https://www.duolingo.com/Pancakes-R-Us

What's your reason for learning Irish?

Let's be honest here- we aren't learning Irish because it's widely spoken or even spoken in the majority of Ireland. One day I hope it is though!

Why am I learning Gaeilge? Well several things, I do not live in Ireland. 1. My family's roots practically trace back to Ireland, and I would like to learn the language my ancestors once spoke. 2. I find the language absolutely captivating. Literally, I really like the language, it is a very unique one. 3. Samhain, nuff said.

What about you?

2 years ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92
bemk92
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I'm Dutch and have no connection to Ireland at all.

I'm just interested in the languages around me. I already learnt a bit of German and French in secondary school, and I'm pretty fluent in English.

I actually came to Duolingo because I wanted to brush up on my French and German, but ended up learning Irish instead as it's something rewarding to do.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/niamhwitch
niamhwitch
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I'm also not in Ireland. My family and I live near Boston, but I'm originally from California. I'm learning Irish for several reasons, most importantly: Because I want to. ;-) Other reasons... I want to learn Scots Gaelic. I know that's a weird reason for wanting to learn Irish, haha... I am mostly of Scottish descent (primarily on my father's side, but just recently we found out that there's quite a bit of Scottish ancestry on my mother's side also), but there's a lot of Irish on my dad's side as well. Irish is a bit more accessible than Scots Gaelic- it's easier to find resources to learn the language- and both have the same roots (as far as the lineage of the languages). Yes, they are very, very different, but they're also quite similar. My ultimate goal is Scots Gaelic, but I've been learning Irish for over a year now and I'm absolutely in love with the language and culture.

I also find that there's something, I don't know... special? Interesting? Maybe even noble (or maybe that's a stretch)? about learning a language that's endangered and in serious threat of dying out. I know that one person learning the language isn't going to change much, if anything at all, but I guess maybe I feel that I'm at least putting an effort in and contributing (even if it's only a tiny amount).

Celtic languages (and culture) in general is something that I've always been interested in. I'm really looking forward to Welsh when it becomes available (and, as far as I know, I don't have any Welsh ancestry).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pancakes-R-Us

I am looking forward to Welsh and Greek as well! Anyway that's cool! Scots Gaelic will be easier because you will already have Irish knowledge...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avrichard
avrichard
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Mostly just learning for fun.

Although I have this vague goal to be fluent in all the native languages of my recent ancestors (these being English, French, Irish and Danish). My Irish ancestors came to Australia in the 1840s... Usual Gorta Mór migration story.

There were a lot of Irish speakers among the early European settlers in the Australia - firstly a large number of the Irish convicts sent to Sydney and Van Diemen's Land were Irish speakers who often didn't speak English very well (or at all). Then obviously the Famine refugees were often from Irish speaking areas.

I was reading from a historian who estimated that Irish was Australia's second largest language (after English) in terms of number of speakers in the early 1800s (bigger than any single one of the hundreds of Aboriginal languages). I haven't seen his evidence, but sounds plausible.

There are some interesting artefacts around from that era, such as a gravestone in a cemetery near Geelong, which was written in Irish but by someone who didn't know any of the rules of spelling and just wrote it phonetically. It apparently was only recently that someone even worked out what language it was...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/demazema

For religious reasons, I'm a celtic reconstructionist and it's a very important part of it for me. But I also have just a general interest in it. Living in Ireland you encounter Irish in your daily life, in school, on the roadsigns... stuff like that. It just makes life here more interesting to have a more active understanding of it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatConn
MatConn
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I'm embarrassed that after 10 years of schooling in Irish, and 5 of French, my spoken French is vastly better! I'm Irish born and living in England, and value my Irish heritage in both the language and music, and would love to do more to promote it. Why is it that Welsh which was also dying has gone from strength to strength, but the use of Irish is still getting weaker?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I read or heard recently (possibly even here on Duolingo) a comment by a woman who had given birth in Wales, and was approached while still in the maternity ward to ask if she would be interested in attending Mother and Baby Welsh classes. I'm pretty sure that's not happening in Irish Maternity hospitals!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatConn
MatConn
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Somehow the love of the language needs to be engendered. If they can only make it fun! I've just been reading on another discussion about the dumbing down of Irish exams. They should abolish the written exams and concentrate on spoken Irish, and oral exams (and not dumbed down versions). If all that's achieved is an ability of future parents to help their own kids learn Irish, then that is a massive gain!

Somewhere here I read what's the point of learning vocabulary without grammar. But lots of people learn languages from watching TV. Grammar follows with use.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dquedenfeld16

Agreed. Centuries ago most people of any language (ie:peasntry) were not literate in written form but could speak their language if they were in conversation. I'm not saying average people should be peasants again but we must focus on the oral part before the written part. In fact I believe if everyone spoke it on a regular basis, then the writing aspect would follow on it's own.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatConn
MatConn
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I'm hoping that at some point in the future, to set up a Hangout on Google for Gaeilgoirí to practice. I don't have enough confidence in my skills at present.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dquedenfeld16

I tried setting up a chatroom using Discord but it was not very populated, conversation was scarce and it died pretty quickly.

