Thursday, January 31, 2008

Your Irish phrase, an 31ú lá Mí Eanáir

faraor -- "alas"
At least half the time I hear this word it's being used jocularly, but I don't think that jocularity is inherent to the word (consider if we were to interject our English with "alas!").

Saturday, January 26, 2008

News review, to 26ú lá mí Eanáir

Councillor calls Irish-only road signs ‘daft’ (Jan 22, 2008)

“The former Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Gerry Coyle, has called for English place names to be added to the signposts for Gaeltacht areas, stating that Irish-only signs are confusing for tourists visiting the area.”

De Paor book a rewarding read as gaeilge -- or in any language (Jan 23, 2008)
“However, one GAA book deserves special mention, not just because it's the personal story of Sean Og de Paor, one of Galway's greatest footballers, but because it's written in Irish. In market terms, that limited its appeal, but the de Paors (the book was co-written by Sean's sister, Aoife) are so committed to the Irish language that they put the native tongue first.”

Senator Doherty questions if Udaras represents value for money (Jan 23, 2008)

“Sinn Fein's Regional Development and Irish Language Spokesperson has questioned if Udaras Na Gaeltachta represents good value for taxpayers money.”

Court to hear tobacco warning case (Jan 24, 2008)
“The High Court will hear a case today brought by schoolteacher against the Minister for Health and Children for failing to give a commitment that health warnings on tobacco products be shown in Irish and English.”

Ná caith tobac: Cigarette warnings to appear in Irish too (Jan 25, 2008)
“A teacher has won her High Court bid to have health warnings on cigarette packets published in Irish as well as English, and also published in the same size.”

Survival plan needed for Irish language (Jan 24, 2008)

“The current generation of Irish speakers in the Donegal Gaeltacht could be the last.
“That's according to West Donegal Councillor Joe Kelly who was responding to a report released by the Department of the Gaeltacht which shows that there is now a clear threat to the survival of the Irish language.”

Irish publisher hits out at report on Welsh language paper (Jan 24, 2008)

“The publisher of an Irish-language newspaper has hit back at a report questioning the viability of the proposed daily Welsh newspaper Y Byd (The World).”

MEP in call for review on Irish usage (Jan 24, 2008)
“MEP Jim Nicholson today warned that Irish government attempts to push the status of Irish within EU states must come under scrutiny after claims the language was only spoken for half-an-hour in the European Parliament in the last year.”


“A public information meeting on the use of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht, will be held in, An Cheathrú Rua tonight. The meeting is organised by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to present aspects of the 'Linguistic Study on the use of the Irish Language in the Gaeltacht'.”

Editorial: Winners and losers (Jan 25, 2008) and then some

“There were more winners than losers in the first budget announced this week by the DUP/Sinn Féin-dominated powersharing Executive. Indeed, with the exception of the Irish speaking lobby — which fell foul of the old-school thinking of Minister Edwin Poots — every constituency which protested the draft budget got a bung of some sort or other.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Speak softly and carry a big set of fangs

.Oh yes, he's looking at you.
...And with this it's just left for me to mention that today school starts up again, so feicfidh muid sibh nuair atá an t-am againn!

Monday, January 21, 2008

EU-related news items

Gaeilge costs EU €13,000 per minute (Jan 21, 2008)
“Less than 30 minutes of Irish was spoken in the European Parliament in the first full year as an official language — working out at a little less than €13,000 a minute.
“Despite pressure to have Gaeilge recognised as an official language, records show six of our 13 MEPs have never used Irish in parliamentary debates since January 1, 2007.”

EU bonanza for language software developers (Jan 21, 2008)
"The European Commission has made its collection of about one million sentences and their translations in 22 languages available for free. The data is highly sought after by developers of computer-assisted translation technology and is expected to spur development of linguistic software tools.

Opinion: Pootsball misses Irish goal

(Jan 21 -- second item)
"It may be too cynical to suggest that Culture Minister Edwin Poots attended a GAA football match because it was a cheaper act of support to nationalists than spending money on the Irish language, but I will do it anyway."

How much Irish do the Irish actually speak?

(Jan 5, 2008)
"Irish became an official language of the EU on January 1st, but writer and travel documentary maker Manchán Magan was taken aback by reactions as he travelled the country speaking only its official native tongue."
(A subscription may be required to read the entire article.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Your Irish phrase, an 20ú lá Mí Eanáir

This distinction is a good one to know:
...gach -- every, each
...uilig -- all, the whole
as in
...gach lá -- "every day," "each day" lá uilig -- "all day," "the whole day"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cinneadh teanga le déanamh ag pobal oileáin

