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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

Sunday 13 October, 2019

The Irish For: The varieties of cailín and the deductive Coleen Rooney

Coleen is derived from cailín, the Irish word for a girl, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 6 October, 2019

The Irish For: Vegans, vegetarians and the battle of translating modern words

It’s easy to lose the wordplay on English words when translating into Irish.

Sunday 29 September, 2019

The Irish For: Cuddly mammals and furry predators

The Irish language has many names for different creatures in the wild.

Sunday 22 September, 2019

The Irish For: How has censorship affected Irish language books?

The banning of Irish language books was less frequent even though the authors produced writing which dealt with provocative themes.

Sunday 15 September, 2019

The Irish For: The weeds and wildflowers that bother and delight the countryside

Do you know your banshee thimbles from your blue hatreds?

Sunday 8 September, 2019

The Irish For: Cartoons, propaganda and the words children learn

How much do TV shows influence children’s pronunciation and phrases?

Sunday 1 September, 2019

The Irish For: Guns and Gaelic - the history of the right to bear arms

The Irish constitution drew inspiration from others, but did not include the right to bear arms.

Sunday 25 August, 2019

The Irish For: Rising rents mean many prospective tenants are giving Dublin a goodbye 'cíos'

Designating certain areas far away from Dublin as Gaeltachtaí, and then denying them investment so they’d stay that way- was a dreadful mistake.

Sunday 18 August, 2019

The Irish For: How a familiar tale can help young bookworms become bilingual

Translating well-known books to Irish could be the best way to get pre-teen bookworms learning Irish.

Sunday 11 August, 2019

The Irish For: Teaching toddlers Gaeilge through the art of storytelling

Story-time is a great way to teach preschoolers píosa Gaeilge, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 4 August, 2019

The Irish For: Bank holidays and Lú, the god of August

In Irish, August is Lúnasa, named in honour of the ancient god Lú, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 28 July, 2019

The Irish For: Maura Higgins has brought the word 'shift' to a new audience - but where does it come from?

Shifting is a regional use of a global term, so you can’t just search for the first recorded incidence – you have to look at context.

Sunday 21 July, 2019

The Irish For: An astronaut is a star-sailor, a comet is a paintbrush star

The calling to travel beyond the Earth owes itself to mythology as well as science, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 14 July, 2019

The Irish For: The perception that Irish is intimately linked to Catholicism is too widely held

Some languages are intimately associated with religions but not Gaeilge, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 7 July, 2019

The Irish For: There's a bit of alchemy involved in translating Harry Potter into Irish

Book series translated from one language to another can lead to complications as the plot thickens, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 30 June, 2019

The Irish For: If you can’t say anything nice about someone, tar isteach

If you’re going to insult someone, do it properly, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Friday 28 June, 2019

John Cleese versus the Irish language: Don't mention the 'bh' war

Cleese said that Irish names look like deliberate attempts to mislead innocent people but this is not the case, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 23 June, 2019

The Irish For: Cockwombles and the decline of British insults

The Brexit process should be a golden age for satirists and comedians, but unfortunately, something else has happened, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 16 June, 2019

The Irish For: A Bloomsday Breakfast with extra Subh Milis on Father’s Day 2019

In some ways, it is serendipitous that these two events should happen on the same Sunday, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 9 June, 2019

The Irish For: Cans, Tans and Summer Plans

Samhradh comes with a sense of disappointment, rarely delivering on its promises of sunshine and gaiety, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 2 June, 2019

The Irish For: Is Ireland more progressive now because we didn’t have baby boomers?

