A few years ago, I took a trip to Ireland with my husband, kids (above), and most of my husband’s extended family. We had a great time and frequently long to go back. One thing that surprised us â€“ me anyway â€“ was how much the Gaelic language is still used there. My father was born and raised in Ireland. And he spoke Gaelic â€“ and with a brogue in English — but he led me to believe that it was rare for people to speak the native tongue anymore. But when we got there, we discovered that there were loads of TV shows in Irish â€“ watching Sponge Bob in Irish with extreme jet-lag was a surreal experience â€“ signs in Irish, newspapers, and more. We heard it spoken on the street and in pubs. Knowing a little Irish would have been nice.
We did bone up on our Irish slang before we went, of course. We didn’t want to appear complete Gobshite eejits to my cousins, who were of course all the fekkin dogs bollocks. We did well with the few phrases we managed to memorize from this bleedin’ deadly site: Every Day English and Slang in Ireland. But we all thought it would have been lovely to learn a bit of the old tongue and toss that about a bit whilst we were there.
This year, the Rosetta Stone people are trying to help get a little of the actual Irish into our St. Patty’s Days celebrations by giving away their immersive language training program for free before the day of green so we can do our toasts in the actual Gaelic. All you have to do is click on www.rosettastone.com on March 12 and register. I have long wanted to try the Rosetta Stone language program â€“ which I have heard terrific things about. I think this is just the excuse I was looking for.