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Looking Back: An Irish Blog Year in Review

Wow! It’s hard to believe we’re well into 2013, and even harder to believe I’ve been writing for Bitesize for almost a year now!

Seems like it might be a good time to revisit what we’ve talked about this past year. We’ve covered a lot of ground!

If you’re new to this blog, this post will give you a chance to catch up with what we’ve been talking about for the past year. And if you’ve been with us for a while, this may give you a chance to revisit posts you’ve  found interesting or useful.

Here are highlights from the past year’s blog, grouped (loosely) by category:

Language learning tips

Language Journeys and How to Keep Going: Describes learning a language in terms of a road trip, with tips on how to enjoy the highs and overcome the lows along the way.

Learning Irish Through Reading – Part 1: Where to find reading material in Irish (and why you should bother).

Learning Irish Through Reading – Part 2: How to begin to use the Irish reading materials you’ve managed to accumulate.

Learning Irish Through Reading – Part 3: Using reading as a more advanced learner.

Fluency: What Is It, and When Do I Get It? How long will it take you to become fluent in Irish?


Irish-Language Radio: A Free Resource for Language Learners: Offers information on Irish-language radio stations available on-line.

Holiday in the Glen: A Fortnight at Oideas Gael: What it’s like to spend two weeks at one of Ireland’s foremost residential learning courses.

Finding Words in an Irish-English Dictionary: It’s not as straightforward as you might think! Here’s how to use a dictionary to your best advantage.

Hear Irish Gaelic Spoken: Ways for the language learner to hear the language spoken naturally, even without traveling to Ireland.

Irish Translators: The pitfalls of using an automated (“machine”) translator for Irish Gaelic.

Singing in Irish Gaelic: Resources for learners who want to learn to sing in the Irish language.

Irish Gaelic: There’s an App for That: Some Irish applications for iPhone and Android.

Points of grammar

The Genitive in Irish Grammar: This post describes some of the uses for the genitive (“possessive”) case.

The Vocative Case in Irish: Discusses the concept of “case” in general and the “vocative” (direct address) case in particular.

Prepositions in Irish: Prepositions have a special place in the Irish language. This post talks a little about how they’re used.

I, Me, He, Him, Etc.: A short course on Irish pronouns.

Irish Gaelic Grammar: The basics of sentence structure in Irish.

The Definite Article in Irish – Part 1: So many ways to say “the” in Irish!

The Definite Article in Irish – Part 2: Ways in which Irish uses the definite article that aren’t encountered in English.

The Problem of Being (In Irish Gaelic!): Looks at the differences between the two forms of the verb “to be” in Irish, and helps the learner know when to use which.

Tea and Grammar – Part 1: The first of a series of blogs on basic grammatical terms, focusing on nouns, pronouns, and verbs.

Tea and Grammar – Part 2: The second of a series of blogs on basic grammatical terms, focusing on “the two adds”: adjectives and adverbs.

Basic information about the Irish language

How to Speak Celtic: This post talks about the Celtic family of languages, to which Irish Gaelic belongs.

The Name of the Irish Language: Irish? Gaelic? Irish Gaelic? What do we call this native language of Ireland?

Irish Pronunciation: Just how do you pronounce those funny letter combinations, anyway?

The Irish Language: Let’s Get Literal…or Not: Discusses the pitfalls of literal translations between languages.

What’s the Difference Between Irish and Scottish Gaelic? Dialects or different languages?

Irish Gaelic: Just How Difficult is it to Learn? Is Irish a really difficult language? Why does it have that reputation?

Gimme That Old Irish Alphabet: How is Irish written? Does it have its own alphabet? Is one way of writing it better than another?

The Gaelic You Already Know (Yes, You Do!): English words that are derived from Irish or from Scottish Gaelic.

Irish: The Language That Refused to Die: How the Irish language has influenced Hiberno-English: The English dialect spoken in Ireland.

Useful stuff

Irish Gaelic Greetings: How to say “hello,” “how are you?” and “Wassup?” in Irish.

Irish Phrases for Conversation: Talks about conversational connectors, such as “by the way,” “in my opinon,” and “to tell the truth.”

Irish Endearments: Phrases to use on your sweetie pie…or your good buddy!

Counting in Irish: Irish has three different counting systems. Here’s how to know which to use!

