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Want to learn to speak Gaelic ?

Gaeilge or Irish is one of the oldest languages in Europe. It is part of a group of
languages called Celtic languages which includes others such as Welsh, Cornish,
Manx and more. It has been spoken on the island of Ireland for a couple of
thousand years and today it is considered an endangered language but it is very
much alive and kicking. It is Ireland’s first official language, a compulsory subject
in schools and is the spoken language of many protected Gaeltacht areas around
the island of Ireland.

Everyone’s language learning journey looks different, depending on what it
means to them. Whether you are Irish or have Irish heritage, you’re interested in
the culture of Ireland, it’s music, poetry and literature or you simply want
something new and different, your journey can be as fast or as slow as you allow
it.

Learning Irish

The most successful Irish language learners make the language part of their
everyday life, their daily practices, it becomes part of their identity. Whatever
your reason for learning the language is, don’t allow self doubt or a lack of
confidence hinder your path.
At Bitesize Irish, our motto is ‘Gaeilge gach lá’ or ‘Irish every day’. A simple
motto, but it takes dedication to incorporate that into your routine. Laying the
foundations can often be the most daunting part, new words, new rules, new
spellings and sounds but as we say as Gaeilge ‘tús maith, leath na hoibre’, ‘ a
good start is half the work’. You will surprise yourself at how quickly you can
progress in something when you put your whole heart into it.
Email Course
Bitesize Irish can be your companion through this journey. If you are an absolute
beginner, you have no idea how to pronounce the sounds of the language, or how
to read it aloud, we have a free email course available for you. This is a one month
conversation course with a bonus ebook and a newsletter delivered by email. This
can help you dip your feet in and get a feel for what lies ahead of you. You will get
the basics on how to say hello, thank you and goodbye, as well as other phrases
that you can use every day and kickstart practicing ‘Gaeilge gach lá’.
Taster course
After you’ve laid down the basics, you will have gotten a taste of the language.
There’s plenty more where that came from! You might have noticed that the
phonetics or pronunciation are very new to you, especially if you’re comparing
them to English words. Have you ever read an Irish name and struggled to figure
out how to say it? Saoirse, Sadhbh, Tadhg, Fiachra, these are just some Irish
names that might be difficult for those with no exposure to the Irish language.
Our taster course begins with helping you through pronouncing and spelling
Irish. Irish spelling is actually more regular than English! This free taster course
gives you access to some of our members only courses and allows you to see what
we have to offer and more importantly, if you like it!
Memberships
As I mentioned before, everyone’s language learning journey looks different,
depending on what you want to gain from it. Ask yourself ‘why do I want to learn
Irish?’ Many people have told me that they wish to use Irish when they travel to
Ireland, others want to understand their favourite Irish language song. Whatever
the case may be, we have two memberships available. Both include access to our
Bitesize Cúrsaí, 20 courses with over 200 lessons with a mixture of audio
recordings and video lessons from native speakers. They are accompanied by
phonetic pronunciations so you can train both your eyes and your ears to the
sounds of Irish. ‘Bite’ off as much as you need per day. The library of courses is
available to you 24/7 and you can choose to do as little or as much every day.
With our EXPLORE membership, you will have access to our online courses
library – Bitesize Cúrsaí and you can take daily bites at your own pace. This is a
great plan for learners who are starting from the very beginning, we don’t
presume that you studied Irish before and start from the beginning and work
upwards. We have everything from ‘your first conversation as Gaeilge’ to ‘sing a
song in Irish’.
With our GROW membership program, you will become a daily practitioner of
the Irish language – with others. Languages are for communication, to converse
and connect with others. If you are already a learner of Irish, this is a chance for
you to connect with other Irish language learners. You will have access to all of
our previously mentioned online resources and courses but you will also be
invited to join our Bitesize Pobal online community. Here, you will receive daily
prompts to encourage you to practice ‘Gaeilge gach lá’ with exercises and tasks as
well as a weekly Bitesize Beo scripted live call. Here, our fluent staff will give you
the chance to practice with others and ask questions! This is an ‘application only’
membership designed for active learners of the language.
Free Resources
You can find out more information about these courses on our website: https://www.bitesize.irish/.
What if you’re not ready to commit fully to a course? Fret not, Bitesize has many
free resources available online for you. Our Bitesize Blog is updated frequently
with videos and posts to help motivate you to learn and speak Gaeilge. You can
find lots of content both there and on our YouTube channel. We hold a monthly
Q&A and answer questions sent in by you! We announce this via our weekly
newsletter which contains all of the news and updates of what we are up to and
what is to come. You can sign up to our newsletter with our taster course here.
Our podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and many other platforms,
you can see them all on our website here. The Bitesize Irish Podcast is a free
podcast in English for anyone interested in the Irish language and Irish culture. A
new episode is published every few weeks and there are already over 100 episodes
to keep you busy in the meantime!
If you’re still reading, I want to say ‘go raibh maith agat’/guh-rev-mah-aguht/
or ‘thank you’. You don’t have to set a goal of becoming fluent in a year, ‘de réir a
chéile a thógtar na caisleáin’ which directly translates to ‘it takes time to build
castles’. Whether you aim to eventually read a novel fluently or to simply be able
to introduce yourself, the most important thing is your motivation. Take your
time and believe in yourself. Many people give up on their language journeys
because they don’t see progress quick enough. This is where our motto comes in.
Gaeilge GACH Lá.
They say it takes 21 days to form or break a habit, good or bad. Instead of trying
to break a habit that you already have, why not pick up a new one. An Irish one. It
might take more than 21 days to master (I say ‘might’ just in case we have a
genius reading this), but it will be an enjoyable challenge all the same.

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