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PUL’s letter to Pléimeann, December 3rd, 1919

Mí na Nollag a trí, naoi gcéad déag a naoidéag, nú, míle naoi gcéad a naoidéag.

A Athair a chara,

Mo ghraidhin tu! Mo ghraidhin croí thu! Thosnaíos leitir cúpla lá ó shin agus sin mar a thosnaíos í. Do chuímhníos ar an bhfocal san Mo ghraidhin tu! agus ní dó’ liom gur scríos riamh fós é. Agus féach, táim ag éisteacht leis ag teacht amach a béalaibh daoine chúm gach aon ré sholais lem cheithre fichid blian! Deirtear le duine a dhéanfadh gníomh éigin nirt Mo ghraidhin go deó thu!mo ghraidhin croí thu! Moladh maímh is ea é an uair sin. Ach deirtear é agus osna ann le trua. “Tá eagal orm go bhfuil Tadhg Rua bocht réidh mo ghraidhin é!” (réidh = “doomed”). D’airíos dá rá é le baintrigh an oíche tar éis sochraide a fir. “Tá oíche uaigneach anocht aici, mo ghraidhin í!” Nú sa chéill chéanna “… mo ghraidhin go léir í!”

l7. Béile bhídh. Táim ag éisteacht riamh leis agus níor airíos riamh ach béile bhídh, nú béile mhaith bhídh.

There should be no comma between dar leis and ba leis féin na tithe, just as there could not be a comma in “He considered the houses as his own”.

p2. Last line. There should be no preposition at all! The sentence should be simply d’fhéach sé an fhinneóg amach or d’fhéach sé amach an fhinneóg if the speaker so wishes.

p4. l13. It is ar bhruach here, but ar bruach would do just as well, because I may wish to tell where the biolar was, with regard to the stream or I may merely wish to confine my mind to the biolar itself and just tell where it was. It is a nice distinction but I have heard it made.1

p7. cíor is the correct word.

p7. Cuaille críon is right, where críon is an adjective qualifying cuaille, but as far as I remember what I heard was an cuaille crín = “the branch of withered staff” where crín is a substantive, genitive of críon.

p10.  l28. I never wrote cia an áit.

p27. l8. If you put in san you must have out the agus. I sometimes see after young writers, the agus and the san put in but it is most untidy. I never heard it.

p27. l5. I have often heard the gur covering the two words. E.g. bíodh gur dhuine mhacánta é.

p28. l33. Bhainidís móin ar an bportach is what I have always been listening to.

p37. l27. Don Bharrach bhocht is what I heard out of the mouth of my companion.

Béile mhaith, vide supra.

p43. l25. Cheithre is right.

_____________

I got a number of leaflets of clog bínn an aingil from them, but there is neither a Nihil obstat nor an imprimatur on any one of them!

1This refers to biolar ar fás ar bhruach an tsrutháin sin in Ár nDóithin Araon.

6

Nicholas Williams’ droch-Ghaelainn in An Hobad

I am often find myself shocked by the poor quality of the Irish of the people who staff the official language movement. PUL was determined that learners making the language up should not control the language, and would have shared my poor opinion of the various professors of Irish. I don’t doubt they do have knowledge of something—but they spend their time promoting a made-up version of the language. Take Nicholas Williams, for example. This man—an Englishman—has expert knowledge of Celtic languages, although he makes a fool of himself by spending his time devising a Cornish-based conlang. What is that Cornish word for “neutron” again?

His translation of Tolkien’s The Hobbit is fit only for the bin. Whatever Williams is an expert in, it is not late traditional modern Irish, and it seems to me arrogant and rude in the extreme for non-native speakers to translate these things into Irish. At the very least, strong native speakers should proofread and subedit the translations before publication.

Let’s look at the opening page, in English:

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats-the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill—The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it-and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another.

Nicholas Williams begins his translation with this:

I bpoll sa talamh a bhí cónaí ar hobad. Níor pholl gránna, salach, fliuch é, lán le péisteanna stróichthe agus le boladh láibe. Níor pholl tirim, lom, gainmheach a bhí ann ach an oiread, gan aon rud ann le n-ithe ná suí síos air; poll hobaid ab ea é agus is ionann sin agus compord.

Numerous problems from the outset! Not only is there no Irish word hobad—it is correct to use loan words in italics where no native word exists, mirroring the way in which native speakers use words such as “microwave” in their Irish (there is no Irish word oigheann mícreathonnach). An even more glaring problem is the syntax of i bpoll sa talamh a bhí cónaí ar hobad. This sentence is non-idiomatic in the extreme. Irish defines what you’re talking about, and then comments on it. For example: tá daoine ann, agus is é is dó’ leó ná go…, rather than is dó’ le daoine go. If hobad had been definite—if we had already been talking about the hobbit—we could have said i bpoll sa talamh a bhí cónaí ar an hobad. But hobad here is indefinite; it has not been mentioned. So we must state its existence first in Irish, and then comment on it. Something like:

Do bhí hobbit ann, agus i bpoll sa talamh ’ bhí cónaí air.

Other problems with Williams’ tripe: lán le péisteanna. Does lán le exist in Irish? Isn’t this influence from Williams’ study of other European languages? Lán de is the correct phrase. What about gan aon rud ann le n-ithe ná suí síos air? Does being a professor allow you not to repeat the le before suí síos? Williams fails to translate “oozy”.

Williams’ next paragraph is:

Bhí an doras cruinn ciorclach ar nós sleaspholl loinge, péint uaine air, agus murlán buí práis ina cheartlár. D’osclaíodh an doras isteach ar halla sorcóireach ar gheall le tollán é, tollán fíorchompordach gan deatach ar bith ann. Painéil adhmaid a bhí ar na ballaí, leacáin agus caipéad ar an urlár agus bhí cathaoireacha ann mar aon le mórán crúcaí i gcomhair hataí agus cótaí—thaitníodh cuairteoirí go mór leis an hobad.

There are numerous problems here, the most glaring of which is the use of the past habitual: d’osclaíodh an doras ar halla. The past habitual (gnáthchaite) is used in Irish for repeated action in the past. It is not a full equivalent of the French imperfect (neamhfhuirithe). Let us look at this paragraph from PUL’s Eisirt (p20), the spelling of which I have modernised:

Ach nuair a thosnaigh Eisirt ar ghníomharthaibh gaile agus gaisce Iúbhdáin do mholadh, agus gníomhartha a laochra a bhí féna smacht, agus ar an léirscrios a dheinidís ar namhaid i gcogadh agus i gcruachómhrac do mholadh, ar chuma ’nar dhó’ le duine gurbh fhathaigh mhóra iad go léir, is amhlaidh a bhí Feargus agus an chuideachta go léir i riocht dul i laige le neart suilt agus gáirí. Nuair a bhíodh Eisirt dhá ínsint sa dán conas mar a deintí na cathanna móra do throid, do léimeadh sé ’na sheasamh agus shiúladh sé anonn ’s anall ar an mbórd, agus faor ar a ghuth agus tine chreasa ag teacht as a shúilibh, fé mar a bheadh sé i lár catha éigin agus namhaid chróga aige dá leagadh in aghaidh gach focail dá labhradh sé. Tríd an sult go leir dóibh ní maith a bhíodh ’ fhios ag an gcuideachtain ceocu ba cheart dóibh sult a dhéanamh de nú eagla ’ bheith acu roimis nuair a chídís an rabhartha feirg sin ag teacht air.

Eisirt has numerous passages that illustrate the use of the past habitual. The tense is used to indicate repeated actions in the past. It seems that it is often possible to use the preterite instead (e.g. nuair a bhí Eisirt dhá insint sa dán), and that use of the past habitual therefore adds an additional layer of nuance, accounting for its relatively rare occurrence in good Irish literature. In any case, it is the usage of people like PUL that Nicholas Williams needs to make a study of in order to embark on translations that require deft tense usage. I do not know if Williams could argue that his studies of Old Irish would justify the past habitual in this passage of the Hobbit, but, be that as it may, modern Irish is a separate language, and it is the usages of the strong native speakers that must set the tone for learners such as Williams.

