Irish in New York

The other day while listening to Raidió na Gaeltachta, the Irish language radio station, I heard an interview with a guy from New York who has taught himself Irish over the past year or so. He works for the NYPD and has Irish ancestry, hence his interest in the language. He’s never been to Ireland and rarely gets chances to use his Irish, but he speaks it with a fluency that amazed the interviewer. He also sang a song in Irish, and did so very well, but was very modest about his achievement, saying that he still has a lot to learn.

It’s good to hear about successful language learners. It also makes me think I could do better with my studies.

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This entry was posted in Irish, Language, Language learning.

7 Responses to Irish in New York

  1. Junko Salmon says:

    I want to know his secret in achieving fluency while he has had no one to practice speaking Irish. Did he say anything about it?

  2. BG says:

    Not to nitpick, but I notice you wrote “who has taught himself Irish other the past year or so.” Is this a result of Lancastrian /f/ for /θ/?

    New York does have lots of Irish, as a result of the potato famine and later immigration. His achievement sounds impressive.

  3. Simon says:

    Junko – he used the course Irish on Your Own and listened to Raidió na Gaeltachta online. He also mentioned that he’s very interested in languages and speaks Korean.

  4. Junko Salmon says:

    Mmmmm…. I have studied numerous self learning books and am listening to Radio Cymru everyday, but my speaking lags far behind my writing. I have to conclude I just don’t have an aptitude for languages. (And of course, your age has a lot to do!)

  5. h.e. says:

    do you happen to have a link to the program?

  6. Simon says:

    Unfortunately I can’t find a link to this particular episode, but there’s information about the program here.

  7. Seumas says:

    Tha sin direach math-dha-rireibh. Bidh cuideigin as a Ghearamailt a bruidhinn Gaidhlig Albanach bho am gu am air Reidio nan Gaidheal, mar ‘German Correspondent’ – agus dh’ionnsaich esan cuideach. Dh’ionnsaich e aig Sabhal Mor Ostaig (tha mi a creids’) agus tha e uamhsach, uamhasach filenta. Nuair a tha mi ga chluinntinn, tha mi an comhnaidh gu math ‘impressed’!

    That’s just excellent. Someone from Germany speaks Scottish Gaelic from time to time on Radio nan Gael as a ‘German Correspondent’ – and he learned too. He learned at Sabhal Mor Ostaig (I think) and he is very, very fluent. When I hear him, I am always really impressed!