Building a Specialized Vocabulary in Gaeilge

If you've studied Gaeilge for any amount of time in the United States than you probably have experienced the problem of expanding beyond the basic vocabulary. However, if you live in Ireland you might have a different experience. For those who want to learn advanced vocab there is a studying method which is always helpful to those living in the U.S.A. and abroad.

To begin with, we need to define what tools are available to use this technique: Gaeilge television ( and Gaeilge radio ( To learn any language, especially Irish, it is extremely important to listen to it as often as you can. At the same time, you want to see and hear clues which will provide you with new information on what to study. Thankfully, offers this advantage since it has subtitles for most of its shows.

A good place to begin to expand your knowledge is by trying to understand the news. Yes, this seems intimidating but it can gradually be overcome. For example, say you’re watching the news in Irish and you notice several words in the subtitles which you don’t recognize. The next step is to discover what those word mean, but how do you do this? The answer is simple, a quick and easy way to find the definitions is to search for the translation at the online Gaeilge dictionary  After you write down the translated definitions listen for them in the news program and repeat them aloud to become familiar with them. After which you can record them in your “Record Journal”, see my first blog “Learning Gaeilge: The First Steps” for more information.

In summary, studying Irish Gaelic television with captions and knowing how to use to this feature to your advantage can be a great help. And it will save you a lot of time as well. 

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Tags: Gaeilge, Irish Language, News, Preservation


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