Leaving aside the fact that doors do not open themselves in Irishd’osclaíodh an doras is absurd, unless the door sprouted a hand and opened itself—there is no continual action here. The door just gave onto a hall; it didn’t continually or repeatedly give onto a hall. The correct Irish would be do chuaigh an doras isteach i halla. Compare do bhí an tigh anso: there would be no need for the past habitual in such a sentence (do bhíodh an tigh anso, “the house kept on being here”). There are other issues with his translation. Péint uaine air ignores the fact that uaithne (to give the correct spelling) is an unnatural green anyway, and so dath uaithne is sufficient. Sorchóíreach seems an odd word. Brat is fine for “carpet”, without reaching for caipéad. No translation for “polished” is given in this translation either. Thaitníodh cuairteoirí leis is also confused: the point is not that the hobbit liked visitors (even if that is the literal way such sentences are phrased in English), but that he liked receiving visitors; he liked it when they visited him. Róchruínn means “perfectly round”, and so it is not necessary to say cruinn ciorclach. Can a tunnel be fíorchompordach? Can you sit on a tunnel? Fíorchluthar makes more sense to me in this context. Williams fails to translate “shiny”.

Williams then goes on to write:

Théadh an tollán ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh, ní go díreach ar fad, isteach i dtaobh an chnoic—An Cnoc, mar a thugadh gach uile duine ar feadh na mílte slí thart timpeall air—agus is iomaí doras cruinn a d’osclaíodh amach ón tollán, ar thaobh amháin ar dtús agus ansin ar an taobh eile.

Once again, we have the problem with Williams’ misunderstanding of the past habitual, with théadh here. I’m not sure if mílte slí is found in the Gaeltacht. The sources I use have mílte de shlí or mílte ’ shlí. I’m not sure if iomaí is found anywhere in the Gaeltacht.

My translation of these paragraphs is as follows:

Do bhí hobbit ann, agus i bpoll sa talamh ’ bhí cónaí air. Níor rud gránna, s’lach, fliuch an poll san, áfaigh, lán de ghiotaíbh de phiastaíbh, agus lán de bhalaithe mhúscánta. Ní lú ná ’ bhí sé t’rim, lom, gainmheach, gan ao’ rud ann le n-ithe ná le suí air. Poll hobbit dob ea é, agus mar sin bhí ana-chúmpórd ann.

Do bhí an doras róchruínn ar nós sleaspholl luinge, agus dath uaithne air, agus murlán glasta buí práis ’na cheartlár. Do thug an doras isteach i halla thu, halla ar dhéanamh feadáin mar thollán, tollán fíorchluthar gan deatach ann. Do bhí cláracha adhmaid ar na fallaíbh, agus leacáin agus brat ar an úrlár. Agus do bhí cathaoireacha snasta ann, agus a lán lán bacán i gcómhair hataí agus casóga—mar do thaithn sé go mór leis an hobbit nuair do tánathas ar chuaird chuige. Do lúb an tollán ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh, ní go díreach ar fad, isteach i gcliathán an chnuic–An Cnuc, mar a thugadh gach éinne ar feadh na mílte ’ shlí mórthímpall air– agus is mó doras cruínn beag ’ tháinig amach uaidh ar thaobh amháin de ar dtúis agus ansan ar an dtaobh eile.

This translation does not move too far away from Williams’, but other phrases suggested to me that could be integrated into a translation of this passage include:

  • is ann a bhí an cúmpórd le fáil
  • halla de dhéanamh chruínn fé mar a bheadh tollán ann
  • lean an tollán cas ar aghaidh píosa maith, ach ní go díreach i dtreó thaobh an chnuic
  • cnuc a bhí breac le dóirsibh beaga

I’m not an experienced translator, and so there are undoubtedly many improvements that could be made to my translation, but in any case An Hobad is not in good Irish, and should be pulped. Why is it that any old crap will do when it comes to Irish?

9

Historic Archive

After years of transcribing files and providing commentary on Irish vocabulary, a significant body of material has been collected here. No more information will be put by me in to the public domain, but the historic archive will remain here as long as WordPress blogs are free of charge.

I’ve decided to move on to other hobbies after enduring years of personal attacks by Irish people who don’t like English people and don’t approve of someone learning a Gaeltacht dialect. Unfortunately, that is virtually everyone in the online Irish-learning world.

I have been told by several kind people that Irish people in general are quite different, and in my view the Irish-language community are highly unrepresentative. I will try to hold onto that thought and reflect on the years of enjoyment I have had learning Cork Irish.

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Aithris ar Chríost I:XXV

CAIBIDEAL A CÚIG IS FICHE

ÁR MBEATHA AR FAD DO LEASÚ DÁIRÍRIBH.

Bí go haireach agus go dúthrachtach i seirbhís Dé, agus fiafraigh díot féin go minic cad a thug anso isteach thu, agus cad chuige gur thréigis an saol.
Nách chun maireachtaint do Dhia a dheinis é, agus chun bheith it dhuine sprideálta?

Dein dícheall, dá bhrí sin, ar bheith chómh maith agus is féidir duit bheith, mar ní fada go bhfaighir luacht do shaothair. Ansan ní bheidh dólás ná eagla le teacht id ghaobhar a thuilleadh.

Déanfair roinnt bheag saothair anois, agus ansan beidh suaimhneas breá fada agat, agus aoibhneas síoraí.

Má bhíonn tusa dílis dúthrachtach san obair, ní baol ná go mbeidh Dia dílis, agus fial, sa chúiteamh.

Bíodh do mhuinín go láidir agat go mbéarfair bua; ach ná dein deimhin ar fad de, le heagla go dtiocfadh díomhaointeas ort agus mór-is-fiú.

2. Bhí duine ann agus bhíodh sé go minic i bpráinn agus i mbuairt aigne go mór, a mhuinín as Dia aige agus ansan scannradh air le heagla go mb’fhéidir ná leanfadh sé dílis do Dhia i gcónaí. Lá agus an buaireamh ana-dhian air do leog sé é féin ar a ghlúinibh ar aghaidh altórach áirithe. “Ó!” ar seisean, in’ aigne, “dá mbeadh ’ fhios agam go leanfainn dílis!” Lena línn sin do mhothaigh sé an freagra ó Dhia istigh ’na chroí: “Agus dá mbeadh an fios san agat cad a dhéanfá? Dein anois an rud a dhéanfá an uair sin agus beidh an scéal go maith agat.”

Tháinig sólás agus suaimhneas ar a aigne láithreach. Chuir sé a thoil le toil Dé, agus d’imigh an buaireamh. Chuir sé suas de bheith ag cuardach féachaint cad a bhí le himeacht air féin, agus ní raibh uaidh feasta ach ’ fhios a bheith aige cad ba mhó ba thoil le Dia, agus conas a chuirfeadh sé toil Dé chun cínn i dtosach agus i ndeireadh gach dei-ghnímh.

3. Bíodh do mhuinín à Dia agat, adeir an Fáidh, agus dein an mhaith, agus cónaigh ar an dtalamh agus cothóidh a shaibhreas tu.

Tá aon ní amháin a chimeádann a lán daoine siar ó leas a n-anama ’ dhéanamh. Is é ní é ná an obair a bheith, dar leó, róchruaidh, nú an cath a bheith ródhian.

Agus ansan, an mhuíntir a thugann a n-aghaidh gan staonadh ar chruatan na hoibre, agus a dheineann dícheall ar an lámh uachtair ’ fháil ar gach ní atá ’na gcoinnibh, sin iad is feárr a dheineann leas a n-anama.

Mar, nuair a gheibheann duine an lámh uachtair air féin agus nuair a smachtaíonn sé é féin, sin é uair is feárr a dheineann sé leas a anama agus is mó a thuilleann sé grásta ó Dhia.

4. Ach is mó a bhíonn ag duine ná mar a bhíonn ag duine eile le smachtú agus le cur fé chois.

Ach an té a bheidh dícheallach, dúthrachtach, bíodh go bhfuil mórán drochmhianta aige le smachtú, déanfaidh sé an bheart níos feárr, agus raghaidh sé ar aghaidh i mbeannaitheacht níos tiúbha, ná duine eile ná fuil na drochmhianta san aige, ach atá ríghin, mairbhiteach, i ngnó a anama.

Tá dhá ní a chabhraíonn go mór chun leasa anama; tarrac siar go neartmhar ón ndrochní go bhfuil duine tugtha dhò ó dhúchas, agus ansan, an mhaith atá in easnamh orainn do shaothrú go dícheallach.

Níor mhiste dhuit, leis, aire ’ thabhairt don ní seo. An locht a chíonn tú sa bhfear thall agus a chuireann seirithean ort, féach a’ bhfuil sé ionat féin, agus leighis ionat féin é.

5. Ansan, bain leas t’anama as gach aon rud. Má chíonn tú tréithe maithe sa bhfear thall, saothraigh ionat féin iad ar do dhícheall. Ach má chíonn tú drochthréith, seachain aithris ar an ndrochthréith. Má dheinis cheana an aithris sin seachain í feasta.

Fé mar atá do shúilse ar chách, bíodh ’ fhios agat go bhfuil súil chách ort.

