Beatha teanga í a labhairt

Beatha teanga í a labhairt is a seanfhocal (“old saying”) meaning that the life of a language is in the speaking– a particularly important thing to keep in mind with the Irish language. It was also the starting point for my Irish class, the Ard Rang (advanced class) on the very first day of class in Carraroe.

It’s a more neutral way of saying Padraig Pearse’s famous “Tir gan teanga, tir gan anam” (a land without a language is a land without a soul) which has become a seanfhocal in its own right. Living in Carraroe and being privileged enough to go to Rosmuc and see Pearse’s cottage, that sort of credo runs deeply through the way the program here is structured, which I’ve already developed a deep appreciation for.

Pearse’s cottage in Rosmuc.

It’s somewhat simplistic, but it’s amazing how much the world changes when you can function (or rather have to function!) entirely in another language. I’ve never had the opportunity to do an immersion program, so this is all quite new and exciting for me. I might be a researcher who mainly will use Irish for my work, but I’m also deeply committed to becoming an Irish speaker as a matter of ethical practice and disciplinal decolonisation. I’m only a few days into my first week here, and I’m excited to see where I will go.