Here's a long-overdue translation opportunity. See the comments for a short word list to start you off on the first few paragraphs (below -- the rest of the article is at ).
Cinneadh teanga le déanamh ag pobal oileáin
- 01/18/2008
Concubhar Ó Liatháin
Ní pobal Chorca Dhuibhne amháin atá ag plé teanga theagaisc san iarbhunscoil áitiúil faoi láthair nó tá tús curtha le suirbhé teanga ar oileán i nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill ó thús na seachtaine seo.
Tá Coiste Gairmoideachais an chontae ag iarraidh a fháil amach an bhfuil pobal an oileáin ag iarraidh go mbeadh an Ghaeilge mar theanga theagaisc arís i nGairmscoil Mhic Dhiarmuda ar Árainn Mhór.
Cuireadh deireadh leis an Ghaeilge mar theanga theagaisc ag an Ghairmscoil in 2001 tar éis go ndearnadh suirbhé i measc tuismitheoirí an oileáin. Ag an uair sin, áfach, ní raibh an Ghaeilge in úsáid mar theanga theagaisc le roinnt blianta agus bhí fonn ar an Choiste Gairmoideachais roinnt airgid a shábháil nó bíonn liúntas breise le híoc le múinteoirí a mhúineann trí Ghaeilge sa Ghaeltacht.

Friday, January 18, 2008

In the Name of the Bishop

(Jan 16, 2008)

"Queens-born, Irish-based funnyman Des Bishop crammed Rory Dolan’s in Yonkers on Friday night, January 11 with a two-hour show stopping performance before 500 people, with all proceeds going to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR). Another two hundred were locked out."

Six weeks to speak Irish

(Jan 18, 2008)

"Izabela Razniak was working in her dream job as a library assistant at Tallaght’s County Library when she was faced with an unusual dilemma. In order to take up a permanent position she needed to pass an oral examination in Irish which is a requirement for all candidates."

Oh, well.

Nine films on Foreign Oscar longlist (Jan 18, 2008)

"Nine films have gone forward to the next round of voting in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Oscars.
"Sixty-three films, including the Irish-language film 'Kings', had originally qualified in this category.
"The nine films in contention are: 'The Counterfeiters' (Austria), 'The Year My Parents Went on Vacation' (Brazil), 'Days of Darkness' (Canada), 'Beaufort' (Israel), 'The Unknown Woman' (Italy), 'Mongol' (Kazakhstan), 'Katyn' (Poland), '12' (Russia) and 'The Trap' (Serbia)."

Letters: Irish language belongs to us all

(Jan 17, 2008)

"It is certainly unfortunate that the straightforward issue of language rights, a non-controversial issue in Wales, Scotland, the south of Ireland and throughout Europe, an issue which should be judged in the same light as any other expression of human rights, has become a political football by certain sections of unionism."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Anger at 'sectarian' Irish remark

(Jan 14, 2008)
"The education minister has criticised a member of the DUP saying her attitude to the Irish language is 'sectarian.'"

MLA's fury at Ruane's 'sectarian' allegation

(January 16, 2008)

"A DUP MLA has spoken of her anger at being branded 'sectarian' by Education Minister Caitriona Ruane during an Assembly debate."

Whisky galore in Ros Muc

(Jan 17, 2008)

"The Cóilín Sheáin Dharach sean-nós dance festival being held in Ros Muc over the weekend of January 25 to 27, like many cultural festivals in the Gaeltacht areas these days, will host a small contingent of Scottish Gaelic speakers."

UTV to screen award hope film

(Jan 15, 2008)

"A documentary shot by five television fledglings about an Irish language film that is in line for a coveted Academy Award nomination is to be screened on UTV tonight."

Movie Review: 'Kings'

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jan 17):

Bright sparks go through the roof in electrifying race to build new school

(Jan 17, 2008)
"Ireland's newest all-Irish secondary school brings a new meaning to the expression 'pole position.'"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wes's Words

 aolchoinneal  noun f2
- stalagmite

aolchuisne noun m4
- stalactite

mar shampla...
Fásann aolchoinneal ar an urlár uaimhe, ach fásann aolchuisne os cionn.
A stalagmite grows on the floor of a cave, but a stalactite grows above.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Items of possible interest on YouTube

Here's the Kings trailer, courtesy of YouTube. (And GRMA to my student Mark, who mentioned that it was there!)

And here's the Carlsberg commercial, which came up in the news a while back. I think all but really newish students might get a smile out of it....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Petition launched to resolve 'education through Irish' row

(Jan 14, 2008)
"Language and community groups are launching a national petition for 'education through Irish' in the west Kerry Gaeltacht."

'Quick' newspaper decision call

(Jan 14, 2008)
"There is not enough evidence for a viable Welsh-language daily newspaper says a review of the Welsh-medium press."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Graduates sought to teach Irish in the US

(Jan 11, 2008)

"The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has announced that he has provided funding to the Fulbright Commission, the official educational exchange programme between the Irish Government and the United States, to appoint a number of Irish language assistant tutors from Ireland to third-level institutions in the United States."