Ó, nách aoibhinn, aiteasach an rud bráithre ’ dh’fheiscint diaga, débhóideach, dea-iompair, úmhal don riail! Nách dúbhach agus nách dobrónach an rud iad a dh’fheiscint ag siúl go neamhrialta, agus ná deinid siad an obair a thug isteach anso iad!

Nách díobhálach an rud faillí a thabhairt i ngnó ár ngairme féin, agus ár n-aigne ’ thabhairt do rud ná baineann linn!

6. Cuímhnigh ar an ní a chuiris rómhat, agus leog do shúil ar íomhá an tSlánaitheóra ar an gCrois Chéasta.

Ní hiúnadh náire ’ bheith ort nuair ’ fhéachann tú ar bheatha Íosa Críost. Níor dheinis dícheall fós ar aithris níos feárr a dhéanamh air, bíodh gur fada i ngnó Dé thu.

An manach a thugann mar bhéas dò féin taithí ’ dhéanamh de bheith dhá oibriú féin i mbeatha rónaofa agus i bPáis an Tiarna, gheóbhaidh sé ann go flúirseach na nithe a bheidh riachtanach dò, nú ag teastabháil uaidh, agus ní gá dhò dul lasmu’ d’Íosa chun aon ní níos feárr do lorg.

Ó, dá dtagadh an Slánaitheóir, ar a Chrois Chéasta, isteach ’nár gcroí, nách tapaidh a bheadh ár ndóthain léinn againn!

7. Glacann an manach imníoch gach ní a hórdaíthear dò, agus cuireann sé suas leis.

Ní bhíonn ach buaireamh ar muin buairimh ag an manach faillitheach, patuar, agus guais ag brú air ón uile thaobh. Tá sé gan sólás istigh, agus níl ceadaithe dhò sólás do lorg lasmu’.

An manach ná maireann fé smacht is baol dò aimhleas mór.

An té a bheidh a d’iarraidh suaimhnis agus a d’iarraidh dul ón riail beidh sé i gcónaí i dtrioblóid. Beidh rud éigin i gcónaí ag cur feirge air.

81. Conas a mhairid na manaigh eile seo go léir atá dúnta isteach fé smacht daingean? Is annamh a théid siad amach. Mairid siad go huaigneach. Ní fónta é a mbia. Bíonn éadach garbh orthu. Deinid siad a lán oibre. Ní labhraid siad puínn. Ní chodlaid siad puínn. Éiríd siad moch. Deinid siad úrnaithe fada. Léid siad a lán. Agus cuirid siad an uile shaghas smachta orthu féin.

Féach na Cartúisínigh, agus na Cistersínigh, agus manaigh agus mná rialta eile, mórán acu, conas mar a dh’éiríd siad gach aon oíche chun cantainne salm a dhéanamh chun an Tiarna.

Ba náireach an bheart duitse, dá bhrí sin, bheith annleisciúil san obair bheannaithe, agus na daoine naofa san go léir ag moladh Dé le fonn.

9. Ó, nách trua aon ní eile ’ bheith le déanamh againn ach bheith ag moladh an Tiarna Dia ónár gcroí agus ónár mbéal go hiomlán!

Ó, dá mba nár ghá dhuit choíche ithe ná ól ná codladh ’ dhéanamh, ach neart a bheith dhuit ar bheith i gcónaí ag moladh Dé, ach amháin nuair a bheadh gnó sprideálta nú foghlaim agat le déanamh; nách aoibhinn a bheadh an saol agat seochas mar atá anois, nuair atá ort riachtanaisí líonmhara an chuirp d’fhriothálamh.

Is trua gan na riachtanaisí sin tógtha uainn i dtreó ná beadh orainn a thógaint ach bia an anama, an bia ná blaisimíd ach go ró-annamh.

10. Nuair a bhíonn duine i dtreó ná bíonn aon bheann aige ar aon ní cruthaithe seochas a chéile, ansan is ea ’ thosnaíonn sé ar bheann a bheith i gceart aige ar Dhia. Ansan, leis, is ea ’ bheidh sé lántsásta le pé rud a thitfidh amach.

An uair sin ní chuirfidh flúirse áthas air, ná ní chuirfidh gannchúise míshásamh air, mar fágfaidh sé é féin agus gach ní eile fé Dhia ar fad, le lánmhuinín, mar is é Dia a chuid ’en tsaol. Mar ní théann aon rud chun báis ná ar neamhní ó Dhia, óir tá gach ní beó dhò, ag déanamh a thoile ar leagadh súl, gan ríghneas.

11. Cuímhnigh i gcónaí ar an bhfoircheann, agus ar conas mar ná filleann an aimsir a cailltear.

Níl an fhíoraontacht le fáil agat gan imníomh agus aireachas.

Má thosnaíonn tú ar bheith patuar tosnóir ar bheith go holc.

Ach má dheineann tú dícheall ar bheith imníoch tiocfaidh suaimhneas mór ort, agus ní mhothóir aon chruadas san obair, mar beidh grásta Dé agat agus grá don mhaith.

An té atá dúthrachtach, imníoch, tá sé ollamh do pé rud a thiocfaidh air.

Is mó de ghníomh cur i gcoinnibh drochmhian agus dúáilcí ná allas mór a chur díot ag déanamh oibre.

An té ná seachnóidh na peacaí beaga titfidh sé, i ndiaidh ar ndiaidh, in sna peacaíbh móra.

Beidh áthas ort i gcónaí um thráthnóna má bhíonn an lá caite go tairbheach agat.

Bí ag faire ort féin. Bí ad spriocadh féin. Bí ad chómhairliú féin. Pé rud a dhéanfaidh éinne eile ná tabhair faillí ionat féin.

Le bheith dian ort féin is ea ’ dhéanfair leas t’anama. Amen.

