Learn Five things about lots of things

five1Táim díreach tar éis aoi-mhír a scríobh dar teideal Five things you may not know about the Irish Language do bhlagadóir darb ainm do Joe Scanlon. Is breá liom an sraith míreanna seo aige mar is féidir le éinne gur mian leo scríobh faoin ábhar is mór leo nó ar a bhfuil saineolas acu. Má’s mian leatsa a leithéid d’alt a scríobh líon isteach a fhoirm teagmhála anseo. Ní gá duit bheith i do bhlagadóir tú féin agus ar bealach is slí isteach ar an mblagadóireach aoi-mhír a scríobh. Mar bhlagadóir pearsanta agus gairmiúil tá a fhios agam nach bhfuil aon ní níos fearr ná aoi-mhír a fháil a fhad is go bhfuil sé uaithúil, go bhfuil taighde déanta i gceart agus go bhfuil níos mó ann ná “sales pitch”!

I have just had a guest post published on Joe Scanlon’s blog entitled Five things you may not know . Iabout the Irish Language. I think this is a great series by Joe where he invites anyone and everyone to write a post about their area of expertise or an area which they are passionate about. Bloggers being the show-offs that they are (myself included) have gone for it big-style as you will see from the list of posts so far. Contributing to a series like this is a great way to give blogging a go, especially if you are running a business and want to show your expertise. I know as a personal and business blogger that I love getting guest posts as long as they are unique, that the research is done and that it is far more than just a sales pitch!

Míle buíochas, Joe, don deis an blagmhír a scríobh!

Here’s a reprint of the post: (Buíochas le mo chara Ronan Ó D don chabhair 🙂 )

Five things you may not know about the Irish Language

1. Peig is not the worst book in the Irish Language. It’s not even the worst book on the Leaving Cert Syllabus. In my opinion that honour must go to Tóraíocht Dhiarmada agus Gráinne by Nessa Ní Shé* which isn’t even written in standardised Irish. Sadly the best book on the Leaving Cert Syllabus is studied by very few and is an epic story of unfulfilled young love, adventure, humour and high jinks spread over two continents involving gambling, sailing, tattie hoking and hypothermia: a real rags to riches blockbuster. If you have the opportunity try and convince your teacher to study Caisleán Óir. It’s great craic!

2. The Irish word for English is Béarla. You probably know this but did you know it is also the Irish word for nonsense? Says a lot really doesn’t it?

3. There are many loanwords from Irish in the English language as one would expect from two countries so close to each other. Daniel Cassidy claims in his 2007 book that the Irish invented much American slang claiming for example that the word jazz came from teas, meaning heat and having specific sexual connotations. (They didn’t teach you that in school, eh?) Amongst these slang words is also the word “quid” which is slang for money said to come from “mo chuid airgid”. In fairness to him it makes logical sense but being a largely illiterate minority in the nascent United States there is little evidence to back up his claims. There are loan words (and more importantly a wealth of beautiful bardic forms) in Irish from French, of course, and Latin too. In fact there is a whole system for changing a Latin word to Irish thanks to the methodical approach of the religion that brought the words to the country. My personal favourite loan words in the English language come from a very sad source. Two quintessentially English phrases, “Smashing!” and “Bully for you!” are anglicisations of the phrases “Is maith sin!” and “Bulaigh fir!” both common phrases in Ulster Irish (You would definitely know them if you had been enjoying Caisleán Óir rather than Peig as per point 1 above). Apparently they passed from one language to the other in the trenches during the Great War. It speaks volumes about the soldiers from Donegal who managed to remain that positive during such cruel and unusual times.

4. Irish is a funny language. There is no Irish for “I love you” or “I miss you” and yet it has some of the most beautiful love poetry in Europe (see point 3 above). The Irish for “You would feel” is pronounced “Wuhohaw” but spelt “Mhothófá”. The Irish for “would not get” (Ní bhfaighfidh) is pronounced “Knee wee” in Ulster Irish. While these two pieces of information are unamusing to a monolingual Irish speaker us bilingual Irish speakers have a little giggle about it the odd time.

5. Irish and Gaelic are two seperate languages in the same branch of Celtic languages. One major feature that differentiates them from other Celtic languages is that at some point Q-Celtic speakers (us and the Scots) took a notion against the “p” sound so that Pembroke in Wales would be Ceann Broc in Ireland or Scotland or the name David Williams would be Dáithí Mac Liam in Irish or Gaelic but Dafydd ap Gwilym in Welsh. Gaelic is differentiated from Irish by the fact that is has fewer tenses, its spelling was not standardised (meaning they’ve a lot more bhs, dhs and ghs hanging about), it has many loanwords, conventions and placenames from Scandinavian languages and the Gaelic for sweets is “suiteis” which is my favourite Gaelic word.

* For the real Celtic Language nerds among you Nessa Ní Shé was Somhairle Mac Gill-Eain’s muse and the inspiration for his most famour work “Dàin do Eimhir agus Dàin Eile” which is considered a classic of modern poetry regardless of language.

