10 “useful” phrases in Irish (as gaeilge)
You probably know I’ve been running posts on Irish slang. You may remember back in May I published a substantial post about the use of the Irish language in modern Ireland. Heck, I even auditioned for the Irish Sesame Street as gaeilge, but I’ve actually made very little mention of the Irish language itself on this blog.
The truth is, you won’t NEED any Irish language during your visit to Ireland. But, it’s a cool thing to know a bit of Irish, so here’s my challenge for you, o visitor to the emerald isle: attempt to use all 10 of the little bits of Irish listed below in a single day.
For your ease of use I have listed them in order from the most useful to the you-probably-won’t-be-using-this-one.
1. Slainte “SLAHN-chuh” – Irish for “cheers.” Used all the time. Actually, usually used when drinking. Right, so, used all the time.
2. Fir “feer” – Men. In the country, this word in brass letters may be the only clue as to which door to use when you need to relieve yourself at the pub.
3. Mná “mih-NAH” – Ladies. God help your drunken self if you mistake “mná” for the English word “man” and walk into the ladies room by mistake.
4. Go raibh maith agat. “GORE-uh MAH uh-GUT” – Thanks!
5. Slan go fóill. “SLAHN g’FOLE” – See ya later.
6. Conas atá tu. “KUH-nish uh TAH-too” – How are ya?
7. Tá me go maith “TAH may guh MAH” – I’m good.
8. Ar mhaith leat pinta? “air WAH lat pyun-TUH” – Would you like a pint?
9. Ba mhaith liom pinta . . . “buh WAH luhm pyun-TUH . . . “ – I would like a pint of . . . (insert your choice of beer/cider here). If ordering something that does not come in a pint glass, just omit the “pinta.”
10. Cá bhfuil leithreas na bhféar? “kah will LEH-riss na vahr” – Where is the men’s room? If you’re of the female persuasion, replace bhféar with bhán (“vahn”).
And as an extra special bonus phrase:
Ar mhaith leat codladh liom anocht?“air WAH lat kull-UH luhm uh-NOOK’t?” – Would you like to sleep with me tonight?
God help you if you actually attempt to use that last one.