Duirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite

25 May 2004

Script: ,

That is the enscription on Spike Milligan’s headstone. For those of you without Irish it is a translation of what he wanted: “I told you I was ill.”

Duirt mé (I told) pronounced durtch may (like the month)
leat (you) pronounced lat
go raibh mé (that I was) pronounced not like the english go, but the o is sorta like “uh”; raibh can have a variety of pronunciations, I’d usually say row (as in to fight, not to do anything in a boat), but you could say rev, or rav, and mé is may (again)
breoite (ill) pronounced bro-tcha

Here endeth the very bad Irish lesson, from which you are probably more confuddled than you were before?

On a secondary issue, why is the Irish language constantly described as Gaelic? It’s Irish, or Gaeilge. The latter only if you are speaking as Gaeilge. I mean I don’t say that some German person was speaking in Deutsch unless I’m attempting to say it in German.

This is a pet peeve of mine, feel free to ignore :)

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2 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    Thank you, you cleared up a lot for me in this post. I always wondered why they spoke of Gaeilge, I don't know any Gaeils… But your explanation makes sense.
    The parsing and pronunciation are also very helpful.