Search Results for: tomhas na teanga

Tomhas na Teanga

Mar is eol don chuid is mó againn, tá saghasanna éagsúla Gaeilge ann.   As most of us know, there are different kinds of Irish.   Tá an Caighdeán Oifigiúil ann.   There’s the Official Standard.   Sin an saghas a mhúintear sna scoileanna, mar sórt ‘idirchanúint.’   That’s the kind taught in schools, as a sort of compromise dialect.   Ansin, tá na mór-chanúintí ann – Gaeilig, nó Gaeilge Uladh, Gaeilge Chonnacht, agus Gaelainn, nó Gaeilge na Mumhan.   Then there are the major dialects – Ulster, Connacht and Munster.   Bíonn mion-difríochtaí ann idir áiteanna éagsúla, dar ndóigh, agus fiú idir daoine éagsúla, mar theanga ar bith.   There are always minor differences between certain places, of course, and even between individuals, like any language.   Ach tá tréithe ar leith ag gach canúint, agus tuigeann muintear na háiteanna sin a chéile níos éasca ná a thuigeann daoine eile iad.   Each dialect has its own traits, and the people of those places understand each other more easily than other people understand them.   Tá na canúintí seo cosúil le deirfiúracha nó deartháireacha dá chéile.   These dialects are like sisters or brothers.   Ach tá col ceathracha againn, freisin – i Manainn agus go háirithe in Albain.   But we have cousins, too – in Man and especially in Scotland.

Gaeilge na hAlban is ea Gàidhlig.   Scots Gaelic is…   Teanga is ea í atá an-chosúil le Gaeilge na hÉireann, ach difriúil go leor le bheith ina teanga éagsúil.   It’s a language very similar to Irish, but different enough to be its own language.   Mar sin féin, má tá Gaeilge agat, agus go háithrithe má tá Gaeilge Uladh agat, nó fiú Gaeilge Chéitinn (ó cúpla céad bliain ó shin), níl sé an-deacair roinnt mhór di a thuiscint.   Just the same, if you know Irish, especially Ulster Irish, or even Keating’s Irish (from a couple of hundred years ago), it isn’t too difficult to understand a lot of it.   Ná bíodh aon imní ort go scríobhtar na síntí fada sa treo eile!   Don’t worry that the fadas go the other way!

Maraon le Gaeilge sa tseanlitriú, abair os ard í agus beidh a fhios agat cad atá ann, an chuid is mó den am.   The same as old-spelling Irish, say it out loud and you’ll know what’s there, most of the time.   Mar chanúint difriúil, bíonn rudaí áirithe difriúla ann ach bíonn na rudaí céanna ann, agus má fhoghlaimítear cúpla ceann acu, ní bheidh sé ró-dheacair as sin amach.   Like a different dialact, there are particular different things, but the same things always, and if you learn a few of them, it isn’t to hard after that.

Le déanaí, tá áiseanna nua ar an idirlíonn ar fáil atá an-suimiúil agus úsáideach maidir leis an nGàidhlig.   Recently, there are new resources on the internet available that are very interesting and useful.   Ní fheadar cé acu maith nó olc é, ach tá Google translate (mar dhea) ar fáil don nGàidhlig anois.   I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing, but GT is now available for Gaelic.   Ní féidir aistriúcháin a dhéanamh leis, mar atá a fhios ag lucht léite an cholúin seo, ach is féidir gaoth an fhocail a fháil, agus is úsáideach é mar chabhair chun rud a thuiscint.   Readers of this column know that you can’t translate with it, but it can give you the gist of things, and is a useful help in understanding something.

Seo comparáid taobh le taobh idir nathanna Gaeilge agus nathanna Gàidhlig, atá an-deas:
http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/ga-ge/coimeas.html.   This is a nice comparison between Irish and Gaelic…   Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, coláiste in Albain (“teagasg gu léir tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig”), a rinne a leathanach sin, agus tá méid mhór leathanach eile an-suimiúil acu ar a suíomh idirlíon.   SMO (an all Gaelic school in Scotland) created that page, and they have lots of other very interesting pages on their website.   Tá siad suite ar Eilean (Oileán) Sgitheanach   – lorg iad ar ga.wikipedia.org chun níos mó a fhoghlaim fúthu as Gaeilge).   They are located on the Isle of Skye – you can read about them in Irish…
Feictear go n-úsáidtear ‘cha(n)’ in ionad ‘níl’ go díreach mar Ghaeilge Uladh.   You can see that they use…like in Ulster Irish.   Agus tá litriú acu atá níos cosúla le Gaeilge sheanfhaiseanta – saoghal in ionad saol, mar shampla.   and their spelling is more like old-fashioned Irish…   Ach leis na nodanna ar an leathanach lín seo, is féidir mórán eile a thuiscint.   But with the hints on this web page, you can understand a lot.

Tamall beag ó shin, rinne duine Meiriceánach éacht agus chuir sé foclóir Gaeilge/Gàidhlig ar fáil don chéad uair riamh – saor in aisce ar an idirlíon!   A short time ago an American did a wonderful thing and made an Irish/Gaelic dictionary available for the first time – free on the internet!   Seo an scéal faoi:   http://tuairisc.ie/focloir-gaidhlig-gaeilge-foilsithe-ag-an-ollamh-kevin-scannell-ar-line/

Déantar iarrachtaí an nasc idir tuaisceart na hÉireann agus Alba a neartú go minic.   Things are often done to strengthen the link between Northern Ireland and Scotland.   Tagann na filí le chéile, agus bíonn ranganna srl. ar siúl.   The poets get together, and there are classes, etc.   Níl Gàidhlig fiú chomh láidir leis an nGaeilge mar theanga, agus ba chóir dúinn tacú lena chéile, gan dabht.   Gaelic isn’t even as strong as Irish, as a language, and we ought to support each other, without a doubt.

An féidir leat an urnaí seo leanas a léamh?   Can you read the following prayer?

Ar n-Athair a tha air nèamh, gu naomhaichear d’ainm.   Thigeadh do rìoghachd.   Dèanar do thoil air an talamh, mar a nithear air nèamh.   Tabhair dhuinn an-diugh ar n-aran làitheil.   Agus maith dhuinn ar fiachan, amhail a mhaitheas sinne dar luchd-fiach.   Agus na leig ann am buaireadh sinn; ach saor sinn o olc: oir is leatsa an rìoghachd, agus an cumhachd, agus a’ ghlòir, gu siorraidh.   Amen.

Tomhas na Teanga

Tá áit cháiliúil i mBrooklyn ar a dtugtar Clós Cabhlaigh Brooklyn.  Theres a famous place in Brooklyn called the Brooklyn Navy Yard.   Ceannaíodh an talamh (dugaí a bhí ann cheana féin) in 1801, faoin uachtarán John Adams, agus bunaíodh mar chlós cabhlaigh gníomhach é in 1806.  The land was purchased in 1801 (there were already docks there), under President JA, and it was founded as an active navy yard in 1806.  Ceann de chúig chlós a bunaíodh faoi rialtas na Stát Aontaithe ag an am ab ea é.    It was one of 5 yards founded by the US government at the time.  Tá sé suite ar Imchuach Wallabout, áit a mbíodh na príosún-longa Sasanacha i rith an chogaidh réabhlóidigh (tá dán agam ar an ábhar seo, an Príosún-long Jersey,  i mo leabhar An File ar Buile).  It is located on Wallabout Basin, where the British prison ships were during the revolutionary war (Ihave a poem on this subject, the Prison-ship Jersey, in my book…).

