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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (July-December) » How many people in Ireland can speak Irish? « Previous Next »

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conor (194.165.173.62 - 194.165.173.62)
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

about how many people in Ireland can actually speak Irish?

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Aonghus (159.134.58.160 - 159.134.58.160)
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 04:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

In the 1996 census, about 1.43 million people said they had some knowledge
see http://www.cso.ie/text/pressreleases/gaelcen96v9.html
or here
http://www.cso.ie/text/pressreleases/prelcen96v9.html


There was a census in 2002, but no figures have been released.

There are also figure for NI, but I've forgotten waht they are

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Phil (159.134.209.238 - 159.134.209.238)
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 01:56 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

About 80%. But most of them say:

Tá sé madra

And of that 80%, about 30-40% say

Is madra é

So I'd day about 28% can speak it properly.

-Phil

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OKane (66.26.175.61 - 66.26.175.61)
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 05:00 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That is dissapointing, does the government take a stance on this sort of thing? I know that the constitution makes refereces to Gaeilge...

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James Murphy (217.78.1.140 - 217.78.1.140)
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 08:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Neither the government nor any of the other main political parties of this 26 county Anglo-Irish state have any interest in, or concern for the Irish language at all.
Does anyone know of any party that stands for the restoration of our language?

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Phil (159.134.209.65 - 159.134.209.65)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 07:06 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Conradh na Gaeilge.
Údarás na Gaeilge.

There's a few.

In response to OKane, yes, the government is mad about the language, but as with everything else, it doesn't do shit about it.

I have my passport here with me. The cover says

An tAontas Eorpach
European Union

Éire
Ireland

Pas
Passport

There's one good example, they even put the Gaeilge first. Everything in my passport is first in Gaeilge and then in English. I'm not complaining at all, but you have to say that's pretty good for An Ghaeilge, even though it may only be readable by about a quarter of the people.

-Phil

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Conor (213.202.161.214 - 213.202.161.214)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post Print Post

thanks,I was just wondering how many can speak it because im doing a B.A in Irish and the majority of the students cant speak much Irish themselves even though they are studying it...its quite worrying!!

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Cad fút féin agus labhairt na Gaeilge a Chonchobhair, mura mhiste fiafraí?

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Francis (193.122.47.170 - 193.122.47.170)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

It's not how many can competently speak it that's important, that's just a matter of state education. It's how many like to speak it and use it everyday?

How many would actually want it to be restored as the vernacular for everyone in Ireland?

Few. probably about 100,000 (totally wild guess).

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Phil (159.134.209.121 - 159.134.209.121)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 04:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"vernacular", well when it's put like that, no. But I would definitely prefer it to English anyway.

I won't be popular for saying this, but here goes; I don't think Gaeilge would be successful in nowadays life. One reason, 'h'z and urúz. You can't have people saying "hethene" or "pholytetrafluoroethylene" or "n-ephedrine". There'd we way too much ambiguity and confusion. For example, there's a drug called "ephedrine", there's also a drug called "nephedrine". It becomes a little more than a nuisance though when the doctor injects 8cc of nephedrine into you. I'd say the most ambiguity and confusion would be in chemistry and medicine. Biology to a lesser extent, and physics to a lesser still. But still, I periodically find my self confused with Gaeilge. A while ago in my Gaeilge class, the teacher said something to me; what I heard was "Ar hig sé?"; I'm sitting there thinking to myself "Did he sit!?, what's he on about", when actually he was saying "Ar thuig sé?", "Did he understand?".

Apart from 'h's and urúz, Gaeilge is the most fantastic language I've ever encountered. My favourite features are the saorbhriathair, "is", bíonn vs. tá, and all the regularity. Gaeilge has the genetive/possesive case sorted out perfectly, while English is still a mess. I especially like turning a noun into a verb, eg. "Tá fuath eatarthú" "Is fuath leo a chéile".

Cad iad bhur dtuairimí?

-Phil

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OKane (66.26.175.61 - 66.26.175.61)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 04:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hmm... good points Phil, but language is not exactly set in stone, it is more of a living thing. I am sure that if people could not actually not make a distinction between two words or phrases or even grammatical phenomenon then some convention would evolve that would allow them to. It seems like it is a matter of fluency. If Gaeilge was not suited to the needs of society it would have died out sometime in the last 2000 years, right? Mabey science and its need for precision ARE killing it, though. I certainly cant make any decent guesses, only vauge speculations. I am none the less very interested.