Foclóirín

agus ansan: “nevertheless”.
aimhleas: “disadvantage, mischief”, pronounced /ailʹəs/.
aiteasach: “delightful”.
altóir: “altar”, with altórach in the genitive singular where GCh has altóra.
annleisciúil: “reluctant, indolent, unwilling”, or aimhleisciúil in GCh. Pronounced /aunlʹe’ʃkʹu:lʹ/.
beann: “regard”. Beann a bheith agat ar rud, “to have regard for something”.
beart: “move, deed, act”, which is feminine here, but masculine in the GCh.
cách: “everyone”.
cantainn: “chanting”, or cantain in GCh. The LS version of Aithris shows the pronunciation to be /kɑntiŋʹ/, with no diphthong in the first syllable, possibly because this is a loanword.
Cartúisíneach: “Carthusianmonk”, or Cartúiseach in GCh.
cath: “battle”. The two meanings of the word cath are not well-distinguished in Irish.
Cistersíneach: “Cistercian monk”, or Cistéirseach in GCh.
cónaím, cónaí: “to dwell”.
crois: “cross”, or cros in GCh. The historical dative usually replaces the nominative in PUL’s Irish, especially in the phrase crois chéasta, “crucifix” (cf. cros mhór sholasmhar in the section on the cross of Constantine in PUL’s Lúcián and an chruis chéasta in the chapter Íbirt ag Abraham in PUL’s Sgéalaidheachta as an mBíobla Naomhtha). The spelling in the original here was crois, with /kroʃ/ indicated in the LS version of Aithris, but other LS editions, such as that of PUL’s An Choróinn Mhuire, indicate /kriʃ/.
cruadas: “hardness”, or cruas in the GC. PUL stated that a clear d was pronounced in this word: /kruədəs/ (Notes on Irish Words and Usages, p30).
cuid: “share”. Mo chuid en tsaol, “everything to me”, literally “my share of the world”.
cuirim, cur: “to put”. Cur suas de rud, “to give up, cease doing something”, spelt cur suas do rud in the original. Cur suas le rud, “to put up with something”.
dea-iompar: “good conduct”, pronounced /dʹa-uːmpər/. CFBB shows that some speakers inserted an h into such words (see under dea-eólas), /dʹa-huːmpər/. The genitive, dea-iompair, is used as an adjective meaning “well-behaved”.
dei-ghníomh: “good deed”.
dícheall: “one’s best efforts”. Pronounced /dʹiːhəl/. Used with and without the possessive adjective: dein dícheall or dein do dhícheall (ar rud a dhéanamh), “endeavour, do your best”.
díobhálach: “harmful”.
díomhaointeas: “idleness”.
dobrónach: “afflicted; grievous”.
drochní: “something evil”, pronounced /dro-ni:/.
drochthréith: “evil trait or quality”, pronounced /dro-hrʹe:h/.
dúbhach: “dismal, melancholy, sorrowful”, pronounced /du:x/.
dúchas: “innate quality”. Ó dhúchas, “by natural inclination” in I:XXV here.
fial: “liberal, generous”.
flúirse: “abundance, plenty”.
foircheann: “end”, or foirceann in GCh, pronounced /forʹihən/.
friothálaim, friothálamh: “to serve, attend”, or friothálaim, friotháil in GCh.Riachtanaisí an chuirp d’fhriothálamh, “to attend to bodily needs”.
gairm: “calling, vocation”, pronounced /gɑrʹimʹ/.
gannchúise: “penury, scarcity”, or gannchúis in GCh. Pronounced /gɑnə’xu:ʃi/.
gaobhar: “nearness, proximity”, pronounced /ge:r/. This was spelt gaor in the original, but the accepted spelling yields the appropriate pronunciation.
imím, imeacht: “to go, go away”. Often with no sense of ‘going away’, and therefore just a synonym of dul. Rud a dh’imeacht ort, “for something to befall you”. Note that the participle, imithe, is stressed on the second syllable: /i’mʹihi/.
imníoch: “anxious”, but also “diligent, attentive”. Pronounced /imʹ’nʹi:x/, although I would like to check for an epenthetic vowel.
imníomh: “anxiety, diligence, care, concern, vigilance”. Note that Ó Dónaill’s dictionary crossreferences imshníomh, which it gives there with medial sh, to imní, which is also used in WM Irish. The pronunciation shown in the LS version of Aithris is /imʹ’nʹi:v/; I need to check whether there should be an epenthetic vowel.
íomhá: “image”, pronounced /i:’vɑ:/.
iúnadh: “wonder, surprise”, or ionadh in GCh. Pronounced /u:nə/. This word slenderises the n of the article: an iúnadh, /inʹ uːnə/ (see CFBB, p270). Iúnadh is consistently feminine in PUL’s works, but feminine in GCh. Ní hiúnadh é, “no wonder”.
lántsásta: “fully satisfied”, or lánsásta in GCh.
leagaim, leagadh: “to lay down”, or leagaim, leagan in GCh. Ar leagadh (na) súl, “in a twinkling”.
leasaím, leasú: “to polish”. Do bheatha leasú, “to turn over a new leaf, make positive changes in your life”.
línn: “period”, or linn in GCh. Note the long vowel here, /lʹi:ŋʹ/, whereas linn, “with us”, has a short vowel, /lʹiŋʹ/.
muin: “back and shoulders”. Buaireamh ar muin buairimh, “trouble on top of trouble”.
neamhní: “nothing”, pronounced /nʹav’nʹi:/. Dul ar neamhní, “to come to nothing, to naught”.
neamhrialta: “irregular”. Pronounced /nʹa-riəlhə/.
oibrím, oibriú: “to work, operate”. Pronounced /ebʹi’rʹi:mʹ, ebʹi’rʹu:/. CFBB indicates that ag oibriú is generally /igʹ ebʹi’rʹu:/, although /əg obʹi’rʹu:/ is also found. Tu féin a dh’oibriú, “to apply yourself” in some regard.
páis: “passion”, especially the Passion of Christ.
práinn: “hurry, urgency”. I bpráinn, “in trepidation”.
salm: “psalm”, pronounced /sɑləm/.
teastaíonn, teastabháil: “to be wanted or needed”, or teastaíonn, teastáil in GCh. The bh may be pronounced in WM Irish: /tʹas’tɑ:lʹ~tʹastə’vɑ:lʹ/. Used impersonally with ó: rud a theastaíonn uaidh, “something he wants/needs”.
tiubh: “quick”, with the comparative tiúbha, pronounced /tʹuv, tʹu:/. The comparative would be tibhe in GCh.
treó: “way”, but also “state, condition”. Bheith i dtreó go, “to have reached such a state/condition (that)”.

1This section doesn’t correspond to anything in the English version.

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Aithris ar Chríost I:XXIV

CAIBIDEAL A CEATHAIR IS FICHE

AN BHREITH, AGUS PIAN AN PHEACA.

1. Ins gach ní féach cad é an deireadh a bheidh air, agus conas a sheasóir i láthair an Bhreithimh. Breitheamh rócheart is ea é. Ní féidir aon ní do cheilt air. Ní féidir É ’ bhreabadh. Ní ghlacfaidh Sé aon leathscéal. Tabharfaidh Sé breith de réir an chirt.

Ó, a pheacaigh mhífhoirtiúnaigh gan chiall, cad é an freagra a bheidh agatsa le tabhairt ar Dhia na glóire nuair a bheid do pheacaí go léir os cómhair a shúl? Tusa, go gcuireann fearg i ngnúis duine scannradh ort uaireanta!

Cad chuige ná féachann tú chút féin i gcómhair an lae sin na breithe, nuair ná féadfaidh éinne plé ná cosaint a dh’fháil ó éinne eile, toisc go mbeidh a dhóthain de chúram do gach éinne ’na chás féin?

Tá toradh ar do shaothar anois. Glacfar do dheóra. Éistfar let osna. Tá cúiteamh agus glanadh it dhólás.

2. Tá cúiteamh mór maith ag an nduine foighneach á dhéanamh ’na phurgadóireacht. Nuair a deintear díobháil dò is mó a ghoilleann peaca a chómharsan air ná a dhíobháil féin. Nuair a gabhtar ’na choinnibh ní dheineann sé ach an gníomh do mhaitheamh agus guí ar an namhaid. Má dheineann sé díobháil iarrann sé maithiúnachas go tapaidh. Is túisce trua aige do dhuine ná fearg aige chun duine. Bíonn sé ana-dhian air féin chun anmhianta na colla do chimeád fé chois.

Is feárr na peacaí do ghlanadh dhínn anois, agus na hanmhianta do ghearradh amach, ná iad a chimeád i gcómhair an tsaeil eile le glanadh.

Is fíor go meallaimíd sinn féin leis an ngreann rómhór so atá againn ar ár gcolainn.

3. Cad eile a bheidh chun na tine úd do chothú ach do pheacaí?

Dá mhéid a spárálfair thu féin anois, agus dá mhéid a ghéillfir don cholainn, is ea is mó a bheidh le dó ionat ar ball.

In sna nithibh ’nar dhein duine an peaca is ea is mó a bheidh a phian. Beid lucht leisce dá bpriocadh ansúd le bearaibh tine. Beid lucht meisce agus craois dá ngearradh le tart agus le hocras.

Beid lucht drúise agus pléisiúir clúdaithe ansúd le bréantas agus le pic agus le ruibh ar lasadh. Agus beid lucht an fhormaid ann agus iad ag uallfartaigh, mar ’ bheadh madraí uilc, le drochaigne.

4. Níl aon drochbhéas ná beidh a phian féin ansúd air. Beid lucht an uabhair fé an uile shaghas náire ann. Beidh uathás easnaimh ar lucht na sainnte.

Is déine a bheidh aon uair a’ chluig amháin den phian úd ansúd ná mar a bheadh céad blian anso den aithrí is crua.

Níl sos ná suaimhneas ansúd choíche, don druíng damanta, ná aon bhlúire sóláis. Ní mar sin dúinn anso; bíonn sos le fáil ón obair is crua, agus gheibhimíd sólás ónár gcáirdibh, ó am go ham.

Bíodh eagla agus dólás ort anois mar gheall ar do pheacaíbh, i dtreó go mbeidh tú ar láimh shábhála, i bhfochair na bhfíoraon, lá an

Mar, an uair sin is ea ’ sheasóid na fíoraein go fíordhaingean in aghaidh na muíntire a bhíodh á mbrú agus dhá gcur fé chois.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh ’na sheasamh chun breithe ’ thabhairt an té atá anois go húmhal fé bhreith daoine.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh meanmna ag an nduine mbocht úmhal, agus lucht an uabhair ag crith ins gach aon bhall.

5. An uair sin is ea do chífar ná raibh duine sa domhan so dob fheárr ciall ná an té a dh’fhoghlaim conas bheith in’ amadán agus fé tharcaisne ar son Chríost.

An uair sin is ea ’ gheóbhfar áthas as gach cruatan a fuiligeadh le foighne, agus a chaithfidh an éagóir a béal do dhúnadh.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh áthas ar an ndébhóideach agus gruaim ar an ndíchreideamhach.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh aiteas ar an bhfeóil a dh’fhuilig cruatan, níos mó ná mar a bheadh uirthi dá mba ar shólaistíbh a cothófí riamh í.

An uair sin is ea do thaithnfidh an t-éadach garbh, agus do dhoircheóidh an t-éadach mín.

