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 recently bumped into an old friend of hers, Julie, on the street during a visit to Dublin. Jule decides to ring Bairbre to tell her about meeting Liam.
Bairbre: Ní raibh mé ag caint leat le fada, a Julie. Le breis is bliain, déarfainn.
Julie: Tá brón orm, tá mé an-ghafa na laethanta seo. Tá go leor de mo chairde nach bhfeicim ach uair nó dhó sa bhliain anois.
Bairbre: Cad é mar atá Peadar?
Julie: Tá sé go breá ach tá seisean an-ghnóthach freisin. Tá sé fós ag obair leis an gcomhlacht teicneolaíochta sin agus ag déanamh céime san oíche in UCD.
Bairbre: Bím féin ag obair uaireanta fada fosta.
Julie: An chúis go bhfuil mé ag glaoch ort nó chun a rá leat gur bhuail mé le Liam ar an tsráid le déanaí.
Ciúnas ar an líne.
Bairbre: Ar bhuail? Cad é mar atá sé?
Julie: Tá sé go maith. Dúirt sé go raibh sé ag smaoineamh ar theagmháil a dhéanamh leat ach nach raibh sé cinnte.
Bairbre: Cuireann sin iontas orm. Bhí sé iontach feargach liom nuair a scar muid óna chéile.
Julie: Tá sin fíor ach tuigeann sé gur duine deas thú. An bhfuil tú féin agus Noel le chéile go fóill?
Julie: Conas mar atá sibh ag réiteach le chéile?
Bairbre: Maith go leor, is dócha.
Aistriúchán / Translation
Bairbre: I haven’t spoken to you in a long time, Julie. In over a year, I’d say. Julie: I’m sorry, I’m very busy these days. There are plenty of my friends that I only see once or twice a year now.
Bairbre: How’s Peadar?
Julie: He’s fine but he’s very busy as well. He’s still working with that technology company and doing a degree at night in UCD.
Bairbre: I work long hours myself.
Julie: The reason I’m calling you is to say to you that I met Liam on the street recently.
Silence on the line.
Bairbre: Did you? How is he?
Julie: He’s well. He said he was thinking of contacting you but that he wasn’t sure.
Bairbre: That surprises me. He was very angry with me when we split up from each other.
Julie: That’s true but he understands that you’re a nice person. Are you and Noel still together?
Julie: How are you getting on with each other?
Bairbre: Okay, I suppose.
Gramadach / GrammarA noun which directly follows a verbal noun is usually placed in the genitive case: céim (a degree) ag déanamh céime (doing a degree)
Bím is used in the following sentence to denote something which happens regularly:
Bím féin ag obair uaireanta fada fosta.
(I work long hours myself.)
This tense is called the habitual present. The present tense is used in the case of something which is ongoing:
Tá mé ag obair in ospidéal.
(I work in an hospital.)
The word iontach is used in Ulster Irish, instead of the prefix an-:
Donegal Irish Connacht and Munster Irish
iontach feargach an-fheargach / ana-fheargach
The form thú (you) is used instead of tú when that pronoun is the object of the sentence:
Tá tú déanach. (You are late.)
Feicfidh mé ar ball thú. (I’ll see you later.)