Kenna has been learning Irish Gaelic online

Learn how she does it, and how you can too.

Irish Gaelic learner Kenna of Custom Sign Center, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

What got you interested in Irish Gaelic, what's your background?

I had absolutely no experience in the Irish language until recently. My interest started when I began doing some geneology research on my father's side which has strong Irish heritage. The more I began to learn about my family and its connection to Ireland, the more I became interested in Ireland and the Irish language.

What made you want to learn Irish online?

In the process of all the geneology research I became more interested in Ireland's history and culture which, in turn made me check out traveling to Ireland for a vacation with my husband. With work and life schedule, we realized we probably wouldn't be able to make the trip for about a year. I got to thinking that in a year I could learn some of the language! I like learning new things so I checked out several resources online and kept running into Bitesize Irish. I also went to local book stores to see what those box/cd laguage courses had to offer but after looking at different products and other resources online, I found that Bitesize Irish offered the best solution for me. Especially being an absolute beginner!

What do you love about Bitesize Irish?

First off, Bitesize is a very personal place to learn, they are really dedicated to help you learn the language, not just collect your money. After signing up I had full access to all the lessons, not just a few at at a time! The price is more than reasonable and I love the way this site is set up! It's very easy to navigate, the lessons are set up so you can see how the words are spelled as well as hear a spoken recording to help with pronunciation.

The size of the lessons are perfect, they are definitely "Bitesize", so if you want to take in more than one lesson it's not complete brain overload! I was really impressed that the lessons included words used in everyday life, I could apply what I was learning right away insted of waiting for an opportunity and then struggle to remember the word(s).

There is a great balance of easy and challenging lessons so if you want to take in one or two quick simple lessons one day and then take on something more difficult the next time, it's all right there! Bitesize also uses a very direct approach on the fundamental grammar rules involved in Irish. The rules can be a bit challenging at times for a beginner like me but they are taught in way that a beginner can learn them. The way the site is set up, it is easy to go back to any of the lessons as many times as needed, which keeps learning Irish fun not frustrating! Bitesize Irish is set up to learn at a pace that is perfect for anyone on any schedule. Also, the learning resource links provided in the E-Book are a great help! I really didn't think I would have as much fun learning Irish as I have but Bitesize Irish is an enjoyable way to learn the language!

What have you achieved as a result of Bitesize Irish?

I'm not just surprised at how much I've learned but how quickly! At home I use Irish as much as I can and my family is learning it whether they thought they wanted to or not! My grocery and "To Do" list are all in Irish. I have a great time learning this language. It isn't only the amount of words or phrases I've learned or even being able to greet someone or construct a sentence, but I have achieved other things I didn't expect while learning Irish. I have met some great people while being involved in this! When I tell others I know that I'm learning Irish, I find there are more people interested in Irish History and Culture than I realized! As a result, I am currently working with others I have met in my community to put an Irish language study group together!

A person reading this wants to learn the language, but doesn't have anyone in their area to learn from. They also have never learned a word of Irish Gaelic before. What should they do?

Since this question describes me exactly, I would tell them to first use Bitesize Irish to get started. I doubt there is a better source for an absolute beginner!

Practice, practice, practice and test yourself as much as you can especially if you don't have someone to study with. Above all, be creative in learning and keep it fun! Practice on your family...this can be great fun!

I try to "visualize" the Irish word anytime I see something, if the word hasn't come up in a lesson, I use to browse for the word. I also use some of the other resources listed in the E-book, it has alot of great information.

Don't overload yourself by trying to learn to much too fast, instead do simple things that help retain what you already learned such as make a grocery list out in Irish. At first you can use simple singular words and after you learn those words then make the list out using them in a short sentence or maybe insert a color next to an item. Maybe pick one or two things from a lesson, learn to say and write them, that way you learn how to write and read the word as well as the pronunciation.

Use other Irish resources.....I like to listen to Irish television TG4 while I'm working, I may not be able to understand everything being said but I often pick up words I have learned in the lessons and once in a while I pick up enough to know if they're talking about the weather, sports or some other subject. It's encouraging to be able to recognize what you have learned when you hear Irish spoken naturally. It helps to learn how the language sounds but also how individuals sound when speaking, everyone has a different voice and tone, so the more you hear the language the more it helps while learning.

“Mostly, just have fun! Irish is a great language.”

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