Our blog serves as regular motivation for you to speak the Irish language. Find posts about culture, videos where you find how to say certain phrases, and member interviews to tell you about their experience of learning the language.

Why Are You Interested in Learning to Speak Irish Gaelic?

Irish Gaeltacht
Irish Gaeltacht
Irish-speaking area in Conamara, County Galway, Ireland.

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 cรบpla 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?”

  1. Boska Hunter Hannan

    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.

    1. Hi Boska,

      Thank you for commenting.

      That is so interesting to read that you were always drawn to Ireland and its culture ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am glad that you have found your parents and cousins.

      Le meas,
      Ana.

    2. 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

  2. Drennen Michael McGuire

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Hi,

    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.

    Yours
    Michi

    1. 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.

  5. Hi Eoin!!
    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
    Nuala Mailin

    1. Hi Nuala Mailin. Really nice to hear your story! Glad you found the video useful: http://youtu.be/sWBUnixqX5g

      I think Donegal (Dรบn 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.

  6. 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)

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. I too was born there ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

  8. 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.

    Donna

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!!

    1. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 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.

  15. Drennen Michael McGuire

    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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Drennen Michael McGuire

    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.

    1. 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).

  20. 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 cรบpla 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
    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.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Heleen,

      I checked out your blog – maith thรบ! 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.
      Eoin

  21. Drennen Michael McGuire

    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.

  22. Drennen Michael McGuire

    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.

    1. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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