Cead mile failte! Welcome!
Cead mile failte or a hundred thousand welcomes as we'd say in Gaelic to my first blog post for BBC Learning English.
I'm one of the newest members of the team so I thought I should finally say hello! I've been chatting to a few people on the message boards and working away on the website over the last 2 1/2 months. As an Irish addition to the team, I thought you might like to have a quick look at where I'm from.
The next few photos were taken at Easter this year when I was driving through County Clare which is on the west coast of Ireland. It was a great road-trip with friends of mine on what turned out to be a gloriously sunny day. They say Ireland looks so green because it rains all the time. It does rain an awful lot but Easter was wonderful and bright. The jagged cliffs in this picture emerge high above the waves crashing against the shore below.
As you can see from this picture, the rain clouds are never too far away. In case you're wondering, the big solid rock formation you can see at the top of the photo, is part of The Burren. It's a rocky, limestone pavement with deep grooves or gaps in between the rock in places so you have to be very careful where you're walking. On a windy, rainy winter day it can be desolate and bleak, while on a sunny day it is undoubtedly one of the most stunning sights you will ever see. Some of the ancient monuments and tombs in the Burren are older then the pyramids in Egypt!
Did you know that Irish (Gaelic) is the official first language in Ireland and English is the other official language? You can read more about it here.
If you've listened to British English and American English, you'll have heard some small differences in the words people use. Someone speaking British English will say "tap" where in American English, you'd say "faucet". In Hiberno-English, the kind of English commonly spoken in Ireland, we have some phrases you might find unusual. I'll do a longer blog on these later, but for now, here are a few to get you started:
It can get confusing sometimes!
IRELAND: Stop shouting out loud, please! You're very bold
UK: Stop shouting out loud, please! You're very naughty
IRELAND: I've washed my cup and I'm going to place it back in the press.
UK: I've washed my cup and I'm going to place it back in the cupboard.
Before you ask, I'll have to do some more investigating to find out how Irish people have come to have these variations when speaking English.
And finally today, here's a view of the village I'm from in Ireland. It's called Castleconnell, which would be Caislean Ui gConaing in Irish (Gaelic), which would translate literally as Gunning's Castle. Gunning is the name of the family associated with the castle as you walk or drive towards the village. I'll have to take some photographs of it when I'm back home to show you another time.
I don't know what the winter was like where you come from, but last winter was certainly one of the coldest I ever remember. There were a few mornings where I was driving to work and I think my car was travelling at around 5 miles per hour so I didn't skid on the ice or snow. Grim.
So while it made for difficult driving and pedestrians slipping and sliding, it did look spectacular in photographs, like the one below.
Let me know what you think of how people from Ireland use English.Go dti an cead uair eile, slan - until the next time, bye!
Irish: someone from Ireland
road-trip: a long car journey
an awful lot : you can use "awful" to emphasize how large an amount is