mainoff.gif
lastdyoff.gif
lastwkoff.gif
treeoff.gif
searchoff.gif
helpoff.gif
contactoff.gif
creditsoff.gif
homeoff.gif


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (April-June) » 1999 » Do Irish people still speak Irish? « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

W V Guy (bg-tc-ppp394.monmouth.com - 209.191.61.143)
Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - 08:02 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Ok, I know when you read this, you're gonna say "What an idiot!", but do
Irish people still speak Irish or do they speak English? I know I'm
dumb...thanks, though!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Riobárd
Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 1999 - 08:33 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Yes and Yes, Ireland is officially a bilingual country, and Irish is the first and official language. However, English is the working language of the country. There are regions in Ireland where only Irish is spoken, of course they would know english though. There are, arguably some monolithics in these regions unable to speak English(never met any, myself). The Irish language is compulsory in the primary, and secondary education levels; proficiency is required for most Govt. jobs, the Military, and the Police(Garda).

I hope this fully, and accurately answers you question. If it does not, your welcome to leave another message, and hopefully someone may be able to explain the answer with more clarity.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

SeanFurlong
Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 04:19 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The majority of the population of the Republic of Ireland live in localities where English has been the predominant spoken language of the ordinary native people for last eight hundred (800) years. For more details, see http://www.struct.net/Compulsory_Irish.htm

Although Gaelic is still used by nationalist politicians in Ireland on occasions of High State Ceremony, it is effectively a brain dead language today. Here are some facts about the usage of Gaelic in the Republic. For the first time this century, the 1996 Census had a question about frequency of usage of Gaelic. Respondents who answered YES to the question "Can you speak Irish?" were asked to mark a box about frequency of usage, one of "At Least Once A Day", "At Least Once A Week", etc. (or phrasing along those lines).

([]) Of those who said they spoke Gaelic At Least Once A Day, 79 percent were school children (and a further 7 percent were school teachers, most of them primary school teachers). Since Gaelic is compulsory for all school children, it's necessary to report the returns of the adults only for a more realistic picture. The Gaelic promoters in the Republic (including the government) don't do this, and have been deliberately misleading the public about the extent of usage of Gaelic.

([]) Three percent of the adult population (71,000 adults) said they spoke Gaelic at least once a day. Of these adults, roughly a third were school teachers (24,000), a third were residents of the official Gaeltacht areas (21,000), and the remaining third were government translators and miscellaneous other. The great majority of these 71,000 adults are not using Gaelic as their primary daily vernacular. (This is true even in the Gaeltacht areas as well over half of all Gaeltacht residents reported that they speak Gaelic less often than once a week or not at all; and nearly two-thirds said they spoke it less often than once a day or not at all.)

([]) Five percent of the adult population said they spoke Gaelic At Least Once A Week. There's good grounds for believing this 5% figure substantially overestimates the number who actually speak Gaelic at least once a week. More details are available at http://www.struct.net/Compulsory_Irish.htm.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus (194.45.112.7 - 194.45.112.7)
Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 06:51 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Sean Furlong wrote:
"The majority of the population of the Republic of Ireland live in localities where English has been the predominant spoken language of the
ordinary native people for last eight hundred (800) years."

This is crap.
Up to 1600 Irish was the majority language throughout society. Up to 1800 it was the majority language of the "ordinary native people".
800 years ago (in 1199) there were a handful of foreign invaders who spoke Norman French in Ireland, and very few english speakers at all.
The fact that the majority now live in cities like Dublin where English (or its predecessors such as norman french) were the dominant language is true but misleading since urbanization is a general 20th Century phenomenon. The ancestors of these people came from areas where Irish was spoken up to the famine.

Mr. Furlong has a bee in his bonnet about Irish and will use any forum designed to promote the Irish language to press his personal antagonism to the language.

The fact is that the Irish language is being revived in Ireland - 2 cafés have opened recently in Dublin (where according to Mr. Furlong English has been "the predominant spoken language of the
ordinary native people" for 800 years, where the sevice is in Irish, and both are flourishing. There has been a national radio station for 25 years whose service is entirely in Irish, and there are several hours of TV in Irish being broadcast daily. There are several weekly newspapers being published (and sold), and 10 or so monthly publications. Admittedly, some of these are subsidized by the State. But they are being sold in normal newsagents!

So much for the "brain dead" language which Mr Furlong insists on calling Gaelic, but whose speakers call Irish when speaking English, since there are Gaelic languages being spoken in Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus (194.45.112.7 - 194.45.112.7)
Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 07:00 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Addendum:
I live in Germany but I speak Irish daily to my children, and I know of at least one other person IN GERMANY who does so.