In aice leis an gclós seo tá páirc, agus an pháirc is sine i mBrooklyn is ea é.  In 1951, ath-bhaisteadh é mar Commodore Barry Park, mar gheall ar an nasc idir Barry agus an clós cabhlaigh.  Near the yard is a park, which is the oldest park in Brooklyn.  In 1951 it was renamedbecause of the connection Barry had to the navy yard.  Bhí baint éigin ag Ceannasóir John Barry lena bhunú – sin a deir beagnach gach suíomh idirlín a luann é.  Barry had something to do with its founding thats what almost every website says that mentions him.  Ach fuair mé (faoi dheireadh) i ndoiciméad atá ag Coláiste Pobail Laguardia faoi ainmniú na páirce ina onóir (bhíodh Páirc na Cathrach air roimhe sin), gur mhol seisean don Chomhdháil in 1798 roinn cabhlaigh agus clós cabhlaigh a bhunú.  But I found (finally) in a document that Laguardia Community College has about the naming of the park in his honor (it used to be called City Park), that it was he who   recommended to Congress in 1798 that a navy department and navy yard be established.

Tá linn snámha poiblí sa pháirc, agus ar bhallaí an fhoirgnimh seo, tá comharthaí péinteáilte faoi Barry agus an fáth go raibh sé tábhachtach.  There is a public pool in the park, and on the walls of this building there are painted signs about Barry and why he was important.  Ach níl aon dealbh de sa pháirc.    But there is no statue of him in the park.    Nuair a bhí mé ag déanamh taighde air, fuair mé go bhfuil dealbha de in Washington D.C., in Philadelphia, agus fiú i Loch Garman!  While I was researching this, I found that there is a statue of him in DC, Philly and even in Wexford!   Ba as Teach Coimseáin i gContae Loch Garman é.    He was from Tacumshane in County Wexford.

Fuair mé rud eile suimiúil, a bhaineann leis an dealbh i Washington.  I found something else interesting relating to the statue in Washington.  Nuair a nochtadh é ar an 16ú Bealtaine 1914, thug Uachtarán Wilson óráid, agus fuair mé an óráid sin ar an idirlíon. When it was unvailed on May 16th 1914, President Wilson gave a speech, and I found that speech on the internet.   Meon na haoise sin atá le brath ann, dar ndóigh, ach níl sé gan baint lenár linn féin.  The attitude of the age is to be sensed in it, of course, but it isnt without relevence to our own times.  Dúirt Wilson (aistrithe go Gaeilge):    Wilson said (translated to Irish):   “…Ba Éireannach é John Barry, ach thrasnaigh a chroí an tAtlantach leis.  …John Barry was an Irishman, but his heart crossed the Atlantic with him.  Níor fhág sé in Éirinn é.  He did not leave it in Ireland.     Agus is é an promhadh a chuirtear ar gach duine dínn – mar tá fréamhacha againn go léir thar sáile – sin é, an mbímid sásta chun cabhrú Meiriceá lena saol saor agus neamhspleách, ag caomhnú ár gcion ársa, cinnte, ach ag socrú ar gach a ndéanaimid mar gheall ar na leasanna ar an taobh seo den aigéan.  And the test of all of usfor all of us had our origins on the other side of the seais whether we will assist in enabling America to live her separate and independent life, retaining our ancient affections, indeed, but determining everything that we do by the interests that exist on this side of the sea.   Tá gá ag Meiriceánaigh áirithe le fleiscíní ina n-ainmneacha, as siocar nár tháinig ach cuid den duine trasna na dtonnta.  Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over.   Ach nuair a thagann an duine ina iomlán chugainn, titeann an fleiscín dá ainm as a mheáchan féin.    But when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name.   Ní raibh sé ina Ghael-Mheiriceánach, ach ba Ghael é a d’iompaigh go Meiriceánach…  This man was not an Irish-American; he was an Irishman who became an American

Tá iarsmalann saor in aisce, BDLG 92, ag an gclós.  There is a free museumat the yard.  Fuair mé cúpla fíric suimiúil eile ansin.  I found a few other interesting facts there.  Thugtaí Baile Éireannach ar an gcomharsanacht ina thimpeall.  The surrounding neighborhood used to be called Irish Town.  Bhíodh sliocht na hÉireann ag obair ag an gclós riamh.  People of Irish descent used to always work in the yard.  Bhí duine darb ainm “Boss” Hugh McLaughlin i mbun na n-oibrithe ag deireadh an naoiú haoise déag, agus bhí sé agus Halla Tamanny in adharca a chéile nuair a slógadh Brooklyn isteach Cathair Nua-Eabhraic.  There was a person namedin charge of the workers at the end of the 19th century, and he was at oddsy with TH when Brooklyn was swollowed up into NYC.

Bhí muintir Éireannach ag obair i ngach saghas poist timpeall na háite, agus is iomaí scéal eile a bheadh le hinsint fúthu, cinnte.  Irish people worked in every sort of job around the place, and there are many other stories that could be told about them, for sure.

 

Tomhas 1BTomhas 1A

Tomhas na Teanga – Jim Norton

Éisteann an saol iomlán le ceol Meiriceánach.  The whole world listens to American music.  Tosaíodh stíleanna ceoil go leor sna Stáit.  Lots of musical styles were started in the States.  Agus tharla sin mar gheall ar an meascán de cheol is daoine ó thíortha agus ó chultúir an-éagsúla.  And that happened because of the mix of music and people from very different countries and cultures.

Bhíodh ceol na dtíortha áirithe á dhéanamh sna Stáit le fada an lá.  The music of various countries was played in the States for a long time.  Ach i ndiaidh an chogaidh chathartha go háirithe, rinneadh ceol an-difriúil agus nua.   But especially after the Civil War, very different and new music was made.  Jazz a thugtar air ar ball.  It was eventually called jazz.  Ceaptar gur cumadh jazz in New Orleans den chéad uair.  People think that jazz was created in NO originally.  Ach níorbh é NO an t-aon áit a raibh a leithéid ann, ná baol air.  But that wasn’t the only place such a thing was, by any means.  Thuas agus thíos an Mississippi go háirithe a bhí aithne ag na daoine ar na nósanna nua seo.   Up and down the M. especially people knew these new styles.  Agus pé áit a raibh a bhunadh, bhí sé ar fud na tíre faoi cheann achair bhig.  And wherever it was from, it was all over the country within a short period of time.

Tá sé an-chonspóideach cad í foinse an fhocail féin, jazz.  It is very controversial what the source of the word jazz is.  Tá teoiric ann gur as an nGaeilge é.  There is a theory that it is from the Irish.  Deir ollamh i San Francisco darb ainm Daniel Cassidy gur as an bhfocal ‘teas’ é, agus gurb é iriseoir de shliocht na hÉireann darb ainm Scoop Gleeson a bhain úsáid as den chéad uair, i nuachtán i San Francisco.  A professor in SF named…says that it is from the word [heat], and that a reporter with Irish roots named… used it for the first time, in a SF newspaper.  Is iomaí Éireannach a chuir faoi ansin san aois sin.  It’s many an Irishman who settled there in that age.  Bhíodh a lán Gaeilgeoirí ann, gan dabht.  There used to be a lot of Irish speakers there, no doubt.   D’fhaigheadh An Gaodhal (An Gael) ábhar ó SF go minic.  An Gael used to get material from SF often.  Agus bhí a lán ceoltóirí Éireannacha bainteach le buntús an cheoil nua seo.   And there were a lot of Irish musicians involved in the origin of this new music.   Mar sin, luíonn sé le ciall gur thug Gaeilgeoir an t-ainm air.  So, it stands to reason that an Irish speaker gave the name to it.  Ceapaim féin gurb fhéidir go raibh an focal ‘deas’ i gceist, go háirithe mar gheall ar theoiricí eile faoina fhoinse.  i myself think it may have been the word [nice], especially because of  other theories about its source.  Ní an sanasaíocht de cinnte, pé scéal, agus is maith an scéal é gur linne an focal jazz!  The etymology is not certain, anyway, and it’s a good story that the word is ours!

