Irish language

How can we measure all that our painters and poets and film-makers give us?

COLIN DAVIDSON: Hear My Voice, the film centreing on Colin’s Silent Witness exhibition, can be seen on the BBC iPlayer and there is a host of great films to be seen this week during the Belfast Film Festival 
Robert McMIllen

CAD É mar atá sibh, how are yez, loyal readers and fair weather friends alike, you’re all welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

As you will know by now, the Bluffer is a bit of a culture vulture, air-kissing his way through as many amharclanna - theatres and pictiúrlanna - cinemas and seoltaí leabhar - book launches as he can get invited to throughout the land.

His taste in music is as wide as an ocean and he can be seen drinking a glass of Merlot and ag déanamh scíste - having a rest while listening to some classical piano or Francesco Turrisi’s jazz compositions.

Or he will be dripping sweat on the Tutti Frutti dancefloor as he throws shapes to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk.

Or he might be getting back to his roots, year and listening to some Conamara sean-nós - old style singing in Irish.

Apart from music, the Bluffer is enjoying going back to the cinema.

This week sees Féile Scannán Bhéal Feirste - the Belfast Film Festival up and running after a great opening weekend. 

The Bluffer was at the Festival’s opening film, A Bump Along the Way, with fabulous performances from Bronagh Gallagher, Lola Petticrew and  Mary Moulds.

Bhí sé thar a bheith greannmhar - it was really funny, bhogfadh sé do chroí - it was touching and the Moviehouse audience loved it.

And there is so much to look forward to this week too. Get a programme now!

(To say you are looking forward to seeing something you would say tá mé ag dúil go mór le ... a fheiceáil as in tá mé ag dúil go mór le Ros na Rún a fheiceáil - I’m really looking forward to seeing Ros na Rún.

(It’s TG4’s sobaldráma - soap opera if you didn’t know)

Art programmes on television can be wonderful ways to see paintings we wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to.

That is particularly true of the 22-minute film Hear My Voice.

The film is based on artist Colin Davidson’s exhibition, Silent Testimony, features the large-scale portraits Colin has done of people who have experienced loss through political violence in the north.

It is presently still on the iplayer. 

Scannán mothúchánach atá ann - it is an emotional film where it is easy to get into the minds of the people portrayed although how can we fully feel the loss of others? Do watch it if you can.

The Bluffer is a big fan of public transport because it means he can read ar an bhus - on the bus or ar an traein - on the train.

At the minute, while Belfast whizzes past, he is stuck in a leabhar filíochta - a book of poetry.

Whenever the Bluffer gets nervous about the future of Irish, he reaches for the poems of Cathal Ó Searcaigh. Recently Irish Pages published Crann na Teanga, a selection of Cathal’s poems from 17 collections in a dual-language format. Sublime.

So, there in the course of a week, the Bluffer has enjoyed most of na healaíona - the arts and is the better for it.

Cothaíonn siad muid - they sustain us, tógann siad ár meanma - they raise our spirits, they make us think and smile and dance, the arts are something we all share.


amharclanna (aowerclana) - theatres

pictiúrlanna (pictoorlana) - cinemas 

seoltaí leabhar (shawltee lore) - book launches

ag déanamh scíste (eg janoo shkeshtya) - having a rest

sean-nós (shaan-noce) - old style 

Féile Scannán Bhéal Feirste (fayla scanaan vayl farshta) - the Belfast Film Festival

Bhí sé thar a bheith greannmhar (vee shay har a vay granwar) - it was really funny,

bhogfadh sé do chroí (wugad shay daw khree) - it was touching

tá mé ag dúil go mór le Ros na Rún a fheiceáil (taa may eg dooil gaw more le raws na roon a eckle) - I’m looking forward to seeing Rós na Rún

sobaldráma (subbledraama) - soap opera

scannán mothúchánach atá ann (scanaan mohukhaanakh ataa un) - it is an emotional film 

ar an bhus (er un wus) - on the bus 

ar an traein (ar an trayn) - on the train

leabhar filíochta (lore fileeakhta) - a book of poetry

na healaíona (na haleena) - the arts

Cothaíonn siad muid (cuheean shade midge) - they sustain us

tógann siad ár meanma (toegan shade aar manma) - they raise our spirits



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