In the name of the fada

pxDesIn 2008 the Irish-American comedian, Des Bishop, set himself a challenge to learn Irish in 1 year. He made a documentary that was broadcasted on RTÉ over six episodes back in 2008.

He set off to live in Connemara, one of Ireland’s designated Gaeltacht areas, to learn as much as he could of the language with the native speakers. His goal at the end would be to perform a comedy gig entirely in Irish.

The programme gives a personal account of the challenges a learner of Irish is faced with. It sheds light into what life in an Irish-speaking community is like. Des, being a native New Yorker and living in Ireland since his teens, gives an outsider’s stand point and delivers a candid perspective of the issues surrounding the language. And as expected by Des’ very comedic nature, there are lots of humorous anecdotes about learning the language.

Overall, the result is a fascinating piece of documentary film making and a must see for any learner, past or present, of the Irish language or has anyone who has the desire to learn it. Click here to view the entire series on YouTube.

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