Tá baint nach beag ag Éire le déanamh an bhanna ceoil jazz (tugtar snagcheol air as Gaeilge).  Ireland had no small part in the creation of the jazz band (in Irish, jazz is called…).  Meascán de cheol Afracach, Éireannach, Spáinneach, srl. atá ann.  It’s a mix of African, Irish, Spanish, etc. music.   Ach de réir dealraimh, is ó bhanna máirseála áirithe a tháinig an meascán de huirlisí phráis agus gaothuirlisí mar an sacsafón.  But apparently, it is from a particular marching band that came the mixing of brass instruments with woodwinds like the saxophone.   Agus an duine a rinne sin don chéad uair?  And the person who did that the first time?  Éireannach darb ainm Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore.  An Irishman by the name of…  Rugadh é i mBéal Átha Ghartha, Co. na Gaillimhe, in 1829.  He was born in Ballygar, Gallway, in…  D’fhoghlaim sé a cheird i mBaile Átha Luain ó Patrick Keating, ceannródaí eile na mbannaí máirseála.  He learned his craft from another marching band pioneer…in Athlone.   Chuir Gilmore faoi i mBoston in 1848.  G settled in Boston in 1848.  Bheadh sé i measc na ndaoine ba cháiliúla san aois sin, agus b’fhéidir an ceoltóir ba cháiliúla i Meiriceá.  He would be among the most famous people of that age, and maybe the most famous musician in America.

Bhí banna ceoil míleata aige san arm a raibh cáil agus clú air, agus mar gheall air sin, rinneadh ard-bhannamháistir de, i mbun cheol an airm ar fad.  He had a military band in the army which was very well known, and because of that, he was made bandmaster general for the entire army.  i ndiaidh an chogaidh, bhí ceolchoirm aige in New Orleans leis an mbanna ba mhó riamh.  After the war, he had a concert in NO with the biggest band ever.  Bhíodh ceolchoirmeacha aige i Nua-Eabhrac, ag áit dá chuid féin, Gilmore’s Concert Garden, agus ar ball, rinneadh an chéad Madison Square Garden de.  He used to have concerts in NY, at a place of his own…, and eventually, it became the first MSG.  Thosaigh seisean an nós chun Oíche Chinn Bliana a cheiliúradh in Times Square.  It was he who started the tradition of celebrating New Year’s Eve in…  i rith an chogaidh, chum sé an t-amhrán “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (ón amhrán Éireannach “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”).  During the war, he wrote the song…(from the Irish song…).   Bhí sé agus a bhanna ceoil ar roinnt de na chéad taifeadtaí a rinne Edison.  He and his band were on some of Edison’s first recordings.

Nach ait an rud é nach luaitear ach go hannamh duine chomh cáiliúil sin níos mó?  Isn’t it strange that a person so famous is rarely mentioned any more?

Mar a tharla, ba é “Papa” Jack Laine, Gael-Mheiriceánach (sílim) i New Orleans a bhí an-tábhachtach ag an tús, agus b’eisean an chéad duine chun druma mór agus sreangdhruma a chur le chéile do sheinnteoir amháin. As it happened, an Irish-American (I think)…was very important at the beginning in NO, and he was the first person to put the bass and snare drum together for one player.  Fuair sé a chéad dhruma ó mhac Patrick Gilmore!  He got is first drum from PG’s son!

 

 

Tomhas na Teanga

Cé gurb amhlaidh go mbíonn an dúlra ina namhaid dúinn uaireanta, mar a bhí leis na stoirmeacha uafásacha a tharla i mbliana, níos minice is cara, fiú máthair dúinn é.  Even though sometimes nature is our enemy, as it was with the terrible storms that happened this year, more often it is a friend, even a mother to us.  Agus go háirithe san earrach agus sa samhradh, bíonn deis againn taitneamh a bhaint as.  And especially in the spring and summer, we have a chance to enjoy it.  Stadaimis agus bolaímis na bláthanna, mar sin!  So let’s stop and smell the flowers!

Is caitheamh aimsire breá an gharraíodóireacht, agus táim cinnte go bhfuil garraithe thar barr ag a lán ball dár n-ord seo.  Gardening is a great hobby, and I’m certain that a lot of our order’s members have great gardens.  Níl an ceann atá againne chomh galánta.  The one we have isn’t so fine.  Tá plandaí éagsúla ann, an iomarca luifearnach ina measc…  There are various plants, too many weeds amongst them…  Ach táthar ag súil go bhfaighimid glasraí dár gcuid féin as.  It is hoped that we will get our own vegetables from it.  Agus dar ndóigh, tá bláthanna ann, freisin.  And of course, there are flowers, too.

Mura bhfuil spás nó am go leor agat chun do gharraí féin a chur is freastal air, is iomaí garraí pobail atá ann.  If you don’t have space or time to plant and attend to your own garden, there are lots of community ones.  Tá ceann ag mo pharóiste.  My parish has one.  Tugann scaifte daoine ón gcomharsanacht aire dó.  A group of people from the neighborhood tend it.  Ar mo shlí ón traein go dtí m’oifig i mBrooklyn, siúlaim thar cheann eile, ar leis an gcomharsanacht é.  On the way from the train to my office…I walk past another one, which belongs to the neighborhood.  Níl na cinn seo an-mhór, ach tá siad go deas agus cé nach n-ithim na glasraí, bainim taitneamh as na bláthanna agus an boladh deas atá orthu (agus ar na luibheanna, freisin).  These aren’t very big, but they’re nice and although I don’t eat the veggies, I enjoy the flowers and their nice smell (and that of the herbs, too).

Tá garraithe móra poiblí ann, freisin – crannlanna ina measc.  There are also big public gardens – including arboretums.  Bhí an aimsir go dian ar na crainn i mbliana, agus cailleadh roinnt mhór díobh, faraor, ach fós féin, mhair an chuid is mó díobh, agus is breá an rud é am a mheilt i measc na gcrann galánta éagsúil.  The weather was hard on the trees this year, and a lot of them were lost, alas, but just the same, most of them lived, and it a fine thing to while away the time in the midst of various noble trees.  Ar na sean eastáit ar Inis Fada i Nua-Eabhrac, cuireadh crannlanna agus gairdíní breátha, agus tá roinnt mhór díobh seo ina bpáirceanna poiblí anois.  On the old estates on Long Island in NY, arboretums and fine gardens were planted, and a lot of them are public parks now.

San earrach, thug mé cuairt ar ghairdíní Hershey in PA.  In the spring, I visited Hershey Gardens…  Bhí na tiúilipí faoi bhláth ag an am, agus b’iontach an radharc iad.  The tulips were in bloom, and they were a wonderful sight.  Tá na garraithe seo ar bharr cnoic, agus is féidir Hershey Park a fheiscint uathu.  These gardens are on the top of a hill, and you can see…from them.  Crannlann atá ann chomh maith, agus tá fiú crónghiúisí acu.  There’s an arboretum too, and they even have redwoods.  Tá cróghiúis na caomhaire againn sa bhaile.  We have a dawn redwood at home.  Tá a lán acu seo sa Bhablóin, ar Inis Fada, mar atá.  There are a lot of these in Bablyon, on Long Island, as it happens.  Ach tá na cinn ón gcósta thiar – Sequoiadendron gigantea – acu in Hershey.  But they have the ones from the west coast…  Níl siad chomh mór leis na cinn in California, ach tá siad mór go leor.  They’re not as big as the ones in CA, but they’re big enough.

