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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (April-June) » The future of the Irish Langage « Previous Next »

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Kate Nelson (143.167.77.11 - 143.167.77.11)
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 09:27 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hello everybody, this looks like a lively forum.I'm Kate a 3rd yr Linguistics student at the University of Sheffield. I am writing and presenting an assignment on the future of the Irish language, and would greatly appreciate anybody who has information on the subject. If anybody has read Reg Hindley's book "The Death of the Irish Language," you will be aware of his pessimisn with regards to the future of the language. Do you have any response to this? What do you think are the chances of the language enjoying a revival? Is the official status of the language in Ireland just putting on a front, when many people are unable to speak it or pass it on to their children? Do you think there will be any native speakers in 50 years? Is the language condemned or is there hope? Would greatly appreciate your opinions,

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.101.193 - 159.134.101.193)
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 09:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post

One thing's for sure in anyway, the Gaeltachtaí aren't going anywhere.

(Gaeltacht = A place where An Ghaeilge is spoken)

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Kate Nelson (143.167.77.11 - 143.167.77.11)
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 09:57 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well, a lot of the young native speakers are emigrating to England and America and many are not teaching the language to their children, which is crucial to the survival of the language.

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luise rechen (141.157.75.134 - 141.157.75.134)
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 10:58 am:   Edit Post Print Post

English wouldn't sound as good as it does without the influence of Irish. I'm counting on Gaelic sticking around and reviving. I'm 66 and studying for my next time round (reincarnation), and indeed, I'm hoping it's in Ireland!
Slan, Pangur Ban

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post Print Post

There are 130 000 adults (19 years and over) speaking Irish on a daily basis in the twenty six counties. It is safe to assume that many of those of them who have children are speaking it to their children (as I do).

from www.gaelscoileanna.ie
Ó Meán Fómhair 2003 ar aghaidh bhí 149 gaelscoil ag feidhmiú ag an mbunleibhéal agus 33 ag an iarbhunleibhéal (sa 32 contae lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht) le tuairim is 30,000 páiste ag freastal ar na scoileanna seo.

There are 149 primary and 33 secondary Irish medium schools outside the Gaeltacht areas with 30 000 children attending them.

Irish has been allegedly at deaths door for over two hundred years now, with pessimists like Hindley ringing the death knell.

Irish will outlive them all!

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Jonas (213.243.176.78 - 213.243.176.78)
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 02:24 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi Kate!

There are indeed every reason to try to improve the language situation in Ireland but Hindley's book is not to be taken too seriously. I speak Irish myself and have travelled in almost all the areas of which Hindley speaks. I have lived in some of them for quite some time. Hindley paid short visits and he can't speak Irish - he is far from suited for speaking about "the death" of Irish.

That is not to say that there aren't reasons for concern, but there are much better accounts around, almost all of them in Irish.

I had the honour of being quoted in a rather recent report on the sociolinguistic situation in the Gaeltahct - I have to say that I am more optimistic than Hindley. Besides his lack of a working knowledge of Irish, he shows no signs of being aware of the development in na Gaeltachtaí during the 20th century - such a knowledge is rather crucial in order to advance the speed with which Irish is loosing or gaining ground.

I'll be happy to answer more detailed questions!

Slán go fóill,
Jonas

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 04:14 am:   Edit Post Print Post

You might be interested in this bilingual book if you don't speak Irish.
Guthanna in Éag - An Mairfidh an Ghaeilge Beo? / Voices Silenced - Has Irish A Future?

www.cuplafocal.ie has a range of studies and reports for sale, you will find ISBN etc below, so you may be able to get them through your college library:
http://cuplafocal.ie/ushop/index.cgi?ID=GT9SUK&task=show&cat=An+Ghaeilge+%2F+Books+about+the+Irish+language

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

You might also like to take a look at the recently published "Who needs irish?"

See here http://www.veritas.ie/cgi-bin/home.exe?countrycode=IE

or here for a review http://www.emigrant.ie/article.asp?iCategoryID=48&iArticleID=28881

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 01:14 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Kate a chara,

The following petition on Irish may be of interest:

http://www.petitiononline.com/gaedhilg/petition.html

Beidh na sluaite ag tarraingt ar an bpríomhchathair Dé Sathairn ar an ábhar céanna - some thousands shall be heading for Dublin on Saturday in reference to the same:

http://www.cnag.ie/

I realise that Sheffield is slightly removed, but you never know if you should happen to be in the area - life being strange - you may like to take a peek!

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Kate Nelson (143.167.77.18 - 143.167.77.18)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hello everybody, im finding all of your information really helpful, thanks very much.

Jonas, you say that Hindley is unaware of recent developments in na Gaeltachtaí, what exactly are these? Is Irish increasing in native speakers or decreasing, I suppose is the most fundamental question I am asking. Hindley speaks of people overestimating the no of native speakers or telling "loyal lies," is this in your opinion right or wrong? I think that the most crucial factor in the survival or revival of a language is that it is being taught as the first language in the home. It is well documented in several sources that a lot of parents didn't want to teach Irish to their children as a first language some years back, and taught English instead. What is the situation most recently? Has this changed dramatically? Are more parents teaching Irish as a first language?
My email is EGA01KN@Sheffield.ac.uk (just in case you have any lengthly answers or sources)

As I've said already, really really appreciate
all answers and opinions :)

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:00 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

http://www.comhluadar.ie is an organisation specifically set up to support those who wish to bring up their children bilingually or speaking Irish. (My family is bilingual, my wife is German).

