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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (January-March) » Joyce « Previous Next »

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Ed Foley (24.147.104.49 - 24.147.104.49)
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 05:59 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I read somewhere that James Joyce, who had a great interest in languages, never made more than a half-hearted attempt to learn Irish. Does anyone know why?

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Antóin (159.134.181.225 - 159.134.181.225)
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 07:08 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Joyce was raised and educated in middle class Dublin at the end of the ninteenth century. He probably had no exposure to Irish as a living language. Irish was not part of the normal school curriculum at the time. However I'm not sure whether he studied it at school or not. He did grow up during the early years of the Gaelic Revival but seems to have reacted negatively to the movement - why I don't know.

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Phil (159.134.209.35 - 159.134.209.35)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 08:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

As my last post was deleted, I'll try to word this one better.

I've read "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man".

James Joyce was a very strange person. He probably didn't learn Gaeilge because it wasn't a language of the educated. He would have been interested in languages like Greek, English, Latin. What he did was motivated by what people thought was good and normal. And Gaeilge wasn't much of a priority at the time.

-Phil

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Lúcas Ó Catháin (192.4.209.5 - 192.4.209.5)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Joyce took a class in Irish with Patrick Pearse at Jesuit University College in Dublin. If I remember correctly, Joyce had just started at UCD. A friend talked Joyce into taking the Gaelic League course. Apparently, Joyce took offence to Pearse's denigration of the English language. Pearse continuously emphasized the superiority of the Irish language when explaining the differences between them. After a few classes, Joyce stormed out the class in a tirade after Pearse had again derided the English language.

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Phil (159.134.209.129 - 159.134.209.129)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

And rightly so. English should be exposed for the sham that it is. Here's a few examples:

What's the verbal noun of "clean"?

English: "cleaning" maybe?

Gaeilge: glanadh

What's the verbal adjective of "rith"?

English: "running" "runnitive" maybe?

Gaeilge: ritheach


English, along with German, is a crap language. Joyce didn't want to "offend" the English language because he was afraid of how people would react. The fella spent every waking minute worrying about how people would take things and how they would react to him. He was especially afriad of the church.

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James (199.112.58.34 - 199.112.58.34)
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 04:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil,

I'm old and my brain doesn't work like it used to--I've missed your point entirely. Glanadh, ritheach, cleaning, running and runnitive??? Help me see why this illustrates the "crapness" of english. I'm not saying I don't agree with you, I'm saying I don't understand your point.

Le meas,

James

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 04:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

James, a chara
na cuir do chuid ama amú - don't waste your time.
Phil's thinking English is "crap" is still at an emotional level.

Phil, "English, along with German is a crap language" - get a grip on yourself, or at least come up with some good reasons. I speak all three languages fluently and daily - and I can't see any justification for saying any of them is a lesser language to the others.

Please remember that grammar is a description or a set of rules for how a language is spoken by it's fluent speakers, and not the other way around. Most fluent Irish speakers don't give a damn about what a verbal noun is.

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Phil (159.134.209.155 - 159.134.209.155)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 01:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

They don't have to know what the verbal noun is, they know exactly how to get it.

Activate
--------

Activate
Activation
Activated
Activatible
Activative
Activatibility
Activativity
Activator

There's just a few words you can get from a verb. Now try it with a common verb in English

Sooth
----

Sooth
Soothing
Soothed
Soothible
Soothing
Soothibility
Soothingness
Soother


See how akward it is in English. There's definite ways to do it in Gaeilge.

-Phil

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Phil (159.134.209.155 - 159.134.209.155)
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Oh yeah, there's about 500 irregular verbs in English, 620 in German. 11 in Gaeilge.

I could go on all day stating how much superior Gaeilge is.

-Phil

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 05:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Grammar is not language
A simpler grammar might make it easier to learn the language; but to say another langauge is "crap" becuase you can't get the grammar is ... childish.

Languages are means of getting ideas across; different langauges have different nuances.

Grammar is analysis of pre existing language: and very much a secondary feature.

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Phil (159.134.209.204 - 159.134.209.204)
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

stupid grammar -> stupid language


-Phil

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James (199.112.58.34 - 199.112.58.34)
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 01:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Stupid comment-> Stupid Child.

