Getting started with Irish

You will find that you pick up more than just a ‘cúpla focail’ (couple of words) sooner than you think, just by listening to how your child is using the language as they learn it every day. In the meantime here are a few ways to help yourself along:

Some useful phrases to get you started: 

Móra duit ar maidin. Good morning

Maidin Mhaith. Good morning.

Go mba hé duit é! The same to you!

Conas atá? How are you? 

Go maith! I’m grand! 

Tá an gaoth láidir inniu  There is a strong wind today

Faigh do mhála scoile  Get your school bag!

Cuir ort do chóta  Put your coat on

Cá bhfuil do obair bhaile? Where’s your homework?

Online Dictionaries: provides Irish-English and English-Irish dictionaries along with grammar help will give a translation along with pronunciation in the Connacht, Munster and Ulster dialects allows you to browse terminology by topic such as ealaín (art), ceol (music), eolaíocht (science) or spóirt(sports)

Pota Focal lets you search for how words are used in sentences which can help with understanding usage.

Other resources

– The school usually runs evening classes for parents in the first term. As this is dependent on the availability of teachers to facilitate the classes, details will be confirmed in September.

– The Duolingo app has a full course as Gaeilge and is a very easy introduction to the language. Since it’s an on your phone, it’s something you can spend a few minutes a day with when you have the time. 

– TG4 have a whole range of cartoons available as gaeilge – swapping saturday morning cartoon time to them can help you too as the vocabulary would be relatively simple and ideal for learners. They also have an app for iPad/Android with the cartoons available on it.

– Facebook pages like post vocabulary ideas every day 

– The Motherfoclóir podcast explores the language and related issues, but is recorded in English so it is accessible to all. The book of the same name is a humorous look at the language and worth a read. 

– If you have a bit more Irish but you’re out of practice, there are lots of online resources now like and 

– The Siopa Leabhar on Harcourt Street has a full range of books available, from picture books for young children up to novels for adults and everything in between. Also available online at 

– Thinking ahead to next summer, a number of the gaeltachts run special ‘summer holiday’ weeks for families who are starting to learn the language

English (UK)