Tá Garraithe na Lus (na luibheolaíochta) mór le rá againn sa Bhroncs (agus in áiteanna eile), i Nua-Eabhrac.  We have big Botanical Gardens in the Bronx (and in other places), in NY.  Agus tá a leithéid ann ar fud na tíre, más níos lú an chuid is mó díobh.  And there are similar ones all over the country, even if they are usually smaller.  In Éirinn, tá Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus ann i nGlas Naíon, sráidbhaile ó thuaidh ó Bhaile Átha Cliath.  In Ireland, the National Botanical Gardens are in Glasnevin, a town north of Dublin. Tá an méid seo leanas (agus níos mó) fúthu le fáil ar an suíomh idirlín www.heritageireland.ie/ga: The following (and more) can be found on the website…:  “Bunaíodh Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus sa bhliain 1795.”  The NBG were founded in… “Tá clú agus cáil orthu as na tiomsacháin bhreátha de phlandaí ina bhfuil breis is 17,000 de speicis agus de chineálacha plandaí as áiteanna ar fud fad na cruinne.”  They are famous for their fine collection of plants, which includes more than [15,000 sa leagan Béarla atá acu – tá sé difriúil ar fad!] species and kinds of plants from places all over the world.  “Tá cáil orthu de bharr na ngairdíní áille tírdhreachtaithe agus na dtithe gloine, go háirithe Raon Cuarlíneach Turner agus Teach na Pailme Móire, atá athchóirithe go fíor-ornáideach agus plandaí curtha iontu.”  They’re famous for the beautiful landscaped gardens and greenhouses, especially the Turner Curvilinear Range and the Great Palm House, which have been restored very ornately with plants planted in them.

Agus is iomaí gairdín eile atá ann i mBaile Átha Cliath agus ar fud Éireann agus ar fud Meiriceá.  And there are many other gardens in Dublin and all over Ireland and all over America.  Tabhair cuairt ar cheann nó dhó sa samhradh seo!  Visit one or two this summer!

Tomhas na Teanga Eanáir 2013

Mar is eol do chách, bhí stoirm mhór againn in oirthuaisceart na tíre, san fhómhar. As everybody knows, we had a big storm in the northeast, in the fall.  Tháinig hairicín agus stoirm eile le chéile. A hurricane and another storm came together.  Agus tharla sin nuair a bhí lán mara ann agus gealach lán leis. And that happened when it was high tide and also a full moon. Mar sin, bhí na tonnta ag teacht i dtír, agus bhí tuilte uafásacha ann.  So the waves were coming ashore, and there were terrible floods.  Agus murab é sin olc go leor, cúpla lá ina dhiaidh sin thit sneachta trom.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, a few days later a heavy snow fell.  Is iomaí crann a thit mar gheall ar an drochaimsir go léir seo.  It’s many the tree that fell on account of all this bad weather.  Agus thit roinnt daoibh ar dhaoine, dá marú. And some of them fell on people, killing them.  Bádh daoine eile, agus tharla timpistí le gineadóirí agus timpistíbóthair agus mar sin de. Other people were drowned, and accidents happened with generators and there were traffic accidents and so on.

Chaill daoine a lán dá gcuid, agus rinneadh mórán damáiste. People lost a lot of property, and a lot of damage was done.  Buíochas le Dia, ní raibh cúrsaí chomh dona sin againne. Thank God, things weren’t so bad for us. Bhíomar gan leictreachas ar feadh dhá lá déag (ach amháin dhá uair an chloig sular thit an sneachta…saghas céasta ab ea é an leictreachas a chailliúint ar athuair mar sin!).  We were without electricity for 12 days (except for 2 hours before the snow fell…it was a kind of torture to lose electricity a second time like that!)  Agus leis sin, ní raibh teocht ná uisce te ná fón (ach fóin phóca) againn ach oiread.  And along with that, we had no heat or hot water or phone (except cell phones) either.

Tá umar iasc teochreasa againn.  We have a tropical fish tank.  Rinneamar ár seacht ndícheall iad a choimeád te go leor, agus a gcuid uisce glan, agus ocsaigin a chuir isteach san uisce dóibh.  We did our very best to keep them warm enough, and their water clean, and to put oxygen into the water for them.  Ach theip orainn iad go léir a choimeád beo.  But we couldn’t keep them all alive.  Cailleadh breis isleath díobh, de réir a chéile.  We lost more than half of them, a few at a time.  Ba bhocht an scéal é.  It was a badbusiness.  Cailleadh cúpla acu tamaill maith ina dhiaidh freisin, mar bhí an strus ró-mhór dóibh.  A few of them died a good while afterwards, too, because the stress was too much for them.  Ach ba bheag an rud seo, i gcodarsnacht leis na rudaí níos measa a tharla do dhaoine eile.  But this was a little thing, in comparison with the worse things that happened to other people.

Maraon leis na rudaí olca a tharla, bhí an t-ádh ag a lán daoine eile.  Together with the bad things that happened, other people were lucky.  Nó bhí aingil dá gcosaint.  Or angels were protecting them.  Mar shampla, thit crann rí-mhór a bhíodh ina sheasamh taobh le teach mo dheirféar céile.  For example, a really big tree fell, which used to stand next to my sister in law’s house.  Bhí baill dá teaghlach amuigh ag féachaint air tamaill beag sular thit sé, agus bhí siad ábalta éalú uaidh nuair a thit.  Members of here household were outside looking at it a little while before it fell.  Thit sé go díreach idir an teach agus an garáiste.  It fell exactly between the house and the garage. Scrios sé crann beag eile agus crann luascán, ach b’fhéidir leis an gcrann sin mórán damáiste a dhéanamh nach ndearna, agus táimid buíoch do Dhia faoi sin, cinnte.  It destroyed another small tree and a swing set, but that tree could have done a lot of damage that it didn’t do, and we thank God for that, for sure.

Gach lá, nuair a bhíomar gan leictreachas, bhímis ag fanacht leis na leoraithe a thiocfadh chun sinne a shábháil.  Every day, when we were without electricity, we would be waiting for the trucks that would come to save us.  Agus ag fanacht.  And waiting.  Is iomaí rabhadh bréige a bhí ann. There were a lot of false alarms.  Tháinig siad i ndeireadh na dála, is dheisigh siad na sreangacha srl.  They finally came, and they fixed the wires, etc.  Ansin, thit an sneachta, agus bhíomar ar bun an liosta arís.  Then, the snow fell, and we were at the bottom of the list again. Cúpla lá eile, agus faoi dheireadh, bhíomar slán compordach teolaí – agus glan – arís.  A few more days, and finally, we were safe, comfortable, warm – and clean – again.

Dóbair go raibh sé normálta againn, inár suí sa dorchadas san oíche, gan teilifís, gan ríomhaire.  It almost became normal for us, sitting in the darkness at night, with no television, no computer.  D’éisteamar leis an raidió.  We listened to the radio.  D’imríomar cluiche.  We played a game. Rinneamar caint lena chéile.  We talked to each other. Agus chuamar a chodladh go luath.  And we went to bed early.  Tagtar i dtaithí ar chúinsí ar bith, ar ball.  You get used to anything, eventually.  Ach táimid lán sásta ár saol mar a bhíodh a fháil ar ais, geallaim duit!  But we’re very happy to get back the life we used to have, I promise you!Tá léirthuiscint nua againn dá bhfuil againn anois, gan amhras.  We have a new appreciation for all we have now, without a doubt.

Rinne mórán daoine obair iontach ag cabhrú lena gcomharsana, agus cé nach rabhamar sásta go raibh an méid sin ama de dhíth, níl aon dabht ach go raibh na leictreoirí agus na hoibreoirí eile ag obair go dian chun gach rud a chur ina cheart.  A lot of people did wonderful work helping their neighbors, and although we weren’t happy with the amount of time needed, there’s no doubt that the electricians and the other workers worked very hard to make everything right again.  Bhí na póilíní agus na fir dóiteáin thar barr, freisin.  The police and fireman were terrific, too.  Go raibh maith agaibh uile, má tá sibh ag léamh!  Thanks to all, if you are reading!

