Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a Not So Dead Language
'Motherfoclóir' [focloir means 'dictionary' and is pronounced like a rather more vulgar English epithet] is a book based on the popular Twitter account @theirishfor.
As the title suggests, 'Motherfoclóir' takes an irreverent, pun-friendly and contemporary approach to the Irish language. The translations are expanded on and arranged into broad categories that allow...more
When I was a kid I remember the green dictionary that was written in the older script(cló Gaelach) -which, by the way, I can read, that had regular blank pages for you to add in words and meanings and it was covered by notes ...more
This book, and the Motherfoclóir podcast, are singlehandedly responsible for reigniting my interest in gaeilge. Aside from the handful of words that I use in everyday life (like bainne for milk), my Irish skills have rapidly declined in the decade since I sat my Leaving Cert Irish paper. This book is a brilliant introduction (or reintroduction) into the language for anyone.
Motherfoclóir is not a dictionary or a language guide. You may pick up a few words here and ...more
By dealing with words ranging from commonly used to archaic, it would appeal to audiences with only a "cúpla focal" of Irish through to native speakers.
I personally found the authors obvious ...more
There is about 25% of a 5-star book here: the writing really shines when the author is discussing their personal relationship with Irish, their memories and experiences and the way Irish life and Irish language intersect.
Sadly, the rest of the book has less substance than that. It is mostly a long series of vaguely related words: that sound similar, or look similar but mean different, or a funny-sounding idiom. Sometimes there are interesting observations around these ...more
Quick, funny, moving and a unique insight into Ireland and the Irish of the current moment (there's even a hipsters section!)
*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
This is a very pleasurable read in general. The author displays a lightness of touch and humour ...more
It's a gentle meander through Irish both ancient and modern with detours for Brehon Law (hilarious) and elegiac references to ...more
Unfortunately, he fails to take a similar position with regard to various subjects throughout the book. Interesting and amusing etymological insights are dispersed between a very particular narrative interpretation of modern Irish history - banal, but ...more
Not really a phrase book or a grammar book - it's just fun words and phrases. Say you want to know how many words in Irish there are for seaweed, this is the book for you.
Part memoir, part guide to the oddities of Irish, Motherfocloir is Darach Ó Séaghdha’s attempt to free the Irish language from the expectations of those who wanted it to be something other than what it was and is: a means of communication. Of a particular type of Irish teacher Ó Seaghdha says “The Irish language was never and end in itself for men like him; it was a talisman to protect us from modernity, technology, liberalism and change.”
Motherfocloir is about confidence. ...more
It can be repetitive in place or read like a grocery list, probably due to it being derived from a blog. What makes for an interesting blog doesn't usually make for an interesting book. Those are two different types of reading. Also, about half the book ...more
Má tá Gaeilge agat, is gá duit an leabhar seo a léamh, inniú, láithreach. (Inné, más féidir leat.)
If you are a person with or without Irish, who has, or has not, suffered through the education system’s version of what you’re meant to know this is a wonderful book no matter what background you approach it from.
If you are a poetic soul, who has always needed an Irish equivalent to ...more
Reading this taught me a few things about the names of my favorite Irish pubs. I must applaud anyone with wit enough to write things like, "Every story has a ...more