festivals and traditions

An Caighdeán

Hey guys!

I thought you might be interested in learning a bit more about the Irish language, An Caighdeán, as it is called.

It has the status of official language in Ireland, and it is taught in most schools there.

I must say that I found it fascinating, it is so peculiar… have you already watched the video in the previous post about the pronunciation of “hello”, Dia Duit, and “goodbye”, Slan go foill? It’s incredible how the pronunciation of both words differs from the written form!

Irish Gaelic developed from the language spoken by the first inhabitants of the island, and its variations, apart from the differences in the different areas of Ireland (Munster, Connacht, Ulster), also include the languages spoken in Scotland (called Scottish Gaelic) and on the Isle of Man (called Manx).

Apart from its pronunciation, Irish Gaelic has, grammatically speaking, some characteristics that make it rather difficult to learn.

Let’s have a look at its most important features:

– first of all, word order in Irish is verb-subject-object

– it uses two verbs ‘to be”

– adjectives usually follow the noun, as in Italian, but some are also used as prefixes

– differently from English, Irish nouns can have the following cases: common (that is, nominative and accusative), vocative and genitive

– the initial and final consonants are not fixed, but can change

– the alphabet does not contain the letters j,k,q,w,x,y,z

Are you ready for some “bits of Irish”? 😉

Today we’re going to learn counting…

3 thoughts on “An Caighdeán

  1. Pingback: Zachs Blogs

  2. Hi.
    “An Caighdeán” means “the standard”. It refers to a standard form of the language. It is a form created from unifying the three major dialects that are still spoken as first languages.

    The official name of the language is Gaeilge, though there are other slightly different names for it in different parts.

    And there’s a very peculiar feature of the language that I’m sure you will enjoy; declined prepositions! Mar shampla:

    on me orm
    on you ort
    on him air
    on her uirthi
    on us orainn
    on you (plural) oraibh
    on them orthu


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