Member Interview: Patrick in Canada

Patrick shared this Bitesize members interview with us:

A little bit about myself: My name is Patrick O’Hare and I was born in London Ontario Canada. My parents were immigrants from Ireland, who came to Canada in 1954. My Dad was from Newry, County Down, and my Mom was from Dublin. I am currently retired after working for Canada Post for 36 years and I started taking Gaelic lessons on Bitesize a few weeks ago after seeing a video of Siobhan on Youtube. I really enjoyed the video and how Siobhan explained the pronunciation so much, that I thought I need to look into this further.

I currently live in Ottawa, Ontario, which is the National Capital of Canada.

Don’t be overwhelmed

I think the best advice that I could give someone who is considering learning Irish, is to not be overwhelmed by the thought of learning a whole new language, but rather take small steps and learn a little bit every day and really enjoy the process of learning and listening to the sounds of Irish.

I would also say to take advantage of the various videos and podcasts that Bitesize offers so that you get a very good perspective on the language and tips on how to best learn and not feel overwhelmed by it all.

The Irish language: A recent interest

I actually started an interest in learning Gaelic and Irish culture after having spent holidays in Ireland in the past three years. I still have many cousins in Ireland in both the North and the South and my wife and I spent our holiday time visiting relations and touring around Ireland by car, seeing all the beautiful sites.

Regarding ancestry – as I said above, both my parents were from Ireland and I still have many relatives in Ireland that we stay connected with. My interest in my heritage actually led me to obtain my Irish citizenship about 4 years ago, which is something that I am so very proud to have attained. It definitely led me to seeking a bigger connection to my Irish heritage and to seek out ways to enjoy it.

P.S. Patrick signed up as a Bitesize member. You can do this by taking a free trial, or signing up as a member. You won’t learn alone, as your membership includes Language Assistant support over email.

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3 thoughts on “Member Interview: Patrick in Canada”

  1. Well, I’ve been working on the language for a few years now and found one of my greatest difficulties was I was studying from texts and CDs from different dialects. So I decided to just stick with Conamara and after a while I found there were at least two sub-dialects, Conamara Theas dialect and Cois Fharraige dialect which just complicated things more. I’m concentrating on the text by Mícheál Ósiadhail since it at least has a CD with pronunciation I can go over and over and a method on how to pronounce a word, examples: reamhar –> /raur/ amáireach (Not standard) –> /əʹma:rʹəx/

    1. Mike, it sounds like you’ve found something that works for you, keep at it! I like that you’re doing this rather than making excuses that prevent you from learning in the first place!

      Generally for learners, we suggest not to worry about dialects and just learn whatever the material and speakers are giving you. However, when you get into it, we say that you can always specialise later, just like you’re doing. Maith thú.

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