An Tuille – The Flood

Here is a transcription and translation of the story that appears here. There are some comments at the bottom, along with a vocabulary. As usual, I have attempted to transcribe exactly, so any spelling errors in the original will remain.

Sgeul.

Do bhí beirt fhear ó Chléire sa Sciobairín fadó agus bhí fear ón ndúthaig amuich, a’ caint leo, istig i siopa. Le bád a chuadar ann, agus ars duine d’fhearaibh Cléire le na chomráda, “Is gearr go mbeidh tuille ann”. Do bhí fear na Dúthaighe ag eisteacht leis. “Cad é sin agat dá rádh?” ars fear na dúthaighe, “Dar ndóigh níl aon tuille indiu ann, na aon deallramh báistidhe”. Ars fear Cléire ‘á fhreagairt, “Da mbeadhfá-sa agam-sa i nGasconán (an súnta idir Inis Arcain agus Cléire) anáirde, do neósfainn-se duit, cathain a thiocfadh lá tuille gan baisteach.

Story.

There were two men from Cléire in Skibbereen long ago and there was a local man, talking to them, inside in a shop. By boat they had come, and one of the Cléire men said to his comrade, “It won’t be long before there’s a flood”. The local man was listening to him. “What are you saying?” said the local man, “Of course there’s no flood today, nor any look of rain”. Said the Cléire man in response, “If I had you with me in Gasconán (the cleft between Sherkin Island and Cléire) up high [from the waves], I’d tell you when a day of flood would come without rain.

Notes:

  • “ón ndúthaig amuich” (ón ndúiche amuigh) – I believe “amuich” (outside, outer) being used to give the sense that this man is an “outlander” from the perspective of the islanders.

Foclóirín:

As usual, (pre.) indicates a pre-reform spelling and (dial.) a dialectical spelling or variant and I have enclosed the modern “Standard Irish” equivalent in brackets.

anáirde (in airde) – up high, up in the air (pre. variant)
amuich (amuigh) – outside, outer (pre. variant)
deallramh (dealramh) – appearance (pre.)
indiu (inniu) – today (this word is pronounced “inniubh” in Munster and is often written as such, but indiu is spelling in Classical Irish) (pre.)
is gearr go – it won’t be long before
neosfainn (d’inseoinn) – I would tell (dial.)
tuille (tuile) – flood (dial.)

Comments and corrections are welcome!

I make use of this source with thanks to Dúchas.ie, under the conditions of the CC BY-NC 4.0 licence.

An Próca Óir – The Crock of Gold

Here is a transcription and translation of the story that appears here. There are some comments at the bottom, along with a vocabulary. As usual, I have attempted to transcribe exactly, so any spelling errors in the original will remain.

Sgéul.

Ar an dtaobh shoir don bhaile seo (Cumolán) tá cuas ar a dtugtar Cuas a Dubhghlais. Aige bun a bhóthair atá sí agus sruthán uisge a rith síos ann. Deirtear go bhfuil próca óir curtha shíos sa chuas san agus fear gorm agus claidheamh aige á ghárdaíl.

Seo mar a thárla do bheith ann d’réir na sean sgéulta:- Fadó, fadó riamh tháinig long ón Austráil ar dtír san áit sin a lorg fíoruisge. Ní ró fhada ar dtír dóibh go dtáinig an tóir ón bhfairrge ortha. Ní raibh ach an próca óir sin acu agus thugadar as an luing é agus chuireadar annsan istig i dtóin a’ chuais é agus chuireadar an fear gorm mar ghárda air. Chuireadar geasa air an t-ór a chosaint beo agus marbh do go dtiocfaidís féin á iarraidh aris. Tá sé dóigheamhail nár thánadar chun an fhir bhoicht a fhuasgailt fós, mar ar uair áirighthe nach aon oidhche cloistear mar a bheadh duine ag gearán thíos san chuas.

Story.

On the East side of this town (Cumolán) there’s a hollow known as “Douglas’s Hollow”. It’s at the bottom of the road and a stream of water runs down there. It is said there there is a crock of gold put down in that hollow and a black man and his sword guarding it.

This is how its being there came about according to the old stories: – Long, long ago, a ship came to land from Australia in that place looking for fresh water. They weren’t long on land before pursuit from the sea came upon them. They only had that crock of gold and they took it from the ship and put it there in the bottom of the hollow and they set the black man as the guard of it. They put binding spells upon him to guard the gold, be he dead or alive, until they themselves would come seeking it again. It is likely that they never came to release/deliver the poor man yet, because at certain times every night it is heard as though there is a person complaining down in the hollow.

Notes:

  • a rith is simply “ag rith” (running), however the g isn’t pronounced.
  • beo agus marbh do – be he dead or alive (interesting that agus is used instead of nó here). The use of “do” rather than “dó” is dialectical.
  • don bhaile seo – don and den are somewhat confused in Munster.

