About Irish

Irish (or Irish Gaelic as it is sometimes called outside of Ireland) is one of the last remaining Celtic languages spoken in the world today. Irish was the majority language spoken throughout Ireland until the late 1700s, however today only circa 75,000 people speak Irish on a daily basis. The remainder of the population speak it to varying degrees of fluency as every child is obliged to study Irish at school. Irish is classified as ‘definitely endangered’ by UNESCO, yet today there are vibrant Irish medium television, and radio stations and the number of Irish medium schools is on the increase. There is also an active community of learners worldwide interested in this beautiful ancient language. Indeed, Irish has gone stratospheric… in 2013 Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sent a tweet in Irish from the International Space Station!
Irish people and the Irish diaspora all over the world are acutely aware of the importance of the Irish language to an understanding of Irish culture and identity. The learning of Irish opens a gateway to the richness of the Irish literary tradition. Leaving Greek and Latin aside, Irish is the oldest written language in Europe.
The learning of Irish opens a doorway to a deeper understanding of Irish traditional music and song. A knowledge of Irish affords a deeper understanding of the landscape and place names of Ireland, for example, Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh) means ‘the church of St. Canice’; Clonmel (Cluain Meala) means ‘honey meadow’; and Killarney (Cill Airne) means ‘the church of sloes’.
Irish is an interesting and stimulating language, closely related to Scottish Gaelic and Manx Gaelic (Manx). These three languages are classified as the Goidelic Celtic languages. It is a more distant cousin of Welsh, Cornish and Breton, the Brittonic Celtic languages. Those interested in linguistics or the study of Celtic languages will have fun exploring the syntax particular to this language.
Learning Irish will allow you to connect to the people and beautiful landscape of Ireland and to deepen your understanding of its rich and ancient culture.

Start Irish

LISTEN, ABSORB AND SPEAK IRISH NATURALLY

This 1-hour audio-only Irish ‘taster’ course is for beginners who are new to the Michel Thomas Method. The Michel Thomas Method works by breaking a language down into its component parts and enabling you to reconstruct the language yourself. From the very beginning, you will be able to construct simple phrases in Irish by listening and thinking out answers for yourself. The course will take about 3-4 hours to complete and is available to stream or download via the Michel Thomas Method Library app. It is the first hour of the Foundation course, which will be released in Autumn 2019.

Patricia Mac Eoin

Patricia Mac Eoin originally worked as a lawyer before leaving the legal world behind her to indulge in her love of languages. After retraining as an accredited translator she spent a number of years working in Brussels as an Irish language translator at the European Commission. She now lives in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, where she works as a freelance translator and runs the online business All About Irish. She has written her own series of children’s books in Irish, and translated many children’s books from English and French to Irish. She loves learning and teaching languages, and also speaks French, and basic Spanish and German. She particularly loves to explain the distinctive features of Irish to those who have no previous experience of learning a Celtic language, and seeing students discover the richness of this ancient language.

Patricia Mac Eoin

Patricia Mac Eoin originally worked as a lawyer before leaving the legal world behind her to indulge in her love of languages. After retraining as an accredited translator she spent a number of years working in Brussels as an Irish language translator at the European Commission. She now lives in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, where she works as a freelance translator and runs the online business All About Irish. She has written her own series of children’s books in Irish, and translated many children’s books from English and French to Irish. She loves learning and teaching languages, and also speaks French, and basic Spanish and German. She particularly loves to explain the distinctive features of Irish to those who have no previous experience of learning a Celtic language, and seeing students discover the richness of this ancient language.

Eilís Ní Dhúill

Eilís Ní Dhúill worked for TG4, the Irish language television broadcaster, as editor and director of Cúla4, an Irish language programming block for children. She then returned to the world of academia to undertake a Master’s Degree in Irish Studies before completing a PhD in Modern Irish. Eilís’s doctoral research involved working closely with the Irish speaking community of Corca Dhuibhne on the Dingle peninsula in West Kerry. During her Masters and PhD studies Eilís continued to teach Irish and to lecture in the Irish and Education departments at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she continues to work today. She is currently involved in an Irish language media audience research project. She has also lectured in Gaelic literature at the Welsh and Celtic Studies Department, Aberystwyth University, Wales. She has been involved in the development, modernisation and delivery of a number of undergraduate and postgraduate Irish language modules and is dedicated to promoting the Irish language and culture.

Eilís Ní Dhúill

Eilís Ní Dhúill worked for TG4, the Irish language television broadcaster, as editor and director of Cúla4, an Irish language programming block for children. She then returned to the world of academia to undertake a Master’s Degree in Irish Studies before completing a PhD in Modern Irish. Eilís’s doctoral research involved working closely with the Irish speaking community of Corca Dhuibhne on the Dingle peninsula in West Kerry. During her Masters and PhD studies Eilís continued to teach Irish and to lecture in the Irish and Education departments at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she continues to work today. She is currently involved in an Irish language media audience research project. She has also lectured in Gaelic literature at the Welsh and Celtic Studies Department, Aberystwyth University, Wales. She has been involved in the development, modernisation and delivery of a number of undergraduate and postgraduate Irish language modules and is dedicated to promoting the Irish language and culture.