1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. Back to the Gaeltacht: an adu…


Back to the Gaeltacht: an adult emigrant returns to learn Irish

I thought that some of you would find this interesting:


Basically its an Irishman living in Latin America for many years who recently came back to Ireland to relearn the language.

August 14, 2015



Those of you who don't read the Letters to the Editor in the Irish Times may be interested in some of the followup that has been published to this article

In a letter titled Creative writing in Irish a Raphael Darcy from Dublin asks "what happens when he goes back to South America and wants to keep it up with some good books in Irish?"

He suggests that the choices are some "translations into Irish of English classics" or "cheap school editions of some Irish classics" and complains that "the only bestsellers in Irish for years now have been translations of booklets on referendums, water schemes and postcodes"

He suggests that instead of spending money on translating official documents into Irish "for people who can read English perfectly well", the money would be better spent funding creative writing courses in Irish, and says that he is only aware of one such course, and annual event in Ballyvaughan.

He finishes by saying that "Dineen’s dictionary amazingly can still be bought new. I wonder what word does he give for “gross”?

This last question is answered today by a Joe McLaughlin of Midlotian Scotland, who points out that "The answer is nothing, of course, as Dineen is a Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla"

This is tucked in at the bottom of a letter titled Plenty of Books in Irish in which Síne Nic an Ailí of Baile na Manach, Co Átha Cliath, recommends a visit to "An Siopa Leabhar at 6 Harcourt Street in Dublin, where "original fantasy novels by Peadar Ó Cualáin, award-winning historical thrillers and swash-buckling tales by Liam Mac Cóil, 21st-century stories for teenagers by the acclaimed Áine Ní Ghlinn, and adult fiction by Alex Hijmans, a Dutch Irish-language writer based (most appropriately for Michael McCaughan) in South America" can be found

She goes on to argue the case for translation of official documents for those who want them, and ends with a suggest translation for "Grossly exaggerated" - scéal áibhéileach thar na bearta, which she attributes to teanglann..ie (dar le teanglann.ie, dála an scéil).


Great follow ups, thanks for posting them!

Perhaps I can improve my Irish to the point that I can actually call into that shop some day. As it is I have a tough time reading children's books to my daughter as Gaeilge.

I'm an American living in Dublin and I can't help but think that many peoples attitudes towards Gaeilge are very similar to Raphael Darcy's. Most people seem to want the language to thrive but don't seem to be aware of the resources that exist. There seems to be a complete lack of consensus on what to do with the language and unless/until someone figures it out Gaeilge is likely to continue in its current state.

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.