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

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!