Little you may know it – you’re sharing a journey in the Irish language (also called Gaelic or Irish Gaelic) with thousands of others worldwide.
We come from different backgrounds
Perhaps you don’t speak a word of Irish yet.
Or maybe you speak cúpla focal (a couple of words).
You might even be a lapsed speaker coming back to the language.
Why do you want to speak the Irish language?
Please reply below, and share with us why you want to speak Irish.
278 thoughts on “Why Are You Interested in Learning to Speak Irish Gaelic?”
Dia daoibh! Cén chaoi an bhfuil sibh? I first started taking Irish with my mom back in the mid to late 1990’s through the now defunct Irish Gaelic League of Pittsburgh. In 2017, I began taking lessons on Duolingo and supplementing that with your YouTube videos.
My mom and I were, and now I am, the only Irish speakers in her family on either side of the pond. Although we do have relatives over there.
My reason for wanting to learn Gaeilge is primarily for religious reasons…. I consider myself an itinerant Druid and shaman-in-training; and two of the spirits I work with (Bríd and Morrighan) have been gently coaxing me to incorporate Irish into my work.
Please keep up the grand work! Yours is a very valuable resource.
Go raibh maith agat agus slán libh!
Glad we can help, Alexander! 🙂
I was adopted at birth and raised by a wonderful family. They were always honest with me and never hid the fact that I was adopted, but had no information about my biological family. All throughout my childhood up until this day I’ve felt drawn to Ireland, to the culture, the people, the music, even the climate. My adoptive mother always spoke of her Irish roots, but it wasn’t until I started looking for answers to my own questions of who I truly was, that I found out all of her many Irish ancestors. When I received my first DNA test back, there it was, confirmation of the way I had felt for so long, Irish blood flowed through my veins. More DNA tests followed and not only was I able to contact cousins who still live in Ireland, but I finally found my biological mother and father. One of these days I’d like to come home, and when I do, I will be speaking the language.
Thank you for commenting.
That is so interesting to read that you were always drawn to Ireland and its culture 🙂
I am glad that you have found your parents and cousins.
My ansestors are from county donegal and people always confuse me for bieng red headed as I have green eyes and dye my hair red from light brown aburn My nickname is literally: Red
Hey Eoin I know its been a while but I did some research and it turns out that the McGuires are from scotland and they invaded ireland and liked it more so they stayed so im irish scotish and english
My father dispised his Irish family and me, because I looked like them. We didn’t live in and area of Irish community. So, when I was on my own, I began searching for my roots and for all things Irish. I discovered I enjoyed the music, poetry, history and all. I’ve been to Ireland and didn’t want to leave. Wanting to speak the language is, for me, another way of tying myself to that which I love.
Really nice – it’s obviously heart-felt. Go raibh maith agat, a John. Thank you.
first of all: congratulations – you are a great teacher. It is a talent to be able explain elaborated facts on languages, escpially on the native one.
Why I want to learn irish?
Firstly I spent over half a year in Ireland a good 20 years ago. It was my first time away from home and I did enjoy my new freedom with good friends, a few stouts and a culture and a society that was not really a cultural clash to me.
Secondly believe it or not – I have university certificates in modern irish. The story behind that is, that there was a dept. of linguistics in the university of Innsbruck and in the early 90ies their main interest was celtology, as there are to many toponyms and traces of celtic culture here in Tyrol and western Austria. As they offered a class of modern irish, I went there. The class was pretty much useless, but nevertheless I got those certificates. Certainly I have always mentioned this remarkable fact in my curriculum vitae. Who shall prove me wrong ;-)? But I personally have bits and pieces in my head that need to be sorted out.
And last but not least it is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. It is as simple as that.
Michi, thanks for stopping by. That’s a really interesting background you have, including spending time in Ireland, and having a certificate in modern Irish. It’s fair to say, even if your class was not that useful, that you have a good basis to start from. I hope you stick around with Bitesize Irish Gealic to learn some more.
I will, I will! After christmas … 😉
I dont have irish ancestors or or something that connects me with ireland.
I was born in south amerika and i grown up in europe. Since I can remember i love Ireland!!! I love their music, I love their dance, I love the cliffs in Ireland, I love the landscapes and I FALL IN LOVE WITH THE IRISH LANGUAGE!!!!
One day I decided to learn Irish. I search for hours Irish lessons in my city or online lessons, but I cant find it. I was very disapointed and sad but I still had a question. I wanted to know what the difference is between Gaelic and Irish. I search on Youtube and I find youre video. This video has explained everything very well.
I really understand every thing. At the End of the video you said that there was a website called bitesizeirishgaelic.com and there were irsh lessons. I really cant belive it!!! I signed up on the same day and now I am here writing this text. I am really grateful to you that you offer irish lessons . Without this page my dream can not come true. I really really really love ireland and my dream is that one day to life in ireland and to speak irish!! Next year I am going to spend maybe my easter holidays in Donegal. Its the first time in my young live that I will see Ireland!!!! Im so exited. Please can you tell me the most beautiful and traditional places ireland, because its not sure that im going to Donegal. Maybe you can recommend me a better place.
Sorry for my horrible English! (I am still learnig English at school)
Have a good time
Hi Nuala Mailin. Really nice to hear your story! Glad you found the video useful: http://youtu.be/sWBUnixqX5g
I think Donegal (Dún na nGall) is a great choice. Some of the landscape there is breathtaking. Plus you have a good chance to finding the Irish language being spoken if you search for it.
I’m a fan of Kerry, further south. The different counties have different great things about them, you won’t be disappointed with Donegal.
My mom was born and raised in Ireland, and does speak Irish. I was always annoyed that she never taught it to me as a child, so now I want to learn it. (with her help) I love learning languages, and decided, well, why shouldn’t I? I can always practice on my mom.(her irish is a bit rusty though, not having lived there for a while)
Why not, indeed. I can understand too how the language can get rusty over time, but it’s still great that you have her to test it out on. Do let us know how you progress!
the reason i want to learn irish
is my grandchildren
Are speaking the irish so i have to keep up with them
It’ll be hard to keep up with the little ones, but that’s also a great motivation for you. Thanks for being part of Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
I was born in Waterford, Ireland, i lived there untill i was 6 and most of my older family spoke a fair amount of Gaelic i knew few words, so when i moved to Australia at 6 years old in 2004 i wanted to learn to speak the language of my home to keep in ties. Every year over the summer my parents manage to get us 4 kkids over to see our family.
I too was born there 🙂 But only lived there as a newborn.
Interesting to hear that Irish was around in your family too. The Roinn Gaeltacht in Co. Waterford is where it still indeed lives.
If you’re passing through Limerick the next time in Ireland, don’t be afraid to drop by!
Although I have slight traces of Irish ancestry, I am primarily studying Irish because of its beauty and the great culture:)
You won’t be disappointed with is beauty 🙂
My ancestors hail from Donegal, and I have done lots to learn of their culture.
That’s nice, Michael. You’re living the connection to Donegal, keep it up.
I am interested in learning not just the language, but everything there is to know about Ireland. It’s my heritage and I couldn’t be more proud. I want to show my pride and learning the language is the best way I can think of showing it.
Hi Donna – excellent that you’re living and breathing your Irishness. I hope that with Bitesize Irish Gaelic you can bring yourself even closer to that side of your heritage.
i spent five years at scool writing and reading irish and i thought i was learning irish, we hardly ever spoke it. how much better if everything in the clas was in irish instead of english, maybe if i was taught speaking, and conversation, in irish i would be able to speak it a little bit. i have no sympathy with teachers of irish they have a lot to answer for with young minds at their mercy.
I’ve always known my family’s connection with Ireland and we’re what has become a stereotypical American Irish Catholic family with a million relatives hanging around everywhere. However, during my time at University, I discovered that my family’s Irish connections were not all that far back. So many people I know say that their families came to the United States a century or more ago, but that’s not true for my family and I was rather shocked. It may seem a bit controversial, but I’ve heard stories of distant relatives who were Irish nationalists and took part in the Civil Rights Movement in Derry back in the late 60s/early 70s. Anyway, the point is I, like many of those posting here, would like to get into touch with my heritage. Some of it is still retained in some of our family traditions, but of course, we lose more with each subsequent generation. I hope to one day (hopefully in the next year) go to Ireland and research our genealogy and maybe if I’m lucky meet some of those distant relatives. Maybe I’ll find out if the stories are true!
Hi Kristen, that’s an interesting background. I hope you do make it over to do some extra research.
I plan on moving to Ireland and living in one of the small towns where they peak only Gaelic 🙂
Wow! Do you plan to move over for good?
I haven’t completed my family tree yet, so don’t know if I have Irish ancestry or not. However, my husband does, so in that spirit I’m learning the language. I hope to one day to teach my children something about their heritage. Also, being a health professional I know that learning a new language is great exercise for the brain. BTW, thank you so much for the language lessons!!
