Irish language

The Bluffer looks at his glorious past and an even greater future

The host of mostly young people showing their dedication to the irish language in 2014, something that augurs well for the language in the 21st century.
Robert McMillen

GO mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad fáilte isteach chuig an Bluffer's Guide to Irish.

The new year has begun and were are in mí Eanáir - the month of January, which is named after the Roman god of túis - beginnings and athruithe - transformations. We often see him agus dhá aghaidh air - with two faces so he has the ability to look backwards and forwards at the same time.

And so my friends, comes the news about this column.

From next week, we will be starting from the beginning again and the Bluffer will be your treoraí - your guide to navigating the highways and byways on the road to becoming an Irish speaker.

Ag amharc chun tosaigh - looking forward, next week we will start with introducing yourselves and getting to know other Irish speakers, letting you know which ones to suck up to and which ones avoid.

Nota Bene: this and all articles will be written i modh grinn - with tongue firmly in cheek!

So we will then build up a vocabulary of Irish as she is spoken by the great and the good. Of course, the Bluffer is just one element of learning Irish and we will cover all bases over the next year.

Ag amharc siar - looking backwards, the Bluffer was thinking his articles were getting a little bit casta - convoluted. He wrote in his féilire google - google calender that he should renew the column IN 2009!

Más mall is mithid - better late than never!

Along the way, he has penned some memorable pages and one that sticks out is the time he wrote about the Irish you would need if you were an Irish-speaking member of an tOrd Oráisteach - the Orange Order.

Máirseáil - marching, drumaí - drums, that sort of thing.

The following day, the Bluffer's phone rang and a voice on the other end asked for the person who wrote the article. Gulping, the Bluffer admitted culpability as the caller said he was a member of na hoird dhílse - the loyal orders. Another gulp!

However, the caller then went on to say that there were five or six others in his lodge who were very interested in Irish and they all enjoyed the Bluffer's Guide to Irish.

Just shows ye that people are more multi-faceted than we think.

Another favourite was the column in which the Bluffer poked fun at Stephen Nolan and basically every non-Irish speaker at the BBC by their inability to pronounce names in Irish. It was as if the policeman in ‘allo ‘allo had been put in charge of news-gathering in Ormeau Avenue!

Patsy McGlone of the SDLP told me of a trip to a constituent in the wilds of the Sperrins who was approaching his 90th birthday. He had years and years of the Bluffer cut out and kept in a pile.

One republican prisoner sent the column to a friend in the USA while David Ervine told me he was a fan.

So roll on next week, everyone is welcome to the Bluffer's Guide to Irish.

mí Eanáir (mee anaar) - the month of January

túis (toosh) - beginnings athruithe (ahreeha) - transformations

agus dhá aghaidh air (agis gaa ay er) - with two faces

treoraí (chroree) - a guide

ag amharc chun tosaigh (eg arc hun tussee) - looking forward

i modh grinn (i mo grin) - with tongue firmly in cheek

ag amharc siar (eg arc sheer) - looking backwards

casta (casta) - convoluted

féilire google (faylera) - google calender

más mall is mithid (mass maal iss mihidge) - better late than never

an tOrd Oráisteach (un tord oraashtyakh) - the Orange Order

máirseáil (maarshaal) - marching

drumaí (drumee) - drums

na hoird dhílse (he hordge yeelsha) - the loyal orders

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