How did Whales make the language work for them... they have completely restored it. Or is that a fiction?

-O'Kane

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 04:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Is maith liom an dúspéis agat sa Ghaeilg a Phil, ach ba mhaith liom chomh maith dá gceannófá an leabhar gramadaí úd a luais i scéala eile mar seo ó chianaibh. Is ainmfhocal 'fuath' sa darna leagan i gcónaí. Ní fhéadfaí ach gaisneas dobhriathartha a lua le 'Is fuath le x' mar gur ainmfhocal fós é. Is í an chopail 'is' an briathar mar is eol duit. Tá faitíos orm go mbeadh lucht foghlama faoi mhearbhall ag an scéal contráilte.

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James Murphy (217.78.1.59 - 217.78.1.59)
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 11:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Conradh na Gaeilge and Udaras na Gaeilge aren't what I had in mind.
Is there ANY political party, however small, that supports the restoration of the Irish language?
What is Sinn Fein's stance on this issue?

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Phil (159.134.209.32 - 159.134.209.32)
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 06:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Éamon De Valera was a fluent speaker, what has his party? I bet the IRA also say they're mad about it, but I bet they don't even know the Gaeilge for bomb.

-

Tá grá aige uirthi -> Is grá leis í
Tá fuath aige uirthi -> Is fuath leis í

-Phil

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James (199.112.58.34 - 199.112.58.34)
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 09:24 am:   Edit Post Print Post

From the Fianna Fáil policy statement on thier web site:

"To secure in peace and agreement the unity of Ireland and its people. To develop a distinctive national life in accordance with the diverse traditions and ideals of the Irish people as part of a broader European culture, and to restore and promote the Irish language as a living language of the people." http://www.fiannafail.ie/aims.htm

The Green Party makes no overt statement on its web site re: a position on Gaeilge as a national language or cultural focus. http://www.greenparty.ie/

Fine Gael, likewise makes no overt statement on its website. http://www.finegael.com/fgvalues/index.shtml

The Labour Party has a section in it Manifesto under the heading "Culture" that addresses Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and Oilean issues. It's all as gaeilge and I'm just not there yet to be able to read and assess it. But, it is the only part of the manifesto that is in Irish. http://www.labour.ie/policy/detail.tmpl?sku=20020428180205

The Progressive Democrats dedicate 5 lines of their manifesto as a statement of thier support of gaeilge. http://www.progressivedemocrats.ie/news/200202/Manifesto2002.pdf

Sinn Féin believes that the Irish language should have a central place in the education system at all levels. Emphasis should be on Irish as a spoken, living language.


Improvements in the teaching of Irish at primary and second level should be made with appropriate support and resources for teachers and pupils.


We recognise that, in the past, the responsibility for saving and reviving the Irish language was placed almost solely upon the education system. What is needed now is for Irish in the education system to be integrated with a multi-faceted approach to the promotion of Irish led by the State and the Irish-speaking community and involving all sectors of society. http://www.sinnfein.ie/

The Socialist Party makes no overt statement regarding its position. http://www.socialistparty.net/

The point is well taken, however, that until the government makes Gaeilge a priority it will never progress beyond anything more than a cultural diversion for most people. There are, thankfully, those who live it and speak it every day. To those, we are forever indebted.

Le meas,

James

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T (81.131.218.167 - 81.131.218.167)
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 10:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

To go to the university in Ireland you need to have a pass in Irish. There are also schools where there are very strict rules about having to speak Irish there. If you get caught speaking english you can be suspended. They even teach English in Irish. This means they are still trying to encourage younger generations to talk Irish and not let the language die out. It is still much more widely used than Welsh probably.

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Sean Kelley (66.136.147.182 - 66.136.147.182)
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 07:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Be careful when reading inflated numbers on
speakers. It's likely the case that of those 1.4million
listed the actual number is more like 100,000. The
rest have a knowledge of irish equivalent to your
knowledge of high school french or spanish.

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An Mídheach Mealltach (149.157.1.122 - 149.157.1.122)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 08:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Trevor Sargent, the leader of the Green Party had a policy for a while whereby he asked all his Dáil questions in Irish regarless of who they were to.
The impracticality of it forced him to end it after a while, but he is still one of the most frequent users of Irish in the Dáil.

