Learning English or Gaelic (Irish) in Ireland

Learning English or Gaelic (Irish) in Ireland

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Posted Thu 30 Nov 2023 7:05 PM
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Whether you're a total beginner or looking to brush up on your language skills, Ireland is the ultimate classroom. With its friendly locals known for their storytelling, you'll find yourself quickly drawn into the linguistic adventure that awaits you here. The island offers a unique language-learning experience, with English and Irish (also known as Gaelic) being the two prominent languages spoken here

Learning English: 

English is the primary language spoken throughout the island of Ireland, making it an excellent choice for English learners. The advantage of learning English in Ireland lies in the immersive environment where you can practice your language skills with friendly locals. The Irish accent is known for its melodic charm and distinct regional variations, which adds an exciting twist to the learning process.

A great way of learning the language is to attend a holiday language-learning course in a local school or academy. You’ll find a host of options through the search function of our website here.

You can also explore this page from the Citizens Information website, where you can find a list of accredited schools of English in Ireland and the British Council site here for accredited schools in Northern Ireland. You’ll also find that some colleges and universities may have English classes on offer during the summer - like the ones offered by Dublin City University for example. 

Avanti Language also offers language courses with a twist: you could, for example, learn English while experiencing a typical Irish farm experience, playing rugby, or focusing on music or even horse riding! Meanwhile, Travelling Languages also offer multi-week full immersion options that blend sightseeing and learning. 

Learning Gaelic (Irish) Language: 

For those seeking an authentic Irish experience, learning Gaelic, the native language of Ireland, is a fantastic choice. Gaelic, also known as Irish, is a Celtic language rich in history and culture. The language has made a strong resurgence in recent years, with dedicated efforts to preserve and promote it. Be prepared to encounter Irish from the moment you arrive, with street and road signs displaying both English and Irish in the Republic of Ireland. Unlock the secrets of this ancient Celtic language, and you'll gain a deeper understanding of Irish culture and heritage.

Ireland's rich history and traditional music are intertwined with the Gaelic language, making it an ideal language to immerse yourself in during your stay. Engaging with locals in Irish-speaking communities (Gaeltachtaí), such as on the Aran Islands will deepen your understanding of the language and make for a unique experience. Your choice of accommodation could also be a good starting point: booking a Gaeltacht B&B in the region may help you improve your basics, or alternatively opting for an experience such as the ‘Irish for a day’ at places like Causey Farm in County Meath. 

Tips to prepare for your language-learning journey: 

To kick-start your language-learning adventure in Ireland, here are some handy tips to get you started:

- Immerse yourself: Start immersing yourself in the language before your trip. Listen to Irish radio stations (such as RTE (Irish Radio and TV) or Raidió na Gaeltachta to hear traditional tunes and songs, as well as podcasts, to familiarise yourself with the sounds and rhythms of the language. This exposure will help you adjust quickly when you arrive.

- Watch Irish TV shows and movies: Get a taste of Irish culture and improve your language skills by watching popular Irish TV shows like "Derry Girls" or films like the Banshees of Inisherin. These portrayals of Irish life will give you valuable insights into the language and its usage.

-  You can sign up for a language course or check out online sites like Bitesize Irish, or Duolingo (which has both English and Irish courses).

Slán go fóill! (That means "goodbye for now" in Irish.)

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Ireland's rich history and traditional music, including the banjo, are closely tied to the Gaelic language, making it an ideal language to immerse yourself in during your stay.

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