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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (January-June) » WHY ARE YOU LEARNING GAEILGE?? « Previous Next »

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eire (194.125.148.18 - 194.125.148.18)
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 05:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi! I'm an 18 year old Irish girl and I've been learning Irish in school since I was 5. I've also been to the Donegal Gaeltacht once. I just want to know; for those of you who aren't native Irish, why are you learning this language? I, myself, like it, but I don't know any different because even before I started school, little did I realise, we were already using pieces of irish like: "Brostaigh ort!" "Dún an doras!" "Táim ag dul amach." and things like that. Why do you learn Irish?
And do you not find it hard to pronounce some of the words? I've been looking at some of the pronunciations offered by some people o this site and some of them are wrong. For eg: Tá isn't supposed to be pronounced thaw. It's taw, it's just that some native speakers don't pronounce things correctly, much the same as we do in english. (eg: you is supposed to be pronounced Yoo, but is sometimes pronounced ya)
I'm interested in your replies!
Beidh mé ar ais arís!
edel

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Fintan (203.221.128.180 - 203.221.128.180)
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 07:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Edel a chara,
Nice to see a young Irish person with a good attitude towards their own language. Maith an bhean tú féin! I'm Australian born, of mixed descent (Irish, Scots, English, German---- typical Aussie Bitser).

Some of my reasons for learning Irish-

-In order to help teach it to others, pure and simple.

-It is one the most beautiful languages on the planet (despite the thorny road it offers to the new student).

-It has one of the oldest living literary traditions in Europe.

-It was an important language (despite Anglo-centric protestations contrariwise) in the colonial settlement period of my home nation (an Astráil).

-And my last reason, like Sir Edmund, simply because it's there.

Go raibh maith agat le do cheist, agus labhair do theanga féin riamh! An Ghaeilge go brach!

Mise le meas,
'Fintan'

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Marcia (208.61.16.229 - 208.61.16.229)
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 08:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dia dhuit, a Edel!

I'm learning Gaeilge because I am part Irish (Tá me Gaeilge -is that right, or does it just pertain to the language itself?) Somehow, I just knew that 'Tá' is pronounced as Taw, btw. :) I'm Galician Spanish and Irish born in... another island. My Irish side left Eíre because of the famine. Most of the written language and spoken Gaeilge is lost in my family and I've had a deep yearning to get it back, not just the language, but learning about the country and history of the people has anchored me. It has also explained the oral traditions that have been such a big part of my family.

It's a wonderful feeling. Never loose it.

Beannácht!

Marcia

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Bradford (66.231.3.31 - 66.231.3.31)
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 10:01 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Edel, a chara,

For me, there were several reasons I began learning Gaeilge...

1. It makes me feel more closely connected to my Irish ancestors, who fled during the Great Famine.

2. I enjoy tackling languages that aren't all that common. I also studied Lakota (Sioux - Native American).

3. It saddens me deeply that a nation such as Ireland, with its own native tongue, instead speaks a foreign tongue for the most part. I feel that learning Gaeilge is my own little way of promoting the language.

I also know that "tá" isn't pronounced "thaw". :) But be careful when you say something's right vs. wrong. What may sound wrong in one dialect may sound right in another! :)

There are a number of native speakers and other skilled Gaeilge speakers that frequent this site. If we get pronounciation wrong they'll let us know!

Thanks for your interest, and I hope you stick around!

Le meas,

Bradford

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Pádraig Mac Gafraidh (63.175.172.161 - 63.175.172.161)
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 11:00 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Edel, A Chara 's Chairde,

It occurs to me that any attempt to say why I am learning Irish might be immediately met with another question; that being: "what makes you think you're learning Irish?" or "who told you that murderous assault on the language was Irish?" Having been accused of confusing Irish with Gibberish, I think it safer to address the question as to what draws me to the Irish language.

Even this is a deceptively simple question. For me, at least, the usual responses about heritage, tradition, getting back to one's roots and all that don't ring true. Don't get me wrong. The roots are there -- from the black-lunged, anthracite miners who came to north-eastern Pennsylvania 150 years ago back to the dirt poor dirt farms and rocky fields of Mayo. What I mean is that my ancestry doesn't answer the question.