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 08:46 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Not so much impracticality (there is simultaneous translation available), as that Fianna Fáil accused him of impoliteness to Bertie, who has barely a word.

Also, he found (as others have done) that business conducted in Irish in the Dáil is ignored by the mainstream media.

Interesting that all the opposition leaders are fluent speakers - Enda Kenny (FG), Pat Rabitte(Labour), Trevor Sargent (Greens), Caoimhín Ó Caoláin (SF), Joe Higgins (Socialist): but the leaders of the Government parties haven't a word between them. Maybe next election....

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James Murphy (217.78.1.64 - 217.78.1.64)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 08:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I think this country needs a committed Gaelic nationalist party with the complete restoration of Irish as thier major goal. Would such a party ever get into government ? In all probability no, but the choice would be there for the electorate. I think as long as there are people in Ireland who would genuinely wish to see our language restored, the option to vote for it should be there for them. It would be fascinating to see how well the party would do. I'd vote for them!

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James Murphy (217.78.1.64 - 217.78.1.64)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 09:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

P.S.
James - The stuff about Irish on the Fianna Fail website may look promising, but in reality Fianna Fail etc. are never going to do anything to reverse the slow death of Irish.
They're quite pleased to see it linger on in the ever diminishing Gaeltachts for a few more generations, mine it for interesting titles for themselves (taoiseach, tainiste etc.) and perhaps after it's death preserve it in universities and "heritage centres" as a curiosity.

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Ed Foley (24.147.104.49 - 24.147.104.49)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Are there any Universities in Ireland where Irish is used as the main language; that is, where science, history, economics, etc. are taught through Irish?

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James (199.112.58.34 - 199.112.58.34)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I think Aonghus hit on an important factor. The mainstream media ignores Irish. In the world we live in the media IS the world we live in. (Another one of America's more displeasing exports, in my opinion) Until mainstream news, entertainment, government etc that is communicated in Irish is captured and reported on both in Irish as well as english then James (eile) is on the mark. Irish will be degraded, diminished and further marginalized until it becomes a novelty.

However, sites like this and men and women Aonghus, Seosamh, Anne Byrne et. al. who continue to battle the demons---they are the hope for the future of the language. I also think that the cultural link to the language needs to be exploited. Despite my political differences with SF it does seem that they are fully committed to Gaeilge as an indentity rather than an accessory.

On a side note--I'm currently out of the U.S. and just now (literally, less than an hour ago) met an Irish nun at a local orphanage. I offered my best "An bfhuil gaeilge agat?" and she looked at me like I had three heads!! Now--granted she's been out of Ireland for 30 years. I could understand not being fluent but either my Irish is much worse than I thought or she's lost even the basics. How sad that seems to me.

Oh, well. My thoughts, for what they're worth.

Le meas,

James

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Paul (66.152.218.225 - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
Has anyone ever explored investigating the efforts that the Welsh made in the 60s and 70s in re-vitalizing Welsh as a community language? This seems like a great model to emulate, when you look at the results they achieved.
Le meas,
Paul

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 02:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Chairde na teangan,

Post gearr!
Despite a lot of the above, I find myself still quietly confident that things are moving in the right direction. The public subconciousness seems to be moving. 'Slow death' was mentioned in the posts above. Tuigimid cén fáth go luafaí a leithéid. We seldom think of English dying, slow or fast, but in the last few years, mar shampla, the slip of English from supremacy on the internet has been remarked on in some circles. Small languages in general may have reached a point of change. Tá an saol féin athraithe ó bhun le blianta. Is féidir le duine teanga ó thaobh eile an domhain a chlos ar an líon gan stró.

San am a raibh an Dáil ag lochtú Trevor Sargent as a luí le Gaeilg, bhíodh Máirtín Mac Cormaic ag cur a chraicinn de mar gheall air i bhFoinse. Thugas faoi deara i bhFoinse na seachtaine seo féin gur scaoil Irene Ní Nualláin scéal linn faoi éileamh maith ar chúrsaí Gaeilge i dTeach Laighean féin. Teachtaí Dála atá á héileamh! Tá Máirtín ar scor anois, gura fada buan é, agus déarfainn gurbh ionadh leis an tuairisc sin. Ba ionadh liom féin é, ach comharthaíonn sé go bhfuil bogadh faoi gach ní, mura bhfuil borradh. Deirtear san alt, dála an scéil, gur tionchar an Bhille Teangan atá á ngriogadh chun foghlama!

