Why don't Irish people like English

2nd December 2016

As in German, there are also different dialects and regional pronunciation variations in English. Different meanings of words and phrases can therefore not only lead to amusing misunderstandings between Irish and English learners, but can also confuse other native speakers. Even after almost three years in Ireland, I still come across new idioms.

Irish becomes English too Hiberno English called. It is strongly different from the second official language Gaelic Irishinfluenced, although Irish is a Celtic and not a Germanic language like English. Grammatically, both languages ​​don't have much in common, but they have been spoken side by side for centuries and therefore influence each other. Many Irish people naturally use Irish words and phrases in English and vice versa.

To start with, here are a few sentences that you may come across in an everyday conversation:

Slide Duit

Irish for “hello” or literally “God with you”. If you greet several people it is called "Dia Daoibh". The standard answer is "Dia is Muire duit" or "Dia is Muire daoibh" in the plural, which means "God and Mary with you". With Mary the Holy Virgin Mary is meant. Ireland is a Catholic country, which is not least noticeable in such expressions.

How are you?

Is more of a rhetorical welcome question. An answer is expected like: “Good”, “Not to bad” or, best of all, “Grant”, which can mean pretty much anything. Even if you are not doing well, do not immediately bring up your problems in the greeting phrase. In a fleeting encounter, the person asking the question often doesn't even wait for the answer, but continues to talk or just walk before you have thought about a detailed answer. If several people are addressed at the same time, “ye” is often used as the slang plural of “you”. “How are ye?” Means “How are you?”.

Are you all right there?

This is what most sellers ask when you are undecided in a deal. They don't want to know how you are feeling, they want to ask what you are looking for and whether they can help you with it.

Hello love / dear

Older people in particular keep calling younger people “love” even if they don't know you. This is not a spontaneous declaration of love, but rather nice and helpful. But you shouldn't say it to someone older than you.

There's your man / your woman

In this context, don't mean your husband or wife is there. This refers to any man or woman who both interlocutors know more or less, for example the caretaker whose name you have just forgotten, a colleague or a famous actress.

Come here till I tell you

Since the interlocutors are already talking, this is not an invitation to physically come anywhere, but rather means something like: "Wait until I tell you what happened to me."

Look it!

Has nothing to do with seeing in the following example: Two students meet at the university. The first one complains about the many things she still has to do and rattles off a whole list of chores. At some point the person you are talking to will inevitably shrug their shoulders and say “Ah sure, look it.”, Which is a polite advice to end the nagging now and change the subject.

Chat soon

Doesn't necessarily mean a virtual Facebook or WhatsApp chat. A chat is originally a conversation and is best conducted over a cup of tea.

Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye

Especially on the phone, the Irish say “bye” not just once, but at least three or more times in quick succession before actually hanging up. I do not know why.

Slán / Slán go fóill

Is Irish for “bye” or “bye for now” and is also often used in English conversations.

The Irish are happy to have foreigners speaking Irish to them, even if it is just three words. It shows that you are familiar with the culture and don't think that English has always been the main language spoken in Ireland. Admittedly, almost all words are pronounced completely differently than they are spelled, but there are pronunciation rules and native German speakers find it easier to pronounce the many “ch” sounds than Americans, for example.