The fact is that this is an horrendously difficult language to master, and outside of Ireland -- perhaps even outside the Gaeltacht -- one is hard put to find someone who can even hold a casual conversation. In my advancing years I must know or have encountered thousands upon thousands of persons, and I have never met in the flesh even one Irish speaker. Moreover, living in the United States, I have no need for Irish whatsoever.

And yet ...

Something there is that touches the heart. It's elusive, but there's something in the soul of the Irishman that escapes when he speaks. A touch of the poet. It's there even when he speaks in English. Sometimes I take down a copy of The Dubliners just to read the last paragraph of the last story, The Dead. I know the plot line by heart, and I can discourse on the character and theme, but what I reach for -- what I am drawn to is the way the words let me hear the snow falling through the universe.

Credim go bhfeicfidh mé maitheas an Tiarna i dtír na mbeo. Fan leis an Tiarna go meanmnach: bíodh misneach in do chroí; cuir do dhóchas sa Tiarna. (Salm 27:13-14)

Go ahead and translate if you will. But better yet, just listen to the Irish sing.

I'm still not sure I answered the question. I guess that, primarily, I don't wish to learn Irish. I just want to be there. Have you not noticed whenever you're there something special -- something iontach -- is also there?

Beannacht Dé oraibh,
Pádraig

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.178 - 193.122.47.178)
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I think "tá" should be pronounced "thaw", that's how it always has sounded to me - at school and on the radio/tv. Anyway, in the Phrases/how are you? section on this site you can hear it for yourself and make up your own mind.

Slán

Oliver.

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Landon (172.141.4.35 - 172.141.4.35)
Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 11:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I dont think I can actually say Im learning Irish yet because I dont know how to say anything let alone read it... Yet. I would very much like to learn it to know more about where I came from. Most of my ancestors are Irish. I think it is a beautiful language and hope that I can master it someday.

Landon

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 04:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Marcia:
you would say either "Is Éireannach mé" I am Irish, although that would tend to mean a close link with the island of Ireland, or "Is Gael mé"

Gaeilge refers only to the language,
Gael to people
Gaelach to things which belong culturally to Gaels - e.g. Ceol Gaelach - Irish Music, Peil Gaelach - Gaelic Football

beir bua

Aonghus

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Mirie (193.137.42.29 - 193.137.42.29)
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 09:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Failté

I´m a portuguese girl and I´m trying to learn gaelge. Obviously, it´s very hard to learn gaelge online and here in portugal there are no irish learning courses. The main fact for trying to learn gaelge is because of the irish culture which I simple adore. Beggining with the myths of the Tuatha de Dána til the irish triads, this is simply a marvellous culture! I wish I could have the opportunity to learn Irish as you do! Just enjoy your culture and never let it die....

Slán Go Fóill

PS - My email is: rainbow_guest@hotmail.com

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James (65.179.0.7 - 65.179.0.7)
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 09:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Edel, A chara:

Having read many of these responses I would say my answer will seem somewhat redundant. Like most of the non-native speakers on this site I am of Irish ancestry. I find that aspect of this site, and the fantastic participation found here, to be a remarkable statement about Ireland and the Irish. On this thread alone you have received responses from sons and daughters of Ireland's lost children from Australia, America and Spain. If our ancestral blood can unite us, albeit electronically, from one side of the globe to another, what possibility is there for a common tongue?

Don't be mistaken, I don't even begin to delude myself into believing Irish will one day become the language of commerce, but it is a true and legitimate language in and of itself and for that, it deserves proper treatment. That's what we try to do here on this site--we try to render an ancient and poetic language true and proper treatment. Sometimes we (and especially, I) get it wrong but more often than not we are on track.

Pádraig makes mention, very eloquently I might add, of the poetic aspect of the language. Perhaps as a native Irishwoman you don't see Irish as we of Irish ancestry see it. I don't mean this as a criticism, I mean it as a comment on the natural aspect of growing up in a culture or in a language. As an example, I never knew how utterly obnoxious we Americans are until I began to travel outside of the U.S. (My oh my--you can spot one of us from a mile away! There have been times that I have been embarassed to claim others as countrymen!) As a native of Ireland, you may not hear the beauty of Irish, be it Gaeilge or even Hiberno-Irish. There is a poetry to the language and a lilt to the voice that just simply is not encountered in any other language I know.

