Irish language

Getting through the seven ages of man (and woman) in Irish

Bainis: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West unfortunately forgot to post the wedding invitation to the Bluffer back in 2014 as they set off on their life’s journey without a care in the world 
Robert McMillen


GO mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus fáilte romhaibh arís eile chuig The Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, we were getting on like a house on fire last week and you telling me your whole life story.

But me ould mate, Liam Shakespeare, said that man had seven ages and we only got as far as setting the Holylands alight, sorry, going to university. 

So what happens when you leave education.

Hopefully, you can say fuair mé jab - I got a job, or fuair mé obair - I got work.

Thoisigh mé ag obair i monarcha - I started working in a factory is one path you might have taken although today most big industry has sailed off into the sunset and nowadays we talk about the knowledge economy.

Fuair mé post mar mhúinteoir - I got a job as a teacher was another profession your Mammy would have been proud to see you take up.

In fact, your Mammy would have been proud to see you enter any of the professions, be it as a dochtúir - a doctor, a dlíodóir - a lawyer or a sagart - a priest.

She would not have been too chuffed to find out her little son or daughter would grow up to be an “internet sensation” or was doing media studies or sociology and she wouldn’t even know what a barista was!

Tá ag éirí go maith leat - you are getting on well. 

You’ve got a job now and the next thing you know, the opposite sex starts thinking you have potential which they want to nurture/beat out of you, depending on an buachaill - the boy or an cailín - the girl. 

Before you can scream “Get me out of here, I’m a Gaeilgeoir” you are idir dáil agus pósadh - engaged and from here on in, it’s candle-lit dinners and tete-a-tetes on romantic getaway dates in Paris and Madrid, walks cois na trá - along the beach at Machaire Rabhartaigh and getting drunk in Teach Leo.

Then you have your great big Gaeilgeoir wedding. Pósadh is a marriage but more importantly there is the bainis - the wedding reception.

Bhí an bhainis sa Róimh - the wedding reception was in Rome is becoming more poplular as more and more couples get married abroad and you can swap Rome for a number of destinations that are becoming popular places for getting hitched. 

Phós muid in Barcelona  - we got married in Barcelona is how you would tell someone about your Catalan wedding but make sure you don’t say fuair muid pósta which is literally we got married but we never used fuair in that context so you would never day fuair mé tinn- I got sick, you would say tháinig tinneas orm  and you would never say fuair mé suas - I got up, you would simply say d’éirigh mé.

It is too easy just to translate word for word  from English into Irish so you have to be careful to avoid what soopa-doopa Irish speakers like the Bluffer calls Béarlachas -  anglicisms.

So you still have the rapt attention  of the people at the bar as you them your life story.

There are many variations to the path above of course, life is much more varied so let’s see what happens next week after we’ve tied the knot!


fuair mé jab (foor may jaab) - I got a job

fuair mé obair (foor may ubber) - I got work

Thoisigh mé ag obair i monarcha (hushee may eg ubber i monarkha) - I started working in a factory

Fuair mé post mar mhúinteoir (foor may pust mar woontchore) - I got a job as a teacher 

dochtúir (dokhtoor) - a doctor

dlíodóir (jileeadore) - a lawyer

sagart (saagart) - a priest

Tá ag éirí go maith leat (taa eg eerre gaw my lat) - you are getting on well

an buachaill (un booakhil) - the boy 

an cailín (un caleen) - the girl

idir dáil agus pósadh (idir daal agus pawsoo) - engaged

cois na trá (cush ne traa) - along the shore

pósadh (pawsoo) - a marriage 

bainis (bwaneesh) - the wedding reception

Bhí an bhainis sa Róimh (vee un waneesh sa Roe-iv) - the wedding reception was in Rome

tháinig tinneas orm  (haaneek chinyiss orim) - I got sick

d’éirigh mé (jeeree may) - I got sick

Béarlachas - anclicisms, literal translatsions from English


Irish language

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