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

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.

Tomhas na Teanga

Ar ith tú do dhóthain i rith na laethanta saoire?  Did you eat your fill during the holidays? Ar ith tú thar do dhóthain? Did you eat more than your fill? Más cosúil liomsa thú, seans go bhfuil tú beagán níos raimhre i mbliana.  If you’re like me, maybe you’re a little fatter this year. Ag cur suas meáchain.  Gaining weight. Tá do mheáchain coirp ró-ard.  Your body weight is too high. Tá gá agat le clár cailliúna meáchain, b’fhéidir.   You need a weight loss program, maybe. Cad ba chóir duit déanamh, mar sin?   What should you do, then?

Is iomaí clár atá ann, cinnte, agus faightear comhairle ó gach clár teilifíse agus gach tréimhseachán.  There are lots of programs, certainly, and you get advice from every TV show and every periodical. Tá a fhios ag madra an bhaile cad tá de dhíth, dar ndóigh.  The town dog knows what’s needed, of course. Ith níos lú, agus déan aclaíocht!  Eat less and exercise more! Is é an rud is deacra don ghnáthdhuine ná chun tosnú ar an dá rud seo a dhéanamh.  The thing that is most difficult for most people is to start doing these two things. Braitheann sin ar an duine, ach seo cúpla moladh. That depends on the person, but here are some suggestions.

Admhaigh gur fadhb é. Admit it is a problem. Fadhb mhór go leor nach ceart duit í a chur ar an méar fhada níos mó. A problem big enough that you shouldn’t put it off any more. Cad a tharlódh má chuireann tú ar an méar fhada é? What will happen if you put it off? Éireoidh tú níos raimhre fós!   You’ll get even fatter! Agus beidh sé níos deacra. And it will be harder. Mar sin, níl aon am mar an t-am seo chun plean a dhéanamh agus é a chur i bhfeidhm (sin an rud is tábhachtaí). So, there’s no time like now to make a plan and put it into effect (that’s the most important thing). Tús na bliana úra, seo an t-am is oiriúnaí chun clár nua a thosnú. The beginning of the new year, this is the most suitable time to start a new program. Déanaimis, mar sin!   Let’s do it, then!   Mar a deirtear, tús maith leath na hoibre.  As they say, a good start is half the work.

Deirtear gurb é an chéad chéim an chéim is deacra. They say the first step is the hardest. Ach dar leis an seanfhocal Síneach, tosaítear turas deich míle míle le céim amháin.  But as the Chinese proverb says, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Bíodh an chéim sin éasca, ionas go ndéanfar í.  Let that step be easy, so that it will be taken. Roghnaigh rud beag amháin gur féidir leat a athrú, rud beag amháin le déanamh, agus déan é.  Choose a small thing that you can change, a small thing to do, and do it. Mar shampla, má thiomáineann tú gach áit, siúl go háit éigin.  For example, if you drive everywhere, walk someplace. Nó páirceáil do charr níos faide ón siopa.  Or park your car further from the store. Nó (agus) má itheann tú níos mó ná pláta amháin de bhia ag béile go hiondúil, ná tóg an dara cuid.  Or (and) if you usually eat more than one plate of food at a meal, don’t take the second portion. An mbeadh sé sin chomh dona? Would that be so bad?

Bíonn sé níos éasca clár cailliúna meáchain nó aclaíocht a dhéanamh i dteannta le daoine eile. It’s always easier to do a weight loss program or exercise with other people. Más féidir leat, mar sin, faigh cairde nó gaolta chun é a dhéanamh leat.  If you can, then, find friends or relatives to do it with you. Seans gurb fhéidir leat spórt a imirt, fiú uair sa tseachtain.  Maybe you could play a sport, even once a week. Nó teacht le chéile chun siúlóid a dhéanamh (má tá an aimsir maith go leor, nó fiú faoi dhíon áit éigin).  Or get together for walking (if the weather is nice enough, or even indoors somewhere). Tá clubanna go leor ann chun meáchan a chailleadh.  There are plenty of clubs to lose weight. Seans go bhfuil ceann lonnaithe i do pharóiste féin.   Maybe you have one at your own parish. Agus mura bhfuil aon duine ar fáil duit ag an bponc seo, má théann tú ag siúl minic go leor i bpáirc nó áit ar bith, cá bhfios nach bhfaighidh tú cairde nua ann? And if you can’t find anyone right now, if you walk in a park or anyplace often enough, who knows that you won’t find new friends there?

