I am very greatful to Frank Feighery and the AOH for the opportunity to write this series. I hope everyone enjoys it.
By Jim Norton agus le Séamas Ó Neachtain
Dia duit agus fáilte romhat. Hi and welcome. Is mise Séamas Ó Neachtain. I’m Jim Norton. Some of you know very well what you have just read, some don’t. I hope to make this column fun for people who know no Irish, people who are learning Irish, and na daoine a bhfuil Gaeilge líofa acu. Search through it for what you like, or just plow on through!
Is mise Séamas Ó Neachtain. Bhuel, i ndáiríre, is mise Jim Norton. Táim i mo chónaí i Nua-Eabhrac, SAM. Rugadh anseo mé freisin. Ní raibh mé in Éirinn fós, is mairg liom a rá. Tá cuid de mo shinsir as Éirinn, cuid eile as an nGearmáin, as an bhFrainc, agus níl a fhios agam cén áit eile. Tháinig duine acu, William Keane, as Contae an Chláir fadó. Bhí sé ina shaighdiúir 'Zouave' sa Cogadh Cathartha Meiriceánach. Bhí sinsear ar an taobh eile mo chlann sa chogadh seo freisin, Albert S. Norton. Níl a fhios againn go cinnte cad as a mhuintir, ach creidimid as Éire, cúpla glúin roimhe. Táim pósta le hIrene, agus tá mac amháin (Connor, deich mbliana d’aois) agus iníon amháin (Emily, ocht mbliana d’aois) againn. Táim i mo ríomhchláraitheoir ó 1991. Roimhe sin, bhí mé i mo mhúinteoir ceoil. Rugadh mé i 1960. Táim i mo mhúinteoir ag Scoil Gaeilge Ghéaróid Tóibin i mBabylon, Nua Eabhrac, le cúpla bliain. Táim ag foghlaim na Gaeilge le sé bliana anuas. Is ball mé den AOH, rannán a dó, i mBabylon.
Who am I?
I’m Jim Norton. I live in New York, USA. I was also born here. I’ve not been to Ireland yet, I’m sorry to say. Some of my ancestors are from Ireland, others from Germany, from France, and I don’t know where else. One of them, William Keane, came from Clare long ago. He was a soldier (Zouave) in the American Civil War. Another of my ancestors on the other side of my family was also in this war, Albert S. Norton. We don’t know exactly where his people were from, but we think from Ireland, a couple of generations before him. I’m married to Irene, and we have one son (Connor, age ten) and one daughter (Emily, age 8). I have been a computer programmer since 1991. Before that, I was a music teacher. I was born in 1960. I am a teacher at the Gerry Tobin Irish Language School in Babylon, NY, for a few years. I’ve been learning Irish for the last 6 years. I’m a member of the AOH, division 2, in Babylon.
Sin an iomarca fúmsa, is dóche! That’s too much about me, I guess. D’iarr an
t-eagarthóir uasail den nuachtán seo orm cúpla focal a scríobh fúm fhéin, chun mé féin a chur in aithne do na léitheoirí. The noble editor of this newspaper asked me to write a few words about myself, in order to introduce myself to the readers.
Cad é an colún seo? What is this column?
Tomhas na Teanga, the title of this column, can mean a lot of things. It can mean at least the following: ‘ a measure of the Language,’ ‘the weight of the language,’ ‘the riddle of the language.’ Now ‘teanga’ not only means language, it also means ‘tongue,’ so there’s another couple of possibilities. It is pronounced (nota bene: there are often regional variations in the pronunciation of Irish – I will give the official standard version the government of Ireland uses) ‘toes nah tang uh,’ with the rhythm/stress of long short - long short. Make sure that ‘s’ sounds like an ‘s’ – ‘s’ never sounds like ‘z’ in Irish.
This column will be about what is going on with the Irish language today – and that’s a lot! It will teach you a few words of Irish, if you don’t already know them. It will give those with cúpla focal (a couple of words – pronounced ‘coopluh f***l’) a chance to practice. I hope it will have some entertainment for the Gaeilgeoirí (Irish speakers – pr. ‘Gale-gyore-ee’), too. I hope you all will have as much fun with the language as I do. Tá súil agam go mbainfidh sibh an méid taitnimh as an teanga mar a bhainimse.
Tabhair cuairt orainn ag www.scoilgaeilge.org ar an idirlíon! Visit us at this address on the internet!