Your passion for a certain thing can develop into a really healthy hobby. For example, you enjoy reading so much that you give it a go at writing a novel, or you’re in your own element while gardening so you create an awesome blog to share your passion and help people. The good thing about passion is that it’s fueled by love and interest for something.
It’s the same for learning new languages. Some people feel a connection to a new language so they give it their best to learn it. This can be said about our Irish language learners who trust us in their journey to learn the Irish Gaelic language. Don’t believe us? We invite you to read the story of Emily Dryden who loves languages such as German, Latin & Irish, and was kind enough to share with us her thoughts and love for the Irish language.
Where do you live and what do you like about that place?
I live in Landenberg, Pennsylvania. It is close enough for me to commute to the office but it is still very rural. I live up the hill from a sheep farm and I hear the sheep in the morning and the evening (they say baaa). It is very beautiful and peaceful here and that peacefulness is a balm to my soul.
What inspired you to speak Irish Gaelic?
I love languages and have learned a few over the years. It means a lot to me that I’ve read Beowulf in the original. When I was in college, I also wanted to take Greek and Old Norse but sadly found I couldn’t because I’d already taken the maximum allowed language credits. Maybe I wouldn’t have taken so much Latin and German if I’d realized I was maxing out my options? And then 3 years ago I was in Ireland and looking at all the signs in Irish…
For me it might as well have been a giant box of chocolates…what is that language…? I have to have it….And at the same time I was finally realizing that most of my family originally came from Ireland (this is a very long story) and then I needed to know the language with every fiber of my being….
You mentioned on our Facebook page that you have attended Oideas Gael this year. What are you impressions about these classes and what did you learn there?
What type of learners should attend these classes by your opinion?
OMG, Oideas Gael was fantastic. I can’t wait until I can get back. (I was already planning my next visit on the flight home.) At the same time, I realize it might not be for everyone. There is nothing glitzy about it (at least in March). But for me, it was totally awesome. And my teacher (Colette McDevitt) was totally fantastic.
I think the summer sessions might be even better… I don’t know… but there were only (I think) 4 levels at Easter so there was quite a range of ability in each class. And obviously, that is a challenge for the teachers. Realistically, once you aren’t a total beginner no class will be a perfect match. But if you really want to learn or improve your Irish, this is the place to be.
Do you have Irish ancestry? Tell us about it.
Yes, about 2/3 of my ancestors originally came from Ireland and, yes, I really care about that. But they came to America a long time ago from different areas so it’s not like I can say that my family came from x or y. I have family from Tipperary and family where the record only says “Born Ireland” (the names are Malloy and Hughes). And also some of my ancestors were Ulster Scots. I’m trying to find out more about them but it may be a lost cause.
However, I’ve found out that one of my 4th great grandfathers was from Ulster and was with George Washington at Valley Forge – and that’s pretty cool…
How do you use Bitesize Irish Gaelic?
In fits and starts. You probably don’t want to hear it but my daily go-to practice is Duolingo. That’s because Duolingo is really good at drilling the basics and really helps me get them down. However, Duolingo doesn’t help me understand why…..some things just remain an unsolvable mystery, But Bitesize Irish Gaelic remains my go-to source for understanding why. Why is that the word order, etc? Duolingo is good for drilling my stupid brain until I answer the same question the same way every time.
But Bitesize Irish Gaelic has provided me a much deeper understanding of the language and has also helped me feel like I’m a member of a larger community of Irish learners. (the new Facebook group is great!)
What advice would you have for a total beginner of Irish Gaelic?
While some people may be dismissive (it’s an already a dead language) most people will be supportive and appreciate that you love the language and want to learn it. It’s an awesome language and deserves your support (passion?) and effort.
Jump in and go for it.
Don’t forget you too can learn to speak Irish Gaelic using the Bitesize method. If you still have some doubts about learning the Irish language, take a free trial.
Ready to jump in and go for it? Learn to speak Irish! Sign up for Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
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