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Phil (159.134.209.200 - 159.134.209.200)
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 01:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Repeated Stupid Comment -> Repetitive Stupid Child


Are all yous prejudice against children? Yous seem to associate all inapproriate behaviour with a child and children. Did they call you names? Next time, tell them that sticks and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you.


-Phil

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Phil, a Chara,

Tá daoine ag iarraidh a bheith go deas leat. Is suíomh é seo a mbíonn daoine tláithdheas lena chéile, rud nach miste. Níl daoine in d'éadan. Níl ann ach nach bhfuil do chuidiú chomh foirfe céanna le do chealg. Ní bheadh ach corr-rud iompair le hathrú agus bheidís an-bhuíoch díot i rith an ama.

B'fhiú duit an iarracht bheag sin réiteach le bealach na ndaoine eile agus bheadh an saol agus an suíomh araon mar d'iarrfadh do bhéal iad a bheith.

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Seosamh

Aguisín : Má tá scrúdú ar na bacáin agat faoi láthair, go n-éirí sin leat.
S.

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Seán Ó Catháin (66.26.162.227 - 66.26.162.227)
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 07:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I would have been absolutely fascinated to have known how you reacted to that very uncharacteristic bout of, yes, CHILDISHNESS (immaturity), but unfortunately I am not even close to being able to understand or even read that much Gaeilge.

You all have, however, stumbled on, what i think, is one of the most fascinating abstract ideas in, i would argue, all of history and the modern world. Even if you all did approach it in a rather... unique way. I agree with Aonghus' "Grammer is not language." however I would take Phil's side in that its complexity and versatility do reflect on the same qualities in the mentality of those who's purposes are served by the language. The fact that English is in fact comprised of some of the most ancient and succesfull languages throws a kink into Phil's argument however. and that little fact that it is one of the dominate languages in the world.

NO ONE, however, can argue that Gaeilge is not a supirior language... that is a given.

Seán

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Seán Ó Catháin (66.26.162.227 - 66.26.162.227)
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 07:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

P.S. a Lúcas, (don't know any grammer rules)

Nice to see another Ó Catháin on the internet!

Seán

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Lúcas Ó Catháin (68.39.82.247 - 68.39.82.247)
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Sheáin a chara,

Is iontach deas an Cathánach eile a fheiceál ar an idirlíon ach ní aontaím leatsa faoin Gaeilge agus an Bearla. Ar scor ar bith, seo duit scéal maith fá dtaobh de.

Mise,

Lúcas
-------
Mar a Fuair an Duine an Teanga

I dtús an tsaoil, nuair a chruthaigh Dia an domhan chruthaigh sé neamh 's réaltaí agus chruthaigh sé an duine. Bhí an duine ag dul thart gan smid chainte aige. Ní raibh sé in ann labhairt ar chor ar bith mar ní raibh aon teanga aige.

Ach faoi cheann scaithimh thug Dia faoi deara é agus dúirt sé, an bhfuil a fhios agat, go mb'fhearr dóibh bheith in ann labhairt. Agus thug sé glaoch do dhuine as gach uile náisiún teacht nó go dtabharfadh sé teanga dóibh. Tráthúil go leor, an dtuigeann tú, is é an tÉireannach an chéad duine a tháinig i láthair mar bhí an-fhonn cainte air agus nuair a tháinig se' arm is éard a bhí réitithe ag Dia tornapa mór agus dúirt sé leis:

`Gearr anois píosa amach as sin, agus socraigh isteach i do bhéal é,' a deir sé, `a dhéanfas múnla le haghaidh do theanga.' Ní dhearna an tÉireannach ach dhá leath a dhéanamh de agus ghearr sé an píosa ab fhearr a bhí istigh ina cheartlár, ghearr sé amach é. Bhí sé á shocrú agus á shníomhachán 's ag baint písíní agus sliseoigíní de nó go raibh sé chomh snoite agus é ina mhúnla chomh deas. Shocraigh sé isteach é is ní raibh deifir ar bith air mar ní raibh aon duine eile ag tuineadh leis. Agus nuair a bhí sé sin déanta aige bheannaigh Dia é agus dúirt sé leis: `Anois, tá do theanga agat,' a deir sé, `agus labhair í agus coinnigh í an dá lá 's mhairfeas tú.' Ghlac an tÉireannach buíochas le Dia agus d'imigh sé leis agus thosaigh sé a labhairt agus níor dhún sé a bhéal riamh ó shin.

