Crowley, Tony. 2005. Wars of words: the politics of language in Ireland 1537-2004. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

De Blácam, Aodh Sandrach. Gaelic literature surveyed. 1929. Dublin: The Phoenix Publishing Co.

Mac Congáil, Nollaig. 2002. Leabhar Gramadaí Gaeilge. Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta.

Ó Dónaill, Niall. 1997. Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, Eagarthóir: Tomás De Bhaldraithe. Baile Átha Cliath: An Gúm.

Ó Siadhail, Mícheál. 2006. Learning Irish. New Haven; London: Yale University Press.

Ó Siadhail, Mícheál. 1989. Modern Irish: Grammatical Structure and Dialectal Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ó Breasláin, Diarmuid and Dwyer, Páidí. 1995. A short history of the Irish language. Béal Feirste : Glór na nGael Bhéal Feirste Thiar.

Titley, Alan. 2000. A pocket history of Gaelic culture. Dublin : O'Brien Press.

Quinn, B. 2005. The Atlantean Irish: Ireland's oriental and maritime heritage. Dublin : Lilliput Pr Ltd.


1 After Ogham, the earliest form of writing found in Ireland, Irish is divided into the following periods: Sean-Ghaeilge (Old Irish) 600-900 C.E., Meádhan-Ghaeilge (Middle Irish) 900-1200 C.E., Gaeilge Chlasaiceach (Classical Irish) 1200-1600 C.E., Nua-Ghaeilge (Modern Irish) 1600-present. The appendix details the language's history in greater detail. Some of these texts include Crowley, 2005; De Blácam, 1929; Ó Breasláin and Dwyer, 1995 and Titley, 2000.

2 This non-recognition caused resentment amongst Irish-language users because it was successive Irish governments'-not the European Union's-choice to disregard any status for Irish within the EU.

3 Irish is far older than Romance and Germanic languages and is therefore unrelated to the development of these languages. This issue is discussed further in the appendix.

4 Living in a foreign country to learn the language is the essence of immersion. (The term "immersion" is used very broadly here-I refer to any technique that bypasses fundamental structure in favor of immediate communication as "immersion").

5 There are also practical reasons that compound Irish's inaccessibility also, in so far as Irish difficult to find outside urban and rural social community activities-a "reservation containment," so to speak.

6 Dialect variation means that some of these vowels have differing regional pronunciations, but nonetheless remain consistent.

7 Derived from the word Fealsúnacht, meaning philosophy.

8 This prediction can be made by classifying nouns and adjectives into "declensions" (see Table  and the online "declension wizard," in which you can type any noun and it will return its declension number and gender).

9 In the case of Irish, official state usage of the language was realized following Independence in 1922. Since then, usage of the language in government has diminished to transcription of legal documentation, and then only because of Irish's constitutional status as the "official language" since 1937. Despite decreased official usage, standardizing the language was a foregone inevitability. This standardization was not without precedent. Interestingly, as a preserve of bardic poets, Classical Irish (see footnote) was highly standardized and regular, containing little or no features of dialect.

10 The appendix at the end of this text contains a list of the most useful and accessible learning guides available, accompanied by an author's commentary.

11 The contemporary provinces of Leinster and Connacht have similar intonation (when compared to Munster and Ulster dialects), so what is simplistically referred to here as Connacht/Western (or Connacht / An Iarthair), actually encapsulates the entire middle of Ireland, from the Irish Sea to the Atlantic (Connacht and Leinster).

12 It should come as no surprise that Modern Irish heavily based on the Connacht dialect, although Munster has a strong influence as well. Old-Irish and Middle-Irish, on the other hand, have more similarities to today's Ulster spoken dialect (see footnote 1).

13 The orality versus literacy debate is an interesting one in the Irish context, as Irish is among the oldest modern languages in Europe today, both spoken and written (modestly estimated to be 2,500 years old). Of course, writing was not a reality to most the vast majority of Irish speakers, a fact that applies to most languages.

14 This has been eloquently illustrated by Ruth Finnegan and other scholars (see appendix).

15 I consciously use the indefinite article in describing "philosophy" in the previous sentence rather than "the philosophy." This is because there is no absolute truth in constructing a language premise. However, any publication that gives an "edge" in learning is a worthy one.

16 English contains no independent letter groups per se. Letter groups are plentiful in Hungarian, for example-where unique sounds made by cs, cz, and sz, to name a few, are counted as alphabet letters. Thus, by counting letter groups as alphabet units, Hungarian contains 44 alphabet characters.

17 If you ever encounter grave accents on what appears to be Irish-like text (à, è, ì, ò, ù), you are likely reading Gàidhlig or in Irish, Gaeilge na hAlban (Scottish Gaelic). The languages are extremely similar; until the middle of the eighteenth century, they were virtually the same language and called by the same name. There are important differences that make them now very distinct (the Scottish version of Gaelic has no genetive tense, which gives Scottish Gaelic a slight advantage over Irish Gaelic.

18 A similar system exists in Russian, which contains "hard" and "soft" consonants, instead of vowels as they exist in Irish.

19 The Irish slendered "r" and broadened "näre different to the Spanish equivalents; the examples that pertain to this footnote only apply to the Irish broadened "r" and the narrowed "n."

20 This is actually Aerfort na Sionainne or Aerfort na Sionna, but the spelling Siona is instructive in this example

21 Lenition (séimhiú) is archaically, but inaccurately, called aspiration.

22 The genitive tense is introduced later. It is a very important tense as it modulates (alters the spelling of) nouns and adjectives.

23 Eclipsis is archaically referred to as nasalisation; however, the only technically correct term to describe this phenomenon is .

24 The epenthetic vowel usage is most definitely being eroded in speech (Ó Siadhail, 1989); one only needs to listen to spoken Irish to note this. Some words like ainm, dearg, and "l" clusters (lb, lm, lg) almost universally retain the epenthetic vowel, while pronunciations of words like na hEorpa have bifurcated, with erosion veering toward the immediate written form (that is, the epenthetic vowel is lost).

25 Native and Indigenous, here, ….DEFINE

26 The table actually contradicts the actual Standard; the Standard is reproduced in the appendices. The reason the Standard is ignored here is that it places cardinal numbers in the vocative tense, which does not exist in organic speech and probably never did. Imagine trying to count with an "a" in front of every cardinal number you recite! Adding "a" is therefore goofy and unsustainable in organic speech.

27 In Sailing terms (ancient to modern), there are two very important directional orientations. The first is where you are traveling to (Course to Steer) and the second is where you are coming from (Estimated Position). Estimated Position requires that we calculate the direction we are coming from. In English it is usually only common use the direction you are coming from when describing wind direction (said differently, north westerly wind comes from the northwest, it is not travelling in a north-westerly direction it is travelling in the opposite southeasterly direction). In Maritime terms, understanding both these concepts are very important to passage planning as both determine differently which vecor varibles you must calculate. In Irish, directionality of travel is equally important in both perspectives, that is, where you are headed and where you are coming from. Does this point to a strong maritime-oriented culture of which the language is a left-over? Who knows, we'll leave that question to someone who has more time for that kind of question, like Bob Quinn [Quinn 2005], perhaps! Hopefully, the illustrations below will show you exactly how this works in practise.