Oh, that’s so true about the brain exercise, eh? When I’m learning Slovenian (my wife’s, Sasa, language) it takes so much physical effort she laughs at me. It takes lots of effort over time (you just need the right tools to help you along the way).
I don’t get it, though. What made you leap into wanting to speak the Irish language? Lots of people know of a connection to Ireland, but would never consider learning its native language.
Hi Eoin, I have a silly reason to learn irish and a typical reason to learn irish. Like some of the other people commenting, my grandmother’s family is from Ireland. My grandfather was from Germany. I have been really interested in my grandmother’s side. I see some coincidences like I grew up by a lake, I love crystal, I love the irish music and a few others. Yes, I do feel like I am connecting with my family. Now here is the silly reason. My son being frustrated about a group of people speaking another language in front of him, he jokingly said that he wish he knew another language and to speak it in front of them so they would know how it feels to be left out. I said ok let’s do that, so he wanted to speak german and I said no I wanted to speak irish, I would rather have an irish accent, which I think is so cool than a harsh german accent. I have enjoyed the free lessons and I have learned alot, I listen to them almost every day. I just love it and I am so excited about learning irish. I have enjoyed it to the point where the silly part doesn’t matter any more. Thank you so much for teaching me.
Anne, doesn’t sound like such a silly reason, I must say. Actually, you’ll often hear people from Ireland say about the same thing. They go abroad, and realize they don’t have their own “secret” language to speak in. Many people use Irish if they can speak it, otherwise they’re stuck.
For example, I was sitting in a tram in south of France a few years ago. The girls beside me began speaking in Irish, talking about another girl on the tram. They thought they would get away with noone else understanding!
Great that you’ve enjoyed the free Irish for Beginners lessons. Hope you stick around with us to learn some more.
Hi Anne, your second reason made me laugh because my little sister said the same thing as your son! I wanted to learn Irish because I love Irish music and the language really intrigues me but I didn’t want to learn it alone. I asked my sister and she said she wanted to learn it so she and her friend could have a secret language that no one at school knew! So I formed a group with two of my sisters and the friend and we meet almost every night to learn and watch shows on TG4. We have tons of fun!
Sorry Eoin I dont have any links I looked around though and I think I found it on YouTube.
No problem, thanks for letting me know.
Although I don’t have a drop of Irish blood, I have always had a love for the Irish culture and folklore. The land seems so enchanting, and I would love to vist, maybe live, in Ireland one day.
Jocelyn, I hope you do make it over one day.
Dia dhuit, Eoin!
Being Filipino, I guess you’ve hardly come across another one who’s also interested in the Irish language. I was watching some videos of The Corrs on Youtube years ago and then I came across their adaptation of “Brid Og Ni Mhaille” (correct my spelling), the first Irish song I heard from them. Right then and there, I fell in love with the Irish language and decided I want to learn it. It’s so foreign, I love it! I can’t get the phrases in your lessons out of my head! But more importantly, it’s really my passion to learn to speak different languages and learn all about people’s different cultures, and Ireland is one of my top 5 🙂
Bee Bow, surprisingly, I don’t think you’re the only Filipino around here on Bitesize Irish Gaelic! Sounds like you’re doing lots of language learning. Nice that you popped by, and do stick around.
Hi Eoin, have you ever herd the song Aillein Duinn its a Gaelic song about a womon whos lover was a sailor and he died. She then wrote this song about him. she died of grief a few months later.
Sounds like a nice song. Do you have any links to a recording of it?
While my last name is said to be English, I know that there have been Fry’s in Ireland since the 10th century, which I believe is when my uncle said our family name was recorded. I’m not sure if there is an alternate spelling, or if anything was dropped from the name, since I know many Irish altered their names when coming to America, to seem less “Irish”. I know my mother is mostly Irish and a bit Scottish. I remember my grandmother (moms mom) saying certain things like “come to eat” and “go get me a switch” or “time for bed” and little things like that, sometimes in Irish, and sometimes in English, so as a child, I heard both languages in English. I couldn’t tell you how to say the phrases now, but I vaguely remember the sound of the words. I want to learn Irish, because it feels like I’m missing a bit of who I really am.
Hi Thomas, nice that you are filling up that bit of who you are by learning Irish. It’s a very real way of expressing who you are, or how you feel.
Interesting about the name Fry. I’m no historian, but suspect that if a name came into Ireland in the 10th century, it wouldn’t have been in the English language. But I really don’t know. Here’s an interesting article on the timeline of the English language itself: http://www.englishclub.com/english-language-history.htm
I became a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland and just wanted to try to learn a few simple tidbits of the language. My Grandparents were from County Mayo.
I recently visited ,met some distant relatives,toured and fell in love with Ireland.
It is my heaven on earth.It’s a mystical place with a very rich history.
I bought your lessons and listen in my car.
There seems to be a very unusual love affair between the 40+ million American Irish and the 4+ million Irish natives.
Heaven on earth – nice description there. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the audio program on the go. Keep in touch.
I was writing a book and decided to have some characters who were linguists, whilst searching for an interesting language I remembered irish, and I wanted my characters to be able to speak it, thanks so much for the lessons, they really helped.
Nice, Jenny, do keep us informed of how your writing goes.
Hi Eoin do you know about Murphy castle in the home land? its supposed to be haunted. My friend from school is Irish his name is Patric Murphy. He said it was in his family heritage for generations. He said his father sold it to a museum.
Hey, nice that you’re sticking around! Patrick Murphy, that’s one Irish name, eh. No, I don’t knot of Murphy castle (although, it must be said there are many in Ireland, so that doesn’t take away from it).
I don’t have any Irish background, but my boyfriend is Irish and comes from a Gaeltacht area. As I’m very interested in languages and have come to know cúpla focal in Irish, I’m very interested in the whole construction of the language and even started a blog about my amazement hehe. Although, I don’t have much time to update it regularly and do make a lot of mistakes 🙂
I found the first five lessons of bitesize very usefull, especially because you translate the sentences literally, which helps me a lot in my understanding of the construction of the language. Next to this the audiofiles helped me a lot as I still haven’t taught myself the pronunciation rules.
I checked out your blog – maith thú! Well done. Sharing like this is a great way to go, and I hope to read more on it.
Thanks a lot for the feedback on the lessons. For anyone else reading this, be sure to take our Irish for Beginners email series with five free lessons.
Keep in touch.
Oh I just realized I spell’t the name wrong it’s Draighnean.
Thanks Eoin, they really are working. One day I hope to visit Ireland and speak with the locals in their native tongue. Oh I almost forgot could you e-mail me about the story of the Blarney Stone? Again, go raibh maith agat.
Excellent. But sorry to say, I wouldn’t know the local tale of the Blarney Stone.
The reason I wanted to learn Irish is because I have Irish ancestry and I feel a big connection to my Celtic ancestors and I think it would be fun to speak the language of my homeland. I loved the lessons and i’m going to go over them again and again until I know them by heart. And thanks for making them. Did you Know that my name Drennen is Drighnean in Irish, the translation is Black Thorn.
Interesting about the Drighnean name, I wasn’t familiar with that word.
Very nice of you with your feedback of our online lessons. Hope the pronunciation recordings and phonetics are helping you pick up conversational Irish.
I am interested in the Irish gaelic language because my great grandfather and his 2 sisters were born in Waterford around the 1830 and their mother was from Kilkenny. As I am now on the old aged pension I was hoping to one day visit the land of my ancestors. For many years I have felt a strong urge to visit maybe because for many years I’ve felt somehow different to others around me but have not been able to find out what it is. My soul mate and I are both of Irish descent and have been told by a clairvoyant that we were together in a past lifetime in County Cork and the name she was known by then I have found in my family history research.
Hi Kel, thanks for sharing your personal journey with us. I really do hope you get to visit Ireland.
I had found through tracing my family tree that I am about 98% Irish, while I knew we had a lot of Irish ancestry, I wasn’t aware of how much. When I did, I decided I wanted to learn the language of my ancestors. I hope to go to Ireland to visit one day.
Thanks for sharing, Shelly. I hope you do make it over sometime.
I am an Irish dancer. I have come across a few Irish words, but I thought it would be fun to actually learn the language 🙂
Very nice. Be sure to catch Amanda’s awesome videos, where she has been teaching her dance students more Irish:
I want to learn it because my family comes from Ireland. my grandparents actually came to america from there. I feel really connected to the land there and my history. So I want to learn Gaelic so I can become closer to who I am.
It will help you do that for sure. Do you know if you grandparents spoke Irish (Gaelic) when they left Ireland?
I am an Irish-American who grew up listening to my grandfather speak Gaelic from time to time. The rest of my family has fallen out of celebrating our heritage, but I refuse to let it die. I am learning Gaelic because it allows me to feel connected to my ancestry, as well as continue to celebrate my background and carry on the Irish Pride I was born with.
And learning Irish is a very real way to keep it alive. It’s a very personal way to keep your heritage alive, isn’t it?