Ach bhí an tÉireannach, an dtuigeann tú, bhí an tús aige. Bhí an teanga ba dheise agus ba cheolmhaire agus ba bhlasta agus ba bhinne agus ba bheannaithe dá raibh ar dhroim an domhain aige.

Agus ansin tháinig daoine as tíortha eile. Tháinig an Síneach agus ghearr sé píosa amach é féin agus shocraigh sé isteach ina bhéal é. Nuair a bhí sé réitithe aige thug Dia a bheannacht dó agus dúirt sé leis: `Labhair do theanga anois agus coinnigh í agus bíodh meas agat uirthi,' a deir sé, agus d'imigh an Síneach, ghlac sé buíochas leis agus tá sé féin ag labhairt a theanga riamh ó shin. Agus gach uile náisiún eile mar an gcéanna.

Ach ba é an Sasanach ansin an duine deireanach a tháinig mar bhí sórt drochamhras éigin aige go raibh rud éigin ar bun ag Dia nach raibh ceart agus is é a tháinig sa deireadh, agus nuair a tháinig se' ní raibh aon Was den tornapa fágtha, ach na sliseoigíní beaga agus na písíní a bhí bainte de na teangacha eile uile agus ní raibh aige ach lán a ghlaice den mhangarae a chur siar ina bhéal de na písíní beaga seo.

Bheannaigh Dia é agus dúirt sé leis imeacht agus a theanga a labhairt agus d'imigh. Ghlac sé buíochas le Dia agus tá sé á labhairt ó shin. Ach sin é an fáth a bhfuil an teanga Ghaeilge chomh blasta agus chomh binn agus nach bhfuil sa teanga Bhéarla ach cinéal mangarae, mar níl inti ach píosa de gach uile chineál teanga dá bhfuil sa domhan.

Le Eddie Bheairtle Ó Conghaile

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An Mídheach Mealltach (213.202.161.19 - 213.202.161.19)
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 03:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

To get back on topic somewhat.......
I've read "Portait" but never "Ulysses". In fact I've never met anyone who successfully completed it(I'm starting to think that Senator David Norris is the only person who ever did!).
But from my readings about that particular novel, I know that there is a section where one character gives a very eloquent speeach about why the Irish should not bow down, abandon Irish and accept English completely as a supposed superior lanague/culture.
He does so by refering to the Pharoah arguing with Moses and how he tried to persuade Moses as leader of the Jews, to accept Egyptian civilsation and culture because of it's superiority. Moses of course didn't and the Jews went on to develop their own kingdom and highly developed culture which the speaker argues would not have happened had Moses accepted assimalation with the Egyptians. The speaker was of course trying to use the analogy in the Irish/English context, as an argument for the preservation of Irish.
We can't know for sure whether or not these were Joyce's own sentiments about the Irish language but the fact that he put them in the mouth of a character in his book does offer this possibility.

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Murt (195.152.239.252 - 195.152.239.252)
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 09:59 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Tá taighde spéisiúil déanta ar dhearcadh James Joyce faoi náisiúnachas agus faoi cheist an teanga. I litir dá dheartháir Stanislaus (6ú Samhain 1906) scríobh sé: "I quite see, of course that the Church is still, as it was in the time of Adrian IV, the enemy of Ireland, but I think her time is almost up. For either Sinn Féin or Imperialism will conquer the present Ireland. If the Irish programme did not insist on the Irish language I suppose I could call myself a nationalist." (tag. James Joyce and the Revolution of the Word le Colin MacCabe, Palgrave Macmillan 2003)

Ní shé sin le rá go raibh Joyce in aghaidh an Ghaeilge ach bhí sé go láidir in éadan an meon caol a bhí ag chuid mhaith náisiúinteoirí agus Gaeilgeoirí na linne sin - saghas Taliban cultúrtha ab ea iad - a bhí mar aidhm acu an Béarla a ruaigeadh as an tír agus sochaí 'fíor' Ghaelach a chruthú (agus ar ndóigh fíor-Chaitliceach). Léiríonn MacCabe é seo ina réamhra don leabhair thuasluaite:

"If the young Joyce was antipathetic to the nationalist ideology which his generation did so much to promote, it was not so much to the specific claims of Gaelic - in the Trieste lectures he looks forward to a bilingual independent state - nor to the traditional myths of Ireland ... but to their employment as buttresses of the wholly false notion of the Gael: the notion of the sexually and racially pure Irish person; above all the image of the racially and sexually pure Irish woman."