Lastly, I'll offer this that I believe has been omitted in the previous responses. Irish is an endangered language. There is a concious effort to preserve it within Ireland and the success or failure of that effort is a topic of much debate. Here in America I met a native Irishman who promptly informed me that learning Irish was a waste of time and "serves no purpose." I disagree. Learning Irish, even if by one lonely, late-blooming, part-time scholar and amateur philosopher stuck in the backwater area of rural southeastern America, is a noble and wholly worthwhile academic endeavor. If, some one thousand years ago, those monks had not taken to their bee-hive huts and painstakingly endeavored to preserve the literature of Europe and beyond where would humanity and all of its glory be today?

Recently, I saw a piece on TV about the last living speaker of an Alaskan Indian language. She was nearly 100 years old. She was asked if she had any regrets and her answer was yes. She regreted having not taught her language to her children. Then, in a gut wrenching, emotional moment she said, "I feel so alone. I cannot tell the story of my people." The weight of that statement hit me like a ton of bricks. Of course she could tell the stories. As a native speaker of her language and being fluent in english, She could easily translate the stories of her people. But, that is not telling the story. As you can tell from other postings on this site, word for word translations leave much to be desired. They just don't "sing" the language like the native tongue.

If Irish were to suffer this fate, what at tradgedy that would be. I firmly believe that Irish is an endangered language that can be rescued just as readily and as successfully as any endangered animal. This site, and our efforts, are a testimony to that possibility.

It is my heartfelt dream to travel back to Ireland and to sit with the native speakers and discuss such mundane topics as the weather, the fishing and the price of eggs as gaeilge. I desperately want the people of Ireland to know that their culture and thier language, while wholly theirs, is not forgotten, not lost and by no means not relevant. I want to show that native Irishmen who told me Irish serves no purpose that he is wrong. Irish serves the purpose of uniting a people who, for many reasons that we shan't dwell upon here, have been forcefully dis-united. More than a common surname, more than a common holiday, more than a common faith--a common language can bring a people together. Not wishing to align myself politically, I will, however borrow a phrase to express my feelings on this subject--Tiocfaidh ár lá!

Le meas,

James

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Marcia (208.61.27.198 - 208.61.27.198)
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 09:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Dia dhuit, a chairde!

Buiochas, a Aonghus. I suppose that, Is Éireannach mé. I wouldn't be who I am if I wasn't. lol Mo chroí is Gael.

The interesting thing about the language and what makes it unique is that it is expressive... there's no word for "hello"... "Dia dhuit = God (goodness-light) upon you. The greetings, partings and inbetweens are mostly meant as a blessing and assurance onto the other person, a sharing of one's life and soul as Pádraig noted above in his post. No other language that I've come accross is able to do that (just when I thought that Spanish was 'it'). It may be because it is one of the oldest oral languages... spoken before it was written.

Geilge is absolutely beautiful when it is sung!

Slán, go foíll a chairde.

Marcia

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 11:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Marcia
every language was spoken before it was written, except (perhaps) Esperanto!

Irish is the oldest written language in Europe after Latin and Greek - there is a continuous trail of manuscripts from 6 AD.

The blessings etc probably have more to do with faith being central to the culture of the Gael; and also to protestantism being a minority faith.

Southern Germans greet each other with "Gruss Gott", Spaniards say farewell with "A Dios".

Protestants are careful to avoid using the Lords name, which is probably why greetings are more secular.

Hasta lluego

Aonghus

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.186 - 193.122.47.186)
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 08:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Mirie,

Great to see you someone from Portugal with such an interest in Irish culture. I suppose you already know you have a Celtic region just next door to you in Galicia - they even have dolmens!

Here's a link:

http://www.hume-travel.com/cgp/celticspain_12days.htm

I hope you get some success with your efforts in learning Irish - I know it's difficult but if you have any problems get in touch with us here.

Slán,

Oliver.

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Michael Noonan (64.152.160.62 - 64.152.160.62)
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 11:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dia dhuit a chairde
Good question Erie which I ask myself from time to time.
Both my parents and both of my wife's parents are from Ireland. Most of my friends have parents or grandparents from Ireland. I cannot speak nor would, for Irish descendants in other nations but;
To you in Ireland we are considered Americans. To most Americans we are considered Irish. This probably has to do with the high profile of Irish culture in America. There are parades, plays, seisuns, feis, football, hurling, movies.
I guess you could ask the same question in relation to music, football, hurling:
- Why do people in America learn Irish tunes on the accordian?
- Why do people learn to play Irish football?
- Why do people learn to play the bagpipes?

