This is a study group for people learning Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge) in the Des Moines, Iowa area. Whether you are a fluent speaker, brand new to the language or someplace in between, please join us at
Olivet Baptist Church.

Where: Location may vary, please email.
When: Every Thursday
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Who: Everyone is welcome! Beginnners are encouraged to attend.

Is Gaeilge go bhriste i níos fearr le Béarla maith de lá ar bith í!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

December class 2011

We decided that in December we will meet on December 13 before reconvening in January. It will be another holiday-themed class. If there is something you want to bring or focus on, please let me know and I'll make sure there's time for it. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 23 class location change

If you care to show up at our class on August 23, it is moving for just one night. We'll be at The Royal Mile in downtown Des Moines on 4th Street. Next class is September 13 and we'll be back at Olivet Church as usual.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New ebook is great asset for Irish language learners everywhere

I purchased the ebook, "Learn Irish Gaelic Online: All You Need to Know" and read all of it to see if I would find it helpful after dabbling in the language since 2000 and leading a study group since 2009.

What I found is a lot of advice and information I wish I'd had along the way. I even found suggestions for resources and study habits that were new to me.

The advice I wish I'd had all along is particularly true in regard to learning a minority language all by myself. Learners around the world should read the book and take heart that there are many people everywhere to help you. Learners are also encouraged to ask around and begin a study group of their own the way I did in Des Moines. I put up posters and notices on bulletin boards around town and asked neighborhood and genealogical group newsletters to include the information in their publications. To my surprise, people showed up!

Another portion of the book I especially appreciate is the listing of websites that provide the opportunities to listen, watch and read the language. I encourage our study group to do this all the time and now I have more resources to suggest to them.

This book is a valuable resource to both teachers/leaders and individual learners everywhere. Edited by the creator of BitesizeIrishGaelic, out of Limerick, this book was written by a long-time student of the language, Audrey Nickel. Anyone needing inspiration to keep going, keep teaching or keep learning should buy this book and refer to as often as needed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New ebook for help studying Irish!

I highly recommend the ebook, "Learn Irish Gaelic Online: All You Need to Know” for help studying the Irish language. It takes a lot of time on your part to learn the language. This book offers detailed help in getting the language into your daily habits even when you don't live in Ireland: A challenge, indeed!

At the low price of $7 USD, you just can't go wrong with this helpful addition to your study materials. For a list of chapters and to download the book right away, go to BiteSizeIrishGaelic.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bitesize Irish Gaelic

Have you been paying attention on Facebook? There's a new friend in town: Bitesize Irish Gaelic!

There are few Irish language resources I have found that match Bitesize Irish Gaelic. This is a valuable language tool in which users listen to words and phrases spoken by a native speaker. Lessons are short and useful, laid out in logical progression. The lessons are broken down into quick, repeatable nuggets that will not intimidate. It's a great tool not only for learners of every level, but also for study groups, genealogists, readers, researchers and students of Irish history and literature.

In our study group, we have begun using Bitesize Irish at as a group and as homework. Irish language learners around the world can use the web site and all the resources for a very small cost. The teacher is active and involved in the forums, where all students are welcome to ask questions and share resources and experiences. I happily recommend Bitesize Irish Gaelic to worldwide students of the Irish language or culture.

You can visit the web site here: BitesizeIrishGaelic

And take a free lesson here: Free Lesson!

Schedule revisited

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, here is the remaining Spring schedule for 2011:
April 26
May 10
May 24
June 14
June 28

Monday, March 7, 2011

Learn fun Irish phrases for St. Paddy's Day

Bitesize Irish Gaelic: Get ready to speak on St. Patrick's Day!
Join us for a Webinar on March 12

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

I'll teach you enough words and phrases in Irish Gaelic to really impress your friends on St. Patrick's Day. The webinar is held the weekend before March 17th, just in time for you to prepare. Register now to ensure you'll be able to join. It's free.

Title: Bitesize Irish Gaelic: Get ready to speak on St. Patrick's Day!
Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM GMT. That's 12:00 PM EST, or 09:00 AM PST.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Monday, February 28, 2011

Make St Patrick's Day more authentic with a good cup of Irish tea.

For St Patrick's Day, look beyond your regular cup of Irish Breakfast to find an authentic tea from Ireland. More tea is consumed per capita in Ireland than any other country.

Irish teas are increasingly popular. Usually black teas, they have a full-bodied taste, malty flavor and best served with sugar and milk. Today, they come in two forms. The first is labeled Irish Breakfast tea and produced in almost every country. Authentic Irish teas are made by tea companies in Ireland and include such brands as Barry's, Bewley's, Lyons and Punjana.

Authentic Irish teas achieve unique flavor and taste by blending leaves from Africa and India. Most of the leaves used are African, since it works particularly well with the Irish water. Blending different types and amounts of tea produces varying tastes.

Lyons Tea is Ireland's best-selling brand. The company offers 2 different teas: Lyons Gold and Lyons Original. Lyons Gold is a premium tea for a more discerning drinker.

Blended and produced in Cork, Barry's Tea occupies the high end of the Irish tea market. According to Barry's, the company is the second most popular tea in Ireland. Barry's Gold Tea, their most popular, brews an amber color and has a smooth, clean taste. Barry's Classic has a stronger flavor.

Best known for its historic Dublin cafe, Bewley's is one of Ireland's leading brands. Bewley's Tea dates to 1835 when Charles Bewley imported the first tea into Ireland from China. Bewley's leading teas are Irish Breakfast, Irish Afternoon and Dublin Morning.

Started in 1886 in Belfast, Punjana Tea is Northern Ireland's most popular. Punjana offers an Irish Breakfast, Fair Trade and Decaffeinated.

About is an Internet retailer offering tea brands from around the world. offers teas from such companies as Barry's, Bewley's Tea, Lyons, Punjana, Kusmi, Scottish Blend, Taylors of Harrogate, Williamson Tea and more.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spring schedule

For the sake of not having to count out the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, here is the Spring schedule for 2011:
Feb 8
Feb 22
Mar 8
Mar 22
April 12
April 26
May 10
May 24
June 14
June 28

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Gaelic languages

Here is an article about the modern Gaelic languages you may find interesting: Gaelic languages.

Class meets again next week, Tuesday, January 25.

I'm currently listening to a broadcast from radio. You can listen online here and click on Conas Éisteacht.

You may be surprised how many familiar words you hear!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We're on Facebook, too

We now have a Facebook page in case anyone is interested in the language and uses Facebook to search. Just look for Learn Irish Des Moines. I would put a "Like" button on this page, but it didn't work. I gave up easily...oops.

2011 gets started next week

Classes resume on January 11. Hope to see you there!