Mar an gcéanna má ghlacann tú ballraíocht i spórtlann chorpachmainne.  Same thing with joining a gym. Ach ní gá go bhfuil a lán trealaimh agat (ach má tá, cén fáth nach n-úsáideann tú é?!).  But you don’t need to have a lot of equipment (but if you do, why don’t you use it?!). Is féidir aclaíocht a dhéanamh gan trealamh ar bith.  You can exercise with no equipment at all. Nó le canna anraith, fiú, mar mheáchan. Or even with a can of soup as a weight.

Creid go bhfuil sé indéanta bheidh níos sláintiúla agus meáchan a chailleadh, agus beidh tú ábalta é a dhéanamh.   Believe that it is do-able to be healthier and lose weight, and you’ll be able to do it. Ná bac le leithscéalta. Don’t bother with excuses. Ná hól an iomarca alcóil ach oiread (tá a lán calraí ann).  Don’t drink too much alcohol either (it has lots of calories). Ach ‘sláinte’ mar sin féin!  But ‘health’ just the same!

Tomhas na Teanga

Is iomaí “blag” (as an mBéarla “web log”) Gaeilge atá ann ar an idirlíon.  There are many Irish language blogs on the internet. Tá ceann agamsa.  I have one myself. Le trí bliana anuas tá rannóg i gcomórtas liteartha Oireachtas na Gaeilge don bhlagáil, fiú.  For the past 3 years there has been a segment in the Oireachtas’ literary competition for blogging, even. Sin an fhéile náisiúnta in Éirinn a ceiliúrann an cultúr Gaelach (www.antoireachtas.ie).   That’s the national festival in Ireland which celebrates Gaelic culture. Mar sin, bím á léamh beagnach gach lá.  So, I read them almost every day. Le déanaí, scríobh duine darb ainm John, atá in a chónaí i gCaerdydd na Breataine Bige, scríobh sé blagmhír shuimiúil a dhírigh ar mhanaí chomhairlí na gcontaetha in Éirinn (faoicheilt.blogspot.com, an ceann ó 8 Meán Fómhair 2010).  Recently, a person named John, who lives in Cardiff, Wales, he wrote an interesting blog entry which focussed on the mottos of the county councils in Ireland (…the one from Sept. 8). Minic go leor, tá ceann as Gaeilge ann.  Lots of times there is an Irish one. Tá roinnt eile díobh as Laidin, as sean Ghaeilge, agus as Béarla.  The rest of them are in Latin, Old Irish, or English.

Seo na cinn as Gaeilge an lae inniu (Here are the ones in today’s Irish):

Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin): Beart de réir ár mBriathar (deed according to our word)

Baile Átha Cliath Theas (South Dublin): Ag Seo Ár gCúram/This We Hold in Trust
Cabhán (Cavan): Feardhacht is Fírinne (manliness (fearúlacht) and truth)

Ciarraí (Kerry): Comhar, Cabhair, Cairdeas (Council, Help, Friendship)

Cill Dara (Kildare): Meanma agus Misneach (Spirit and Courage)
Cill Mhantáin (Wicklow): Meanma Saor  (Free Spirit)
Clár (Clare): Dílis d’ár nOidhreacht (Loyal to our Heritage)

Dún Laoghaire (Dun Laoire) -Ráth an Dúin (Rathdown): Ó Chuan go Sliabh (From Bay to Mountain)

Fine Gall (Fingal): Flúirse Talaimh is Mara (Abundance of Land and Sea)

Gaillimh (Galway): Ceart agus Cóir (Right and Proper)
Laois: I bpáirt leis an bpobal (In partnership with the community)

Longfort: Daingean agus Dílis (secure/strong and loyal)
Luimneach (Limerick): Cuimhnigh ar Luimneach (Remember Limerick)
Maigh Eo (Mayo): Dia is Muire Linn (God and Mary with us)
Mí (Meath): Tré Neart le Chéile (Through Strength Together)
Muineachán (Monaghan): Dúthracht agus Dícheall (zeal and best effort)