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.162 - 193.122.47.162)
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 05:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Go díreach. Tá an leagan ceart den scéal agat a Mhuirt.

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Diarmuid (217.163.5.253 - 217.163.5.253)
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 09:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Does anybody know about some of the most famous Anglo-Irish's attitude to Irish? Wolfe Tone, Oscar Wilde, Johathan Swift, Shaw?? Interested to know

Slan

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An Mídheach Mealltach (194.165.165.106 - 194.165.165.106)
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I know that Wolfe Tone was not a cultural nationalist, or at least did not hold it as any type of priority. Certainly there were United Irishmen that held Ireland's Gaelic heritage in great esteem, but their overall agenda was primarily a political one, emphasising the common goals of the various religious denominations.
I know that Wolfe Tone was once giving a speech in Belfast simultaneous with a harpers' festival. He made a famous derogatory remark about how the harp music annoyed him, the words of which I don't have.

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Tomás (198.22.236.230 - 198.22.236.230)
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 01:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Focal eile faoin Seoighseach. Another word about Joyce. After a friend (mystified perhaps) inquired about what Joyce intended with "Finnegan's Wake," Joyce responded that he had intended to blow the English language to smithereens and give it back to the English. Joyce was keenly aware of Irish. Ireland had only been predominately English-speaking for a short time when he came on the scene. For a time, his family lived back in the West where he doubtlessly encountered it in its remaining native habitat. Joyce certainly was against parochialism of any kind, and considered it the root of most human and Irish misery. Hell, at the bottom of it all, "Ulysses" is about the universe in a grain of sand, the universality of the human experience. Leopold Bloom to Dublin; Dublin to the world. And, in "The Dead," Molly Ivors, the nationalist and Irish language advocate comes off better than the pompous, continental Gabriel (Joyce) whom she good-naturedly chides for being a "West Briton."

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OCG (82.69.43.174 - 82.69.43.174)
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 07:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I don't think Swift could be classed as an Anglo-Irish writer, he merely spent time in Ireland. He lived in the English world, which was easy to do in Ireland at that time (and still is).

Oscar Wilde's mother, Lady Wilde (Speranza) was very interested in Irish folklore and customes and published many books of Itish legends. She would have been interested in the language too, I suppose. I read somewhere that Oscar Wilde used to sing a lullaby in Irish to his children but I can't recall what it was.

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An Mídheach Mealltach (194.165.161.108 - 194.165.161.108)
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 08:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

From "Idir Dhá Chultúr" by Declan Kiberd, a quote of Jonathon Swift:

"It would be a noble achievement to abolish the Irish language so far at least as to oblige all the natives to speak only English on every occasion of business in shops, markets, fairs and other places of dealing."

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Ossian (208.187.64.211 - 208.187.64.211)
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ok,
I agree that English isn't all it's cracked up to be but it isn't crap. Like other Germanic languages it sounds weird to non-native speakers, and the recognition of its beauty is mostly confined to those who hold it as a mother tongue.
I am almost completely of Irish and Scottish descent, and I have wished since childhood that Gaeilge was my first language. But due to the way of the world it isn't, English is. Therefore I see plenty of ornateness and such within the language, regardless of its bastardisation in the States and in other former British colonies and subjugates.
I like Gaeilge more, that's for sure. And I plan fully on reinstating its use in my own family in future generations (my dad's grandmother was the last in our family to speak it). But I don't regret for a minute the fact that I hold such a deep command of English, for there is such a vast and beautiful literary/poetic body therein. Shakespeare, Wilde, Poe, Hemingway, The Beatles.... the list can go on for weeks.
I just think that it was wrong to classify English (and German which I speak fairly well) as crap. It's not fair. It's not an Anglophone's fault if his ancestral tongue was taken from him long before he was ever born. Thank you for bearing with me.

