Our blog serves as regular motivation for you to speak the Irish language. Find posts about culture, videos where you find how to say certain phrases, and member interviews to tell you about their experience of learning the language.


Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes when Learning Irish

Making Mistakes when Learning Irish

When you do something wrong, you get such a bad feeling you can’t seem to shake off for a long period of time. Humans make mistakes, it’s in our DNA and it can drive our enthusiasm of learning something new to the ground. The harsh truth is that some people don’t even start some things because they’re too afraid of making mistakes.

While that may be true, there’s another strong feeling that plays an important role in our lives. It’s called regret and it’s way stronger than what you feel after making a mistake. Not starting to learn something new because you’re afraid of mistakes will certainly lead to regrets.

After a time, you’ll regret that you didn’t start to learn Irish when you had the chance, and that my friends will hurt more than making a mistake along the way.

The main idea here is not to be afraid of mistakes when learning Irish or any other language. It may seem hard at first but as you get a chance to practice, everything will seem to move smoothly and you’ll be so happy that you weren’t afraid.

Deborah Dickinson, a Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member wasn’t afraid of making mistakes and started learning Irish at her own pace with the help of Bitesize lessons. Here’s her story.

Where do you live and what do you love about that place?

I live a few miles inland from Lake Huron. It is rural, green, and peaceful. I am currently surrounded by fields of corn. There is an abundance of wildlife here such as deer, turkey and skunks, etc. Of course, if you like to fish, there is a lake close by. Fall is my favourite time of year here because the trees all turn beautiful colors here… and there is applecider. ♥

The winters are horrible.

What motivated you to speak Irish Gaelic?

Deborah Dickinson Bitesize Irish Gaelic
Deborah Dickinson – Bitesize Irish Gaelic member.

I became interested in the Irish language after getting into an argument with a girl in my bookclub. She declared Irish a dead/lost language.

I had heard people sing in Irish so I disagreed with her and set out to prove her wrong.

Naturally I began my quest on Google…And there you were: I signed up for the free trial and fell in love with the lyrical quality and cadence of the language.

Do you have Irish ancestors? Tell us about more about it.

I am Irish on my father’s side (Rodan Hawkins & Sara Beddy).

Their sons were known for their colorful personalities, melodic voices, and beautiful daughters.

How do you use Bitesize Irish Gaelic?

I like the way I can skip around the lessons. I don’t have to study them in any particular order. I like being able to repeatedly go back over lessons. I like the audio function – I use it a lot in public. I like the size of the lessons. I can look at them when I am waiting or have a small bit of down time. They aren’t overwhelming, you are not trying to learn everything at once.

I like the way the lessons sort of sneak up on you. You will have these little epiphanies. All of a sudden, you’ll remember a phrase or word and be able to apply it.

My goal is to, eventually, be able to translate songs I like into Irish.

What advice would you have for a total beginner of Irish Gaelic?

Be patient. Don’t make it a chore. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.

Fáilte Abhaile.

You too can learn to speak Irish Gaelic using the Bitesize method. If you’re still afraid of making some mistakes along the way, start slow but take the first step of taking a free trial. The Bitesize Irish Gaelic method of learning Irish doesn’t stop here, though!

Avoid the regret of not learning Irish when you had the chance. Sign up for Bitesize Irish Gaelic.

* If you’d like to give Bitesize Irish a try too, sign up for our free Taster membership here.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes when Learning Irish”

  1. Hi Deborah and Ian,
    Those remarks are just cheap jibes, take no notice of them.
    Learn Irish Gaelic if you have an affinity and liking for it, don’t go overboard about it.
    Try to learn it so that you can make use of it in everyday situations instead of using English. That’s what I am trying to do now.
    It is their loss not yours if they cannot understand the basics of their native language.
    Enough said,
    Slán, Pádraig

  2. Hi Deborah, your friend’s comment reminded me of a remark that I heard at Shannon airport last week when an Irish member of staff at the car hire desk heard that I was learning to speak Irish. She asked me why would I want to learn a useless language and I was a bit surprised that people could sometimes be so negative. I wished I’d put my view forward, but I didn’t fancy an argument as she hadn’t finished adding up the bill yet! I think that like most of us, we can be a bit lazy and not learn things at school, or in our own time when there seems no immediate need to. However all Irish people should imagine one day hearing on the news that the last known fluent Irish speaker had died and all that was left were the people who had what little they remembered from school and they should imagine how they would feel. I suspect that most would feel it in their heart that a part of them had been lost. I think that a similar example for us in Britain would be if we one day abolished the Monachy. Most of us don’t pay much attention to them, but we still feel that they are a part of the fabric of our identity and we would be poorer without them. It is well worth the cost to keep all signs bilingual and to teach it in schools even though, to the rest of the world, it may not seem important. Dare I say it,that if you genuinely don’t think you’d be bothered if Irish was lost, do you really feel any affinity with Ireland?

    1. Hi Ian,

      Thank you for sharing your opinion and for keeping the Irish Gaelic alive by learning it.

      Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions about Irish Gaelic and our language expert will be glad to assist you.

      Le meas,

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