There are many reasons. However, I have been thinking the last few weeks.
Why is it: The Irish have been so successful in learning and promoting Irish music, football, history, but the Irish language has not been taught nearly at all?
Whatever the Irish in America have set out to teach, there has been great interest and success? From the many young girls learning to dance like they do on Riverdance to the guys who want to play bagpipes in a band.

When my mother came to NYC in the 1950s, there were only one or two bagpipe bands in New York City. Now there are several dozen, with hundreds of pipers and drummers. And there are many more in other American cities.

But Irish language has not been taught until recently.
Why this is so seems to have as much to do with attitudes to Irish language in Ireland as in America.
I have not told my cousins in Ireland that I am learning Irish, becuase I know their response would be one of derision. But then they are from counties that have no Gaeltacht and they live in Dublin now, which does not seem like a Gaeltacht-friendly place at all.
I have not told them because I have mentioned to several Irish people over here in NYC that I am taking an Irish class and they think I am daft. They usually say: "There are so many Spanish people in America that you should learn Spanish."
My repsonse is that I studied four years of Spanish in secondary school and have not spoke a single word since.

I am learning Irish since my curiousity has been sparked by my father-in-law who is from Dingle.
It's good to see you speaking cupla focal Erie. Keep learning.
Slan go foil
Michil

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eire (194.125.205.173 - 194.125.205.173)
Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 05:53 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi! It's me again (the girl who posted the first message!) Thanks a lot for your replies! I agree with a lot of you that the Irish simply don't have any interest in learning Gaeilge. However, there are a few of us who love our culture and who love the language and I happen to be one of those people.
I love being Irish, I love learning Gaeilge. I'm really happy that people who don't have any Irish connections are learning Irish too! I think that's great! I'm really interested in other cultures. However, one thing I have to say is: don't put Ireland on a pedestal (im not saying that you all do). It's just like any other country, it has it's negative aspects too. (I still love it though!) I'll settle down here and I'll marry an Irishman because that's where I feel most at home. Thanks for all your replies!
Go raibh míle míle míle míle maith agaibh!!
Edel

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Bradford (66.231.2.202 - 66.231.2.202)
Posted on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 10:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Edel, a chara,

Just one more thing... When you find that Irish fellow that you settle down with, if you have children please make sure that you speak Gaeilge to them at home. :)

Slán,

Bradford

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Mirie (193.137.42.29 - 193.137.42.29)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 07:45 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Failté a Oliver

Not only in Galicia but also in Portugal we have Celtic influences especially in the north of Portugal. Mirandela is a place full of celtic mysticism revived nowadays.
Sometimes in Lisbon we do have parties where the irish folckore is revived, and we try to copy its dances. We have some irish pubs too where we go to listen to 'whyskey in the jar' and other music. Maybe you´re familiar with Galoping Hogans, a famous pub here. It´s a pity that the irish guys who work there can´t speak a word of gaeilge.

Slánte chugat ( to the irish culture)

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.103 - 193.1.100.103)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 08:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Mirie a chara,

It might do no harm if people like yourself were to ask the owner to supply, you the customers, with some Irish-speaking staff. Customer demand goes a long way in the world of language view. Tell him/her/them that you are demanding at least one Irish speaker on their staff.

Is maith ann thú - It's good to have you around!

(Oliver)
Go raibh maith agat a Oilill, as an nasc spéisiúil thuas.

Bhraitheas an-spéisiúil an méid a scríobh sibh as gach cearn ar an ábhar seo thuas in achar gearr a chairde. Is mór an gar sihb.

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Mirie (193.137.42.29 - 193.137.42.29)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 09:11 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Failté a Seosamh

Thanks for that clue.
By the way, conas déarfá é sin as gaeilge:

Tha mi a'dol a mach or Tárm a'dol a mach (for I´m going out)
Tha mi a-muig or Táim a-muig (for I´m out)
Thig a-steach or Tar isteach ( for come in)
Nach eil or nach é ?

Go raibh maith agat

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.103 - 193.1.100.103)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Iad sin thuas as gaeilge? :

(By the way, your making great strides in both Gaidhlig and Gaeilg!)

Tá mé ag gabháil amach (often understood as 'dul')

Tá mé amuigh

Tar isteach

'Nach bhfuil', or, 'nach é', as you know, shall depend on context/the question being put.

