Irish language

Have you ever been obsessed by a pop group or a big movie star?

BAY CITY ROLLERS: It’s not hard to believe that the Rollers were one of the most idolised teeny-bopper bands of the mid-1970s, the decade that taste forgot, but they still have a large following today   
Robert McMillen

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Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh, a chairde, and a big Dia duit to those of you who are or have ever been obsessed by something, you are all welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Have you, dear reader,  ever been obsessed with anything? I’m sure at one stage of your lives you were faoi dhraíocht - entranced or faoi gheasa -  under the spell of something. Maybe you still are. Maybe you still have Bay CIty Rollers or Boyzone or AC/DC posters up on your bedroom wall.

Obsessions are mostly gone through when you are young so you would start of a sentence with nuair a bhí mé óg - when I was young as in nuair a bhí mé óg, bhi mé faoi dhraíocht ag Tchaikovsky - when I was young I was obsessed with Tchaikovsky and of course you can change Petr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for just anything else.

To be faoi dhraíocht or faoi gheasa also means to be infatuated and it could be with your teacher or work colleague or the boy/girl next door and not just a with a réalta popcheoil - a popstar or a réalta scannán - a film star.

Which is all fine unless you become a stalcaire - a stalker!

Or you can have a song you can’t get out of your head.

For the Bluffer, it was when he went to the Rose of Tralee competition (no, not as a competitor!) just for the craic. He developed an unhealthy love of the song, The Rose of Tralee, which he played over and over again in differing versions by Frank Patterson, James Last and The Irish Tenors but of course pride of place went to the version by Count John McCormack.

In hindight, he is suitably scundered.

The Bluffer also used to be obsessed by Manchester United until it morphed into the great soul-less, character-less corporate entity it is today - like most big soccer clubs. 

There’s a special tense you use when you talk about things you used to do but don’t any more. It’s called the aimsir ghnáthchaite - the past habitual tense and the Beeb have a good explanation of it at url.ie/12erv. So for example, you would say bhínn an-tugtha do chrosfhocail - I used to be  mad about crosswords or bhíodh Alison an-tugtha do spóírt eachtraíochta - Alison is a big fan of adventure sports.

I suppose when we’re young we go through all kinds of phases - tréimhsí - when we switch from one past-time to another or from one band to another.

If you have a particular interest in something you could say tá suim ar leith agam i … as in tá suim ar leith agam i réalteolaíocht - I have a particular interest in astronomy.

Is breá liom snoíodóireacht adhmaid - I love wood-carving is another way of saying what you really like doing.

And isn’t it great to live in a world where we have so much to enjoy without needing lots of money to do so - although lots of ready-to-spend dosh helps, of course. 

Then again, you could be obsessed about things in a way that is more than having fun.

Bhíodh sé cráite ag an polaitíocht - he used to be obsessed about politics, as in politics did his head in.

But on the other hand, some obessions can be great things - being obsessed with fighting poverty, or curing cancer, working towards world peace - or learning Irish!

 
CÚPLA FOCAL
 
faoi dhraíocht (fwee greeakht) - entranced

faoi gheasa (fwee yassa) -  under the spell

nuair a bhí mé óg, bhí mé faoi dhraíocht ag Tchaikovsky (noor a vee may awg, bee may fwee greeakht eg Tchaikovsky) - when I was young I was obsessed with Tchaikovsky

réalta popcheoil (raylta popkyoil) - a popstar

réalta scannán (raylta scanaan) - a film star

stalcaire (stalcara) - a stalker

bhínn an-tugtha do chrosfhocail (veen may an-tugha daw khrosuckle) - I was mad about crosswords

bhíodh Alison an-tugtha do spóírt eachtraíochta (veeoo alison an-tugha do sportch akhtreeakhta) - Alison is a big fan of adventure sports

tréimhsí (trayvshee) - phases

tá suim ar leith agam i réalteolaíocht (taa sim er lay ugum i rayltoleeakht) - I have a particular interest in astronomy

Is breá liom sníodoireacht (is bra lum sneeadoireakht iymidge) - I love wood-carving

Bhíodh sé cráite ag an polaitíocht (veed shay craatcha eg un folitcheeakht) - he used to be obsessed about politics

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