I’ve just returned from a wonderful week of Irish language and culture in Gleann Cholm Cille in Donegal, Ireland. This was my fifth visit to Gleann Cholm Cille, and my third time at the summer school – I enjoy it so much that I keep going back. And I’m not the only one – many of the people I met there last year and the year before were there again this year, and many of the first-time visitors said that they’d be back.
I spent most of my time there immersed in Irish language, songs and music. Although this week is the only one during the year when I get to speak much Irish, my proficiency in the language does seem to be improving. I still make plenty of mistakes, of course, but am getting better as expressing myself in the language without resorting to English very much.
One thing I noticed was that when I tried to think of Welsh equivalents some of the Irish words and phrases I encountered, they often refused to surface from wherever it is they lurk in my memory. I suspect this was because my brain was in Irish mode and this suppressed my other languages to some extent.
Have you had any similar experiences with languages?
By the way, apologies for Omniglot being down temporarily – it was something to do with the firewall, which I think I fixed now.