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Watch Video Chat About Irish vs Gaelic

Conamara beach in Winter
A Conamara beach in Winter

In a follow-up to the difference between Irish vs Gaelic video, Eoin and Caron chat more about what people call Gaeilge, or the Irish language. You’ll catch some useful Irish phrases for conversation during it, too.

Caron Osberg is an Irish study-group leader in Des Moines, Iowa, please visit her site. She shares with us an experiment she did recently to see what people would call the language.

Episode notes with Irish sayings and Phrases:

Useful Irish Sayings and Phrases from the video

  • An bhfuil Gaeilge agat? = Do you have Irish? (Meaning: Do you speak Irish?)
  • Tá Gaeilge agam = I have Irish (I speak Irish)
  • Go hiontach = Excellent, great
  • An-mhaith = Very good
  • Tá Gaeilge agat = You have Irish (You speak Irish)
  • = affirmative answer to a question
  • Níl = negative answer to a question
  • Níl fós = Not yet
  • Tá cúpla focal agam = I have a couple of words
  • Gaeilge = the name of Irish (Gaelic) when speaking in that language
  • Go raibh maith agat = Thank you
  • Tá fáilte romhat = You’re welcome
  • Slán = Goodbye
  • Slán agat = Another way to say goodbye, usually said by the person who is leaving
  • Slán anois = Goodbye, now

You can learn lots of these Irish phrases in your own time in the Irish free online lessons “Irish for Beginners”. Get a new lesson every few days.

Thanks again to Caron for sharing her time so generously to record this video, go raibh maith agat!

What did you think about what we discussed in the video? Be sure to leave your reply below.

Did you enjoy this how-to-say Irish language video? Discover our Gaeilge Gach Lá approach to letting the Irish language into your everyday life:

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17 thoughts on “Watch Video Chat About Irish vs Gaelic”

  1. Thank you, this was a very instructive video ! As a matter of fact, I think most people out of Ireland don’t know a lot about the native language that’s spoken in Ireland. I mean, they don’t often hear about it, so they don’t know neither what it sounds like, nor how to call it. I personally learned that Irish people called their language “Irish” very recently (I was watching a documentary on RTE’s website)! In France, the country I live in, when I get to talk about the Irish language with people of my age (I’m eighteen), they are very keen to learn more about it. I got some reactions like: “Irish ? I thought they spoke English in Ireland ?” And also, a lot of people know that there is a connection between the Irish language and the language that is used in Brittany; by the way French people are very interested in everything “Celtic” at the moment, since a popular singer from Brittany (Nolwenn Leroy) recorded an album of traditional songs. I think this is a good thing, because not so long ago quite a lot of young people thought learning those native languages was boring…lol ! Now everyone’s enthusiastic about it !
    So, thanks for sharing some more Irish sayings as well ! I wrote them down and I’m going to learn them !
    Bye for now !

  2. I thought the video interesting and informative, although I don’t quite agree on a precise term for the language. Any description will work for me. As in the answer “I have a couple of words.” it’s obvious what is being discussed and what language is spoken here. Perhaps because I grew up around my grandfather speaking some German and taking that language in high school (I don’t have to say how long ago that was, do I?) I can see how difficult a direct translation can be, so I’ll make what seems the necessary interpolations to figure out what is/was said. Just don’t let that question divide anyone and it should be OK. As a British friend said, “You Americans don’t speak English–you speak American. Two countries divided by a common language.” I thought that funny, and didn’t get upset about it.

    I also will mention here I loaded the first installment of “Bite Size Irish”–after I finally figured out how as computers and I are not a good match–in the MP3, listening and responding during the half-hour drive to/from work for the last week. I find following simple as Eoin’s voice is clear and easy listening. I’m learning more in a week than I learned from a DVD/CD set I bought two months ago using the same drive-to-work methodology. I like it. Now, where’d I last leave my Donegal eight-panel hat?

    Thanks, Eoin. Marc

    1. Marc, I fully agree about not letting this subject be divisive. Unfortunatley people can take offense to certain phrases depending on their context and perspective, but I see it more as an opportunity to help inform them a bit more about the nuances of the subject (that is, it’s not quite as simple as just saying “Gaelic”).

      Oh, and thanks for the kind words about the new MP3 lessons! I’ve no promises about if/when we make more of them, but let’s see, thanks for the feedback.