 

Tomhas na Teanga

Bíonn níos mó ná slí amháin ann chun rud ar bith a rá.  There’s always more than one way to say anything at all.  Tá stór focal an-mhór ag an nGaeilge, agus cora cainte go leor freisin.  Irish has a very big vocabulary, and plenty of idiomatic sayings, too.  I mbaile amháin, tá nós éigin ann, agus minic go leor, sa bhaile béal dorais, tá nós eile ann.  In one town, there’s one way, and very often, in the town next door, there’s another way.  Bíonn difríochtaí idir nósanna daoine áirithe, freisin, dar ndóigh.  There are different ways amongst particular people, too, of course.  Agus na difríochtaí is mó, is idir na canúintí iadsan.  And the biggest differences, they are between the dialects.  Tá seanfhocal ann a deir “ná déan nós agus ná bris nós,” ach ní thagaim leis an gceann sin – ró-shean-nósach, dar liom.  There’s a proverb that says “don’t make up a way and don’t break from a way,” but I don’t go along with that one – too old-fashioned, in my opinion.  Is fearr ann ná as é go mbíonn roghanna againn.  It’s better that we have choices.

An fhadhb is mó a bhíonn ag daoine maidir leis an gCaighdeán Oifigiúil ná go gceapann siad nach bhfuil ceadaithe ach nós amháin ar rud, agus síleann daoine áirithe nach bhfuil an Ghaeilge lena dtógadh iad ceart de réir an Chaighdeáin.  The biggest problem that people have regarding the Official Standard is that they think it only permits one way for a thing, and some people think that the Irish they were raised with isn’t correct according to the Standard.  Ach ní ionann ceart agus caighdeánach.  But correct and standard are not the same thing.  Agus fiú faoi rialacha an CO, is féidir a lán nósanna difriúla a úsáid.  And even under the rules of the CO, it’s possible to use a lot of styles.  Is iomaí abairt i leabhar an CO a thosnaíonn leis na focail “Is iondúil…”  It’s many the sentence in the CO that starts with the words “It’s usual…”

Tá sé níos fusa litriú agus gramadach caighdeánach a mhúineadh agus (don fhoghlaimeoir) a thuiscint.  It’s easier to teach and (for the student) to understand standardized spelling and grammar.  Sin an fáth go bhfuil sé ann.  That’s why it exists.  Ach níl aon amhras ach go bhfuil an teanga i bhfad níos saibhre ná an CO, agus níor mhaith le héinne bac a chur ar aon nós nádúrtha sa teanga labhartha.  But there is no  doubt that the language is a lot richer than the CO, and nobody wants to restrict any natural way of speaking.

An sampla is coitianta ná na trí abairt seo leanas:  Conas tá tú?  Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú?  Cad é mar atá tú?  The most common example is the following three sentences…  Tá siad cosúil leis an mBéarla, How ya doin’?  How’s it going?  How are you?  They are similar to the English…  An bhfuil aon cheann acu sin mícheart?   Is any one of them incorrect? An bhfuil aon cheann acu sin dothuigthe?  Is any one of them unintelligible?  Nach méanar dúinn go mbíonn roghanna againn!  Aren’t we fortunate that we have choices!  Bheadh an saol i bhfad ní ba leadránaí gan a leithéid.  Life would be a lot more boring without such things.

Botún an dhéanann a lán foghlaimeoirí is ea go mbíonn siad ag iarraidh abairtí casta an Bhéarla a aistriú go habairtí casta sa Ghaeilge.  A mistake that a lot of learners make is that they try to translate complicated English sentences to complicated Irish sentences.   Ach ní bhíonn an Ghaeilge go maith nuair a bhíonn sí casta.  But the Irish tends not to be  good when it’s complicated.  Molaim i gcónaí na habairtí casta sin a shimpliú.  I always recommend simplifying those sentences.  Mar a thosaigh mé, bíonn níos mó ná slí amháin ann chun rud ar bith a rá.  As I began, there’s always more than one way to say anything.  Mura bhfuil na focail agat chun an chéad rud a ritheann leat a rá, déan athmhachnamh air, agus seans go bhfuil na focail agat chun an smaointe sin a chur in iúl ar dhóigh eile.  If you don’t have the words to say the first thing that occurs to you, think about it again, and there’s a good chance that you’ll have to words to express that same thought another way.

Is minic go mbíonn cainteoirí dúchasacha cumhal nuair a bhíonn siad le daoine nach bhfuil an canúint céanna acu.   Often native speakers are bashful when they are speaking with people that don’t speak the same dialect.  Caithfear a bheith níos misniúla.  Folks have to be braver.  Aon uair nach dtuigeann duine thú, ní bhíonn an locht ortsa, agus leis sin, bíonn tú ábalta an rud a mhíniú i dtéarmaí difriúla, más gá.  Any time someone doesn’t understand you, it’s not your fault, and also, you can explain the thing in other terms, if necessary.  Mar shampla, uair amháin, d’fhiafraigh duine díom “Cén tslí bheatha atá agat?” agus níor thuig mé.   For example, one time someone asked me “What do you do for a living?” and I didn’t understand.   Ní raibh fonn comhráite air ina dhiaidh sin, mar cheap sé nach raibh a chuid Gaeilge intuigthe do dhaoine ón taobh amuigh.  He didn’t feel like talking after that, because he thought his Irish wasn’t intelligible to someone from the outside.  Ach b’fhéidir leis “Cad a dhéanann tú gach lá?” nó “Céard é an post atá agat?” nó a lán rudaí eile.   But he could have said “What do you do every day?” or “What job do you have?” or a lot of other things.   Post, jab, slí bheatha – bíonn roghanna focal ann.   Position, job, living – there are lots of words to choose from.  Nó is féidir cabhair a thabhairt le comhthéacs.   Or it is possible to help with context.   “Is mise tógálaí – cén tslí bheatha atá agatsa?” mar shampla.  “I’m a builder – how do you make a living?” for example.  Bíodh misneach agat, lean ar aghaidh – agus ná hiompaigh go Béarla má tá Gaeilge ar bith ag do chomhpháirtí – ba mhaith leo í a labhairt!  Be brave, carry on – and don’t switch to English if the other person has any Irish at all – they’d like to speak it!

Tomhas na Teanga

Bhí deis agam tamall ó shin bualadh le daoine deasa in Astoria ag teach tábhairne darb ainm Lavelle’s.  I had a chance to meet some nice people a while ago at the pub…in…  Daoine as an nGaeltacht roinnt díobh, agus a sleachta na daoine eile.  Gaeltacht people and their children.  Thaispeáin mé cóipeanna den irisleabhar An Gael dóibh.   I showed them copies of An Gael Foilsítear An Gael sna Stáit, as Gaeilge amháin (is mise an t-eagarthóir – féach www.angaelmagazine.com).  An Gael is published in Irish only in the States (I’m the editor).  Bhí siad an-sásta leis.  The liked it a lot.  Ach dúirt duine  liom nach léann sé mórán as Gaeilge níos mó, mar níl sé cleachta leis an gcló Rómhánach ná an litriú caighdeánach.   But one person told me he doesn’t read a lot in Irish any more, since he’s not familiar with the  Roman type and standardized spelling.   Thaispeáin mé dó go mbíonn ábhar sa seanchló ar chúl na hirise, agus bhí sé sásta leis sin.  I showed him that there’s always material in the old type in the back of the magazine, and he was pleased with that.  Ach is iomaí duine cosúil leisean atá ann, agus ba mhaith liom cúpla focal a scríobh faoin gcló nua agus an caighdeán oifigiúil.  But there are lots of people like him, and I would like to write a few words about the new type and the official standard.  (Tá alt maith ar an ábhar seo ar fáil ar vicipéid – sin wikipedia as Gaeilge:  ga.wikipedia.org).

