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Michelle Gallen

Talk Irish / Level 1

Awardee 2009

Talk Irish / Level 1
Robert Fennell & John Kearney
Janie Walthew

Michelle Gallen’s frustration at not being able to learn Irish as an adult drove her to put ten years of experience in publishing and e-learning to use and create www.talkirish.com.

The Challenge

Michelle wanted to tackle the lack of modern, engaging learning materials for adults as well as the very real threat of the demise of the Irish language, classified as endangered by UNESCO.


The Idea

Talk Irish is a social network where teachers, speakers and learners of Irish across the world can get together to talk Irish in a virtual Gaeltacht. It offers the adult learner of Irish a chance to learn from beginner’s level up, providing access to free resources. Users can download and share video, audio, documents or images and make friends in the online forums.

Talk Irish also provides a very successful ‘Focal an Lae’ (word of the day) podcast and flashcard service for learners via the website, email and Twitter. The site hosts a multimedia dictionary to support the service, and plans to launch a ‘proverb a day’ service, along with graded e-learning courses. Combining her passion for learning with her extensive media skills, Michelle aims to make www.talkirish.com the leading website for Irish language learners.


The Impact

www.talkirish.com has a number of easily accessible, award winning learning materials, and has over 17,000 members from around the world. It is the world’s biggest social network for Irish language learners, teachers and speakers, and is currently supported by the creative industries innovation fund. Resources include and Online and Mp3 Irish course, a discussion forum, an audio guide, flashcard gallery and video gallery.

Talk Irish collaborated with BBC Scotland to release a language-learning app, available in both Irish and Scot’s Gaelic. It is available at www.bunuscainte.com, and recently won an award for the best App at the Celtic Media Festival.


Is fearr dhá theanga ná ceann amháin...
...two tongues are better than one

Michelle Gallen

Michelle Gallen, Impact Award, 2009

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Lower Ground Floor, 11/12 Warrington Place, Dublin 2
Phone: +353 1 685 3191, Email: info@socialentrepreneurs.ie

Company No: 433846, Registered Charity No: CHY 17524, © SEI 2016

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