Irish language

Keep a diary to help you learn the days of the week in Irish

ÉIRÍ NA GRÉINE: Sunrise is one of the most beautiful times of the day, well, in countries that don’t have nine months of Autumn during the year like we do here!
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad fáilte isteach chuig The Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, it’s all been plain sailing so far and no doubt you have been practicing the Irish you’ve learnt on these pages with everyone from the hairdresser to the parrot.

We learned how to tell the time last week but there were are few we didn’t have time to cover.

Fiche is the Irish for twenty, so tá sé fiche go dtí/i ndiaidh a haon - it’s twenty to/past one.

Finally, tá sé cúig is fiche go dtí/i ndiaidh a dó - it is twenty five/post two.

The next thing you will be wanting to know is the days of the week and you’ll be glad to hear they are similar to the names in other European languages. However there are two different ways of using the days of the week.

An Luan - is Monday, An Mháirt - Tuesday, An Chéadaoin - Wednesday, Déardaoin - Thursday, An Aoine - Friday, An Satharn - Saturday and the day of rest, An Domhnach - Sunday.

Now these are the names of the days of the week and you can day thinks like bhí mé ansin ar an Luan - was there on Monday or labhróidh mé leat ar an Mháirt - I will speak to you on Tuesday.

However, very often you will see a different versions of the names. They are Dé Luain, Dé Máirt, Dé Céadaoin, Déardaoin, Dé hAoine, Dé Sathairn and Dé Domhnaigh.

The Dé word means “on the day of”, so you would again say, labhróidh mé leat Dé hAoine - I will speak to you on Friday, bhí Máire anseo Dé Domhnaigh - Mary was here on Sunday.

(The clever clogs amongst you will have noticed that there is no An form of Déardaoin. so well spotted).

You can now add the times to the days of the week as in a cúig a chlog Dé Luain - five o’clock on Friday or Dé Luain ar a cúig a chlog.

Days as we know are broken up into different sections and each has a name.

Maidin - is the morning time. Even if you work on night-shift and go to bed at 8am, it is still morning.

Tráthnóna is the afternoon which does exactly what is says on the tin. If refers to the time after 12noon.

But the question is, when does the afternoon become the evening and when does an oíche - night start? Is there a certain time when the afternoon becomes the evening? Does it depend on how bright it is? Is night-time only when it gets dark??

There is no Irish word for evening and tráthnóna does for it and for afternoon, but in the great scheme of things, it doesn’t make a lot of difference.

Anyway, you can add these words with the days of the week to come up with maidin Déardaoin - Thursday morning, tráthnóna Dé Luain BUT oíche Luain, oíche Mháirt, oíche Chéadaoine, oíche Dhéardaoin, oíche Aoine, oíche Shathairn and oíche Dhomhnaigh (see pronunciations opposite.)

It may look complicated but the more you practice with others and the more questions you ask, the easier it will all become, believe me.

CÚPLA FOCAL

tá sé fiche go dtí/i ndiaidh a haon (taa shay feeha gaw jee/ i nyay a hayn) - it’s twenty to/past one.

tá sé cúig is fiche go dtí/i ndiaidh a dó (taa shay cooig is feeha gaw jee/i nyay a daw) - it is twenty five/post two

An Luan (un loo-in) - Monday

An Mháirt (an waartch) - Tuesday An Chéadaoin (un caydeen) - Wednesday Déardaoin (jerdeen) - Thursday

An Aoine (un aynya) - Friday An Satharn (un sahern) - Saturday

An Domhnach (un doenakh) - Sunday

bhí mé ansin ar an Luan (vee may unshin er un looin) - was there on Monday

labhróidh mé leat ar an Mháirt (lore-oey may leat er un waartch) - I will speak to you on Tuesday.

labhróidh mé leat Dé hAoine (lore-oey may lat je haynya) - I will speak to you on Friday

bhí Máire anseo Dé Domhnaigh (vee myra unshaw je doenee) - Mary was here on Sunday

Maidin (madgeen) - morning

tráthnóna (trahnona) - afternoon

an oíche (un eeha) - night

Irish language

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