Thursday, March 17, 2011


If you can speak more than one language fluently, then color me impressed. If you can learn to speak Irish then you're a genius. To say the language is impenetrable is an understatement. Children here are required to study Irish all through school starting in junior infants (which is like Kindergarten/first grade/reception(UK)) and take an exam when they're 16 (unless they're a native speaker). Even with all that schooling, I think I may speak more Irish than my husband. I'd like to thank my main educator: the Irish public transportation system.

In my previous post I mentioned that I met my friend's little boy, Naiose. She is a native Irish speaker and wants her son to be as well. Her partner does not speak Irish fluently, but he's not too bad. I wondered how this would work and she said that she speaks Irish to him exclusively and he'll learn English from everyone else. Her sister has done this with her niece and it works perfectly.

Of course I spoke to him in English by occasionally, well, let's just say I wowed her with my knowledge of the Irish language. I would say something along the lines of:
'Ahhh Naiose...sneaicbheár?' Translated this means 'Ahhh Naiose....snack bar?
Or I would just throw place names at him in my best goo goo gaa gaa baby voice:
'Sraid na Mainistrach!' (Abbey Street!) 'Duga Sheoirse!' (George's Dock!) and of course my all time favorite: 'Na Ceithre Cúirteanna!' (The Four Courts!).

Riding the Luas (which, by the way is Irish for 'speed') can really educate a gal.


  1. Hmmm..come to think of it, the only Irish I know are Luas stops as well!!! From St. Stephen's green to dundrum- I know 'em!

  2. Ard Mhusaem Rinn na Mara.

    (High museum, seapoint)

    That's all I got.

  3. Póg mo thóin. That's all I remember from my one semester of Irish. All in all, fairly useful I suppose! ;-)