Tomhas na Teanga

Cé gurb amhlaidh go mbíonn an dúlra ina namhaid dúinn uaireanta, mar a bhí leis na stoirmeacha uafásacha a tharla i mbliana, níos minice is cara, fiú máthair dúinn é.  Even though sometimes nature is our enemy, as it was with the terrible storms that happened this year, more often it is a friend, even a mother to us.  Agus go háirithe san earrach agus sa samhradh, bíonn deis againn taitneamh a bhaint as.  And especially in the spring and summer, we have a chance to enjoy it.  Stadaimis agus bolaímis na bláthanna, mar sin!  So let’s stop and smell the flowers!

Is caitheamh aimsire breá an gharraíodóireacht, agus táim cinnte go bhfuil garraithe thar barr ag a lán ball dár n-ord seo.  Gardening is a great hobby, and I’m certain that a lot of our order’s members have great gardens.  Níl an ceann atá againne chomh galánta.  The one we have isn’t so fine.  Tá plandaí éagsúla ann, an iomarca luifearnach ina measc…  There are various plants, too many weeds amongst them…  Ach táthar ag súil go bhfaighimid glasraí dár gcuid féin as.  It is hoped that we will get our own vegetables from it.  Agus dar ndóigh, tá bláthanna ann, freisin.  And of course, there are flowers, too.

Mura bhfuil spás nó am go leor agat chun do gharraí féin a chur is freastal air, is iomaí garraí pobail atá ann.  If you don’t have space or time to plant and attend to your own garden, there are lots of community ones.  Tá ceann ag mo pharóiste.  My parish has one.  Tugann scaifte daoine ón gcomharsanacht aire dó.  A group of people from the neighborhood tend it.  Ar mo shlí ón traein go dtí m’oifig i mBrooklyn, siúlaim thar cheann eile, ar leis an gcomharsanacht é.  On the way from the train to my office…I walk past another one, which belongs to the neighborhood.  Níl na cinn seo an-mhór, ach tá siad go deas agus cé nach n-ithim na glasraí, bainim taitneamh as na bláthanna agus an boladh deas atá orthu (agus ar na luibheanna, freisin).  These aren’t very big, but they’re nice and although I don’t eat the veggies, I enjoy the flowers and their nice smell (and that of the herbs, too).

Tá garraithe móra poiblí ann, freisin – crannlanna ina measc.  There are also big public gardens – including arboretums.  Bhí an aimsir go dian ar na crainn i mbliana, agus cailleadh roinnt mhór díobh, faraor, ach fós féin, mhair an chuid is mó díobh, agus is breá an rud é am a mheilt i measc na gcrann galánta éagsúil.  The weather was hard on the trees this year, and a lot of them were lost, alas, but just the same, most of them lived, and it a fine thing to while away the time in the midst of various noble trees.  Ar na sean eastáit ar Inis Fada i Nua-Eabhrac, cuireadh crannlanna agus gairdíní breátha, agus tá roinnt mhór díobh seo ina bpáirceanna poiblí anois.  On the old estates on Long Island in NY, arboretums and fine gardens were planted, and a lot of them are public parks now.

San earrach, thug mé cuairt ar ghairdíní Hershey in PA.  In the spring, I visited Hershey Gardens…  Bhí na tiúilipí faoi bhláth ag an am, agus b’iontach an radharc iad.  The tulips were in bloom, and they were a wonderful sight.  Tá na garraithe seo ar bharr cnoic, agus is féidir Hershey Park a fheiscint uathu.  These gardens are on the top of a hill, and you can see…from them.  Crannlann atá ann chomh maith, agus tá fiú crónghiúisí acu.  There’s an arboretum too, and they even have redwoods.  Tá cróghiúis na caomhaire againn sa bhaile.  We have a dawn redwood at home.  Tá a lán acu seo sa Bhablóin, ar Inis Fada, mar atá.  There are a lot of these in Bablyon, on Long Island, as it happens.  Ach tá na cinn ón gcósta thiar – Sequoiadendron gigantea – acu in Hershey.  But they have the ones from the west coast…  Níl siad chomh mór leis na cinn in California, ach tá siad mór go leor.  They’re not as big as the ones in CA, but they’re big enough.

