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Seachtain na Gaeilge: Irish is one of four languages our son speaks in Sweden

Seachtain na Gaeilge: Speaking Irish in… Stockholm

Ruairí de Fréin and his French wife are bringing their children up in Sweden, speaking Irish, Swedish, French and halting English!

Irish is one of four languages our son speaks in Sweden

My two-and-a-half-year-old son is quite the celebrity at his dågis (Swedish preschool); he speaks Swedish with his classmates, French to his mother (her mother tongue), Irish to me (and his Mamó), and halting English to his “Dad-dad!” (who is always greeted joyously with this obligatory exclamation[!] and smile) on Skype.

My son’s demands to our Irish friend are now always in Irish, which is fantastic - “Tá mé ag iarraidh briosca eile, le do thoil, brioscaaa, brioscaaaa”. When my son earnestly informs me, from time to time, after a period of intense reflection that Mammy speaks Francís, Dadaí speaks Gaeilge and that his Dad-dad speaks Béarla, I know that we are on the right track.

March 18, 2016



What does ''Dad-dad'' mean?


Presumably paternal grandfather ('farfar' in Swedish).


I think it's just his young son's way of saying Grandad. We don't really differentiate between maternal and paternal grandparents in Irish or in English, as they do in Swedish.


It might be; I assumed he was simply calquing the more specific Swedish word into English.

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