  3. Just thought I’d chime in here. I’m Irish but have been living in Glasgow for the last 5 years, I know quite a few Scottish Gaelic speakers, and have talked about this a few times with them. Generally in Scotland it is considered wrong to pronounce Gaelic (when referring to Scottish Gaelic) they way they do in Ireland, it is more like Ga-lic, like you said in the video. The only people in Scotland who I have heard pronounce it the Irish way, are people that know virtually nothing about the topic, and I have therefore always just assumed them to be “wrong”.

    Also, if your wondering why people never call it simply “Scottish” it’s generally because the word “Scottish” would be confused with “Scots” which is a dialect of English.

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for sharing that extra inforamation from an Irish/Scottish perspective. It was news to me that when speaking about the language in English that the Ga-lic pronunciation is used.

  4. Thankyou Eoin for the clarification, most helpful.
    As an aside: I would like to share a little tip for others like me at Stage One Irish which as helped me hugely, I don’t know if Eoin will agree!!!! it’s something I learnt at school whilst learning French and am finding it useful whilst trying to learn the basics of Irish….this is to try and ‘think’ in French or as in this case Irish…because using your own native language and try to translate word for word doesn’t always happen as some words and phrases just don’t translante exactly…for instance in French they would use the masculine and feminine terms as in ‘le and la’ as there is no ‘it’…I won’t complicate this by commenting more….but on a personal level I always try to ‘think in Irish’. BUT I have to say that I am still at the beginners stage, I can’t yet speak Irish much apart from the basics, I find reading it more easy…but I keep adding to my list of new words and phrases albeit at a ‘snail’s pace’ !! Slán agat. Angel.

    1. Angel, I think that’s a nice tip. When learning a new language, I know I always find myself translating the sentence word-for-word to be able to try to understand it. But if you can learn to skip that step and immerse yourself more direclty in the meaning you’re doing very well. It all comes down to putting in the hard work, I think.

      Another plus for that method is that Irish uses quite different literal constructs. So “go raibh maith agat” is used in the context of “thank you”. But literally it means something like “may be goodness at you” (well, someone else may be better at giving a more precise literal translation).

      Thanks for sharing – go raibh maith agat.

  5. Elizabeth Wilson

    A chara, Eoin,

    I watched the video and saw the amused look on Caron’s face when she was talking about the poll she took. But, I wonder if a portion of those people who were polled were actually going in the right direction?? The term “Irish Gaelic” might well be used when differentiating among the Gaelic languages spoken on The Isle of Man (Manx), Scotland (Scottish Gaelic decended from old Irish), Brittany, Cornwall and Wales. It truly is unfortunate the some of these languages are lost to history. They all are/were so alive and vibrant! There’s a wonderful RTE, Doc-on-One, program called, ‘Yola-Lost for Words’ about the vanished (South East Wexford) dialect brought to Ireland by the Yoles who came with the Normans around 1169. Wonderful!

    This is a marvelous teaching opportunity and congratulations to Caron (and you) for spreading the word. Not only is it lanuage — it’s history.

    Thank you for Bitesize Irish!

    1. Nice insights, thanks. I agree to use the term to distinguish between the languages.

      Interesting about Yola. It’s a Germanic language, right? Excuse my ignorance. BTW, the the MP3 link wasn’t a full one, but with the title I think people should be able to find it with Google.

  6. Gordon Molengraf

    Often when I tell someone that I am learning Irish, they respond ” I thought they spoke English in Ireland”.

  7. This was a great video, thanks Eoin and Caron 🙂

    I used to say Irish and then after a lot of people kept saying ‘It’s Irish Gaelic’ I started using ‘Irish Gaelic’ I’ve even had people here in the US tell me that to just call it ‘Irish’ is offensive, lol.

    1. If it’s offensive to them, they don’t agree with most people *in* Ireland. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  8. Very weird. I cannot blame the technology, but myself. When previewing the post, the video was displaying correctly, I promise! 🙂 This page is now updated with the 20 minute chat with Caron. Hope you enjoy it.

  9. Sheila Shepherd

    The video (very interesting!) was the one where Eoin explains the different terms Gaelic and Irish. How do I get the one with Caron, please?

  10. Kathleen Horton

    I will be darned if I could get the follow up video with Caron and Eoin. The video which came through was the first one with Eoin explaining the use of the Irish in speaking Ireland’s Celtic language. It did not have Caron’s comments.