I went to school in England and thus never learnt to speak Irish. I was quite jealous of my peers who went to the local and had their lessons in Irish. So it’s always stayed with me that learning Irish is something I would like to do.
Hi Steve, such long-term goals do deserve some respect, eh? It takes time, but do stick with it. Thanks for sharing your story with the rest of the community.
Pride in ones herritage, love of the land. Being Irish is an internal soulful feeling that holds you in its grip and dosn’t let go, but my biggest reason for learning Irish is because I’m Irish, and it was taken away from my ancestors, and made ilegal, I do it for them, and I do it for me.
I wish that I could just rip the english from my throat and replace it with Irish.
Tiocgaidh ar la
Very emotive – true that it holds you in its grip. And at the same time, learning a language is a life-long journey, really. Hope you stick around with us, keep in touch.
Although my ancestry is from the other island (Scottish, Welsh, English), I’ve always had a strong draw to Ireland. I’m even working on a book (fiction) that takes place in County Cork (and I’m doing lots of research online). I’d like to include an American character who’s able to speak Irish and that’s why I’m interested in learning. Someday soon I hope to actually visit.
Very pertinent! Hope you can visit one time too.
For one, my (mother’s) ancestry line goes back to the Celts when a Spanish ship crashed off the coast somewhere in Ireland, and my mother’s father has Celtic/Nordic ties from way back. Oh, and I’m still stuck on saying Breá…
Sounds like you’re a true part of Ireland! But still, what got you into wanting to learn the language itself?
Uhhh… Film ‘The Secret of Kells’ and the poem Pangur Ban. But my grandfather always tried to get me to speak the language and I decided it was too hard. Now i’m eager to learn.
My family has always been interested in learning Irish; we like the culture, the music, and the language itself, (and being in america, having a family language would have its advantages.)
We are also a small part Irish.
I hear you about the utility of a family language 🙂
I am learning Irish for a few reasons, One being that my ancestors were mostly Irish, about 70%, the rest were Scottish (Hence my last name lol)I like Irish traditions, Culture, Music, everything. I plan on visiting soon, maybe even move there.
The other reason being I want to learn it, and a few other languages, So I can understand songs and writings and old texts, ect.
Hi Tyler, I like that ambition! Hope you stick with Bitesize Irish Gaelic on your journey.
Thank you for your reply. I will have those places in mind when I come to visit.
Well, first I can say I really like Irish music. I’ve never planned to learn to speak Irish until a couple of weeks ago when I listened to some music and I didn’t understand a word it said. That’s usually frustrating for me, especially since I liked that song. So I decided that besides English, I can try Irish, especially because I find it so melodic, and because few people know it (makes me feel special because I’m learning a language not many know). I have no heritage with the Irish people, I’m Romanian. I really like what I have learned so far, though the pronunciation is giving me hard times (I’m still learning the rules). But I think with ambition and will I’m going to learn it.
Keep that ambition going, Elisabeta. That’s a nice story you have, and it’s great that you’re learning our language. Will you ever visit Ireland?
Yes, someday it will be my pleasure to visit Ireland. So far though, I haven’t left my country. But I hope in the near future I will come. Can you recomand any places for me to visit?
That’s a dangerous question! (Other people might have other opinions of where to go.) But personally, I love going along the west coast, counties Kerry, Clare, Galway, and up to Donegal.
My father is a full-blooded Irish-man, and I have always felt a great sense of pride in my heritage, and feel as if it is what sets me apart from others. I wish to learn Irish to heighten my connection with my heritage, and to be able to speak languages other than that of my other heritage (English), which I feel a slight shame to be half-descended from, as the English are Ireland’s greatest persecutor.
There’s no shame in that 🙂 Thanks for dropping by, Calum, and I hope we can help you with our Bitesize Irish Gaelic lessons to learn to speak Irish.
I was born in Ireland and came to Canada in 1977. My dad was a School Principal and most of my nine brothers and sisters used to converse in Gaelic with him all the time. Me however could never seem to get it right. I did enough in School to get by and complete all my exams. Now I am 60 yrs old and I really want to brush up on my Gaelic. I would love my grand Children to be able to converse in it also.
Dolly ( Doirin Ui Lorcain)
A Dhoirín, a chara, thanks for dropping by. It’s a nice sentiment to pass on the language to your grand kids. They are in Canada now, right?
Many of my family came from Ireland and I just have a desire to be able to speak some of the lauguage on my next trip over. I am having trouble remembering the words because of my age but I can remember a few. Do not let age stop you from traveling over there I am 72 and just made my 3rd trip this past spring. Hope to go again in 2014
Margie, that is fantastic advice! We get emails sometime from people saying they can’t be bothered learning, as they are “too old”. But I don’t think anyone is expecting you to be a fluent native-level speaker, right?
I’m interested because I’m visiting Northern Ireland in April — Ireland’s been calling me for awhile and I’m finally coming!!
I’m also bringing 22 women with me – in a tour called “Courting the Goddess”
That should be fun :O
My husband and I have Irish blood in our ancestry. Just recently we had a dream come true and were able to spend 10 days touring Ireland. We were totally captivated by the beauty of Ireland and her wonderful people. I was able to learn some Irish Gaelic words while there and I’m interested in learning some more. I listen to Celtic music and I am amazed by how many songs have Gaelic words in them. Our plans are to go back to Ireland very soon. There is so much more to see and do there. Our memories will be with us always.
There’s lots to see, sounds like you already really enjoyed yourselves in Ireland.
How did you pick up some Irish Gaelic words, was it through written signs? Or another way?
My dad’s side of the family is originally from Ireland. My great, great, great, great grandfather (whew!) emigrated to Canada in 1820 from the village of Roundstone in County Galway. I plan on moving to Ireland after I graduate high school, so I would like to learn Irish for two reasons. It is the language of my ancestors, and it would be helpful to be bilingual.
Ya, isn’t it tough to track all those “greats”? 🙂 Great reasons to learn Irish. Do you plan to live in Ireland permanently, or for a set period of time?
I plan on living in Ireland permanently. Homesickness will indeed be a problem, as I’ve only ever traveled between my native Canada and the United States. But I’m certain it’ll all be worth it.
When I was eight I took a trip to Ireland’s coast. It took me one look to fall in love with Ireland’s beauty. When I heard the music on the radio in Irish gaelic, I wanted to learn to speak and sing Irish Gaelic.
Sounds like that memory stuck with you of Ireland, nice to hear. Thanks for sharing, Aisling.
I am 7/8ths Irish I have traveled from Dublin South around the whole coast up to the Isles. Then back to Dublin. It took me 21 days, I cried like a babe when I had to go back to USA. I Never wanted to leave from the moment I stepped off the plane it was like going home and now home has never looked as good. Do not get me wrong I love Mississippi, USA and the whole lot even though we are a mixed up mess. I will always be desperately in love with Ireland now though. I want to go back some day so badly. LOL But, I am 55 now that was when I was in college. I hope I can hope.
Lovely story, thanks for sharing.
My grandpa and I have never really been close because he lived so far away and my family doesn’t have the money to travel. When he passed away I felt like I lost a total stranger. Learning Irish helps me glimpse into his side of the family. My grandpa started and owned an Irish pub in Long Island, NY called “Nolan’s Pub” (now called Shines). I’m proud to come from Irish heritage and interested to learn more. Thank you for helping me achieve that!
Hi Becky, that was kind of you for sharing. Thank **you** for being part of Bitesize Irish Gaelic, I hope you stick around.
Because I have some Irish ancestry.
I love Ireland. It is beautiful and has so much rich culture. I also have royal irish blood in me from the Ivie’s which my family never talks about so I decided I would get in touch with that side.
Good thing you’re making connection with your Irish roots.
Hi Lisa, I agree with you, it is a process of identifying the patterns in the language. As you keep learning, it might feel overwhelming, but you’ll start to see connections between different concepts. Thanks for sticking around.
Why? I have a lot of Irish blood. I have many friends who are either Irish or Irish-American. When I first started to learn to say things in Irish, it was just out of curiosity. After I learned a certain number of phrases, it just began to make sense to try to put sentences together. Alas, there is grammar involved. After English, I learned Latin in high school. In college, I learned Spanish, which weirdly, meant that I could often understand Italian. The word order in those languages is the same as Irish, so I guess, even though the tongues are unrelated, the process of learning is already there.
beannachtaí ón Astráil
I am first generation removed from ancestry and heritage in Ireland. My mum always encouraged our heritage and our Gaelic culture and traditions, I went to Trinity College here in Western Australia, Perth. There I learnt the bagpipes and also was taught how to hurl and was lucky enough that a close family friends of ours that I schooled with were an Irish family, their son also in the (pipes and drums band) taught me to play the uilleann pipes. Im passionate about my music were I work up in the Pilbra in Western Australia’s north west on the mines, I play the pipes for all the ex patriots from Scotland and Ireland. They love so much they shout me free drinks at the bar. I am really interested in the language and I know my grandparents (god bless their souls) would be so proud that I am learning our language. Im proud of our history, our story and our culture. I see myself as Irish – Australian by always have a sense of longing for the homeland.