Is léir nach raibh cló ag aon teanga go dtí timpeall 500 bliain ó shin, mar ní bhíodh ann ach lámhscríbhinn.  Clearly no language had print until around 500 years ago, as they just had hand written manuscripts.  Bhíodh a nósanna féin ag tíortha éagsúla chun a dteangacha féin a scríobh.  Each country had its own ways of writing their languages.  Nuair a thosaigh tíortha chun leabhair a chur i gcló, roghnaigh cúpla tír a gcló féin a úsáid, a bhí cosúil le nósanna na lámhscríbhinne a bhíodh acu.  When countries first started printing books, a few chose to use their own type, which resembled the way they wrote those  manuscripts.  Bhí an Fraktur sa Ghearmáin, agus an cló Gaelach in Éirinn.  Germany had… and Ireland had the Gaelic type.  Roghnaigh Éilís a hAon an cló Gaelach a cuireadh i bhfeidhm, mar a tharlaíonn.   Elizabeth I chose to use the Gaelic type, as it happens.   Ach tá sé bunaithe ar sheantraidisiún na lámhscríbhinne in Éirinn.  But it is based on the writing in traditional Irish manuscripts.

Ar ball, d’iompaigh beagnach gach tír i dtreo an chló Rómhánaigh, mar bhí sé ní ba shaoire chun an cló sin a cheannach agus a úsáid, agus tá sé níos simplí le léamh.  Eventually, almost every country turned in the direction of the Roman type, because it was cheaper to buy and use, and was easier to read.  Ní raibh ríomhairí ann, ach clóphreasanna agus clóscríobháin.  There were no computers, but rather  printing presses and typewriters.  Ní raibh sé éasca cló Gaelach a fháil chucu sin.   It wasn’t easy to get the Gaelic type for them.   Nuair a chéad fhoilsíodh An Gael (An Gaodhal) sa naoú haois déag, níorbh fhéidir an iris ina hiomlán a dhéanamh as Gaeilge, mar ní raibh a ndóthain litreacha as an gcló Gaelach acu, mar shampla.  When An Gael was first published in the 19th century, it couldn’t be all in Irish, because they didn’t have enough Gaelic letters, as an example.

Bhí sé de rún ag rialtas na hÉireann chomh fada siar leis na fichidí aistriú ón gcló Gaelach go dtí an cló Rómhánach.  The Irish government intended to convert from the Gaelic type to the Roman as far back as the twenties.  Ach bhí sé sin an-chonspóideach.   But that was very controversial.   Bhí na múinteoirí ina éadan go háirithe, mar bhíodh na leabhair scoile go léir sa seanchló.  The teachers were especially against it, since all the school books were in the old type.  Níor éirigh leis an rialtas cúrsaí a athrú go huile is go hiomlán go dtí 1963!  The government didn’t succeed completely until…  Mar sin, is iomaí duine atá againn fós atá níos compordaí leis an gcló Gaelach.  So we still have a lot of people who are more comfortable with the Gaelic type.

Níorbh é sin an t-aon rud a athraíodh, dar ndóigh.  This wasn’t the only thing changed, of course.  Rinneadh caighdeánú (is simpliú) ar litriú (agus ar ghramadach) na Gaeilge, freisin.   They standardized (and simplified) the spelling (and grammar) of Irish, too.   Bíonn gá le caighdeánú i dteanga ar bith, ionas go mbeidh gach duine i ngach áit ábalta an rud céanna a léamh, agus ionas go mbeidh córas amháin in úsáid sna scoileanna.  All languages need standardization, so everyone everywhere can read the same thing, and so there will be one system in the schools.  Tá cúrsaí casta sa Ghaeilge mar gur teanga bheag í, agus níor mhaith le héinne nósanna na gcainteoirí dúchasacha a chailleadh.  Things are complicated with Irish, because it’s a small language, and no one wants to lose the native ways of speaking.  Mar sin, de ghnáth, ní bhacann na cainteoirí is fearr leis an gcaighdeán, cé go bhfoghlaimíonn beagnach gach foghlaimeoir é.  So, usually, the best speakers don’t bother with the standard, even though almost all learners learn it.  Tuigimid a chéile, ach is iomaí saghas Gaeilge atá ann fós.  We understand each other, but there are still lots of varieties of Irish.

Rinneadh iarracht chun gnéithe na gcanúintí go léir a snaidhm le chéile sa chaighdeán, agus mar sin, níl aon chainteoir dúchasach sásta leis.  They tried to weave together traits of all the dialects in the standard, and so no native speaker is satisfied with it.  Ní teanga nádúrtha atá ann sa chaighdeán.  The standard is not a natural  language.  Ach is amhlaidh i dteanga ar bith.  But that’s the way any language is.  Bíonn difear ann idir teanga oifigiúil scríofa agus teanga an tí.  There’s always a difference between the official written language and language at home.  Ní mór don uile dhuine an dá nós a fhoghlaim, chun a bheith dea-oilte.  Everyone needs to learn both ways of speaking, to be well educated.  An ndéanann sé dochar do na canúintí?   Does it hurt the dialects?  Ní dóigh liom.  I don’t think so.  Ach ní bhíonn aon teanga socraithe go deo – bíonn an fás is an t-athrú ann.  But no language is settled for ever – there’s always growth and change.  Is fiú d’aon duine an iarracht a dhéanamh chun gach saghas Gaeilge a thuiscint.  It’s worth it for anyone to try to understand every kind of Irish.  Níl sé chomh deacair sin!  It’s not that hard!

 

Tomhas na Teanga

Nach iontach iad mapaí (léarscáileanna) mar rud?  Aren’t maps wonderful?  Is breá liom féachaint orthu, agus samhlaím conas a bheadh na háiteanna orthu.  I love looking at them, and I imagine how the places on them would be.  Is breá liom taisteal, agus na pleananna a dhéanamh le mapaí.  I love to travel, and to make the plans with maps.  Agus an rud is taitneamhaí, sin na fíor-áiteanna sin a fhéachaint.  And the most enjoyable thing, that’s to see the real places.  Gach ponc ar an mapa, is baile nó cathair é – leis na mílte duine ina gcónaí ann.  Each dot on the map, it’s a town or a city – with thousands of people living there.  Gach líne ghorm, is abhainn í – agus ní fheadar cé chomh leathan agus atá sí.  Each blue line is a river – and who knows how wide it is?  Na cúpla orlach sin ar bhóthair, is na céadta míle folmha sin, minic go leor.  Those couple of inches on a road, that’s hundreds of empty miles, very often.  Níos minice ná ba mhaith liom a admháil, ní bhíonn meas mo mhéire cruinn go leor, agus bíonn na háiteanna níos faide óna chéile ná mar a cheap mé.  More often than I would like to admit, the measure of my finger isn’t accurate enough, and the places are further apart than I thought.  Níl an locht ar an mapa, ámh!  But that’s not the map’s fault!

