Member Profile: Laura Märker

I started learning Irish in April 2023 after my first trip to Ireland. At first, I bought some books and tried to teach myself. However, it is hard to make some progress without the feedback of a teacher and the weekly schedule that helps me study regularly. As the resources in my home country Luxembourg are limited, and the National Language Institute does not offer any Irish classes, I started browsing the internet. That is how I stumbled upon Let’s Learn Irish and after participating in the Free Workshop that takes place on the first Sunday of every month, I decided to sign up for classes.

The thought of speaking Irish was very intimidating to me. I always feel very self-conscious about my language skills, but my teacher was great and reminded us that we are here to learn and that is normal not to have any prior knowledge and to make mistakes. He created a pleasant learning environment in which I felt more and more confident to speak Irish and make mistakes.

I have learned most of the languages that I speak as a child and it was easy to become fluent in all of them. Three years ago, I started learning Latin and Italian and I realized that to learn a language as an adult, one has to completely immerse oneself into the language and try to have as much contact with the language as possible. I am glad that I was able to take these classes because they teach me all the grammar and vocabulary that I need to make some progress. It is a great feeling to be able to formulate your first sentences in Irish and understand your first bits of conversation in movies or songs after only a few weeks of classes. I would not have been able to teach myself to do that as quickly without those classes and I am very thankful for that!

Cé Thusa?

Ainm/Name: Laura Märker

Áit/Location: Esch-Uelzecht, Luxembourg

Leibhéal/Level: A0 Introductory

Ról sa Chomhphobal/Role in the Community: Foghlaimeoir/Learner

Slí Beatha/Occupation: Mac Léinn – Philosophy Student

Fad ag foghlaim Gaeilge/Time learning Irish: I’ve been learning Irish for two to three months, first on my own, then I started taking classes with Let’s Learn Irish.

Caithimh Aimseartha/Hobbies: I love baking, drawing, making jewellery, building miniatures, reading, traveling and learning about Roman history. I’m a very creative person and I like to try out all sorts of new things. I also enjoy learning languages and as a philosophy student, I’m particularly interested in philosophy of language and how we learn languages.

Cad is Fearr Leat?

Ceol/Music: I like pop-rock music. I listened to Mika since I was 10 years old and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Italian music.

Amhrán/Song: A classic: ‘Vienna’ by Billy Joel.

Bia/Food: I love all sorts of cuisine but I particularly like Italian and Mexican food. The Irish food I’ve tried so far was also amazing. I also love all sorts of pastries.

Deoch/Drink: I’m a big wine lover!

Clár Teilifíse/TV Show: I’m a big fan of ‘The Office’. I also never miss a season of the French baking show ‘Le meilleur pâtissier’.

Podchraoladh/Podcast: I’ve listened to a lot of Italian podcast when I was learning the language. Now I occasionally listen to ‘This American life’.

Leabhar/Book: My all time favorite book is called ‘Ensemble, c’est tout’ by the French author Anna Gavalda.

Ainmhí/Animal: My favorite animals are pigs.

Laochra/Heroes: My grandparents and my mom.

Áit in Éirinn/Place in Ireland: I really liked Galway a lot. Although there are so many other places I’m excited to discover!

Frása Gaeilge/Irish phrase: Céad míle fáilte (A hundred thousand welcomes).

Miotaseolaíocht/Irish Mythology: An Púca (The Pooka) because it can choose to be anything it wants!

Seanfhocal/Proverb: The Luxembourgish proverb ‘Et huet een sou vill vum Laachen, wéi vum Kräischen’ which means ‘You get just as much from laughing as you do from crying’.

Comhairle d’fhoghlaimeoirí nua/Advice for new learners of Irish: From having learned other languages in the past I would say it is important to expose yourself to the language as you can. You need to constantly be in contact with the language: set your phone language to Irish, listen to Irish songs, start by reading children’s books in Irish, use post-its to label everything in your home in Irish. And don’t be afraid to talk and make mistakes!

Join the online Irish community for cúrsaí, comhrá & ceardlanna, and follow along on social media @LetsLearnIrish – beidh fáilte romhat!

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