An uair sin is ea ’ gheóbhaidh an bothán bocht moladh ná faighidh an caisleán órga.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh an fhoighne sheasmhach níos tairbhí ná cómhacht an domhain go léir.

An uair sin is ea ’ gheóbhaidh fíorúmhlaíocht d’uachtarán creidiúint níos aoirde ná mar a gheóbhaidh gliocas an tsaeil seo go léir.

6. An uair sin is ea ’ chuirfidh coínsias fónta, glan, níos mó áthais ar an té go mbeidh sé aige ná mar a chuirfeadh léann agus eagnaíocht an domhain air.

An uair sin is ea ’ mheáfaidh neamhshuím i saibhreas níos truime ná a raibh de stór riamh ag lucht saolthachta.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh níos mó sóláis agat à húrnaithe débhóideacha ná à bia dei-bhlasta.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh níos mó áthais ort mar gheall ar fhanúint ciúin ná mar gheall ar mhórán cainnte ’ dhéanamh.

An uair sin is ea’ bheid gníomhartha beannaithe níos mó le rá ná focail bhreátha líonmhara.

An uair sin is ea ’ bheidh an bheatha dhian agus an aithrí chruaidh níos sólásaí ná aoibhneas an tsaeil seo go léir.

Tabhair mar bhéas duit féin nithe suaracha d’fhulag anois i dtreó ná beidh ort nithe móra ’ dh’fhulag ar ball.

Triail thu féin anso féachaint cad ’ fhéadfair a dh’fhulag ansúd.

Mura féidir leat na pianta beaga ’ dh’fhulag, conas ’ fhéadfair na pianta síoraí ’ dh’fhulag ar ball?

Má chuireann pian bheag ar buile thu anois, cad is dó’ leat a dhéanfaidh pian ifrinn leat ar ball?

Bíodh ’ fhios agat nách féidir duit an dá aoibhneas a bheith agat, aoibhneas an tsaeil seo agus aoibhneas na bhflaitheas i bhfochair Chríost ’na dhiaidh so.

7. Dá mbeithá tar éis do shaeil go léir a chaitheamh, go dtí an lá so, in onóir agus i bpléisiúr, cad é an tairbhe ’ bheadh ann duit dá gcaithfá bás d’fháil an neómat so?

Baois, dá bhrí sin, baois is ea gach aon rud, ach amháin grá ’ thabhairt do Dhia agus a thoil do dhéanamh.

Óir, an té a thugann grá óna chroí go hiomlán do Dhia, ní heagal leis bás, ná pian, ná breithiúntas, ná ifreann, mar osclann an grá iomlán san an bóthar chun Dé dhò gan aon teip.

Ach an té go bhfuil greann ar an bpeaca aige agus dúil aige sa pheaca, ní haon iúnadh eagla ’ bheith aige roimis an mbás agus roimis an mbreithiúntas.

Is maith an rud, áfach, mura bhfuil grá do Dhia ábalta ar thu ’ chimeád ón olc, eagla ifrinn féin a bheith ábalta ar thu ’ chimeád uaidh.

Ach an té a chuireann eagla Dé i leataoibh uaidh ní fhéadfaidh sé seasamh i bhfad ar an slí chóir. Ní fada go mbeidh sé ’na líon ag an áirseóir.

Nóta
Den phian úd: note the failure to use the dative péin here.

Foclóirín

aiteas: “delight”. This word is given in FGB as “pleasantness, fun”, but PUL states in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages that this word means “intense delight”, a stronger word than áthas.
ball: “place, spot”. Ar ball, “presently, by and by”.
béas: “custom, habit”. Rud do thabhairt mar bhéas duit féin, “to get into the habit of doing something”.
bior: “spit, spike, rod”, with beara in the plural, where GCh has bearanna.
bréantas: “stench, filth”.
breith: “judgement, decision”. Fé bhreith, “judged by (someone)”.
caisleán: “castle”, pronounced /kiʃ’lʹɑ:n/.
cómhacht: “power, authority”, or cumhacht in GCh, but pronounced with a long o in WM Irish: /ko:xt/.
craos: “gluttony”, with craois in the genitive. Pronounced /kre:s, kri:ʃ/.
cúiteamh: “requital; recompense”.
dei-bhlasta: “savoury, tasty”, or dea-bhlasta in GCh. Pronounced /dʹəi-vlɑstə/.
díchreideamhach: “unbeliever”, or díchreidmheach in GCh.
dóim, dó: “to burn”.
doirchím, dorchú: “to darken”, in both transitive and intransitive senses, or dorchaím, dorchú in GCh. The finite verb regularly has a slender rch in PUL’s works, where the verbal noun has a broad rch. Pronounced /dorʹi’hi:mʹ, dorə’xu:/.
drochaigne: “malice, ill-will”, pronounced /dro-hagʹinʹi/.
drong: “group, body of people”, with druíng in the dative. An drong damanta, “the damned”, where damanta could either be an adjective or a noun in the genitive plural. Pronounced /drouŋg, dri:ŋgʹ/.
eagnaíocht: “wisdom, cleverness in debate”, pronounced /ɑgə’ni:xt/.
easnamh: “want, shortage”, pronounced /ɑsnəv/.
freagra: “answer”, pronounced /frʹagərə/.
garbh: “rough, coarse”, pronounced /gɑrəv/.
gearraim, gearradh: “to cut”, but also “to torture, persecute”.
gliocas: “cleverness”, or gliceas in GCh. Pronounced /glʹikəs/.
gruaim: “gloom”.
leathscéal: “excuse”, or leithscéal in GCh. Pronounced /lʹa’ʃkʹial/.
líon: “net”. ’Na líon ag an áirseóir, “caught in the snares of the Devil”.
madra: “dog”, pronounced /mɑdərə/. Madra uilc, “a mad dog”.
maithiúnachas: “forgiveness, remission of sins”, or maithiúnas in GCh.
meanmna: “courage, spirit”, or meanma in GCh. The pronunciation shown in the LS version of Aithris is /mʹanəmnə/, but meanma is found in PUL’s Guaire.
mífhoirtiúnach: “unfortunate”, pronounced /mʹi:-or’tʹu:nəx/. This would be mífhortúnach in GCh. The original spelling here was mí-fhortiúnach, possibly reflecting the fact that r is not palatalised before a slender t in WM Irish.
órga: “golden, gilded”, and also, by extension, “splendid”.
osclaim, oscailt: “to open”, or osclaím, oscailt in GCh. Pronounced /oskəlimʹ, oskiltʹ/.
pic: “pitch, tar”.
pléim, plé: “to discuss; plead”.
pléisiúr: “pleasure”, pronounced /ple:’ʃu:r/.
priocaim, priocadh: “to prod”.
ruibh: “sulphur”.
sábháil: “saving, deliverance”. Ar láimh shábhála, “safe, out of danger”.
saolthacht: “worldly goods”. Lucht saolthachta, “the children of the world”, as opposed to the godly.
sólaist: “dainty, delicacy”, usually plural as sólaistí.
spárálaim, spáráil: “to spare”. Tu féin a spáráil, “to spare yourself, go easy on yourself”.
uallfartach: “howling, yelling”. Pronounced /uəlhərtəx/. As a feminine verbal noun ending in -ach, this becomes ag uallfartaigh in the dative, pronounced /əg uəlhərtigʹ/.
uathás: “horror; an astonishing amount of something”, or uafás.

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Letters and fragments of letters to Risteárd Pléimeann

Caisleán Ua Liatháin

A Risteáird a chara,

Táim ag dul i bhfeabhs agus tá feabhas ag dul ar an bhfeabhas gach aon la, baochas le Dia. agus l guí na gcómharsan

Do chara go dilis

Peadar Ua Laoghaire

Caisleán Ua Liatháin

Dardaoin Corp Chríost, 1919

A Athair R. a chara

Tháinig “An Branar”. Tá sé go hana-mhaith. Do léas an focal adeir Tórna ann i dtaobh na “hAislinge”. Ba mhithid do dhuine éigin rud éigin mar e do rá. Níl aon rud in aon teangain eile leath chómh hálainn ná chómh ceólmhar leis an “Aisling”. Na daoine a bhíonn ag cáineadh na “hAislinge”. Is cuma iad nú daoine ná tuigeann ceól ag cáineadh ceóil!

An bhféadfá cuímhneamh ar aon duain bheag naofa eile do chuirfinn i nGaelainn do sna daoinibh óga? D’fhéadfainn rud den tsórd san a dhéanamh ag siúl an bhóthair. Ba mhaith liom, áfach, eólas ’ fháil ar cheól an Bhéarla. Ach ní thuigim an “sol fá”. Níorbh fholáir dom an [drawing of a blank musical stave] a dh’fháil fén gceól. Táim ag brath ar dhul go Dún Laeire ar feadh tamaill sara fada agus ansan d’fhéadfadh mo chluas an ceól ’ fháil as do bhéal amach.

