Irish · Life

Irish Lesson of the Week


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The view down the street in front of our house

A lot of people are really intrigued by the fact that we live in an Irish-speaking area. Yes, that’s right, Ireland has it’s own language! In fact, Ireland has 2 official, national languages: English and Irish (aka Gaelic). Many people are surprised to learn that our kiddos’ school is completely taught through Irish. Not as some hip, cultural thing to do, but because Irish is the first language of the majority of people in our area! So, after nearly 4 years here, our girls are age-level fluent in the language. Hubs and I are quite conversational, but we are always looking to improve our ability!

So, because there seems to be such interest in the language, I thought I might share a phrase in Irish every now and then, along with a guide for how it is pronounced in our dialect! Inspired by the surprisingly beautiful weather that showed up this afternoon after a dismal start to the day I thought our first phrase would be:

Tá an lá go hálainn!

[TAW uhn LAW guh HAH-linn]

“It’s a gorgeous day!!”


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The view up the street in front of our house.
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10 thoughts on “Irish Lesson of the Week

  1. Hey, gorgeous views!! What took you to Ireland? My hubby is Irish, Sean Patrick!! His grandparents came over from Ireland on a ship in the 1920’s. I am so interested in the Irish heritage! I am so grateful to have found you on Facebook! So did you live here in the states most of your life and then move there? I sometimes think I would love to live somewhere else! What do ya think of it? Is it alot like the states? Our political end of things has me so frustrated! Sorry to ramble but am just so interested:) You have a very blessed day and hope to hear from you and start a long distance friendship!

    1. Hi, Melissa! We work in travel/tourism. We are both born and raised in the States and have been here nearly 4 years now. We really love it, but like any place it has it’s ups and downs! It’s very “western” as far as the facilities, technology, etc. But the culture, while it has it’s similarities, is quiet different! 🙂

  2. I am 40 shades of green with envy! No not really envious ,that’s a sin, but what else can you call it? I would LOVE to be learning Irish as you are, truly I am happy for you . You know that I am definitely one of those who is intrigued. I wish I could pour forth all kinds of responses in Irish. I can say that I read this phrase with some recognition,”I ‘ve learned that before”. Now ,how would I say “Tá an lá go hálainn -here too?
    Bail ó dhia ort! That makes me think of a question that has nagged at me. If you are not Catholic but want to be polite how do you respond to a greeting without bringing Mary into it?

    1. Hi, Heather!! That’s a great question! The greeting you are referring to is mostly used in formal settings. So, I rarely encounter it anymore since I’m very familiar with most people I’m speaking with. When I DO encounter it, I’ve found that it is used by Cathloics and not. It’s more of a cultural response, kind of like people saying “bless you” after a sneeze when they don’t believe in God. So, with most people we encounter in formal settings, it has literally no religious meaning to it.

      1. Thank you for answering. I wish I had come back sooner to see it.
        I can think of a few people here who would refuse to invoke Mary into a blessing simply on principle. I think it might take me a while to get used to.
        How about you? Slán Agat

      2. Well, for us this is a sticky issue. If I were to verbally “combat” or oppose the phrase, it would do more harm than good. I tend to just not say it myself, but am not offended when others use it.

  3. Love this! My 7 yr old suggested we learn gaelic this year in school…. I thought maybe getting him reading English well first might be better 😉 But I love learning Irish phrases, look forward to more!

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