Ossian.

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Antaine (141.153.176.207 - 141.153.176.207)
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 03:55 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

English is Greek and Latin grammar awkwardly imposed on a hodgepodge of German/French/Norse with a smattering of vocabulary from around the world thrown in for good measure. Due to this, English earns its greatest shortcoming - being absolutely baffling to anyone trying to learn it.

That having been said, at its heart, a language is for the users not the learners. Infants pick it any langauge just as fast as any other if they are brought up in it, so English is just as easily passed on to the next generation as Gaeilge, Japanese, or Swahili.

And English certainly has the vocabulary to express the full range of feelings, thoughts, things, technology and action. In that it, is not a limited language.

Language was invented so memebers of the same tribe (community/nation) could communicate with eachother and co-ordinate actions necessary for survival. That is its purpose. You're not SUPPOSED to learn a language after infancy...

The value judgement of what is "crap" doen't really apply to languages. If so, then Japanese would be far crappier than English as learning it to fluency usually requires living in Japan for about ten years...

One could argue that a language may be limited (or limitING), or inadequate in some fundamental way related to the purpose of language, which English is not. When all is said and done, English does everything its supposed to do (just not a pretty or logically to the foreigner as Irish ;o).

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Máirín Ní Dhufaigh (24.195.9.253 - 24.195.9.253)
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 06:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

To contribute to the earlier points this conversation was hitting, I just wanted to say that I'm reading a book now that extensively deals with these issues - "Language, Society, and Identity" by John Edwards. In the eyes of this author, the Gaelic League movement was not just an attempt to bring back the Irish language. That was more of a facade for their real intent, which was to oppose technology and innovation, sort of an anti-technology, return to your roots and return to the farm and shut your eyes sort of thing. You have to remember that this happened around the 1890's or so, right? Technology was just starting to pick up on to the dizzying pace of our current age - this was starting, and the Gaelic League I think was more reacting to that than to the decline of Irish. By speaking Irish, you would cut yourself off from the technology that English would give you access to. Who wants to do that?

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Antaine (141.153.176.207 - 141.153.176.207)
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 08:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

à la the Khmer Rouge? I dunno...I had read (I believe it was in one of Tim Pat Coogan's books) that the push was not so much to save the language but as a mark of identity, a way to spit in the eye of the english, and a way to communicate that they would not understand (unless they learned it themselves and forcing them to do that would be an insult in itself).

Based on my own research I think late 19th/early 20th century nationalism in Ireland had fallen victim to a kind of fatalism...countless failed revolts, famine, etc and the brits just as strong as ever...by 1916 you had Pearse saying they were all worth more to the country as martyrs than as heroes, Connolly admitting that they were knowingly going out to be slaughtered, and the Proclamation itself which contains the phrase (I always felt chilling) "except by the destruction of the Irish people." (not that it was advocating the destruction of the Irish people, but that such a thought struck me as a strange thing for a triumphant delcaration of independence)

Even some of DeValera's later decisions reflected a belief that some massive destructive cataclysm would get the world to stand up and take notice...as if with their last breath on this earth a dying Ireland could bring everlasting and irreversible shame upon the british. That that was the best that could be hoped for unless the world rose up on Ireland's side, for Ireland had failed to win her independence in 700 years why think they could now? This was never explicitly stated, although I think similar attude/philosophy can be found in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict today. When a people are beaten enough they give up hope of winning, but they don't give up the fight. The struggle ceases to be about the original ideals and becomes about achieving the most glorious death to serve as notice to the world and inspiration for the next generation to do the same.

But then came Michael Collins...