Ag súil go bhfuilir go hana-mhaith,

Is me t’oide is do character

Peadar Ua Laoghaire.

PUL’s reply on the reverse of Fleming’s letter of 7 June 1919.

Is ana-mhaith an rud Cíochóté ’ bheith ag teacht!

Is go cneasta a thugais an cuireadh dhom”.

Is é rud a bhí it aigne measaim ná an rud adeir lucht Béarla, “It was kind of you to give me the invitation” nú rud éigin mar sin. “Ba mhaith uait an cuireadh ’ thabhairt dom”, a déarfíú as Gaelainn, nú “b’ana-mhaith uait” nú “ba rómhaith uait”.

Ach dá mbeadh caoi agat ar theacht agus ná tiocfá déarfainnse:—

Is olc uait gan teacht!” Níor airíos riamh “cineálta” amach à beal aon duine! “Is maith uait é” nú “Is olc uait é” is ea adeirtear. Do dhein “scoláirthí” na haoise seo ’ ghoibh thorainn mórán díobhála. Na balbháin gan chiall gan eólas!

Caisleán Ua Liatháin

Iúil a h11. 1919

A Athair Risteárd, a chara,

Táimíd ag brath ar bheith i nDún Laeire an tseachtain seo chúinn le cúnamh Dé, Dé Céadaoin nú Déardaoin. Tá roinnt nithe agam le rá i dtaobh “Cad é mar —” do mheasas na nithe atá agam le rá do chur [ar] na leathanachaibh folmha atá sa leitir seo do chuiris chúm, ach duart liom féin go mbeidh uain mo dhóthain agam ar iad do rá óm bhéal nuair a bheidh mé i nDún Laeire agus tusa ar m’aghaidh amach. Tá a lán puíntí deasa eile, leis, sa leitir chéanna. Do chara

Peadar Ua Laoghaire

Caisleán Ua Liatháin

Cae. Chorcaí. 12. XII. 1919

A Athair a chara

Do thit ceann de sna géagaibh de speacla1 Cháit agus duairt sí liom scrí’ chútsa agus a iarraidh ort géag nua ’ chur air. Cuirfidh sí féin chút é.

Mórán de Nollaigibh maithe chút

Do chara agus t’oide

Peadar

Caisleán Ua Liatháin, Eanair a 8 1920.

A Athair a chara,

Scannradh saolta go fíor ab ea bás chómh hobann! Ach tá sé daingean im aigne go mbíonn lámh Dé ar anam an duine agus go gcimeádann Dia greim ar an anam go dti go mbíonn an t-anam ollamh chun gluaiste. Do cheannaigh Dia an t-anam san ródhaor chun scarúint go bog leis. Ach cuireann an scannradh imníomh ar an gcuid eile againn. Go ndeinidh Dia trócaire ar an anam bocht!

Ach do cuir do leitir áthas thar bárr orm. Ní raibh aon choinne agam go mairfinn le “hAodh Rua” a dh’fheiscint i gcló, ach de réir mar adeirirse tá súil agam go bhfeicfead é. Mórán de bhliantaibh nua fé mhaise agus fé áthas chút!

Do chonac beartán éigin tagaithe anso ód mháthair agus ní fheacaís riamh ach na sceidimíní2 a bhí ar siúl ar fuaid an tí nuair a hoscladh an beartán! Fuaras féin stracfhéachaint de radharc ar chuid de sna nithibh a tháinig amach as. Bhíodar go hana-dheas.

Níor dheineas puínn oibre le tamall mar gheall ar an bhfuacht. Ach táim go maith im shláinte.

T’oide agus do chara

Seana-Pheadair

A Athair a chara

Sin chút iad agus ní bhfaighidh an mícroscóp ab fheárr a deineadh riamh aon lúb ar lár anois iontu!

Castleyons, Co. Cork

A Athair Risteárd, a chara ghil, tá sé curtha dhíom agam, baochas le Dia! Saghas éigin lagachair ab ea é. Bhíos díreach mar a bheadh duine go mbeadh a bhalla beatha go léir ar meisce. Tháinig dochtúir maith chúm agus d’imir sé a chuid

[Incomplete, followed by the following note]

Do scrío’s an méid sin thuas ó chiainibh.

Táim baoch ó chroí díot mar gheall ar na guíonna breátha!

Níor chuas in áirde ar an altóir ón tarna Domhnach den Fheabhra, mar gheall ar an meisce in sna cosaibh.

1??

2??

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Letter to Fleming, March 1918

Caisleán Ua Liatháin

Cae. Chorcaí. 10. Márta. 1918

A Athair a chara,

Táim ábalta ar cheisteannaibh a fhreagairt maith go leór, baochas le Dia!

A new programme of books” Clár nua de leabhraibh is the true Irish. Both the programme and the books are new. If the books only were new it would be clár de leabhraibh nua. If the programme only were new it would be clár nua de leabhraibh. I would not use clár nua leabhar at all. It is quite ambiguous. No person can tell whether the nua refers to clár or to leabhar, i.e. whether it is clár nua-leabhar, or clár-nua leabhar. Clár nua de leabhraibh fits everywhere. Tímpall an tí = “about the house (inside)”. Timpall ar an dtigh = “around the house (outside)”. In aice Bhriain = “near Briain”, in aice le Brian = “alongside of Brian”. A iníon chríonna – “his eldest daughter” or “his elder daughter”, or “his grown-up daughter”. The word for “precocious” is seanachríonna. Nách seanachríonna an bioránach é! = “What a ‘crabbit’ chap he is!”

Airc = “greed”. Flosc = “the excitement and delight of a child when going for dinner, or some such anticipated enjoyment. Any similar excitement is flosc. Doircheacht is the natural living word; dorchadas is the pedantic word. Take your choice.

p219. I have never heard ciall dhaonna, but I have heard always ciall chóir, never c. cóir. But I have heard both ciall mhaith and ciall maith.

I have heard gach smaoineamh im aigne agus gach féith im chroí = “every thought in my mind and every feeling in my heart”. Fan é. Fan is used just like gan. Gan é = “without it”. Fan é = “parallel to it”. If it be followed by the substantive it takes the genitive. Fan an chlaí = “along the fence”. But along it = fan é. That is what I have heard. I could not say fan é sin. I should name the thing and put it in the genitive. Fan an bhóthair sin, fan an chlaí sin, fan na cluaise sin, &c. But cuir fan é é = “place it parallel to it”. Táid siad fan a chéile = “They are parallel to each other”. Tá an líne seo fan an líne sin = “This line is parallel to that line”.

228. Toradh is fruit, regardless of the person who benefits by it. For him the toradh is a sochar. As far as I remember slua is mas. or fem.

De réir do thrócaire agus méid do mhaitheasa. Those six words are one idea. If I wish to make two ideas of them I can, of course, say, de réir do thrócaire agus de réir méid do mhaitheasa. But I refer to treat them as one idea. Méid do mhaitheasa is the thing which is governed by de réir. Therefore it is not mhéid.

Dom féin d’éinne eile. When I read that I wondered why I did use . Then I went and read the whole paragraph and I found I could not use . Then came the question “why?” So I found that the desire in the instinct of the mind was, not to exclude any gátar which was on any person &c, &c. Hence, that I was forced by my instinct to use . In other words, the aon ghátar of the text is the same as pé gátar, and pé gátar should necessarily be followed by . The fact is and the trouble is that has necessarily a disjunctive effect. If I say dom féin d’éinne éile I must necessarily mean that the two sides of the alternative exclude each other, that if it is dom féin it is necessarily not d’éinne eile. Now as a matter of fact the desire in the paragraph is to include both alternatives, both dom féin and d’éinne eile. Consequently I must not exclude any gátar which is on any person, neither on a person who has done good to myself, nor on any person who has done good to any other person. The “or” of the English is not used as a true disjunctive. The Irish is a true disjunctive.

When I say in Irish aon ghátar atá ar éinne a dhein tairbhe dom féin nú d’éinne eile, you can’t have both gátar’s. If you take on you must exclude the other. Here is a common expression we used to have in our plays as children: éinne do labharfaidh, do gháirfidh, dhéanfaidh sraodh, casachtach, beidh an trom trom air = “Any person who will speak or sneeze or cough, the trom trom will be on him”. I think that is the best example I could give of the difference between the Irish and the English “or”and I give it from the childish play in which I had to sit and take the part when I was six years old. The very use of the word éinne, aon duine dhéanfaidh labhairt gáire excludes the idea of “or”. It is not a disjunctive. It includes all. You will have to think the matter over in Irish and you will get rid of that English “or”, whcih is a disjunctive that does not disjoin. If I say “Hard or soft will do” I ought to mean that “if hard will do soft will not do”, whereas I don’t mean any such thing. I mean that both hard and soft are suitable. In Irish, when I say déanfaidh dubh nú bán an gnó, I mean not that both are suitable but that either is suitable, which is quite a different thing, although the ultimate truth may be the same.

