Gaeltacht sho-iompartha

Ag an am seo den bhliain téann na mílte duine idir óg agus aosta chun na Gaeltachta le snas a chur ar a gcuid Gaeilge.

Nuair atá tú ag foghlaim teanga, caithfidh tú dul go háit ina labhraítear an teanga le cleachtadh a fháil lá i ndiaidh lae, in áit cúpla uair an chloig sa tseachtain. Sin ráite, tá na cúrsaí Gaeltachta daor go leor agus mar gheall ar an chúlú eacnamaíoch agus an dífhostaíocht a théann leis, ní féidir lena lán daoine na costais a íoc. Ar an dea-uair, beidh dianhúrsaí ar fáil i gceantar Dhoire i rith an tsamhraidh a thabharfaidh deis do dhaoine cúpla lá a chaitheamh ag labhairt Gaeilge agus ag smaoineamh i nGaeilge. Tháinig leabhar amach ar na mallaibh atá dírithe ‘ar dhaoine ar mhaith leo blaiseadh beag de Ghaeilge na Gaeltachta a fháil - daoine nach bhfuil seans acu tamall fada a chaitheamh sa Ghaeltacht.’(Dea-chaint John Ghráinne agus a chairde, le Tom Hodgins, Coiscéim)

Thosaigh Tom Hodgins ag cruinniú cora cainte ó John Ghráinne Ó Duibheannaigh nuair a bhí sé ar scoil i Rann na Feirste. Tá clú agus cáil ar John Ghráinne mar sheanchaí agus mar shaineolaí ar an Ghaeilge. Clúdaíonn an leabhar réimse leathan d’ábhar – mionchaint, bia agus deoch, comhrá an lae, an teaghlach agus páistí, an aimsir, mallachtaí agus cáineadh (an-úsáideach!) agus a lán eile. Bainfidh an foghlaimeoir tairbhe as an chaibidil ‘Nathanna coitianta i nGaeilge Uladh’.

Tá níos mó ná liostaí focal sa leabhar. Cuirtear na frásaí i gcomhthéacs le samplaí ó chomhrá na gcainteoirí dúchais. Rugadh Tom Hodgins i nDroichead Átha agus chaith sé blianta i Rann na Feirste agus i nGaoth Dobhair. Bhí sé ina léachtóir in Éirinn agus thar lear. Agus is trodaí idirnáisiúnta é- 6ú Dan Karate agus Jiú Jitsú! Tá éacht déanta aige leis an leabhar seo. Ba chóir do lucht na Gaeilge a bheith an-bhuíoch de ina thaobh.

At this time of year thousands of people, both young and old,head for the Gaeltacht to improve their Irish. When you are learning a language, you must go to a place where the language is spoken to get practice on a daily basis, instead of a few hours in the week. Having said that, courses are fairly expensive and because of the economic recession and the unemployment that goes with it, many people cannot afford the cost. Fortunately, there will be intensive courses available in the Derry area during the summer which will give people a chance to spend a couple of days speaking Irish and thinking in Irish. A book appeared recently - Dea-chaint John Ghráinne agus a chairde, by Tom hodgins, publisher Coiscéim) aimed at people ‘who would like to get a little taste of the Irish of the Gaeltacht- people who don’t get an opportunity to spend a long time in the Gaeltacht.’

Tom Hodgins began gathering typical turns of phrase from John Ghráinne Ó Duibheannaigh while he was at school in Rann na Feirste. John Ghráinne is well known as a story teller and an expert on the Irish language. The book covers a wide range of topics – small talk, food and drink, everyday conversation, children and the home, the weather, curses and criticism (very useful!), and much more. The learner will find the chapter ‘Common expressions in Ulster Irish’ very helpful. The book is more than lists of words. The phrases are put in context, with examples taken from the conversation of native speakers. Tom Hodgins was born in Drogheda and spent years in Rann na Feirste and Gaoth Dobhair. He has been a lecturer in Ireland and overseas.

And he is a martial arts internationalist in karate (6th Dan) and ju-jutsu! This book is an outstanding work. The Irish community owe him a debt of gratitude.