I think you mean azúcar

Most people don’t know that Ireland has its own language. No, I’m not talking about the sometimes incomprehensible words that tend come out of their mouths at the rate of a speed train, I am talking about an actual language that they all have to learn from an early age while in school until they are 18 called Gaeilge or just Irish for you and me.

You’d think with all of those years of learning that more than only 40% could say they could competently speak it, but in fact no, only around that number CLAIM they can speak it and most of them are liars. I only know three people who can speak the language. One is from the west (Land Where Time Forgot), one has a father who teaches Irish and one is my husband. Three out of the MANY people I have met here in Ireland. And YES, I ask everyone I meet to speak Irish to me.

I have tried to learn the language many times but since it makes no freaking sense, I have failed. I am blaming this more on the language and less on myself because everyone knows my brain is one for understanding languages. Even my Spanish professor at college knew it, especially when she thought I WAS DYSLEXIC BECAUSE I WAS SO DAMN GOOD AT SPEAKING IT. Not that I perpetuated that lie for a good grade or anything. And I’m definitely not going to hell for that. Don’t judge me.

Our public transport likes to teach you Irish while you ride. First, every coming stop is said in English. Then it is repeated in Irish. You can look at the flashing signs to see it written in English and then in Irish as well. Our transport system promotes efficiency as well as learning!

In my two plus years of living here there is still very little I have learned. I know some of my colors thanks to great stops on the Luas (meaning “speed” in Irish) like Bluebell (An Chlóigin Gorm), Redcow (An Bhó Dhearg), and Blackhorse (An Capall Dubh). I’ve learned some names because of wonderful places like James’s (San Seamas) and St. Stephen’s Green (San Stiofáin).

So, with all of these people here “knowing” the language and learning it for thirteen years, and the many resources at hand to learn it, why is it when I say Siúcra (sugar) to a table full of Irish people, do they think I’m speaking Spanish?

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Liz in Dublin