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An Fháinleog Caibidil 5

Caibidil 5 de dhráma idirlín d''fhoghlaimeoirí na Gaeilge (meán-leibhéal) - 20 caibidil. Scríofa ag Pól Ó Muirí. Acmhainní breise i bpáirt le hIontaobhas Ultach.

Síleann fear na míchéille gurb é féin fear na céille The foolish man thinks he is a wise man.

1. Numbers
The phrase mo mhíle leithscéal could be translated as ‘my most sincere apologies’. The word míle, as you know, means a thousand. In this case it is used to intensify the phrase, just as, in English, you might say ‘I’ve told you a thousand times’. You will be familiar with the Irish linen teacloth phrase Céad míle fáilte – a hundred thousand welcomes. This is twee only on teacloths, as, in Irish, numbers are frequently used as intensifiers. Here are some examples:
Go raibh míle maith agat – Many thanks
Míle buíochas – Many thanks
Bhí mé ar mo mhíle dícheall – I was doing my level best
De mo mhíle ainneoin – in spite of all I could do/ despite my best efforts
Míle b’fhearr duit mise agat is ceol binn mo phíoba – You’d be far better off with me and the sweet music of my pipes (words of a song)
Go míle maire tú é – heartiest congratulations (may you outlast it by a factor of a thousand)

The number here is not to be taken literally. The following three sentences all mean more or less the same thing, “I have a lot to do”, although it’s possible that the final one implies either that you are rather more busy or that you are prone to excessive exaggeration:
Tá céad rud le déanamh agam (I have a hundred things to do)
Tá míle rud le déanamh agam (I have a thousand things to do)
Tá fiche míle rud le déanamh agam (I have twenty thousand things to do)

2. More numbers
The number seven, along with three and nine, was once thought to have mystic powers – seven priests with seven trumpets marched round Jericho once every day, but seven times on the seventh day. It is not surprising, therefore, to have it pop up as an intensifier:

Tá na seacht dteangacha aige – he has many languages (the number is not to be taken literally)
Seacht gcúramaí an tsaoil – all the cares of the world
Rinne mé mo sheacht ndícheall – I did my level best
Seacht m’anam déag thú – I love you dearly
Seacht searc mo chléibh thú – I love you dearly
Mo sheacht mallacht ort – My seven curses on you
Go dtite seacht gcac na seacht muc anuas sa mhullach ort – Work this one out for yourselves

3. Even more numbers
D’amharc sé sna ceithre airde – He looked in all directions (literally, the four points of the compass)
D’amharc sé sna ceithre airde fichead – He looked in all directions (literally, the twenty-four points of the compass)
(aird is a direction, or a point of the compass. This word came into Hiberno-English, in the phrase ‘from all arts and parts’)
Mo thrí thrua seacht n-uaire thú – I really pity you
Bhí mé ag obair ar mo sheacht míle dícheallb – I was working as hard as possible
Fáilte agus fiche – You’re more than welcome (literally: welcome and twenty)

4. Seanfhocail / Proverbs
Na trí ní is cinnte: luí agus éirí na gréine agus an bás – the three most certain things, the setting and rising of the sun and death.
Na trí dhrochnósa: ag ól an ghloine, ag caitheamh an phíopa, is ag leagadh na drúchta go mall san oíche – three bad habits, drinking the glass (of spirits), smoking the pipe, and scattering the dew late at night (this last, you might guess, is a metaphor for something else):
Na trí cairde is fearr agus na trí naimhde is measa: tine, gaoth is uisce – the three best friends and the three worst enemies, fire, wind and water.
Na trí ní is súgaí amuigh: pisín cait, meannán gabhair, agus baintreach óg mhná – the three most playful things, a kitten, a goat-kid and a young widow-woman
Na trí rud is fuaire: glúine fir, cosa mná, srón madaidh – The three coldest things, a man’s knees, a woman’s feet, a dog’s nose
Na trí ní nach féidir a fhoghlaim, guth cinn, féile, filíocht – Three things that cannot be learned, singing, generosity, poetry.

5. Words and phrases
The phrase Níl lá aiféaltais orm means ‘I have absolutely no regrets’. In this idiom, is another intensifier, and is quite commonnly used:
Ní raibh lá imní uirthi – She was not at all worried
Níor chuir sin lá buartha orm – That didn’t bother me at all
Níor thug siad lá airde orm – They did not pay any attention to me
Ní dhéanfaidh sé lá dochair duit – It won’t do you a pick of harm
Níl lá dochair ann – There’s no harm in him
Ní raibh lá rúin aige theacht – He had no intention whatsoever of coming
Níl lá iomrá aige lá oibre a dhéanamh – There’s no sign of him doing a day’s work

6. Verbal Phrases
Caithfidh muid cur i gcuimhne dúinn féin – We have to remind ourselves
Cuir i gcuimhne dom – Remind me
Cuireann sin i gcuimhne dom – That reminds me
Cuireann sin i mo cheann – That reminds me

Tháinig mé slán – (literally, I came safe) I survived, escaped danger, recovered from an illness
Ní féidir leat theacht slán ó – You cannot survive (without harm)

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