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LIVING IRISH LANGUAGE

WE ARE PROUD TO BE A GAELTACHT AREA

LIVING
IRISH
LANGUAGE

Gaeltacht areas in Ireland are areas where the Irish language is the dominant language for home, education, business and social activities. About 60% of the area of the geopark is part of a Gaeltacht which includes 7 of our communities. Irish is the living and working language for many even outside of the Gaeltachts being the first national language of Ireland and is an intrinsic part of the culture and tradition. None of the three UNESCO Global Geopark projects in Ireland are in Gaeltacht areas.

The Irish language has also contributed to the scientific language of glaciology. As Ireland is an easily accessible recently glaciated landscape, early work on glacial landforms was carried out here and some of the landforms were given names derived from Irish. Glacier rounded and elongated low ridges are known internationally as drumlins and there are many of them in this region, but the name comes from the Irish word “droimainn” meaning small ridge.

Eskers are long winding ridges of gravel and are a common feature of the Irish landscape. The word comes from the Irish word “eiscir” meaning a dividing ridge.

Corrie is one of the terms used for a mountain glacier cirque and comes from the Irish “coire” meaning a large pot or a cauldron.

about Joyce Country & Western Lakes Geopark mission

Townland names, most of which are derived from Irish, are usually beautiful descriptives of physical features of the local geography. Indeed, some actually relate to the local geology such as Cloghbrack from the Irish “An Chloch Bhreac” meaning the speckled rock which corresponds to the local schist with large white crystals of quartz (see booklet from geopark project). Work is still ongoing in some places on the history and meaning of local townland names.

For further information on the language or to learn it online or through a local course, follow this link.

Here are some useful Irish words and phrases to help you make your way around the Gaeltacht areas of our geopark.

Greetings

Irish

Fáilte/ Céad Míle Fáilte

Dia duit

Slán

Pronounced

“fall-cha”

“jee-uh ggwitch”

“slaan”

Meaning

Welcome/ 100,000 Welcomes

Hello

Goodbye

Everyday words and expressions

Irish

An Lár

Gardai/ Garda/ Garda síochána

Sláinte

Mná

Fir

Céilí

Craic

Le do thoil

Go raibh maith agat

Níl

Tá brón orm

Gabh mo leithscéal

Oscailte

Dúnta

Pronounced

“on lore”

“gar-dee”/ “gar-dah”/ “gar-dah shee-oh-cahn-nah”

“slaan-cha”

“muh-naw”

“fear”

“kay-lee”

“crack”

“leh duh hull”

“guh rev moh og-ut”

“taw”

“kneel”

“taw brone ur-um”

“guh-muh-leh-sh-kale”

“uh-skull-cha”

“doon-ta”

Meaning

Town Centre e.g. on a bus to go into town

Police

Cheers/ To Your Health e.g. when toasting a drink

Women
Men

A traditional social dance event or party

Fun/ music/ good times/ entertainment

Please

Thank you

Yes

No

I’m sorry/ I’m sad

Excuse me

Open

Closed

Road signs

Irish

Géill Slí

Stad

Téigh

Go Mall

Pronounced

“gail-shlee”

“staw-id”

“tay”

“guh moll”

Meaning

Yield right of way (roadsign)

Stop (roadsign)

Go (roadsign)

Slow (roadsign)

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