Slán go fóill, An Cheathru Rua

Well, the program in Carraroe is over. I can’t even begin to describe the depth of my despair. Lol. Learning Irish (It’s called Irish, not Gaelic, although in Irish the term is Gaeilge, which is probably the cause of the confusion) is one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted, but also perhaps one of the most rewarding. The number of native speakers of Irish is diminishing every year, and it’s wonderfully exciting to be part of the movement to keep it alive. However, it has proved to be an incredibly difficult language to learn. Aside from the absolutely ridiculous spelling and untold number of unpronounced letters and vowels strung together, the Irish also conjugate their prepositional pronouns in addition to conjugating their verbs. It is truly incredible how complicated this language manages to be, despite several government attempts to simplify it. The last of these was in the 1950s, and all I can say is that I’m glad I wasn’t learning Irish then!

I was a little concerned when I heard about all the changes and simplifications and attempts at standardizing that the language has undergone in the last hundred years or so, but apparently the language itself wasn’t that different in the 16th century. Fortunately for my research, “Modern Irish” came into being around the time of Elizabeth, so the bardic poetry of the time period shouldn’t be too difficult to decipher.

Next stop, Dublin! Bring on the manuscripts J