10 useful sites for the adult learner

Creidim Ionat

The only way to reach full fluency in any language is to immerse yourself in that language, speak it, read it and hear it, or in other words, participate in that language community. We that are trying to perfect our Irish are lucky we have the likes of Raidió na Gaeltachta, TG4, Tuairisc, Pop Up Gaeltachtaí, Ciorcail Chomhrá (conversation circles), concerts, book launches, comedy nights and many many more other opportunities available to us.

However, for many people coming back to the Irish language after many years, or for those who are starting out learning the language for the first time, they do not feel comfortable or confident enough to leap into the Irish language world. So how can that gap between basic and intermediate levels be filled? There are many great classes available around the country, but not everyone has the time to do this. So we decided to put together this list to spotlight some of the fantastic resources available free online. These are only a few examples for the adult learner, but you can find our full comprehensive list here.


We’ll start at the beginning so. This is a site full of simple games to increase your vocabulary. Mostly simple everyday phrases, such as colours, animals, etc, and if you grew up in Ireland, there’s a good chance that many of these words are hidden away in the back of your mind, even if you have never studied Irish! As the saying says, “tús maith, leath na hoibre”, a good start is half the work.


With more than a million users taking part in the Duolingo Irish language course, it’s no secret, and for good reason! You probably won’t reach great fluency in any language based on just using Duolingo, but even so, by using Duolingo a complete beginner can acquire a broad vocabulary, become familiar with the grammar and structure of Irish, and experience putting sentences together in a very short time. As well as that, you can do all that anywhere on your phone in your own time.


Although it is aimed primarily at school pupils, on Foghlaim TG4 you will find a wide range of video lessons with native speakers from the Gaeltacht, as well as various clips from TG4 programmes categorised by the subject discussed in them. As well as that, there is a subtitles option in most of the clips as well. It’s a really useful collection for any learner!


This is a great resource for a learner who has a broad vocabulary and wants to hear more Irish to practice working out those words and putting them together in correct sentences. The presenters read out the latest stories in slow, clear understandable Irish!


Lurgan is a summer college located in Indreabhán in Cois Fharraige, Conamara, Co. Galway, and it is thanks to them that we have Irish language versions of pop songs by famous singers such as Avicii, Adele and Lil Nas X with millions watching them online. But Lurgan also has a website with brilliant courses designed to get people speaking the lovely musical Irish of Cois Fharraige!


Are you trying to speak Irish with your children, but are worried that you don’t have all the day to tay ordinary things said to children on the tip of your tongue? Well, if so, this is the site for you. This is a website with 2000 phrases, and all the speech recordings that go with them, for thos seeking to give Irish to their children. There are versions in the three main dialects on the site, with colour coding. The living speech of the Gaeltacht is on this site!


The Foras na Gaeilge Soundcloud is full of audiobooks and valuable lessons for learners. These books are read at ordinary speed, but are mostly books for children or teens, so they would be perfect for the learner trying to take the next step after listening to the likes of Nuacht Mhall. As well as that, all the books are available to buy from An Gúm, so you can order a book and read it simultaneously with the recorded version as a support.


Foclach is the Irish language version of the famous game Wordle. It’s a bit of fun, but it is also a great resource to retain all the new words you have learnt, especially if you are short of time!


With this site you could learn some of the songs from TG Lurgan I mentioned above, or even try out more of Gaelic culture with a little sean-nós! A fun way to learn a language is to sing a song, but as well as that, there is often linguistic richness and idioms to be found in the songs not found an many other places. A person who learns an Irish language song will have richer Irish, and who knows, will perhaps be able to take part in one of the competetions at the next Oireachtas even!


There is much more to teanglann.ie than a dictionary. There is the choice, no doubt, between the best Irish language dictionaries, but as well as that, there are many other useful tools as well. Nearly any word can be searched and the way it is pronounced in the three main dialects heard. You can check all the cases of a word. You can check the conjugation of every verb in every tense. You can find useful phrases and idioms, and much much more. Teanglann is a useful tool not only for all learners, but indeed for all Irish speakers!