Brighten up your Irish a little more!


MISE arís—Me again! Tá súil agam go raibh Seachtain na Gaeilge nó Lá Fhéile Pádraig den scoith agaibh uilig, cibé ceann a cheiliúrann tú. I hope you all had a brilliant Irish Language week or St Patrick’s Day, whichever takes your fancy. Bhuel, cad é mar atá an aimsir? So, how’s the weather?

Last time we had a go at talking about the weather and thankfully, the weather looks to be brightening up a bit since I last wrote, which gives us even more to talk about! I want to build on those foundations before launching into a new topic. All pronunciation shared is in the Ulster dialect.

Ceacht 2

fine go breá go brah
nice go deas go jass
good go maith go my-h
night an oíche an ee-ha
morning an mhaidin an mad-jean
bad go dona go dawn-a
beautiful go hálainn go hal-een
wonderful go hiontach go hain-tock
The day isn’t good Níl an lá go maith nail an lah go my-h
The weather isn’t good Tá an aimsir go dona tah an aym-shir go brah
The night is fine Tá an oíche go breá tah an ee-ha go brah
The morning isn’t good Níl an oíche go deas nail an ee-ha go jass
now anois an-ish
today inniu in-you
It’s beautiful now Tá se go hálainn anois tah shay go hal-een an-ish

Now, instead of answering “Cad é mar atá an aimsir inniu?” simply with “Tá sé geal’/’dorcha’/’tirim,” you can elaborate with “Tá an lá geal, tá sé go hiontach.” I have kept all answers in present tense so as not to over-complicate, but for anyone with a bit more experience, you could try: ‘Bhí.’

Mar shampla (For example)

The morning was wet, but it is lovely now.
Bhí an mhaidin fliuch, ach tá sé go hálainn anois.
(Vee an mad-jean fil-yuck, awk tah shay go hal-een an-ish)

Try making your own two-part sentence using this format:

Bhí + time of day + state of weather (1), ach tá sé + state of weather (2) + anois.

Time of day State of weather 1 State of weather 2
an oíche (an ee-ha) go breá (go brah) go h-olc (go hulk)
an mhaidin (an mad-jean) go dona (go dawn-a) go maith (go my-h)
an lá (an lah) fliuch (fil-yuck) an-tirim (ann-chir-rim)
an tráthnóna (an trah-no-nah) tirim (chir-rim) an-fhliuch (ann-l-yuck)

Next time we’ll be describing people. It turns out that lots of learning a language is just describing things. (GOA—Gáire os ard/LOL—Laugh out loud)

Lean oraibh!

Clíodhna Campbell is a teacher, language enthusiast and mother. If you would like to get in touch with her with any linguistic queries, e-mail: