Words matter, this we know. Having two official languages of the State to some means almost nothing, to others, everything. In difficult times, certain words as Gaeilge come to the fore, as we struggle to find the right word, as Béarla. Here are a few of our most loved and some creative examples:
One of those words the dictionary translates as 'courage', but means so much more to the Irish speaker. It's a word of encouragement, of faith and hope. Shared between friends, it's empathetic and caring. If you're looking for something to give you some misneach, have a listen to Beo ar Éigean, RTÉ's Irish language podcast, available on all podcasting platforms.
Ná caill do mhisneach- Don't lose heart.
Another word which can mean many things, but one you'll hear often translated as a mood, of sorts. Best described as the feeling you have after watching Colm Mac Con Iomaire's home concert for all of us stuck at home.
Thug sé ardú meanman dom- It lifted my spirits.
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A gorgeous word which implies a community spirit, a coming together of people for the greater good. In the current circumstances, a sense of meitheal brings us out of our tendency to be individualistic, and think more of others.
Is iontach an meitheal iad- They're a wonderful community group
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A word which looks and sounds similar to its English translation, solace. It is in essence, a feeling of comfort in times of need.
An áit a mbíonn an dólás, bíonn an sólás ina aice- Every cloud has a silver lining.
A verb meaning to inspire; one can inspire hope and kindness, the perfect example of which is Helen O' Rahilly's efforts to provide help to those who need it.
6725 volunteers are now saturating Ireland. Gobsmacked by the response. Thank you all. SMS now launched for non-online people who need help with food/meds delivery. Ad coming out 2moro here. Please give it a boost when you see it. https://t.co/uWl3zIEp61 #selfisolationhelp pic.twitter.com/96L0HhdQxZ— Helen O'Rahilly 🇮🇪🏳️🌈🇪🇺 (@HelenORahilly) March 18, 2020
Spreag sí mé lena cineáltas- She inspired me with her kindness.