iss far gale-geh brishteh naw bear-elh clish-teh
“Broken Irish is better than clever English”
Ahh that time of year again. Here in France a few of my friends and I are going to Nice to celebrate (a very American version of) this holiday. Other than consuming an occasional shamrock shake and wearing green, I haven’t really celebrated this holiday before. Maybe it’s because after years and years of being asked “What kind of dance do you do? Riverdance, right?” I would probably bite Michael Flatley’s head off if given the chance. However, I have made my peace with being a cousin of Ireland, not a daughter, through my very Scottish roots. To illustrate the difference, Scottish Highland Dancing, what I did for years and years, is on the right and Irish step dancing is on the left.
You can see here the similar rhythms, similar music, similar gusto but with radically different turnout, extension, use of arms, and history. I always thought Highland Dancers have it harder with our big lifts, pointed feet, and engagement of the whole body, but I admit it does take a lot of practice to twiddle your toes like that either way.
In a gesture of peace, I have listed a few phrases in Irish Gaelic, so we can all feel part of the festivities. Me, nil moran Gaeilge agam (see below), but kiss me anyway!
1st line is the Irish Gaelic spelling, 2nd is approximate pronounciation, 3rd is the translation. Source for most of these, http://www.ireland-information.com/irishphrases.htm
//St. Patty’s Day Flavor//
Eireann go Brach ! air-inn go braw Ireland forever! Cead mile failte romhat! kade meela fall-cheh row-itt A hundred thousand welcomes! Slainte slawn-cheh Good Health!/Cheers! //Getting to Know You// Cad is ainm duit? cod is ann/um dwit? What is your name? Michael is ainm dom Michael is ann/um dum My name is Michael Ca as duit? caw oss dit Where are you from? Is as Meiricea/Sasana/ Éire/Albain dom iss oss mare-i-caw/sos-in-ah/air-ah/alabuen dum I am from America/England/Ireland/Scotland!
An bhfuil tu damhsa liom?
On will two dowsa lum
Would you like to dance with me?
Ta tu go h-aileann taw two guh haul-inn You are beautiful! //Irish-ness// Nil moran Gaeilge agam. kneel more/on gale/geh ah/gum I don’t have much Irish Nil Gaeilge maith agam kneel gale-geh mot ah-gum I cannot speak Irish very well
An miste leat labhairt níos moille?
on mishteh lat low-art neice mwille
Can you speak a little slower
Gle mhaith! glay moth Very good! Rinn tu e! rinn two a (as in the letter a) You did it! Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo aris! guh mware-eh mwid beow air on omm shuh ah-rish May we be alive this time next year! Go raibh míle maith agat Guh ruh meal/ah mawt ag/gut Many thanks (lit: may you have a thousand good things) //The Night Progresses// Ta athas/bron/fearg/ocras/tart orm taw aw-iss/broin/farg/ock-ros/tart urr-im I am happy/sorry/angry/hungry/thirsty Ta tu mall/go luath/go halainn/ard/go tapaidh taw two moll/guh loo-ah/guh hall-inn/ard/guh top-igg You are late/early/beautful/tall/fast Ta me are meisce taw/may/air/mesh-keh I am very drunk An bhfuil tu posta ? on wil two poe-sta Are you married? Ca bhfuil do sheomra leaba? kaw will do shoim/rah labb/ah Where is your bedroom? Dia duit ar maidin dee/ah dwit air mod/ging Good morning Tá grá agam duit! taw graw agg/um dwit I love you! Tapadh leat? tapah lat? Thank you? //When Things Go Wrong// Na dean sin! naw dane shin Don't do that!
Go hifreann leat!
Guh hee-fran lath
To hell with you!
Is cuma liom!
is cumma lum
I dont care!
Is minic a gheibhean beal oscailt diog dunta! iss minick ah gav-awnn bail os-kuly dee-ug doon-ta An open mouth often catches a closed fist! Ta me ar buille taw/may/air/bool-yeh I am very angry Ta me tuirseach taw/may/tier-shock I am tired Ta si/se ag caoineadh
taw shee/shay egg cween-idd
She/he is crying
Thit si/se ar an urlar
hit shee/shay air onn urr-lore
She/he fell on the floor Beidh an dochtuir anseo gan mhoill.
beg on docktoor onshuh gon vwill
The doctor will be here soon
Bi ciuin! Ta tinneas cinn orm.
bee quewn! Taw tinniss kinn urm
Be quiet! I have a headache.
Amháin/ dhá/trí aspairín agus gloine uisce, le do thoil ah-wann/ daw/tree aspirin ogg-us Glinn-yah ishkah, leh duh hull One/two/three aspirin and a glass of water, please. Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! bann/ockt/tee nih fail/eh pawd/rig! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!