Tomhas na Teanga
Last issue this column was not printed. It is available on the internet, as always, at www.scoilgaeilge.org/t_na_t. It can also be heard (just the Irish, after some introduction) at www.philo-celtic.blogspot.com, the post from June 11, 2006. I started writing the column in Irish with interlinear translation last time, and I am continuing in a similar mode this time. Everything will be in Irish, with translation following.
Frank Feighery (Proinsias Ó Fiachra) gave me the opportunity to do this column just over 4 years ago, and I am very grateful to him and to the National Hibernian Digest for having me. I am saddened by the loss of Frank. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé. He worked very hard for us as our editor, and we will miss him. Beannacht Dé ar a anam, agus go dtuga Dia suaimhneas síoraí dó. I guarantee you that his greatest desire would be for us to carry on, and so here is the column I prepared for this issue.
Is iad an t-am agus an aimsir ábhar an cholúin seo iad. The subject of this column is time and season/weather. Bíonn an aimsir go breá sa samhradh. The weather is (usually) great in the Summer. Is é an aimsir is fearr den bhliain chun dul ar snámh, mar shampla. It is the best season of the year to go swimming, for example. Is trua go bhfuilim ag obair go lán-aimsire. It’s a pity I work full time. Nuair a bhíonn an deireadh seachtaine ag druidim linn, éistim le réamhaisnéis na haimsire, agus bím ag súil le tréimhse grianmhar. Whenever the weekend is approaching, I listen to the weather forecast, and hope for a sunny spell. Tá áthas orm go bhfuilim beo le linn na haoise seo. I’m glad that I’m alive during this age. Sa tseanaimsir, ní bhíodh laethanta saoire ag daoine, go háirithe na sclábhaithe, mar an spailpín nó an cailín aimsire. In the old days, people didn’t used to have vacation days, especially the servants, like the male migrant field worker or the temporary servant girl.
Ar thug tú faoi deara aimsir an bhriathra ‘bhíodh’ san abairt sin? Sin an aimsir ghnáthchaite. Did you notice the tense of the verb ‘used to be’ in that sentence? That’s the past habitual tense. Agus is léir, is dócha, ón méid thuas, go mbaintear níos mó ná brí amháin as an bhfocal ‘aimsir.’ And it is clear, I suppose, from the amount above, that the word ‘aimsir’ has more than one meaning (more than one sense is reaped from the word)
Tá sé in am anois focal eile a phlé. It is now time to discuss another word. Cén t-am é? What time is it? Tá sé leath-uair tar éis a dó. It is half past two. Nó bhí sé, nuair a scríobh mé an abairt sin! Or it was, when I wrote that sentence! Ní bhíonn am go leor agam chun dul ar saoire go minic. I often don’t have enough time to go on vacation. Ach am éigin, beidh seans agam, le cúnamh Dé! But some time, I will have a chance, with God’s help! Is mian liom sin a dhéanamh am ar bith! It is my desire to do that any time at all!
Cúpla uair, nuair a bhí mé ar saoire, bhí am difriúil ann, agus bhí orm mo uaireadóir a cheartú. A couple of times, when I was on vacation, there was a different time there, and I had to correct/adjust my watch. Uair sa bhliain, déanaim iarracht chun áit éigin eile sa tír seo a fheiscint. Once a year, I try to see some other place in this country. Is breá liom taisteal. I love to travel.
Uaireanta, buailim le daoine a d’fhoghlaim a gcuid Gaeilge fadó. Sometimes I meet people who learned their Irish a long time ago. Tá cúpla rud ann a bhíonn deacair dóibh, agus iad ag iarraidh a gcuid Gaeilge a mhúscail arís, agus sin focail nua-chumtha, agus litriú nua na Gaeilge go háirithe. There are a couple of things that are difficult for them, as they try to revive their Irish again, and that is newly composed words, and especially the new spelling of the Irish. Tráth dá raibh, bhíodh litreacha eile ann mar chuid de fhocail áirithe. Cheap an rialtas go ndéanfadh siad litriú na Gaeilge níos simplí don bhfoghlaimeoir, agus rinne. The government thought that they would make the spelling of Irish simpler for the learner, and they did. Uaireanta, cailleadh ciall an fhocail a bhíodh léir ón tseanlitriú, agus rinneadh níos deacra é don bhfoghlaimeoir, ach sin mar a bhíonn. Sometimes, the sense of a word which used to be clear from the old spelling was lost, and it was made more difficult for the learner, but that’s the way it goes. Is sampla de seo é ‘réamhaisnéis,’ ab ea ‘réamhfhaisnéis.’ An example of this is … which was (pre+information – forecast!). Bíonn h-eanna i ndiaidh na litreacha seachas buailtí thar na litreacha anois, freisin, agus sin rud deacair mura bhfuil cleachtadh ag duine leis. There are h’s after the letters instead of strikes (dots) over the letters now, too, and that is a difficult thing if a person is not used to it. Tá súil agam go mbeidh mé in ann níos mó a scríobh ar an ábhar seo sa todhchaí.
I hope that I will be able to write more on this subject in the future. Slán go fóill! So long for now!