Last-modified: 7 Oct 99
Part three of ten.
Frequently Asked Questions on soc.culture.irish with answers.
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The Irish Language
1) What kind of language is Irish?
2) Tell me about introductory Courses to the Irish language.
3) Where can I learn Irish abroad (or online)?
4) What summer courses in Irish Gaelic are there?
5) Do you know of any Irish language Cassette tapes?
6) What bookstores in the States have Irish books?
7) What is the name of the pin worn by fluent Irish speakers?
8) Where can I find computer terms in Irish?
9) Are there any Irish speakers on-line?
10) What do all these Irish place names really mean?
11) How do you say "kiss my ass" in Irish?
Subject: 1) What kind of language is Irish?
Irish is a language related to Scots Gaelic, Breton
and Welsh amongst others. All belong the Celtic family,
which is part of the Indo-European group of languages.
(Irish is part of the "Q-Celtic" group of languages,
with Scots Gaelic and Manx. Welsh, Cornish and Breton
belong to the "P-Celtic" branch.)
Here are a few samples to whet your appetite. Note that
even greetings vary between the dialects.
Dia duit (Lit. God to you)
Dia is Muire duit (Lit. God and Mary to you)
Go mbeannaí Dia duit May God bless you
Go mbeannaí Dia is Muire duit May God and Mary bless you
Bail ó Dhia ort The blessing of God on you
Bail ó Dhia is Muire duit The blessing of God and Mary on you
Go raibh maith agat Thanks (Lit. May there be good at you)
Go dtaga do ríocht May thy kingdom come
Nár laga Dia do lámh May God not weaken your hand
Gura slán an scéalaí May the bearer of the news be safe
Gurab amhlaidh duit The same to you
Tá fáilte romhat You are welcome
Cad é (Goidé) mar tá tú? How are you? (Tír Chonaill)
Cén chaoi 'bhfuil tú? How are you (Connacht)
Conas atá tu? How are you? (Mumhan)
Tá mé go maith I'm doing well
An bhfuil aon rud úr ag dul? What's new?
Aon scéal 'ad? What's new? (Connacht)
Slán leat Good Bye (said to one going)
Slán agat Good Bye (said to one remaining)
Sláinte chugat Good health to you
Gabhaim pardún agat I beg your pardon
Gabh mo leithscéal Pardon me (Lit. Accept my excuse)
Más é do thoil é If you please
Le do thoil Please
Breithlá shona duit Happy birthday to you
Saol fada chugat Long life to you
For the following greetings Gorab amhlaidh duit is a common answer:
Oíche mhaith duit Good night
Codladh sámh duit A pleasant sleep
Nollaig shona duit Happy Christmas
Nollaig faoi shéan is faoi A prosperous and pleasant
mhaise duit Christmas
Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit A prosperous New Year
Terms of Endearment
my dear darling/love/treasure
a ghrá mo chroí
love of my heart!
Ta grá agam duit.
I love you.
Imeacht gan teacht ort
May you leave without returning
Titim gan éirí ort
May you fall without rising
Fán fada ort
Long travels to you
Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat
May the cat eat you, and may the cat be eaten by the devil
Subject: 2) Tell me about introductory Courses to the Irish language.
NOTE: Additional information is available in the file
RPAYNE1 TYIG via the LISTSERV@LISTSERV.HEA.IE with command
GET RPAYNE1 TYIG
Údar : Mícheál Ó Siadhail
Teideal : LEARNING IRISH
Foilsitheoir : Yale University Press -New Haven and London
ISBN : 0-300-04224-8
For the accompanying tape set (four cassettes);
Teideal : LEARNING IRISH CASSETTES
ISBN : 0-300-04340-6
NOTE: Irish lessons to be used with above texts are available in
the file IGSTENS1 TYIG via the LISTSERV@LISTSERV.HEA.IE with the
command GET IGSTENS1 TYIG
As a learner, you might consider a set of cassettes and booklet
titled BUNTÚS CAINTE. They come in three levels. This is
convenient as you don't have to purchase all three at once. It
is recommended that you use BUNTÚS CAINTE for pronunciation in
combination with PROGRESS IN IRISH.
Údar : T. Ó Domhnallain
Teideal : BUNTÚS CAINTE Vol.(1, 2, or 3) Book and Cassettes
ISBN : X50153, X50154, X50155
Údar : Máiréad Ní Ghráda
Teideal : PROGRESS IN IRISH
ISBN : X71212
Conradh na Gaelige (The Gaelic League) welcomes all who are
interested in learning/preserving Irish. They can be contacted
at the following addresses.
12 Sillogue Rd.
6 Sráid Fhearchair
Phone: +353-1-475-7401, [book shop +353-1-478-3814]
P. O. Box 97742
Pittsburgh, PA 15227-0142
Subject: 3) Where can I learn Irish abroad (or online)?
