DCU are currently running a free on-line course in learning basic Irish - it's called Irish 101: An Introduction to Irish Language and Culture. I decided I'd check it out for two reasons: first as an on-line learning experience - it's only three weeks long and I am less likely to drop out. Secondly, even though I hated Irish at school, I decided to brush up 40 years after my last Irish class and see how much I have to re-learn.
|An Fáinne Nua.|
Image source: Gael Linn.
So far, not much of the basics is new to me - but is is really basic in the first lesson, "Conas atá tú?", "Dia duit" and all that. In 1972, after completing a year in a Scoil na nÓg in Trabolgan (Co Cork), I could speak Irish fluently and even had the precious Fáinne Nua to show that I could. But since then I have not had much use for Irish, though like a lot of Irish people I have found it handy when abroad and trying to confuse the locals. I have always been opposed to compulsory Irish in our schools - I prefer it to be a language of choice rather than being shoved down our necks.
The course has a lot of spoken English in it - but that's to be expected for first time learners. I will persevere (I'm almost a third of the way through). DCU have done a good job on this and I hope it is a successful programme for them, and that they plan some more for improvers. Good stuff DCU!