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Bunús na Gaeilge - Basic Irish Language

There is no other way to revive Irish than for a crowd of people to spread it.
- Douglas Hyde

Note: The spellings and pronunciations used are based on Aideen's own natural use of Connemara Irish but they have been kept simple, so as to be understood where there are differences in the language.
For example, the word 'feicfidh' is used only in Connemara Irish; in Leinster, Ulster and Munster the word is 'cífidh'. There are two pronunciations; Leinster/Munster - kee-fee; Ulster - chee-fee.

The biggest problem for people whose native language is English is that the soft 't' and 'd' are in Irish, but not in English; it's difficult to 'reproduce' them in writing. Where I use 'th' and 'dh' here, they are best achieved by putting your tongue gently behind your front upper teeth."

Click here for our words & phrases Index.

Lesson 50: Post/Mailing and Shipping

In England, the Royal Mail delivers the post. In the USA, the United States Post Office delivers the mail. In Ireland, there is no confusion - customarily, the word mail isn't used at all.

Phrase: The Post (Postal Service)
Irish: An Post
on pussth

Word: Letter
Irish: litir

Phrase: Post Card
Irish: cárta phoist
kawr-thah fwishth

Word: Parcel/Package
Irish: beart

Phrase: Sticky Tape
Irish: téip greamannach
thayp grahm-on-okh

Word: Postage
Irish: postas

Phrase: Postage Stamp
Irish: stampa poist
sthahm-pah pwishth

Word: Address
Irish: seoladh

Phrase: Return Address
Irish: seoladh an tseoltóra
shoh-lah on tchohl-thoh-rah

Phrase: Post Office
Irish: Oifig an Phoist
eff-ig on fwishth

Phrase: Post Office Box (as in address)/Letter Box (where you deposit mail)
Irish: Bosca Phoist
buss-kah fwishth

Word: Delivery
Irish: seachadadh

Word: Street
Irish: sráid

Word: Road
Irish: bóthar

Word: Town
Irish: baile

Word: City
Irish: cathair

Word: Ireland
Irish: Éire or Éireann
ay-reh or ay-run

Word: (The) USA
Irish: (Na) Stáit Aontaithe
(nah) sthaw-itj ayn-the-heh

Word: Europe
Irish: Eoraip

Word: Australia
Irish: An Astráil
on oss-thraw-il

Word: Canada
Irish: Ceanada

Phrase: Postal Code (zip)
Irish: cód phoist
kohdh fwishth

Word: Postman/woman/Mailman/woman
Irish: fear/bean a' phoist
Pronunciation: f
ahr/bahn ah fwishth

Phrase: Air Mail
Irish: Aer Phost
air fusth

Phrase: Express Mail
Irish: Post Luais
pussth loo-ish

Phrase: Priority Mail
Irish: Post Tosaíochta
pussth thus-ee-ukh-thah

Phrase: Surface Mail
Irish: Post Dreacht
pussth dhrahkth

Word: Overnight
Irish: thar oíche
hahr ee-heh

Word: International
Irish: idirnáisiúnta

Word: Overseas
Irish: thar lear
hahr lih-ahr

Phrase: Customs Form
Irish: Foirm Custaim
fwirm cuss-thim

Word: Duty
Irish: dleacht

Phrase: Return to sender
Irish: Fill ar Sheolthóir
fill err hih-ol-hoh-ir

Phrase: I'd like this parcel to arrive in time for Christmas
Irish: Is mian liom an beart seo a bheith i láthair le h-aghaidh na Nollaig
iss meen li-um on bahrth shuh ab veh ih law-hir leh heye nah null-ig

Phrase: How soon do I need to mail Christmas cards to/from the USA to Ireland, Canada......?
Irish: Cé chomh luath is gá dom cártaí Nollaig a chur sa phost go dtí/ó Na Stáit Aontaithe....... go...?
kau khoh loo-ah iss gaw dhum nah kawr-thee nill-ig ah khur sah fussth guh djee/oh nah sthaw-itj ayn-the-heh.....guh....?

