33: Exploring Irish with Susan Folan

May 3rd, 2017

Let's start this episode of LangFM with a little song you may know.


Still sound familiar?

The song is "Wake me up" by Swedish DJ and music producer Avicii, a big summer hit in 2013. The version we hear now, however, is by Seo Linn, an Irish band seeking to promote Irish through covers of popular songs and own material. Their version of "Wake me up" on YouTube has garnered over 5,5 million views so far. But let me tell you, Seo Linn are not the only ones having success. Listen to 15-year-old Shannon Bryan:

I found both of these music videos, and many others, on the YouTube channel of TG4 or [tʲeː ɟeː ˈcahəɾʲ], the fourth Irish TV channel serving Irish-language speakers in the whole country. TG4 may place a strong emphasis on music, and they may have broadcast all Harry Potter films dubbed in Irish, but the highest ratings regularly go to… their weather reports:

"The weather girls on TG4 are particularly famous for beingvery beautiful and mystifying creatures, you know? I think, probably, this air of mysticism that surrounds the language for those who've never encountered an Irish speaker is maybe intensified by the fact that there is then this beautiful creature on the screen telling you about the weather in Irish."

Meet Susan Folan. Susan is an EU-accredited conference interpreter for English and Irish.