Phrases for an Irish Gaelic Christmas

Snow in Ireland

 Nollaig shona dhuit! (Happy Christmas!/Merry Christmas!)
Pronounce it something like /Null-eg hunna ghwitch/

There you go, I have just wished you a happy Christmas.

Do you prefer to hear that being said? Take our Christmas Irish (Gaelic) lesson. The trial is free to sign up immediately.

The “dhuit” literally translates to “to you”. It’s like we’re wishing a happy Christmas ‘towards you’.

That’s for speaking with one person, but to address two or more people in the Irish language:

Nollaig shona dhaoibh! (Happy Christmas to you [to two or more people])
/Null-eg hunna gheev/

Nollaig

This little word “Nollaig” means Christmas.

If you have signed up for our online lessons, this word may already look familiar.

In Lesson: Seasons and months you’ll learn that Nollaig is also used to mean December.

You’ll often see “Month of December” written in Irish:

Mí na Nollag (Month of December)
/mee nah Null-og/

(If you noticed the missing “i” from “Nollaig”, that’s not a mistake. It’s due to grammar.)

Happy New Year

Here’s how to say Happy New Year:

Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit (Happy New Year)
/ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah ghwitch/

That’s when you’re speaking with one person. To wish two or more people a happy new year in Irish Gaelic, you can say:

Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit (Happy New Year)
/Ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah gheev/

2014

Thanks to Liam (Bill) for suggesting this translation. To say “2014” in the Irish language, say:

dhá mhíle is a ceathair déag (2014)
/ghaw veel-eh iss ah kya-her jay-og/

Literally, we are saying “two thousand and fourteen”.

Bitesize Irish Gaelic members can access these lessons for learning how to count in Gaelic:

Bitesize Irish Gaelic members have access to this full lesson, with Gaelic pronunciation recordings.

Wrap up (or unwrap?)

Nollaig shona dhuit, agus athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit
/Null-eg hunna ghwitch, ogg-us ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah ghwitch/
= Happy Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

And may we take this chance to wish you and your family Nollaig shona, from Eoin and Sasa at Bitesize Irish Gaelic!

Happy Christmas

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Comments

  1. Alma Rosa Luján González says:

    I’m quite interested in learning this difficult and beautiful language!! I´m Mexican, my name is Alma Rosa (alma means “soul” and Rosa means “pink”)… I´m an English teacher and I live in a small town called Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos (50 mins from Mexico City). I was born in Mexico City, I love big cities!! but now I have to be here…
    I love culture so I think we’ve to expand our knowledge, don’t you think? Thank you for this opportunity! Best regards, Alma

  2. Alma Rosa Luján González says:

    There’s a teacher here, an Irish teacher, called Tom Doyle, he is a very kind person… and now I’ll be able to say NOLLAIG SHONA DHUIT, AGUS ATHBHLIAIN FAOI MHAISE DHUIT! Well, I’ll try… Lots of letters which are not pronounced…. The thing is that I’m learning something new!!. Regards, Alma

  3. Joan says:

    Your Christmas blog came just in time for our annual Christmas party at the Irish Cultural Center of New England! Very cool.
    Go raibh mile maith agat!
    Siobhan O Leannachain

  4. Jody says:

    Thanks so much, Eoin! Sharing the link over at IWK and hoping lots of people find their way to you!