September 3, 2007

Ceacht Ghaeilge a hAon: Cád a Dúirt Sé?

Here's a lesson for those prospective Irish speakers among you -- all two or three of you, anyway. It's a joke sent to me via the Admiral Emeritus from my aunt in central California, but it gives readers a chance to learn a little Gaeilge for themselves, a particular passion of mine.

An Irishman walking through a field in Ireland sees a man drinking water from a pond with his hand.

The Irishman shouts "Na ól an t-uisce, tá sé lán de chac bo!"

The man yells back "I'm English, speak English, I don't understand you".

The Irishman shouts back "Use both hands, you'll get more in."

So what did the Irishman say as Gaeilge? I'll answer in the comments later, but let's see if any CQ commenters can figure this one out.


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Comments (14)

Posted by RBMN | September 3, 2007 12:25 PM

I think he'll get more in, but he won't keep it very long.

Posted by bad cat robot | September 3, 2007 12:32 PM

Extrapolating from my foggy memories of *Scottish* Gaelic, I believe he is saying "That's not water, that's (something unpleasant and disgusting)"

S'e bochd sin ...

Posted by Lord Whorfin | September 3, 2007 12:36 PM

Is the water poisoned?

Posted by Only One Cannoli | September 3, 2007 12:36 PM

Could it be "Don't drink the water, it's full of cow ...." ;)

google knows all

Posted by Carol Herman | September 3, 2007 12:45 PM

A diplomat has written a book, too; not yet published. About how the art of translation doesn't really give you "word for word."

In one example? Said in English, about "looking backward over a long career, the post in paris was the best." Came out translated into french, "my backside has two parts, and I enjoyed paris, the best."

Well, word for word, that's how it goes.

In another "event" an American diplomat was speaking to koreans. When the translator lost it. To cover up that he was not following along, he just said, "this is the part where the diplomat tells you a joke. So when he stops be sure to laugh and applaud." And, so the audience did as it was told.

There's also a Lincoln joke. Lincoln really loved "off color humor." Anyway, he tells the story of Ethan Alan. Who went to England. And, at his host's house, he excused himself for the out house. Where his host had hung a picture of George Washington. This was supposed to insult Ethan Alan.

Instead, when Alan got back, inside, he said to the host; "ya know, that was a smart idea, hanging George Washington's portrait in your outhouse. Nothing makes an English shit faster than seeing that portrait!" BINGO

Or, maybe, what the french would say: Viva-la-difference. (I learned this one, years ago, when there were two babies, each one looking into their diapers.) Gee, the differences are sure noticed "early."

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 3, 2007 12:54 PM


That's a pretty shitty joke!

Posted by JimK | September 3, 2007 12:54 PM

Something about whiskey, knowing it was an Irishman.

Posted by mcg | September 3, 2007 12:57 PM

It's not much of a challenge with Google at the ready!

Posted by Charlie | September 3, 2007 3:28 PM

"Do not drink from there; it is full of cow shit!"

Posted by daytrader | September 3, 2007 3:28 PM

Babel Fish talks it out.

The internet is dead, long live the interweb.

Posted by J. Gocht | September 3, 2007 4:48 PM

Easy one Ed...!

Don't drink the water, it's full of cowshit.

Olde soldier sends...

Posted by Carol Herman | September 3, 2007 7:27 PM

Excuse me, but how would a cow know to go shit in the lake? First, she goes to the lake. Sticks her tongue in. And, takes a slurp.

And, then she turns around? And, it flies out of her ass.

We all drink water that's been processed clean. Doesn't mean it wasn't once "dirty water, either."

And, you can tell it's an Irishman and an Englishman, because no one's offering to buy the other one, a beer.

Did you know Lincoln loved Burns? He had no trouble with the cadence. The rhythms. And, the dialect. He memorized oodles of poetry. And, he loved (and told) toilet jokes. So, this stuff is in good company.

Posted by Captain Ed | September 3, 2007 8:41 PM

Danged Babelfish! Danged Google!

Good job, everyone. Hope you enjoyed a little laugh on Labor Day. As several of you have posted, the phrase "Na ól an t-uisce, tá sé lán de chac bo!" means "Don't drink the water, it's full of cowshit!"

Posted by Cionaodh | September 3, 2007 10:58 PM

Ceartúchán beag:

hól an t-uisce . . .

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