There are flourishing all Irish primary and secondary schools in Ireland where all subjects are taught through Irish. The number of such schools and the pupils being served by them is continually increasing.

See here http://ireland.iol.ie/gaeloidnet/
or here http://www.iol.ie/gaelscoileanna/

or just try an internet search with the keyword "gaeilge"

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

SeanFurlong
Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 11:09 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"The majority of the population of the Republic of Ireland live in localities where English has been the predominant spoken language of the
ordinary native people for last eight hundred (800) years."


That's not crap. It's a fact. Moreover, the localities that were historically Gaelic-speaking are continuing to de-populate in the present day, and the parts that have been historically English- speaking are increasing in population.

Specifically the counties Dublin, Meath, Louth, north-eastern Kildare, south Wexford, good parts of the Barrow-Nore-Suir valley (taking in eastern Waterford, up through the Golden Vale in Tipperary, and some parts of Kilkenny and Carlow), and the cities Cork, Limerick and Galway and their hinterlands, plus some walled towns such as Youghal -- here the ordinary natives have been native speakers of English (together with a bit of Anglo-Norman French in earliest times) -- continuously for 800 years. I can recommend "Ireland in the Age of the Tudors, 1447-1603: English Expansion and the End of Gaelic Rule", by Steven Ellis, for the period when the Anglo-Norman English-speakers reached their lowest ebb. For a history of Galway City and its hinterlands on the internet, showing that people have been English-speaking in Galway and in the area between Galway and Athenry for the last 800 years, see Hardiman's history of Galway at http://www.wombat.ie/galwayguide/history/hardiman.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (1cust97.tnt6.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.11.190.97)
Posted on Thursday, December 09, 1999 - 10:30 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Aongus is right. Your statement has some superficial plausibility because in today's Ireland there happens to be a marked and unprecedented concentration of population in the Dublin metropolitan area, the area of the old Dublin Pale. Ireland has the highest proportion of its population living in its capital and vicinity of any European country. In the days of the Pale, however, the proportion of the population that resided in that area would have been tremendously lower.

Even the Dublin Pale could not keep out Irish, much less your scattered walled towns. Earlier English accounts lament that their own elite were bilingual and delighted in it. That was the reason for the anti-Irish language legislation! For this to have been true means that Irish must have been very strong indeed, even in supposedly English-speaking areas. When the Gaelic Revival began, Irish scholars in Maynooth discovered that there were old people in their own area who had been raised Irish-speaking.

Many Irish people have an English great-grandmother or a Huguenot ancestor in the early 17th century or a drop of Viking blood. All very interesting, but too much is made of this for political and ideological purposes. Most people in the North and almost everyone in the Republic has Irish-speaking ancestors, predominantly so in most cases.

Most Irish people recognize that it would be foolish to throw away the country's defining cultural heritage, no matter how strong the structure opposing it.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sáfach Uafásach (ip209-183-120-237.ts.indy.net - 209.183.120.237)
Posted on Sunday, December 12, 1999 - 02:18 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Sean is a little twat who hates Ireland; he is well known for making himself unpleasant on the boards dealing with Irish political issues. Sneering contempt for all things Irish figures in his every post. Check his handiwork here. He lives in San Rafael, CA and STRUCT.NET is his own little domain he established to do what he can to destroy the Irish language. Nice life he has there, eh?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (1cust116.tnt10.nyc1.da.uu.net - 63.16.18.116)
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 09:07 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

People sometimes categorize our choice to keep the language as an emotional cause and nothing more. They act out of ignorance, of course. But it's a relief, in a way to see the real thing. Agus thar a bheith suimiúil. Caithfidh sé gur gealt é amach is amach.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

shaz (p551.as1.exs.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.226.39)
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2000 - 04:28 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

i agree that seán is a complete fool. He just does all he can to conmdemn the irish language. Well it won't work it just makes me more determined than ever to improve my irish to show people like him just how 'braindead' the language really is.

oh and aonghus would you be able to tell me exactly where those cafes are please?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (1cust93.tnt10.nyc1.da.uu.net - 63.16.18.93)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 10:37 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Recently I was having another go at _Hidden Ireland_ by Daniel Corkery, as well as Arthur Young's _Tour of Ireland_. Both have things to say that reminded me of our friend in California's comments that "The majority of the population of the Republic of Ireland live in localities where English has been the predominant spoken language of the ordinary native people for last eight hundred (800) years."

Young, who travelled extensively in Ireland in 1776-78, said he found only two places in the entire country where English was spoken without the presence of Irish: Dublin and the baronies (read neighborhoods) of Wexford, Bargie and Forth.

Of course, there were many Irish speakers in Dublin too, and as for that wee corner of Wexford, a French visitor in the 1790s remarked that the language spoken there by its rigidly separate population was closer to Flemish than to English.