Is ionann mana agus rosc catha, is dócha.  A motto is the same as a battle cry, I suppose. Tá ceann cáiliúil a bhain na Royal Irish Fusiliers feidhm as, agus ina ndiaidh bhain an “Fighting 69th” úsáid as, ón gCogadh Cathartha Meiriceánach ar aghaidh.  There is a famous one which was used by… and after them by…, from the American Civil War onwards. Scríobhtar é le traslitriú an Bhéarla de ghnáth:  “Faugh a Ballaigh.” It is usually  written with English transliteration… Ach sin “Fág an Bealach,” litrithe i gceart.   That’s (Get out of the way)…spelled correctly. Dírithe ar dhuine amháin mar atá.  It’s directed at one person only. Tá an t-iolra in úsáid ag Coláiste Íosagáin i mBaile Bhuirne – Fágaigí an Bealach.  The plural is used by… Tá mana deas ag Sciathán Fianóglach an Airm– “Glaine ár gcroí, neart ár ngéag, agus beart de réir ár mbriathar.” The Irish Army Rangers Wing has a nice motto – Purity of our heart, strength of our limb and deed according to our word.

Tá manaí ag a lán sloinnte Éireannacha, freisin.  A lot of Irish surnames have mottos, too. Tá an chuid is mó díobh as Laidin (agus as Fraincis!), ach tá roinnt as Gaeilge ann.  Most of them are in Latin (and French!), but there are some in Irish. Fuair mé ar an idirlíon iad I found them on the internet (http://users.winshop.com.au/merv/mottos.htm), agus táim cinnte nach bhfuil gach ceann ceart, ach seo roinnt díobh:  and I’m sure they aren’t all correct, but here are some of them:

Lámh Dearg Éireann  Red Hand of Ireland

Lámh Láidir an Uachtar Strong Hand on Top

Arm Dúchas Native Army

Mullach abú Up with the uppermost

Crom abú  Up with Crom (the ancient god)

Sionnach abú Up with Fox (guess which surname…)

an t-uachtar The Cream (best)

Ciall agus Neart Sense and Strength

bhris mé mo ghreim I loosed my grip

bua victory

Dar ndóigh, tá mana a fheictear ar an mbratach uaine leis an gcláirseach – traslitrithe don Bhéarla arís:  “Erin go Bragh” nó mar sin.  Of course, there is a motto which is seen on the green flag with the harp – transliterated to English again… Litrithe i gceart, sin Éirinn go Brách.  Spelled right… Go minic úsáidtear an tuiseal tabharthach “Éirinn” in ionad an tuisil ainmnigh “Éire.”  Often the dative case  Éirinn is used instead of the nominative case “Éire.” Truailliú na teanga sean-bhunaithe sin. That’s a long-standing corruption of the language. Dála an scéil, dar le wikipedia, na céad daoine chun an bratach sin a úsáid, ba Éireannaigh iad a throid in éadan na Stáit Aontaithe sa chogadh le Meicsiceo! By the way, according to w., the first people to use that flag were Irish who fought against the US in the war with Mexico!.

Ba é Piaras Ó Béaslaí a thug do Phádraig Mac Piarais an ceann seo:  “Éire Saor agus Éire Gaelach.”  POB gave Patrick Pierce this one:  “A Free Ireland and a Gaelic Ireland.”  Tá a lán eile ann mar sin, a bhí i mbéal na ndaoine.  There are lots of others which people said. Mar shampla, “Tír , Talamh is Teaghlach.” For example, “Country, Land and Family.”

An é mana oifigiúil na hÉireann (an tuiseal ginideach) é “Éirinn go Brách?”  Ní hea.  Sin “Fé Mhóid Bheith Saor.”  Is “Éirinn go Brách” the official motto of Ireland (the genitive case)?  Nope.  That’s “Sworn to be free.” (Bhí an-tionchar ag na Muimhnigh ar an saghas Gaeilge a bain an stát úsáid as – The Munster people had a lot of influence on the kind of Irish the state used).

