There are several reasons why someone would start learning Irish Gaelic and we’ve talked about many of them on our Irish Gaelic blog. Some people start learning because they have Irish heritage and want to learn more about themselves and their relatives, others fall in love with Irish literature or music and take the next step of learning Irish Gaelic, using the Bitesize method.
Whatever the reason may be, there is always something in common for each and everyone who starts learning Irish Gaelic. Can you guess what it is?
Every Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member who studied with us and is now speaking Irish Gaelic had his or hers reasons to do so but learning Irish was an important step in their lives. We can provide you with amazing tools (what we’re already doing), you can immerse yourself in the Irish language but if it’s not something important to you, your success may vary.
Learning Irish Gaelic was important for Rachel – Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member and she successfully learned the language. Here is her story.
Bitesize: Where abouts in the world do you live?
Rachel: I live in northern New Hampshire, USA, a rural and mountainous part of New England.
Bitesize: What got you wanting to speak Irish Gaelic?
Rachel: It began with a love of traditional Irish/Scottish music, and then a bicycle trip to Ireland in May,1991. My husband and I went from Limerick north and west along the coast into County Donegal then back inland to Limerick; averaging 50 miles a day for 2 weeks.
We were truly blessed with only one day of soft rain the entire time. I did have quite a sunburn, though…I heard a little, but not a lot of Irish being spoken; it was intriguing to me.
In general I think having a bit of a country’s language helps a person gain a fuller appreciation of that country’s culture. I thought I’d like to return to Ireland someday, and felt that even if I couldn’t converse well, I’d like to try and at least understand some Irish.
Also the music is still with me and I’d like to be able to understand Irish song lyrics better.
Bitesize: Do you have Irish ancestry? Tell us about it.
Rachel: I am a mix of several nationalities, but my great-great grandfather John O’Meara came to Canada from Toomevara in Co. Tipperary during the Great Famine.
Bitesize: How do you use Bitesize Irish Gaelic?
Rachel: I’m on my second go-round now; I spent about a year with Bitesize, finished the course and then took some time off. Mostly I’m reviewing vocabulary and trying to get a better handle on making sensible sentences and understanding what I hear. I’m looking over each lesson, just reviewing some once and coming back to others again and again.
I admit I don’t do a lesson every day, but I do try to get some Irish in somehow daily; I listen to Raidio na Gaeltachta and look at TG4 quite a lot. Also I keep a dictionary to hand and try reading things now and then on various Irish language sites.
One thing I could do better would be to go to an immersion course, so I could practice speaking… I’m thinking of taking an Oideas Gael course in Ireland next year, perhaps.
Bitesize: What advice would you have for a total beginner of Irish Gaelic?
Rachel: Be patient with yourself. And have fun with it. Like any kind of practice, working on it every day, somehow, is key. I’m at the point where I can listen to Irish and pick out some words, and maybe a simple phrase or sentence on occasion.
You simply have to decide it’s important enough to you to stick with it; don’t expect instant results.
Take Rachel’s advice and make the first step of learning Irish Gaelic – singing up for a free trial. The Bitesize Irish Gaelic method of learning Irish doesn’t stop here, though!
Enjoy the experience, learn at your own pace, be confident, get in touch with your Irish heritage, and sign up for Bitesize Irish Gaelic.