Dia dhuit, Liam. It’s nice to hear that you were able to grow up in that Irish culture. Sounds like a good way to free drinks too, after the mine work 🙂
I am learning Irish because I have Irish in my blood an it would be nice if I travel back to Ireland to know how to speak the language.Also when I meet Niall Horan I would like to see if he knows any Irish.(:
Thanks for dropping by Emma. Where abouts in the world are you, with your Irish blood?
I’m learning Irish because the language facinates me. I wish to travel to Ireland one day but for now I am happy here in Australia. My fathers side of the family is Irish, but that really doesn’t have anything to do with my interest. To be honest it started with music – Celtic Thunder and Tin Whistle were both things I enjoyed listening to, the more time I spent listening to Celtic Thunder singing in Irish the more interested in the Language I became.
Roxanne, hope you make it to Ireland one day from Australia.
Why am I learning Irish Gaelic? Well, I have always adored Celtic Music since I started playing the harp seven years ago,and started to learn the fiddle this year. I love to listen to songs sung in Irish, and that got me thinking ‘Why couldn’t I learn it, too?’ And, because I know a little of many languages and love to learn them, I decided it would not be hard to learn. So I have immersed myself in Irish language, music, history, and military studies. It is quite a fun journey, and I hope to become fluent in Irish before my senior year of high school. (And even found that I am closely related to the Moffits and Nortons of Ireland)Thank you, bite-size Irish Gaelic!
And thank you, Angele. Sounds like you’re a dedicated learner, hope you stick around.
Why am I interested in speaking Irish Gaelic? Ireland has always been a dream for me, even when I was in my teenage years.
I decided a couple weeks ago that come hell or high water, I was visiting Ireland. So I quit smoking after 28 years (on 20 July 2012) and all that money now goes into a savings account. It may be a year or two (or three) but I will get there. And I want to see the real Ireland, warts and all. I’m not a “touristy” visitor. I want to speak, laugh and play in Irish in Ireland.
I’m a bit on the stubborn/willful side, so expect me within the next three years.
Hi Michele, wow, big respect to your life changes. I’m sure this is a fun time for you: seeing what you can achieve. Keep it up, and keep in touch.
I’m trying and interested in learning Irish because of my ancestry. So, my dream is to learn to speak Irish and to one day visit Ireland to see the land where my ancestors lived. By the pictures I’ve seen Ireland has some very beautiful landscape and once I can hardly wait to visit.
Hi Drew. Thanks for dropping by. Keep that dream in your mind, and work towards it. I hope Bitesize Irish Gaelic can help you get started.
I’m learning Irish because I recently (about half a year ago) found out I have Irish ancestry. I’ve always adored Irish culture. It’s such a lively and truely beautiful, fun culture. I wish I had an Irish accent even! Haha I can only fake a half decent one when I’m half awake. Haha! Anyways, I want to learn Irish to get closer and embrace the Irish in me. Plus, it would be cool to show to my friends that I can speak another language, another reason why I’m learning. ^_^
And you should teach your friends stuff you learn! That’s a great way of learning. Thanks, Kayla.
I am very proud to be of Irish decent. I am a third generation diaspora who has never traveled to Ireland, but love everything Irish and long to live there one day. I try very hard to keep my heritage and traditions alive within my family. Speaking the native language has always been a desire, however, living in America has proven difficult to find a school that offers such a class. I am grateful to have found Bitesize Irish Gaelic. Thank you Eoin! Sláinte!
Hi Paula. I don’t blame you for finding it difficult. It’s a real tough up-hill battle to learn any language outside of its spoken community. Stick at it. It’s possible. And we’re here to help.
I 67 years of age born in Dublin went to England at aged 13 years always wanted to speak irish I have a hard live but god is good and some day I will go home
Sounds like this means a lot to you, Thomas. Thanks for sticking around Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
I think that Irish people are some of the most charming, i was fortunate to have the opportunity of working with a few several years ago, I have very fond memories indeed. I LOVE the accent,…have been researching their culture, music, i am just fascinated. I am planning a trip to Dublin in the very near future, I am so excited. Will write you on my return, its sure going to be a trip to remember.
Thanks for the kind words about us Irish people 🙂
I am interested in learning because it is one the languages of my heritage (Hint: last name is Campbell). when I was younger I acquired French and German- both partially self taught and then continued in High School, although growing up in Louisiana help with the French. In the 60’s the school I attended received several Dominican Nuns from Ireland…this only piqued my interest more but alas, at that time there ween’t resources to learn Gaelic. it has been in my mind ever since. Now older, I began looking for a way to learn, I considered Rosetta- but they don’t have any sample Irish lessons, then I happened upon Bitesize and it seems like a good, “bitesize, way to learn. I am sort of a language geek. if I didn’t have to work and support a family I would take languages one after another. I already am wondering what the rules for conjugation of verbs, creating possessives, tenses etc are. I have posted some of the phrases I learned on my Facebook page and then give the translation (sometimes the next day), and I let people know about Bitesize. I have a friend who may subscribe also so we can practice together.
Oh, I am Irish and Scotch, my wife is Welsh and Scotch descent- her cousin traced their family back to William Wallace
Vernon, a chara. It sounds like you have an ear for languages. Really nice to have you around. With the conjugation of verbs and all that, it’s good you have the curiosity – it will get you to a point where you can put simple senetences together and start expressing yourself. Hope you stick around.
The first time I traveled to Ireland was in 1976 as an impoverished college student. I was in the midst of a year’s study in Spain at the time, but I got the opportunity to travel to Eire for a month. Being in Ireland was the highlight of the entire year. My parents are both from Ireland (Mayo and Leitrim). I’ve always embraced my heritage and arriving there was like coming home. I sailed into Dun Laoghaire on the Holyhead ferry on the morning of a blood red dawn (which was an incredible experience in itself). My aunt and uncle met me at the pier and the first words out of my aunt’s mouth were “welcome home!” That was the beginning of a “beautiful friendship” with her and the country itself.
After about a week in Dublin, I trekked to Ballinamore, Leitrim to spend time with my father’s family. As I walked into my aunt’s house, she was standing at the bottom of a set of stairs. As I walked down the stairs, she talked non-stop. Now, I had grown up around Irish folk my entire life and had successfully contended with some “fierce” brogues, but I could not understand one single word my aunt was saying. I took it for granted that she was speaking Irish! My cousin, sitting on a sofa near my aunt, burst out laughing at the look of confusion on my face, exclaiming, “Mam, he hasn’t understood a word you said!” They all had quite a laugh over the “Yank’s” difficulties!
I won’t even try to describe the hilarity that ensued when I went to visit the relatives who lived wayyyyy out in the country. Suffice it to say that I was thrilled my aunt was along to “translate” English to English!
Considering how close I feel (and am) to the culture, it always seemed something was lacking by not knowing Irish, but it all seemed so daunting. However, when I saw this site on the net, I figured why not give it a try. As I’ve mentioned to Eoin in other emails, I’ve already been surprised how the Irish phrases correspond to how my family speaks in English. It should be a lot of fun.
I intend on going to Ireland next year, partly to attend a Maguire genealogy conference in Enniskillen, Fermanagh, partly to catch up with my family. I hope this time I won’t have any more linguistic difficulties, at least with English. I’m sure I’ll have plenty with Irish! I do have some relatives who speak it fluently. With any luck, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to torture them.
Robert, a chara, thanks for taking the time to share your background.
About the strong Irish accents: it worries me sometimes that people outside of Ireland get the impression that the Irish are speaking Irish, whereas I think a lot of the time it is Irish people with strong accents when speaking Irish. For example, one person emailed me to say her Dublin relatives don’t even speak English very well. But I wonder if that’s true (yes, of course they would have been speaking with strong accents, or phrases in English that you would not hear outside of Ireland).
I have Irish heritage and have visited Ireland 5x. In the mornings while walking or out for coffee I was often greeted in Gaelic in Western Ireland. I would like to be able to share a few words with the friendly and welcoming people I meet there. I also feel learning Irish Gaelic is one way to heal the island from centuries of foreign occupation and to show respect for the worldwide Irish Diaspora.
i have a friend from ireland and i would like to know more about it and the language,and i love some of the gaelic songs,so i would
like to understand the words a bit better,and i do love the gaelic language,
I want to be able to speak the language my family came here with, and to be able to travel and know I can speak it
I am almost completely Irish and have always been interested in Ireland. I am learning Irish dance and love it.:)also I might be going to Ireland next summer.
Cool, have you learned Irish dance for long? What kind of class/center do you learn at?
