My journey with the Irish language

Genuine connections with Irish language learners

Irish pasturesI wake in the morning and the first thing I do I do is reach for my phone and jump on Facebook. Normally, if I heard of someone doing that I’d think they were deeply lonely or addicted to social media.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth!

While learning Gaeilge/Irish I’ve found myself making genuine friends in Ireland, England, America and Germany. Learning this language has shown me there are so many wonderful people around the world. I may be connecting with them through Facebook, Twitter and Skype, but we’re genuinely connecting. Conversations are authentic and heart felt. People are willing to be open and honest about themselves, their passion for Irish culture and for Gaeilge.

I often meet the same people in different on-line Irish language groups and Facebook pages and feel comforted. These people have quickly become my community who share my chosen language; I talk to them every day. We may have different ideas about the world (and Ireland) and are from different cultural backgrounds, but there’s acceptance and a common goal – to learn Gaeilge. This community is full of interesting and intelligent people who want to explore the Irish language, culture and history. And honestly, I don’t think there’s a more controversial or political western language than Gaeilge/Irish.  It challenges me to open my mind and teaches me humility. It’s more than just the language, Irish culture has shown me a hidden history of oppression and injustice in the name of ‘colonisation’. It has shown me a fighting spirit that refused to die. And all of this is openly discussed in the growing Irish speaking/learning community. Every day, it shows me that most people around the world are kind and welcoming.

So that’s what I associate with learning Gaeilge in the international Irish learning community – warm and welcoming and intelligent and challenging and insightful.

I can’t leave without saying a little Irish, so here goes…

 

Ní féidir leat Gaeilge a fhoghlaim gan pobal a chruthú.”

You cannot learn Irish without creating community.

 

Slán go fóill agus tugaigí aire daoibh féin

Bye for now and take care

Neasa

10 Responses to Genuine connections with Irish language learners

  • Beir Bua a Neasa!

  • I am so happy to meet you in Facebook page, you are a lovely person. Maybe some day I leave the reply… as gaeilge. Slán agus beannacht leat

    • Go raibh maith agat a Christiane, I love our Duolingo Facebook group for Irish learners, it’s great to be learning Gaeilge together. And yes, I’m sure you will be able to leave responses as Gaeilge soon 🙂

  • Thank you for your message above. Congratulations on your determination in learning Gaeilge/Irish. I wish you well. I may be a 6th generation Australian but my roots are from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and France, with 3 of my 4 lines of family initially going to Britain from France during the Revolution, as many did! The 4th line being totally English!

    • Go raibh maith agat a Jennie. It’s great to know to know about our ancestry, I believe it helps us strengthen our inner core and sense of belonging 🙂

  • Conas tá tú a Neasa, Hope you are having a ball, wherever you are. I am drowning/delighting in booking planes and trains and hotel rooms. Part of me cannot wait to get going, and the other half of me says WAIT a minute, I’m not ready. Coming ready or not. Ádh mór ort! Julie

    • Tá mé go breá, go raibh maith agat a Julie. I spent a few days in Gaillimh (Galway) and now I have arrived at Cora Droma Rúisc (Carrick on Shannon) where I’m going to be for the next six weeks. I hope you have a safe trip over here and see you in August for Immersion in the Irish Language 🙂

      Le meas Neasa

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