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'Irish belongs to you, so why not try and use it more'

Is your Irish a bit on the rusty side? Seachtain na Gaeilge is the perfect time to give it a go again.

FOR TWO WEEKS prior to St. Patrick’s Day, our language becomes a little more visible.

Thousands of people in hundreds of groups and organisations all around the world join together to participate in the largest, longest running, and most positive celebration of our native culture and language.

Seachtain na Gaeilge

This year’s Seachtain na Gaeilge is the largest ever, running for two weeks and involving over 100,000 people taking part in over 1000 registered events all over the globe along with countless events taking place in schools, and is being represented by Actor and 2FM star Clíona Ní Chíosáin and Tomaí Ó Conghaile, BBC presenter and Editor of Nós, the Irish language lifestyle magazine.

Seachtain na Gaeilge is the first step towards choosing a greater place for the Irish language in your life and in our society. Whether you’re líofa or taking your céad cúpla focail steps, there are plenty of events to choose from.

Now is the time to give it a go

You may not have spoken a word of Irish in years, but now is the time to give it a go. Don’t worry too much about your modh coinníollach, your blas, and your foclóir.

Your first conversation will be the hardest, but after that every conversation gets easier.

Irish belongs to you, and the choices you make, with every word, phrase, and sentence you utter, with every conversation you initiate, with every new friend you make through Irish will decide the future of our language.

When you choose a future for Irish, you join hundreds of thousands around the globe who have already done so.

Irish is being taught and learned at universities from Boston to Beijing, and from Montana to Notre Dame. Interest in Irish is growing rapidly in the US in particular, where every year The Fulbright Scholarship programme sends 9 Irish-speakers to teach at universities there.

Conradh na Gaeilge has branches operating as far away as Hollywood and Melbourne, teaching, promoting and renewing the language for a new, appreciative and creative generation.

Getting involved 

It doesn’t have to end when Seachtain na Gaeilge has finished on St. Patrick’s Day.

You can keep it up by:

Celebrate the language

When we choose to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, we choose to celebrate our most underrated, under appreciated and underused natural resource.

We give life to the language that roots our culture in the past, enriches our present with its indisputable authenticity, and which will, if we let it, bring new inspiration to our social and economic lives in the future. Its yours. Its ours. Its us. 

Is your Irish a bit rusty? Here are some helpful phrases to get you started:

  • Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú? Tá mé go maith, go raibh maith agat – How are you? I’m grand, thanks
  • Cé as thú? Is as Baile Átha Cliath dom, agus tú fhéin? – Where are you from? I’m from Dublin, and yourself?
  • An mbeidh tae nó caife agat? Is fuath liom tae, beidh caife agam! – Will you have tea or coffee? I hate tea, I’ll have coffee?
  • Cén post atá agat? Is tiománaí tacsaí mé. Céard a dhéanann tusa? – What’s your job? I’m a tax driver, what do you do?
  • An bhfuil tú ag baint taitneamh as Seachtain na Gaeilge? Táim, tá sé go hiontach! – Are you enjoying Seachtain na Gaeilge? I am, its brilliant!

Source: Seachtain na Gaeilge/YouTube

Cuan Ó Seireadáin is the Communications Officer with Conradh na Gaeilge. You can follow him on Twitter @cuanbos.  Seachtain na Gaeilge runs from 1-17 March.

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About the author:

Cuan Ó Seireadáin

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