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Making Language Learning Fun: The Revival of Irish Gaelic

August 13, 2017
Languages

My love of language and culture makes me hate the idea of a language becoming extinct. 

Irish Gaelic was in danger of extinction. It was discouraged by the British as Ireland was incorporated into the UK, as was Scottish Gaelic and Scots. These languages were oppressed and instead English was forcefully made the lingua franca.

Languages are part of a culture and history. Irish Gaelic was incorporated in schools in Ireland to educate the younger population and keep the language alive. The daily use of Irish and general comprehension has increased as a result. Naturally the revival of the Irish language is exciting to me-a big fat language and culture nerd-but I was surprised with some frustrations of the Irish people actually in the program.

I talked about the revival of Irish with some people who grew up and went to school in Ireland. They almost unanimously said that they were tired of hearing about "Irish is a dying language" and that being forced to learn it in school didn't make them interested in the language. I was surprised but I mean, in high school I didn't enjoy my English Literature classes but I love reading and writing.

Learning should be fun! 

Language learning is tough. To stay motivated, one of the best things you can do is to keep it fun and entertaining. There is a group that translates current and contemporary music into Irish Gaelic and I couldn't be more delighted.

Adele is the queen, I know. But I think her song "Hello" is even more beautiful in Gaelic. Tell me I'm wrong, I dare you.

 

How about the "Cup Song" from Pitch Perfect? Now this is fun.

 

My new favorite? "Let Her Go" by Passenger. And the piano player is wearing an Eminem shirt.

 

And a fun one! 

 

What do you think of these songs in Gaelic? Which language do you prefer them in? This makes me want to find all the songs in all the languages.

| Voyaging VIking | Revitalization of the Irish Language
Siggi Einarson

My name is Siggi-dubbed by my American friends because of the Icelandic yogurt-I am a writer, polyglot, and aspiring expat, not a cup of yogurt (unfortunately).

My love for travelling began with a trip to Iceland and Sweden to visit my family when I was just 15 years old. I spent so long dreaming of the possibilities of life abroad but I always figured these dreams were too far reached. Flash forward almost 10 years, here I am again, both cursing and thanking this damn travel bug.

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