Tomhas na Teanga

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tomhas na Teanga

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

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!