Ag Caint as Gaeilge? Talking in Irish?
So I've been studying Irish for a while now - the Duolingo course has been a real help to me! I now have the proverbial 'cúpla focal'.
I was wondering if anyone had any hints or tips for ways to gain practice in actually speaking the language with live speakers? Obviously many learners of Irish are in places without many (or any) Gaeilgeoirí nearby. I myself am in the UK. I've met a one or two people who speak Irish where I live, though they often only have the 'cúpla focal' they remember from school.
If anyone has any thoughts on practising and improving speaking Irish, they'd be much appreciated. I'd also be interested in hearing any thoughts on starting up 'Irish language' groups in places without native speakers. I find myself thinking that these kind of groups could end up being very important when it comes to 'rebuilding' the language.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh! Mike
If you’re seeking live speakers, perhaps the London Irish Centre could point you to a group near where you live in the UK?
Conradh na Gaeilge is promoting Is Leor Beirt conversation circles — listed UK locations at this writing include Armagh; Dungannon (Co. Tyrone); Edinburgh; Enniskillen (Co. Fermanagh); Glasgow; Liverpool; Manchester; and Warrenpoint (Co. Down). If those people who you’ve met are interested in expanding their cúpla focal, you could even start your own conversation circle with them and then add your circle to CnaG’s list, so that others near you would be able to find your circle.
A “Plan B” might be to use a video chat program with people who are also interested in practising and improving their own spoken Irish.
If you are in or near Manchester, there are three different conversation circles which take place every month. Have a look at www.milg.org.uk for more info. There was also an umbrella group in Britain which can help to set up new language groups but I'm not sure how active they are currently. But there will always be people who can help you to start up a new group. Remember it only needs two people for a conversation!
For a listing of Irish immersions weekends in the US and Canada as well as local teachers, visit www.daltai.com The mothership of Daltai is located in NJ and at their weekends, they have teachers from Ireland (via the Fulbright program) They run workshops for teachers, a weekend for canteoirí loifa at the Jersey Shore, a full week in August. I just came back from the February weekend and the teacher from Ireland highlighted advances in Irish Language Promotion and Duolingo was right up at the top!