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Murt (83.70.51.171 - 83.70.51.171)
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 03:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Mháirín, a chara,

I don’t think you’ll find any serious evidence that the Gaelic League was a back-to-nature, luddite conspiracy to build a wall around Ireland and recreate the era of Finn McCool and the Red Branch Knights. Those who wish to make a political argument against the language revival movement will always be able to dig up a suitable quote from some headbanger; but if you want to understand what the Gaelic League was about you read its history, its programme and you study its leaders and their actions. The two driving forces of the Gaelic League/Conradh na Gaeilge in its early years were Douglas Hyde (later Ireland’s first President) and Eoin MacNeill. They were moderate, open, broadminded and highly intelligent men, neither anti-English nor anti-modern. They understood that the de-Anglicisation of Ireland (politically, economically and culturally) was central to its modernisation. In much the same way, the leaders of the Algerian revolution understood that to build a modern, successful nation, they would have to expel the French, restore Arabic language and culture to its rightful prominence, etc. (they didn’t make a great fist things after the French left ach sin scéal eile.)

Edward Purdon in his book The Story of the Irish Language gives a more accurate picture of the real motives of the founders: “The founders’ declaration of the existence of a living language which would be used as the basis for an effective modern language, able to handle the technical vocabulary of twentieth-century life, gave a new significance to the Gaeltacht.”

There is a certain school of thought which holds that the achievement of Irish Independence was a great mistake. People who hold this view (sometimes called Revisionists) tend to denigrate everything that they associate with Irish nationalism (political parties like Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein, the Irish language and language movement, the GAA etc.) These forces are generally depicted as backward-looking, atavistic, agrarian, retarding progressive development. These Revisionists – and I am not talking about objective revision of history by professional historians which is essential as new data comes to light – are politically motivated. They regard themselves as quite sophisticated but in reality they are provincial philistines who regard London or New York as their cultural capital; cultural slaves who have grown fond of their chains.

I don’t know if John Edwards is one of these as I haven’t read him but his thesis as you describe it fits well with the genre. I merely suggest that you read more widely before drawing definitive conclusions.

Finally, you state: “By speaking Irish, you would cut yourself off from the technology that English would give you access to. Who wants to do that?” I’m not sure if you believe that or if you think the early Gealic Leaguers believed it. But think about it. Two implications flow from the statement. Firstly, the 91% of the world’s population who do not speak English exclusively are cutting themselves off from the technology that English gives access to. Or put it another way, the Irish would have less access to technology if they spoke two languages, Irish and English, instead of one, English. Secondly, it means that only English speaking cultures produce technology.
Of course you would not agree with such preposterous positions, but people who adopt an Anglo-centric view of the world for their own political reasons can end up not understanding a great deal.

Ádh mó le do chuid léitheoireachta

Murt

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Murt (83.70.51.171 - 83.70.51.171)
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 04:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Antaine, a chara,

An-spéisúil. You say that you find the phrase from the 1916 Proclamation "except by the destruction of the Irish people" chilling. What is chilling is that it almost came to pass. But first put it in context. The full quote from the Proclamation (which, by the way, is not the Declaration of Independence, a quite separate document) is as follows:

“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right nor can it ever be extinguished, except by the destruction of the Irish people.”

I think that is a reasonable and logical statement. It is not fanciful. After all many nations have become extinct through extermination or dispersal. And our own historical memory told us that it almost happened to us. In the 17th Century, Lord Mountjoy declared his intention to exterminate every Irish man, woman and child and farm animal in the province of Munster. The man did his best. The Great Famine sparked off a catastrophic cycle of depopulation and mass emigration which did not stop until the mid 1960’s. While the Proclamation was being nailed to the door of the GPO there were about a quarter of a million young Irish men at constant risk of being slaughtered in the killing fields of Flanders and elsewhere in that insane war. The subsequent introduction of conscription by the British was one of the main reasons why there was mass support for the War of Independence. Your comparison with the Israel/Palestinian situation is relevant in this context also. The Palestinians, victims of a campaign of expulsion and ethnic cleansing since 1948, would understand very well the all too real prospect pregnant in the phrase “except by the destruction of …” However unequal the contest, they have no choice but to fight.

You are right of course about the 1916 leaders. They knew it was going to be another glorious failure and went ahead on that basis. People take two views on this one: When you know you are going to lose against an enemy with overwhelming force, and go ahead and fight anyway, you are a romantic fool; or a brave hero who keeps the torch blazing for the next generation. I take the latter view myself. Connolly was no romantic poet. He understood that something had to be done or there would be no general uprising. And, as Larkin said, better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

Connolly was right and of course Michael Collins fought in that glorious failure as well. That is where he learned how to win.