Forbairtí suntais le blianta anuas:
196? Gaeltacht Bhéal Feirste (gníomh pobail)
1972 Raidió (as agóid i nGaeltacht Chonamara)
1972 tús faoin nG.scolaíocht (ón bpobal aníos) Féach: http://www.iol.ie/gaelscoileanna/gaeilge/index.htm
1996 Teilifís (as agóid i nGaeltacht Chonamara)
2003 Lá an lae (gníomh pobail i mB. Feirste)
(Tá roinnt de na seirbhísí thuas beo ar pingingeacha agus ar díograis.)

200? Acht Teangan (Is dóigh liom nach dtiocfaidh sé seo i bhfíor gan agóidíocht chaoithiúil)
200? An Ghaeilg ina teangain (leath?)oifigiúil san AE. (Clamhsán caoithiúil a bhéarfas i bhfíor é)


Is faoin nGaelscolaíocht atá an fás ar dhá thaobh na teorann le cois laghdú a theacht ar scolaíocht an Bhéarla. (200 post múinteoirí Béarla le cailleadh i mbliana sna 6 co. agus 20 múinteoirí Gaeilge le fostú. < LÁ)

Tá an áit a bhfuil mé féin ag athrú le trí bliana anuas, go feiceálach. Tá dhá Ghaelscoil sa mbreis i Luimneach le hachar trí bliana measaim. Beidh na scoileanna sin ag fás, rud a chiallaíonn go mbeidh scoileanna eile ag cailleadh múinteoirí. Is cuimhin liom tuairim is 4 bliain ó shin a bheith ag bailiú airgid Gaelscoile ag geata theach an phobail in aice le Sligeach. Chúb bean amháin uaim ag an ngeata agus d'fhógair 'That's the gang that are trying to take my daughter's job'. Mheangaigh mé féin leo agus dúirt 'Variety is the spice of life.' Níor shamhlaigh mé ag an am go mbeifí ag baint postanna de mhuintir an Bhéarla. Samhlaítear a mhalairt dom anois. Measaim anois go gcaithfear oiread postanna Béarlóirí a bhaint agus is féidir. Ba é easpa Gaeilge sa gcóras scolaíochta a thosaigh an t-éileamh go léir, is dóigh liom. Bhí an chéad slám tuismitheoirí a fuair oideachas saor na 50/60aidí ag iarraidh cinntiú nach bhfágfaí a gcuid gasúr féin ar an liogram lag mar a chonaic siadsan é.

D'fhógair LÁ an tSamhain seo caite : 'Tiocfaidh seacht scoil nua úr Gaelach ar a laghad ar an tsaol an fómhar seo thuaidh agus theas.'
Fógraíodh ar an nuachtán céanna i mbliana go bhfuil beart ina shuí, ag Gaeloiliúint measaim, le 60 scoil Ghaeilge a bhunú in achar deich mbliana, uaidh seo síos.

Is léir gur ar an oideachas an bhéim cuid mhaith. Cá bhfuil an lúb ar lár? Ag an mbarr, measaim. Dá dtarlódh an bille ina acht, dá n-imródh sé sin tionchar ar an dream neamh-Threvor-Sergentach sin Tigh Laighean, thuigfeadh Lughaidh Luchóige agus Míchilín Muc san naíonán, agus thuigfeadh muintir na Gaeltachta, nach raibh siad ina n-aonar. Bheadh dream eile in Éirinn ag labhairt Gaeilge mar ghnáthurlabhra in áit éigin a bhfuil cumhacht. Is géar a theastaíonn an tuiscint sinn in 'Éirinn lucht Béarla agus beadaíocht Gaill'.

Sea, a Phóil, tá tábhacht thar na bearta le scéal na Breatnaise dúinn. Is in oirdheisceart na Breataine Bige atá an Ghaelscolaíocht acu féin ag borradh léi, ceantar na Galltachta. Rud suntais é.

