Hey Canadians – would you like to learn the Irish language for free?

March 30, 2020

Calling all Canadians! Would you like to learn a little bit of the Irish Language? If so, read on!

There is an old Irish saying which goes ‘Is olc an ghaoth nach séideann maith do dhuine éigin‘, which translates into English as ‘it’s a bad wind that doesn’t blow good for someone‘.

These are difficult times for many people. To reach out and connect, we are offering Canadians the opportunity to take part in free online beginners Irish classes, given by fluent Irish language instructors.

If you are interested, please send an email to before 11.00 pm EST on Wednesday 8th April,  with ‘Irish Language’ in the subject line, including;

  • your first name
  • your town / city
  • your province
  • your time zone

We will provide free Irish classes to the first 100 people to apply. We’ll begin with three 40 minute classes in which you’ll learn some basic phrases, such as how to say hello, how to introduce yourself, how to count from 1 to 10, etc. It is our great pleasure to offer you these classes as a basic introduction to the Language! Perhaps some day you might make a visit to Ireland, to try out your ‘cúpla focal‘ (your couple of words).

If there is considerable interest in ongoing classes, we would hope to extend the offer.

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Traditional music session, Galway City


About the Irish Language

A Celtic language, Irish was historically spoken throughout Ireland, and is still spoken as a first language in substantial areas of counties Galway, Kerry, Cork and Donegal, smaller areas of Waterford, Mayo and Meath, and a few other locations. It is also spoken by a much larger group of habitual but non-traditional speakers across the country, mostly in urban areas and mostly as a second language.

Irish was the dominant language of the Irish people for most of the island’s recorded history, and has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe. Irish has constitutional status as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland.


An Earagail, Co. Donegal


Dingle Tradfest!, Co. Kerry


About ICUF 

The Ireland Canada University Foundation, or ‘ICUF’, was founded in 1995 to nurture the great friendship between Ireland and Canada, through the support of scholarly exchange. ICUF is has awarded over 500 travel research scholarships to Canadians and Irish to date, enabling research and academic visits between both countries.

ICUF is supported by the Governments of Ireland and Canada. Support from the Irish government comes via the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs (Emigrant Support Programme). Support from the Government of Canada comes via Global Affairs Canada.