فصل 03

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

Celtic Ireland

The Irish are a Celtic people. Thousands of years ago, the Celts came to Ireland from western France and northern Spain. They loved singing, and horses, and stories, and they made beautiful gold and silver jewellery. Many men wore gold rings round their necks and arms.

A Greek writer, Diodorus Siculus, wrote this about the Celts:

The Celts are… tall and strong. They wear colourful shirts and trousers. Before they fight they hit their long swords on their shields, and shout with loud voices…. They are very good fighters. When a Celt kills a man, he cuts off his head and puts it above the door of his house.

Finn Mac Cool was a famous Celtic fighter. There are many stories about Finn and his men, the Fianna. When he was a boy, he cooked a fish on a fire. This fish knew everything about the world. Finn touched the hot fish with his finger, and put his finger in his mouth. Then he knew everything about the world too. ‘I know what is going to happen tomorrow,’ he said.

Another famous Celt was Cuchulainn. Cuchulainn’s father had a brother called Conor, who was king of Ulster, in the north of Ireland. Conor had a big, dangerous dog which killed many men.

Cuchulainn liked to play a Celtic game called hurling. In hurling, the players can carry a small hard ball in their hands and also hit it with a stick. One day, when Cuchulainn was a boy, Conor called everyone into his house to eat. But Cuchulainn and his friends wanted to finish their game of hurling, so they stayed outside. Conor’s dog came out of the house, attacked (he young boys and tried to kill them. But Cuchulainn hit the hurling ball into the dog’s mouth, and then killed it with his stick. A big fighting dog is called a hound, and so after this, Cuchulainn was called ‘The Hound of Ulster.’

Celtic games, like hurling, are very popular in Ireland today. Irish people play the Celtic game called Gaelic football. In Gaelic football the players can use their feet and hands. Celtic stories and music are popular too. There are many Celtic rock bands - one of them is called Finn MacCool. And some people in Ireland speak the Celtic language called Irish.

Irish is very different from English - for example, the Irish for tree is craw, and the word for woman is bean. But Celtic people in Wales, Scotland, western France, and northern Spain have languages very like Irish.

A hundred years ago, Irish was nearly a dead language. Most Irish people spoke English, and only the poor people in the west of Ireland spoke Irish. No one taught Irish in schools. Most Irish people speak English today too, but many children learn Irish at school, and many older people in Dublin and Belfast learn it too. They can listen to the Irish language radio station, Raidio na Gaeltachta, and watch Irish language television on TG4. The Irish language is popular again.

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