Did you know that Nigel Farage and Keanu Reeves were born in the same year? It’s hard enough to accept that they are the same species, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 26 May, 2019

The Irish For: Don’t Be Such A Gorilla-Whale-Daughter-In-Law

To translate the meaning of Bridezilla effectively we need to pop the bonnet of the word and look at the moving parts, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 19 May, 2019

The Irish For: Let's settle the 'crack' versus 'craic' debate by looking at the evidence

The word appears to originate before 1900 in parts of Ireland where spoken Irish was high and literacy was low, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 12 May, 2019

The Irish For: Hiberno English is a feature not a bug

Sometimes Béarla and Gaeilge are presented as being in conflict in Ireland, but they’re both part of our cultural heritage, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 5 May, 2019

The Irish For: Did the Irish language influence the names of Gollum and the orcs in the Lord of the Rings?

J. R. R. Tolkien once tried to learn Irish in Galway but he dismissed the language as suffering from “fundamental unreason,” writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 28 April, 2019

The Irish For: How Beyoncé is helping to get fadas in formation

Thanks to Queen Bé, April 2019 has been an interesting month for accessorised letters, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 21 April, 2019

The Irish For: Why do we remember things from TV and what does that mean for learning languages?

‘Thousands of Irish people know their rights if they’re arrested in America but not if they’re arrested in Ireland… and nobody would know what mitosis was if it wasn’t for Sabrina,’ writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 14 April, 2019

The Irish For: We are sometimes called Gaeilge Nazis which feels like a bit of a curse

Gaeilgeoirí often feel the odds are stacked against them. Even when we are right we still end up looking like a spoilsport or a pain in the arse, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 7 April, 2019

The Irish For: In 1990 Germany got Athaontú (reunification) and Milli Vanilli were exposed for lip-syncing

The German R&B duo dominated the charts at the time and one of them even claimed to be the “new Elvis”, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 31 March, 2019

The Irish For: The Irish language version of Wikipedia is going strong

Sure enough, one of the longest, best laid-out and most carefully edited pages in An Vicipéid is the page on Star Trek, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 24 March, 2019

The Irish for: Irish is the first language of the constitution. Here's some legal terminology as Gaeilge

Bannaí means bail and is not to be confused with banaí which means a womaniser, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 17 March, 2019

The Irish For: The word Tory comes from the Irish word tóraí meaning a bandit or outlaw

If you’re doing your Irish oral exam next week – you’ll need to know how to say ‘confidence and supply agreement’ and ‘frictionless border’, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 10 March, 2019

The Irish For: Some older words don't exist in English - clochscríbhinn means an inscription on stone

George Orwell said that history was a palimpsest – a chalkboard which could be scraped clean and reinscribed, exactly as often as necessary, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 3 March, 2019

The Irish For: While Europe was stuck in the Dark Ages - Ireland's Brehon laws were relatively enlightened

Satire (Áer) was taken as seriously as physical assault in old Ireland and a range of satirical offences were deemed to warrant compensation, including ‘coining a nickname that sticks’, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 24 February, 2019

The Irish For: What does old Irish tell us about life in ancient Ireland?

Did the knights of the Fianna use their frithbacáin (handbrake) to do doughnuts, and other boy racer tricks, in the medieval equivalent of an industrial estate? wonders Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 17 February, 2019

The Irish For: What do these popular boys' names mean - and what can we learn from them?

Social trends are reflected in different names, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha, whose first name means “like an oak tree”.

Sunday 27 January, 2019

The Irish For: Gender, LGBT and transitioning

Aerach means gay in both the modern sense as well as the original meaning of happy and carefree writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 20 January, 2019

The Irish For: How many colours can you remember?

Different languages across the world look at the spectrum and make different calls on where certain colours begin and end, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 13 January, 2019

The Irish For: Brexit and the rise of Hiberno-English

With the United Kingdom set to leave the European Union this year, it’s time for Hiberno English to become the official language of the EU, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

Sunday 6 January, 2019

The Irish For: Forget the January blues - let's talk about birds

The fact that the Irish words for duck and lake sound similar gives an alliterative flourish to a seanfhocal about not sweating the small stuff: Ní troimide an loch an lacha – the lake is not heavier for having a duck on it, writes Darach Ó Séaghdha.

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