'Kings,' 'Garage' vie for Irish Academy nods

(Jan 12, 2008)

"Tom Collins' Irish-language movie 'Kings' has scooped a regal 14 nominations in the race for the fifth annual Irish Film and Television Awards."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Your Irish phrase, an 13ú la Mí Eanáir

go díreach -- "exactly," "directly"
as in:
...Go díreach! "Exactly!"
...Sin go direach é -- "That's it exactly"
...go díreach ina dhiaidh sin -- "immediately after that"
...anois go díreach -- "just now"

Friday, January 11, 2008

Group honours Pádraig's work

(Jan 10, 2008)

"Local man Pádraig Ó Fearaíl was honoured for his exceptional service to the Irish language when he was presented with a bronze sculpture on behalf of An Béal Binn recently."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

'Kings' nominated for 14 IFTAs

(Jan 10, 2008)

"The widely acclaimed Irish-language feature film Kings has been nominated in a remarkable 14 categories in the IFTA Awards 2008."

Irish-language "Kings" may induce hangover

(Jan 10, 2008)

"The faces of five middle-aged Irish men are the landscape of 'Kings' -- a terrain of craggy, ferocious beauty, much like the Connemara they left 30 years earlier and still long for."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

'Kings: From the Bogside to the Bright Lights'

(Jan 9, 2008)

"Five young aspiring film makers, one of whom hails from Strabane, have produced 'Kings: From the Bogside to the Bright Lights' a half hour documentary about Derry film maker Tom Collins and his Oscar shortlisted film 'Kings', to be broadcast on UTV next Tuesday, January 15, at 11.05pm."

Kingscourt actor to star in top TV drama

(Jan 9, 2008)

"They say if you're shocked you needed it, and television drama addicts may well be needing their fix of 'Seacht' - a new eight part Irish language fictional drama series on TG4."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

From the land of Yeats, Beckett and Joyce

(Jan 8, 2008)

"NEW DELHI: Lovers of literature in the Capital now have something to look forward to. The Irish Embassy in association with India Habitat Centre is organising the first “Irish Literature Festival” beginning this Tuesday."
Oh yes, Irish is mentioned...down at the end.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Bringing the cupla focal to Uncle Sam

(Jan 7, 2008)

"The Irish pub and the pint of porter have been great global exports and now the Government hopes that the Gaeltacht concept will follow suit."

International Book Club Festival Line-Up Confirmed

(Jan 7, 2008)

"A number of internationally renowned authors have been confirmed as participants in the Ennis Book Club Festival 2008, details of which were announced today....Irish language readings will be also held to mark Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008."
See also: Seachtain na Gaeilge site

New Hibernia Review’s winter issue now available online

Announcement/description at:

Virtual Cinema calls for Irish talent

(Jan 7, 2008)

"A new scheme, Virtual Cinema, developed by the Irish Film Board (IFB) and outsourced to Dublin-based digital content producers Wildwave, is aiming to cultivate the indigenous digital film-making industry....Films must be at least two minutes long and can be made in English or Irish, in either live-action or animation format."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Your Irish phrase, an 6ú lá Mí Eanáir

as mo mheabhair = "out of my mind"
...Also useful in 2nd & 3rd person forms:
An bhfuil tú as do mheabhair? "Are you out of your mind?"
Tá sí as a meabhair. "She's out of her mind."

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Bretons are Coming!

As of July 2007, with more than 10,000 entries (17,781), the Celtic Language Wikipedia site with the most entries is.... Breton!
The gauntlet has been thrown. Come on, people! Let's give them a run for their money!
I say this with congratulations on my lips and jealousy in my heart.

If you look at the Wikipedia front page, sites are grouped according to how many entries there are in each language. Gaeilge is still down in the 1000 list, along with Gàidhlig.

Wikipedia in Breton
Breton on Wikipedia

Friday, January 4, 2008

Students show continued interest in Gaeltacht

(Jan 4, 2008)

"Figures issued by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs show that in 2007 25,184 people attended Irish language courses funded under Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge (The Irish Language Learners’ Scheme), mainly in the Gaeltacht in 2007."

Local Irish Language School involved in awareness campaign

(Jan 2, 2008)
"Ballycastle's Irish-medium primary school Bunscoil an an Chaistil is among several Irish-medium schools taking part in a mail campaign to raise awareness about Irish-medium education."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Your Irish phrase, an 3ú lá Mí Eanáir

Taitníonn _____ liom. = I like _____ / _____ pleases me.
...As in: Taitníonn seacláid liom. "I like chocolate."
"Taitin ___ le" is a handy phrase for beginners to pull out of the toolbag instead of "is maith le," especially when one wants to use a different tense without the potential confusion posed by the copula and its dearth of forms.
...Ba mhaith liom an ceapaire cáise. = "I liked the cheese sandwich," "I would like the cheese sandwich."
...Thaitin an ceapaire cáise liom. = "I liked the cheese sandwich."
Hmm, food keeps coming up. It must be time for breakfast.
(Incidentally, I understand that in Connemara "taitníonn" tends to be pronounced as if spelled "taithníonn".)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


For all your "see if they have that word as Gaeilge" needs

If they have the word you put in, Yay! You get to see what that string of letters may mean in other languages too.
If they don't have the word you put in, add it yourself. It's a wiki afterall.