I've been studying Irish in the evenings for about a year now and really enjoy it. It's very peculiar in a lot of ways:
Here's the nightly news in Irish:
If anyone wants to get together at a cafe in or near Menlo Park to talk about or in Irish, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
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FollowBefriend35 threads5,700 comments Bellingham, WA
Same thing in Mandarin about no "yes/no".
Many more sounds in Mandarin, too.
I found Japanese to be loads easier than Mandarin, since Japanese is basically a very regular language with the same vowel/consonant patterns of Spanish, and with a great amount of borrowing from English, so there's around a 50% chance that if you don't know the native word you can try the bastardized "katakana" version (eg. 'version' in Japanese also exists as "バージョン", "ba-jyon").
FollowBefriend (1)28 threads288 comments South Pasadena, CA
I studied Gaelic a bit back in the 80s, it is a very odd language!
FollowBefriend (5)199 threads7,340 comments
Hello is "Dia dhuit" which translates as "God be with you", which is the origin of "Goodbye" in English. So in Irish you say goodbye to mean hello.
John and Paul had a conversation about this, which led to the writing of a well known song back in 1967.
THis didn't work for me
Google suggested http://tg4.ie/
which did work.
FollowBefriend (55)5,659 threads6,342 comments maleMenlo Park, CA
You're right. They changed the URL. This now goes directly to the news and soap operas etc in Irish:
More Irish language weirdness:
* There is a separate set of numbers for counting people.
* There is no word for the indefinite article ("a" or "an" in English) but the word spelled "an" in Irish is their definite article ("the" in English)
* There is no word for "foot" exactly. There is just "cos" which means lower leg and foot.
* They don't cut up the color spectrum the same way we do. "Gorm" means blue or just dark. "Glas" means green or grey. But there are also words that just mean "dark" or "grey".
* Lots of American slang is actually from Irish. Once you know how to pronounce their spelling a lot of it becomes obvious.
7th heaven -> 7th being best for anything in Irish
bhuail -> whale on (hit), wallop
bladair -> blather
bod, bodach -> bud, buddy
bog (soft) -> bog (marshy area)
bogadh -> boogie
buachill -> boy
cailin -> gal
cion -> keen
ciuta -> cute (as in a cute saying)
cros -> cross
cuid -> kid, kiddo
deifir -> jiffy
fainne -> phony
fomhar -> fall (season)
go leor -> galore
leongsior -> longshoreman (nothing to do with being "along shore"!)
sibin -> shebang
sior -> sheer
slan -> so long
slua -> slew
smidirin -> smithereen
snas -> snazzy
spraoi -> spree
teas -> jazz
uisce -> whiskey