Tá Garraithe na Lus (na luibheolaíochta) mór le rá againn sa Bhroncs (agus in áiteanna eile), i Nua-Eabhrac.  We have big Botanical Gardens in the Bronx (and in other places), in NY.  Agus tá a leithéid ann ar fud na tíre, más níos lú an chuid is mó díobh.  And there are similar ones all over the country, even if they are usually smaller.  In Éirinn, tá Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus ann i nGlas Naíon, sráidbhaile ó thuaidh ó Bhaile Átha Cliath.  In Ireland, the National Botanical Gardens are in Glasnevin, a town north of Dublin. Tá an méid seo leanas (agus níos mó) fúthu le fáil ar an suíomh idirlín www.heritageireland.ie/ga: The following (and more) can be found on the website…:  “Bunaíodh Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus sa bhliain 1795.”  The NBG were founded in… “Tá clú agus cáil orthu as na tiomsacháin bhreátha de phlandaí ina bhfuil breis is 17,000 de speicis agus de chineálacha plandaí as áiteanna ar fud fad na cruinne.”  They are famous for their fine collection of plants, which includes more than [15,000 sa leagan Béarla atá acu – tá sé difriúil ar fad!] species and kinds of plants from places all over the world.  “Tá cáil orthu de bharr na ngairdíní áille tírdhreachtaithe agus na dtithe gloine, go háirithe Raon Cuarlíneach Turner agus Teach na Pailme Móire, atá athchóirithe go fíor-ornáideach agus plandaí curtha iontu.”  They’re famous for the beautiful landscaped gardens and greenhouses, especially the Turner Curvilinear Range and the Great Palm House, which have been restored very ornately with plants planted in them.

Agus is iomaí gairdín eile atá ann i mBaile Átha Cliath agus ar fud Éireann agus ar fud Meiriceá.  And there are many other gardens in Dublin and all over Ireland and all over America.  Tabhair cuairt ar cheann nó dhó sa samhradh seo!  Visit one or two this summer!

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

Táim i mo eagarthóir ar an leagan nua den tseaniris cháiliúil An Gael. I am the editor of the new version of the famous old publication An Gael. Ag deireadh an naoíú aois déag, bhí a bunaitheoir, Mícheál Ó Lócháin, fós ina eagarthóir uirthi.  At the end of the 19th century, its founder, Michael Logan, was still the editor. Duine an-suimiúil ab ea é, agus an-díograiseach i leith na teanga agus i leith saoirse d’Éirinn.  He was a very interesting person, and very enthusiastic about the language and about freedom for Ireland. Radacach ab ea é, le fírinne.  In truth, he was a radical. Agus ní raibh sé sásta ná foighneach le daoine nach n-aontaigh leis maidir le cúrsaí polaitiúla nó cúrsaí teangan.  And he was not happy about or patient with people who didn’t agree with him concerning politics or the language.

Rinne mé taighde ar an tseaniris le déanaí, agus fuair mé an tagairt seo, a scríobh MÓL in 1891, d’Ord Ársa seo na nGael:  A while ago, I did research on the old magazine, and I found this reference, which MÓL wrote in 1891, to this Ancient Order of Hibernians:

“In last Gael we asked our Hibernian and other Irish-society friends what they had done during their existence to preserve Irish nationality.  We have received no answer yet—nor never shall!”

Bhuel, a Mhícheáil, seo duit do fhreagra.  Well, Michael, here’s your answer.