Cad é mana Ord Ársa na hÉireann as Gaeilge?  What is the motto of the AOH  in Irish? Cairdeas, Aontas agus Carthanacht Chríostaí.

Tomhas na Teanga

Táthar ag súil go mbeidh Éire aontaithe faoi cheann céad bliain, in 2016. It is hoped for that Ireland will be united within a hundred years, in 2016. Agus is féidir sin.  And that’s possible. Ar a laghad, is iontach an dul chun cinn atá ann ó 1910, céad bliain ó shin.  At the least, it’s wonderful the progress that has happened since 1910, a hundred years ago. Uaireanta, bíonn céad bliain de dhíth.  Sometimes a hundred years are needed. Bhí timpeall an méid sin ama ann idir deireadh Chogadh Cathartha Mheiriceá agus fíor-shaoirse na ndaoine gorma sa tír seo.  It was about that much time between the end of the American Civil War and true freedom for black people in this country. Bhí an t-irisleabhar Gaeilge An Gael as cló (mar iris na Gaeilge) le breis is céad bliain.  The Irish language magazine An Gael was out of print (as an Irish language publication) for more than a hundred years. Agus dóbair gur scriosadh cultúr na nIndiach Dearg i Meiriceá breis is céad bliain ó shin.   And it almost happened that American Indian culture was destroyed more than a hundred years ago. Ach, mar a tharla in Éirinn, thosaigh siad a gcearta a éilimh ó na seascaidí/seachtóidí ar aghaidh, agus tá misneach agus dóchas ag fás ina measc ó shin i leith.  But as it happened in Ireland, they started to demand their rights starting in the sixties/seventies, and courage and hope are increasing among them ever since.

Is mionteanga í an Ghaeilge, agus ní labhraíonn ach mionlach na nGael í.  Irish is a small language, and only a minority of the Gaelic people speak it. Ach sin na mílte duine (ní aontaíonn éinne faoin uimhir chruinn…).  But that is thousands of people (nobody agrees on the exact number…). Tá treibheanna na nIndiach ann nach raibh an méid sin daoine iontu riamh, atá ag caomhnú a dteangacha fós.  There are Indian tribes which never had that many people in them, which are now preserving their languages. Tá níos lú ná caoga daoine ann atá líofa i dteanga na gCeann Réidh (Saelis), ach tá dóchas ann fós dóibh, mar tá na daoine sin ag múineadh na teanga agus ag cothú suime inti.  There are fewer than fifty people who are fluent in the Flathead (Salish) language, but there is still hope for them, because those people are teaching the language and promoting an interest in it. Féach www.salishworld.com.  See… Agus tá treibheanna eile ag déanamh amhlaidh – féach www.pieganinstitute.org, mar shampla, chun obair na gCos Dubh a fheiscint.   And there are other tribes doing likewise – see…, for example, to see the work of the Blackfeet. Tá an dá threibh seo ina gcónaí in Montana, áit a raibh mé ar cuairt i mbliana.  These two tribes live in Montana, a place I visited this year. Níl a dteanga fágtha do gach treibh, agus níl sé ag éirí le gach treibh a theanga a choimeád beo, agus tá na céadta teanga Indiach ann (féach www.native-languages.org).    Not every tribe still has its language, and not every tribe is succeeding in keeping their language alive, and there are hundreds of Indian languages (see…). Mar sin féin, tar éis céad bliain, tá suim agus dóchas ann, agus cá bhfios? Nevertheless, after a hundred years, there is interest and hope, and who knows?

