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How can I learn the basics of the Irish language?

How can I learn the basics of the Irish language?

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Posted Fri 12 Jan 2018 4:05 PM
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Aha– you’ll be doing what generations of children in Ireland have done from the tender age of 5 (or from 0, if they’ve grown up in a Gaeltacht area – Irish speaking area – on the island!) Although, they are expected to do a lot more than just the basics!

The Gaelic language in Ireland – Gaeilge, or Irish, as it’s known locally – is a Celtic language and one of “the oldest and most historic written languages in the world” according to Foras na Gaeilge. A certain amount of proficiency in the language will allow you to recognise spellings around the country; namely, place names (official signage in the Republic of Ireland features the Irish language beside the English equivalent) and Irish surnames. 

So where can you learn? Almost anyone you meet while you’re here will be only too happy to fill you in on a cúpla focal (a few words). But do take note – it’s not like English at all and may prove tricky to pick up in a short period. And if you’re visiting the Gaeltacht, then you'll definitely hear the dulcet tones of locals chatting away in their first language: Irish.

You can try being ‘Irish for a day’ at places like Causey Farm in County Meath, but unless you’re sticking around for a while, classes may be hard enough to come by. You could, though, pick up basics wherever you are in the world before you even arrive – the language-learning app Duolingo allows anyone with access to start learning Irish.  

And although it might be slightly advanced for beginners, you can always tune into TG4, the public service broadcaster for Irish-language speakers. This will provide an opportunity to hear what the language sounds like, and it’s always fascinating to hear an ancient and quite unknown language spoken on TV! A similar option to this is to listen to RnaG – the national Irish-language radio station.  

Whichever way you decide to go with it, Irish people always appreciate the effort! So Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat (Good luck!) In the meantime, does anyone else have any other suggestions on how to get to know the basics of the Irish language?  
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Posted Mon 15 Jan 2018 12:40 PM
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The perfect way to learn the basics of the Irish language is to stay in a Bed and Breakfast home in a Gaeltacht region of Ireland. Having said that, there is so much more to Blaiseadh Gaeltachta B&Bs than just the Irish language as they are a chance to fully immerse yourself in Irish traditional culture. You have the opportunity to see how an Irish family lives and to experience their traditions. There is nothing better than sitting back and listening to the beauty and lyricism of the Irish language being spoken in full swing by native speakers.

  Stay in a Glorious Gaeltacht B&B

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Posted Mon 15 Jan 2018 7:10 PM
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#1 Doolin Pier, Co Clare, Ireland
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Dia Duit (hello) and céad mile Fáilte (welcome)!

My friends above have given you terrific choices and ideas above.  On the Aran Islands Irish is the first language spoken, so it may be worth your while visiting.  Make sure you let locals know when visiting that you are attempting to speak 'as gaeilge' and they will be delighted to help you along.  Irish is also spoken in different pockets around the country but you can ask any Irish person you meet .......as we all had to learn it in school...so your servers in bars and restaurants etc will be able to give you a word or two..... you can build your vocabulary that way!  
What a great way to interact with the locals no matter where you are.  You'll definitely have the 'craic' (fun!!).  

The Aran Islands have multiple schools and ways to learn Irish, check these links out for Inis Oirr and Inis Meain ...and I hope you find some useful information there.  

Slán (bye)

Bill 


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Posted Tue 16 Mar 2021 3:10 PM
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Free online Irish Language classes:

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Our classes run every week of the year, so feel free to jump in at any time!
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