Foclóirín:

As usual, (pre.) indicates a pre-reform spelling and (dial.) a dialectical spelling or variant and I have enclosed the modern “Standard Irish” equivalent in brackets.

aige (ag) – at (dial.)
claidheamh (claíomh) – sword (pre.)
ar dtír – on land. An example of how the article can be dropped when a word is used in a generic sense. The preposition “ar” eclipses in certain calcified expressions.
as an luing (as an long) – out of the boat. We see a dative form here. (dial.)
dóigheamhail (dóighiúil, a variant of “dóchúil”) – likely, probable (pre., dial.)
fairrge (farraige) – sea (pre.)
fhuasgailt (fhuascailt) – release (pre.)
fíoruisge (fíoruisce) – fresh water, spring water (pre.)
geasa – plural of geas (spell, taboo)
nach aon (gach aon) – every single (dial.)
ortha (orthu) – on/upon them (dial.)
próca óir – crock of gold
shíos (thíos) – down. This is normally a dialectical way of spelling thíos, but it seems to be being used here in a way you’d expect síos to be used. (dial.)
shoir (thoir) – east (dial.)

Comments and corrections are welcome!

I make use of this source with thanks to Dúchas.ie, under the conditions of the CC BY-NC 4.0 licence.

Pronunciation quirks of Cléire Irish

This post is essentially a sampling of interesting pronunciation features in Cléire Irish. It is far from exhaustive. Standard Irish forms in brackets.

Lenited r

Where you could expect lenition for other letters a broad r sometimes becomes palatalised. This can be seen, for example, in “a reá” (a rá, “to say”), where the spelling is an attempt to indicate that the the initial r is slender. “do rug” is another situation where this occurs.

The past autonomous and the pronunciation of -adh

In Cléire the past autonomous form of the verb usually finishes in a /v/ sound, though it can also finish in a /g/ sound.
Do dúnamh/dúnag (dúnadh) é – It was closed.
Note, this is still normally written as “dúnadh”.
In Muskerry (Cork), it is the /g/ sound which is used, though the /v/ sound was once also present.
In Déise Irish (Waterford) you get /g/.
In West Kerry Irish you get a /x/ sound (broad ch).

You do get the g sound in “bogradh” (boglach, rainy weather), “glasradh” (vegetables or cold, damp and windy weather). However, “scanradh” is pronounced /scaurəv/ (something like “scamhramh”). In Muskerry this word is pronounced /scaurə/ (scamhra).

Medial bh and mh

-bh- and -mh- tend not to be pronounced when they appear in the middle of words, though this can affect vowel quality. Example:
tábhacht -> tácht (importance)
fómhar -> fór (Autumn)
lámhadóir -> ládóir (manual labourer)
nimhneach -> níneach (painful, poisonous)

This sort of dropping can be seen in the rest of Munster too.

Delenition

This is a really interesting one. When labial sounds come together (m,b,p) you can get delenition:
“im bhéal” (“i mo bhéal”) becomes “im béal”
This is easier to pronounce because both m and b are pronounced with the lips pressed together.

th- is delenited after n and s
an ceann tuas – the one up there
thíos agus tuas – down and up
This phenomenon can also be seen in Kerry and Muskerry Irish, and perhaps beyond.

Metathesis

This is the inversion of two consonants and it can be widely seen in Irish. Examples:
milseáin -> mísleáin (sweets, candies) – This form is also seen in Kerry and Muskerry, though not Waterford.
tráthnóna -> tránthóna (afternoon, evening) – This form is also seen in Muskerry and Kerry, though Rinn in Waterford has /tra:xnu:nə/.

Eclipsis of s

My favourite. If an s appears in a position where a consonant would normally be eclipsed you can eclipse it in Cléire Irish. For a broad s this becomes a /z/ sound (as in the English “zoo”) and for a slender s this becomes a /z’/ sound (like a voiced sh, or French j).
i zSasana (i Sasana) – in English
ag an zséipéal (ag an séipéal) – at the chapel

This sound used to appear in East Galway Irish.* Raymond Hickey (in “The Dialects of Irish) also makes an oblique reference to /z/ in Déise (Waterford) Irish, but I can’t find any examples; it’s certainly nowhere near as widespread as in Cléire Irish, at the very least.

Pronunciation of -lt-

The cluster -lt- is pronounced as if it were lenited: -lth-.
fáilte -> fáilthe
This is found in Muskerry and Ring (Waterford) too, though not Corca Dhuibhne (West Kerry), as far as I know.

However, -lt is pronounced as -lt, if it’s the (non-historical) ending of a verbal noun:
an fhinneog a oscailt – to open the window

Comments and corrections are welcome!

Sources:
“An Teanga Bheo: Gaeilge Chléire” – Breandán Ó Buachalla
“Cnuasach Chléire” – Breandán Ó Buachalla
“Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne” – Diarmuid Ó Sé
“The Irish of Ring, Co. Waterford” – Risteard B. Breatnach
“The Irish of West Muskerry” – Brian Ó Cuív
“The Dialects of Irish” – Raymond Hickey

*Hickey cites Ó hUiginn 1994: 559 for that.