Sunday, August 13, 2006

speaking and hearing irish

One of the things I did this winter was work on my Irish a bit. While song lyrics are conversational, in a way, they are also a bit poetic for everyday speech, and the vocabulary is a bit limiting for conversation at times...more on this later. It was great to be walking down a street in Galway and hear a couple behind me discussing where'd they go for dinner -- in Irish -- and understand them, though. To be able to wish the occasional Dia Dhuit and say Go raibh maith agat at the right time, and to get the road signs in Irish is helpful too. The more I learn it, and more importanty, the more I hear it, the more I think it is a language which grows out of the landscape and should be not just preserved off in some school room or archival recording, but spoken.

Here's a place to begin learning, or just to listen, from the BBC, and another, from RTE's radio naGaeltacha. Over there to the right there's a link to the Cathie Ryan Band. She sings in Irish, as do Altan, Mary Black, John Spillane, and others you'll find on Live Ireland, also linked over there on the right.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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