Irish language

The Bluffer aspires to having a house with a moat and a cinema

SEOMRA LEAPA: The Bluffer quite likes this bedroom but it’s in the Angkor Village Resort in Canbodia and he doesn’t think Irish weather would fully do it justice
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh, hello apprentice Gaeilgeoirí and welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

There’s no place like home or as we say in Irish, Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin - there is no fireplace like your own fireplace.

Home has a special place in all our hearts whether it’s an igloo in the north pole  or a maisonette in Newry most of us love the place we call an baile - home.

The Celts have come a long way since they lived in roundhouses and we live in a variety of homes nowadays.

We’ve learnt teach - a house and árasán - an apartment already but what is inside them?

Do you live in Planet IKEA or do you still have the furniture your parents gave you when you got married?

Whether you are in a two-up, two-down terraced house or your house has featured on Grand Designs, we all have the same kinds of rooms.

An seomra suí - the living room is where you watch TV, chat and spend most of your time.

For instance tá an teilifís sa seomra suí - the television is in the sitting room.

Have a look around you and say what is in your main room usually, a tolg - a sofa, cathaoireacha - chairs, urlar adhmaid - a wooden floor, etc. etc. Look up words you don’t know like radiator, mirror, and anything else you might have.

Another important room in the house is the cistín - the kitchen, where slaving over a hot stove is equally divided male and female  (aye, dead on!), where na soithigh - the dishes are washed, bottles of Rioja are opened, beer is in the cuisneoir - fridge and new recipes you learned from Jamie Oliver are tried out.

After a hard day’s haute cuisine, it’s time to hit the seomra luí - the bedroom. This is also called a seomra leapa because it contains one of the most wonderful of all inventions, a leaba - a bed (ignore the spelling difference) with its memory foam mattress.

In your bedroom, you’ll also have your cófra - wardrobe, lampa - a lamp and a clog alaraim - an alarm clock to waken you up in the morning.

After you’ve hit the snooze button a dozen time, it’s into the seomra folctha - bathroom for your daily ablutions.  

This usually involves the leithreas - the toilet followed by the cithfholcadh - the shower, an doirteal - the sink and the scáthán - the mirror as you shave or apply your makeup - or both.

Basically, those are all the rooms you really need. Some people will have a garáiste - a garage in which to either keep their car or to store a mountain of paperwork, Christmas decorations, old furniture, VHS videos etc, etc.

Some of you might have an oifig - an office or a seomra staidéir - a study, the kind of room the Bluffer had only heard off in black and white films or in BBC period dramas. Now he has one himself. 

Lottery winners and movie stars will be able to afford rooms that are beyond our imagination, like having a bar, or a cinema or a swimming pool and roll on the days when the Bluffer can have his own moat and Botox room. 


Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin (neel ayn chintaan mar daw hintaan hane) - there is no fireplace like your own fireplace

an baile (un balla) - home

An seomra suí (un shawmra see) - the living room

tá an teilifís sa seomra suí (taa un chelifees sa shawmra see) - the television is in the sitting room

tolg (tulag) - a sofa

cathaoireacha (caheeraha) - chairs

urlár adhmaid (urlaar iymidge) - a wooden floor

cistín (kishteen) - the kitchen

na soithigh (ne soyhee) - the dishes

cuisneoir (kishnore) - fridge 

seomra luí (shawmra lee) - the bedroom

seomra leapa (shawmra lappa) -bedroom

leaba (laba) - a bed

cófra (coefra) - wardrobe

lampa (lampa) - a lamp  

clog alaraim (clug alraim) - an alarm clock 

seomra folctha (shamra folka) - a bathroom

leithreas (lehriss) - a toilet 

cithfholcadh (kee-ulcoo) - a shower

doirteal (dortchil) - a sink 

scáthán (scahaan) - a mirror

garáiste (garaashta) - a garage 

oifig (ifig) - an office

seomra staidéir (shawnra staadger) - a study

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