What is a Gaeltacht?

A ‘Gaeltacht’ region is an area where Irish only (or mostly) is spoken. Unfortunately, the national language of Ireland is not spoken commonly amongst the Irish people. Everyone learns it in school, but very few go to on speak it after or even remember how to speak it, bar cúpla focal (a few words). Certain areas in Ireland are known as Gaeltacht areas, where only Irish is spoken. It is spoken at home, at school, in shops and to family and friends. These areas are mostly quite rural and densely populated, with few people living in them. All the road signs will also be written in Irish, as well as posters and what not in shops and public places. If you can get to a Gaeltacht area, it is highly recommended to do so, where you can immerse yourself in the language.

Where are the Gaeltacht area’s?

As of 2016 there was an estimated 99,617 people living in Gaeltacht areas. Parts of counties Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Cork, Meath and Waterford are all Gaeltacht regions.

In Galway the best Gaeltacht regions are An Spiddéal and An Cheathrú Rua, which are both west from Galway City Centre.
In Kerry, the best Gaeltacht regions are Corca Dhuibhne (The Dingle Peninsula) and Uíbh Ráthach (Iveragh Peninsula). Dingle town is a pretty place to see and visit and is famous for being home to over 30 pubs and Fungie the friendly Dolphin.

Some Irish words and sayings to know.

  1. Hello -Dhia Dhuit (Dee-a Gwitch)
  2. Good Bye – Slan (Slaawn)
  3. Thank You – Go raibh maith agat (Gu rev maw ag-at )
  4. How are you? – Conas atá tú? (konis ah-taw to)
  5. Good – Go Maith (Gu maw)
  6. Where is – Cá bhfuil (Caw vu-wil)
  7. Rain – Báistí (bawis-tee)
  8. Wet – Fluich (fluck)
  9. My name is ****** – ***** is anim dom (***** is an-im dum)
  10. Food – Bia (Bee-ah)

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