Rinne tú an ceart beannú i nGaeilg a Shéamais. Ní bheadh a fhios agat céard a thosaigh tú! Bíonn an-tionchar scaití ag an bhfocal labhartha. Ní fhaca mé aon dochar ann riamh agus feicfidh tú níos mó áthas ná iontas ar éisteoirí de réir a chéile. Is iomaí cainteoir maith a d'aimsigh mé ar an gcaoi sin. Go díreach beannú mar sin do dhuine. Is mór an mhaith é.

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Phil (159.134.209.109 - 159.134.209.109)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I see loads of people writing "Gaeilg" instead of "Gaeilge". Is this a typo or an alternative spelling?


-Phil

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Seantuiseal ainmneach a Phil.
Tháinig an Tuiseal Ginide i dtreis air amach sa stair.

Is é atá thall sa Bhreatain Bhig go fóill : Gwyddeleg.
Cuimhnigh ar an litriú réamh-Chaighdeáin: Gaedhilg(e).
Foirm gan '-e' atá ag muintir na hAlban go sea: Gáidhlig.

Cloisfidh tú an dealú Ainmneach/Tabharthach ón nGinideach sa lá inniu féin in áiteanna. (Maigh Eo, Tír Chonaill)
'Gaelainn' a deirim féin leis an Muimhneach go minic.

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OKane (66.26.175.61 - 66.26.175.61)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Wow, i'm pretty dissapointed. Everyone, the Irish i have spoken to, seem to be enthusiastic to a fault about Gaelic as a novelty, but when it is discussed as a realistic vernacular everyone talks doom and gloom. Unfortunatelly, myself having the lowley status of Irish in America and not having a lot of weight in the subject, i find it hard to be critical about the happenings in ireland. It seems like the key would be additude. Did i actually just say that? But it is true, if more peope looked at the situation like Seosamh does, regardless of the fact that i didn't undersand half of what he said, there would certainly be progress. Heak, you Irish could talk yourselves out of breathing if you had the mind to. I think, again from my relatively insignificant perspective, that it all comes down to that. Unfortunately the trick is getting an entire nation to think the same way...

Another question i had, 'nother typical Irish-American one, was: how is the language doing in the North? Should i even bring that up? I imagine that there is a difference it's treatment.

Thank you all for addressing my queries.

Sean O'Kane

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Phil (159.134.209.35 - 159.134.209.35)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 08:24 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well now that we've moved away from our past with Britain, things have died down alot. We have a language, English, and it's sufficient. Gaeilge is a much better language (except hz and urúz, i mo thuairim), but then everyone has to learn it. How did the Brittish get us to speak English? They forced us. So that's one option to get Gaeilge going. The other is to try motivate the people to want to learn a whole new language. Loads of things have been setup for this. There's a Gaelscoil near where I live. It's a secondry school (equivilent of High School in USA) where they speak Gaeilge all day, in class, and they even do their exams in Gaeilge. And if you know Gaeilge, you're rewarded in your Leaving Cert with more points.

-Phil

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Bradford (216.16.15.66 - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 08:53 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I've often wondered how much it would help if ALL the schools in Ireland were Irish-medium. That way you're using Irish in your day-to-day life instead of learning it as a "foreign" language in an English-speaking environment. I don't know if that'd get people to speak it at home, but it might be a good start.

Phil, I believe at one time that you said you were still in school. Do your peers think you're crazy for your enthusiasm about Irish, or do they share it? Just curious. I hope it's the latter of the two!

Bradford

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Phil (159.134.209.129 - 159.134.209.129)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 03:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

My enthusiasm is more for language than Gaeilge itself. I know 3 languages: English, German and Gaeilge. English and German aren't even near as good as Gaeilge. So I guess I'm interested in Gaeilge as a brilliant language, more so that as "the language of my people"; because if Gaeilge was a crap language, I wouldn't go near it, regardless of it being "the language of my people".

Yes, I'm still in school; one more year left. I've had a brilliant Gaeilge teacher for 4 years now. I'm the best in my class, except for one fella who came in from a Gaelscoil this year. The class definitely do notice my enthusiasm and wanting to learn; They're more amazed by it than anything else. I know everything that I've been taught since my first year. When the teacher asks me to rhyme off a preposition or a tense, I can do it perfectly without hesitation; the class are pretty amazed then. To be honest, if I really was interested, I'd got to the Gaeltacht and learn the language properly. My whole Gaeilge class seems pretty interested in the language; none of them say "I hate Irish". But you do get that alot in the pass and foundation class (I'm in the Honours Class).