Níl sé éasca, agus tá na fadhbanna céanna acu agus atá againne.  It’s not easy, and they have the same problems we have. Bíonn daoine ann nach dtuigeann tábhacht a dteanga dá bhféiniúlacht is dá gcultúr, agus ní bhíonn sé éasca na daoine óga a mhealladh chuici.  There are always people who don’t understand the importance of their language to their identity and their culture, and it’s never easy to draw young people to it. Bíonn brú an Bhéarla ag cur isteach orthu, freisin.  English is always putting pressure on them, too. Ach mar atá ar siúl in Éirinn, tá siad ag bunadh scoileanna chun a dteangacha a roinnt leis na páistí.  But as is going on in Ireland, they are founding schools to share their languages with the children. Tá cearta daonna na nIndiach agus na nGael níos sábháilte ná riamh, ach mar sin féin, bíonn biogóidí ann fós, agus tugtar dímheas dár dteangacha i gcónaí.  Human rights for the Indians and for the Gaels are more secure than ever, but just the same, there are still bigots, and our languages are always being disrespected. Ar an láimh eile, tuigeann níos mó daoine ná le fada an lá go bhfuil sé rí-thábhachtach anam an phobail a chothú agus is cuid bhunúsach de sin teanga na ndaoine.  On the other hand, more people understand than have for a long time that it’s extremely important to nourish the soul of the people, and the people’s language is fundamental to that. Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam, deirtear.  A country with no language has no soul, it is said.

Breis is céad bliain ó shin, bhíodh na treibheanna thuasluaite ag troid in aghaidh a chéile.  Over a hundred years ago, the tribes mentioned above used to fight each other. Níl sé amhlaidh sa lá atá inniu ann. It’s not like that these days. Bhí tionchar na Críostaíochta ar a lán acu, agus bhuail mé le roinnt daoine de na Cosa Dearga ag Aifreann iontach in Browning, ag séipéal an Bhláithín.  Christianity influenced a lot of them, and I met some people of the Blackfeet at a wonderful mass in Browning, at the Little Flower Chapel. Ní bheadh an fháilte a fuaireamar ann céad bliain ó shin – bhíodh na daoine sin an-fhíochmhar fadó.  We wouldn’t have gotten the welcome we did a hundred years ago – those people used to be very fierce long ago. Agus cá bhfios nach ndéanfadh mo shinsir féin dochar dóibh, mar ba ró-choitianta san aois sin.  And who knows if my own ancestors wouldn’t have done them harm, as was too common in those days. Ach tagann feabhas ar an saol, minic go leor, agus ní mór dúinn go léir bheith dóchasach.  But the world gets better, often enough, and we must all be hopeful. Go n-éirí linn uile, mar chairde a thacaíonn lena chéile. May we all succeed, as friends who support each other.

Tomhas na Teanga

Táimid i lár an tsamhraidh um an dtaca seo, ach tá mé ag smaoineamh faoi chúrsaí scoile.   We’re in the middle of summer right now, but I’m thinking about school stuff. Is iomaí duine a fuair céim ó scoil amháin agus atá le tosú ar scoil nua san fhómhair.  Lots of people got a degree from one school and will be starting a new school in the fall. Athrú mór i saol duine a leithéid.  That’s a big change for someone. Beidh mo mhac féin chun bheith ina chónaí ag an ollscoil i mbliana.  My own son will be going off to college this year. Is rud nua sin dósan, agus dá thuismitheoirí, freisin!  That’s a new thing for him, and for his parents, too!

Nílimid go léir sa ghlúin chéanna in Ord Ársa na hÉireann. We’re not all in the same generation in the AOH. Tá gach saghas duine again.  We’ve got all kinds of people. Ina measc, tá fir óga gan pháistí fós, agus tá seanóirí le garpháistí.  Among them, there are young men with no children yet, and seniors with grandchildren. Agus tá daoine mar mise ann atá idir eatarthu.  And there are people like me somewhere in between Is cuimhin liom nuair a bhí mo mhac ag tosú ar scoil don chéad uair, agus gheallfainn nach raibh sé ach tamall beag ó shin!  I remember when my son was first starting school, and I’d swear it was just a short while ago! Imíonn an t-am.  Time flies.

