Irish language

How youtube can help you while away your hours in self-isolation

YOU KNOW THE FEELING?: Stephen Rea’s character wakens up to find he can speak nothing but Irish in Daniel O’Hara’s short film Fluent Dysphasia which can be seen on youtube along with a lot of other material in or about Irish
Robert McMillen

GOOD DAY to one and all, pull the chair up for another Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Dia duit? - Hello? Is any-one there? Well, what the hell are we all going to do as the world goes peak The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and we all experience siondróm iniata - locked-in syndrome.

How are we all going to cope with being in aontíos - living in the one house 24/7? 

There is a phrase in Irish which says ní aithne go haontíos - you don’t know someone until the live with them.

Teaghlach is the Irish for a family or a household while clann means the children or the offspring in a family. (Did you know that?)

So, how can we fill our time while waiting for the Grim Reaper appear?

A recent secret suirbhé - survey has found that 100% of the readers of this column are of exceptionally high intellect.

This comes as no surprise to the Bluffer as “we are all in this together”.

So what does the aspiring Gaeilgeoir do when tanks are protecting Centras and Poundstretchers across the land? He watches youtube videos.

For a start, there are loads of Amhráin Ghaeilge - Irish language songs on youtube which have lyrics with them.

Your could turn your family into a cór - a choir, a veritable Gaelic Von Trapp family by the end of an ghéarcheim - the emergency.

Now there are áiseanna foghlamtha - learning aids for Irish learners on youtube but they might not be appropriate for what you are looking for.

However, there are a number of great talks on Irish that I would recommend.

Mholfainn TEDx - I would recommend TEDx and it’s here you’ll

find Colm Ó Broin’s talk

on Deconstructing Myths about the Irish Language – you know the ones about a teanga mharbh - a dead language and polaitiú na teanga - the politicizaton of the language, to each of which Colm gives short shrift.

Also on TED Talks is Dónall Ó hÉalaí’s talk on The Irish Language and Beauty which is also worth watching.

There are other seoda beaga - little gems on line too including Breandán Ó Buachalla agus An Aisling, where the late Gaelic scholar talks about an unbroken living tradition on a visit to Reilig Urnaí - Urney graveyard south of Forkhill where poet Peadar Ó Doirnín is buried. 

We have some gearr- scannáin - short films in Irish on youtube including the famous Yu Ming is Ainm Dom - My Name is Yu Ming and there is Fluent Dysphasia where Stephen Rea’s character wakes up being able to speak nothing but Irish!

We also have Stephen Fry and Dara Ó Briain talking in or about Irish

and there is that other Irish speaking star and Renaissance man, Dónal Mac Golla Chóill, can be heard speaking on Tábhacht na Gaeilge - the importance of the Irish language.

Sooo, there is no shortage of things to watch to keep you occupied. Let me know if you come up with any further Irish gems on youtube.

In the meantime, scrub those hands, keep your distance, keep calm and practice your Irish.  


Dia duit? (jeea ditch) - Hello

siondróm iniata (shindrome inyeeata) - locked-in syndrome

in aontíos (in ayncheece) - living in the one house 

ní aithne go haontíos (nee ihnya gaw hayncheece) - you don’t know someone until the live with them

teaghlach (chaolakh) - a household

clann (clan) - the children in a family

suirbhé (sirvey) - survey

Amhráin Ghaeilge (oreaaan gaylicka) - Irish language songs 

cór (core) - a choir

an ghéarcheim (un yayr-caym) - the emergency

áiseanna foghlamtha (aashana foelama) - learning aids

Mholfainn TEDx (wulheen TEDx) - I would recommend TEDx

teanga mharbh (changa waroo) - a dead language 

polaitiú na teanga (politchoo na changa) - the politicizaton of the language

seoda beaga (shawda bigga) - little gems 

Reilig Urnaí (rellig urnee) - Urney graveyard

gearrscannáin (gyaarscanaan) - short films

Yu Ming is Ainm Dom  (yoo ming is anyim doo) - My Name is Yu Ming

tábhacht na Gaeilge (taowakht na gaylicka) - the importance of Irish

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