280. Ó chroí = ex corde; ód chroí = ex corde tuo. A person can use the term ex corde even though speaking of his own heart.

Ceist i dtaobh creidimh & ceist i dtaobh an chreidimh. Níl ann ach mar adeirtear sa Bhéarla “The faith” “faith” gan aon “the”.

287. Deintear aon aicme amháin de sna peacachaibh agus de lucht díchreidimh. Deineann an diabhal aon aicme amháin díobh. Tá greim daingean aige ar an dá aicme. Na would do very well, but it would make two classes of them. The devil lets them go together. “He is sure of both any day”.

284. Ionúine includes both the love of the heart and the esteem of a sound judgement, combined. Annsacht adds to those a drawing of the heart towards the object of the love. The strongest expression which a man addresses to a beloved one is when he calls her his annsacht, a abhaillín, agus a annsacht. But of course the annsacht in the text is not exactly that. All the nice words express the mind of Muire Mháthair on that occasion and the last one, annsacht, is the awful delectation, which at that moment, drew her heart out of her bosm, into the heart of the Holy Ghost!

In my mind fan is a prepositioin and it governs the accusative é in the phrase fan é, just as gan does in the phrase gan é = “without it”.

Now I want to say one word about the Irish word for “sheep”. It is a word of two syllables, caoi and ra. Put those two syllables togethere and you have caíora. Caoire is the plural, and it is a word of two syllables also. But in caíora, the r is quite broad and in caoire the r is slender.

Oh” says the pedant, “you can’t have í before r and a after it”. Oh, but I say you can and must!

There never has been a rule which has been so frightfully absued as that rule of caol le caol agus leathan le leathan. It is a rule which belongs exclusively to the ear, just as the use of sharps and flats in music belongs exclusively to the ear, and the pedant has made it a rule for the eye! The result is that the pedant has produced in the writing of Irish, combinations of letters which are quite unpronounceable. Take the word fuíghealach [fuíollach] = “a remainder”. Now, for my ear that word has two syllables, fuí, and lach. Put them together and you have fuílach. I deny any pedant that ever lived to pronounce those two syllables as they stand, giving those six letters their natural value, and not to be understood by any Irish speaker living! Take the Irish words for “bron”. It consists of two syllables ber and tha. Put them together adn you have the word bertha. But the pedant, using his eye, not his ear, insists on writing it beirthe, a word which no Irish speaker has ever spoken! It is very near the sound of the Irish word for “boiled”, i.e. beirithe.

Of course the rule caol le caol agus leathan le leathan is a splendid rule, the grandest that has ever been used in any language. But it belongs to the ear. The eye has got nothing whatever to say to it. What in th world would be thought of a person who would insist on writing flats and sharps in music without using his ear! And here we have people constantly using this Irish rule, not by the ear but by the eye!

If a person wants to write the Irish for “They saluted”, he writes down do bheanuigheadar dá chéile. Now if he were to write bhenídar I could defy any native Irish speaker to pronounce that short word of seven letters instead of twelve, giving its full Irish value to each letter, without being at once thoroughly understood by any native Irish speaker that I have ever known. Let any person just try. Remember that the Irish e is really ea. The letter e takes, from its very nature, a slender consonant before it and a broad consonant after it. Then you have bhen and í and dar. Put them together and pronounce them, giving each letter its full natural value, and I defny you not to say exactly bheanuigheadar, as the pedant wishes you to say it.

Of course I can understand the propriety of preserving the footprints of the derivation of the word. But to cram twelve letters into a word which consists of only seven distinct articulate sounds is ridiculous.

But how were those twelve letters brought in at first? Here is how it happened.

The bh comes first. Then the e. But the pedant did not know that e is by its nature followed by a broad consonant. Hence he put a between it and the broad n. Then he had bhean. Then he saw that a broad consonant should come between the n and the í, so he wrote . Then he had bheanuí. Then he felt that a gh must come next to the í. Then he had bheanuigh. Now he saw the slender í before the gh. Of course he felt bound to observe the Rule so eh put an e after the gh. The he had bheanuighe. Then he saw that the d of dar should have a broad consonant before it because it had a broad vowel after it, so he wrote bheanuighead. Then he put on his ar and he had bheanuigheadar!

[Incomplete.]

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Letter to Richard Fleming February 1918

Castlelyons, Co. Cork

Feb. 27. 1918

My dear Fr. Richard

I feel very well today baochas le Dia! The doctor who attends me has a certain rule fixed for me and as long as I stick rigidly to that rule I get on very well. The colour is still out of order, but as long as the rule is observed I get on very well and can write away.

I have taken out and rewritten the page of the Life where that note of Haydock’s set me astray. What a stupid note! It is all right now. Many thanks for your help.

Ní duine mise gur maith liom. Ní duine thusa gur maith leat. Ní daoine sinne gur maith linn. Ní daoine sibhse gur maith libh.

or

Níor dhuine mise gur mhaith liom, &c, &c.

or

Ní duine mise gur mhaith liom = “I am not a person who would wish”.

I have tried my instinct on the form Ní duine mise gur mhaith leis, but I don’t like it where1 I seem to pass suddenly from myself to some third party.

Cuideachtanas is the same I think as “companionship”. But i gcómhluadar a chéile = “in each other’s company”. I gcuideachtanas a chéile would emphasise the enjoyment of each other’s companionship.

1.) Lasmu’ means “in front”, as well as “outside” and laistiar means “at the back”, or “behind”, as well as “in the west”.

I would prefer to say an bóthar ceart. Perhaps long ago, when slí was the word for bóthar, an tslí chóir was used for an bóthar ceart. We have a proverb cuir an tsrathar ar an gcapall gcóir = “put the straddle on the right horse”. The language of that proverb must be very old. You have both capall and cóir eclipsed, which is not usual in the living speech. We say ar an gcapall dubh, not …ndubh.

2.) yes, but then I would put the whole thing this way on lá ’ bhíos ábalta ar an gcéad pheaca ’ dhéanamh. It is all a question of usage, which, of course, varies in different places. Dochar = damage; detriment. Díobháil = harm either in a physical way or in a moral way, anchor = literally, a wrong turn, e.g. suicide. Thug sé anchor dò féin = he gave himself a wrong turn i.e. he committed suicide.

3. Ag teacht crosta ort, happening in such a way as to interfere with you, not necessarily annoying you.

4.) I suppose cráifeacht = piety and débhóide = devotion. Probably the last has been adopted from the Latin devotio.

5.) Tháinig mian dom = “A desire came to me so as that I felt it; so as that I had it as a desire, even though against my will. Dea-shampla, pron. da hampla. Dea-bhean, pron. deigh-bhean; dei-bhean. Bídhse pron. bíse. In fact I am always tempted to write it bí-se.

6.) A mhairfá or a mhairfir, just as you contemplate the result as actually following on, or, as desirable only.

6). A very nice point. Líonmhar is an adjective. Líonmhaire is the name of the quality which líonmhar ascribes to a noun. But líonmhaire is not a quantity.

A líonmhaire atáid siad ann = they are so numerous there. There is no possibility of saying “there is such a numerous of them here”. The a is what causes the trouble. It expresses the degree of líonmhaire, not the líonmhaire itself. I could say tá líonmhaireacht mhór ann díobh and it would be perfectly crorrect. E.g. a luíghead atáid said ann = “They are so small there”. (i.e. each of them is so small). But, a luíghead atá ann díobh = there are so few of them, (although each of the few may be very big).

T’oide is do chara

Peadar Ua Laoghaire

1unclear part of the text – check original.

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Ní miste and decimal numerals

Caisleán Ua Liatháin

18.12.18

A Athair R. a chara,

Chím t’ainm sa chúntas so ar an mórshochraid. Tá súil agam nár ghoíll an fuacht ort!

I dtaobh an fhocail úd Ní miste táim ag cuardach ó shin agus ag féachaint siar ar chainnteannaibh na ndaoine fé mar airínn iad, agus chím go bhfuil an bhrí leis an bhfocal, brí fónta agus brí nách fónta, brí chun molta agus brí ag cáineadh.