Similarly, 'Tá mé ..' in the above pieces often becomes in my speech here 'Táim ..' because of the people I'm speaking to.

Do chéad fáilte.

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.103 - 193.1.100.103)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Botún!

.. you're ...

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Mirie (193.137.42.29 - 193.137.42.29)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 11:57 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Seosamh, a chara

Can you explain the differences between Gaidhlig and Gaeilg? As you now,I´m just a 'fresher'...

Go raibh maith agat

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.103 - 193.1.100.103)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Mirie, a chara,

It would seem that you have come upon some site, or book, which is giving you 'Gaidhlig', or Scottish Gaelic, which is great. The two languages are close enough to allow some people regard them as two dialects, rather than distinct languages. Their written forms embarked on their own ways some 350 years ago, this process only being confirmed by An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, a government standard form, published in 1958. You shall see, or hear, people refer to Irish as 'Gaeilg', 'Gaolainn', but mostly as 'Gaeilge'.

Welcome aboard - Fáilte romhat isteach.
E te e prosima! (You can spell that better than I can)

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Al Evans (208.188.101.145 - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 03:58 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm late in responding to this thread, because I don't have any of the usual reasons a bheith ag foghlaim Gaeilge.

I'm doing it because I'm a songwriter. In addition to other things, Irish has been a language of powerful poetry. I thought that some of that poetry must be inherent in the language itself. So far, my studies seem to support this thought.

That's still nebulous, but Irish really does seem to be a great language for telling stories. I've read one novel as Gaeilge, _An t-Ainmhí_ by Pádraig Standún, and found it difficult to put down. (This is a REAL problem when your reading speed is about three pages a day!)

I'm not likely ever to write fluently in Irish, but I think my study works to improve the lyrics I write in English.

--Al Evans--

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Mirie (193.137.42.29 - 193.137.42.29)
Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 04:59 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Failté a Seosamh

I knew about the Scottish Gaelic but I didn´t know it was called that way. Every time I mix up the two I´d be grateful that you would make me notice of that.

Go raibh maith agat

PS- ( In portuguese you´d say "Até á próxima")

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Tomas OCathain (62.31.117.28 - 62.31.117.28)
Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 12:18 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

My reason's are pretty much like the other's mentioned previously by everyone else here. My great-grandparents on all sides were Irishmen and women who came to Scotland looking for work and hoping to find a better life for themselves and their family. Possibly to escape An Gorta Mor as well, I'm unsure. I could learn to speak Scots Gaidhlig as technically I am Scottish, but like many in Scotland, especially the west of Scotland, I identify myself primarily as Irish rather than Scottish.
An amusing insight is that during the recent international soccer friendly game played between Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, I would guess that many of the Irish supporters were in fact Scots of Irish descent. I know who I was supporting, and it wasn't Scotland! :)

Basically, I take a great pride in my heritage and culture. The way I look at it, if I can speak English ( a foreign language to my people) fluently then it stands to reason I should be able to speak the language of my people at least as good.
The situation in Scotland to the language is similar to Ireland in that it tends to be looked down upon as strange and something that should be forgotten. When a Gaidhlig language programme comes on the television, the common reaction is:
"Tut, not another damn Gaelic programme!" or "What a waste of a television license fee!"
People's attitudes really need to change.

My own humble attempts to learn some Irish is generally greeted with disappointment and bewilderment by my family. The would much rather I learn French or Spanish - something that they consider would be useful to me career-wise. They don't understand the significance of the Irish language to me. My friends, being of a slightly militant political persuation are far more tolerant however, and generally appreciate my efforts, which is welcome encouragement.

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mark maher (193.1.100.103 - 193.1.100.103)
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 07:45 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I like the language and feel that everyone should be able to speak our native language

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iasc18 (193.1.100.103 - 193.1.100.103)
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 07:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

im still learning irish by choice after secondary coz im 100 per cent irish ,i like the way it sounds and basically becoz its there.never went to the gaeltacht for a cursa samhraidh much to my disapointment i hav to say.its such an important part of our heritage i look forward to teaching my children one day
do chara
Padraigin

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.162 - 193.122.47.162)
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 07:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Maith an fear a Phádraigín. Beidh lá eile ag an Ghaeilge. Ní caillfear í nuair a bhíonn do leithid ann. Mar a deir an aingeal sa scannán It's a Wonderful Life, "no man is a failure as long as he has friends". An scéal céanna leis an Ghaeilge.

