Irish language

So many books, so little time as Frank Zappa once said but do the Bluffer's fans read books?

THE LORE OF LEABHAIR: Evryone’s bookcase will be different depending on whether they are into steamy romances, current affairs, science fiction or self-help books
Robert McMIllen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh a chairde Gael agus Gall, yez are all welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish, the literary edition.

How many of the Bluffer’s loyal fans are avid book readers?

An léann tú leabhair? - do you read books is something you could be asked on a blind date or at an interview.

Léim - is I do and ní léim is I don’t. 

So let’s presume you are a book reader you could ask cad é an leabhar deireanach a léigh tú? What is the last book you read?

For the Bluffer, he’s still colouring in the last book he read.

I jest. It was The Popular Mind in Eighteenth-century Ireland by Vincent Morley – because he likes that sort of thing.   

He also prefers non-fiction to úrscéalta - novels although he is a huge fan of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly’s hilarious books.

Some books have a huge impact on the whole world. 

Many of the world’s religions come with their own holy books, such as  An Bíobla - the Bible or he Koran, the Torah and the Talmud but other

books have had an influence on people so you might hear: D’imir Moby Dick tionchar mór orm means that Moby Dick has a big effect on me and you can put your own book title in there whether it’s a Mills and Boon or the Kama Sutra.

Indeed my favourite books, be they fiction or non-fiction make you think about life or history or politic in a different way.

Or maybe you feel in love with books - thit mé i ngrá le leabhair means I fell in love with books - when you were a child and your parents read you at bedtime, The Gruffalo or The Very Hungry Caterpillar or anything by Road Dahl.

Or they might have been scéalta sí - fairy stories or scéalta eachtraiochta - adventure stories or whatever excited your young mind.

What was your favourite book as a child, dear reader?

Or cad é a léigh tú agus tú ar scoil? - What did you read when you were at school? It’s often the case that people enjoy reading the books they detested read when they were studying them

What was the worst book you had to read for school? How about the best book you had to read for school?

We remember them equally.

Nowadays, the Bluffer reads his book on bus and train journeys on his kindle but there is no doubting the magic of turning paper pages rather than an e-leabhar.

To be honest, ní maith liom leabhair fhada - I don’t like long books so War and Peace is not on my bucket list Anything over 350-400 pages is a literary no-go area for the Bluffer.

At the same time, is fearr leis leabhair ná scannáin - he prefers books to films.

However, there is no doubt that reading good books really adds to people’s life experience, it improves your stór focal - vocabulary, improves your aird - concentration and add to your eolas - knowledge no matter what genre of book you are reading, fiction or non-fiction

But now the Bluffer is off

to start the book he bought in Bargain Books, hoping it lives up to its title: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jan Sincero.

Actually, no he isn’t.


An léann tú leabhair? (un layan too lore) - do you read books

Léim (layim) - I read

ní léim (nee layim) - I don’t read. 

cad é an leabhar deireanach a léigh tú? (cadge ay un lore jerenakh a lay too) - What is the last book you read?

úrscéalta (oorshkaylta) - novels

An Bíobla (un beebla) - the Bible

D’imir Moby Dick tionchar mór orm (jimer moby dick chunakher more orim) - Moby Dick had a big effect on me 

thit mé i ngrá le leabhair (hitch may i ngraa le lore) - I fell in love with books

scéalta (shkaylta shee) - fairy stories

scéalta eachtraiochta (shkyalta akhtreeakhta) - adventure stories

cad é a léigh tú agus tú ar scoil? (cadge ay a lay too agis too er skull ) - What did you read when you were at school?

ní maith liom leabhair fhada (nee my lum lore ada) - I don’t like long books

is fearr leis leabhair ná scannáin (iss farr lehs lore naa scanaan) - he prefers books to films

stór focal (store fawkle) - vocabulary

aird (ardge)- concentratio 

eolas (oeliss) - knowledge


IRISH AT QUB is hosting its first annual public lecture on this Wednesday (25 April) at 6pm. 

This year, Professor Bernadette O’Rourke (Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh), will deliver a talk entitled “The authority to speak — Linguistic intolerance, anonymity and monolingual regimes”.

This public lecture is free and open to all and will take place in the Great Hall in Queen’s, The lecture will be conducted in English.

:: The third annual Oíche Amhránaíochta (singing in Irish night) organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will take place in Strule Arts Centre, Omagh this Thursday at 7:30pm.  The guest performer for this event this year is Diane Ní Chanain, a renowned sean-nós signer from the Donegal Gaeltacht area of Gortahork.  

This event will feature a workshop in singing in Irish with Diane who will then perform some traditional Irish songs.  This will be followed by an open mic singing session where people will have the opportunity to sing a song of their choice.  

Tickets for this event cost £3 and can be bought from the Box Office of Strule Arts Centre by ringing 028 82247831 or online at

:: Did you know that even in the north you can get your rates bill in Irish? 

You can ring this number 0300 200 7801 and make your demand/request known. 

You will need your Occupancy ID probably (it’s on the top of your last bill). 

No-one likes bills, whatever language they’re in, but this a service that’s available now and it is worth making use of it. 

Use it lose it!

:: Now here are two dates to definitely put in your diary!

The McCracken Summer School is bringing Imram’s The Tower Of Song: The Cohen Project to Áras Mhic Reachtain on Monday July 23 where the songs of the late Canadian genius will be sung in Irish and played by A-Listers Liam Ó Maonlaí, Hilary Bow and The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra with visuals provided as usual by Margaret Lonergan.

The lyrics have been exquisitely treated and translated by poets, Liam Ó Muirthile and Gabriel Rosenstock.

Also, Déise supergroup Danú will close the Summer School on Saturday 27 July. 


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