Uaireanta, bíonn íomhá i mo cheann d’áit, mar a shamhlaigh mé é, agus ansin nuair a fheicim í ina steillbheatha, bíonn sí an-difriúil.  Sometimes, I have an image of a place in my head, as I imagined it, and then when I see it in reality, it’s very different.  Ach is iontach sin, agus foghlaimím as.  But that’s great, and I learn from it.  Sin an rud is fearr faoin taisteal – faightear aitheantas ar áiteanna, dhaoine, agus nósanna nach raibh ar aithne agat roimhe sin.  That’s the best thing about travelling – you get to know places, people and customs which you weren’t acquainted with before.  Faightear tuiscint níos mó ar an saol, agus ort féin, leis.  You get to know more about the world, and about yourself, too.  An bhfuil an bóthar sin tríd na sléibhte go deas?  Is that road through the mountains nice?  An bhfuil sé mar dhúshlán do dhuine carr a thiomáinte air?  Is it going to be a challenge to drive a car on?  Cén radharc a fheictear ann?  What view can you see there?  Ní thuigtear a leithéid gan a bheith ann.  You can’t understand such things unless you are there.  Agus is iomaí rud a tharlaíonn is a bhíonn ann nach mbíonn aon choinne agat roimhe.  And there are lots of things that happen and that are there that you don’t expect at all.  Fionnachtana nua.  New discoveries.  Ní gan chúis a deirtear go mbíonn siúlach scéalach.  It’s not for no reason that they say that travellers are full of stories.

Chuamar go Charleston, South Carolina, i measc áiteanna eile i mbliana.  We went to…among other places this year.  D’itheamar ag teach tábhairne Éireannach, agus chonaiceamar club eile Hibernian, atá ann le breis is 150 bliain.  We ate at an Irish pub, and we saw another Hibernian club, which has been around for more than 150 years.  Chonaiceamar Dún Sumpter ó Oileán Uí Shúilleabháin.  We saw Fort Sumpter from Sullivan’s Island.  Ní raibh a fhios agam roimh ré go raibh tionchar chomh mór sin ag sliocht na hÉireann ansin.  I hadn’t know before hand how much of an influence the Irish had there.  Cathair iontach álainn atá inti, agus an-stairiúil, dar ndóigh.  It’s a wonderfully beautiful city, and very historic, of course.

Áit eile a thugamar cuairt uirthi ná Richmond, Virginia.  Another place we visited was…  I dTeach Bán an Chomhcheangail, chonaiceamar sean-mhapa a rinneadh roimhe an gcogadh cathartha.  In the Confederate White House, we saw an old map which was made before the Civil War.  Bhí sé as dáta an lá a cuireadh i gcló é, is dócha, mar bhí cúrsaí ag athrú chomh tapa sin.  It was out of date the day it was printed, I suppose, because things were changing so quickly.  Ach fiú le sean-mhapa, bíonn a lán suilt le baint as, chun do mhachnamh a dhéanamh ar na hathruithe sin, agus ar stair na tíre.  But even with an old map, there’s a lot of pleasure to be derived from it, to think over those changes, and the country’s history.

Tá clár ar an teilifís dar teidil “Conas a bhFuair na Stáit a gCruthanna,” agus molaim é.  There’s a program on TV called “How the States Got Their Shapes,” and I recommend it.  Tá sé ar Bhealach na Staire.  It’s on the History Channel.  Díríonn sé ar an stair taobh thiar de na mapaí, ar nós spraíúil.  It focuses on the history behind the maps, in a fun way.  Ní tharlaíonn teorainneacha de thaisme, agus is an-suimiúil iad na scéalta a bhaineann leo.  Borders don’t happen by accident, and the stories that relate to them are very interesting.

Is féidir linn taisteal trí mheáin leabhar, an idirlín, nó tuairiscí dhaoine eile.  We cam travel my means of books, the internet, or the reports of other people.  Is breá an rud é na scéalta, na pictiúir, is an t-eolas nua a fhaighimid a roinnt lena chéile.  It’s a great thing to share the stories, pictures, and new information which we get.  Agus fiú murab fhéidir linn féin turas ar bith a dhéanamh, is féidir le duine ar bith féachaint ar na mapaí is a bheith ag samhlú na n-áiteanna.  And even if we can’t make any kind of trip ourselves, anybody can look at the maps and imagine the places.  Cá bhfios nach mbeadh deis agat dul ann lá éigin?  Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to go there some day!

Tomhas na Teanga

Tá umar iasc teochreasa againn.  We have a tropical fish tank. Bhí ceann beag againn ar feadh i bhfad, agus ansin fuaireamar ceann mór.  We had a small one for a long time, and then we got a big one. Tá cúpla dosaen iasc ann, idir bheag agus mhór. We have a couple of dozen fish, both small and large. Bainim an-taitneamh astu.  I get a lot of pleasure from them. Cuireann sé suaimhneas orm nuair a chaithim tamaill ag féachaint orthu.  It makes me feel peaceful when I spend a little time watching them. Deirtear gur íslíonn sin brú fola an duine, agus creidim é. They say that it lowers a person’s blood pressure, and I believe it. Níl peata ar bith eile againn ach na héisc, mar tá ailléirge ar mo bhean le madraí agus nílimid an-tógtha le cait.  We don’t have any other pets other than the fish, because my wife is allergic to dogs and we’re not too fond of cats. Ach tá cairde is gaolta againn agus gach saghas peata acusan.  But we have friends and relatives who have all kinds of pet.

Tá mórán cat ag mo chara Éamonn. My friend Ed has a lot of cats. Tá siad mar bhaill dá theaghlach aige.  They’re like members of the family to him. Taispeánann sé grianghraif díobh dom ó am go chéile, agus bíonn a lán acu greannmhar. He shows me pictures of them once in a while, and a lot of them are funny. (Cuirim i gcéill beagán gur maith liom cait dó, tuigeann tú). (I pretend a little that I like cats for him, you understand). Bhí ceann acu an-tinn tamall ó shin, agus cé go raibh an iomarca airgid i gceist, rinne sé pé rud ab fhéidir leis chun a chat a shábháil. One of them was very sick a while back, and although it cost a lot of money, he did whatever he had to, to save the cat. Ní miste leis go bhfuil droch-shláinte air, chomh fada agus atá sé fós ann leis.  He doesn’t mind that it’s not healthy, so long as it’s still there with him. Is breá linn ár n-éisc, ach tuigim (mar bhíodh madraí agam le linn m’óige) go mbíonn grá i bhfad níos mó ann do chat nó mhadra.  We love our fish, but I understand (as I used to have dogs when I was young) that cats and dogs are loved a lot more.

Nuair a chailltear peata, bíonn sé an-deacair agus an-bhrónach.  When a pet dies, it’s very difficult and very sad. Chaill mo chara madra tamall ó shin, agus bhí sé croíbhriste ar feadh tamaill.  My friend lost a dog a while ago, and he was heartbroken for a while. Ach bhain sé an-taitneamh as an madra sin le blianta fada.  He really enjoyed that dog for years. Bhí sí ann mar chara dó, agus bhí a lán spraoi acu le chéile.  She was a friend to him, and they had a lot of fun together. Tá madraí eile aige. He has other dogs. Beidh na cuimhní cinn sin aige go deo, agus tabharfaidh beocht na madraí eile misneach dó.  He’ll always have those memories, and the liveliness of the other dogs will give him courage. Beidh leigheas ar a chuid péine ar ball.  His pain will eventually heal.

Fuair col ceathar mo mhná coinín roinnt blianta ó shin.  Bhuel, fuair a hiníon é, le fírinne, ach sul i bhfad bhí sí féin i mbun cúram an choinín.  Ar dtús, ní raibh suim ar bith aici in a leithéid de pheata.  Ach tá an coinín greannmhar agus lán de phearsantacht, agus ar ball d’éirigh an-chairdeas eatarthu.  Níl a fhios ag éinne cén saghas caidrimh a bheadh ann le peata, ach go hiondúil, bíonn siad go hiontach mar chomhpháirtithe.