Aloha, I expect I will never be able to speak Gaelic or read it with any proficiency. And in my many travels to Ireland, it has been rare to hear the language. Most summers I attend Traditional Irish Music festivals and summer school in Co. Rosscommon. I play the Celtic Harp and most of my instruction is gained there. Many Traditional Irish songs have the lyrics in Gaelic. It would be grand if I could properly pronounce the lyrics and possibly understand the meanings. The West of Ireland, including counties around Co. Rosscommon and Sligo have many Gaelic speakers.
It would be fun to try a word or two this summer.
Thanks for sharing your experience with Irish in Ireland. Hope you can use a couple of words when you’re here during the summer!
I would like to learn Irish because my family on my mother’s side comes from Ireland. My mom hasn’t any interest in learning it and my grandma never uses it, but I would like to be a fluent speaker one day, and if I have kids I would like to raise them in a Gaeltacht. It is a very interesting language with a lot of history, and I want to do my part to pick it up so I’m able to pass it on.
Those are very noble goals – and it’s nice to have long term goals like those. Keep it up, John, thanks for sharing.
Ditto to the other Chris. I will soon visit my friend in Ireland.
I want to surprise him with a greeting in Gaelic. Hopefully I will be able to say
so much more by then.
Let us know how it goes!
I’m a polymath wannabe and this’d be my fourth language. Got no Irish blood, not even a drop of it. I fell in love with Ireland in 2nd grade when I first saw pictures of its green countryside from our encyclopaedias. Then music made me fall deeper, with Enya singing in Irish and the Corrs releasing “Home” album. Irish language is just so beautiful and there’s no way I’m not learning it. 🙂
oops! polyglot I mean. (tee-hee)
Hooray for us Polyglots!
Thanks for sharing, Kristine.
My family on my fathers side comes from Ireland, and I have always wanted to go there. I am naturally drawn to anything Irish, so when I found out the Irish have their own language, I had to learn it!
Keep it up, Matthew, thanks for replying.
i have irish ancestery on my grandmothers side [McClurgs] and she takes great pride in her irish heritage which has rubbed off on me, i never knew irish gaelic was a language until i was researching ireland one day and saw it, so i just had to learn it.
Interesting that you didn’t know it was a language. Had you heard of “Gaelic” before, did it mean anything to you?
I have a friend in Ireland. Sometimes he speaks some with me and I do try to learn from him but it is so fast. I would like to visit my friend in the near future and would like to understand the phrase he is sharing with me.
Hi Chris, nice one, glad to hear that your Irish friend is sharing the language with you.
In response to your question on why I want to learn Gaelic, I am half Irish and I love that part of my heritage. I am trying to learn the bagpipes (Yikes, it is hard) and my Irish grandmother told me the best jokes. It is such a happy, hard working culture I want to know all I can about it.
I love the bagpipes.
I have traced my family heritage to my 5th great grandfather John McElhannon born 1752 in Londonderry Ireland. Iam very interested in all things Irish. Both sides of my familys heratige is irish.I would love to visit someday. I believe I have a lot of relatives there. Youre lessons really give me a sense of connection to the Irish people of my ancestry.I am learning slow & have only afew words so far,but Iam learning. The links you have provided to Irish t.v. & radio are great! Thank you also for the booklet The Secrets of Practicing Irish Gaelic Every Day, I am finding it very helpful.THANKS, Jeff McElhnnon
Hi Jeff, thanks for spending time with us, learning with the lessons, and with the ebook you mentioned. Keep in touch.
i have irish heritage some where in my family and iv always loved ireland. iv always have wanted to visit and live there and know more about ireland. but it helps that i just did a speech final for school on ireland. also the language is soo unique and i want to learn and be able to speak it like i was born knowing it but im afraid ill forget everything i learn i already know a few words like hello and how are you and gaelic but iv already forgot the rest but i guess ill learn it in time i just have to be paitent
Hi Trina, it does take practice for sure. Keep it up.
I always wanted to learn Gaelige since as far as I can remember, and I love how fluid is sounds, especially the Gaoth Dobhair and Ulster dialects. I have Irish blood from the Dempsey clan (as well as Scottish and Welsh blood), and I have a deep respect and reverence for my ancestors, which comes partly from my religion ;).
I’m also planning on going to Ireland and staying there, perhaps after college.
Nice ambitious plans. Keep us informed on how it goes.
Irish Gaelic is a very melodious language with a certain very original philosophy I like very much, as every language brings the particular wisdom of its speakers.
The first time I heard Irish Gaelic was when I heard marvellous songs of Moya Brennan and her sister Enya, with some songs of Clannad too. When I hear those marvellous songs I feel like I’m also Irish myself, though I’m from Switzerland, and my native language is French.
Very nice picture of Irish nature btw.
Very true: the way you express yourself in Irish is very often different to the equivalent in English, and gives an insight to the underlying (or intertwined) culture.
Oh, thanks about the picture too. It was about springtime in Conamara, and a lovely bright day. Great driving around.
My Grandad moved from Ireland to Austalia in the 60’s. I loved my Grandad very much and I remember as a child hearing that my uncle could speak Gaelic. I have always loved Ireland and wish I’d spent more than a week there when I was 10. I hope to go back one day as I only got to see the town my Grandad was from (he passed when I was 7) and for the life of me I can’t remember it’s name only that it started with D and isn’t Dublin. I think it was my love of my Grandad that made me hold onto and love my Irish heritage so much that now I thought it would be good to learn the native language.
Steph, thanks for sharing your story. A couple of towns that I can think of: Dundalk, Drogheda, Dingle.
Thanks for sticking around, hope you get to learn lots with us.
I’ll do my best not taking up all your hard memory capacity…
After my grandparents passing, I was cleaning out their house with more than 66 years of accumulations (they married, both at 19, died in their mid-eighties, same house). I found a picture on the wall with the name O hArractain, fada over the “O” and last “a”, the name written under what I found later is a coat of arms. I knew there was much Irish/Scottish background along with some German–my grandfather spoke that language occasionally. This was before I had access to the ‘Net, but limited research said the name is/was common around County Galway. That sparked the first interest.
I have most of the singer Enya’s CD’s, and found when she sings about something close to her heart, she says it in the Irish. Curious, I found a couple Irish translation sites and went to work. I’m almost sorry I did that as I found she sings about the loss of her grandparents in a way similar to how I lost mine. Same reactions. I can usually handle listening to “Smaointe” but sometimes I have to skip it.
On a lighter note, I’m going to Ireland for the middle weeks of this July. Short version, I was offered several places to go and I picked Ireland, so I’m being sent to Dublin. In 61 years I’ve never been outside the States; this is my first international trip. I like saying I’ll meet friends at this Convention I don’t yet know. One way I’ll do this is by learning as much Irish as I can from now til then. I’ll be traveling the city and countryside, and I want to get as close as I can to these my newfound friends. I know this will help.
Thank you, Eoin. Siochan leat
Hi Marc, it would be nice to hear your experiences here after you come back from Dublin. Did you enjoy it, who did you meet? In the meantime, go raibh maith agat (thanks) for sharing your story above.
I’m from County Tyrone but have lived in London for almost 25 years. I always hated languages when I was at school but as I get older I regret not having learned my mother tongue.
I think a lot of people say the same, Mark. But surely better late than never, and now it’s in your power to keep at it. Maith an fear, well done.
I want to learn more of the Irish language simply because I love Ireland and its people, the best place in the world for me ! I have been studying the history and politics of Ireland for about 6 years now and whilst visiting Co Kerry and Co Cork and especially Co Galway where many areas only have signposts etc in Irish, I was lost ! So if I am fortunate to be able to visit again I will be able to read more and practice the language by talking to the locals. I have found the Irish speakers in Ireland very enthusiastic regarding my efforts, although I don’t know much, and the people I have asked have always been extremely helpful…the Irish people are always happy to help, beautiful country, lovely people…..simple as that. Thankyou my Celtic brothers and sisters, Angel.
You’re at a great advantage having visited before. Are you planning your next trip yet?
Thankyou Eoin…in answer to your question am I planning my next trip yet…I am ALWAYS planning my next trip !!!! but health issues have postponed it…..but I will be back the first chance I get…Afterall, Ireland is where my heart lives. Angel.
It’s a beautiful language & I’ve always been interested in learning it. The funny part is, I already knew some without knowing it. If you’ve seen an old Droopy cartoon, you’ve heard some without knowing it. I also speak with another ham radio operator in Cork,Ireland(where my roots are)& we have a blast on the air. There is a big difference between Cork,Donegal, & Londonderry! I have to really pay attention ’cause they talk so fast up north.
They are fast talkers alright 😉 So I’m interested… how did you hear about the language in the first place? Was it always something you just knew about?
I’m about 99% Irish from the US, so I just felt this real connection. I want to visit there a lot, and was thinking about going there for college. I thought that learning another language would be fun, so I chose Irish. Thanks for helping!
You’ve certainly picked a challenge for yourself. Keep it up, thanks Lexi.