By the way, Michael Collins also said that the most difficult objective they, the Republican Movement, would face, was not the achievement of political independence, but the restoration of the Irish language. Looks like he got that right too.

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Antaine (141.153.176.207 - 141.153.176.207)
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 07:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

right, but I don't recall seeing any similar images called up in similar documents of other nations...typically they are made while standing on the cusp of a bright future and the destruction of the nation or loss in pursuit of a just and right cause is unthinkable or at least the furthest thought from the minds of those drawing up the document...However, those who drew up the Proclamation expected for the Rising to end in their martyrdom, not in the independence of the country.

Certainly had independence not been achieved, the end of the 20th century would have seen "Irish" as much a living culture and independent of Britain as "Cornish" is today. This happened to many nations at the hands of the British and others.

I didn't mean to say it was unreasonable or illogical...but just that it had surprised me that it was included in a declaration of independence (until the other factors are taken into account, of course, and then it makes perfect sense). I would hazard to say that most such delcarations are not made with the intention of falling to pieces a week hence.

Collins was, at the time, a young idealist. Most of the men who fought (at least according to Connolly) actually thought they were fighting to win, and not fighting to serve as an example. I would think that Collins would be included in that group. Upon his release, his feelings hadn't changed and he set about realizing the future he'd already begun fighting for.

The figure I find most interesting from the Rising, however, is The O'Rahilly. He has always fascinated me. I think he played an interesting "Judas" role in which many villify him, but I think in his subsequent actions he finds redemption. I say Judas because it was he that cancelled the Rising in the rest of the country...he spent all night doing it...

He was the only one who knew what he had done and that the rest of the country would not be rising in support, but then proceeded to fight in the Dublin Rising himself where he would eventually give his life leading men through the streets towards the end. None of the books I've read discuss his motivations for doing so, and I puzzled over it a long time. Eventually I figured out that he was insuring Pearse's plan. He called off the rest of the country so that the main bulk of the manpower would be spared the reprecussions of a Rising they couldn't win, and could "carry the torch" in later years (ie - he who betrays the cause acts in fact as part of a greater Plan and plays a role to insure salvation, &c, &c). He could not, in good conscience, insure the doom of the Dublin men and not stand with them. To do so would be traitorous.

According to The Easter Rebellion by Max Caulfield, Dublin Castle was guarded by only three soldiers due to the holiday. There were usually many more, and Rising plans purposely excluded an attempted occupation of the Castle because of that. If it were attempted, however, with as few as twenty men it could easily have been taken and secured and (if not by itself, perhaps with the aid of the cancelled country-wide rising) possibly allowed for a victorious end to the Rising being the Irish/British equivalent of the 410 sack of Rome to the ancient Mediterranean world.

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Steve (205.156.184.254 - 205.156.184.254)
Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 05:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil is a putz, and he's at it again. I thought we all rebuked him before?

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Jonas (213.243.191.211 - 213.243.191.211)
Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"English is Greek and Latin grammar awkwardly imposed on a hodgepodge of German/French/Norse"

Not even close, I'm afraid. The grammar of English isn't even close to that of Greek or Latin. The grammar of Old English was almost identical to Icelandic grammar and very close to modern German grammar. The same goes for both pronunciation and vocabulary, 1000 years ago an Englishman, a Swede and an Icelander would all have been able to talk to each other. The Norman invasion brought a vast number of French words, making the vocabulary of modern English full to the brink of
a. Germanic vocabulary = original English words
b. Italic vocabulary = loans from Latin via Norman French

The original Germanic grammar has been simplified compared to other Germanic languages, but it is still closer to the grammar of, say, Swedish or Dutch than to most other languages. Almost no Indo-European languages have a grammar so different from both Greek and Latin as English does.

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Antaine (138.89.11.174 - 138.89.11.174)
Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

But we have many of our most difficult (or unnatural is perhaps the better word) rules and constructions due to the attitude in the 1700s and early 1800s among linguistic scholars that the classical languages were the only "real" languages or the "perfect" languages and that the common tongues would do well to emulate them to the greatest extent possible. Not ending sentences with prepositions being one that jumps to mind.