There's a list of Irish courses in other countries at Ceantar
(http://www.ceantar.org/ATM/). Neil McEwan has written some
lessons that may be a useful start
You can find more Irish related links at Sabhal Mór Ostaig
Trinity College BESS department
(http://www.bess.tcd.ie/gaeilge.htm) and Trinity College
Maths department (http://www.maths.tcd.ie/gaeilge/).
Subject: 4) What summer courses in Irish Gaelic are there?
Note: Additional information is available in the file IGSGUSA
CLAS via the LISTSERV@LISTSERV.HEA.IE with the command GET
Information concerning courses in spoken Irish (for adult
learners) is available from the contact numbers given below. If
you are thinking of visiting Ireland this summer, you might
consider building into your holiday plans one of these short,
intensive courses in Irish Gaelic.
Here are three snail mail addresses to write to for info on those
summer courses for different dialects of Gaelic:
(a) Gaeilge Chúige Uladh: if you wish to learn Ulster Irish.
Gleann Cholm Cille,
Contae Thír Chonaill,
Fón: +353-1-213566 or +353-73-3005
(b) Gaeilge Chúige Chonnacht: if you wish to learn Connacht Irish.
Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain,
An Cheathrú Rua,
Contae na Gaillimhe,
(c) Gaeilge Chúige Mumhan: if you wish to learn Munster Irish.
Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne,
Baile an Fheirtéaraigh,
Subject: 5) Do you know of any Irish language Cassette tapes?
Here is a list of audio tapes (excluding music) available from...
Book Distribution Center
31 Fenian Street
Prices are in Irish pounds but do not include postage (which can
be considerable for air mail orders). If you wish to order any
of this material you should first write, phone (Dublin 616522),
or fax (Dublin 616564), for a price that includes surface or air
Note: In Ireland VAT (value added tax) does not apply to books,
but does apply to tapes. However if you live outside the EU
(European Union) you are exempt from VAT.
Am Scéalaíochta I
Stories for young children:
Sicín Licín; Na Trí Bhéar
Book and Tape £3.99
Am Scéalaíochta II
Stories for young children:
Na Trí Mhuc Bheaga
An Circín Beag Rua
Book and Tape £3.99
Foclóir Póca - Caiséad
Phonetic Tape prepared to accompany Foclóir Póca, an
English-Irish/Irish-English dictionary of the synthetic Standard
Irish dialect £4.00
Íosagán & Scéalta Eile.
Collection of short stories by Pádraig Pearse. £4.87 + vat
These stories are also available in print as "Short Stories of
Pádraig Pearse" which can be obtained for £4.95
Uair An Chloig Cois Teallaigh - AN HOUR BY THE HEARTH
Dual Language Book and Tape compendium of folk stories £10.00
Educational Services Teaching Cassettes
Irish/Gaelige. Two cassettes with a small phrase dictionary.
Educational Services Corporation
1725 K St., N.W., Suite 408
Washington, D.C. 20006
Review: This is a conversation course with minimal grammar (next
to none). I'm finding it very useful to start off with, as it
teaches phrases, which give me a useable foothold with the
language, and it repeats the Gaelic twice after the English is
Subject: 6) What bookstores in the States have Irish books?
Note: Additional information is available in the files IGJTM1 BIBL
and IGJTM2 BIBL via the LISTSERV@LISTSERV.HEA.IE with the commands
GET IGJTM1 BIBL
GET IGJTM2 BIBL
Name: Irish Books
Address: 580 Broadway, Room 1103,
New York, New York 10012, USA
Phone: (212) 274-1923
Name: Schoenhof's Foreign Books
Address: 76A Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
Phone: (617) 547 - 8855
Fax: (617) 547 - 8551
Or you could try one of the Irish bookshops on
Subject: 7) What is the name of the pin worn by fluent Irish speakers?
It's a fáinne, pronounced roughly "fawn-ye".
Subject: 8) Where can I find computer terms in Irish?
You'll find Irish computer terms (such as "líon domhanda" for
"world wide web") at Sabhal Mór Ostaig
Subject: 9) Are there any Irish speakers on-line?
You'll find them on the Gaeilge-A and Gaeilge-B mailing lists.
Gaeilge-A is for fluent speakers, Gaeilge-B for learners.
To subscribe to Gaeilge-B, send a mail message to
with the following command in the text of the message
SUBSCRIBE Gaeilge-B Your-firstname Your-surname
(If your name was "Joe Sixpack", this would be written as
"SUBSCRIBE Gaeilge-B Joe Sixpack".)
To subscribe to Gaeilge-A, use the same command as above, but
put "Gaeilge-A" instead of "Gaeilge-B"
There _are_ Irish speakers on soc.culture.irish as well.
Subject: 10) What do all these Irish place names really mean?
These web sites may be helpful.
Subject: 11) How do you say "kiss my ass" in Irish?
Póg mo thóin.
End of Irish FAQ part 3