Irish language

Love is in the air as the Bluffer takes a look at St Valentine's Day

LOVE ACTUALLY: The many splendoured thing has been looked at in all its forms since the songs of French troubadours of the 12th and 13th centuries to Hugh Grant rom-coms 
Robert McMillen

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

Well, it’s just two days away and already people, idir óg agus aosta - both young and old across the land are wondering if the postman will leave an envelope reeking of perfume or aftershave and with SWALK written on it.

Yes, Lá na Féile Vailintín - St Valentine’s Day is on its way and although many will say it’s just a ploy for bláthadóirí - florists to make money, others will be waiting for the sound of the letterbox being disturbed, some more in hope than expectation, it must be said, that professions of undying love are contained therein.

(It is said that the remains of Valentine where brought to Dublin by the Ciscercians on November 10, 1836 “and were brought in solemn procession to Whitefriar Street Church where they were received by Archbishop Murray of Dublin.”)

Grá is the Irish for love and the most common way of telling your significant other that you have the hots for them is, of coure, tá grá agam duit - I love you which is subtly but importantly different to tá mé i ngrá leat - I’m in love with you.

There are many tearms of endearment in Irish for you to call your loved one, from a thaisce - my treasure; a chroí - my heart, a chéadsearc - my first love: a chuisle - my pulse and a mhuirnín - darling or you could also say tá mé dúnta i ngrá leat - I am head over heels in love with you.

What would we sing about? What would Hugh Grant do if the rom-com hadn’t been invented?

Eolaithe - scientists can tell us about the chemical reactions that cause us to fall in love but science should leave it well alone. It’s the romance of romance that makes it so magical.

The buzz of electricity as you walk lámh ar láimh - hand in hand for the first time with someone you don’te ever want to leave your side.

There’s the feeling when you hug someone and they hold you even tighter.

(Rug siad barróg ar a chéile means they hugged each other if you want to write that Mills and Boon novel that is inside you.)

Ní stopann an comhrá - the conversation never stops when you’re in love,  you share the same core beliefs, déanann siad cuid mhór gáire - you laugh a lot because you share the same acmhainn ghrinn - sense of humour and you want to be in each other’s company all the time.

That’s when it all runs smoothly of course.Love will survive the petty arguments, the smelly socks, the toilet seat left up and the trillions of things in daily life that can cause friction before you reach the “ní tusa is cúís leis ach mise” - “it’s not you it’s me” moment.

But in the meantime, enjoy the long walks, the shared drunken escapades (if you drink), the long evenings watching box sets of action movies on Netflix and the joy of connectivity to another person that is unlike anything ele in creation.

So enjoy St Valentine’s Day and if you don’t have a loved one, love yourself - it’s not you, it’s them. 


idir óg agus aosta (idder awg agis eesta) - both young and old

Lá na Féile Vailintín (laa ne fel valincheen) - St Valentine’s Day bláthadóirí (blahadoree) - florists

grá (graa) - love

tá grá agam duit (taa graa ugum ditch) - I love you

tá mé i ngrá leat (taa may i ngraa lat) - I’m in love with you

a thaisce (a hashka) - my treasure

a chroí (a khree) - my heart

a chéadsearc (a caydshark) - my first love

a chuisle (a khushla) - my pulse 

a mhuirnín (a wurnyeen) - darling

tá mé dúnta i ngrá leat (taa may doonta i ngra lat) - I am head and heels in love with you

Eolaithe (oleehee) - scientists 

lámh ar láimh (laow er laiv) - hand in hand

rug siad barróg ar a chéile (rud shade baarawg er a cayla) - they hugged each other

ní stopann an comhrá (nee stopan un coe-ra) - the conversation never stops

déanann siad cuid mhór gáire (janan shade cuidge wore gyra) - you laugh a lot 

acmhainn ghrinn (acwin yrin) - sense of humour

ní tusa is cúís leis ach mise” (mi tussa is coosh lesh akh misha) - “it’s not you it’s me”

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Irish language