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Watch Two-Part Program on History of the Irish Language Scéal na Gaeilge

Scéal na Gaeilge - Irish language history
Scéal na Gaeilge Irish language “historical documentary”. Find the direct links below to watch on TG4.

UPDATE: the latest working link we have for the videos is here on Vimeo.

TG4 is the Irish language (Gaelic) television channel. TG4 is an amazing resource for learners of the Irish language, no matter where you’re based. You can stream their online shows and watch at home.

Historical documentary “Scéal na Gaeilge”

In March 2012, TG4 broadcast a two-part series on the history surrounding the Irish language. The program was called Scéal na Gaeilge (which means “Story of Irish”).

It is a beautifully-animated “historical documentary”.

Watch the two episodes (Update: no longer online)

The program is spoken through the Irish language. With English subtitles, this is another chance for you to hear the language of Ireland, while relating it to the meanings in the subtitles.

Click here to watch all parts of Scéal na Gaeilge on Vimeo.

  • Click here to watch Part 1 of 2 of Scéal na Gaeilge
  • Click here to watch Part 2 of 2 of Scéal na Gaeilge

(Thanks to Eilís for figuring out these direct links!)

Reader’s Commentary

Angel watched the documentary when we sent out the link to email subscribers. She was kind enough to share it with us! Angel lives in Cornwall in English.

Phew ! Lots to take in and I sure welcomed the subtitles…most informative video. Seems to me that the Normans caused an awful lot of aggro in Ireland and here in Cornwall ! Of course our Celtic languages were here with us all way before the invasions of not only the Normans but the Romans, Vikings and Angles and Saxons too ! Possibly not all of them to our detriment to be fair.

I read that the Irish language was first written down with the manuscripts from Iona but that has left me to wonder where Ogham Script fits in with the history. There has been some debate as to when Ogham appeared first, some say 1st century BC and others later, continuing up until the 4th century AD. So I always thought this was the first written Irish and would be grateful if someone could correct me regarding this. I do know that Ogham was not used as it is in manuscript form and research as to the standing stones in Ireland do show it was usually as memorial stones and sometimes poetry. The Druids hated it because they felt they were intellectually superior and wanted to inflict their own cultural perspectives on everyone….”how dare these inferior mortals use the written word” ! ! Well I am not an Academic and my views I am sure will be in disagreement with people with far more knowledge about the subject and I welcome that sincerely.

As for the Cornish, the language was spoken up until fairly recently and now there is a revival of it. The invasions didn’t seem to have too much impact in Cornwall, it’s managed to retain its own Celtic cultural identity as indeed has Ireland. Cornwall didn’t change much, although the early church, influenced greatly by the preachers sent over from Ireland, did have a huge impact here as Cornwall was very much Pagan beforehand. The people were very scattered in those days and it wasn’t until later with the numerous visits from the Methodist preacher John Wesley that christianity in the form of Methodism was heard and accepted, as can still be seen with the countless Methodist Chapels that were built then and still in use. Like Ireland, Cornwall also has its Celebration Days: the Helston Flora Festival, the Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss Day (hobby horse), and not forgetting the Raising of the Bones Parade in Bodmin of our Patron Saint Petroc ! Keeps our history alive. The flag being that of Saint Piran, who also has been aclaimed as our Patron Saint ! It is said that there are more Saints venerated in Cornwall than there are in heaven ! ! ! So we each keep our very own historical identities within the two branches of the same Celtic tree along with our own languages too and that is a great thing eh….to know where we come from and belong. Slán go fóill.

— Angel.

What did you think about Scéal na Gaeilge?

I hope you find the time to watch this beautiful documentary. We’re luck to be able to watch it online. What did you think about it? Please share your thoughts, leave a reply below.

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7 thoughts on “Watch Two-Part Program on History of the Irish Language Scéal na Gaeilge”

  1. Thanks for Scéal na Gaeilge, but I haven’t been able to view all of the episodes because of streaming problems with VIMEO. Each episodes keeps stopping every couple of seconds & it’s too much to deal with. Is there any other way of getting these wonderful videos?

  2. Jennifer Artigues

    I watched Scéal na Gaeilge when you first linked it. I wanted to watch it again but can’t see to find it again. Is this link no longer viable ? I am I just out of luck ?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jennifer. That’s a shame. It does indeed look like it’s been taken down. I’ve removed the links above as they were no longer pointing to the videos.

      If you every do find a link to them, do let us know. It doesn’t seem to be available on YouTube.

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