Gaeilge, the Irish language, is a Celtic language, part of the Indo-European family of languages. The Celts were the first Europeans, and their language pre-dates Greek & Latin. Since Ireland was the only Celtic country not occupied by the Romans, our language and culture was never latinized.

Today, the Irish language remains the last remaining portal to the thinking and ways of pre - Greco-Roman Europe. Our language, music and dance has its origins in the distant past, preserved on our island, like amber, so that today, academics from around the planet are busy in Ireland, gathering data in each Gaeltacht, to fully understand the spirit (meon) of the Celts in Europe and of those who preceded them in Eireann.

Here’s a sampling of our Irish language for daily use:

Hello / Dia dhuit / g-ah-gwitch

How are you? / Conas atá tú / Kunnas-a-thaw-thuu

I am well / Tá mé go maith / Thaw-may-guh-my

Thank you / Go raibh maith agat / Guh-row-my-uggoth

I’m --------- & you? / Is mise -------- agus tusa? / Iss-misheh ------ ogghus thussah?

My name is Maureen / Máirín is ainm dom. / Mor-een iss anim dhum

I’m from New York / Is as Nua Eabhrac mise. / Iss-oss new-uh ow-rock misheh.

Where are you from? / Cá as tusa? / Caw-oss-thussah?

Cheers / Sláinte / Slawn-tche

Goodbye / Slán / Slawn

Good night / Oíche mhaith / E-ha-wha’

Safe home / Slán abhaile / Slawn-ah-wahl-yeh

See you later / Slán go fóill / Slawn-guh-foal


Contributed by Mícheál ÓMáille, Regional Gaeilgeóir and Treoraí na Gaeilge Claddagh na nGael CCÉ