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Irish language

You can go from rags to riches but what is the real meaning of success?

JK ROWLING: The now mega-rich author was an unemployed single mother living on benefits before the wrote the Harry Potter series of books. Now that’s what I call success. 
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh and a big welcome to the awesomeness that is The Bluffer’s Guide to Irish, the most successful teach-yourself Irish page in the Irish News – ever!

But the question has to be asked, how should success be measured and more importantly, how do you say it in Irish. So  let’s go power-brokers and losers alike.

To say someone got on really well or succeeded in something, you would say d’éirigh go geal leis/léi - (s)he got on really well.

So, cad é mar a rinne Aoife gnoithe sa scrúdú? - how did Aoife get on in the exam could be answered d’éirigh go geal léi - she got on really well or you could change go geal to go maith - well or go breá - fine.

However if you are trying to do something and it isn’t really working out, like when the Bluffer was making dinner and he heard people muttering níl ag éirí leis, an creatúr  - he is having no success, the craytur as he burnt the fish fingers again.

When you are asking someone if they managed to do something you would ask ar éirigh leat sin a dhéanamh? - did you manage to get that done?

And of course, we all get things done in the end. Get to work on time, feed the children buy clothes, brush teeth, pay the mortgage but that isn’t enough for some people. Oh no, they have uaillmhian - ambition. They want to be FAMOUS, like the apprentice starlets who appear on the X-Factor or Ireland’s Got Talent.

Young and old who are following their brionglóidí - their dreams by giving performances that ought to get them arrested for crimes against humanity.

However, that is to tar all young people with the one brush. There are many who do obair dheonach - voluntary work at home and thar saile - abroad. Others do work in their pobail - communities to improve the lives of their neighbours.

Ambition and success can be huge or they can be tiny.

Most of us have realised that síocháin ar fud na cruinne - world-wide peace ain’t ever going to happen. In fact, the chances are getting smaller by the day. 

We have technology that was unthinkable twenty years ago but there is no leigheas ar an ailse - cure for cancer yet but I’m sure people have the vision to keep trying to find one. There probably is a cure for bochtaineacht - poverty but greed and political ideology amongst richer nations has kept it from becoming a reality. 

All these - world peace, curing illness and eradicating poverty are great ambitions people and nations should be constantly striving for. The are big questions.

But for some people, getting through the day without having back pain or without feeling depressed is a real success. (Tá mé faoi ghruaim - I am depressed).

Getting the household chores done with a rake of whiny kids and no husband for support is also a daily success that many women go through.  

is someone were to ask you who is the most successful person you know was, who would it be?

It might be someone who never went to school but who got on well in life, or someone who got the better of having a disability or someone who rejected bitterness when it would have been understandable – or it could be yourself. 




d’éirigh go geal leis/léi (jeree gaw gyal lesh/leyha) - (s)he got on really well

cad é mar a rinne Aoife gnoithe sa scrúdú? (cadge ay mar a rin eefa greeha sa scroodoo) - how did Aoife get on in the exam

d’éirigh go geal léi (jeeree gaw gyal leyha) - she got on really well

go maith (gaw myh) - well

go breá (gaw braa) - fine

níl ag éirí leis, an creatúr (neel eg eeree lesh, un craytoor) - he is having no success, the craytur

ar éirigh leat sin a dhéanamh? (er eeree lat sin a yanoo) - did you manage to get that done?

uaillmhian (ooilvane) - ambition

brionglóidí (bringloydgee) - dreams 

obair dheonach (ubber yoenakh) - voluntary work

thar sáile (har saala) - abroad

pobail (pubbil) - communites 

síocháin ar fud na cruinne (sheeakhan er fud na crinya) - world-wide peace

leigheas ar an ailse (layiss er un aalsha) - cure for cancer bochtaineacht (bochtanyakht) - poverty

Tá mé faoi ghruaim (taa may fwee groo-im ) - I am depressed


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