I am currently learning Irish with the help of the Android application "Duolingo". It doesn't teach me the grammar; it works with translating sentences. I don't think the app is very useful; I tried it in German, my mother tongue and I often find mistakes and confusing structures. It's not easy to know if a verb is in the infinitive or in the past tense.

Are there any books or apps (for free) where I can learn the grammar of the Irish language? Also I am looking for some pronunciation rules.

2 Answers 2


I realize this question was posted a while ago. Perhaps there were not robust online resources then but there are now many more online Irish / Gaeilge resources such as:

Focloir.ie Comprehensive English-Irish dictionary and pronunciation

Abair.ie Pronunciation tool, input Irish words to hear. You can also speak into this and say Irish words you may have heard to have it try to decipher for you.

Teanglann.ie This actually gets into etymology and grammar and has numerous Irish dictionaries embedded

All three of these have embedded pronunciation audio files in all three Irish dialects (Connacht, Munster, Ulster). Look for the play symbol and C, M, U to click to hear the pronunciation in different dialects.

(Connacht dialect-Western Ireland, Munster dialect-Southern Ireland, Ulster dialect-Northern Ireland. There isn't a dialect for the Eastern portion of Ireland. That is not to say that Irish is not spoken there now; it is. There is just not a dialect due to that area (Dublin/The Pale) being occupied for 800 years - the language did not evolve a distinct dialect in that region).

Back to the original posted question - the difficulty of learning parts of Irish grammar and spelling - especially the eclipsis and lenition - is next to impossible on Duolingo. There are a few YouTube resources now. One lesson that is excellent in this area is Sounds and Spelling of Irish / Fuaimniú & Litriú na Gaeilge

Good luck! Learning Irish is fascinating as it is one of the oldest living languages (along with Basque) in Europe. It is also one of the rarer VSO (verb-subject-object) languages, so interesting for that reason alone.


One resource that may be helpful for beginners is Wombat's Irish Grammar Guide; it's just 19 pages long, so you only get the basics.

A more complete resource is Graiméar na Gaedhilge on Wikisource (in English, in spite of the title). This was originally published in 1906, so I assume some of it is outdated. However, it is one of the sources for Wikipedia's article on Irish grammar. On Wikipedia, see also Irish declension, conjugation, dependent and independent verb forms, initial mutations and syntax.

The wikibook Irish currently contains 5 lessons (work in progress) and has a number of articles on grammar.

There's also Lars Braesicke's Gramadach na Gaeilge - Irish Grammar, based on a German original: Gramadach na Gaeilge - Die Irische Grammatik.

In print, there's Nollaig Mac Congail's Irish Grammar Book (2004; ISBN 9781902420493).

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