Learn Irish with Cúla4
Cúla4 is a stand-alone tv station broadcasting television programmes in the Irish language for children in the whole of the island of Ireland; and available via the internet outside of Ireland. Cúla4 provides tv programmes from 6am in the morning until 8pm in the evening, 7 days a week!
Not just for kids!
Cúla4 is definitely not just for kids however, and anyone wanting to improve their Irish should make good use of this entirely free language learning resource. As always, the best way to watch a programme is on the internet, where you can hit pause, or rewatch small segments. (Read more here about the value of 'intensive viewing').
How to use the Cúla4 website
Use the search box to find a programme:
What to watch
There is no shortage of great programmes on the Cúla4 website. Go to the Cúla4 website, scroll around, and find a programme that appeals to you. Try to watch a few episodes of the same programme if you can. Most the programmes are subtitled in Irish only. If you need to, hit pause, jot down the Irish words and go to google translate to get a translation. (Not always completely accurate, but generally close enough!)
Remember listening to the same short piece multiple times is the way to really tune your ear in to the sounds of the language.
Here are five recommendations, but don't treat this as an exhaustive list! Other programmes to check out include Cúla4 ar scoil; Nuacht and any of the many cartoons on the site
Aifric was first broadcast in 2006 and tells the story of a young teenager whose family move west to Connemara from Dublin. Aifric has great characters, storylines and has even been described as a 'cultural gem'! This is a really great series for an intermediate level learner to watch. Unfortunately the subtitles are in English only.
2. An bhfuil a fhios agat?
Bríd Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh is the presenter of this nice series in which she goes around the country investigating various topics, such as how hamster wheels work, how bricks are made and more! Bríd is from the Donegal Gaeltacht so if you are more interested in Ulster Irish then this is a great programme to watch.
3. Ár Scéal
Úna travels around the country visiting primary school and speaking to children all over the country. Again, the subtitles are in Irish only - but use google translate if you need to!
4. Is mise
This is a really nice series of short programmes, around 10 minutes each, with children Róise, Ríona, Cóil and Joey trying out new adventures in each episode.
5. Ó, a Sheáin!
This is a good programme for beginners - but unfortunately it's not subtitled in English. Seán is a bit of an amadán (a fool) and the programmes are just a few minutes long.
If you don't understand a thing....
Now, here's a word of warning...do not get dispirited if you try to watch a children's programme and you find that you understand very little. Ná bí buartha! This just means that you haven't heard enough Irish yet. When learning a language a huge amount of input is required - that means lots of listening and reading.
How to learn Irish
Lots and lots of input is required when learning any language, but attending a good course alongside getting this input is the fastest and most efficient way to improve your Irish. All About Irish courses are the place to get your questions answered; meet other learners; and to speak Irish yourself in a relaxing environment. All About Irish offers both live and self-study options for adults learning Irish from beginner Irish to more advance literature and poetry courses. Read all about the Irish language courses available with All About Irish here.
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