How to Practice Reading, Hearing and Speaking Gaelic

Speaking Gaelic in a pub

In the end, learning Gaelic is all about learning to speak it. Here's a group speaking it in a pub in Limerick.

Do you want to learn Gaelic (or any other language, for that matter)?

It will come in stages of reading, understanding, and finally expressing yourself.

Greg sent us a great question recently. He realized there are these steps to learning, and asked:

With each of the languages [that I learn], I had some means of ‘hearing’ the language, beginning with the alphabet.  The Irish will be no different with me I think.  I will need to hear, speak and read it in order to become even moderately proficient with it.  Can you make any suggestions for overcoming this problem?

1. How to Read Gaelic

Reading through a piece of complicated text will probably just frustrate you. I know it puts me off, in any case.

Childrens’ books

Here’s a little tip that some people have already figured out: get a couple of kids’ books in Gaelic. Such books are targeted at a young audience who have a limited vocabulary. The more basic your own language skills, the more basic kids’ books you should seek out.

Litriocht.com sells every Gaelic language text in print. Go there and find some kids books. Do you know of any good books for learners? Reply here to let us know.

Advanced tip

Beo.ie is a quality Gaelic language monthly publication online. Each of their articles contain terminology tips. Even if you can’t make out what the article is about, use the underlined terms to increase your vocabulary.

2. How to Hear Gaelic

If you’re a reader here, you’ll know that we heartily recommend the superb free services offered by TG4 television and Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Not to push you in any particular direction, but our online Gaelic lessons also feature several thousand Gaelic recordings, at time of writing. The first lesson is free, and you can subscribe to become a member.

3. Speak Gaelic

While I realize this isn’t an option for most people, you should visit Ireland. More specifically, you should visit the Gaeltacht regions, and practice your Gaelic on the locals.

Speaking tip

A tip to speaking Gaelic, even if you don’t have anyone in your vicinity learning the language, is to teach something to your friends or family! For example, teach them to count from 1 to 10 in Gaelic. Not only will it be something fun to teach them, it will re-enforce what you have been learning.

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Comments

  1. Patrick says:

    I think getting children’s books in Irish is a great idea – thanks for the link. It also occurred to me that I should start an Irish Gaelic diary; just a sentence or two each day to start with (once I think I can handle sentences). The idea would be to try to express myself in a way that would relate directly to myself, and I would be compelled to build vocabulary that’s likely to be immediately useful and meaningful.

  2. Patrick says:

    True to my word! Here ’tis: Patrick’s Irish Diary. I’m sure it’ll make fascinating reading . . . ;-)

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