-Phil

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Phil (159.134.209.129 - 159.134.209.129)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I wouldn't be much interested in going to a Gaelscoil. Why? because I'd learn all the chemical names in Gaeilge. All the big geography words in Gaeilge. All the big maths words, all the big english, physics, biology, history, business words in Gaeilge.
That wouldn't be much use to me in an English speaking country, or even abroad.

-Phil

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OKane (66.26.175.61 - 66.26.175.61)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 09:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Sorry Phil, I guess i have to settle down and look at the situation for what it is. Bunch of english speaking kids my age being forced to learn a quite difficult language just to graduate. I know how that is. I was just told that i had to take two courses of French to graduate because they could not "count" my Russian courses i had in Moscow (another crazy language!).

I can certainly relate to your interest in language as a whole rather than any specific one. However you must be proud of the fact that your people (my 'former' people) originated such a fantastic language. I guess my interest came about as an extention of my (and the halmark americans') interest in my heritage. This idea is quite foriegn to most non-American countries i now realize from some snappy rebukes from the occasional Irishmen. They were certainly annoyed that such an unworthy foreigner as myself was so interested in their heritage.

Anyway, I digress, I hope to try and understand the situation, and if not, Gaeilge, some day. Back to the drawing board...

Sean O'Kane

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sionna_ (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 06:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A collage in Limerick called Mary Immaculate is very into Irish. Lots of the lecturers speak Irish and all the signs around the place are primaraly in Irish.It used to be just a national school teacher collage, but now it offers other subjects as well. I find it great to be walking down the corridor and been able to hear Irish being spoke as a living language rather than something confined just to classes.

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 08:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Tá Muire gan Smál tar éis post d'Oifigeach, nó do Stiúrthóir Gaeilge a fhógairt (LÁ & FOINSE) ar na mallaibh a Shionna agus creidim go bhfeicfidh tú go leor rudaí dearfacha ag titim amach i bhur measc amach anseo.

Táthar le roinnt uaireanta Gaeilge a chraoladh gach deireadh seachtaine feasta ar FMwireáilte, tá a fhios agat.

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Phil (159.134.209.155 - 159.134.209.155)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"a quite difficult language" - OKane

Gaeilge is the simplest language ever to learn!! Only 11 irregular verbs! Definite methods of getting each tense, noun and adjective from the verb. Definite ways of turning a noun into an adjective and vice-versa.

German has so many irregular verbs that they don't even call them irregular verbs, they call them "strong verbs", as if that's supposed to justify a stupid language.


-Phil

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Paul (66.152.218.225 - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 01:59 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm not a linguist, but I consider English a Latin-Germanic hybrid, which at least seems to explain the spelling irregularities.
Paul

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Maidhc Ó G. (65.128.208.44 - 65.128.208.44)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 03:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

As far as I know, English originated from Latin, German, and Arabic.
-Maidhc.

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shay (213.202.162.226 - 213.202.162.226)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 04:00 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

If the Irish language is very simple then why do people spend the whole of their school years studying Irish yet the majority of them leave school nowhere near fluent! Irish is by no means a simple language to learn,it is a beautiful language yes but not simple - you have your firinscne agus baininscne and the exceptions and rules that come with them, the different tuiseals - ainmeach, cuspoireach, tabharthach, gairmeach and ginideach, na díochlaontaí, different aidiachts, forainms, different rules for numbers, verbs...the list is endless.

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Antóin (159.134.181.55 - 159.134.181.55)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 06:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

There is some incorrect or partially incorrect info in the threads above, I suggest entering "history of the English language" in Google for facts on the matter.

Le gach dea-ghuí

Antóin

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Phil (159.134.209.56 - 159.134.209.56)
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Shay, that's languages. Why are humans so smart?? Language. The only way to learn a language properly and become fluent is to speak it. All of the students in the Gaelscoil near I live are fluent in Gaeilge, there's about 1,000 in the school. You can join at the start of each year even if you have little Gaeilge, but after 2 or 3 months you can listen properly in class.

Try that with English. I takes 2 or 3 years!

