Having a child attending a gaelscoil presents a great opportunity to use more Irish as a parent. If you would like to improve your Irish or learn the language from scratch, this page provides some resources that might help, as well as a selection of handy Irish phrases you can use daily. The school does run Irish conversation classes for parents after school, so get in touch with the school office if you’d like to take part.
Irish courses and resources
If you would like to learn Irish or improve the Irish you already speak, the following online resources can help you.
Irish 101 is a free online Irish course run by DCU. It covers the basics of the language as well as some aspects of Irish culture.
RTE’s Easy Irish is a free online course that serves as an introduction to the language.
Duolingo is a useful learning aid as there’s a free app you can download and use on your phone or tablet.
Vifax from Maynooth University is a great resource to help you learn Irish. It has a wide range of topics, which come with videos and exercises to help with your listening skills.
Focloir.ie is an English-Irish dictionary which gives lots of helpful examples and phrases when you search for the Irish translation of an English word. Tearma.ie is also helpful for more technical, subject-specific words and phrases.
Teanglann is an Irish-English dictionary which has an app. It has a useful grammar function which allows you to look up all the conjugations of a verb. It also has a pronunciation guide to help you to say new words.
TG4 is the Irish language TV channel which is a great resource to help with listening comprehension. You can set it to have Irish subtitles so you can read and listen at the same time.
Raidio na Gaeltachta is an Irish language radio station which can also be accessed through the RTE Player app. Even having it on in the background while you are doing other things will help your understanding of Irish.
Beo ar Eigean is an Irish language podcast produced by three RTE journalists. Motherfócloir is another podcast that is in English but discusses the Irish language and is a good place to learn about initiatives or people working in the Irish field.
Pop-up Gaeltacht takes place in Cork regularly. This is a laid-back event whereby people of all abilities meet up in a given pub on a Friday night to speak in Irish. People are very supportive of learners and it’s a great chance to practice the Irish you know.
Gael-taca is a cafe and bookshop in Cork where the Irish language is encouraged. The shop has a good supply of Irish language books and cards for children and adults.
Cork City Library has a wide selection of Irish language books of all levels. It is also possible to request a book online if your local library doesn’t stock the one you’re after.
Conradh na Gaeilge is an organisation which works to support and develop the Irish language. Their website has much information on resources, campaigns and news about the Irish language.
Your child will come home from school with lots of new phrases in Irish so why not try using some phrases around the house to support their learning. The following phrases may be helpful to you:
Time to get up! – Tá sé in am éirí
How did you sleep? – Conas a chodail tú?
Do you want toast? – An bhfuil tóasta uait?
Hurry, you’ll be late! – Brostaigh. Beidh tú déanach!/Brostaigí. Beidh sibh déanach!
Stop fighting! – Stopaigí ag troid!
Have a good day! – Bíodh lá deas agat!
How was school today? – Conas a bhí do lá scoile?
Any news? – Aon nuacht?
How come you didn’t eat your lunch? – Cén fáth nár ith tú do lón?
I don’t know what’s for dinner!- N’fheadar cad a bheidh don dinnéar!
Do you need help? – An bhfuil cabhair uait?
Maith thú! – Well done!
Dinner is ready – Tá an dinnéar réidh!
Do you’ve to wear your tracksuit tomorrow? – An gá éide spóirt a chaitheamh amárach?
TV is going off in ten minutes – Múchfar an teilifís i gceann deich nóiméad!
Bedtime – Am codladh.
Brush your teeth – Scuab d’fhiacla/Scuabaigí bhur bhfiacla.
Night – Oíche mhaith