If you are planning to visit Ireland on vacation, there’s a real chance that you’ve considered learning to speak Irish with Bitesize Irish Gaelic to make a good impression on the locals.
I’ve been asked many times by people planning their trip whether they will have trouble with getting around not understanding the Irish language.
If you’re visiting the big cities, you’ll be lucky to hear Irish spoken.
Even as the visibility of Irish is improving in Dublin, that Belfast has its own Irish langauge area, and that Galway is full to the brim of Irish culture, you’ll still be lucky to hear any Irish spoken.
What language do the Irish speak? Generally, they speak English.
If you aim to visit to Gaeltacht, you’ll have a better chance of hearing Irish spoken.
There are particular towns and villages that you can visit to hear Irish spoken. That being said, you still will not have any trouble communicating. Everyone can speak English, although I hope you hear them speaking more Irish.
Tamara, who is visiting Galway this summer, had good practical questions:
Anything you have about roadsigns in the Gaeltacht would be extremely helpful. Also what is usually on men and women’s toilets would be helpful. Don’t want to make that mistake. Are menus usually in English? If not a little help on that as well.
On GaeltachtTravel.com, we had a post on Irish road signs in pictures.
Yes the menus are usually in English. And I’m sure French and Spanish and German if you’re in a tourist spot!
The Toilet Tip
This is good to know if you’re visiting Ireland!
Fir means Men (pronounced softly like /firr/).
Mná mean Ladies (pronounced like /mnaw/).