“I want to swim with the dolphins in Donegal someday…”

Great metaphor from Pól Ó Muirí: “speaking a language is like swimming – you might need assistance and a little water helps…”

“And you would want to swim…?”
“Every day! I want to swim every day! I like swimming. It’s fun and good for your health.”
“Every day! I don’t know that the other members would be too happy with that. I don’t think we could fill the pool every day. How about once or twice a year? Maybe on special occasions? We could get a few buckets of water in there now and again. You could go for a paddle. That would be nice, wouldn’t it, a paddle? Everyone likes a paddle. In fact, I bet the members who don’t like to swim could be persuaded to go for a paddle too. It will be great. We will all paddle together.”
“I don’t want to go for a paddle. I want a proper swim. I want to be able to go from one end of the pool to the next without my feet touching the ground. Put some water in the pool! I like swimming. It’s fun. It takes me out of myself. I like to float and splash and dive. I want to swim with the dolphins in Donegal someday.”

  • Clanky

    I can relate to this as a Spanish speaker, I actually moved house to get away from an area full of ex pats in order to immerse myself more in a Spanish environment.

    My Irish is shockingly poor, I keep going online to try and improve it, but I know that it will never get better with a few online courses and the odd go raibh maith agat with an Irish tourist.

  • Roy Walsh
  • Niall Chapman

    Clanky, if you’re anywhere near Barcelona there are free Spanish lessons given by the adjutament if you’re interested, going myself in September

  • Niall Chapman

    Actually nevermind just noticed you said Spanish speaker, you must already be proficient

  • Clanky

    Yeah thanks Niall, I am in the Canaries and the ayuntamientos here offer the free lessons as well, but as a seafarer I was never able to attend, I have learnt courtesy of a year’s Spanish in school twenty odd years ago, several online courses, some very patient Spanish friends and by just throwing myself into situations where I am forced to use it.

    I still get a buzz out of even simple stuff like ordering food in Spanish. Like I said above, I would love to speak Irish to the same level, but without being able to use it regularly it will never be more than a few phrases for me.

    Cá bhfuil an leithreas?

  • Niall Chapman

    Strangely enough I thought I could have done an intercambio as gaelige here since there are so many Irish bars and Irish ex-pats, until I googled it and saw a guy on another thread have no replies for the same thing, ah well it can wait until retirement in Bunbeag

  • Clanky

    Intercambios are fantastic (they are designed for Spanish speakers who want to learn English (or any other language) to mix with English speakers (or whoever) who want to learn Spanish. They are usually in a coffee shop or bar and are very informal, people just sit around in small groupsdrinking coffee and chatting about whatever happens to come up in conversation.

    I know there are very few if any Gaelic speakers who can’t speak English, but does anything like this exist for Irish?