Why are you learning Irish?

Cén fath a bhfuil tú ag foghlaim Gaeilge?

Writings and thoughts from learners of Gaeilge. For the most part, this is their work without corrections and the Gaeilge may have errors. But it answers the most common question that we get in Nova Scotia: Why are you learning Irish?

Rose Naomi O’Brey

I am hoping that one day I shall visit Ireland

My short answer for this post “Why am I learning Irish? (Cén fáth a bhfuil tú ag foghlaim Gaeilge?)” would be as follows: I am hoping that one day I shall visit Ireland and as that is where my Dad’s family came from. Our lineage has been traced and described in a few publications, one which I have copy of. The second part of my reason why is that I might learn to sing some of my songs in Gaeilge!

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Lucie Lapointe

Tá cuimhní cinn m’óige glas, cosúil le hÉirinn. Tá mo chroí ghlas.

Cén fáth a bhfuilim ag foghlaim Gaeilge? Ar an gcéad dul síos, as grá do mo mháthair. Mar bhí sí Éireannach. Agus bhí sí bródúil aisti. Bhí focail mo mháthair fite fuaite i gcónaí le bród agus lionn dubh nuair a d’inis sí dom faoina fréamhacha Éireannacha. Tá cuimhní cinn m’óige glas, cosúil le hÉirinn. Tá mo chroí ghlas. Tá mé ag foghlaim Gaeilge mar tá sé gar do mo chroí. As meas agus buíochas do mo shinsir. Don áilleacht den teanga seo a mheabhraíonn an oiread sin íobairtí agus féiníobairt. Tá míle cúis mhaith ann le Gaeilge a fhoghlaim. D’inis mé mo chúis daoibh. Mar sin, cén fáth Gaeilge a fhoghlaim?….Cén fáth nach bhfuil? 

Pourquoi est-ce que j’apprends l’irlandais? Tout d’abord, en mémoire de ma mère. Parce qu’elle était irlandaise. Et elle en était fière. Les paroles de ma mère étaient toujours entrelacées de fierté et de mélancolie lorsqu’elle me parlait de ses racines irlandaises. Mes souvenirs d’enfance sont verts, comme l’Irlande. Mon coeur est vert. J’apprends l’irlandais parce que cela me tient à cœur. Par respect et gratitude pour mes ancêtres. Pour la beauté de cette langue qui évoque tant de sacrifices et de don de soi. Il y a mille bonnes raisons d’apprendre l’irlandais. Je vous ai présenté la mienne. Alors pourquoi apprendre l’irlandais ? … Pourquoi pas ? 

Why am I learning Irish? First of all, in memory of my mother. Because she was Irish. And proud to be so. My mother’s words were always intertwined with pride and melancholy when she was talking to me about her Irish roots. My childhood memories are green, like Ireland. My heart is green. I’m learning Irish because it’s close to my heart. Out of respect and gratitude for my ancestors. For the beauty of this language which evokes so many sacrifices and self-giving. There are a thousand good reasons to learn Irish. I presented mine to you. So why am I learning Irish? … Why not?

Paul Lalonde

…tá mé ag mothú léiriú cumhachtach ar m’oidhreacht Éireannach.

Bhí mé ag foghlaim Gaeilge cúig bliana ó shin. Nuair a bhí mé óg, insíonn mo sheanmháthair agus mo mháthair dom scéalta faoin mo shinsear Denis Sullivan. Ba as Corcaigh é agus tháinig sé in Albain Nua i 1848. Bhí spéis riamh sa cheol Éireannach agam freisin. Agus, i mo mhuintir, bhí bródúil dár n-oidhreacht asainn. Tá ceangal láidir riamh againn le hÉirinn. Is deacair dom a rá cén fáth. Mothaím Acadanach agus tá an-bhródúil asam leis ach fós, tá mé ag mothú léiriú cumhachtach ar m’oidhreacht Éireannach. Sílim go dtrasnaíonn m’fhéiniúlacht chultúrtha, agus go háirithe an teanga Fraincis, leis an nGaeilge. Bhí spéis riamh agam i dteangacha. Nuair a bhí mé óg, chonaic mé an scéal casta idir an teanga agus an tsaoil shóisialta. Tá an-iontas orm faoi! Is breá liom an teanga seo ina theannta sin! Thit mé i ngrá leis an nGaeilge!

J’étudie l’irlandais depuis cinq ans. Quand j’étais jeune, ma grand-mère et ma mère me racontaient des histoires de mon ancêtre Denis Sullivan. Il était originaire de Cork et il est venu en Nouvelle-Écosse en 1848. J’ai toujours aimé la musique irlandaise aussi.