Imíonn an tAm.  Sin teideal ar dhlúthdhiosca le Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin.  That’s the title of a CD by… An-albam is ea é, agus molaim go hard é.  It’s a great album, and I highly recommend it. Tá an chuid is mó de as Gaeilge, ach tá cúpla rud ann as Béarla, freisin.  Most of it is in Irish, with some English. Is as Contae na Gaillimhe é.  He’s from Galway.  Mar a tharlaíonn, bhí deis agam bualadh le Tadhg i Nua-Eabhrac tamall ó shin.  As it happens, I had a chance to meet Tadhg a little while back, in NY. Níl sé ina cheoltóir amháin.  He’s not just a musician. Scríobhann sé don teilifís go minic, agus is é an fáth gur bhuail mé leis ná go raibh sé ag déanamh cláir don teilifís, faoin bhfile Raiftearaí.  He frequently writes for TV, and the reason I met him was that he was making a TV show about the poet Raftery. Rinne mé agallamh gearr leis mar táim i mo eagarthóir ar An Gael, agus tharla gur fhoilsíodh an dán cáiliúil ‘Mise Raiftearaí’ don chéad uair riamh in An Gael, sa naoú haois déag.  I did a short interview with him because I’m the editor of An Gael, and it happened that the famous poem…was first published in An Gael.

Ní daltaí scoile iad, den chuid is mó, ach tá eagraíocht i limistéir Nua-Eabhraic darb ainm Daltaí na Gaeilge.  They’re not students at school, for the most part, but there is an organization in the NY area called…(students of Irish). Bíonn siad an-ghníomhach ag eagrú ócáidí chun an teanga a mhúineadh agus a úsáid.  They’re very active organizing occasions to teach and use the language. Is minic go reáchtálann siad deireadh seachtainí na Gaeilge.  They often put on Irish language week-ends. Nuair a thug Tadhg a chuairt ar Nua-Eabhrac, chaith sé am le Daltaí na Gaeilge ar dheireadh seachtaine, agus chan sé dóibh.  When Tadhg was visiting NY, he spent time with them on a week-end, and sang for them. Tá físeáin de ar an idirlíon.  There are videos of it in the internet. Tá Tadhg ar Facebook (mar atáimse), agus is féidir iad a fháil ansin.  Tadhg is on…(as I am), and you can find them there.

Déanann Tadhg leabhair agus ceol do pháistí, freisin.  Tadhg makes books and music for kids, too. Más mian leat Gaeilge a mhúineadh do pháistí, b’fhiú duit súil a chaitheamh ar a shuíomh idirlín:  www.futafata.com.  If you would like to teach kids Irish, you ought to look at his web site. Tá nasc ann go stuif do dhaoine fásta freisin, Imíonn an tAm san áireamh.  There’s a link there to stuff for grown-ups, too, including…

Is iomaí duine a d’fhás aníos in Éirinn ar cuimhin leo Gaeilge a fhoghlaim ar scoil.  Lots of people who grew up in Ireland remember learning Irish at school. Sách minic, níor thaitin sí leo ag an am.  Very often, they didn’t like it at the time. Ach tá daoine eile ann agus is cuimhin leo go raibh sár-mhúinteoirí acu, agus bhain siad an-sult as na ranganna Gaeilge.  But there are other people who remember having great teachers, and they really enjoyed the Irish classes. Chuaigh roinnt díobh go coláistí samhraidh sa Ghaeltacht, agus bhí clubanna ann a spreag iad chun a gcuid Gaeilge a úsáid.  Some went to summer ‘colleges’ in the Gaeltacht, and there were clubs that encouraged them to use their Irish. D’fhoghlaim siad a lán amhrán agus dánta, agus is cuimhin leo fós iad.  They learned a lot of songs and poems, and still remember them. Dánta mar ‘Mise Raifearaí’ agus amhráin mar ‘Cill Aodáin’ (a scríobh Raifearaí).  Poems like…and songs like…(which Raftery wrote).

Dóibh siúd atá ar scoil fós agus, tá súil agam, don uile dhuine againn, tá laethanta saoire againn i rith an tsamhraidh.  For those who are still in school, and I hope for all of us, we have vacation during the summer. Bíodh sos maith againn go léir, mar sin, agus go bhfaighimis fuinneamh, neart is misneach nua, ionas go mbeimid ullamh do gach dúshlán atá romhainn.  Let’s all have a good break, then, and may we get new energy, strength and courage, so that we’ll be ready for every challenge to come.

Go n-éirí le gach duine atá ag leanúint ar aghaidh lena gcuid oideachais, sa bhaile nó ar scoil.  May everyone who is continuing their education, at home or in school, be successful. Ná bíodh deireadh leis an bhfoghlaim!  May there be no end to learning!