I was the little girl whose mother dressed her to the nines in shamrocks and green each St. Patrick’s Day.
My Irish heritage was never in question with a name like Molly Murphy, but it was a reason to celebrate, nonetheless. Growing up I learned to cook Irish foods. I appreciated Irish music. It was one of the first places I aspired to travel to. But one thing has always been missing from my Irish background: the ability to understand or speak any Irish.
Learning other languages has always been tricky for me. Hello, YouTube. I found the following instructions and video from Irish Central, and I think it’s one of the best how-to videos out there. And trust me, I listened to quite a few!
According to Irish Central, the most common way of wishing someone Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Irish is: “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!”
The expression means “Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!” and is pronounced: “Law leh Paw-drig suna ghit.”
“Lá Fhéile Pádraig” means “St. Patrick’s Day.” “Sona” means “happy”. “Dduit” means “to you,” when speaking to one person.
The phrase changes slightly when you are wishing Happy St. Patrick’s Day to a group of people.
Simply change the word “duit” to “daoibh” which also means “to you,” but in the plural form, giving you: “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh.”
Pronounce this Irish greeting as “Law leh Paw-drig suna yee-uv.”
This year while my dad is toasting the family with his usual toast of sláinte, which means “good health,” I’ll be trying my hand at this new phrase.