Want To Learn Irish?
Ireland is a country closely associated with the United Kingdom, but boasts its own legacy. Its culture is distinct, with different legends, ways of living and, of course, language. While it is not used as prominently today, it still remains a major part of the Irish identity. So then, what is it like to learn Irish?
Irish, also known by the name Gaelic, belongs to the Goidelic language family, alongside Scottish Gaelic. While there are only about 170,000 first language speakers, around 16 million speak Irish as a second language. There are several different dialects used, usually centering on the major historical cities of the country. The Irish alphabet is based on the Latin one, but with notably fewer letters.
While Irish does share some elements with English, it differs quite a lot in other areas. There are 4 main grammatical cases in Irish. Additionally, all nouns are associated with a grammatical gender. One major area where Irish grammar differs from English is in word order, where Irish follows a VSO structure. Adjectives are placed after the noun rather than before, which can be a major stumbling point for learners.
While there are few first language speakers of Gaelic, it remains popular as a second language for the Irish. As such, taking the time to learn Irish before your stay in the country will be sure to make you friends. In fact, many people will likely go out of their way to help you learn more. If you are looking to better your experience in the country, consider learning at least a few words of the fascinating language.