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.
Why Should You Learn A New Language Like Irish?
There are so many reasons why people choose to learn a new language like Afrikaans. Having a clear cut reason why you want to learn will help you with your motivation and give you the push to learn on when you might feel out of your depth. While there are a lot more complex reasons, here are a few you should consider when starting your language learning journey:
Traveling: You know what would make travel infinitely easier and more enjoyable? The ability to speak the language of the locals. This will make it much easier for you to get to know the people and learn much more about the culture of the area. It unlocks so many more opportunities to see places off the beaten path, try new and interesting food, and see the country from a different perspective.
Business: Of course, knowing the language of your business partners would make day to day operation much smoother. It takes away a lot of the ambiguity and helps get to the point. In addition, it opens more opportunities to travel for work, work abroad or just get a more prestigious job at home. Speaking multiple languages is a well sought after skill that may just set you apart from others applying for the same position.
Improving Yourself: Learning a new language is among the most common new years resolutions people make. While many people do not follow through, those that are determined to improve themselves and learn new skills really put in the effort to achieve their goal. Becoming fluent in a target language is very fulfilling and gives you a chance to meet new people and explore more. Otherwise, it is a very impressive feat that you can show off to everyone you know.
Meeting New People: Have you ever thought that, by learning a language like Mandarin, you would open up the possibility to speak to over a billion people? Whether you have friends that you want to try speaking with in their native language, or you are looking to meet new people from different cultures, learning a new language is one of the best ways to go about it. Having these native speakers as friends and speaking to them frequently will also help you practice and learn even more.
Understanding Media: Whether you listen to K-Pop, watch Japanese anime, or enjoy reading German literature, learning the language of the media you are consuming will make the experience much easier. Beyond just understanding the language, you will also pick up on the more subtle cultural aspects of the text that sometimes get lost in translation. Being able to see yourself progress as you begin understand what you are reading or hearing is a great motivation and will make you feel great.
How To Get Started Learning Irish
When it comes to choosing how to get started or ways to continue your learning, there are many different methods that people use. Everyone learns best in different ways, so try them all out and find what works best for you. Similarly, there are both paid and free language learning programs that you will need to consider. Here are some of the more prominent examples:
For those who enjoy the classroom experience, language classes can be a very effective way to get a formal education in your target language. These can be either in a classroom setting with several other learners, or one-to-one with a private language tutor. While learning directly with a private tutor will get you a more personalized experience, it can become costly. However, if you want one of the most effective educations in the language and time and money is no issue, this is definitely worth considering.
Language Learning Courses
Maybe you are a real book worm and learn best through reading and writing. There are so many choices available online or in a combination of audio CD and book form that will walk you step by step through a language. These usually follow a format of a few pages on a particular topic followed by some related questions for you to answer as a test. For some, this is an ideal way to learn for what can be a reasonable price. For others, they may find this method difficult, unfulfilling, or boring. If you have the willpower to set aside time and concentrate on the task, you should give it a try.
If you surround yourself in the language you are learning, it should be easier to learn, right? This is generally the case. You will constantly be tested and hear new vocabulary in your day to day life. Every interactive with others will be an opportunity to use your skills, helping to remember and practise what you know. While it is an effective method for learning a new language, it is far from practical in most cases. You are probably better starting off with a different method and working your way up to eventually visiting or even moving to the new country.
It is no secret that we think language learning apps like Ling are a great way to bolster your learning experience. Apps are amongst the most convenient methods. Smartphones are nearly always at hand, so when you have a few free minutes waiting at the bus stop or while laying in bed. These are great opportunities to practice some vocabulary or try out some of the lessons. Adding to this, they are also able to test your ability to speak, write and understand text. While these apps likely should not be the only method you use, they are a great tool for improving your ability a little bit at a time.
Why Ling Is The Perfect Language Learning Companion
Ling is designed to make language learning as easy, fun, and accessible as possible. Using a variety of mini games and interactive learning techniques, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the Irish language using just your smartphone. Whether you’re a complete beginner and want to learn the basics of the language, or you’re already fluent and want to learn advanced vocabulary or brush up on your knowledge, our Ling Irish app is able to help.
Traditional language lessons can be boring, dull and no fun at all. That is why we’ve made the learning process fun by using puzzles, games, challenges and quizzes to teach you how to read, write and speak in Irish. Ling uses native Irish speakers to help you perfect your pronunciation. We have also made sure to give Ling users the best value possible, offering over 50 languages from just one app. You can even try out the Ling language learning app for free and see if it is right for you. Download and try it out today.