Irish language

What might our grandchildren be nostalgic about in fifty years time?

THE FUTURE: Is this an illustration of how we get money from an ATM before heading out for the night? Or will we pay four two pints of lager and a packet of crisps with a crypto-currency? Who knows? 
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh, hello old timers and young fogies, you’re all welcome to another awesome Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, seantuismitheoirí - grandparents are great, aren’t they?

Unless they try to breakdance at your wedding or think that they look cool in leopardskin but that’s another story.

They are great because they can be they can be called upon for feighlíocht - babysitting also we in Ulster call babysitters gogamáin (lit. a hen that would sit on another hen’s eggs!)

But granny and granda can also be great seanchaithe - storytellers when they talk about their own youthful lives, something young people find fascinating.

There is a nice phrase in Irish - bhí siad ag dul siar ar bhóithrín na smaointe - they were reminiscing or literally they were going back on the little road of thoughts.

Now of course, the grandparents of the early 1900s would tell a different story to the grandparents of the 1940s or 1980s.

We no longer walk miles to get to school. We no longer walk costarnocht - barefooted in the streets.

We rarely now have eight brothers and four sisters and old women no longer wear shawls and take snaoisín - snuff.

Today’s oul’ ones might lament the fact that ní bhíonn muid ag súgradh ar an tsráid níos mó - we don’t play in the street any more.

Gone are epic outdoor 14-a-side football matches with lamp posts as goals.

You never hear “Queenio, Queenio, who’s got the ball?” ring out and speedying up a lamp-post is no longer in anyone’s skill set.

Things changed when the idea of being i bhfiacha - in debt lost its taboo status.

Cheques, cártaí creidmheasa - credit cards, fruilcheannacht - hire purchase meant people could buy things and pay over a period of time.

Debt in Ireland now is €27 billion - and that excludes mortgage debt - while the north has the biggest rate of personal debt in the UK.

There was great excitement in being able to buy the first washing machine or car on the HP but then I got thinking about what today’s children would reminisce about to keep the kids of the future entertained and informed.

There will be stories that travel ó ghlúin go glúin - from generation to generation and today’s grandparents can tell stories about the Troubles which young people today don’t even remember.

What will the unborn generations think of what happened here for 30-odd years, the horrors that na glúnta roimhe seo - previous generations went through?

And will the older generation of 2068 look back fondly to how old-fashioned the iphone was or that having robait - robots to help you at work was considered ficsean eolaíochta - science fiction.

Who would have thought that all those nice folks on the counters at the supermarket would be replaced by bar-codes?

And as an teicneolaíocht - technology takes all our jobs an makes us redundant (more than immigrants do) you have to start wondering what we are here for. What is our purpose in life? Should there be limits to the development of technology?

These are questions we need to think about today because none of us want our grandchildren blaming us for the disasters the next century holds.



seantuismitheoirí (shantishmahoree) - grandparents

feighlíocht (fayleeakht) - babysitting

gogamáin (gogamaan) - babysitters

seanchaithe (shanakheeha) - storytellers

bhí siad ag dul siar ar bhóithrín na smaointe (vee shade ag dul sheer er woy-hreen na smweentcha) - they were reminiscing

costarnocht (costarnokht) - barefoot

snaoisín (sneesheen) - snuff

ní bhíonn muid ag súgradh ar an tsráid níos mó (nee veean midge eg soogroo er un trydge nees moe) - we don’t play in the street any more

i bhfiacha (i veeakha) - in debt

cártaí creidmheasa (caartee credgevasa) - credit cards

fruilcheannacht (frilkyannakht)  - hire purchase

ó ghlúin go glúin (o gloon gaw gloon) - from generation to generation

na glúnta roimhe seo (na gloonta riva shaw) - previous generations

robait (robatch) - robots

ficsean eolaíochta (fikshun oleeakhta) - science fiction

an teicneolaíocht (un cheknoleaakht) - technology


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