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.