Learn how to speak Irish Gaelic

Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 17:34:06-04

March 17 is St. Patrick's Day. Have you ever wanted to learn how to speak Irish Gaelic?

Don’t worry lads and lassies, the Kansas City Irish Center has you covered.

Here are some basic phrases you can learn for St. Patrick’s Day:

  • “Hello! How are you?” -  Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú (Kayn-hee-uh-WILL-too)
  • “Good morning!” – Maidin mhaith (Ma-jin-wah)
  • “Good night!” - Oíche mhaith (Ee-heh-wah)
  • “Cheers!” – Sláinte (Slon-cha)
  • “I love Kansas City!” - Is breá liom Kansas City (Is-brah-lum)
  • “Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!” - Lá fhéile Pádraig sonah dhuit (Lah leh PAH-drig SUN-uh gwitch)

The Irish language is the Celtic language of Ireland, but there is some confusion about what the official language is called. 

"In Ireland, people generally refer to the language simply as 'Irish.' The term 'Irish Gaelic' is not often used in the country, but it's safe enough to call it that outside of Ireland," said Renata Rua, Irish specialist. 

For the last 10 years, KCIC has played a major role in celebrating the Irish and Celtic heritage of the Kansas City community.

After moving its headquarters from Union Station, KCIC settled into the Drexel Hall building, which sits in the heart of Kansas City’s historic Irish neighborhoods.

“The Irish made their way to Kansas City back in the mid 1800s during mass European immigration. As the railroad system was being built across the country, KC became a destination for Irish railway workers. They gained a sense of community and stayed right here in the Midwest,” said Nancy Wormington, executive director of KCIC.

Kansas City’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade started in 1973 when a handful of people met at Hogerty’s Cocktail Lounge in downtown Kansas City to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.

Over the years, it has grown into one of the largest annual St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country.

“We have such an amazing parade and Irish festival, but the Kansas City community was wanting something where they could celebrate Irish culture year-round," said Wormington. "Our resources are truly unique which really makes this place so special.”

KCIC offers Irish language courses in a variety of different skill levels, along with other activities, programs, music and educational opportunities. 

The 2017 Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade will be held on March 17. Click here to learn more about the parade.