I want to go to Ireland, but learn some things about it first
I have always wanted to go to Ireland. I am planning a trip to Dublin in the future. I do not have any friends there, and I am going on this trip by myself. My English isn't the greatest and I have a strong Dutch accent. I have a little trouble understanding the Irish accent, and would like to get better at this. I want to learn some typical Irish words, want to know about the culture and not make a fool of myself! Sorry if this isn't the right page to ask these things. Where do I start?
Unless you're spending a lot of time in the Gaeltach, you're much more likely to encounter English as a tourist in Ireland. Irish may be an official language, but it's one that very few Irish people speak with any degree of comprehension. You'd probably be wiser to strengthen your English.
Given that OP is concerned about their accent and their ability to understand an Irish accent in English, I took them to mean Irish English -- in the same way that a Brit might want to learn "some typical American words" before travelling to the US, so that they're not given the wrong thing when they want to buy chips or pants (and/or so that they know what Wisconsinites are talking about when they mention bubblers).
You can search everything on the internet :) I will give you some tips that maybe help.. I'm Dutch to but I never had an accent because I already spoke English when I was very young xD
You can also take the Irish course and subscribe some youtubers with Irish accent and if its very difficult for you to understand it, I would try to put the subtitles on (I recommend English subtitles). Maybe you can do that first? Also, If you did this you can Practice speak to yourself some words or phrases that are very difficult for you to say ;D
You can repeat some words until you say it right? I don't know if that works, there are also some Youtube videos who can teach you how to lose youre accent in English.
Maybe check this website out: https://www.smartling.com/blog/70-irish-slang-words-phrases-you-need-to-know/ You can also search something about the culture? :)
You know the way you have some "in jokes" with your friends, or there are some slang words that were used in your high school that your cousins that went to another school didn't understand? At least a third of the "slang words" on that list fall into that category - local or semi-private slang that the vast majority of Irish people would assume was Dutch slang if EliseVermeer tried to use them on her trip to Ireland, and most of the rest aren't particularly Irish (mad as a box of frogs?) or are extremely unlikely to be useful to someone who isn't a bit of a gurrier in the first place (plugged for pregnant? There's a very narrow demographic for that usage, and most of them don't live in Ireland). Maybe 10-20 of the words on that list might be words that a visitor would come across, and might be helpful to know.
I recently spent a week in Ireland with my partner and parents. We rented a car and spent a week driving the countryside. We saw many parts of Ireland and also were in Dublin for two days at the end of the trip. The only language I ever heard was English. Some of the signage, especially road signage, is printed in both English and Gaelic; but I don't recall ever hearing anyone speaking Gaelic.
I don't know Dutch culture, so I'm not sure what parts of the culture may be new or different for you in Ireland. I'm Canadian, and there was nothing that I found that strange or different. We were friendly, polite, respectful and quiet; and we found the Irish to be warm, friendly and welcoming.
Gaelic is a beautiful language but despite the hard push by the government to make it more widespread, most people speak English on a daily basis, especially in Dublin. If you go to the smaller towns and villages, especially on the west coast (and you should!) you will here it more. Irish-English is a bit of a challenge and I will even dare to say here that it is a little more 'musical' than most British accents and once you hear it all around you, you'll get used to it. In my experience, the real key to understanding between two people (even between two people of the same native tongue!) often relies more on patience than anything else so, like everywhere in the world, it will often depend how busy the Irish people you speak to are as to what response you will get :)
And don't worry about making a fool of yourself either. The Irish are not so much different than the Dutch really. There are very few differences in etiquette - unlike if you went to Japan or Iran for instance - and the Irish are generally very friendly and fun to be around. Some places can get a little boisterous in the evening - especially around Temple Bar in Dublin. If you like that, great; if not, seek out the quieter places where live folk music is played. Most of all, relax and enjoy!
Gaelic is a beautiful language but despite the hard push by the government to make it more widespread, most people speak English on a daily basis, especially in Dublin.
Yes, and in fact you will hear lots of Spanish as well as German and Polish languages in Dublin but you won't hear Irish unless you go deep into the country and search it out tbh.
Also, Temple bar is a rip off. Lots of other great live music venues eg. Darkey Kellys, the Celt bar, that are very central.
There are far more Irish speakers in Dublin than in any other part of the country - but they all speak English too (there are no monolingual Irish speakers in Ireland, unless you count very young children), so unless you deliberately seek out Irish speakers in Dublin, you aren't likely to hear them speaking Irish, unless you speak Irish to them.
What I mean is there are remote parts of the country where Irish is spoken as a first langauge.
If there are more 'Irish speakers' in Dublin thats because the population is heavily centred in Dublin. However, in 12 years in Dublin the only time I have encountered the Irish language is on road signs etc.
To be classed as 'Irish speakers' surely there must be some requirement to actually speak the langauage?! Somehow I dont think they are all going home at night and coversing in Irish!
I studied French at school but havent a clue how to speak it.
The 2011 census shows that over 11,000 people in the Dublin area listed themselves as "speaking Irish Daily outside the Education system". That compares to 14,600 thousand in Connacht, 7,000 in Donegal, 4,000 in Cork, 3,000 in Kerry and 2,000 in Mayo. That number deliberately excludes those who just "speak Irish daily within the Education system" (120,000 in Dublin alone!) because, as you point out, many of them aren't likely to any fluent that you are with French.
As a tourist travelling through a Gaeltacht area, you'll be eating in restaurants and shopping in shops and seeing sights where more than 95% of the people around you are not fluent in Irish, so you'll be addressed in English, and in most cases your menu will be in English. You'll see signs in Irish, but that's common throughout Ireland, even in Dublin. You might overhear some people talking to one another in Irish, but as a tourist, it's quite possible that those Irish speakers in line behind you are tourists from Dublin who are visiting the Gaeltacht themselves!
Yes, the chances of finding a fluent Irish speaker if you stop random stranger in the street of a small town in a Gaeltacht area are higher than if you stop a random stranger on O'Connell street in Dublin. but I wouldn't suggest that anyone stop random strangers anywhere and ask them to "speak Irish".