My Blog Awards thank you speech

I finally made it to the Blog Awards. After years of trying but never managing to avoid the clash with An Tóstal or my own birthday plans I finally made it. I’m hoping that the fact that I trekked from Dublin to Cork will make me seem less of a blogger wannabe.

I also took a more active role this year even though I had previously offered to help judge the Irish Language category in particular. This year, after a gruelling vetting process (ahem!) I was accepted as a judge of the 2009 Irish Blog Awards. Maybe there should be a gruelling vetting process because it’s a gruelling judging process. I think I’m too nice to be a judge. I was inclined to think, “Ah sure you made the effort.” Okay I was inclined to think that for the first five. Then I turned into a vicious bitch and by blog number 18 I was thinking, “Call that blogging? Yer ma!” and then I went back and recalculated the first five in that mood. And that was just round 1 and I abstained from judging two blogs because I do not speaky the soccer. However the second round was, in a way, easier because I had two categories so I was able to focus more. Overall however I was very impressed with the quality of the blogs and enjoyed discovering new blogs that I don’t already read. One of the criteria for judging the blogs is community which I judged based on the interaction with commenters. As a result I have decided that I am going to email all my family and friends and have at them for not following and commenting on this blog which I create with them in mind. Why else would I include the “subscribe by email” option except for that bunch of luddites? (See my cunning tactic there?)

Off I tripped to Cork on the 7pm train to stay with my good friend the Corkonian Architect in her beautiful home (pictured right). Big thanks to her for putting me up and for coming along for the best Saturday night out I’ve had in a long time. (The MBA zombie and two snot nosed brats aren’t much competition to be fair.) As mentioned in the previous post we went for a walk and then back home to get ready for the Ladies Cocktail Party at the bizarrely yet attractively appointed Cork International Airport Hotel. A big thank you to the hostess with the mostest, Sabrina Dent for the lovely afternoon in the genteel company of some lovely ladies. (What happens at the tea party and all that…). Big ups to the chaps in Curious Wines who I subsequently had very interesting chats with – thanks guys: if I was babbling it was because you gave Sabrina too much wine. It would have been rude not to drink it. However there was plenty to eat as well and I shnarfed a couple of divine muffins from Píosa Cake (I particularly like these creations although they were surprisingly not present on Saturday…) Thanks also to Ciara from FindaConferenceVenue.com for the cool “I refuse to participate in a recesssion” badge!

Then onto the main event which was, put simply, a really fun night. I was even asked to pose by the photographer from the Evening Echo. However I lessened the likelihood of imminent Cork celebrity (even though I had a real Corkonian beside me) by bickering with the photographer about the total demerits of my leaning against the car to have my photo taken. (I mentioned the bizarre interior, didn’t I?) He didn’t understand my issue (what kind of a photographer man has never seen a Pirelli calendar?) but demurred and moved us elsewhere.

The thing I loved the most about the Blog Awards was the diversity of people in attendance: young, old, from all walks of life and areas of interest. This is a reflection of the diversity of the blogs out there and I would imagine over the coming few months, as people are laid off or their hours are cut down, we could see an explosion of blogs. I like to think that the sense of community that these people will gain from this hobby will sustain them and possibly spawn plenty of new ways of living.

We got goodies on the night too including polystyrene speech bubbles from Made In Hollywood and an invitation to enter a competition. Here’s my attempt to win EUR150. I promise I’ll give the child a tenner if I win.

My entry for the Made in Hollywood competition
My entry for the Made in Hollywood competition

And lastly thanks to Damien and all his crew for all the hard work they put in – not least in the intros to each award.

And of course you know who I forgot in my thank you speech? My darling husband, Himself, for doing the single dad thing for the weekend.

There’s gonna be some changes ’round here

I’m migrating my site to the much more competitive Blacknight Solutions so there may not be anything here the next time you visit but I will sort it out as soon as I can…

Wish me luck! I’m also planning to switch from Blogger to WordPress. WordPress works much better as a hosted blog platform than Blogger. However I understand that the import/ export of a blog isn’t all as beautiful and easy as they’d have you believe. Fingers crossed you’ll still be able to read right back to 2003 when I kick off the blog in the new platform.

Another feather for me boa

Ooh the excitement. Damien Mulley who I see Darklight refer to in their programme as an Irish Blogging Guru has accepted my application for his Training the Trainers Day which will get me a day out in Cork with like-minded souls if nothing else. Oh la I better whip this site into shape so!

I read about his offering on Twitter and it’s one of many leads/ideas/inspiration I have found from using Twitter. Himself has stopped describing himself as a web widower: he’s now a Twitter widower!

Ah well at least the kids are always up for annoying him. Happy Father’s Day!

Speaking of inattentivness my Hack Cuz pointed out in the comments I haven’t been reading her blog or telling you all about it. While I think you should read both of our blogs regularly I have to admit she is a far better writer. She is a professional, I am not. She is also getting some attention from another (ahem) “reknowned blogger” Conor Pope. The Hack Cuz and I have another grand plan that may come to fruition for your delectation once she has completed all her college work. We will both keep you posted…