Treoir / InstructionsA translation of the dialogue below is available further down the page. Even if your knowledge of Irish is very limited, try reading the dialogue initially without looking at the translation – you should be able to guess the meaning of some of the phrases from the context. Once you’re familiar with the dialogue, click the “Test yourself!” button to check your knowledge. This facility will be available shortly.Liam is twenty-nine years old and lives in the Donegal Gaeltacht. He’s from a mixed farming background but now works as a shop manager in Letterkenny.
*Bairbre, who is twenty-eight, is originally from Cavan, but now lives in Dublin, where she works as a nurse. She met Liam while attending an Irish course in Donegal over five years ago. They dated for two-and-a-half years but split up when Liam discovered that had gone back to her former fiancée behind his back. Their separation was not amicable. *
Liam has not seen Bairbre now since the end of January 2004. He bumps into an old friend of hers, Julie, on the street, however, on a visit to Dublin.
Liam: Tá sé go deas bualadh leat arís, a Julie. Cá bhfuil tú ag obair na laethanta seo?
Julie: Tá mé ag obair le comhlacht árachais i lár na cathrach anseo. Tá an post leadránach go maith ach níl an t-airgead ródhona.
Liam: Níor phós tú go fóill!
Julie: Níor phós ach tá mé ag siúl amach le Peadar go fóill. Tá sé i gceist againn pósadh i gceann bliain go leith nó mar sin. Ní fhaca mé Bairbre le fada – an raibh tú féin i dteagmháil léi le tamall anuas?
Liam: Ní raibh. Níl muid mór le chéile, i ndáiríre. Ghortaigh sí go mór mé.
Julie: Tá a fhios agam. Bhí an-bhrón orm nuair a scar sibh óna chéile agus bhí an-trua agam duitse.
Liam: Ní thuigim cad chuige a ndeachaigh sí ar ais le Noel.
Julie: Ní thuigimse ach oiread. Níor chaith sé go rómhaith léi riamh.
Liam: Chuir sé an-díomá orm nuair a chuala mé go raibh sí ar ais leis. Ní duine ródheas é.
Julie: Níl mé cinnte an bhfuil siad le chéile go fóill. An t-am deireanach a chonaic mé í, ag bainis Aoife anuraidh, bhí sí leis go fóill.
Liam: Bhí mé ag smaoineamh ar theagmháil a dhéanamh léi ach níl mé cinnte. Tá mé cineál feargach léi go fóill.
Julie: B’fhéidir gur cheart duit labhairt léi. Tá a fhios agam nár chaith sí rómhaith leat ach is duine álainn í mar sin féin.
Liam: Tá a fhios agam. Smaoineoidh mé air.
Aistriúchán / Translation
Liam: It’s nice to meet you again, Julie. Where are you working these days?
Julie: I’m working with an insurance company in the city centre here. The job is pretty boring but the money isn’t too bad.
Liam: You haven’t married yet!
Julie: No but I’m still going out with Peadar. We intend marrying in a year in a half or so. I haven’t seen Bairbre in a long time – have you been in contact with her yourself in the last while?
Liam: No. We’re not friends, really. She hurt me badly.
Julie: I know. I was very sorry when you split from each other and I felt very sorry for you.
Liam: I don’t understand why she went back to Noel.
Julie: I don’t understand either. He didn’t treat her very well.
Liam: It really disappointed me when I heard she was back with Noel. He’s not a very nice person.
Julie: I’m not sure whether or not they’re still together. The last time I saw her, at Aoife’s wedding last year, she was still with him.
Liam: I was thinking of contacting her but I’m not sure. I’m still kind of angry with her.
Julie: Maybe you should speak to her. I know she didn’t treat you well but she’s a lovely person all the same.
Liam: I know. I’ll think about it.
Gramadach / GrammarThe consonants b, c, f, g, m, and p and lenited when they follow an- (very): bhí an-bhrón orm (I was very sad)The consonants d, t, and s are not lenited following an-, however: an-trua (a lot of pity)In Irish, an ending is added to certain words in order to add stress. Note the difference between duit and duitse, for example:
Bhí an-trua agam duit. (I felt a lot of pity for you.) Bhí an-trua agam duitse. (I felt a lot of pity for YOU.)
The consonants b, c, d, f, g, m, and s *are lenited after *ró- (too): ródheas (too nice) rómhór (too big)