I have said earlier that Irish was the first weird language I ever tried to learn. Let me now illustrate its weirdness in a couple of sentences.
Its syntax is verb-initial, which is quite unusual for an Indo-European language:
Deir Seán nach bhfuil siad sásta leis an gcoláiste.
“Sean says that they’re not happy with the college”
Níl mo chuid Gaeilge go maith.
“My Irish is not good”
There are many languages which lack the verb “to have”. It’s not that uncommon that the meaning “I have a X” is expressed by “an X is at/by/on me”. It’s like that in Irish too…
Tá cat agam
“I have a cat”
… but it goes further with it:
Tá Gaeilge agam
“I know Irish”
Níl caint aige
“He can’t talk”
An bhfuil a fhios agad é?
“Do you know it?”
Weird, huh? And we didn’t even touch the mutations yet… In brief – in Irish a word can change its initial sound in some contexts. In the examples above gcoláiste [pron. goolashte] is from coláiste [koolashte], chuid [khid] is from cuid [kid] and fhios [ees] is from fios [fees]. Fascinating… add to that the extravagant orthography (‘oíche’ is pronounced [i]), the rich imagery and all the romanticism of being spoken by a small minority only…