Corkery notes that families in the big houses had to speak Irish even to their house servants and overseers, and that their own children were often raised by Irish-speaking women on their estates.

Furlong and company are manufacturing a new history to suit their cause. But as Aongus points out, it's just crap.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus ( - 194.45.112.7)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2000 - 02:04 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Shaz:
Dáil bia is at the bottom of Kildare st., under Comhdáil, opposite l'Alliance francais.

The other is due to be opened in Dawson st., (or has been).

I'm not living in Ireland (yet) so I've only been to Dáil Bia on trips home.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sáfach
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2000 - 07:44 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Seosamh --
I don't think there's any "company" to Sean Furlong, he's amháin, and hasn't the wit to notice.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (1cust112.tnt14.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.23.142.112)
Posted on Friday, February 11, 2000 - 12:54 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Alone to heroically carry on the CAUSE -- a cause against a language he says is dead! -- i Meiriceá Thuaidh. There are a couple of others in Ireland who get printed in the papers there. I also saw a Furlong-clone posting in the Cumasc site. Meas tú go mbíonn comhdháil bhliantúil acu?

At the risk of lending plausibility to his argument, I thought I would post some real info. There's too much half knowledge -- and attendant condescension -- out there about the language. When I think of these people who got halfway through Ulysses encountering the Furlong screed... Alarming.

Good to see you dropped the 'uafásach'. Beir bua.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

shaz (p157.as1.adl.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.228.157)
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2000 - 03:50 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

go raibh míle maith agat a Aonghus!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus ( - 194.45.112.7)
Posted on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 02:54 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Fáilte romhat. Rith sé liom nuair a bhí an teachtaireacht seolta agam go raibh sé ceart agam é chuir in ngaeilge, ach..
Bain taitneamh as dáil bia!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

matt (hse113.resnet.upenn.edu - 165.123.4.193)
Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 04:31 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Sean Furlong is just a bigoted little bastard who wishes [redacted by Daltaí na Gaeilge] to make himself more English. The fact of the matter is that up until 1847, right before the Potato Famine, half of the population spoke Gaelic as their first language (over four million people). And in 1922, when the Republic of Ireland was founded, 12% of the people spoke Gaelic. The only reason that Gaelic declined so much is because the English took over the education system in the 1830's and forbade the speaking of Irish in the classroom. The English also economically discriminated against Gaelic speakers. Despite what Sean says, the Irish never willingly chose to become English speakers. Sean Furlong and people like him would just love to see Gaelic die out, but that won't happen. The Gaelscoileanna are growing by leaps and bounds every year. Irish culture (including the language) is undergoing a revival. The only reason that children in state schools aren't learning Gaelic is that the way it is being taught is a disgrace. In Gaelscoileanna, Irish is taught as the medium of instruction but the children become fluent in English and Continental languages as well. Actually being immersed in Gaelic like this helps the children do better in English than the children who are taught through the medium of English. The reason that they are so sought after is because their academic standards are higher than English-medium schools. I could go on and on.
Saoirse!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh
Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 11:55 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Hmmm. Ní raibh 'fhios agam go raibh cead againn 'bastard' a thabhairt ar a chéile! N'fheadar cad a bhí redactáilte ag Daltaí. . .

Ach ná crochaimis an duine bocht. Cuimhnímis ar na rialacha atá i bhfeidhm anseo ag Daltaí. Is Críostaithe sinn ar bhealach amháin nó ar bhealach eile.

Matt makes good points and his message reminds me how much we can all do. We can make a choice. Empowerment and all that. Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Aonghus ( - 194.45.112.7)
Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2000 - 05:41 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Agus seo fianaise go labhartar Gaeilge (sa Tuaisceart) agus gur fearrde é daltaí scoile a bheith ag freastal ar Gaelscoil!
http://www.nuacht.com/sceal6.htm
Scéal ó Lá go bhfuair daltaí ó Gaelscoil Feiriste na marcanna is fearr sa GSCE!

