The Yes Woman: a second chance for the Irish language
I used to blush when I couldn’t understand the teacher, but I’m giving the language another try in Trinity College
‘Language is at its best when spoken organically between fluent speakers.’ Above, Síle Ní Bhraonáin
I loathed Irish at school. Thirteen years of study created nothing but a cloying sense of being smothered by archaism. The way it was taught was limp and bred a sense of fear and stupidity into me that left me blaming the language for years after I finished school.
I still think Irish should be optional rather than mandatory at school, and taught with an emphasis on real life rather than being entombed in a glass box of tradition. But I’m more open to it now. The abhorrence I felt in adolescence has been replaced by more of a benign curiosity and a sense of disappointment at the fact that I have lost it.