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Irish 101: An Introduction to Irish Language and Culture

Get an introduction to Ireland’s culture by learning the basics of the Irish language.

58,792 enrolled on this course

Educators are currently active on this course

Irish 101:  An Introduction to Irish Language and Culture
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    Learn at your own paceHow it works
  • Unlimited

    $15.83/monthLearn more

Learn the basics of Irish language

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to speak Irish, this course is the ideal place to start. You’ll master some of the basics of Irish, including greetings, introductions, Irish names, numbers, and other essentials.

By the time you’re finished, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the origins and cultural significance of one of the oldest literary languages in Europe.

Explore the history of the Irish language

Ireland is home to a unique language and a vibrant Gaelic culture.

On this course, you’ll discover how Irish people drew inspiration from nature to create their own unique script and alphabet. You’ll explore the origins of Ogham, and how the Irish alphabet developed.

Engage with Irish culture through language

As well as looking at the basics of the language, you’ll explore Ireland’s rich culture of dance, Gaelic games, music, storytelling and literature. You’ll gain an insight into the language of Ireland and the people who speak it.

You’ll also learn about the Gaeltachtaí – the places in Ireland where or Irish is the main language of communication.

Improve your Irish pronunciation

If you’re hoping to understand the basics of Irish pronunciation, this course gives you the chance to do so. As well as looking at things like Irish blessings and curses, you’ll also delve into some of the naming conventions used in the language.

Bígí linn – join us!

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to the Irish language

  • Ogham and the first writing in Irish

  • The alphabet & pronunciation

  • Greetings, blessings and curses

  • Irish names and mythology

  • Me, my family and where I come from

  • An overview of the Gaeltachtaí and other cultural places in Ireland

  • Numbers and counting

  • The home and social life

  • Amenities, directions and Gaelic sport

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 15 Nov 2021 - 10 Jan 2022

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Engage with the Irish language through culture
  • Explore the beginnings of the written language through learning about OGHAM and the origins of the Irish alphabet
  • Discuss greetings, blessings and curses in the Irish language
  • Discuss where you and your people come from
  • Describe your family, your home and your interests
  • Compare Irish names and gain an understanding of naming conventions in Irish
  • Explore the cultural association of the language with mythology, sport and music
  • Identify the Gaeltachtaí or Irish speaking areas where Irish is the main language of communication

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone interested in Irish language, history and culture. If you’ve always wanted to learn Irish, this course gives the ideal starting point, providing context for the language and its origins.

Who will you learn with?

Ollamh le Gaeilge in DCU. Eochair do chultúr agus d'oidhreacht na tíre í an Ghaeilge, dar liom.
Professor of Irish in DCU. I believe that Irish is a key to the culture and heritage of Ireland.

Associate Professor and Senior Researcher in Dublin City University. Head of the Ideas Lab in the National Institute for Digital Learning@DCU - @1MNGM

I am a designer and doctoral candidate working to better understand the motivations and self-concepts of those learning Irish. I enjoy helping learners explore both these themes and our language.

I am an educator, senior project manager & lecture through Irish in Dublin City University. I enjoy helping learners, learn online, speak Irish & discover the rich culture woven through the language.

Who developed the course?

Dublin City University

Dublin City University is a young, dynamic and ambitious Irish university with a distinctive mission to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation.

Endorsers and supporters

funded by

Irish National Lottery logo

funded by

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funded by

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$15.83/month

Billed at $189.99 for a year

Endless possibilities!

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a year
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

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Unlock your expertise

  • All of the above* for this course only, plus a printed certificate when you’re eligible

*Excludes access to all eligible short courses with additional benefits for a year

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Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 6 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Sale price available until 6 December 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Sale price available until 6 December 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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