Tá col ceathar agamsa atá ina chónaí ina aonar in Florida. I have a cousin who lives alone in Florida. Tá a mháthair sa chomharsanacht.  His mother lives in the neighborhood.  Tá sí ina nóchaidí.  She’s in her nineties. Is é rud a thugann an sásamh is mó don bheirt acu ná cúram a thabhairt do ainimhithe. The thing that the two of them most enjoy is to care for animals. Níl a fhios agam cé mhéid cat agus madra atá acu, ach tógann siad ainmhithe gan bhailte isteach.  I don’t know how many cats and dogs they have, but the take in homeless animals. Cé nach mbíonn a sláinte féin go maith i gcónaí, díríonn siad ar shláinte na n-ainmhithe seo agus déanann siad cinnte go mbíonn siad go maith, agus cothaíonn siad iad.  Even though their own health isn’t always good, they focus on the health of these animals and make sure they are OK, and feed them. Faigheann siad cabhair ó chairde uaireanta, ach caithfidh siad féin bheith ann dóibh. They sometimes get help from friends, but they have to be there for them themselves. Mar chúiteamh ar an méid a dhéanann siad dóibh, bíonn comhluadar acu i gcónaí, agus rud tábhachtach le déanamh. In return for all they do for them, they always have companionship, and something important to do.

Má bhí peata agat riamh, is cuimhin leat go deo an spraoi agus an taitneamh a bhain tú as. If you’ve ever had a pet, you’ll remember for ever the fun and enjoyment you got from it. Bíonn scéalta agat i gcónaí (atá greannmhar, minic go leor).  You always have stories (which are funny, lot s of times). Má tá peata áirithe agat, tá rud i gcoitinne agat le mórán daoine eile, ábhar comhrá, agus cúis caidrimh le daoine eile a bheith agat. If you have a particular pet, you have something in common with a lot of other people, a subject of conversation, and a reason to associate with others. Déanann na hainmhithe a maith dúinn go léir. Animals do us all good. Bímis buíoch díobh. Let’s be grateful to them.

Tomhas na Teanga

Bíonn rotha mór an tsaoil ag dul timpeall. The wheel of the world keeps going ‘round. Bíonn an saol ag athrú, sin a rá. The world is always changing, that is. Agus ní athraíonn aon rud chomh tapúil agus a athraíonn an teicneolaíocht. And nothing changes as quickly as technology. Nuair a bhí m’athair óg, d’fheictí capaill agus cairteacha go coitianta gCathair Nua-Eabhrac fós.  When my father was young, it was still common to see horses and carts in NYC. Bhíodh tralaithe agus gal-traenacha  ann. There used to be trolleys and steam trains. In Éirinn, fiu le linn m’óige féin, ní raibh leictreachas ar fáil faoin tuath.  In Ireland, even in my own youth, there was no electricity to be had in the countryside. Is deacair a chreidiúint nach mbíodh teilifíseán ag an uile dhuine, ach ní bhíodh.  It’s hard to believe that everybody didn’t have a TV, but they didn’t. Ná ríomhaire, ná fón póca! Or a computer or a cell phone! Conas a b’fhéidir le daoine maireachtáil mar sin?! How could people live like that?!

Bíonn an t-athrú deacair mar rud, minic go leor.  Change is hard, very often. Sin ráite, is iomaí rud maith a thagann as.  That said, lots of good things come of it. Is beag rud sa saol seo atá buan, agus ní mór dúinn go léir dul i ngleic leis an saol mar atá, agus mar a bheidh – an teicneolaíocht san áireamh.  Very little in this world is permanent, and we have to come to grips with the world as it is, and as it will be –technology included. Tá daoine ann, fós féin, a dhiúltaíonn an teicneolaíocht nua. There are people, nevertheless, who reject the new technology. Tá aithne agam ar dhaoine gan teilifíseán, agus tá siad sásta lena saol.  I know people with no TV, and they’re happy with their lives. Bíonn roghanna againn mar sin – ach bíonn níos mó roghanna ann i gcónaí!  So we always have choices – but there are always more choices!

Éiríonn an saol níos casta agus níos éasca ag an am céanna, ar dhóigheanna áirithe. Life gets more complicated and easier at the same time, in certain ways. Cuir i gcás an ríomhaire.  Take computers. Tá an iliomad rud níos éasca sa lá atá inniu ann mar gheall ar an ríomhaire – taighde a dhéanamh, litreacha a sheoladh, ticéid nó rud ar bith a cheannach, srl. Many things are easier today because of computers – doing research, sending letters, buying tickets or anything at all, etc. Ach ní mór do dhuine foghlaim conas ríomhaire a úsáid.  But a person has to learn how to use a computer. Agus ceann a roghnú, roimhe sin.  And how to pick one, before that. Agus bíonn an bogearraí ag athrú i gcónaí.  And the software is always changing. Agus, Dia dár sábháil, má tá fadhb agat le do ríomhaire, is féidir mórán ama a chaitheamh amú ar thóir a réitigh. And, God save us, if you have a problem with your computer, you can waste a lot of time looking for its resolution. Rud a shábhálann am dúinn de ghnáth, is féidir leis am a ghoid uainn níos mó ná aon rud eile, idir fadhbanna agus cluichí nó súgradh ar an idirlíon srl.  Something that usually saves us time, it can steal time from us more than anything else, between problems and games or playing on the internet. Paradacsa is ea é.  It’s a paradox.

Minic go leor, nuair a thagann rud nua ar an saol, imíonn rud eile. Lots of times, when a new thing comes along, something else goes away. De réir a chéile a tharlaíonn seo, den chuid is mó. This happens gradually, mostly. Nuair a thánaig na Diesel chun tosaigh ar na hiarnróid, níor cailleadh gach gal-inneall traenach ar an lá céanna.  When Diesels took over on the railroads, every steam engine wasn’t lost on the same day. Ach d’imigh siad, agus d’imigh ní ba thapúla céim ar chéim.  But they went away, and did so more quickly step by step. Is breá le daoine mar mise iad, agus sábháladh roinnt díobh, ach ní úsáidtear iad ar chor ar bith chun fíor-ghnó a dhéanamh níos mó.  People like me love them, and some of them were saved, but they’re never used any more for real business. Is breá liom na traenacha nua, agus tá siad níos fearr, gan dabht.  I love the new trains, and they’re better, no doubt. Níos saoire, níos cumhachtaí, srl.  Cheaper, more powerful, etc. Ach tá grá agam do na sean-chinn freisin. But I love the old ones, too.

Tá clóscríobhán leictreach agam sa bhaile. I have an electric typewriter at home. Nuair a fuair mé é, bhí sé sean, ach i bhfad ní b’fhearr ná na sean-chlóscríobháin a bhíodh agam.  When I got it, it was old, but much better than the old typewriters I used to have. An cuimhin leat na ribíní agus an white out? Do you remember the ribbons and…? An bhfuil a fhios agat cá bhfuaireamar an giorrúchán ‘cc?’  Do you know where we got the abbreviation ‘cc?’ Is cuimhin liomsa.  I remember. Nuair a bhí mo pháistí óg, bhain siad sult as an gclóscríobhán leictreach mar rud aisteach suntasach.  When my kids were little, they had fun with the electric typewriter which was strange and interesting. Ní minic a fheictear rud mar é riamh níos mó lasmuigh de iarsmalann.  You don’t ever see such a thing any more outside of a museum. Tá ríomhaire ag gach éinne.  Everybody has a computer. Nach bhfuil sé ait anois sean-phictiúr d’oifig gan ríomhairí a fheiscint? Isn’t it strange when you see an old picture of an office with no computers?

Glacaimid leis na rudaí nua (de ghnáth), ach bíonn cuimhní cinn breátha againn de na stuif atá ag imeacht ón saol, minic go leor.  We accept the new things (usually), but we have fine memories of the stuff that’s disappearing, very often. Meascán a bhíonn ann idir an sean is an nua. It’s a mix of the old and the new. An t-aon rud buan, sin an t-athrú. The only thing permanent is change.