Proof that irish is spoken in Belfast and actually benefits students:- Lá reports that the Irish language secondary school in Belfast got the best marks in the GSCE exams for the second year running.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Louis C. Newbury
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 03:57 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Chairde,

I have just discovered this forum. What fun! I've
spent my evening answering various posts on dif-
ferent topics. This topic, the use of Gaelic
(by which I mean all the "Goidelic" languages)
in various times and places, is near to my heart.
As an Irish American, the fate of our language
is as great a grief to me as the world-wide
distribution and successes of our kin is a source
of pride. I have always been proud of my heritage,
but I hadn't a clue as to what it was all about
until I began to learn the LANGUAGE.
Sadly, though, I think it's safe to say that a watcher from another planet would conclude that Irish is going the way of Manx. The isolation of The Isles will keep Scots Gaelic alive somewhat longer. Our numbers (however inflated for love or politics) by themselves don't tell the whole
story. The demographics and the geography are
what's killing us. We are not 100,000 Gaels living
ALONE on a few islands out in the Atlantic. We are (at the very most) 100,000 Gaels in isolated bits and shreds, 500 here, 1000 there, in the midst of 3 million fellow Irishmen and 5 million fellow Scotsmen. Even if all the Gaelic speakers in the world (The honest-to-God first-language cradle-to-grave speakers) were 10 times as numerous as they are, well...
Having said that, we must never concede defeat,
we must continue to fight, we must never say die,
until the last time that a young woman, without
thinking, murmurs to her baby in Irish, or an old
man mumbles to himself in the Irish of his
infancy. A doomed battle is all the more noble.
And there are such things as miracles...

Beannacht oraibh go le`ir!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sáfach (ip209-183-120-160.ts.indy.net - 209.183.120.160)
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 09:41 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Louis --

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill came to my town to speak and read last week, and I believe she would empathize with your worry. However she did say she is confident Irish will outlive her, and given the size of the print runs of her books, I believe her. I was amazed.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Antaine
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 02:37 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Unquestionably, the language is in trouble, but is far from a doomed battle, especially
due to the dedication of it's lovers. Ethnologue has this to say,

GAELIC, IRISH (IRISH, ERSE) [GLI] 260,000 fluent or native speakers (1983 census), 13% of
the population (1983 census); 31.6% of the population over 3 claim to be Irish speakers
(1981 census). Western isles northwest and southwest coasts; Galway, part of Mayo,
Kerry, Donegal. Also Northern Ireland, Boston, USA. Indo-European, Celtic, Insular,
Goidelic. Dialects: MUNSTER, CONNACHT, DONEGAL, LEINSTER, ULSTER. It is taught as
an official language in schools and encouraged by the government. National language.
Typology: VSO. Braille code available. Bible 1685-1989. NT 1602-1951. Bible portions
1913-1976.

Keep in mind that things are only getting better. This is old info. Since then, more than
half of all books printed in Ireland per annum are printed as Gaeilge, and the TV station
has higher ratings than MTV. Besides that, if the Brits are forced to (or get a conscience)
foster the language in the North instead of trying to destroy it, things will get better still.

Níor dhún Dia doras riamh nár oscail Sé ceann eile.
...........

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Username (pool-209-138-17-237.cmbr.grid.net - 209.138.17.237)
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2000 - 01:06 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Sirs and Ladies:

I would not say "doomed" either.

I may be just one person, but I have made up my mind to study and become, if not fluent, at least conversant in the language.

Just this Saturday, I ran across a woman from Ireland and used what little I knew and learned at little more.

I plan to visit Ireland soon and use my Irish every chance I get.

I also plan to join my local Irish Home Society and use the language there as well. Perhaps I'll find some like minded individuals and start a study group.

No! By no means "doomed".

Don

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sáfach
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2000 - 11:23 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Go maith a Dhon!!

Keep on keeping on. I don't see the language dying, but it is challenged, as much from the inside as the outside.

as from "within" as "without"

At the time of the famine, I think the language was reduced to bare fluency. there's a terrible challenge between the gaeltacht, where the language is a living, if not literate, thing, and the academic world, where there is no distinction between literacy and fluency.

Irish, the language, claims the oldest and most robust literary tradition in Europe. This is not a small thing, although I think the set-to between the fluent and literate communities does not allow for appreciation of this fact.

But then it's entirely human to be obsessed with the here-and-now.

Please don't stop. Keep learning and keep talking and reading and saying. You and I may be savaged by all sides in Ireland, but we are allowed to love the language on our own terms, and it's up to them to fit us in or pitch us out.

(yeowch, I hate it when they start kicking me!!)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Username (pool-209-138-22-213.cmbr.grid.net - 209.138.22.213)
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2000 - 11:05 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Sáfach:

Thanks for the encouragement. It's a cultural thing really.

In addition to learning and using the language every chance I get, I also study the celtic harp, draw the celtic knotwork, (some of it passable enough to be used on a step dancing dress for my friends daughter), and tell stories.

At the risk of being too repetative, the heart of the culture really is the language. I'm grateful for Aeongus and all the native speakers who take the time to help those of us still grapling with the tongue.

I was once asked why I wanted to study Irish when it was all just ? If one must ask, I don't think they'd understand the answer.

Go raibh maith agat.
Chífidh mé tú.

Don

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.


©Daltaí na Gaeilge