My whole family is from County Clare, Ireland, and I’ve been meaning to learn Gaelic for years, and am just now doing it! All my friends here in the U.S. love hearing me share what I’ve learned with Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
County Clare is where I grew up, so couldn’t say a bad word about it 🙂 Great that you’re sharing what you’re learning.
I plan on visiting Ireland in the future and would like to speak and understand the language. My Great Grandfather came from Ireland to South Africa. My Great Great Grandfather was Thomas (Lannigan) Walsh (Songs of The Wexford Coast) This has also sparked the interest in the language.
Are there many people with Irish ancestry in South Africa, do you know?
i would love to be speak a few sentences. my mum was from dublin and my dad from co antrim. although i was born in coventry i have allways classed myself to be irish. my 2 week holiday in the 70’s as a kid were spent in the middle of dublin in my grand parents small flat in a rough area of ringsend. my school friends were going to parts of spain or france or even disney land. i would never have swapped with them though. now im married with 2 kids i try to take them once a year so they can see all there cousins and see there roots. one last thing, i sing in an irish group so it would be nice to introduce a song in irish…..god bless
Brendan, do you sing any songs in Irish, in that group?
Sounds like you remember that holiday well. Nice to hear you’re continuing with the tradition coming to Ireland.
I do not know alot about my background because my two brothers and i were adopted. I have always felt a strong connection to ireland and i do know that i have some irish in me. I have always thought that the irish language was a beautiful language and have wanted to learn it. When i looked online and saw the bitesize irish gaelic lessons, i was overjoyed and wanted to start right away. Now that i have learned some of the language, i can’t stop! I love it so much.
Elizabeth, wow, that’s excellent. Keep it up.
I am not Irish at all and do not even have a drop of Irish blood (that I know of) nor any particular connection to Ireland… I am actually American of Spanish descent. I don’t even know why, but I have always been interested in Irish history and culture; language is a part of that. I studied history in college and Ireland was the focus of my major. Even after graduation I have retained my interest in Irish history and culture… that is all. Someday, if I ever have money, I would like to visit Ireland. Go raibh maith agaibh.
Hi Luis, go raibh maith agat for sharing your interest. It’s great to hear that, even with your Spanish heritage, you’re interested in learning the Irish language (and its culture). I think many Irish people would doubt that this was even possible! Well done.
Not that it’s related or anything… but Spain has a ‘Celtic’ heritage as well…
That’s a good point that I had overlooked. Thanks Luis.
I want to learn for several reasons. First, because on 20 July 2012, if all goes as planned, my husband and I will land in Dublin for a bus ride into Limerick. We are to stay 10 days in Ireland with trips to Wexford, Waterford, Dingle, back to Dublin, all the way up to Carrick-Fergus, which is our sister City and to County Kilkenny—the latter as a special dispensation to me, as that is where my ancestors are said to have been.
Second, the first time I ever heard what I later found to be called Celtic music, I felt as though I was home. I couldn’t describe it any other way. It drew me into itself. I knew my name was Kelley, but at the time, I had no idea I was of Irish heritage. As I began to learn what heritage meant in school, I was told that 7 brothers of the Kelley clan immigrated to the USA—but I didn’t know when, nor from where. This past year, I found them, and also that only one married and had children. How fortunate for me that he did!
Third, I think it rude for anyone to go to another county where another language is spoken and not have had the courtesy to at least learn how to say a few phrases in the native tongue. I think is shows a bit of courage (and probably a sense of humor) to at least try to be able to introduce one’s self, say hello and how are you and perhaps dicker a bit about the cost of what one hopes to buy!
I have a brain injury, so learning anything new is a bit of an issue, but I am determined to have a few phrases with which to great my new friends when I arrive. As our tour guides are native born (one still lives in County Wicklow but travels frequently to the US and is a dear friend; one now lives here, and may actually listen to my feeble attempts prior to the trip), I am sure they will be patient with me.
Thank you so much Eoin for all the years of toil to bring this wonderful resource to us! I am having great fun, if nothing else. And the world needs more of that, to be sure.
Thanks for sharing your background. It seems like it was a gradual realization for you about your heritage. And congratulations on arranging the trip.
A word of warning, arriving into Dublin airport will expose you to real Irish culture and organizational skills. What I mean (jokingly) is, embrace yourself 🙂
As soon as you’re in Dublin airport, you’ll see bilingual signs with Irish written on them. However, you really will need to seek out Irish to be able to hear it. Usually, you’ll hear English spoken. Dingle/An Daingean is your best bet. Sneak into some of the more non-tourist looking bars, and you might very well hear the local banter. I did last time in Dingle, in a pub called O’Flaherty’s (Ua Fhlaithbheartaigh) http://g.co/maps/vrtsj
I want to earn because my great grandfather came to the US from Belfast on my mother’s side and then my dad’s grandparents came from the south near Dublin. So it just feels natural that I learn. No one in my family knows it anymore but I just love the sound of it.
You’re on the right track, Kourtney. I hope you can get into learning some Irish.
I want to learn Irish due to my heavily Irish background, after alot of family research i found that many irish surnames makeup my ancestors. I even learned that my own surname, Collins came from the Ó Coileáin who were originally thought to be direct descendants of Cú Chulainn himself.
Oh, interesting. I didn’t know of that said connection.
Iv’e read about it, it said that much of that has been lost but that the connection was the cause of Ó Coileáin being the name, it meaning “young welp or hound” just as Cú Chulainn means “Culann’s Hound” and was known as “the hound of Ulster”.
Dogs were the connection, I’m a bit of a mythology/history junkie.
I want to learn Gaelic because both sides of my family (grandparents) came here from Ireland. Mother’s side is from County Cork and father’s side is from Belfast. My grandparents passed when I was young and my parents didn’t teach my sisters and I Gaelic. I’ve been to Ireland and I love listening to the Irish language. I want to learn to speak it, understand it as it is part of my heritage.
Janet, you have a great head-start having already visited and heard the language. That’s good motivation, keep going.
I wanted to learn for a number of reasons, mainly because a) I am Irish, b) I went to Ireland last fall, heard someone speaking Gaelic and wanted to learn, and c) because I want to incorporate it into a story I’m writing.
Cool, how come they were speaking in Irish?
I spent a month last summer in County Clare and fell in love with all things Irish. I’d like to go to Trinity to get my masters in Public and Cultural History (of Ireland) and every bit of Gaelic helps. Funny story: my first words I learned in Irish Garlic were “go mal” whilst driving round Dingle!
Yeah, there’s lots of Irish road signs around Dingle. Although some locals seem to have taken offense to the law where it be only signposted as “An Daingean” and not “Dingle” 🙂
I have some feeling related to celtic músic and irish gaelic .The way it sounds seems familiar to me even though I don’t know about it .I suppose I Just like it
Some of the music can be very comforting. What are your favorite artists/groups?
My grandparents came from Achill to America and did not teach their children Irish. I’ve always felt like not knowing Irish was like missing a part of me. I’ve been to Ireland a number of times and love the country and the people, knowing Irish helps me feel connected with our people still there. And it’s way cool!
I hear Achill is a lovely place (must admit I haven’t been yet). I’m curious, did you grow up always knowing about the existence of the Irish language?
The reason I am learning Irish is that my girlfriend is Irish and I want to a. learn more about her culture and b. hopefully be able to ask her to marry me in Irish 🙂
Great reasons there! We’d love to hear back on any news 😉
The first time I knew Ireland was becuase of Westlife–the band I love the best , then , I fell in love with this fantastic land . The strong feeling made me try to search Irish , really wanna learn it ! But I’ve searched for so long , I couldn’t find a place or net to learn it , so disppointed I felt that time .
A very moment I found here , and with an excited feeling I signed up , then when the first mail got to my mailbox , I was so happy and started immdiately , I’m learning Irish ! I almost can’t believe it !
Really love Westlife , love Ireland , and I’m sure one day , I’ll go to Ireland to realize my dreams–see Westlife , face to face . And stay in that magic land , with love , forever .
Not to break your dreams – but it seems that Westlife did decide in 2011 that they will be splitting up. Here’s the news story: http://www.rte.ie/ten/2011/1019/westlife.html
I’m sure they will come back with many “come-back” tours 🙂
Yes,that’s the thing which is broken all my emotions , but I’ll still wait here , I believe one day they’ll come back to us , I’ve gone to their concert this year in Shanghai , 2.25 , a really magic night , and crying night … Thanks you so much to give me a chance to learn Irish and your encourage , I’ll do my best to realise my dream !:-)
Well,why can’t I log in ?I have typed my correct e-mail address and password , but I cannot log in , can you help me Eoin?
I’ve emailed you, let sort this out!
My mother’s family was Irish both her father and her mother. My great grandfather Callaghan spoke in the Irish Gaelic and I would like to understand some of it.
That’s very nice to have such a strong connection with the language – I hope you stick with it.