Et, dans ma famille, nous étions fiers de notre héritage. Nous avons toujours ressenti un lien fort avec l’Irlande. C’est difficile de l’expliquer. Je me sens Acadien et j’en suis très fier mais je ressens toujours l’expression puissante de mon héritage irlandais. Je pense que mon identité culturelle, et surtout la langue française, est en intersection avec le Gaeilge. J’ai toujours eu un intérêt dans les langues. Quand j’étais petit, je voyais le jeu complexe entre la langue et la vie sociale. Ça me fascine! J’aime cette langue en plus.

Maureen MacInnis

For me I also am excited to make the link to my heritage…

I sort of fell into learning the language as a homeschooling mother. I am constantly finding learning opportunities for the kids. I had overheard them saying it would be fun to learn Irish…and lo and behold I found an ad for an Irish learning class. So, there began the process of learning this lovely language!

For me I also am excited to make the link to my heritage and as a final year of school we are hoping to journey to Ireland and Scotland for six months of full on learning. The Gaeilge Group has expanded into a great community that is bringing Irish heritage and language learning to Annapolis.

Nicole Winstead

…I have found the language intriguing in that it is so very old and unique…

I started learning Gaeilge to support my daughter’s interest in languages and because I have a lot of Irish heritage which I wanted to learn more about. I have always enjoyed language and words, but I had given Ireland’s native language little thought. I have continued learning Irish over the years because I have found the language intriguing in that it is so very old and unique, and that it formed and developed

in an environment of small scale farming and green grass which so well parallels our small grass farm in Nova Scotia. I also enjoy the social and cultural aspects of being involved in the Cumann an Ghleanna itself – getting to know others and planning events inspired by the Irish culture.

Cobh Co. Cork, Ireland

Rhynn Winstead

However, I discovered that I simply loved the langage…

Several years ago I became interested in Irish mythology, and this led me to the local language class because I wanted to understand the phonetics of Irish names. However, I discovered that I simplyloved the

langage the grammar, spelling, and history is all incredibly compelling, and the cultural events held by Cumann an Ghleanna are always a great time.

Brideen Morgan

Is maith liom buala le cheile agus bheith ag caint as gaeilge.

Is as Baile Átha Cliath mé. Foghlaim mé Gaeilge nuair a bhí mé ar scoil, ach ní féidir liom ag caint as Gaeilge. Nuair a tháinig mé go Albain Nua, buailim le beirt duine Éireannach agus we decided to see if Irish lessons were available here.

We found a small group who met once a week and joined in 2012, beidir.  Is maith liom bualadh le chéile agus ag caint as Gaeilge. 

Réjean Tremblay

Smaoiním go is suimiúil teanga eile a tuiscint.

Thosaigh mé Gaeilge a foghlaim an bhliain seo caite. Bhí mé fiosrach faoin teanga agus chultúr na hÉireann. Ta mé anois níos fiosraí leis an obair agus an iarracht. Smaoiním go is suimiúil teanga eile a tuiscint. Táim an-spreagtha chun níos mó a fhoghlaim.

J’ai entrepris l’étude de l’Irlandais il y a un peu plus d’un an maintenant. D’abord par curiosité et intérêt pour la langue et la culture irlandaises, ma démarche s’est transformée peu à peu en un engouement soutenu pour l’apprentissage de cette langue. Il semble donc que l’apprentissage et la motivation vont de pair car plus nos connaissances s’accroissent, plus nous cherchons à les conserver et en acquérir davantage. Découvrir une autre langue, c’est en même temps découvrir une autre civilisation. Il m’apparaît important de pouvoir en savoir davantage sur d’autres sociétés, d’autres cultures et d’aller au-delà de soi pour explorer des horizons différents. Je pense que c’est ce que me permet l’étude de l’Irlandais.

I started learning Irish over one year ago. It was at first out of curiosity and inquisitiveness for Irish language and culture. However, with time and effort, this occupation has become a keen interest for Irish language. It seems that motivation and learning work together : the more we improve our knowledge, the more we wish to remember it and go further. Otherwise, learning another language also means discovering a different civilization. It seems to me worthwhile to inquire about other cultures and ways of living and thereby see things beyond our own self. I think that is what the knowledge of Irish language makes possible.

Did you know ? An raibh a fhios agaibh ?

“It is said Saint Patrick used the three leaved Shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), to the pagan Irish during the 5th Century. The tradition of wearing Shamrock on Saint Patrick’s Day can be traced back to the early 1700’s.”

Rock of Cashel, Tipperary Ireland

Published by - Cumann an Ghleanna - The Irish Association of the Annapolis Valley

Cumann an Ghleanna is a focal point of Irish cultural activities in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. We offer: Weekly classes in Gaeilge - the indigenous language of Ireland, Gleann na Gaeilge - a weekend of cultural activities including language, céilí, traditional music sessions and workshops, and other Irish cultural events

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