If you’re keen to progress in your new job but you also want to use your time in Ire­land to improve your Eng­lish, you’ve come to the right place. Be it in a pub, a doctor’s wait­ing room or in a lift, no moment of silence can go long in Ire­land without a friendly greet­ing, a com­ment on the weather, or a dis­cus­sion of life’s issues.

I hear Irish-English is a dif­fi­cult dia­lect to learn, is this true?

Even if you are great at speaking English, it’ll take you a little while to get used to the dialect. Most vis­it­ors to Ire­land find that after the first couple of days their ears quickly adjust to the Irish accent.­ You’ll soon find yourself speaking fluently!

Is there a region of Ire­land with stand­ard­ised English?

The simple answer is no. Unlike other lan­guages such as Ger­man and Italian, there is no major dif­fer­ence in the dia­lects across Ire­land, although our accents can vary greatly from county to county, and even from vil­lage to vil­lage.

If I want to improve my Eng­lish or get a qual­i­fic­a­tion, can I take an Eng­lish course in Ireland?

Yes. If you need to kick start your Eng­lish skills, there are English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) courses in many large towns across Ireland. You can also study for the International English Language Testing System IELTS or Cambridge Certificate.

There are part-time and full-time language courses at UCC in Cork and UCD in Dublin.

For a cheaper altern­at­ive, ask your local library if there is a com­munity Eng­lish course tak­ing place.

If you’re not interested in getting a qualification but still want to improve your English, you should try converse as much as possible with the locals. As with any language, there’s no better way to become fluent than by immersing yourself in the culture!