Phrase: My goal is to have all my cards written and sent by the beginning of (the month of) December
Irish: Tá sé d'intinn agam mo chártaí uilig a beith scríte agus curtha sa phost faoi thús mí na Nollag
thaw shay dhinn-chin ah-gum muh khawr-thee ill-ig ah veh shcree-tjeh ah-gus kur-hah sah fusth hoos mee nah null-ahg

Phrase: I would like a sheet (page)/book of stamps please.
Irish: Ba maith liom leathanach/leabhrán stampaí led' thoil
bah wye li-um li-ah-ahn-ahkh/li-ow-rawn sthahm-pee ledh hell

Phrase: How much is it to send this parcel by priority mail to Ireland?
Irish: Cé mhéid an beart seo a chur ar an bpost tosaíochta go hÉireann
kay vayidj on bahrth shuh ah khur err on bussth guh hay-run

Phrase: It's a gift (when filling out a customs form)
Irish: Is bronntanas é
iss brun-thahn-ahs ay

Phrase: I love receiving cards from (countries) all over the world
Irish: Is breá liom cártaí a fháil ó thíortha ar fud an domhain
iss brah li-um kawr-thee ah aw-il oh heer-hah err fudh on dhow-inn

Phrase: It was returned for insufficient postage
Irish: Seoladh ar ais é toisc ganntanas postas
shoh-oo err-ash ay thushk gahn-thahn-ahs puss-thas

Note: This caught our eye. Yes, we know it isn't gaeilge, but it is fascinating. If nothing else, it is certainly language (and Irish language as well.)
by Bernard Share
...for all 'decent skins', 'crawthumpers', horse-protestants', 'hard chaws' and 'strong farmers'...a dictionary of Irish slang that's as amusing as it is informative.
Click here for Slanguage

For More Basic Irish please click here: Irish Index

Image: Gaeilge Beo from
All Posters and Prints.


Thu, Jul 9, 2015

Bitesize Irish Gaelic

Start learning on line with a free trial!

Why Learn Irish with Bitesize Irish Gaelic?
Eoin is a native Irish speaker who you can listen to in the online lessons.
Sasa has helped develop the lessons from the perspective of a complete beginner.
Audrey has created conversation lessons to get you speaking Irish.
And last but certainly not least, they are proud of the Irish language and want more people to speak it.
Affordable, fun and effective - To learn more, Click Bitesize Irish

Irish Grammar
by Noel Mogonagle

This book is excellent for beginners who are wanting a book that gives basic grammar without all the extra information that confuses beginners. The book is well laid out, with information very easy to find. Amazon Reviewer

Here is a good follow-on to our words and phrases.
Click for Irish Grammar.

Irish - English
English - Irish

Note: We have yet to see a dictionary with phonetic pronunciations for each word. We suspect this is partly due to the variations. Providing for all four 'green fields' (Connacht, Leinster, Ulster and Munster), would be cumbersome at best. Still, someone may do it some day. Until then, these are all very good and recommended. Serious students will have more than one; they are inexpensive.

Collins Gem Mini-Dictionary

Oxford Pocket Dictionary

These two (either or both) are the handy-references needed to go with a good grammar or 'teach yourself' course.
We would need both (and some other help) if found wandering in a Gaeltacht late at night.
Amazon has an offer of either one combined with a grammar for a reduced price.
Click for Collins Gem
Click for Oxford Pocket.

Wicked Irish
by Howard Tomb

While I wouldn't recommend you use many of these phrases, this is a terribly funny book. I picked it up after leafing through it at the store and finding phrases about sheep and inns and the hazards of driving in Ireland without insurance. Each little section starts out innocuously enough, then quickly degenerates into truly funny comments. If you like Monty Python or BlackAdder, this will really make you laugh. If you liked the Father Ted tv show, this little book will make you keel over giggling. Ah, go on, ya eejit, buy it already! Amazon Reviewer
(We want this, you may see a few on these pages - watch out).
Click for Wicked Irish

Teach Yourself Irish Complete Course
by Diarmuid O'She & Joseph Sheils

An easy-to-use program for learning on your own, or can be used as supplemental material for your classes. These new editions have been thoroughly revised and updated to include the engaging dialogues and helpful exercises you have come to expect from the Teach Yourself series.
Click for Teach Yourself

Learning Irish
by Micheal O'Siadhail

The Best Irish Course Available! Three years ago I decided to learn Irish, and in the next two years I bought three different courses. The first two were simply useless, (that's the obvious reason for my buying new courses) you could learn some phrases, but not construct sentences yourself. Learning Irish, on the other hand, is an excellent book, which gives you a thorough vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. It consists of 36 lessons, all containing vocabularies, grammar instructions, texts and excercises. Amazon Reviewer.

Click for Learning irish


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