Yes, English grammar is *mostly* Germanic, and was originall *all* Germanic, but the proponents of prescriptive grammar 200-250 years ago made sure to introduce difficulties to exclude all but the most educated upper classes, as had been done by those who standardized our spelling 200 years before them...

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Antaine (138.89.11.174 - 138.89.11.174)
Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 06:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


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David Brennan (68.202.26.196 - 68.202.26.196)
Posted on Friday, March 05, 2004 - 09:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Regarding English as a "crap" language, I might not go that far since it's the only one I know (a shortcoming I am trying to overcome.) However, I once knew a Korean gentleman who worked as a UN translator. He had quite a gift for languages and was fluent in about a dozen different tongues. He told me that of all the languages he had studied, English was by far the most difficult and challenging to master because of our contradictory grammar and endless exceptions to the rules.

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Dion (24.6.174.223 - 24.6.174.223)
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

English does seem to be constructed of exceptions, and a difficult language to learn; however, I know it is possible to speak it with ease, and as much command as other languages.

Gaeilge is hard too. I don't think that the difficulty of a language should detter anyone from trying to learn it.

To those who say that German is a crap language:
Du bist ein spinne dum sheiB(anyone know the key caps for that?) Kopf!

To those who say that French is a crap language:
Tu es cuchant laid mechant.

To those who say that Gaeilge is a crap language:
Is striapach olc gruagach thœ.

To those who say that English is a crap language:
You are a canis lupis of the femminem persuasion, and a wormridden, underdeveloped, overgrown lump of phosspho-lippid bilayer of the worms that inhabit the excrement of the amoebas that infest the cesspits of hell, with an odor that gives the aforementioned a nightmare!(or wait, that's me...)

Regarding Joyce: Most of Finnegans Wake is full of puns and jokes that only Irish speakers would understand. I can't remember many off the top of my head, but here's a few: "So this is Doyoubelong?, the harpsdischord shall be theirs for Ollavs", and "Unum, Adar" If he used Gaeilge that much, then he can't have held Gaeilge in that much contempt.

Regarding Finnegans wake: There is a line in the song that goes by that name that I need help translating: Thanum an Dhul?
Also on the CD were: Cruiscin Lan(some sort of jug?), Eamonn an Chniuic, and Boulavogue. Also there is some more Gaeilge in Cruiscin Lan that I didn't get so if anyone knows the song...

Also: Caislean Air/Oir, Coinleach Ghlas an Fh—mhair, Seachr‡n Charn Tsiail, T‡ MŽ 'Mo Shui(I'm something?), Th’os F‡'n Ch—sta

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Mary (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 07:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

T'anam 'an diabhail, do you think I'm dead?

Your soul to the devil, do you think......

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Dion (24.6.175.142 - 24.6.175.142)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Seans, go raibh maith agat. They translated Betty to Biddy, so who knows what Thanum an Dhul was... What is T'anam a contraction for: do/bhur anam(your soul)? Or am I speaking some obscure dialect? Are not those followed by lenition or eclipses?

I see my fadas didn't come out so I'll re-type them without the fadas.

Fhomair, Seachran Charn Tsiail, Ta me 'Mo Shui, Thios Fa'n Chosta.

Can someone translate this: An tŽ nach mb’onn l‡idir n’ foll‡ir d— bheith glic . It might be wrong.

Again go raibh maith agat

-Dion

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 03:28 am:   Edit Post Print Post

An té nach mbíonn láidir, ní foláir do bheith glic

The one who is not strong must be clever

There are several songs by the name of Cruiscín Lan - The Full Jug (of whiskey)

Tá mé mo shuí - is a love song - "I'm lying awake"

Thíos fán Chósta - down by the coast

etc..

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Dion (24.6.174.223 - 24.6.174.223)
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 08:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh m’le maith agat

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Mary (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

t'anam = d'anam - your soul. Gaeilge na Mumhan, silim.

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James (209.48.182.219 - 209.48.182.219)
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Grá mo chroí, mo cruiscín lán, lán lán...grá mo chroí mo cruiscín lán.

There's another line about "slainte....something or another...never have been able to make out what they're saying.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 03:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

sláinte gheal mo mhuirnín
the good health of my sweetheart

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