1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. Irish. Might be one of the ha…

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mitchell_MT

Irish. Might be one of the hardest language I study.

As you can read from the title, I believe that Irish might be on of the hardest languages I study, grammar and pronunciation. Luckily, I know I will get the hang of it! That's all, thank you.

August 25, 2014

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexinIreland

Good luck! If you ever have any difficulties, feel free to contact a member of Team Irish!

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BritBlue

Thanks Alex, perfect timing, I'm back to 'school' this week. Glad to get some practice in before I'm let loose on the poor patients of Cork County.....

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mitchell_MT

Thanks. It's my goal to learn every language from my heritage. Irish is one of them.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/no.name.42

What are the others?

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mitchell_MT

Danish, German, Czech, Polish, & Swedish.

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALoUSyUseRnaME

The grammar is pretty confusing... I'm planning on looking into it and using all my resources :)

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavinae

Hm, I'm a bit more optimistic!
I think I'm starting to understand some of the word order already and the lack of indefinite articles in Irish also isn't a problem (so far). :)

Although Alex did warn me about some grammar pitfalls beforehand (thank you!). ^^

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElizaWy

I just started, too!

Wow, though... I've focused on the romantics and dabbled in Japanese, but IRISH... I think it'll be the hardest language for me, too.

Thankfully, I'm a huge fan of Irish folk music, and I've been longing to learn the language for the last fifteen years. ::rubs hands:: I'm going to wrestle it into submission, so help me.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElOtroMiqui

If you check these two websites

You'll see that it says Irish is even harder than German (the former requires around 44 weeks of studies to get a good level in the language. The latter is requires around 30).

Nonetheless, Irish sound is just beautiful.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

It's difficult only because it's very different from in the Indo-European norm. However, I think it's pretty regular and the only awkward bits in the language are, in my opinion, identifying gender and noun declension, and the language's phonotactics, which feed into spelling system, which is actually more phonemic than it appears at first glance.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElOtroMiqui

Actually, I have no idea since I've never studied Irish. Who knows, maybe it's easier than what those pages show.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaniceLove1

Interesting links. I actually found Irish pretty easy. There was an "a-ha!" moment a few weeks into the semester (I studied it in college) but after that it was really about upping vocab. And there's not too many irregular verbs, so that's nice.

I tried French and found that hard. I had to set it aside. (And I even had a Spanish and Latin background from school).

Maybe I'm just an oddball.

August 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

It's not as hard as German. Believe me! The most difficult part of it is picking up the sound of the language.

Hang in there. You'll love it! It's a fantastic language, with lots of colour.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drjohnhwatson

Everyone seems to be agreeing it's the hardest language and I'm thinking it's probably the easiest for me so far! Those darned indefinite articles always give me trouble so when I saw Irish didn't have any I was like WHOO HOO. Plus the conjugation of verbs follows a general pattern thus far...

I feel like the oddball here, haha. (The spelling, though...the spelling is definitely tricky, I'll give you that. Good Lord.).

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stardustnight

Until now the word order is not too hard but I think it's difficult to understand (is it now ólaim or ólann?) and I'm a bit confused with the verbs and the spelling.. but I simply love how it sounds! Thanks for creating this language course!

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

The verbs are easy. They follow very predictable patterns, and you can always fall back on the analytic forms (e.g. 'tá mé') rather than the synthetic forms ('táim') and you should be good.

The spelling will make sense. I've mentioned the book 'Beginning Irish' elsewhere, which ought to help.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stardustnight

Okay thanks! I'll have a look :)

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kingthatcher

"Ólaim" is "I drink" whereas "ólann" is "he/she/it/they/you drink(s)". Ólaimid is "we drink". It takes a while to get used to the conjugation of verbs, but it isn't more complicated than, say, italian or portuguese conjugation. Actually, it's a lot easier than those conjugations.

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stardustnight

Thanks! After a bit of learning that has become already a lot easier although it's still very hard for me to hear the difference between verbs in listening exercises because to me they sound very similar (esp. itheann/ithim). But I'll try my best :)

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JennaHO

I pride myself on spelling, but Irish scares me. I had to translate menu (with the pictures) and I hadn't even seen it yet. When I saw the word(s), my stomach dropped.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

There are rules, so don't worry. I'd recommend you get Routledge's "Beginning Irish" book, which should help you out at lot. The spelling is actually pretty phonemic, but it has to do a lot of weird things because Irish makes heavy use of palatalisation (every consonant has two values depending on the type of vowels surrounding it), initial mutation (which is entirely predictable), and lenition (also entirely predictable).

Don't worry, I'll make sense.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/digitalpointer

Do you have a link to a record for the book you mentioned? I'm only finding Hippocrene's "Beginner's Irish" and Usborne's "Irish for Beginners".

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

I got the name wrong. facepalm What I was actually thinking of is "Basic Irish": http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Irish-Grammar-Workbook-Workbooks/dp/041541041X/

"Intermediate Irish" by the same author is a good follow-up book: http://www.amazon.com/Intermediate-Irish-Grammar-Workbook-Workbooks/dp/0415410428/

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/digitalpointer

Thanks so much!

August 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/minilauren

Nah, German is harder…which is why I gave up on it (for now)

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarefo
  • 1138

yes, just gave it a try, I had no idea Celtic languages were SO different from the other Indo-European ones I know. hm, buachaill, related to Greek boukólos "cowherd", according to wiktionary. ok, Hungarian, bring it on!! ;)

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pandacustard

It can be rather difficult. I dabbled in Irish over the years, but never got too far because I had no way of listening to it (and when you're a beginner, it definitely does not sound the way it reads). I'm glad there's a great way of listening to it now. Makes a world of difference.

I bought the first Harry Potter book in Gaeilge many years ago (I like collecting childhood books in other languages for practice) and never got to read it because I couldn't understand much. Now I'm really looking forward to reading the whole thing!

August 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baddums

Things are definitely spelled like they sound for the most part, but I keep leaving out random vowels :P It's taking some getting used to. I've been doing one part of a skill and then strengthen/practice right after. It'll be slow going for me, but I'm so excited to be finally playing in it!

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andro777

Well,Irish might be hard but I found that some of the grammar rules are just like Persian,my native language so it`s not that much hard for me!

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WahahaDrills

It's really, really hard but it sounds soo cool. Like when someone reads Beowulf in Old English correctly. It sounds so powerful. That's what Irish makes me think of. "The candies are in the fridge" sounds like a literary masterpiece.

August 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carst1

I really want to learn Irish, but unfortunately duolingo's course is Munster Irish and I'd much prefer Ulster Irish as I live in the Ulster province, and especially pronunciation is really different.... :-(

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saymon3000

For people that are already used with languages which have many grammatical cases, noun inflections, verb inflections and so on, learning Irish isn't that difficult, especially when you compare it to languages like Polish, which is considered the hardest language to learn for a non slavic person and has more than the double of the Irish language cases, not to mention the complexity of its words pronunciation.

February 10, 2019
Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.