Irish Lesson 60

PRONUNCIATION REVIEW

The slender "d" sound occurs when the nearest vowel in the word is "e" or "i". Pronounce the sound with the tongue tip against the hard ridge behind the upper front teeth. Allow the tongue tip to slide off forward as you make the sound. A slight tendency toward a (dy) sound may be heard. Examples of slender "d":

Dé (day*), of God

deireadh (DER-uh), end

deo (dyoh); go deo, forever

Dia (DEE-uh), God

dílis (DEEL-ish), faithful

dlí (dlee), law

dleathach (DLA-huhk*), lawful

dreoilín (droh-LEEN), wren

In the middle or at the end of a word:

bídeach (BEE-dyahk*), tiny; Bríd (breed), Bridget; buidéal (bwi-DAY*L), bottle; méid (may*d), amount; oide (ID-e), teacher; báid (BAW*-id), boats; staidéar (STAH-day*r), study; sméidim (SMAY*-dim), I wink

When aspirated, an initial slender "d" gets the sound of (y). Try: mo dhícheall (muh YEE-huhl), my best effort; a dhlí (uh YLEE), his law; lámh dheas (law*v yas), right hand; a dhream (uh YROUM), resembling (uh yi-ROUM) but run together, his group or crowd.

Inside a word, an aspirated slender "d" may be in a letter group which has a single sound for the group: oidhre (EYE-re), heir.

At the end of a word, an aspirated slender "d" has no sound: léifidh sé (LAY*-hee shay*), he will read.

GRAMMAR

We continue with comparison. Last week, you saw that the English form, "John is taller than Mary," can become "Is taller John than Mary": Is airde Seán ná Máire (is AR-de shaw*n naw* MAW*-re).

The negative of this is: Ní airde Seán ná Máire: not taller John than Mary.

Read these examples, which include adjectives from the groups you met last week:

(fuar) Ní fuaire an seomra seo ná an chistin (nee FOO-i*re un SHOHM-ruh shuh naw* un HYISH-tin), this room is not colder than the kitchen.

(leisciúil) Ní leisciúla Séamas ná a athair (nee lesh-KYOO-luh SHAY*-muhs naw* uh A-hir), James is not lazier than his father.

(salach) Ní salaí an léine ná an cóta (nee SAH-lee un LAY*-ne un KOH-tuh), the shirt is not dirtier than the coat.

(fada) Ní faide an lá ná an oíche (nee FAH-de un law* naw* un EE-he), the day is not longer than the night.

The question form is literally: Is taller John than Mary?, or "An airde Seán ná Máire?" Read these examples several times:

(láidir) An láidre an fear sin ná tusa? (un LAW*-dre un far shin naw* TU-suh), Is that man stronger than you?

(compordach) An compordaí an chathaoir seo ná ár dtolg? (un kuhm-POHR-dee un K*AH-heer shuh naw* aw*r DUHL-luhg), Is this chair more comfortable than our sofa?

The negative question form should be obvious to you. An example: "Nach faide an bord ná an leaba?" (nahk* FAH-de un bohrd naw* un LA-buh), Isn't the table longer than the bed?

VOCABULARY

gnóthach (GNOH-huhk*), busy lag (lahg), weak

éirimiúil (ER-i-myoo-il), intelligent, clever

cliste (KLISH-te), clever

cineálta (kin-AW*L-tuh), kind

bocht (bohk*t), poor oilte (IL-te), skilled

rocach (ROH-kahk*), wrinkled

cúramach (KOOR-uh-mahk*), careful

DRILL

Complete these sentences, which contain comparative forms of the adjectives in the Vocabulary.

Ní ________ an cailín ná a deartháir (dri-HAW*-ir). Use "éirimiúil".

An ________ tusa ná Brian? Use "lag".

Is ________ Nóra ná a deirfiúr (dri-FOOR). Use "cúramach".

Nach ______ mo mhúinteoir ná aon mhúinteoir eile? Use "cineálta".

Is ________ an dochtúir seo ná ár ndochtúir. Use "gnóthach".

Ní _______ sinn ná sibh. Use "bocht".

An _______ mo chóta ná do léine? Use "rocach".

Is ________ mo mhadra ná mo chat. Use "cliste".

Ní _______ na saighdiúiri (seye-DYOO-i-ree) seo ná iad sin. Use "oilte".

Key: éirimiúla (ER-i-myoo-luh), laige (LAG-e), cúramaí (KOOR-uh-mee), cineálta (kin-AW*L-tuh), gnóthaí (GNOH-hee), boichte (BWIK*-te), rocaí (ROH-kee), cliste (KLISH-te), oilte (IL-te)

Note: the word "deartháir" means "brother", and the word "deirfiúr" means "sister", both words being in the sense of family relationship. "Saighdiúir" means "soldier", and its plural is "saighdiúirí".

CONVERSATION

Seán (shaw*n): Éist! Tá duine ag cnagadh ar an doras. Listen! Someone is knocking at the door.

Máire (MAW*-re): Cé hé ann? (kay* hay* oun) Who is there?

Seán: Níl a fhios agam, ach gheobhaidh mé amach go díreach (neel is uh-GUHM, ahk* YOH-ee may* uh-MAHK* goh dee-RAHK*). I don't know, but I will find out right away. Osclóidh mé an doras (oh-SKLOH-ee may* un DUH-ruhs). I'l open the door.

(c) 1998 The Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.

Irish Lesson 59 Irish Lesson 61

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