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The Irish Language Explained; What is Irish the Irish language?

The Irish Language Explained; What is Irish the Irish language? 

Important Facts About the Irish Language

The Irish language, also known as Gaeilge, is a Celtic language native to Ireland. It is one of the oldest languages in Europe and has a rich history and culture. Here are some simple concepts to help you understand the basics:

We will look at Irish as the official language of Ireland, Irish vs Gaelic, the history of Irish language, Irish language examples, and facts about the Irish language. 


  1. What; The Irish language, known as 'Gaeilge' in Irish, is  referred to as 'Irish' by Irish people  when conversing in English, while it is often called 'Gaelic' outside of Ireland. (However, 'Gaelic' is synonymous with the language of Scotland, not Ireland). 

  2. When; Historically, Irish was the predominant language in Ireland until the 12th-century English invasion. Subsequently, English became the principal language spoken throughout the country.

  3. Where; Certain regions in Ireland have retained their native language, now referred to as the 'Gaeltachtaí' (plural) or 'Gaeltacht' (singular), which denotes an Irish-speaking area in Ireland. The largest Gaeltachtaí are in the west of Ireland in Galway, the north west of Ireland in Donegal and the south west in Kerry. 

  4. Today, Irish is recognized as an official language of both Ireland and the European Union. It is taught in schools, and a language revival act has been implemented to ensure the preservation and promotion of the Irish language. The Irish language is loved by most Irish people and there is a wide and vast interest to learn the language. However, unfortunately, many Irish people leave school with only basic Irish language skills. 

  5. Alphabet: The Irish alphabet has 18 letters, which are similar to the English alphabet but without J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y, and Z. (However, these letters can be found in loan/new words in Irish now). 

  6. Pronunciation: Some Irish letters have different sounds than their English counterparts. For example, the letter 's' is often pronounced like 'sh' and 'c' is always a hard 'k' sound.

  7. Vowels: There are five vowels in Irish (a, e, i, o, u), and they can be short or long. Long vowels are marked with an accent called a "fada" (á, é, í, ó, ú).

  8. Consonants: Irish has "broad" and "slender" consonants, which affect pronunciation. A consonant is broad if it's next to the vowels 'a', 'o', or 'u', and slender if it's next to 'e' or 'i'.

  9. Word order: Irish generally follows a Verb-Subject-Object (VSO) word order, which means the verb comes first, followed by the subject, and then the object.

  10. Nouns: Irish nouns have genders (masculine or feminine) and can be singular or plural. There are different ways to form plurals, but a common one is adding '-anna' or '-acha' to the end of a noun.

  11. Pronouns: Personal pronouns in Irish include mé (I), tú (you), sé (he), sí (she), muid/sinn (we), sibh (you all), and siad (they).

  12. Verbs: Verbs have different forms based on tense (past, present, future) and person (who is doing the action). For example, the verb "to be" is "bí" in the present tense.

  13. Prepositions: These are words that show relationships between nouns, such as in, on, under, or with. In Irish, some prepositions combine with pronouns to form new words, like "agam" meaning "at me" (in my possession).

  14. Greetings: Some common Irish phrases to start with are "

    - Dia duit" [dee-a dits] (Hello), and

    - "Slán" [slawn] (Goodbye).


More Popular Greetings in Irish? 

Click here to learn the most common greetings and sayings. 


How to pronounce the Irish language?

Check out the free pronunciation guide below;   

 πŸ“™Free pronunciation guide to the Irish Language Here

πŸŽ“Beginner course waitlist here

πŸ“°Newsletter with Free Lessons Every Week

Pronunciation Help; Pronunciation of 'Gaeilge


✏️ Free Alphabet Workbook for the Kids 

πŸ–ΌοΈ Free Irish for the Home Print

πŸ“§ Irish for Emails Free PDF 

βœ…Free Routines As Gaeilge for Kids 

πŸ—£οΈGaeilge Speaking Guides for Parents



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