Irish Language

Irish Language

In honour of St. Patrick’s day which happened on Tuesday, we thought we’d share some fun facts about the Irish language.

Across the world, there are approximately only 350,000 Irish speakers, the majority residing in Ireland and surrounding areas. Of these 350,000 speakers, only about 10,000 people consider it their dominant language. Irish may also be known as Irish Gaelic. Irish is the official language of Northern Ireland. It is also considered to be a Celtic language.

Irish is part of the Indo-European language group, which includes languages such as French, Spanish and derives from Latin. There are three major dialects which include Munster-Leinster, Connacht and Donnegal. Between these three there can be considerable variation in which it can be difficult to understand one another based on which dialect they speak.

Irish is written with a form of the Latin alphabet, and though some letter may look the same, they do not sound the same.

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i
á é eif héis í
L l M m N n O o P p R r S s T t U u
eil eim ein ó ear eas ú

The structure of an Irish sentence is verb, subject, object, so while we would say “I saw a cat” the Irish would say “Saw I a cat”.

For those looking to learn this language, it can be difficult to know how difficult it is to learn as it is often not taught in formal classroom settings.