Learn Irish!

Irish and You

Gaeilge or Irish is the national language of the Republic of Ireland and a recognised minority language in Northern Ireland, in addition to being an official language of the European Union. Although Irish is no longer the most widely spoken language in Ireland it is still spoken frequently in many parts of the country, particularly in the west, and understood by many more who do not speak it regularly.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Irish government the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic is offering a range of courses to suit all needs, whether you just want to pick up some conversational Irish or work towards an official qualification in the language, such as Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (the European Certificate in Irish).

The Courses

The Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic will be offering FREE non-credit classes in Modern Irish at three levels in 2021-22, which are open to all staff and students of the university. The courses are oriented primarily towards competence in listening, speaking and reading.

Basic Level (Beginner)/Bonnleibhéal (Tosaitheoirí)

This course is suitable for students who have no previous knowledge of Irish. The course will develop students' communication skills and enable them to function through the medium of Irish in realistic and everyday situations; students will develop their understanding of the spoken and written language through various communicative activities.

Tá an cúrsa seo feiliúnach do mhic léinn nach bhfuil aon réamhthaithí acu ar an nGaeilge. Trí mheán an chúrsa seo, déanfar forbairt ar scileanna cumarsáide an mhic léinn agus cuirfear ar a c(h)umas feidhmiú go bunúsach trí mheán na Gaeilge i suímh réadúla laethúla; forbrófar tuiscint an mhic léinn ar an teanga labhartha agus scríofa trí mheán gníomhaíochtaí cumarsáideacha.

Intermediate Level/Meánleibhéal

It is the objective of this course to reinforce and develop the language skills of students who already have some basic knowledge of Irish. Communicative activities and the use of authentic materials (i.e. television programmes, newspapers, etc.) will help students to gain insight into the everyday usage of the Irish language.

Tá sé mar chuspóir ag an gcúrsa seo forbairt agus buanú a dhéanamh ar scileanna teanga an mhic léinn a bhfuil eolas áirithe ar an nGaeilge aige nó aici. Déanfar é seo tr&iacute úsáid a bhaint as gníomhaíochtaí cumarsáideacha agus úsáidfear ábhar dílis (is é sin, cláir theilifíse, nuachtáin, srl) ionas go bhfaighidh an mac léinn léargas ar ghnáthúsáid laethúil na Gaeilge.

Advanced Level/Ardleibhéal

Tá an cúrsa seo oiriúnach do dhaoine a bhfuil Gaeilge réasúnta líofa acu. Cuirtear béim ar chruinneas sa teanga labhartha agus sa teanga scríofa araon. Sí an Ghaeilge an t-aon teanga amháin a labhartar sa rang seo.

Location and Times - Updated for 2021-22

Modern Irish language classes will be offered in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic during Michaelmas and Lent Terms 2021-22.

Please note that all classes will be live online in Michaelmas Term 2021, via Zoom.

How to enrol:

To enrol in the classes, please send an email from your University of Cambridge email address to Dr Margo Griffin-Wilson at mg597@cam.ac.uk. A zoom link will be emailed to you before the first class.

The Modern Irish classes are non-exam classes. The classes are open to, and free of charge for, presently enrolled University of Cambridge students and staff on University of Cambridge or a College's payroll. Students from all academic disciplines are welcome. There are two classes each week. Participants are encouraged to attend both classes, though there is flexibility if your schedule makes this impossible.

Classes begin on Thursday, 7 October 2021. The first class will be introductory and aimed partly at organizing the various groups, levels and interests.

Class times for each level:

  • Beginners Modern Irish: Tuesdays 4pm; Thursdays 5pm (no previous study of Modern Irish is expected)
  • Intermediate Modern Irish: Tuesdays 5pm; Thursdays 4pm
  • Advanced Modern Irish: Wednesdays 3pm.
  • Additional conversation hour: TBA

If you are uncertain of your level, just come along to the classes and find the level that suits your needs and interests. You can move from one level to another during the first weeks of term. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Margo Griffin-Wilson via the email noted above.


For further information please contact the course instructor Dr Margo Griffin-Wilson

Modern Irish Moodle site (accessible via Raven account)