Looking to use your cúpla focal this summer and improve your Gaeilge? Caitríona Ní Chonaill has some ideas to help you use the Irish you do have, and feel comfortable with it!

  1. Change your username on Instagram to Irish:

You may have noticed people on Instagram using the Irish version of their name, and it’s a lovely nod to the language. Look up the Irish version of your name and implement it in your username.

  • Use the Irish option where you can:

On ATMs, library self-service machines, public service websites and even phone options such as Google, using the Irish version is an easy way to improve your Irish, as you already know what the words mean, but can learn the words for certain services and instructions while going about your day-to-day life.

  • Keep a lookout for the Irish around you:

On road signs, shop and business names, public signage like parking signs and all the counties on car registration plates – Irish is all around you! Take a note of any of the ones you don’t know, you can learn something new every day.

  • Use seanfhocail in your captions:

You know all those seanfhocail you were given to use in essays? They make the best photo captions for when you don’t know what to caption you photo dump! “Níl aon tínteáin mar do thínteán féin” is perfect for a staycation, “Lá ar meisce agus lá ag ól uisce” suits the best of nights out, and “Níl tuile ann nach dtránn” shows off those beach pics. 

  • Choose to use your cúpla focal:

Apart from the obvious “an bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas”, everyone, no matter how bad at Irish they think they are, has a few Irish phrases they actually know (otherwise how would we talk about people without them knowing on holiday?). Whether it’s saying Dia dhuit or Slán when starting or ending a conversation, using the words you do have will strengthen your fluency and confidence bit by bit. Even sign up for Duolingo if you want to dedicate a few minutes every day!

Get using your cúpla focail this summer!



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