For that special ocassion or for everyday use, from a traditional wedding toast to something rude to mutter, Gaelic has phrases that anyone can master. The following are divided by subject and situation, and were originally developed for use within an 18th century re-enactment camp. Still, some things never really change.
Introductions: Calling People Names
Adjectives should, of course, agree with the name being modified. Feminine descriptions will aspirate in Scottish names, as in Màiri Mhor (Big Mary). Séumas Beag (Little James) does not aspirate. Gaelic adjectives usually follow the noun or name being modified, but some adjectives come first, on example being sean (old). Sean buachaill (old boy) is the Irish term for those ancient fellows one sees sitting with pints of stout in the corner of pubs. When a name follows a title, the title aspirates and the name does not, as in Bhràthair Pàdhraic (Brother Patrick).
Gaelic naming practices include a patrinomic system, in that instead of a surname, the father's name is used, as in MacDonald (son of Donald). The O' as in O'Connor means of. Often this was further distinguished by adding the man's or his father's occupation. The first name is usually that of a grandfather for a man, a grandmother for a woman. Subsequent children would carry the names of aunts, uncles, but rarely those of their own parents while still living. A woman kept her maiden name (ie. that of her father) even after marriage. This system remains in place today in the islands of Scotland and works very well in small, rural communities. One island has even produced a phone directory based on nicknames, another Gaelic naming tradition. In an area where every man might be named some variant of Donald MacDonald, many are given nicknames, often times in childhood, with which they are stuck for the rest of their lives.
For those of you who were looking for the rude stuff to call people, keep going. It is somewhere further down after phrases involving alcohol and the drinking thereof.
Saying Yes and NoWell, the short answer is that there is no way to say 'yes' and 'no' in Gaelic. The verb is repeated in either the positive or the negative, as appropriate. The Gaelic seadh (pron. shug) is sort of the general agreement (as in, un-huh).
In Gaelic, the definite article (ie, the) is an, am, or na depending the gender and number of the noun. There is no indefinite article, so for "a table" the word bórd means both "table" and "a table."
|Co tha thu?||ko ha oo?||Who are you?|
|Mise (name)||misha||I am (name)|
|A bheil thu Mairi?||avail oo mahree?||Are you Mary?|
|Tha/Chan eil||ha/han yell||I am/I am not|
|Co as thu?||co as oo?||Where are you from?|
|As mise (name)||as misha||I am from (name)|
Well, so far, so good. Now, where are things? And what do you want? Two great questions with lots of interchangable answers.
|Caite bheil?||cawcha vayl?||Where is?|
|De tha thu ag iarraidh?||jay ha oo gearrie?||What do you want?|
|A bheil thu ag iarraidh...?||avail oo gearrie||Are you wanting...?|
|Tha mi ag iarraidh...||ha me gearrie..||I want ...|
We can get into more nouns later. Let's move on to two great pastimes -- eating and drinking.
|A bheil an t-acras ort?||avail an tahcras orst?||Are you hungry?|
|Tha an t-acras orm.||ha an tahcras orum||I am hungry|
|A bheil am pathadh ort?||avail am pahhag orst?||Are you thirsty?|
|Tha am pathadh orm.||ha am pahhag orum||I am thirsty.|
|De tha thu ag ol?||jay ha oo gohl||What are you drinking?|
|Tha mi ag ol ...||ha me gohl ...||I am drinking ...|
|uisge beatha||ooshka baya||whiskey|
And after enough of that we reach the point of asking things like...
|De tha i ag radh?||jay ha ee grah||What is she saying?|
|Tha an deoch orm.||ha an jock orum||I'm drunk.|
|Feumaidh mi falbh.||famee mee falv||I must leave.|
|Bithidh samhach.||beee savach||Be quiet.|
|Tha i gle ard.||ha ee glay ard||She is very loud.|
|Tha i ag radh gu bheil sinn boin.||ha ee grah gu vail shin boin||She says we are cows.|
|galla dhur||galla yuur||stubborn bitch|
|galla bhaoghalta||galla vuu-uhlta||stupid bitch|
|Greas ort||grass orsht||Hurry up (singular)|
|Ann mionaid||awn meenutch||In a minute|
|Ceart ma tha||keyarst ma ha||Alright then|
|Ceart gu leor||keyarst goo lyor||Right enough|
|De ghabhas sibh?||jay yavas shiv||What will you have?|
|Is cuma.||iss kooma||It doesn't matter.|