Note: Get the job done. Buail an iarann te. Do not get distracted and let the effort linger. Do not procrastinate. As the Scots say, “An rud anns a thèid dàil , thèid dearmad.” (Delay brings neglect.) As the romans said, “Periculum in mora.” (Delays breed dangers.) So don’t delay. Start to learn Irish today. If you did, then you would know that this proverb literally means, “The thing that comes in long (duration), it comes in(to) coldness.”
Note also: This week’s proverb has two eclipsed words, “bhfad” and “bhfuaire.” Both are caused by the preposition “i,” which, of course, means “in.” This is the only preposition in Irish that always requires eclipsis of the following noun. There are some other prepositions, especially “ar,” that only require eclipsis in common set phrases, e.g., ar dtús, ar ndóigh, go bhfios dom, …, ar gcúl.
Éist le fuaim na habhann agus gheobhfaidh tú breac.
Listen to the sound of the river and you will get a trout.
Note: Catching fish is not the whole of fishing. (An English Proverb) Any pursuit, like fishing, requires preparation, education, and experience to be proficient. For example, if the object of the pursuit is to catch a fish, one has to learn everthing one can about the fish. One has to learn where it lives, how it behaves, how it reacts to changes in its environment, what it eats, what it prefers, … Only after one has done all this work, can one listen to river and know how to catch it.
Ireland has some of the the best trout fishing in the world. The mild rains, the moderate climate, and thousands of brooks and streams make an ideal environment for trout. Brown trout is the native fish found in most parts of Ireland. Fishing season starts at the end of February and runs to the end of September. Fly fishing is all that is allowed. Live bait is prohibited. Rod and line is the only legal way to fish in Ireland’s freshwater. Anglers are limited to a maximum of two lines. Go n-éirí iascaireacht an bhric leat!
An té nach gcuireann san earrach ní bhaineann sé san fhómhar.
Whoever does not plant in the spring does not reap in the fall.
Note: This proverb probably came to the Irish language from St. Paul. St. Paul visited the Galatian community about 48 A.D. Galatia was an ancient Celtic community. They lived in the north of what is presently Turkey, in and around the city of Ankara. Galatians would have spoken a Continental Celtic language similar to Insular Celtic. Irish evolved from Insular Celtic. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians, “Mar a chuireann duine an síol is ea a bhainfidh sé an fómhar.” (A man will reap only what he sows.) Litir Naomh Pól chuig na Galataigh 6:7
You will hear a dialectical variation in grammar from the native speaker of this seanfhocal. As is our custom, we have written the seanfhocal in the official standard (caighdeán oifigiúil) form. However, the offical form is “san fhómhair” while the speaker says “sa bhfómhair.” Most dialects lenite the word after ‘sa,’ unless it it begins with a d, t, or s. (Dentals resist lenition ach sin scéal eile.)
However some speakers will eclipse the word after ‘sa’ in certain set phrases. Perhaps, this is a carry over for the preposition ‘i.”Sa’ is the combination of the preposition ‘i’ and the definite article ‘an.’ In Old Irish, the compound word was ‘insan.’ In Modern Irish, only the ‘sa’ survived. The preposition ‘i’ causes the noun that follows it to be eclipsed, e.g., ‘i dtús.’