Irish language

Have you ever had a setback that ended up a blessing in disguise?

LUKA MODRIC: Modric was a child when his grandfather was killed and his family forced from its home in Croatia. “The most important is never to give up, never to give in to circumstances, to trust yourself” he says. 
Robert McMillen

Bhuel, go mbeannaí Dia daoibh uilig, hello to all you young fans and old, it’s time to get your heads around the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer believes he is blessed with a laid back attitude that verges on the horizontal.

This might be because he treats misfortune with a shrug of the shoulders, something that’s not possible for everyone of course, those who suffer a serious illness or a bereavement in the family.

Buille - is a blow, both physical and metaphorical, or a setback.

Buille millteanach a bhí ann nuair a fuair an mháthair bás - it was a terrible blow when the mother died.

Other setbacks can be temporary.

Chaill mé mo phost is I lost my job and tugadh bata agus bóthar dom is I got the sack and that can cause all kinds of mental stress.

Bhí mé as mo chrann cumhachta nuair a chaill mé mo phost - I was out of my mind when I lost my job is a sadly not uncommon thing you hear.

However, there are times in life when what appears to be an absolute disaster, a real tubaiste mór,   turns out to present great opportunities. 

Tháinig deiseanna i mo bhealach ina dhiaidh sin - opportunities came my way after that. 

These could range from being ill and marrying the nurse who helped you get on your feet again or swapping that ticket on the Titanic for twenty Woodbine and a jug of porter.

You could now be in a better job or a successful entrepreneur.

Coinníodh siar mé - I was kept back/late is something that a lot of people might be glad about and when you hear people talk about growing up in Belfast in the 70s and 80s, little things like having to stay a little later at work because of a problem – and that  might have saved your life when bombs were exploding on the streets. (It happened to the Bluffer once)

On another less serious level, it could mean that you missed your nosy next door neighbour who called in for a cuppa and a chin-wag.

Bhí an t-ádh dearg air - he was really lucky (I’ve no idea why luck is red in Irish) is what you would say about all those people you see on youtube, the ones who are just missed by trains, cars, lorries and stupidly homicidal skateboarders.

Being ditched by a girlfriend/boyfriend can lead to suicidal thoughts until an even more suitable partner moved next door.

Not getting that ardú céime - promotion turns out not to be so bad after

all when you see the poor

person working de lá agus d’oíche - day and night and growing massive bags under their eyes just to catch up on all their new responsibilities.

But it’s hard to be fuarchúiseach - cool.calm and collected in the face of the misfortune and stumbling blocks that come our way.

Dóchas - hope is the thing that keeps us going in life and the idea that one disappointment is the end of the world is rarely true.

Most people have multiple disappointments in

life and sometimes in quick succession but, although he wouldn’t be my cup of tea, Kipling was right when he wrote in If that: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same” then you will have got it right.

This is true about learning Irish too – when the going gets tough ...


buille (bwilya) - a blow

buille millteanach a bhí ann nuair a fuair an mháthair bás (bwilya miltchinakh a bee un noor a foor un waher baas) - it was a terrible blow when the mother died

chaill mé mo phost (khyle may mow phust) - I lost my job tugadh bata agus bóthar dom (tugoo bata agis boher doo) - I got the sack

Bhí mé as mo chrann cumhachta nuair a chaill mé mo phost (vee may is maw khran cowakhta noor a khyle may mow phust) - I was out of my mind when I lost my job

tubaiste mór (tubashta more) - an absolute disaster

tháinig deiseanna i mo bhealach ina dhiaidh sin (haneek jeshana i maw valakh ina yay shin) - opportunities came my way after that

Coinníodh siar mé (cunyeeoo heer may)- I was kept back/late

Bhí an t-ádh dearg air (vee un taow jarag er) - he was really lucky

ardú céime (ardoo cayma) - a promotion 

de lá agus d’oíche (de laa agus deeha) - day and night

fuarchúiseach (foorkhooshakh) - cool, calm and collected

dóchas (dawkhiss) -- hope

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