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Irish Language

For the most part the people of Ireland speak English with their own colloquialisms and local vernacular.

The Irish language itself is a Celtic language and is spoken in a very few small communities, mainly in the West of Ireland.

It has been the spoken language of Ireland for over two thousand years. The written form of the language has been documented as far back as the seventh century.

Although Irish speakers are very much a minority in Ireland today, there is a resurgence underway in which more and more people want to learn and use their native language. Irish is taught in all schools in the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland.

Irish is by constitutional law the first official language of the Irish Republic. It was recently granted official status in the Six Counties of Northern Ireland as a central part of the Good Friday Agreement.


Some simple phrases in Gaelic (or at least as simple as Gaelic can be!)

"What's your name?" :
"D an t-ainm a tha oirbh?" (Jeh un TAH-num uh HAW-ruv?)



"My name is...":
'S mise.....(insert your name)." (SMIH-shuh...)



"How are you?":
"Ciamar a tha sibh?" (KIM-mer uh HAH shiv?)



"I'm well, thank you.":
"Tha gu math, tapadh leibh." (HAH guh MAH, TAH-puh LEH-eev)



"Good evening.":
" Feasgar math." (feasgar mah)



"Good Morning.":
"Madainn mhath" (mateen vah)



"Bye for now." :
"Tioraidh an drasda" (cheerie uhn drasduh)



"Great health to you!" ("Cheers!"):
"Slinte mhr agad!" (SLAHN-tchuh VORR AH-kut!)



"I love you." :
"Tha gaol agam ort." (Hah GEUL AH-kum orsht)



"I don't understand." :
"Chan eil mi a' tuigsinn." (chan-yel mi uh-TOOK-shin)



"I'm sorry." :
"Tha mi duilich." (hah mee DOOH-lich)



"Excuse me." :
"Gabhaibh mo leisgeul." (GAHV-iv moe LESH-kul)



"That's very good!" :
"Tha sin gl mhath!" (hah shin gleh VAH)



"Great!" :
"S math sin!" (SMAH-shin)



"please." :
"Ma 'se ur toil e." (mah sheh oor TUL-leh)



"Thank you." :
"Tapadh leat." (TAH-puh LAHT -- also -- TAHplett)



"Many thanks.":
"Mran taing." (MAW-run TAH-eeng)



"You're welcome." :
"Se do bheatha." (sheh doe VEH-huh)



"Ta ta for now." :
"Mar sin leibh an drsda." (mahr shin LEH-eev un DRAHSS-tuh)



"A Hundred thousand welcomes!":
Cead Mile Failte (cade meela fall-cha).



Lively conversation and fun is referred to as "Craic" (crack). So if an Irishman asks you to go out for a bit of craic, he's just looking for fun - not white powder!!! (But maybe you should ask - just to be sure!)


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