Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever - Gandhi

<b>THE LIGHT FANTASTIC:</b> This is how the Bluffer sees himself after becoming fluent in Spanish, moving to South America and becoming a world champion purveyor of the tango. Not.
THE LIGHT FANTASTIC: This is how the Bluffer sees himself after becoming fluent in Spanish, moving to South America and becoming a world champion purveyor of the tango. Not.

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad míle fáilte isteach chuig the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

This week, we’ll have  a look at another of the Bluffer’s boxes, those recepticles of time he uses to do different things.

We’ve come to the box marked foghlaim - learning.

“Cad é a d’fhoghlaim tú ar scoil inniu?” - What did you learn at school today is a question we ask kids when they get home from school but we never ask it of adults.

That’s a shame. The Bluffer believes that you should be learning things all the time.

So you could learn a language at ranganna oíche - night classes, with everything form Irish to Japanese on offer.

Tá mé ag foghlaim Spáinnise - I am learning Spanish at the minute and not only is there the thrill of being able to converse with the waitresses in tapas bars in Madrid, but you meet fellow-learners who are in the same boat as yourself and you can get to know many of the Spanish-speakers, both from Spain and South America, who are living in Belfast.

Ba mhaith liom Vítneaimis a fhoghlaim - I’d like to learn Vietnamese says the Bluffer as he is planning a trip to Asia in the winter.

There are ciorcail léitheoireachta - reading circles which use books in Irish if you want to combine learning a language with an interest in litríocht - literature.

And there are so many ways to enjoy books nowadays.

The Bluffer takes his kindle with him on his bus journey to work so he can read the news in Spanish or a novel in Irish. 

And what about ceol - music.

The Bluffer has wide tastes and sometimes which spend a day listening to, say, Louis Armstrong or ceol tíre ón Airgintín - Argentinian music or konnika which is a sort of portaireacht - lilting from India.

The Bluffer loves éagsúlacht - variety which is indeed, the spice of life.

Or you could learn to play an instrument from a fidil - a fiddle to a trombón - a trombone and then join a trad ensemble or a brass band.

But there is so much fascinating stuff we could study, depending on what our interests are. And there are other activities that need participation if you are go get anything out of them.

You could study aisteoireacht - acting or you could learn how to tango or jazz dance or do na damhsaí seit - set dancing or you could learn scileanna sorcais - circus skills although the Bluffer isn’t sure his body could cope with the necessary contortions!  

Or if you prefer the fruit of the vine and work of human hand, then a course in blaiseadh fíona - wine tasting might take your fancy or what about a bit of cócaireacht - cookery?

Go to a ballet just to see what it’s like. Take a turas treoraithe - a guided tour of somewhere, whether it’s the Marble Arch Caves or the pubs of Belfast, history is always fascinating. 

You can scan the internet for great activities and talks, especially at PRONI. The quote in the headline is by Mahatma Gandhi, by the way. 


foghlaim(foe-lim) - learning

Cad é a d’fhoghlaim tú ar scoil inniu?(cadge ay a doelum too inyoo) - What did you learn at school today

ranganna oíche (raangana eeha) - night classes

Tá mé ag foghlaim Spáinnise(taa may eg foe-lim spaanyishe) - I am learning Spanish 

Ba mhaith liom Vítneaimis a fhoghlaim(ba why lum veenmyaamish a ole-im) - I’d like to learn Vietnamese

ciorcail léitheoireachta(kirkle layhoreakhta) - reading circles

litríocht(litchreeakhta) - literature

ceol(kyawl) - music

ceol tíre ón Airgintín(kyawl cheera own argenteen) - Argentinian music

portaireacht(perterakht) - lilting 

fidil(fidgle) - a fiddle

trombón (trombone) - a trombone

éagsúlacht(aygsoolakht) - variety 

aisteoireacht(ashtoreakht) - acting

na damhsaí seit (ne daowsee setch) - set dancing 

blaiseadh fíona(blashoo feena) - wine tasting

cócaireacht (cawkerakht) - cookery

turas treoraithe (turiss chroreeha) - a guided tour