As for the genders, is it 'é' or 'í'? that's simply memory, and it doesn't even matter if you get the gender wrong. And anyway, there's a good bit more room in our memory without there being 500 irregular verbs to memorize. But I don't see you complaining about that. Why? 'Cause you've got the memorized. It's pretty easy to determine the gender of a noun. First of all, you can tell by the endings. Secondly, you can tell by the number of syllables. Thirdly, there's categories, things to do with nature are feminine for example. Fourthly, memory.

You named about a hundred different cases there. There's 3, maximum 4 cases. There's the normal case. There's the plural. We've got this in English. And then there's the genetive, which we have to a lesser extent in English. The other tense, the vocative, is mostly the same as the genitive. Simple stuff.

Adjectives. Yes, there's plurals. Stick an 'a' on the end. Jesus that's hard.

Numbers? A haon a do a trí. All you've got to remember is "dhá" and "ceithre" when you're counting. And if you're really ambituous and want to count people, say the number and then say "iúr". It's not rocket science.

Verbs. 11 irregulars. Wow.

-Phil

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Shay (213.202.164.234 - 213.202.164.234)
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

i meant baininsneach and firinscneach in the sense of the rules and exceptions that come with them, m.s.h leis an slaghdán(with slaghdán being fir of course) means no change but then look at the word slat because its baininsneach leis an tslat, and theres a whole list of these, then also any word thats baininsneach and begins with sf,sm,sp,st dont change. All the languages are considered bain but then Bearla is an exception, so are all the countries but then Sasana, Meiriceá agus Ceanada are exceptions! And with regards the numbers i mean how the words changes after eg 1 bhiain, 3-6 bliana, 7-10 mbliana theres a load of exceptions in Irish!

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T. MacEoghain (66.30.3.214 - 66.30.3.214)
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 12:26 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil, It does not take any longer to become fluent in one language than it does in any other (when learned under similar circumstances, that is). The key factor is immersion. When non-english-speaking children/teenagers are thrown into entirely english-speaking classrooms, it certainly takes them no more than a few months to develop proficient comprehension and speaking skills. There seem to be quite a lot of uninformed statements and false impressions about language in the above messages...I suggest a linguistic theory book. Fascinating stuff.

le meas,
Tadhg

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James (199.112.58.34 - 199.112.58.34)
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 12:48 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I would have to concur with Tadhg. I studied Spanish in my last 3 years of High School. I then attended a 3 month intensive refresher course prior to a trip to Venezuela. It wasn't until I had been immersed for about 2 weeks that I finally began to feel like I could speak the language. Classroom is classroom---it teaches grammar, rules, etc. Immersion is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. That's where you hear the various accents, pick up the colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions and begin to hear it all strung together in sentences and conversations. Phil is very fortunate in that he has a classroom environment as well as a locale that permits frequent (If not daily) immersion. That is a rare situation. Most of us have to study, study and study and then, if we're lucky we get to actually live or work in a country that speaks our target language---for most, though, that never happens.

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S. Nic Rabhartaigh (205.188.209.12 - 205.188.209.12)
Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2003 - 12:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Caithfaidh mé a admháil go aontaím le Tadhg agus le James. Má tá deis ag duine súigh isteach i rang atá a múineadh trí mhéan teanga eile nach bhfuil ar eolas aige ní ghlacfadh sé níos mó ama air an teanga sin a thuigmheáil ná a labhairt ná aon teanga eile.
Ní bhíonn ar dhaoine dhá nó trí bliana a chaitheamh ag éisteacht le Béarla go dtí go bhfuil siad abálta cómhra a bheith acu. Cén fáth go bhfuil cur amach agam ar an ábhar seo? Mar gur chaith mé ceithre bliana go leith ag teagasc i Scoil Idirnáisiúnta sa Bheilg trí mheán an Béarla. Gach bliain bhíodh trian dén rang ag tosnú leis an teanga agus tar éis trí mhí bhíodar abálta an-chuid de ghnáth theanga an seomra ranga a thuiscint agus fós bhíodar abálta a smaointe féin a chur in iúl don mhúinteoir agus na daltaí eile ar bhealach. Bhíodar beagnach líofa ag deireadh na bliana. Cinnte nach mbéadh an méid cur amach acu ar an teanga nó an stór focla céanna is a bhéadh ag "cainteoir dúchais" dén teanga ach mar sin féin bhíodar abálta maireachtáil léi agus í a usáid mar módh foghlamtha agus "lingua franca".
Tar éis dhá bhliain a chaitheamh ag staidéar Béarla bhíodh cuid de na leanaí abálta Béarla a labhairt agus a scríobh níos fearr ná na leanaí ag a raibh Béarla amháin. Nach áit an mac an saol!

