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Dublin: -1 °C Sunday 18 March, 2018

How the Irish language lives on Snapchat: 5 Gaeilgeoirí leading the way

“People really respect the language of Irish and they want to see it grow and flourish.”

snapchat Source: Flickr/barnimages

IT’S NO SECRET that Irish people love Snapchat. According to data by Ipsos MRBI, a whopping 84% of 15-24 year olds have an account, with 66% using it daily.

While many associate Snapchat with influencers and funny filters, the Irish language is finding a home there too. We spoke to these Gaeilgeoirí to find out how they’re using Snapchat to promote and have fun with the language.

Siún Ní Dhúinn (siunie)

Also, when @ailbhelynch does your makeup and you don't need no filters. ❤️❤️❤️

A photo posted by siuners (@siuners) on

Siún, editor of the Gaeilge/English website As An Nua, thinks Snapchat is a great way to showcase the “innovative side” of Irish and its speakers.

While she uses it to chat about all sorts of things relating to the language, she’s had a great reaction to her weekly vocabulary ‘classes’:

I tend to choose a word you mightn’t have learned in school but is relevant to daily life; my first word I chose was the word for ‘the day after tomorrow’, which is ‘amanathar’. Last week’s was the word for hangover, ‘póit’.

Siún says she’s gained around 300 followers since she’s started her classes, many of whom screenshot her ‘word of the week’ each Friday.

I’ve had lots of engagement from my followers mostly about their love for the language and asking about where and how to use more of it.

Ian Smith (iansmith221) 

aBsJ0g8a Source: Twitter/@iansmith221

Ian is working in a university in Canada as an Irish tutor – he has 15 students, all from Canada, who are currently learning the language. He uses Snapchat to keep in contact with his friends back at home, both Irish-speaking and not, using his cúpla focal.

He says that finds that he now uses Snapchat more than any other social network:

I find that it’s a great way to share moments and occasions to friends at home who I haven’t been in contact with too much, I know what’s going on in their lives from their updates and they know what’s going on in mine. I get so much entertainment from it.

Caoimhe Ní Chathail (caoimhechats)

LEb5YCPn Source: Twitter/@CaoimheChats

Belfast-based Caoimhe doesn’t just Snapchat as Gaeilge, she vlogs as Gaeilge too – she and her friend Éadaoin run Tusa Tube, a YouTube channel where they talk about everything from female heroes of 1916 to Irish events like the annual Oireachtas na Samhna.

On her Snapchat, she loves sharing pictures of delicious food, bringing her followers on the road with her as she reports for RTÉ, and introducing them to her favourite Irish words:

My favourite word is my Irish translation of ‘buzzing’ which is ‘buzzáil’. I think I probably over use it on Snapchat, I’m always ‘buzzáil’ about something.

Micheál Ó Ciaraidh (irishmike_carey/TG4TV)

@cula4_tg4 an t-seasúir nua 👍👍☺️ ag teacht go luath go @tg4tv

A photo posted by Michael Carey (@_mickyc_) on

TG4 host Micheál snaps as Gaeilge both on his personal account and the TG4 Snapchat, which he runs with weather presenter Caitlín Nic Aoidh.

They won Best Use of Snapchat at the Irish Social Media Awards this year, and Micheál was snapping behind the scenes when Caitlín was ‘hit by lightning’ while presenting on Halloween night,

He thinks there is a huge audience for the Irish language on Snapchat:

There are thousands of Irish speaking young people who use Snapchat, so it’s great that more and more users are dedicating their accounts to solely snapping in Irish.

Gaeilge Le Glam (gaeilgeleglam)

Gaeilge Le Glam is a beauty and lifestyle blog run by four secondary school teachers from Galway: Gearóidín, Roseann, Aisling and Síofra.

They’ve been Snapchatting as Gaeilge ever since they set up the blog last year – Síofra tells that they cover everything from important life stuff (weddings, building houses) to cooking, fashion, and fitness.

They now have over 2,000 Snapchat followers who are “so supportive” of them working through Irish:

The reaction to both our blogs and Snapchats has been absolutely amazing. People really respect the language of Irish and they want to see it grow and flourish.

Interested in getting more Gaeilge on your Snapchat? Here are some other great Gaeilgeoirí to follow:

  • Is Maith Liom Blog (ismaithliomblog) Fashion and beauty with an Irish slant.
  • Loretta Ní Ghabháin (lorettagavin) The MD of the digital communications agency Lorg Media.
  • T-Rex Ó Saurus (gaelgory) The Irish language’s unofficial mascot, a T Rex, of course has his own Snapchat account.
  • Ciara Ní É (MiseCiara) The woman behind the extremely popular Memes na Gaeilge Facebook page.
  • Ursula Ní Shabhaois (smaoineamhosard) Blogger with thoughts on everything from politics to film and fashion.
  • Conradh na Gaeilge (CnaGaeilge) The organisation responsible for promoting the Irish language worldwide.

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