#136 Learning to Speak Irish with Eoin – AUDIO


I must confess; my knowledge of the Irish language tends to be limited to place names and a few simple words like slán (bye) and fir (which means men… as in which door I should enter when I need to use the toilet… for ladies it’s mná). Fortunately, the internet is making learning Irish a bit easier, and Eion from Bitesize Irish Gaelic offers his insights into the Irish languag and teaches us a few handy phrases in the process… “Pionta Guinness Le do thoil!!!” And Liam sings us a song in Irish.

Go ahead and have a listen…. you’ll likely learn a few things.

CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON below to listen.



“The very way the Irish language forms sentences is a deep insight into how the Irish people have thought over the centuries. So if you start to tap into learning a bit of Irish you’re really getting a close, deep, inner view of how people have been thinking.” – 07:57

“The people we deal with have been brought up with a very close, dear connection to Ireland… even if they never been there. It’s that longing for Ireland.” – 13:07

“Learning Irish is not really a weekend project, but you can do it in bite size pieces.” – 13:40

“It doesn’t really matter what dialect you’re learning or if you’re learning standardized Irish. If you don’t know anything else to start, start with standardized Irish and focus on a dialect later.” – 19:45

“Find something that teaches you Irish and learn that; and if you come across a different expression for the same context, that’s great because you’re exposing yourself to more regional variances.” – 21:07

“The worst thing you could do is just not start.” – 23:50

“Language is all about reading, but it’s also about understanding and then expressing yourself.” – 25:40

“What we did at Bitesize Irish Gaelic was break the down the Irish language into the simplest, most interesting parts that you could learn.” – 25:56

“If you can use even a couple of simple Irish phrases when you get to Ireland you will get some great smiles off the locals.” -28:56

“Why do I speak Irish? I was brought up with the Irish language. I’m passing the Irish language to my son, and it’s something that many of my ancestors along the way have spoken for more years than we can count. In my life it’s about keeping something alive.” – 32:47

“You can visit Ireland. You can visit the land of your ancestors. And to go even more deeply and personally about it… I think learning to speak the Irish language is a very respectable thing to do for that cause.” – 33:55

“Dublin and Belfast have a very strong urban movement. Unfortunately the traditional side of the Irish language is shrinking, but the number of people looking to learn Irish is growing.” – 35:35

“Limerick is quite an old city, and the River Shannon runs through it. So just by the fact that you get to Limerick City, and you can make it to the river banks and walk along the river banks, that’s beautiful in itself.” – 36:45

“If you travel out on the Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne), there’s some beautiful beaches around there. Down on one of those beaches on the peninsula, I proposed to Sasha all those years ago.” – 38:40


00:00 Intro – The Devil’s Bit by Theresa Larkin and Noel McQuaid

00:16 Eoin O Conchuir from www.bitesizeirishgaelic.com and the Bitesize Irish Gaelic Podcast – www.bitesizeirishgaelic.com/blog/category/podcast/

00:54 Éamonn an Chnoic/Ned of the Hill

01:05 Singing In Irish Gaelic by Mary McLaughlin – www.marymclaughlin.com

02:08 Interview with Eoin

02:20 What’s the difference between Irish and Gaelic?

05:12 Where in Ireland do people still speak Irish? Donegal in the far north of Ireland, Connemara in County Galway, west County Kerry (Dingle Peninsual) and west County Cork are “safe bets.”

05:50 Are there any words that would be useful to know when I arrive?

  • Slán = Goodbye
  • Dia duit = Hello/God to you

07:05 Religious references in common Irish phrases

08:24 Feelings are actively “upon you” in Irish –

  • Tá ocras orm = hunger is upon me

09:18 Eion asks “Corey, the first time you came to Ireland… just hearing people speaking English… was it very different/difficult?

10:11 Accents in Ireland

11:30 Do non-Irish speakers have their own accent when speaking Irish?

12:30 Who are the people learning Irish?

15:50 Singing In Irish Gaelic by Mary McLaughlin – www.marymclaughlin.com

16:08 How do people make Irish language connections if they don’t have resources in their area

18:42 Speaking to your dog in Irish

19:01 Biggest roadblocks to learning Irish

20:00 How did standardized Irish come to be?

  • An Caighdeán = The Standard

21:50 RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta = National Radio www.rte.ie/rnag/

23:45 What is Bitesize Irish Gaelic?

29:05 Pionta Guinness Le do thoil= Pint of Guinness Please

29:40 Aran Islands – Ted Fest www.tedfest.org on Inis Mór/Innishmore

30:10 Will your son Liam speak Irish?

31:50 Eala = Swan

32:15 What’s your response to people who say Irish is a dying language?

34:00 Is the number of Irish speakers growing? Gaeltacht diaspora, and urban Irish speakers

34:29 University of Maynooth – becoming the standard for teaching/learning Irish by offering certification www.teg.ie

36:39 What are some of the sites and things to do in and around Limerick?

  • The Shannon River
  • Customs House
  • King Johns Castle
  • Lough Gur
  • Dingle Peninsula/An Daingean/Corca Dhuibhne – Slea Head Farm (Kathleen) – www.sleaheadfarm.com
  • Blasket Islands

39:40 To find B&B accommodations where Irish is spoken, contact the local tourist office and ask for a family that speaks Irish in the home.

40:40 Bitesize Irish Gaelic Podcast – www.bitesizeirishgaelic.com/blog/category/podcast/

41:14 Free Irish for Beginners Course – www.bitesizeirishgaelic/beginners

42:30 Go raibh maith agat = Thank you

42:40 Liam Sings Éamonn an Chnoic/Ned of the Hill

Author: Corey

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  1. That was just great. Thanks for that!

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  2. Loved speaking with Corey. If a listener has any follow-up questions I’d be happy to help.

    Post a Reply


  1. #143 Where Can I Go to Hear Irish Spoken? - AUDIO - […] Episode #136 – www.irishfireside.com/2014/03/01/134bitesizeirisheion/ […]

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