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Smaller steps on your irish language journey

Looking back a year ago, did you have expectations about learning to speak Irish? And how did it work out?

Did you manage to have fun, and enjoy the journey?

Here’s a suggestion to consider taking smaller steps along your journey, and having fun while you’re at it.

What if you dropped big expectations, and felt it to be fun?

So here’s a question for you, please leave your comment below: What kind of smaller step will you take on your Irish language journey this year? And what might that look like?

Gaeilge Gach Lá!

13 thoughts on “Smaller steps on your irish language journey”

  1. I’ve finally finished Tús Maith! Hooray! I am now working through a book (Gaeilge gan stró) and trying to write a few lines in my daily diary as Gaeilge (mostly about the weather, right now.) I will be in Ireland in February and March and hope to find some Pop-up Gaeltacht in Derry. Pushing forward, step by step.

  2. From our home in Yorkshire there are still lots of opportunities to experience and enjoy people speaking as Gaeilge. Broadcasters including TG4, RTÉ and BBC Northern Ireland have hundreds of programmes, all of which can be streamed here free of charge. Even on days when there has been little or no time to study, we have learned something new just by watching TV in Irish instead of English. We will try to make more time for this in the coming year.

  3. I had much more time last year to enjoy Irish including private tutoring with Dr Ian Malcolm, online with Turas and Bitesize, using Duolingo (daily 2 year streak), also listening to podcasts like Barrscéalta and Adhmhaidin and attending a small weekly reading group where we read/translate sentences from a book turn. I had my first brionglóid as gaeilge chomh maith though not much since. What was novel is now just normal — all these activities so I don’t think about it, My “smaller” step this year – was do slow down pace, take time off during holidays and don’t set myself any expectations. Happy New Years Eoin!

    1. Nearly a year in and the biggest issue is having someone to practice with . I am going to dig in and go again

  4. I certainly feel like I had big expectations at the beginning of 2022. I began my Irish journey in earnest in the spring of 2020, and I think I’ve, thus far, held an unwritten expectation of myself that “I should be further along than this.” That has been perpetually disappointing because I’ve kept moving the goalposts on myself. Instead, I’m now trying to be VERY intentional to note anytime I become aware of any progress that I’ve made. This often comes etymologically when I recognize a word or part of a word in Irish that I’ve never seen before. Heck, just the other week on NYE, I was in my liquor cabinet to grab something to toast with and noticed a bottle of Scotch that’s been up there for a long time with the Scots Gaelic word “Tùsail” on it. From the Bitesize Irish Tús Maith course, I thought “hmmm … I bet that has something to do with ‘start’ or ‘beginning'” and sure enough it means “originary” or “point of origin”. It’s hard to remember that just two or three years ago literally EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. of Irish looked like jibberish to me. My goal in life is to go to bed knowing more than I did when I woke up. For 2023, I’m going to add “… in Irish” to that. If I feel like I know more in or about Irish every night than I did that morning, I’ll feel successful and made progress! I have a colleague from Corca Dhuibhne who is a native speaker and he has always offered to speak with me whenever I like, and I’m finally brave enough to take him up on it this year (even though I could have and should have from the start). I also started a Twitter account in Irish last year, and I’m going to commit to tweeting more and worrying about mistakes less. Alas … tá sceitimíní orm!

    1. Maith thú, a Sheáin. You’ve made real progress to be able to recognise words, and you’ve kept it up for a substantial period of time already. You’ve shown persistence. Gaeilge Gach Lá!

    2. I’m delighted with my progress in Irish since last year. I have been learning Spanish for many years and whenever I think of a sentence in Spanish I try to translate it into Irish. This is going quite well so far!
      Also, I am enjoying learning to play the feadóg stáin and immersing myself in my Irish heritage. Song lyrics are very useful for learning Irish too.
      Tabhair aire,

      1. Hi Linda. Lovely to hear that you’re delighted with your progress. It sounds like you’re challenging yourself with translating from Spanish to Irish. Since it sounds like you’re muiscal, here are some videos you might find interesting:

        An bhfaca tú mo Shéamaisín

        Amhrán na bhFiann

        Óró sé do bheatha bhaile


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