Irish language

The seven deadly sins of those we are forced to share cars with

BACK SEAT SLEEPERS: You’ll have your own hierarchy of horrible car passengers - the ones who sleep when you want some company or those who talk gibberish when you want some quiet, they ones who tell you how to drive ...
Robert McMillen

GO mBEANNAÍ DIA daoibh, hello to back-seat drivers and passengers who stay schtum, you’re more than welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer has less use for a car than he used to.   

Ní bhím ag tiomáint go minic na laethanta seo - I don’t often drive these days and the idea of driving to Dublin, say, makes no sense when he can take the train, have a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin and read the paper, something not to be tried behind an roth stiúrtha - the driving wheel.  

Is mé an paisinéir foirfe - I am the perfect passenger, he claims however a company, StressFreeCarRental, says that there are seven categories of passengers.

We all know about the tiománaí suíochán cúil - the back seat driver, the know-it-alls who will say tá tú ag dul róghasta - you are going too quickly, tá tú sa ghiar chontráilte - you’re in the wrong gear, gabh isteach sa lána eile - get into the other lane and so on.

You know the type, the one you wish you had one of James Bond’s famous ejector seats.

The same goes for travellers who suffer from tinneas taistil - travel sickness.

The Bluffer’s brother always needed a packet of Quells before any car journey longer than 25 yards so holiday trips to Waterfoot were fraught shall we say but you rarely hear of people being sick in cars nowadays – unless they’ve been on the lash the night before - but a mála urlacain - a sick bag in the cóifrín miotóg - glove compartment might come in handy some time.

Then you have passengers who see a car journey as a way of catching up on some kip.

A snoozy car companion can sometimes become an annoyance for those who are driving tired. 

Then there are the travel companions who have a lamhnán lag - a weak bladder.

This is particularly tough on the “designated driver” the poor person who has to take their friends home after a night on the tiles and a plaintive caithfidh mé mo mhún a dhéanamh - I need to have a pee every couple of miles.

In future, make sure they go to the bathroom before setting foot in your car.

Then there are those who could be described as príomhamhránaithe - lead singers, the ones who change the radio channel or the Spotify playlist and sing very loudly, off-tune and getting lyrics wrong.

This is a driver’s idea of hell but if your companion isn’t a Freddy Mercury he or she might just be a geabaire - a chatterbox.

The last thing drivers need when trying to focus is a passenger who doesn’t know when to keep quiet, especially if you are trying to listen out to your loingsoireacht saitilíte - satnav. 

Now, no matter how confident on the road you may seem, there is always that one passenger who claims to know the route far better than you. 

They will go out of their way to let you know the best way to go and where all the shortcuts are. 

Sometimes they are right but, hell's bells, why don’t they just sit back and enjoy the ride? 

CÚPLA FOCAL

Ní bhím ag tiomáint go minic na laethanta seo (nee veem eg chumantch faw minik na layhanta shaw) - I don’t often drive these days 

an roth stiúrtha (un roh shtoorha) - the driving wheel  

Is mé an paisinéir foirfe (iss may un pashinayr firafa) - I am the perfect passenger

tiománaí suíochán cúil (chumanee seeahaan cool) - the back seat driver

tá tú ag dul róghasta (taa too eg gul roegasta) - you are going too quickly

tá tú sa ghiar chontráilte (taa too sa yeer contraltcha) - you’re in the wrong gear

gabh isteach sa lána eile (go ishtyakh sa laana ella) - get into the other lane

tinneas taistil (chinyiss tashtil) - travel sickness

mála urlacain (mala urlacaan) - a sick bag 

cóifrín miotóg  (coefreen mitawg) - glove compartment

lamhnán lag (laownaan lug) - a weak bladder

caithfidh mé mo mhún a dhéanamhh (kiyhee may maw woon a yanoo) - I need to have a pee

príomhamhránaithe (preeoo-oraneeha) - lead singers

geabaire (gyabera) - a chatterbox

loingsoireacht saitilíte (lingshoreakht sataleetcha) - a satnav

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