Hello 🙂 I enjoy learning foreign languages and this time I wanted something that would be a challenge. Also, I’m a great fan of Irish music and Celtic mythology. Last time I became fascinated with a foreign language (which was Swedish), I was able to learn it quite decently within a year. With Irish I don’t hope for such fast results, as everything here mutates, lenites, conjugates and so on. So I see it more as an adventure 😀
It sounds like you’re on the road to learning Irish, in any case! And Swedish is a beautiful language to listen to spoken.
Hello ! Well, I’m not Irish at all, but I’ve always loved Ireland, always ! I got interested in Ireland when I was very little, I fell in love with its beautiful landscapes, music…I’d love to visit this wonderful country, and maybe even live there, why not ? And that’s why I want to learn Irish Gaelic ! By the way, I enjoy these lessons a lot ! Thank you for making it so simple and being so friendly ! Bye ! Diane from France
Great to hear that you’re enjoying the Bitesize Irish Gaelic lessons!
I’ve heard it said that if you want to know peopld you must learn to think as thwy do. We think in the language that we speak. I Wang to understand Irish-ly.
As you learn the Irish language, you’ll certainly get a glimpse into how the Irish have formed our thoughts. The language uses quite different ways to express yourself than English.
My grandfather came over as a child.. every document we needed for a passport has been destroyed; I know the barony etc but alas. We visit often. After my first visit I could feel my roots..something Americans often feel missing..
If you do plan on passing through Limerick, do let us know. It’s nice to meet up 🙂
good my mother’s from ireland and I take pride in it. people called a dead language I don’t want it to be dead
The reason I want to learn irish gaelic is because I have an irish ancestor I feel close to. I don’t know who they are but I’ve heard of them and in all my life I’ve just felt really close to ireland and I’m starting to learn why! I finally got to the point where I can actually start learning more about my Irish heritage and learn the language that my ancestors spoke : )
The reason I want to learn Irish is of my ancestory. My cousin researched our family roots, and on my father’s side she found all of my grandfathers’ history dating back to late 1600s and
1700’s. We are from the County of Tyrone and came to America in the early 1700s. I am sooo
excited to being a descendant of a true Irish Clan. So that is why I want to learn the language.
Marcia from USA
My family is of Scot-Irish descent. Some of my family has been back to the parish where some of our family is buried. I dream of going as well, but would love to be able to speak and understand the language! I love the lilt, the dance, the music……
Ireland is the land of my dreams. I am a Filipino, have never set foot on any Irish soil and have never set sight on any Irish site. I become deeply interested after I heard the Celtic Woman. It’s my first encounter with Irish music. From then on, I researched about the music, the people, the country, the history, the language, etc., and found much and more, the very rich culture and heritage. Initially, I find the language a kind of difficult to understand especially from a foreigner’s point of view. But that makes it even more interesting! Of course, I wanna learn because I am going to Ireland, no definite date yet, but God’s will and I’m claiming it, I’m going to Ireland! If I could have a different life, I want to be born an Irish.
There was a little Irish Gaelic spoken in the home when I was yound but I have forgotten it and am doing a lot of mispronunciations. I was thinking of moving to Ireland and it would not be necessary but helpful
I want to learn the language that my family spoke and still speaks.
Cool, your family still speaks Irish? Do you know where in Ireland they’re based (if in Ireland)? Do they speak it every day?
I would like to learn the language because I think it would help connect me to my Irish heritage which my family is very proud of. I also want to learn it because I think it is a huge part of history that is sadly being forgotten by most. So many other languages have transpired from the Irish language and I want my children to be exposed to it at a young age. I think it is a very important part of history. It would be nice to speak a little of it when I visit Ireland!
When I found the Irish language existed and was still alive I had to learn it. I have Irish ancestors on both my mother and father’s side. There is a deep connection with the culture and language that I didn’t get when trying to learn other languages.
When I visit Ireland, being able to engage in basic conversation opens up a side of Ireland and it’s culture missed by otherwise.
I want to learn to speak Irish because my Father was born there in Sligo. He’s entire family is Irish, and although Pop spoke a bit of it (as he was taught in the language while at school), nothing has been passed on, and I feel that it is a shame that we dont know it. I know many Aussies of who’s family is Irish and do not speak a word of it.
I’m only a wee bit Irish, but I find the language utterly fascinating. I’d love to be able to speak it as well as read original Irish documents/literature.
I want to learn because I have an Irish Heritage and plan on visiting Ireland in a few years time. This would be a bonus then when I do visit Ireland.
There are several reasons I want to learn Irish; my Great-great-great-grandfather, David Benedict O’Brien, was born in Limerick, Ireland Feb. 15, 1803. I am working on my family tree, and would like to someday go to Limerick, it is a part of my heirtage and I want to stand where he once stood. I also love to listen to Irish music. Also from the pictures and videos I’ve seen, it is a beautiful and amazing place. I would love to see the castles that Brian Boru once lived in. The list goes on, but I think being able to Irish would be a plus for me if and when I go to Ireland.
Grant’s comment just about sums up my reasons too!
My maternal grandfather was born in Co Monagahan and I thought that some knowledge of the language would help my understanding of my heritage
There are several reasons as to why I want to learn Gaelic. The first and most important is because I love my Irish heritage and wish to honor. I also want to learn Gaelic so that I can teach my children. I also love the sound of the language. I hope that I can continue to learn the language and one day realize my life long dream which is to go to Ireland.
I want to learn Irish because I have a rich Irish heritage on both sides of my family with which I identify very closely and I feel like learning the language will only strengthen my Irish identity as well as my understanding of the Irish culture. Also, I happen to love languages in general. 🙂
Have been to Ireland Love the country and would like to learn and understand the language
I don’t feel a strong sense of cultural identity. Let me explain. Both my parents were born in England – myself I was born in Australia. Much of my childhood was spent moving around from town to town all over the country. Consequently it’s fairly recently that I’ve started to make good friendships (now that I’m 28…) Perhaps because of my fathers accent and all this moving around, my own accent doesn’t sound Australian – not to aussies anyway. Today people still ask me if I’m English and can’t tell where I’m from. In fact an Irish friend of mine down here asked me that when we met. I’ve never bonded with a particular place in Australia particularly, although I guess I still call Adelaide home. So in a sense I’m trying to find/build a bit more of an identity for myself.
Well all through growing up I used to do accents. Mimicking what I was seeing on TV. Most often they were Irish! To this day I still love the sound of most if not all Irish speakers.
An interesting thing happened at college a few years ago. I had an Irish web programming teacher. I had to call him up about something at the end of the semester. He answered the phone. And everything that came out my mouth sounded approximately as he did (in a strong Irish accent.) It was really embarrassing at the time. I know people are supposed to try to mimic each other automatically to make communications smoother, but this was ridiculous. I swear he sounded pissed off, like I was mocking him. Now I just laugh thinking about it.
I was a computer programmer for a decade or more. I love languages. I have my name tattooed into my arm in ancient egyptian. I suspect I’ll be getting a particularly well thought out, sarcastic comment tattooed into my other arm, in Irish, sometime this year.
And I feel I really need a second language. Not for any practical reason. More emotional need. And the benefits to my creative side of studying another culture, seeing new words, etc.
I’ve often picked up language courses for other languages in the past. Never continued much past the first few days. Irish has been different already – I actually feel engaged with the language. I actually desire to learn it. It doesn’t feel like a chore like the other languages did. The Irish speakers that I’ve told think I’m mad. But it’s the first time I feel really interested in a second language.
Recently I went through a big period of change. My career has changed – I’m now doing first aid and no longer sitting in an office all day. I’ve been looking hard at what I want in my life. I’m looking to make new friends, not just in Melbourne but overseas. People with a different story to tell. I’m intent on visiting Ireland among other places in about 18 months. So I’m learning Irish, and have started looking for some Irish pen-pals online.
In a nut shell, I feel a deep seated interest in Irish and Ireland. I want to make new friends and add some depth to my world view.
Joshua, thanks for sharing! An interesting path your life has taken you thus far. Keep it up with learning Irish.
I enjoy learning languages. I live in Paris and speak fluent French and also have a good knowledge of Russian. I once shared an office with a girl from Donegal who was a native Irish speaker and heard her talking on the phone to her sister in Irish. I think it is a beautiful language and I heard it again when I went to the Dingle Peninsula and also the Aran Island of Inishere. I’m going to Dingle again this summer and and I’m keen to learn more about the Irish language.
I have irish background. I love it. laddie, lass
Hello ro everybody there…
I lice in Chile and my language is spanish but I try my best with english.
Now I have 2 friends from Ireland and I’m in love with your country and I
need to speak a little bit,,,,my soul is asking me to do this. I have seen
million videos about Ireland, the dance and singing, the way people are
and I simple adore all of those things.
So please help me with the language and how can I get a translator online
to type sentences in gaelic.
