St Patrick’s Day is here again, so it seems like a good opportunity once again to attack Cassidy’s rubbish book of fake Irish, to encourage people to learn a little of the real thing, and to say a couple of words about the philosophy of language learning.
At this time of year, many people in the Irish diaspora take an interest in their culture and history. Because of the irresponsible behaviour of a number of prominent members of the Irish-American establishment like Peter Quinn, Joe Lee, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Tom Deignan, the organisers of the San Francisco Irish-American Crossroads Festival and countless others, who recommended and continue to recommend this nonsense to gullible people, this book is still being sold. This is a disgrace. Cassidy’s ‘research’ is a cruel and disgusting hoax and IMHO no decent person would support it. However, thanks in part to this blog, people are now much more aware of how dishonest and foolish this book is, so the newspaper articles about Cassidy’s linguistic ‘revelations’ which used to appear at this time of year have been considerably fewer over the last couple of years. The only major organ (yes, I’m aware of the innuendo) of the diaspora which still supports this raiméis is the egregious IrishCentral. They continue to republish a semi-literate ‘review’ of Cassidy’s book by some 9/11 Truther called Brendan Patrick Keane.
Anyway, it seems appropriate to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with some handy (and GENUINE) phrases in our beautiful Ulster dialect of the Irish language.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig duit!
Ban-akh-tee na fayla pahrig ditch!
Blessings of St Patrick’s day to you!
Go raibh míle maith agat.
Go roh meela moy oggut!
A thousand thanks!
Tá sé iontach deas inniu.
Tah shay intah jass inyoo.
It’s very nice today.
Sláinte mhór agus saol fada agat!
Slahn-chya wore ogus seel fadda oggut!
Good health and long life to you!
If you want some more information on these things, there are hundreds of resources on line. Focloir.ie is particularly good and has audio files for common words. Just don’t trust anything you read on IrishCentral, in any language, and don’t use Cassidy’s book as a source for learning Irish!
As for the philosophy of language learning, here’s a few points for people thinking of learning Irish:
- learn a little every day – start NOW!
- label things you use every day – fridge, cooker, car, door
- write common words or phrases on cards and carry them round with you
- learn a few proverbs or songs by heart
- use apps and words of the day and the Kindle and other new technology
- get output by TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta and listen to the language as much as possible (without bothering about understanding it) just to get used to the sounds and intonation
- go to a class once a week and forget about it the rest of the time
- try to learn everything at once and get disheartened when you can’t
- use Google Translate to translate INTO Irish (it’s useful to get an idea of what a text means in a language you don’t speak well or at all but, for example, if you put I cycled a lot into Google Translate, you get Rothar mé go leor, which is garbage!)
- make up sentences which are too complicated for you – stick to the structures you know to be correct. Walk, then run! There’s no point in practising elaborate structures which are wrong. Stick to simple sentences which are right!
- Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!!