Us Irish actually have the toughest time of it, with our outdated dinosaur curriculum forced-by-nuns-and-christian-brothers system of learning the Irish or Gaeilge, from the age of 4 or 5 until we leave school at 17 or 18. There's many an Irish person who's done over 13 years of schooling here, with Irish lessons most days, only to firmly believe that they can't speak a damn word of it past 'how are ya', and the ubiquitous 'póg mo thóin'.
But see if we could spend that much time learning it like any other language is taught? We'd be a nation of Gaelgeorí once more.
When a friend (check her out, she's awesome) asked me for some tips and tricks recently, this is what shot off the top of my head...
- These graphic novels are awesome, and the kid's books make it suitable for all levels (seriously like, who wouldn't want to learn Irish through the medium of COMIC BOOK?) - Cló Mhaigh Eo Foilsitheoirí / Book Publishers
- I'm sure you know the site Comhaltas - promotes traditional Irish music and culture around the world. Best known for teaching Irish traditional music through a global network of branches and for running the Fleadh Cheoil music competitions, but good for the oul Gaeilge too.
- And there's an extensive list of resources here - Foras na Gaeilge or GAEILGE.IE, it's a great resource for anyone interested in any aspect of the Irish language. The aim of this new website from Foras na Gaeilge is to create a central point on the internet for everything to do with the Irish language, classes, course, events, and the likes.
- And this is good for saturation, even if they don't translate it's really useful to just have it going in the background so your mind learns the patterns - Radionalife.ie
- Western Radio Station IRadio do a good show here which mingles pop stuff with Irish and English, it's really good for confidence building because you're not lost ALL the time like a full on Irish programme, and they have podcasts too.
Then Kass returned the favour by showing me this: List of Resources for Learning Irish.