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

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

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.