Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge or TEG Irish Language Certificate


Irish Language Certificate 📚: Adults have the option to learn and hone their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Irish by taking the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge, abbreviated to TEG and also called European Certificate in Irish. What is it? Who can take the test? We will discuss all of that and more in this blog.


There are many free apps everywhere such as Duolingo that can help adults learn the Irish language, which can take a certain amount of time. But that is certainly not enough to take an average person’s Irish skills to the next level (i.e., achieving borderline native fluent level). What more can they try to take them to the next level in terms of learning the Irish language?

Well, a person seeking to master the language should try the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge or simply TEG to test and enhance their Irish language skills. Below, we will elaborate more on what you should know about the TEG.


>>Check out the latest podcasts on FluentIrish.com – and start improving!



Who can take the Irish language certificate?


Should there be any sort of requirements before taking the Irish language certificate?


Basically, the answer to that is no. Anyone can sit and take a TEG examination with no problem. You should not have to attend any particular course. Moreover, it does not matter how old you are – you can take the course, regardless.


The system currently consists of five levels, which we will enumerate later below in this blog. But the gist of it is that they can choose to do the entire exam which consists of listening, reading, writing and speaking and nab a full certification or only do the oral exam for a partial certification.


Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge or simply TEG exams have been completed by various people such as journalists, people adding to their qualifications whilst searching for a good-paying job, current employees (particularly Irish school primary and secondary teachers), and, of course, those who simply appreciate and wish to learn and immense themselves in the Irish language.


Its importance


You may ask yourselves, “is taking this Irish language exam all that important? I mean, we already have plenty of sources located on the internet! Maybe it just is not that important.” That is far from the truth.


Probably the most notable offer it has that makes it very important is that it has a proven framework that can help learners plan their study in a systematic way, incentivise them with recognitions for progress they have made and, of course, help them achieve fluency in the Irish language.


In addition, employers looking for credentials and choosing between candidates can just view the abilities of candidates based on how well they did in the TEG Irish language certificate.


The five levels of TEG Irish language certificate


Currently, TEG offers five levels – A1, A2, B1, B2, C1.


There are three levels called common reference levels. All of those levels are further divided into two levels. The levels indicate what the learner can now do in reading, listening, speaking and writing the language.


Quoting our past blog on how long it takes to learn the Irish language:


Level group A


The first, of course, is A. A equates to basic user. Additionally, it is further divided into two – A1 and A2. The descriptions, as stated by Wikipedia, are as follows:


A1: beginner
  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
  • Also can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they have.
  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.


A2: waystage
  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g., very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • Also can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.


Level group B


Next comes the second level group B – independent user. Like A, B is also further divided into two – B1 and B2. It should still take quite a long time to truly master the Irish language by this point, but improvements have been made when reaching this part of the TEG Irish language certificate.


B1: intermediate
  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  • Also can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.


B2: vantage
  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization.
  • Also can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.


Level group C


The last of the three stages is, of course, C. It is further divided into two levels – C1 and C2. You’ve very much mastered the Irish language if you reach the latest stage at this level.


C1: advanced
  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning.
  • Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  • Also can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  • Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.


C2: proficiency


  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  • Also can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  • Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.



>>Which level?: Find out which level of spoken Irish you understand!