Learn Irish

Originally published for the 2006 CIF programme

The Gaelic language is one of the oldest in Europe and has seen increased interest in recent years. Irish Gaelic is Ireland’s official language but is spoken principally in small rural communities known as the Gaeltacht. From 2007, Irish becomes an official language of the European Union and the Irish language channel, TG4, is now available to watch on the Internet so there has never been a better time to learn Irish.

Last year, the Celtic & Irish Cultural Society organised an Irish language class as part of the Crawley Fleadh (prior to the 2005 festival). Subsequently, classes were organised in Crawley to allow people interested to get a better understanding of the language learn it for themselves. In 2006, the Fleadh has moved to November but the idea remains the same: to allow local people to learn one of the oldest languages in the world and the European Union’s newest official language.

Here are just a few phrases in Irish but the pronunciation may be difficult for beginners. It also differs from province to province. Why not come along to some classes to learn how to master it?

Conas atá tú? How are you?
Tá mé go maith I’m doing well
Slán leat Goodbye (said to person leaving)
Slán agat Goodbye (said by person leaving)
Sláinte Cheers / Good Health
Sláinte chugat Good health to you
Go raimh maith agat Thanks / Thank You
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