The Days of the Week in Irish: The days of the week change slightly in Irish, depending on how you’re using them. Here’s how to keep them sorted (and a bit on their meanings).

Telling Time for Kids in Irish (Adults too!):  How to tell the time in Irish (and how to tell if children are ready for this lesson).

Road Signs in Irish: How to decipher those road signs in the Gaeltacht.

Giving Directions in Ireland: Right? Left? Straight? How to give (and understand) directions in Irish.

Saying “Please,” Thank you,” and “You’re Welcome in Irish Gaelic”: How to be polite in Irish.

How to Greet in Irish Gaelic: More on basic greetings.

Gaelic for Visitors: The Irish you may encounter on your visit.

The Sounds of Irish Gaelic – Part 1: How to pronounce some of the unique consonant sounds of the Irish language.

The Sounds of Irish Gaelic – Part 2: A second installment on pronunciation, focusing on vowels.

Common Irish Words and Phrases: Some of the more commonly encountered words and phrases in the language.

The Mysteries of Irish Spelling: Irish has a reputation for being difficult to spell, but it’s actually very regular. This post decodes the basic spelling rules.

So You Want an Irish Gaelic Tattoo? Tattoos in Irish are extremely popular! This post offers information to help you avoid the common pitfalls of tattoo translation.


Irish Gaelic Love Songs: Why are Irish love songs typically so sorrowful?

Irish Gaelic Songs: This post talks about the sean-nós (old style) tradition of Irish singing.

Singing in Irish Gaelic: Resources for learners who want to learn to sing in the Irish language.

Learn Some Irish Christmas Carols! Two Irish Christmas carols based on familiar tunes.

Learn Some More Irish Christmas Carols! Two very traditional Irish Christmas carols based on less familiar tunes.

Cultural and seasonal posts

Irish Gaelic Surnames: Discusses how Irish surnames are formed and what they mean.

Irish Cities in Gaelic: What’s with all this “Bally” this and “Kill” that?

Irish Language Immersion Weekend: The 14th Annual Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeltachta in San Francisco.

Why do the Irish Speak English? What caused the decline of the Irish language in Ireland?

Irish Sayings: REAL Irish sayings (not the stuff you get from Hallmark!)

Oíche Shamhna (Halloween) — Part 1: The Irish traditions that gave us the modern holiday of Halloween.

Irish Language Phrases for Oíche Shamhna (Halloween): Impress your friends and trick-or-treaters by talking to them in Irish!

Happy Thanksgiving in Irish Gaelic: This post talks about harvest traditions in Ireland and offers some Irish phrases appropriate to the holiday of Thanksgiving.

Learn Some Irish Christmas Carols! Two Irish Christmas carols based on familiar tunes.

Learn Some More Irish Christmas Carols! Two very traditional Irish Christmas carols based on less familiar tunes.

An Irish Merry Christmas: Greetings for the season (even if you don’t celebrate Christmas!)

A Happy Irish New Year! Suggestions for keeping those language learning resolutions in 2013, along with some greetings appropriate to the celebration of the new year.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! How to talk about the weather (particularly wintery weather!)

St. Brighid’s Day: Comes the Irish Springtime: History and traditions surrounding the Feast of St. Brighid (Imbolc) on February 1: The first day of Spring in Ireland.

Other stuff

A Linguistic Love Affair. What made you decide to study Irish? And why Irish, for Heaven’s sake? This post tells my story, and invites you to tell your own.

The Only Irish-Speaking Poodle on the Block. Ever thought of training your dog through Irish? Here’s how (and why) we did it!

Not a bad body of work for a year!

It’s been a lot of fun writing these posts on a subject I’m passionate about! I’m looking forward to writing more informative posts on Ireland and the Irish language in 2013.

Do you find these posts helpful?

Have these posts been helpful to you? What would you like us to write about in the year to come? Are there any topics you’d especially like us to address? Let us know your thoughts below!

5 thoughts on “Looking Back: An Irish Blog Year in Review”

  1. Gearóid Ó hAnnaidh

    Audrey, a chara,

    Go raibh mile maith agat as ucht na hoibre
    an liosta seo freisin, atá thar a bheith úsáideach.

    Le gach dea-mhéin,

    1. It’s definitely been a busy year! I figured having some kind of index by category would be useful for new readers, as well as for regulars who may want to find a post they read earlier in the year but didn’t bookmark.

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