Learn Irish Gaelic at Erin's Web!


 

Messages from WebMiss

08/22/13 - After much thought I have shut down the forum for Erin's Web - Gaelic. It is no longer providing a service to our visitors here at Erin's Web and has become a stomping ground for spammers. There are a number of resources you can go to for help with learning Irish Gaelic lessons on the Web. I personally like to refer folks to Eoin Ó Conchúir at Bitesize Irish Gaelic. He has a fantastic program available at his website. It's worth a look :)

06/02/13 - I am not able to participate in Erin's Web at the present time. I will keep Erin's Web up and running for those who are learning these lessons or just stop on by to be entertained by the many interesting facts and information about Ireland on Erin's Web. Please remember to post your questions directly to the forum for others to see and help you through the forum. Webmiss is no longer able to personally assist in the forum or by email any longer. Posting to the forum lets others see your questions regarding the Irish Gaelic language and more often than not may have the same or similar question and/or perhaps other members of the forum will assist you. Please see the update below regarding joining the forum. Thank you for understanding! -Webmiss (aka Erin)

Bitesize Irish Gaelic
If you're looking to learn Gaelic, I recommend you try Irish for Beginners . You'll get a free series of online lessons for learning Irish by email, run by Sasa and Eoin over at Bitesize Irish Gaelic . Learn to introduce yourself by listening to the audio and repeating. Approved by Webmiss!

02/04/12 - ERINSWEB IS GOING GREEN and MOVING to a new web host powered 100% by wind! This transition could take a few days for the forum to be up and running. Thanks for your patience!

05/22/06 - All Gaelic lesson pages are available to download in one zip file!



Céad Míle Fáilte!

IRISH GAELIC
LESSON BOARD


View from Kenmare B&B, County Kerry, Ireland  - Photo credit Sean Collins 2002
View from Kenmare B&B, County Kerry, Ireland
Photo credit Sean Collins 2002

A brief history about Irish Gaelic

Many Americans are not aware that the Irish have their own language just as Germans, Russians, Chinese and Swedish have their own.

Irish is a Celtic (pronounced KEL-TICK) language. Within the Celtic group, it belongs to the Goidelic branch of insular Celtic. Irish has evolved from a form of Celtic which was introduced into Ireland at some period during the great Celtic migrations of ancient times between the end of the second millennium and the fourth century BC. Old Irish, Ireland's native language when the historical period begins in the sixth century of our era, is the earliest variant of the Celtic languages, and indeed the earliest of European native languages north of the Alps, in which extensive writings are still existing.

Article 8 of the (Irish) Constitution makes the following affirmation:

1. The Irish language as the national language is the first official language.

2. The English language is recognised as a second official language.
(From the Government of Ireland Web site.)

The Irish Language in History

In 1366, the English government passed a series of laws (the Statutes of Kilkenny) to stop the Anglo-Irish from becoming totally absorbed in the Gaelic culture: Englishmen were forbidden to wear Irish costumes, speak the native tongue and intermarry. Teaching of Irish was forbidden by the English and was done so in an effort to force the Irish to follow British rule and law.

Even as recently as 1999, was there censorship against the use of the Irish Gaelic language lurking in the dark depths of the World Wide Web. The speaking (or rather, typing in this case) of Irish Gaelic was banned for a short period of time on America Online's (AOL) Irish Heritage Forum Message boards. This news hit even the big time magazines and Web sites, and, of course, all the Irish newspapers printed here in the U.S. And just as suddenly as they closed the boards "for review of said usage of language we don't understand", the boards were restored--but missing several postings (perhaps in the hundreds) that contained the use of Irish Gaelic. It caused quite a stir and many Irish Diaspora (Irish born) and Irish-American subscribers canceled their accounts because of it.

Modern Ireland

Though not widely spoken in Ireland today, about one percent of Irish citizens still speak Gaelic regularly. There are also newspapers and Web sites (here's the same web page in English) exclusively in Irish Gaelic.

Don't Get Discouraged

People who speak even just the basics of Irish Gaelic say it's not hard to learn once you get the sounds down.* The Lesson Board is updated when Webmiss is usually on-the-fly, but she shoots for five or more new lessons per month. So pull up a chair and a good cup of tea and give it a try yourself! If you look at some of our own English words, other languages don't seem so odd. For example, the pronunciation of the word "patient", as found in Webster's Dictionary, is "pã-shant". If you compare the pronunciation of the word to the spelling of the word, it does look rather funny and you can't imagine what they were thinking when they decided to spell the word the way they did. You'll find yourself saying the same thing about Irish Gaelic.

*The lesson pages on the Lesson Board are courtesy of The Irish People Newspaper and are used here with permission/credit.

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