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What Is the Best Way to Learn Irish Gaelic?

The Best Way to Learn Irish Gaelic

Most companies tend to sell stuff by focusing on the “our product is the best on the market” idea. From what we’ve seen and experimented on our own when it comes to learning and self-improvement, that’s not necessarily the case.

Of course, you’ll need a top-notch product that your clients can use with ease. That product has to bring them value and help them to learn. For example, when you take a look at the Bitesize Irish Gaelic method, you discover a comprehensive program that covers all the important aspects of learning Irish Gaelic.

But is there a “best way to learn” Irish or any other language?

Some will say you can learn better when in school because your age will allow your brain to gather and store huge amounts of information. Others will choose to use certain web apps or programs that allow you to improve yourself and to learn a specific language. Which of these methods is the best?

If you didn’t find the pattern in the above statement, we’ll tell you a little secret. It all comes down to you, what’s your status quo when you start to learn Irish Gaelic and your predisposition to learn new things.

The best way to learn Irish Gaelic is to do it at your own pace, with the help of Bitesize lessons. That’s how Deborah Mayo – Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member did it and it’s probably the easiest way to start learning Irish. We interviewed her and got some great insight.

Read her story and her advice on what’s the best way to learn Irish.

Bitesize: Where about in the world do you live?

Deborah: I currently live in Columbus, Ohio (USA). I’m originally from the state of Maryland about 5 miles north of Washington D. C., but my husband’s job brought us out here to Ohio. Columbus is a much smaller city than Washington D.C. but it does have quite a lot culture, arts, museums and, of course, football which is a very big topic here in Columbus. I do miss all the things a large town has to offer but I do enjoy the small diverse towns which have now been incorporated into the city here, they have a flavor all their own and reflect many different cultures that have moved here over the years.

People are friendly here and if you get tired of the flatland, go east and Ohio turns into beautiful rolling hills.

Bitesize: What got you to wanting to speak Irish Gaelic?

Deborah: I suppose I always knew about Irish Gaelic. My Grandparents were from County Mayo and were fluent Irish speakers. My granddad died before I was born but my Grandma lived well into her 90s. My dad, aunts and uncles did not learn Irish as it can be with 2nd generation, the interest wasn’t there to learn the language and my grandparents only spoke it to each other or people that knew Irish.

I would hear my grandma speaking Irish with a neighbor down the street and she would say a few words and phrases to us grandkids but we didn’t really understand so it sparked an interest in me to learn their native language.

Bitesize: Do you have Irish Ancestry?

Deborah: As mentioned above my grandparents were from small towns in Ireland called Castletown and Foghill, north of Ballina in County Mayo. It’s a beautiful rural area next to Lacken Strand not too far from County Sligo. Unfortunately the Irish language has died away as a community language even though some people do still speak it as I’ve heard it spoken in one of the local restaurants.

Debbie Mayo - Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member
Debbie Mayo – Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member

I really enjoy visiting where my grandparents grew up and hearing stories about my family. My grandma’s cottage has been torn down but granddad’s cottage is still there. My cousins use it now as part of the barn because it has definitely seen better days.

The towns are only about 1 mile away from one another across the strand but my grandparents said they met in Scranton, Pa. at a church dance. My cousins are dispersed all over, some live in New York and North Carolina, while most still live in County Mayo and Dublin.

We always had some Irish culture growing up in our house. I remember listening to Irish music, my dad enjoyed the Chieftains, Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers. At family reunions my Grandma would do some jigs until she got too old. She also made wonderful soda bread and “boiled fruit loaf” which sounds awful but was actually pretty good.

I’m planning a visit again this November and hope to spend some time in the Gaeltacht, perhaps the Dingle Peninsula, meet a few people I can practice some Irish.

Bitesize: How do you use Bitesize Irish Gaelic?

Deborah: I use Bitesize Irish as one of many resources to learn. I started out taking a beginners class at a local church and we used the book Progress in Irish. It was there I found out about Bitesize Irish and I signed up at that time. I also use Gaeilge Gan Stro books and Now you’re Talking which also has videos on YouTube which follow the chapters of the book.

I like the organization of Bitesize Irish and the audio which accompanies the chapters.

Some of the conversational chapters pronounce words/phrases slowly and then at normal conversational speed to help get the rhythm of the language.

Languages reflect cultures and Eoin does a great job explaining certain nuances of the language and how it reflects the Irish culture. The chapters for irregular verbs are the most succinct resource I’ve seen so far. I use Bitesize Irish frequently as I combine information collected from all the resources to help learn whichever topic I’m focusing on at the time.

Bitesize: What advice would you have for a total beginner of Irish Gaelic?

Deborah: For a beginner I would say start out learning slow with the very basics. Bitesize Irish is a great way to start as the lessons are progressive and easy to follow. Take it slow and don’t get too frustrated or overwhelmed as it will take a while to become comfortable with the language.

Start a database and organize it anyway it makes sense to you. Once you start learning words and phrases it gets hard to commit to memory right away so it’s nice to have a reference point where information can be found easily. It does take some time to do this, however it will save time in the future.

Research learning resources, tools and programs for the Irish Language and choose the ones that work well for you. Oideas Gael in County Donegal has a great online store with books, pamphlets, audio and video to use as tools to help and they ship to your home.

Research the internet in your area for Irish learning classes or Irish culture centers where people may be interested in learning Irish. It’s less overwhelming and more fun when you’re learning with other people. Also, look for Irish Immersion weekends in your area or maybe somewhere close, or if you are planning a trip to Ireland, take one of the courses at Oideas Gael in County Donegal. They teach students from very beginners to advanced speakers.

Whatever you do try to have fun learning. It’s a wonderful language so take it at your own pace and enjoy the journey.

The Bitesize method of learning Irish Gaelic could be the best way to it… for you. Follow Debbie’s advice and start slow but take the first step of taking a free trial. The Bitesize Irish Gaelic method of learning Irish doesn’t stop here, though!

Be a part of your Irish learning community and practice with us. Sign up for Bitesize Irish Gaelic.

* If you’d like to give Bitesize Irish a try too, start your own Irish language journey.

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4 thoughts on “What Is the Best Way to Learn Irish Gaelic?”

  1. Is Bitesize Irish based on one of the Irish regional dialects/accents (such as Ulster) and, if so, which one is it. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Frank,

      Our courses ae based on the standard ‘caighdeán‘ of Irish, but we refer to dialectical differences throughout our cúrsaí. Our Bitesize team have a combination of Munster and Connemara Irish.

      Le beannacht,


  2. You’re absolutely right! Every should choose one’s way and be sticky to it unless it doesn’t work anymore. We are not the same when it comes to styles of learning. Actually, there are four types: visual learners, auditory learners, read and write learners, and kinesthetics learners. Each of them has its own winning methods with the help of which you can get excellent results.

    Personally, I think Irish Gaelic is a pretty beautiful language! Particularly I have always been fascinated by Irish myths and legends. It’s motivation to master the language for sure. Thanks for sharing, Deborah and Bitesize Irish!