Chonac díobháil déanta do dhuine agus duairt sé leis an té a dhein an díobháil “’Sea! Ní miste dhom bheith baoch díotsa! Go deimhin ní miste!”

Do dhein duine eile tairbhe mór don fhear chéanna agus duairt sé an chainnt chéanna dhíreach: “’Sea! Ní miste dhom bheith baoch díotsa! Mura mbeadh tu bheadh an scéal go holc agam!”

Tá an dá chiall ar an gcuma gcéanna díreach le Ní miste bheith ag brath ort!

Ní bheadh aon tsuaimhneas orm go neósfainn an méid sin duit.

T’oide is do chara,

Peadar.

Castlelyons, Co. Cork, 11th April 1918

My dear Father Richard

I have go the scapulars and intend to wear them. Many thanks!

Have you seen the notes I am putting into the Weekly Examiner about the reading of Irish numbers, dates, as in English? Take for example the above date. People write it in Irish an t-11ú Abrán 1918 and they read the whole thing off in English. Now, in the first place, the expression 11ú has no meaning. The English ordinal “11th” has a meaning. The Irish ordinal 11ú has no meaning. The Irish of “the 11th day” is, an t-ao’ú lá déag. There is no such Irish expression as an t-ao’ú déag. The thing must come in between ao’ú and déag.

But there is another form in Irish for the ordinal numeral. The expressions “1st day”, “2nd day”, “third day”, “fourth day”, etc, can be expressed in Irish by lá a haon, lá a dó, lá a trí, lá a ceathair, lá a haondéag, lá a dódhéag, lá a fiche, lá dhá dheich a haon, lá dhá dheich a dó, lá a tríochad, lá trí dheich a haon, lá a dachad, lá cheithre dheich a haon, and so on up to any number you like.

Then take the year “1918” = míle naoi gcéad a hochtdéag.

I am writing out a whole system of notation in the Weekly Examiner. Then any person who wishes can use the general Irish forms. It is right that we should have in Irish the decimal notation which is in use all over the world. I have been showing it here to Fr. Augustine and he is delighted with it. A person need only keep his eye on the figures and give each figure its place value in the expression. E.g.

1 Míle 9 naoi gcéad 18 a naoidéag (1919)

1 Míle 9 naoi gcéad 20 a fiche (1920)

1 Míle 9 naoi gcéad 2 dhá dheich 1 a haon (1921)

1 Míle 9 naoi gcéad 2 dhá dheich 2 a dó (1922)

I have all the numbers set down in the Weekly Examiner, up to millions and the thing will be going on for the next five weeks.

I have been always familiar with dhá dheich = “20”, trí dheich = “30”, cheithre dheich = “40”, chúig dheich = “50”, sé dheich = “60”, seacht ndeich = “70”, ocht ndeich = “80”, naoi ndeich = “90”, just as well as with ficheor daichead or trí fichid, or cheithe fichid, so that I am not doing anything new.

Then the fact that deich is always used in the singular, like trí phráta or trí , makes the notation very easy. I need never say trí deicheanna. I never in my life heard trí prát.

Then the thing is so simple that a person can read off, under his eye, any number, no matter how big. E.g.

987,654,321” = Naoi gcéad ocht ndeich a seacht de mhilliúnaibh, sé chéád chúig dheich a ceathair de mhíltibh, trí chéad dhá dheich a trí.

The only matter to be minded is to put de before milliúnaibh and before míltibh and to put a before the units.

I am getting strong, thank God!

T’oide ’s do chara

Peadar Ua Laoghaire

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Two more letters

Caisleán Ua Liatháin

Ean a 15 Míle naoi gcéad a naoidéag

A R. a mhic ó,

Is dócha gur chuir an fhírinne deireadh leis an scéal úd, in aigne an Uachtaráin. Féach: Cuir deireadh leis = “Put an end to it”. Cuir deireadh air = “Put an end on it”. Ná bac é = “Don’t mind it”. Ná bac leis = “Don’t interfere with it”. Cé ’ro [cér a] mac tu = Cé hé an fear dár a mac tu? nú Cé hé an té gur mac dò thu? Ionann an agus gur adár a. Diarmuid Rua an fear dár a mac mise. Ní ceart mhac a bheith ann in aon chor.

Seo ainm a dh’airínn riamh ar an Tarna Pearsain den Tríonóid, .i. An tAthair-Mhac. Tagann Sé ón Athair Síoraí le giniúint agus níl máthair shíoraí aige. Táim ag éisteacht riamh leis an ainm sin an tAthair-Mhac ach níor chuímníos ar an bhfocal do scrí’ síos go dtí anois! Is tusa chuir i gcuímhne dhom é.

Bhí titim amach idir Eóghan Rua agus sagart. Bhí an sagart ag rá an Aifrinn. Bhí Eóghan na shuí ar charnán móna.

Cad na thaobh ná tagann tú ar do ghlúinibh?” arsan sagart. Duairt Eóghan á fhreagradh, “Más mar an Eaglais atá an tAthair-Mhac is Rí na gcómhacht ní fearra dhúinn an t-aifreann ná suí ar an móin!”

Nách maith a thuig ár sínsear an generatia aeterna.

Anois díreach a thanag isteach tar éis seacht míle do shiúl, baochas le Dia!

Peadar

Caisleán Ua Liatháin.

Eanair, da dheich a ceathair

míle naoi gcéad a naoidéag.

A Athair a mhic ó

Is maith é an mícroscóp! Ceisteanna ana-dheasa is ea iad so. Ach tá rud beag rómpu atá chómh deas le haon cheist acu. “… agus is maith an sás chun é ’ thabhairt uait tu”.

Níor airíos riamh, is dó’ liom, chun i ndiaigh an fhocail sin sás. Tá seanfhocal ana-ghunta againn, .i. Sás a dhéanta a chuímhnigh air = “The fellow that thought of it is a fellow who would do it”. You see how sás is followed by the genitive a dhéanta. Is maith an sás tí ’ dhéanamh é = “He is a good hand at building a house”. Sometimes sás is followed by a phrase and the phrase is genitive case but indeclinable. I heard a person say of a good hound, Is maith an sá rith i ndiaidh giorrae í = “She is a good hand at running after a hare”. I never heard chun in any such expression. At least I can’t remember any instance now.

Má bheadh is an exquisite point. It depends entirely on the mind of the speaker.

Suppose you were to say to me bheadh sé bun-os-cionn… Suppose I do not wish to give you a direct contradiction. I avoid that direct contradiction by saying má bheadh…. Suppose it was my intention to give the direct contradiction I would say dá mbeadh… Do you see how my dá mbeadh has an unexpressed ní bheadh before it? If I wish to avoid the silent ní bheadh I let your bheadh stand by just saying má bheadh.

Má bheadh lets the previous stand for the moment. Dá mbeadh contradicts the previous statement at once and does not wait for the coming statement to contradict it, an dtuigeann tú?

Sa mhéid gur Dia É = “Inasmuch as He is God”. An bhfuil do dhóthain agat sa méid sin? As far as I can call to mind the sa mhéid is not used except when the meaning is “Inasmuch as”.

Tiocfaidh B. anso agus gur cuma é nú Socrates = “Barnaby will come here and he just the same as Socrates”. You see how there is nothing understood. There is a full expression of what is meant to be expressed.

Tadhg and Donnchadh were waiting for their dinner. They were kept waiting for a considerable time. At last the dinner came. The moment T. took the first bite Is maith é! said he. Más maith é is mithid é! said D.

When dinner was over and they were enjoying themselves:—

Ba mhaith é! said T.

Ma ba mhaith é ba mhithid é! said D.

D. could not possibly have said in that place Dá mba mhaith é ba mhithid é.

Even if the sentence had become indirect he could not say Dá mba.

Suppose I were to say:—

Cad é sin adeir Donnchadh? The answer should be: Deir sé má ba mhaith é gur mhithid é.

A Chon”, arsa Síle. “Níl aon chainnt agamsa nois”.

Cad eile cad ’tá agat, a Shíle?” arsa Con.

Tá Béarla”, arsa Síle.

Ach, ar ndóin is cainnt Béarla”, arsa Con.

Cainnt Béarla!” arsa Síle. “Ar ndóin dá mb’ea do tuigfí é!

Síle could not possibly have said má b’ea in that place.

Use your microscope now and tell the difference between and .

As far as I can see má ba has before its mind a positive contingency, while dá mba is looking at a negative contingency?

Do scríos cuid den leitir seo trí lá ó shin, agus cuid di dhá lá ó shin, agus cuid di inné, agus cuid di inniu. Siúlaim seacht míle nú mar sin gach aon [lá]. Táim breis agus trí clocha déag meáchaint! Moladh le Dia!