Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Irish-Gaelic Terms of Endearment

The Irish Language has some beautiful ways to express love and affection. There's a nice web page that explains these expressions fairly well and tells you how to pronounce them: Irish terms of endearment.

Irish Gaelic Terms of Endearment—with approximate pronunciations

I love you.  Tá grá agam duit.  /tau grau AH-gum dit/

I’m in love with you.  Táim i ngrá leat.  /toym ih nraw laht/

You are my love.  Is tú mo ghrá  /iss too muh ghraw/ or /iss too muh hraw/

The following, except for “mo chuisle,”  are in the vocative case—used when addressing someone directly, in writing or orally. You could replace the “A” with “Mo,” but that seems less common.

A Ghrá Mo Chroí    Oh darling; Beloved of my heart! /ah ghraw muh khree/

A Ghrá Geal  Oh bright love! /ah ghraw gyall/ or /ah hraw gyall/

A Rún     Oh love! Oh Darling! [ah roon/ Pretty common phrase.

A Mhuirnín  My dear  /ah WEER-neen/

A Stór!   My darling /ah store/          Another common phrase.

A Thaisce  My treasure       /ah HAHSH-kuh/

Mo Chuisle  Literally, “my pulse”       /muh KWISH-luh/

A Chuisle Mo Chroí!  O pulse of my heart!      /ah KWISH-luh muh khree/  This is my favorite.

Closing a letter: Le grá (with love) /luh graw/

Note: the Irish “ch” sound is close to the “ch” in the Scottish word “loch.” Very similar also to German “ch.” The Irish “gh” can be transcribed in different ways. The “g” has a bit of a fricative sound. I transcribe the word “ghrá” either as /ghraw/ or /hraw/. Irish vowels with accent marks (fadas) over them are long. The long “a” sounds like “aw” in many dialects of Irish.

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