Cheap Ó Lócháin nach rabhamar ar a thaobh maidir leis an teanga.  Logan thought we were not on the language’s side. Pé tuairim ia bhí aige agus pé dearcadh a bhíodh ag an ord san aois sin, is léir nach amhlaidh an scéal sa lá atá inniu ann (buíochas le Dia).  Whatever opinion he had and whatever outlook the order had at that time, it’s clear that that’s not the case nowadays (thank God). Ní mise an chéad cholúnaí Gaeilge ar an nuachtán seo, agus tá colún rialta agamsa ó Bhealtaine 2002.  I’m not the first Irish language columninst in this paper, and I’ve had a regular column since May of 2002. Tá a fhios agam go mbíonn ranganna Gaeilge ag an AOH in áiteanna éagsúla, agus tá taithí pearsanta agam ar Scoil Ghaeilge Ghearóid Tóibín, atá lonnaithe ag rannóg a dó sa Bhablóin ar Inis Fada, i Nua-Eabhrac.  I know that the AOH has Irish language classes in various places, and I’m personally familiar with the Gerry Tobin Irish Language School, which is located at division 2 in Babylon on Long Island. Tá SGGT ar an bhfód le breis is fiche bliain, le tacaíocht ón AOH.  The GTILS has been around for more than 20 years, with the support of the AOH. Agus roimh an scoil, bhíodh Gearóid Tóibin féin (ar dheis Dé go raibh sé) ag múineadh sa halla céanna.  And before the school, Gerry Tobin himself (may he be at God’s right hand) teaching in the same hall.

Bhí agus tá ranganna ag rannáin eile ar Inis Fada, r.8 in Selden agus r.7 in Islip Thoir, mar shampla.  There were and are classes at other divisions on Long Island, i.e. div.8 in Selden and div. 7 in East Islip. Nuair a bhí Vic Vogel (ag a bhfuil teastas gur chríochnaigh sé féin cúrsa sa Ghaeilge) ina uachtarán ar Bhord Chontae Suffolk, chruthaigh sé post Oifigeach na Gaeilge, agus tá an post sin ag Cathal Gaoidh.  When VV (who has a diploma saying he himself finished an Irish language course) was president of the Suffolk County Board, he created the position of Irish Language Officer, and Charlie Gee has that job. Insíonn sé don bhord faoin a mbíonn ar siúl a bhaineann leis an teanga, agus foghlaimíonn an bord roinnt paidreacha as Gaeilge, freisin. He tells the board about all that is going on with the language and the board learns some prayers in Irish, too.

Bhí Gaeilge ag an bhFeis Nassau le blianta fada, le Seosamh Ó hAllagáin á heagrú, ar dheis Dé go raibh sé. There was Irish at the Nassau Feis for years, organized by Joe Halligan (God bless him). Tá fós ag an bhFeis Suffolk le Bernard De Brún á eagrú.  Bernard Bruen still does this at the Suffolk Feis. Sa chomórtas amhránaíochta ar an sean nós a bhíonn ag an bhFeis Nassau, is iomaí duine a chanann as Gaeilge.  In the traditional singing contest at the Nassau Feis, lots of people sing in Irish.

Níl mórán eolais agam faoin nGaeilge ag rannáin ar fud na tíre, ach rinne mé scagadh ar an idirlíon, agus feicim go bhfuil cúpla focal agus cúpla nasc ar a suímh idirlín.  I don’t have a lot of information about Irish at divisions throughout the country, but I did a little checking on the internet, and see a few words and a few links on their websites. Tá daoine ag foghlaim na cúpla focal.  People are learning a few words. Molaim go dtabharfar níos mó aire don litriú agus do na hacmhainn nua atá ar fáil, fiú don colún seo, atá sa chartlann anseo:  I recommend that more attention be paid to spelling, to the new resources that are available, even this column, here is in this archive: http://www.scoilgaeilge.org/t_na_t/

Is iomaí ball den AOH ag a bhfuil Gaeilge. Lots of AOH members speak Irish. Ní bhfuair mé riamh, agus mé i mo bhall, go raibh aon duine diúltach maidir leis an nGaeilge. I’ve never found, since I’ve been a member, that anyone was negative about the language. Ceapaim go raibh Mícheál glan mícheart in 1891.  I think that Michael was totally wrong  in 1891. Gabhaim leithscéal don AOH ar son An Gael as an rud a dúirt ár n-eagarthóir fadó.  On behalf of An Gael, I apologize to the AOH for what our editor said so long ago.

Má tá eolas agat faoi stair na Gaeilge san AOH, scríobh chugam, le do thoil, ag JamusN@aol.com.  If you have information about the history of the language in the AOH, please write to me, at JamusN@aol.com