WTF!? Slender R of Irish

The r caol (slender r) is the topic of this #WhatTheFocal!?

Hope you enjoy!


WTF!? YOLO as Gaeilge!

I text.

I speak Irish.

I do them both at the SAME TIME!

Here, in the latest What the Focal!? I tell you how YOU CAN TOO!

I cover txt speak as Gaeilge, and the story behind Irish speakers using the number 7 to mean ‘and’. (It’s called a ‘tironion et’ and I love it.)

Full list of TEXT SPEAK covered:
GRMA – go raibh maith agat (thank you)
GRMMA – go raibh míle maith agat (thanks a million)
(a)GOA – (ag) gáire os ard (LOL)
ABMTAG – ag briseadh mó thóin ag gáire (ROFL, literally “breaking by arse laughing”)
NASAA – níl ach saol amháin agat (YOLO)
CF – cén fáth (why)
NBB – ná bí buartha (don’t worry)
GML – gabh mo leithscéal (excuse me)
DS – deireadh seachtaine (weekend)
TBO – tá brón orm (I’m sorry)
OMD – Ó mo Dhia (OMG)
SGF – slán go fóill (CYA)

***Then these two crucial ones which I left out somehow!***
LDT – le do thoil (please)
CGL – ceart go leor (ok)

V – bhí (past tense of ‘bí’)
AN8 – anocht (tonight)
7n – seachtain (week)
CCAB2 – cén chaoi a bhfuil tú (how are you)
CCAB6 – cén chaoi a bhfuil sé (how is he)
J mar? – caidé mar atá tú? (how are you)
A # – a thaisce (my dear)
K – cé (who)
FAB – fadhb ar bith (no problem)
7 = & (this is called a ‘tironion et’)

WTF!? Irish used in English

In this What the Focal!? video I’m talking about Irish words that are used AS GAEILGE in the middle of a sentence that otherwise AS BÉARLA.

The words featured in the video are the based on responses I got on Twitter.

In my opinion this is different from the Irish words that are present in Hiberno English, because with Hiberno English the speaker might not even be aware that the word/ structure they are using has a basis in Irish. Whereas the words in the below video are used consciously.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m not a linguist! But if you are, and have a proper linguistic description of what I am trying to put into words then please get in touch!

p.s. I know the poem is not my best work – but it was a good device to list off the words!

FOCLÓIRÍ! My Irish-English Dictionary Guide

This blogpost is to go with the What the Focal!? video guide to Irish-English dictionaries.

In the video I explain what foclóirí I use on a regular basis, and what the differences are between them.  These dictionaries are all online and free!

Bookmark these three sites and you should be covered for all eventualities.
The sites mentioned in the video

Focló – The new English – Irish Dictionary. The most up to date. Great native translations, and covers words and phrases from vulgar to formal. Also has grammar files, sound files, and reverse search function for Irish-English searches. – Electronic version of the Ó Dónaill (Irish – English, 1977) & the de Bhaldraithe (English – Irish, 1959). Also has a ‘Grammar Wizard’ which helps with adding adjectives to masculine/ feminine words, and in the tuiseal ginideach (genitive case).

Té –  The National Terminology Database for Irish. Use this to find terms in specific areas of knowledge, for example concepts in mathematics, in technology, in sports, in astronomy, in education and so on. This is specifically for terms and is not a normal foclóir.


WTF!? Is Gaeilgeoir an insult?


We all know what the term ‘Gaeilgeoir’ means… or what it’s supposed to mean. But also, depending on who you are talking to, it takes on different meanings.

I had a lot to say about the term ‘Gaeilgeoir’ – as I am sure many of you do too! This video was originally 15 minutes long (!!!) but in the surviving 4 minutes I unpack the term as much as I can.

Let me know what you think and if there’s anything I left out!


WTF!? Politics

I’m always interested in the Irish words used everyday in Ireland. Are they pronounced correctly? Understood properly?

Not a day goes by that there isn’t a news report from the Dáil, often relating to the three biggest parties in Ireland, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Sinn Féin.

On radio and TV though,  there are some, eh, unusual interpretations of these words to be heard.

Now, I’m no expert on politics BUT I can pronounce the names of these parties, and explain what they mean.

So here’s the is the second video in the What the Focal!? series.

Feel free to share as a gentle hint to those who have been misguided!