Le meas agus áthas,

Oliver.

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Aibhlín Ní Laoi (161.116.156.40 - 161.116.156.40)
Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 12:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I´m a native Irish "cailín" living abroad in Barcelona and studying Catalan, Castillian and Portuguese. In all 3 languages my pronounciation and fluency (or should that be lack of!) leaves alot to be desired. Even so I consider all 3 languages, languages that I speak.Although I hail from neither of the places where these languages are the first language of the people, I consider them now my own because I use all 3 to communicate with others.
For too long we have relegated the use of any language to the singular use of how it can best help us in an economic or commercial sense. We so easily forget that when we treat a language so, we relegate to a dismal last it´s ONLY use as that use of communication.
Edel and indeed whoever else may read this, it is a sad state of affairs that the salvaging (some people would prefer the word revival) of our native tongue now lays with those who come from elsewhere-in saying that, I´m not taking into account those of you of irish descendency but rather commenting on the fact that you were all born outside of Ireland. It´s true what has been said in previous messages; so many Irish people today look on the language as a dead weight which for historical reasons attaches itself to their identity. Sometimes I think that maybe they´d feel better if it died out because then they wouldn´t feel so guilty about their ignorance of the language.
Perhaps that sounds abit harsh but I speak from experience. I am only 21 years of age and I have faced this negative attitude amongest people of my own age, people of the opinion that the learning of irish is rendundant "because you can´t get a job with Irish"!
Whatever your reason for learning Gaeilge, there is one thing that I would really like to say to you all,
Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir for taking the time and making the effort to learn my language(or should I be saying our language). If it makes you happy and you enjoy learning it, then that´s reason enough.
P.S If it makes any of you feel better, I´m speaking English and Irish practically all my life and not a single day goes by where I don´t make a mistake in BOTH of them!

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Seosamh (206.112.42.77 - 206.112.42.77)
Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 06:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Maith thú, a Aibhlín. Tá cuid mhaith den fhírinne thuas ansin agat.

They can, of course, get jobs by knowing Irish. Several hundred people work in Irish-medium schools, in the Irish-language media, in translating, in some Gaeltacht coops and companies. But of course it's not the point. If you want to speak, read and write Irish, there's no stopping a person and doing so will not prevent him or her from achieving anything else.

It's a mark of colonial shame to people like that they may not even be aware of -- The kind of person you are describing is just not the reflective, thoughtful sort! A shame that the future of the language depends so much on them. Let's NOT let it depend on them!

One last observation on the use of English: Overdependence on it in intercultural communication is self-defeating. A Swede or Indian may sneer and say what use is any language but English when they deal with a Nigerian or a Turk. But English is a shallow tool for either person in such an exchange. The Swede does indeed find it useful to use English to speak to the Turk. But he will never understand his or her Turkish counterpart or the culture very well without learning Turkish. Any Swede with any sense in his head will learn Turkish if they have any real connection to that country. Those that don't condemn themselves to shallowness and ignorance in the exchange. The same for any two people from different countries.

To judge from the idiocy we see coming from the more "enlightened" Europeans and their victims these days, English does not even help them understand Americans. I'll hope that they are, in fact, learning to understand the culture and thinking of the English but that is probably one big delusion!

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Dion Silverman (12.234.103.107 - 12.234.103.107)
Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 05:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you for pointing out the enormous difference between English and American. For example, switching the r and e on the ends of some words like theatre (English), and theater (American), or centre vs.center. And dropping the "u"s in some words.

By the way Tomas, you speak a language at least as well, not at least as good. Americans often use good in that context, but they are wrong. Even in America. Well is the adverbial form.

I am 14 of extremely mixed descent.

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antemil (80.58.13.107 - 80.58.13.107)
Posted on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 05:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I wanted to lear gaeilge 3 years ago, but I don't have enough time. I do what I can, but it's more difficult for me, because all the courses (good courses, of course) are in english. I can understand it, but for pronunciation I need the wav.

I love the celtic culture, and I wanted to learn its mother language, to understand it better. I also like to learn "strange" languages, as japanese.


A salute to Marcia, because I was born on Galicia, but I live in the south of Spain.Another one to Mirie, because I'm learning galego-portugués too.

Slát.

PS:
At least, I have accents to correctly write gaeilge :D

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