This one is for the many, many people out there who've told me they want to learn Irish but don't know where to start. You've no excuse now, lads..
Let’s be clear, learning any language is not easy. Learning a language which is often equated with bad memories is certainly not easy. So, the first thing to do is park your prejudices. It doesn’t matter if you had a rocky start with the language if you’d like to learn it, you need to let that shit go.
Here are a few things that could get you started:
- Duolingo– Instead of mindlessly scrolling through ads on Facebook, you could while away your commute to/from work on the app/website. Starting from 5 minutes a day, the free tutorials are in game format.
- Languages are pretty useless if you’ve no-one to speak to, Conradh na Gaeilge facilitate conversation circles nationwide. Shoot them an email and see if there’s one near you.
- There are several radio stations broadcasting through the medium of Irish, if Raidió na Gaeltachta is too advanced for you, try listening to Raidió na Life, the Dublin-based station, Raidió Fáilte from Belfast or the latest to the market, Raidió na dTreabh, in Galway.
- If you’re more of an online reader, have a look at Tuairisc.ie for news, commentary and excellent political analysis. If lifestyle is more your bag, Nós cover everything from recipes and film and music reviews and a rather exciting sex column.
- If you’re over 18 and would like to immerse yourself in Gaeltacht surroundings but without having to shift 4,568 people during your stay, Oideas Gael in Donegal comes highly recommended.
- If you’re on Snapchat, follow the award-winning TG4 (they’re TG4TV on it) and get bitesized insights into how Irish can be used innovatively.
- If you’re into sport, the Dublin-based GAA club Na Gaeil Óga have men’s, women’s and kids’ teams playing football and hurling alike who train, play and most importantly socialise as Gaeilge. They welcome new players all the time and you need neither to be a Grade A Irish speaker or sportsperson.