If you’re a constant reader of our Irish blog, you know we’re always encouraging you to add audio to your Irish learning journey. There are a lot of ways you could do this and we will certainly add more options for you, in the future.
The Bitesize Irish Gaelic program has lots of audio for your learning efforts but you can also use other tools to make your Irish learning journey more enjoyable.
You could always plan a trip to Ireland and focus visiting the Gaeltacht (the area with the most Irish-speaking communities in Ireland) but if that feels like a lot, adding Irish Gaelic audio to your learning efforts can be done in other ways.
If you’re serious about learning Irish, go ahead and read the following blog post where we interviewed – Marilyn Kuchta, a Bitesize community member who used our audio tools but also added other sources for Irish Gaelic audio to her learning journey. She even took a trip to Ireland with her husband so pay attention to her advice if you’re planning to do the same.
Bitesize: Where abouts in the world do you live?
Marilyn: I live in Columbus, Ohio in the US. Columbus is the state capital. It’s a friendly, Midwest city and we really enjoy living here.
Bitesize: What got you wanting to speak Irish Gaelic?
Marilyn: Many years ago, someone got us a subscription to the Irish Tourism magazine “Ireland of the Welcomes”. Although there was not a lot of Gaelic in it, there was enough that I got frustrated because I couldn’t make any sense of it. So when a local church offered a class in Irish, I signed up. I was hooked.
Bitesize: Do you have Irish ancestry? Tell us about it.
Marilyn: I have no Irish ancestry, but my husband discovered when he was working on his Masters Degree Thesis that he is a cousin to the famous band director Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore who was born in Ballygar County Galway. We were just in Ireland this summer and we were able to get to Ballygar to see Patrick’s house.
Bitesize: Did you have a great time in Ireland?
Marilyn: My husband and I had a fabulous time in Ireland. This was our dream vacation. We had been in the south (Waterford, Killarney, Ring of Kerry) some years ago and wanted to see the rest. We spent 3 weeks moving around the country. We didn’t drive but took public transport and hired local drivers and guides. We spent 3 nights in Skerries and went into Dublin, county Meath, and Wicklow, 1 night in Drogheda, took the train north to Coleraine and did the north coast, then to Derry for 2 days, then 4 days in a self-catering cottage in Dunfanaghy to see Country Donegal. We saw a lot of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Inishowen peninsula. On to Westport for 2 days, then to Galway for 5 days. We saw so many ruined castles, abbeys, high crosses, tombs, workhouses, Croagh Patrick, Tara, Newgrange, Giants Causeway, Achill and Aran islands. We really tried to see as much of the country as possible.
I was able to speak a little Gaelic to people. Some were encouraging. Some said I was wasting my time. I did enjoy reading the signs, though. So many of them said something totally different in Gaelic from what was printed in English.
Bitesize: How do you use Bitesize Irish Gaelic?
Marilyn: I skip around. I like to learn a topic. For instance holidays or dining or clothing. I don’t think I have been through all the lessons. I find that I go back just to listen to Eoin pronounce things. I’m doing OK with the grammar and vocabulary but the pronunciation still baffles me most of the time. I’m an auditory learner and the pronunciation guides only help me a little. It would be nice to have someone to actually converse with.
Bitesize: What advice would you have for a total beginner of Irish Gaelic?
Marilyn: With the internet, there are many options such as Raidió na Gaeltachta and TG4. That will help you get the sound and shape of the language in your ear.
I would say that you should listen to as much Irish Gaelic as you can.
Add to that the little pieces of the puzzle that are served up in Bitesize Irish Gaelic lessons and eventually you will start to make sense of it.
The Bitesize method of learning Irish involves a lot of comprehensive materials and lots of audio you can use, so take 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!
Learn at your own pace, be confident, get in touch with your Irish heritage and sign up for Bitesize Irish Gaelic.