Thus let me give you some advice should you proceed, get a fairly large grouping PRIOR to creating such a practice session like Hangout. I would suggest at least 10, perhaps more people, particularly if they are all novices. If you can get a small grouping of skilled people who are willing to hang around on their and comfortable speaking the language you will find more success.

Ultimately I think the best strategy is have a number of people who have good enthusiasm for teaching or at least conversing on the practice session who have at least adequate skills in the language. That way, learners who wish to practice but are novices may mimic or study how the others speak and become more skilled themselves. In the end you will likely have more novices than teachers, which isn't necessarily bad, so long as the chatroom doesn't die out. I have found that often when it is just novices practicing with each other in an Irish only environment not much is done and it seems to die off fairly quickly.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JD.Hogan-Davies
JD.Hogan-Davies
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I live in the U.S., but I've always wanted to learn Irish. I don't know if I have an agenda other than doing it for the fun and interest of it. Most of my ancestry is Irish, Scottish, and English (my g-g-g-grandfather emigrated from Limerick around 1800). Since I already speak English, I've always been interested in learning one of the Celtic languages my ancestors may have spoken (at least in some version). I studied Welsh (which is, of course, very different from Irish) twenty years ago and enjoyed it, but it was mainly a substitute for my desire to learn Irish. Besides, I've never found any Welsh ancestry in my family tree.

On a side note, my wife's father's family was from Wales (he grew up in the northeast of England, and so did my wife). Maybe we should learn Cymraeg together once I've got a better grip on Irish in about 10 years or so :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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Much of my Dad's side is from Ireland (and my mom is British/Welsh). Also its a very unique and interesting language :) I also want to learn Welsh so I could learn my mom's heritage and be an "IsleGlot"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

I do live in Ireland, but I think our motivations are pretty much the same. I want to speak the language that would have been spoken by my family, and just about the whole country, only three or four generations ago. I feel that it is the language we should all rightfully be speaking now, and even though I never had it, I feel like it was stolen from me, and by learning it a wrong will be set right.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dquedenfeld16

I am of Irish descent living in the Americas (my family came over during the famine I believe (some 2-3 generations ago). All semblance of the language has been lost on my family (although I catch a bit of an accent every once in a while from my mom). It's a beautiful language. I am jealous of many bilinguals who are of non-English descent and have their native language, I should have mine. It connects me with my roots.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Unless your parents were born in the 1920's, I think you're more likely to be 4 or 5 generations from the Famine than 2-3.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosecat290

I don't live in Ireland but I love the country and just Irish people in general . The language just appealed to me , I'm not learning it for any specific reason really just because I love the country and the people , I'm a red head so I suppose that could have some part in it ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rexfordrat
rexfordrat
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I decided to learn Irish after listening to songs in Irish. I wanted to know the translation of some of my favorite songs. Also, having visited Ireland, I fell in love with the people and the landscape. My great grandparents are from what was originally called "Queenstown" in Ireland...I think now it is Portloise (spelling?). Since they spoke Irish, I wanted to also learn the language of my family. The adult learner books in Irish are really fun to read, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Cobh in Co Cork used to be called Queenstown. Portlaoise used to be called Maryborough, but it is the county town in what used to be called Queens County - now Laois.

(According to Wikipedia, the Queen in question was Queen Mary and Maryborough was established by an act of Parliament in 1557).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rexfordrat
rexfordrat
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Thanks! I knew it was "Queen something!" I looked up my great-grandparents location, and I should have said that they were from Maryborough in Queens County.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

No problem!

Cobh is a deepwater port, so Cobh/Queenstown was the point of departure for many people (for example, 123 passengers embarked on the Titanic from Queenstown, its last port of call before it sank). So it's not unusual to hear references to Queenstown in emigrants stories.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Falhabrio

I think Irish is a beautiful language and I passed up a chance to study it while in college. I don't know if I have any Irish in my heritage but I love languages and having tried a couple other languages through this program already I was excited to see Irish available. I wish there were more sound files but even if I'm just able to read passably I'll be happy.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PfifltriggPi
PfifltriggPi
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I like endangered languages, and this is the only one offered here. I also want to learn Welsh and Breton, and this will make those easier. Also, the grammar is truly amazing. I mught be a nerd, but I like insane grammar.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/andy85123

I'm Irish and never particularly liked Irish in school due to the way it was taught. I only really started getting genuinely interested in the language towards the end of secondary school, and I used to chat as Gaeilge with friends who were fairly fluent in it to practice. My one big regret is missing out on Irish college.

But ever since then it's always been something I wanted to become fluent in as I think there's a certain pride in being able to speak your native tongue.

I'd love to learn German too at some stage but I'm thinking it would be mad to start learning other languages before becoming proficient in my own one first.

One massive drawback is that even though I live in Ireland, it seems near impossible to immerse myself in the language or even converse in it (at least orally) at all, nevermind on a daily basis which is a shame. TV and radio, and typing is one thing, but speaking it and conversing in it is what I think would really help in becoming proficient.

Nonetheless it's great to have things like Duolingo, and I certainly think it'll help with my vocabulary so we'll see how it goes!

2 months ago
Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.

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