithe Dhoire (IB-ri-he GER-e), Derry workers.

sráideanna Chorcaí (SRAW*D-yuh-nuh K*OHR-kee), Cork's streets.

To say "the mailman's hat", the Irish form is "hata fhear an phoist" (HAH-tuh ar uh FWISHT), which is literally "hat of the man of the mail". "The boatman's house" becomes "teach fhear an bháid" (TAHK* ar uh VWAW*-id).

Notice that the word "fear" in these expressions stays in the nominative form instead of changing to "fir," the genitive form.

The compound prepositions can take similar forms. An example: "os comhair dhoras an tséipéil" (ohs KOH-ir GUH-ruhs uh TAY*-pay*l), in front of the chapel door.

Another example: "in aice leabhar Sheáin" (in AK-e LOU-uhr HYAW*-in), near John's book.

Vocabulary

These are first-declension nouns, all ending in broad consonant and all masculine.

úll, an t-úll (un TOOL), an úill (un-OO-il), na húlla; apple, the apple, of the apple, the apples.

frog, an frog (un FROHG), an fhroig (un RIG), na froganna (nuh FROHG-uh-nuh); frog, etc.

sort, an sort (un SOHRT), an tsoirt (uh TOH-irt), na soirt; sort, etc.

muineál, an muineál (un MWIN-aw*l), an mhuiníl (uh VWIN-eel), na muiníl; neck, etc.

oigheann, an t-oigheann (un TEYE-uhn), an oighinn (un EYE-in), na hoighinn; oven, etc.

méaracán, an méaracán (un MAY*R-uh-kaw*n), an mhéaracáin (uh VAY*R-uh-kaw*-in), na méaracáin; thimble, etc.

poll, an poll (un POUL), an phoill (un FWIL), na poill (nuh PWIL); hole, the hole, of the hole, the holes.

samhradh, an samhradh (un SOU-ruh), an tsamhraidh (uh TOU-ree), na samhraí (nuh SOU-ree); summer, etc.

iarann, an t-iarann (un TEER-uhn), an iarainn (un EER-in), na hiarainn; iron, etc.

glór, an glór (un GLOHR), an ghlóir (uh GLOH-ir), na glórtha (nuh GLOHR-huh); voice, etc.

gual, an gual (un GOO-uhl), an ghuail (uh GOO-il), ญญ; coal, etc.

taobh, an taobh (un TAY*V), an taoibh (uh TEEV), na taobhanna (nuh TAY*V-uh-nuh); side, etc.

Drill

Cuir Gaeilge ar na habairtíní seo leanas (hah-bir-TEEN-ee shuh LAN-uhs), put Irish on these phrases following:

filling the hole, filling a hole

listening to the man's voice

the coal bucket; filling the coal bucket

the summer's day

the door key; near the door key

collecting the thimbles

eating an apple; eating my apple; eating our apples

drive the car; driving the car; driving the cars

a kind of frog; a kind of oven; what kind of man?

Key to the above: ag líonadh an phoill (uh LEE-uhn-uh uh FWIL); ag líonadh poill (PWIL)

ag éisteacht le glór an fhir (eg AY*SH-tyahk*t le GLOHR un IR)

buicéad an ghuail (bwi-KAY*D uh GOO-il); ag líonadh buicéad an ghuail

lá an tsamhraidh

eochair an dorais (OHK*-hir uh DUH-rish); in aice eochair an dorais.

ag bailiú na méaracán

ag ithe úill (eg I-he OO-il); ag ithe mo úill; ag ithe ár n-úll (aw*r NOOL)

tiomáin an carr (ti-MAW*-in un KAHR); ag tiomáint an chairr (uh ti-MAW*NT uh K*AHR); ag tiomáint na gcarranna (nuh GAHR-uh-nuh)

sort froig; sort oighinn; cé'n sort fhir?

Note: "of our apples" is "ár n-úll:, but "of the cars" is "na gcarranna". "Úll" in the plural ends in " ----a", so the genitive plural is the same as the nominative singular. "Carr" ends in " ----anna" in the plural, so its genitive plural ending is the same: "----anna."

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