Living in Ireland for the past two months has been a completely different experience for me than living in the United States. So, for this week I will be blogging about the countless differences in Irish culture that I have gotten used to while staying here in Cork City.
The first thing I like to share about Ireland is the difference in language. They have two languages in Ireland and they are Spoken Irish also known as Gaelic and English. Luckily, English is the dominant language in Ireland, but there are the occasional towns around the country that only speak Gaelic. Also to note that even the English language is a little different because it is the UK English instead of US English.
Just below I have made a list of words and sayings that are different from what is back in the states.
- “That’s just grand” which means “That’s cool” or “Great”
- “Footpath” instead of “sidewalk”
- “Que” means “line”
- “Garda” means “police”
- “Chips” means “French fries”
- “Crisps” means “Potato Chips”
- “A Pint” means “A glass”
Z’s are switched with S’s
Other than the difference in language, you can see differences just walking down the street every day. Cars are driving on the opposite side than in America. City stores are family owned business and not commercial businesses you see in the mall. Also, they all close at 5:00 p.m., aside from the supermarket or taverns, so you need to make sure you pick up anything you need before 5:00. Even pets are different here in Ireland. While walking down the sidewalk you will see dogs without leashes walking alone and at the same time never once setting foot onto the street. It is truly a different experience than what is back home in the US.
Another great difference in Ireland is that things are much more at ease. I say this because in Ireland it is occasional for someone who is meeting you to be five minutes late. Therefore, if you have a class at 9:00 in the morning, it really does not start until 5 minutes after. Another reason is if a person says they will meet you at 2ish that could mean 2:00 or 2:59. One of my favourite parts about Ireland is how people tend to take it easy and enjoy life by sitting down every day and having a cup of tea, having a conversation with a friend or co-worker. Some of the most unique conversations come from just chatting to someone over a cup of tea or coffee. It is different from America where you have a travel thermos for your coffee or tea to take with you to drink.
Experiencing the Irish culture has been an amazing experience and I will miss it once my time here is finished. The great thing though is I can enjoy my time that I have in Ireland and I will hopefully bring some Irish traditions back to Albany!
Keep reading my blog to find out more about my study abroad experience in Ireland.