Thank you very much for everything and God bless!!!
Interesting, we don’t have many Chileans around here 🙂
About online translators, Google Translate includes Irish. But to be honest, I really don’t recommending using it to create sentences. The language it creates is not natural.
You can try asking at http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com – there are members on the forum who could help you with translations.
I want to learn Gaelic because it’s my heratige. I have family that lives in Ireland and I want to get back to my roots. I want to go to Ireland some day and I want to be able to speak and understand the locals and of course my own family. When I started with the numbers just speaking them hit something deep in my soul like I was meant to be learning this. Like I should be speaking this. I can’t really describe the feeling that I had when I heard someone speaking it in a movie I saw the other day. It sounded so beautiful I cried. I felt like my ancestors where pulling at my soul to say go this is what you should know. That’s why I what to learn Irish Gaelic.
I actually started to learn a few words of Irish with an Irish assistent teacher when I was still at school in Germany. I helped her to learn German and she tought me some Irish. The sound of it, I thought it was fascinating. I few days ago I met an Irish guy here in Germany and while chatting to him I used me few phrases of Irish and that made him so happy! That kind of reminded me to the dream I had as a young girl to learn Irish and now I do! It is so much fun!
Sounds good 🙂 Very interesting to hear that you started to learn. Was the assistant teacher there officially to teach you the Irish language, or English perhaps?
I am interested in learning Gaelic to learn about my Irish heritage. When you know the language you know the power and energy of the people. My family has ties to Cork Ireland. I also take part in many rituals that incorporate all cultures and i would like to learn Gaelic so i may sing prayers and live closely to my ancestors in my heart 🙂
The reason for me is I’m part Irish & it is such a unique language. I’m going to Ireland in July 2012 & would love to communicate with the locals if they are using it. I just love Ireland and It’s a dream of mine to live there one day.
You’ll certainly surprise them if you use some phrases. Just be sure to be ready to repeat what you said, as they might not be expecting it!
Actually I have some Irish in me. Though I have a great mixture of German, Dutch, Scottish, Italian, and French as well, you’ll notice I’m a lot of celt. What drew me most to Ireland was my middle name, Leannan Sidhe, which is a very unconventional middle name (thank my mother) and in the process of explaining it to people found myself looking more and more, not just into the pagan beliefs and culture before Eirinn was Catholocised, but into her history and the carrying of customs into modern day. Besides being. Introduced through the various mediums of dance and music (in that order) I’ve really become fascinated with every aspect. Why is Gaelic spelled the way it is? (I joke to all of my American friends who criticise it that the Irish were drunk when they created it.) How can I recreate that veru musical and almost song-like accent? Besides, how can I claim my Irish heritage if I never actually experience the heritage? I was unfortunate enough to have been born in America, but I cannot blame my ancestors for fleeing and emmigrating to the United States when they did. Instead I can simply make the best of what I have and take action. So I want to learn Irish so I won’t be completely ignorant, and if I ever get the chance to visit, it might come in handy.
My great grandparents came from Ireland. They lived long enough for me to get to know them quite well. They spoke Irish fluently as did my grandmother. My mom however, used to hear it when she went to her grandparents and learned a few words but never learned it fluently. I remember being a little girl and LOVING the tales my grandfather would tell me about Bran the Great and the war with England to save his sister Branwen. He would talk about Morrigan, Callileach, Danu, Dagda and the Tuatha De Dannan. I loved those tales with me on his lap. My mother left me some very old books of his that have been preserved with all these written down in the native language and I want to learn to read them.
I simply wish to go deeper into the soil where my roots should be more entrenched.
Languages fascinate me and after spending some time in Ireland I began to teach myself a bit of Irish. But as I have three other languages to learn in school and my Abitur (German leaving certificate) coming next year I’m only progressing slowly.
My reason is threefold: first is that Ireland is where my family comes from. I like not having to use the anglicised version of my name too. If I spell it the normal way no one can pronounces it! Second is my general love of languages. I grew up speaking Spanish on my mother’s side, French in school, and German and Japanese because of my dad. Lastly, by faith I am a Celtic polytheistic reconstructionist. Learning the language adds to my spirituality.
My ancestors are from Donegal and I want to learn Irish because I love to sing traditional irish folksongs and ballads and want to learn ones in the native tongue. I also love the rich and ancient history and hope to someday live out my days in Erin..speaking Irish with other native speakers.
I’m 2nd generation Australian Irish and I want to teach my 11yr old twin boys Seamus and Aidan their ancestors native language
My ancestry is Irish, from Mayo and Roscommon. My lineage, my linkage, who I am is of Ireland;although Americanized by my placement and birth. But my identity comes through my noble yet humble ancestry and I live my life aligned with that ancestry. As a result I want to know the language of my ancestors. It helps me to learn more about the culture; their ways of living and thinking, and how the generations dealt with each other. I love to try to speak it when I visit Ireland, I stick out but it’s still fulfilling. Besides it is a fascinating and very different language than what most are used to, and a very challenging task. As you can see I feel strongly about the language and am thrilled at the opportunity to learn from a native speaker. I tried several other courses and was often mislead by the pronunciations in the audio presentations, this time I will learn it right!
I came upon your website while looking for a translation of “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” in Gaelic for our Christmas letter. I am Irish on all four grandparents’ sides, and, while born and raised in Boston (a bit of an Irish enclave of itself), I have spent most of my life in South Bend, IN, in the shadow of the University of Notre Dame, the home of the ‘Fighting Irish’.
So it seemed natural to dabble in Gaelic, just for fun. I haven’t read your “Learn Irish Gaelic online” yet. It’s a bit busy these days, but I intend to, and give Gaelic a try.
Joe, you’ve certainly lived in the Irish ‘context’! Do keep in touch.
Well, there are quite a few reasons why I’m interested in learning Irish Gaelic. First of all, I come from Scotch-Irish descent, so it’s partly a heritage thing in that I want to learn the language of my ancestors. On top of that, I love language learning period. I am not fluent in a second language, but I’ve always liked dabbling in foreign languages and would like to become fluent in one. I’ve been exposed to Irish quite often by listening to Celtic music. Over and over I’ve been impressed with the beauty of the language, which makes me want to learn it all the more. I’d like to be able to get to the point where if I have children, I can raise them to speak both Irish Gaelic and English.
As a decendent of Irish immigrants,I’ve been interested in most aspects of Irish culture and history, as well as the music for most of my life. I’ve been playing Irish fiddle for many years, and have studied ost Great Famine Irish history in college. Learning to speak Gaelic seems like a natural next step for me, though a daunting one. I also, have recently decided to enroll in a Doctoral program in Musicology with an emphasis in Irish traditional music and culture. With this program comes a language proficiency requirement. I decided that Gaelic would be the best choice, for obvious reasons. This requirment only stress’s the ability to translate written material (historical documents, etc.) from English to Gaelic, or the reverse. I would also like to develop some working conversational skills as well, but my primary interest is to first satisfy this academic requirment. Would your online system be helpful to me for what I need to learn?
Christopher, that’s a fantastic opportunity you have with taking Gaelic at university. Bitesize Irish Gaelic would certainly help you in the early days while you are still learning grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
I would like to learn because my granny was from there.County cork and spoke Irish so did my mother and i never learnt. After coming to Australia in 68 it was not used.I am chasing my Irish heritage and would like to learn the language;so i can converse when i go for a rip and not to loose my heritage.My grann was Mary Fannon late Connell and this is all i have to start with.So i would like a successful trip to find my family.I never stop thinking about it.Frances
I want to learn the language because it is beautiful when spoken – I feel a surge of pride in my heart and feelings of nostalgia to hear it. I have never researched my Irish heritage. I know my main ancestry is a mix of German & Native American, however, I am drawn to Ireland – gives me the warm fuzzies – “Erin Go Braugh”!!!
I went to Ireland on a tour in May 2011. I met an Irish speaking man and not only fell in love with him, but also Ireland. I went back again in September and spent 2 weeks soaking up the culture. Loved every minute of it. I have been trying to learn popular phrases, but I am so taken by the beauty of the language that I want to be able to speak it as easily as my own language of English. Rachaidh me go hEirinn an bhliain seo chugainn. I am going to the International Quilt Festival of Ireland in June 2012. My dream would be to live there. I have Irish roots in County Clare and my favorite part of the trips were the days I spent at Dromoland Castle (the O’Brian ancestrial castle) where they address me as Duchess of Thomond. Go raibh maith agat.
Nice story. And interesting that the two of you above have fallen in love not just with Ireland, but also its men 😉
I want to learn Irish because i fell in love with Ireland and the Irish culture. Something drew me towards Ireland and spending 3 months in Dublin was the best decision i took in my whole life. I will move back to Ireland/Dublin next year and i am really keen on learning as much Irish as i can till then. Also i guess my boyfriend plays a big part in this – he’s Irish and i thing it would be a really cool thing for me to be able to speak his language.