Profs & Pints DC: An Intro to the Irish Language

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Wednesday, March 22 2023 6:00 PM 8:30 PM EDT

Tonight's talk has been cancelled in response to the speaker unexpectedly taking ill. Anyone who had purchased a ticket will be sent a refund in the next few days. Profs and Pints apologizes for any inconvenience.

Profs and Pints DC presents: “An Intro to the Irish Language,” with Sophie Ní Riain, native of Tipperary and current Fulbright scholar teaching the Irish language at Catholic University.

An Ghaeilge--Gaelic, known in Ireland simply as Irish—is one of the oldest living languages in Europe and Ireland’s most valuable and treasured link to the past. Not only is the language embedded in the history of the country, it is rich and melodious to hear. The 17th Centuring Irish poet Seathrún Céitinn wrote, “Milis an Teanga an Ghaeilge,” Irish is a sweet sounding language. In Ireland today Irish is taught to all schoolchildren, and about 40 percent of the Republic of Ireland’s population can speak it. There are places in Ireland, called Gaeltacht regions, where Irish remains the mother tongue of the people.

Gain an insight into Ireland, it’s people and it’s culture—while also learning a bit about its language—with the help of Irish language instructor Sophie Ní Riain.

She will begin by discussing the origins and fortunes of the language, delving into how its use fluctuated over time. Then she will introduce you to some useful greetings and phrases in Irish and tackle basic pronunciation questions such as: Why was the Irish name ‘Aoife; voted one of the most difficult words to pronounce in 2022? And how come Saoirse Ronan’s name is pronounced ‘Seersha’?

From there, she’ll talk about how the Irish language is connected with others, focusing on “loan words” and the origins of words such as whiskey, banshee and smithereens.

You’ll have a blast learning about a language that is recognized as an official language of the EU and ranks among the 10 most popular languages offered by the app Duolingo. Join the Irish language revival that is taking place not only in Ireland, but across the globe. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.) 

Image: The countryside of Liscannor, Ireland. (Photo by Giuseppe Milo / Creative Commons.)