Irish language

The science fiction that is part of our everyday lives

Is it a cigarette lighter or a flame-thrower? A cigarette or a surface-to-air missile? A dicky bow or camera/microphone/teamaker?
Robert McMillen

GO mbeannaí Dia daoibh and a big buenos días to the Bluffer's Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer loves his guthán póca - his mobile phone and is modest enough to admit that his guthán cliste - smartphone is even smarter than he is.

Things that he marvelled at as a child when watching ficsean eolaíochta - science fiction on the TV are now part of his everyday life.

A satailít - satellite in the sky is following him and telling a selected few where he is via his Find My Friends app.

The Bluffer has never had a great sense of direction - níl ceann maith treonna orm - but his phone will tell him how to get to Rannafast or from his apartment in Málaga to the library in Avenida Europa without him getting lost.

He can chat to his amigo on his phone while walking though Seville in the sunshine while the chum is getting wet in Larne.

Oh, how we marvelled at the giuirléidí - gadgets on The Man from UNCLE or in the possession of the king himself, Bond, James Bond.

And how we wished for a dagger shoe, a shoe with a poisoned blade hidden in it that we could use on the bullies in the clós súgartha - the playground.

Or a garrote watch that had a piece of wire in it that you could choke people with, like the teacher just before he asked if you had your obair bhaile - homework done.

We all yearned to have an Aston Martin, especially one that had diúracán teas cuardaigh - a heat-seeking missile attached, great for getting you out of Clones on Ulster final day.

If that seems a bit extreme – even after another Tyrone or Donegal victory – there is the portable jet-pack which would enable you to just fly away above the flags and the ham sandwiches.

But where is it all going to end? While it is fun to watch the amount of teicneolaíocht - technology that has seeped into our everyday lives, real and fictional.

The Bond villains who wanted an domhan a chur faoi smacht - to control ze vorld wouldn't believe in something like PRISM, the secret surveillance programme where Uncle Sam's National Security Agency (NSA) “collects internet communications from at least nine major US internet companies.”

Our phone calls, texts, e-mails are all being gathered by some monstrous machine – all for our own benefit, we are told.

In Casino Royale, Bond is implanted with a microchip to let MI6 keep track of his whereabouts.

Let's hope not every employer comes up with the same strategy for keeping an eye on their staff!

Yet, we willingly give away information about ourselves on na meáin shóisialta - social media because with technology becoming so prevalent that is seems the human race is turning into one giant machine and that we share things about our personal lives on twitter and facebook because, let's face it, we all want to be loved.

guthán póca (goohaan pawka) - a mobile phone

guthán cliste (goohaan clishta) - smartphone

ficsean eolaíochta (ficshun awleeakhta) - science fiction

satailít (sataleetch) - satellite

níl ceann maith treonna orm (neel kyun my chrawna orim) - I don't have a good sense of direction

giuirléidí (gyoorlaydgee) - gadgets

clós súgartha (closse soogerha) - the playground

obair bhaile (ubber walla) - homework

diúracán teas cuardaigh (joorakaan chass coordee ) - a heat-seeking missile

teicneolaíocht (cheknawleeakht) - technology

an domhan a chur faoi smacht (un dowan a kher fwee smakht) - to control the world

na meáin shóisialta (ne maan hosheealta) - social media

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