People who start learning Irish do it because they have a connection to the Irish language, they’re interested in the Irish history or fascinated by Irish culture, including music, poetry and art.
Many of these people encountered the Irish language before and saw it as a strange but beautiful language.
The Irish language can seem strange to people since it’s nothing like the languages they already learned (English or other native languages), but that doesn’t stop them learning, practicing, and being drawn to the Irish language altogether.
Defining the Irish language as strange but beautiful is a great way to explain to your friends why you started learning it. People want to discover new things and learning Irish can satisfy their thirst for knowledge (while also giving them a feeling of being connected to something bigger then themselves – their Irish heritage).
We’re happy to share advice and feedback from our community, and today we’re publishing Mary Ellen’s (Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member) story with you. She finds the Irish language to be strange but beautiful, and she has some great advice for people learning Irish Gaelic.
Bitesize: Where about in the world do you live?
Mary Ellen: I live in the East Bay Area of California on the west coast of the US.
Bitesize: What got you interested in speaking Irish Gaelic?
Mary Ellen: I’ve always been curious about Ireland and my family probably has genetic ties to the country. I remember coming across a YouTube video of a weather report done in Irish and I was just stunned. It was so strange and so beautiful. I had never heard anything quite like it before and I was immediately drawn to it.
Bitesize:Do you have Irish ancestry? Tell us about it, we’d love to hear!
Mary Ellen:I believe we do. My family has never had a proper genetic testing done, but my dad and I have got the red hair.
Bitesize: How do you use Bitesize Irish Gaelic?
Mary Ellen: Bitesize Irish Gaelic has really helped me get started and stick with learning Irish. It helps to have access to the language every day, I find the podcast and the emails very motivating. I don’t get to a lesson each and every day, but I always have some Irish Language content to dig into with this service.
I find the whole experience of using Bitesize Irish Gaelic very encouraging, and it definitely helps to have those pronunciation guides.
Bitesize: What advice can you share with anyone just beginning to learn Irish Gaelic?
Mary Ellen: Listen to Irish Radio! Honestly, I still only understand about 2% of the conversations but it is a great way to just soak in the language.
When you are first able to understand a phrase, it feels like such an achievement!
I have an internet radio app on my phone and I will listen to RTE Radio Na Gaeltachta while I work around the house.
Want to strengthen the connection to your Irish heritage? Make the first step and sign up for a Bitesize Irish Gaelic membership. Don’t forget about practicing the language, immersing yourself in Irish and visualizing yourself as being fluent.
If you want to start slow, that’s also fine – you can always sign up for our free trial!