I have to say I agree with Tadhg and James.
If someone has the opportunity to sit in on a class conducted in a language he does not know then it will take him no longer to understand and learn that language than it would any other language given the same circumstances.
People do not need to listen to English for two or three years until they are able to converse in English.
How do I know this? Because I spent four and a half years teaching at an International School in Belgium where English was the language of instruction. Every year a third of each class were beginners in the English language. After two to three months they could understand the majority of the regular classroom language and they could also make their own ideas known to their classmates and the teacher. They were more or less fluent at the end of the school year. Certainly they wouldn't have had the same understanding of the language nor the vocabulary of a native speaker of English, but they were able to use the language as a medium for learning and living and as a "lingua franca" .
After two years in this environment some of the children I taught were better users of the English language, in both the spoken and written form than some of their monolingual English speaking classmates. Isn't life strange!

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Eíbhlin (62.254.32.4 - 62.254.32.4)
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 06:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

diá diobh,

níl a lan daoine innu abalta ag caint as geailge,
smaioneadh mise timpeall 20%

Tír gan teanga, tír gan anim
Bige ag caint do theanga fein daoine, ha ha

le meas
Eíbhlin ;o)

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Eíbhlin (62.254.32.4 - 62.254.32.4)
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

By OKane (66.26.175.61 - 66.26.175.61) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 05:40 pm:

Wow, i'm pretty dissapointed. Everyone, the Irish i have spoken to, seem to be enthusiastic to a fault about Gaelic as a novelty, but when it is discussed as a realistic vernacular everyone talks doom and gloom. Unfortunatelly, myself having the lowley status of Irish in America and not having a lot of weight in the subject, i find it hard to be critical about the happenings in ireland. It seems like the key would be additude. Did i actually just say that? But it is true, if more peope looked at the situation like Seosamh does, regardless of the fact that i didn't undersand half of what he said, there would certainly be progress. Heak, you Irish could talk yourselves out of breathing if you had the mind to. I think, again from my relatively insignificant perspective, that it all comes down to that. Unfortunately the trick is getting an entire nation to think the same way...

Another question i had, 'nother typical Irish-American one, was: how is the language doing in the North? Should i even bring that up? I imagine that there is a difference it's treatment.

Thank you all for addressing my queries.

Sean O'Kane

Dia Duit Sean, Beanachtaí As Eíreann.

i dont know if you can speak irish so ill reply in english,
but on the topic or NORTHERN Ireland, and how it is doing up here, Well Sean im from Dublin and i only moved to Northern Ireland in March, i would not say it is very popular, although i know there are a small mainority who take the language seriously, there are Irish speaking schools but not too many, and i have NEVER ever heard any one speak it up here, although some politicians do the odd time,

but i firmly believe in this quote
"tír gan teanga, tír gan anim"
"a country without a language is a country without a name"!
shame we do have to speak another countrys language as our first!

*Eíbhlin* ;o)

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PC (217.155.45.123 - 217.155.45.123)
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Eibhlín,

Do you know that what Patrick Pearse actually wrote was:

Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam

A country without a language is a country without a soul.

Ainm = name
Anam = soul

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Eíbhlin (62.254.32.4 - 62.254.32.4)
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 07:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

PC.

Didn't realise that, from what I was taught it was anim. Just shows you how quotes can be altered in various ways to change with the times.

Although they both make sense, I think to say that for our little island to not have a soul is quite ridiculous hence this website :)

le meas
*éibhlín* :o)

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PC (217.155.45.123 - 217.155.45.123)
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 07:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Eibhlín,

As far as I know, and I was schooled in Ireland, it was always 'tír gan anam'. There is no word in the Irish dictionary spelt 'anim', the word for name is 'ainm'.

As you can see I'm showing an Irish trait and sticking to my guns on this one. :-)

Slán agus dea-mhéin,

PC

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Eíbhlin (62.254.32.4 - 62.254.32.4)
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 07:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

PC,

i know, i was not saying the quotation i was thought was correct,
just stating how i was thought,

tóg go bog é

Eíbhlin :)

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