Talk Irish Launches

Just in time for St Patrick's day, Talk Irish, a social network for Irish language learners, has launched this week in Belfast.

Talking Irish doesnt get much easier than thisMichelle Gallen is the Irish female internet heroe behind the network. Michelle built on her experience as an e-learning consultant, having created  a wide range of e-learning products - across various media - mobile, web, tv and online. She invested her own money into getting the website going, along with a bank loan and had a small grant from a local Irish language charity,  bootlegging it through 12-14 hour days, but loving being her own boss.

Explaining the rationale behind the network, she says: "Most of the 50,000 native speakers of Irish are based in Ireland. But the learners are scattered across the world - in the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. That's why talkirish.com was created. It's a brand new social network where teachers, speakers and learners of Irish get together to talk Irish."

The teaching options on the site are simple but original; Learners can kickstart their learning journey with award-nominated word-a-day podcast and flashcard service.  They also have access to a free audio dictionary. There's a vocabulary-building game and quizzes to try out too. Members can share audio, documents or images  - or simply browse Irish language content.

Using the new ways of the web, Michelle is building up a collection of Irish language video clips that can be accessed by speakers and learners across the world. And members can share their own video or audio footage of Irish speakers in the wilds of New York city or the ancient heartlands of Donegal.

Learners can browse the discussion forums for hints and tips on learning Irish or finding a class near them. They can make friends with other Irish language learners across the world and share their learning tips.

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