Comhluadar is not active (yet) in the Gaeltacht; this may change as parents in the Gaeltacht are seeing the need for support in an increasingly anglophone environment.

One measure for how many Gaeltacht families speak Irish at home has been the scheme of grants which are based on the ability of children coming to school ot speak Irish. I believe this shows some percentage fall off, but not necessarily absolute numbers fall off.

This scheme is intended to be replaced by a support scheme for younger children. A quick google failed to find any figures for this scheme - someone else may have them.

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Liam Ó Briain (194.125.133.220 - 194.125.133.220)
Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 04:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi Kate,

I think Hindley was underestimating the number of Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht areas to be as low as 10,000. If anything it is people in the Galltacht(english speaking areas)every census who are notorious for lying about their ability to speak Irish. Thus we have 1.5 million professing to be able to speak Irish. I think the census figures for Gaeltacht areas are true. We now have a Language Act just come into force that obliges all public bodies to provide bilingual services and if not they will be reported to a Language Commissioner who has powers to prosecute.
There will be no major revival of the language countrywide as 90% of the people simply have vitriolic hatred of the language or blind indifference. The brilliant people on this site would put most Irish people to shame. In the cities of Belfast(west belfast in particular) and Galway Irish is certainly undergoing a revival with pubs and cafes offering bilingual service and numerous Irish language events. Galway have an organisation called Gaillimh le Gaeilge promoting use of Irish in business with over 200 businesses now registered.

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.13 - 159.134.102.13)
Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 04:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

There will be no major revival of the language countrywide as 90% of the people simply have vitriolic hatred of the language or blind indifference.





I started learning Gaeilge, along with everyone else in the country, in 1st Class. Here's how the school structure goes in Ireland:

Junior Infants
Senior Infants

1st Class
2nd Class
3rd Class
4th Class
5th Class
6th Class

1st Year
2nd Year
3rd Year = Junior Cert
4th Year (Optional, AKA Transition Year)
5th Year
Sixth Year = Leaving Cert


Up until 6th Class, I had what you could call Pidgeon Gaeilge. In all those years, I'd had one sole good Gaeilge teacher, in 5th Class. He thought us the past tense and the future tense. At the end of 5th year, I was saying "D'fhág mé", "Chonaic mé", "Fuair mé", "Rachaidh mé", "Gheobhaidh mé", "Rith mé", "Dhún mé". But then there's only so much you can learn in a classroom for about 3 hours out of the week. So then I went into 6th Class and back to the usual crap. Going into first year, I still didn't know the Gaeilge for "his dog", "her dog". I didn't know any of the prepositions. All I had was the Past Tense and the Future Tense (including the 11 irregulars).

And then I went into 1st Year, where I got one of the best Gaeilge teachers in the country. He didn't even ask us how much we knew, he just started from scratch. Past Tense, Present Tense, Future Tense, Modh Cionníollach. Every Monday morning, he would write a new preposition on the side of the board, tell us all its meanings, give us examples, and then get us to rhyme them off:

agam
agat
aige
aici
againn
agaibh
acu

Then he showed us "Claon-Insint", Indirect Speech.

Dúirt sé gur dhún sé an doras.
Deir sé go ndúnann sé an doras.
Déarfaidh sé go ndúnfaidh sé an doras.
Dúirt sé go ndúnfadh sé an doras

And with orders:

Dúirt sé liom an doras a dhúnadh.
Dúirt sé liom an peann a chur sa bhosca.


Over the years, he built and built on our grasp of the language, our "armory" he used to call it.

He went on to teach us a wealth of different aspects, like "is" and An Tuiseal Ginideach.


---


Not everyone that can teach can teach a language.


A person can quickly become to hate a language solely based upon the way it is taught to them. I pretty much hate German. After 3 years of sitting in a German class, with a less than intelligent teacher, I know how to say "My name is Fear na mBróg" = "Ich heiBse Fear na mBróg". But that's it.


I was in a brilliant Gaeilge class, I was also one of the better students, and thus I have a very solid foundation of Gaeilge should I ever decide to go to the Gaeltacht and truly develop it with vocabulary, phrases and lingo.


And to those who say that Gaeilge will die out: You have my own personal guarantee that it won't, I myself won't let it. Even if I'm the only one left, I'll teach it to whomever wishes to learn (and maybe force it on my children!). Not because it's my "native tongue", but because it truly is a brilliant, beautiful language.


To those that don't have the virtue of a brilliant Gaeilge class, just get some sort of Grammar book with tapes and a Dictionary. Put them both together and voila, you'll get a foundation of Gaeilge. If yous have any questions or problems with it, I for one will be happy to assist.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 04:32 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I don't share Liam's experience that 90% have a vitriolic hatred for Irish. I speak Irish to my children, and I am coming across more and more people who speak Irish - even a few broken words -to us when they hear us.

It is true that many people left school with a dislike for the language because of how it was taught. But I believe that attitude is changing; in part because of increasing cultural diversity in Ireland. Irish emigrants and returned emigrants in particular have a renewed interest in learning Irish to foster their sense of Irish identity. TG4 helps to of course, to get rid of the image of the language as the preserve of old men and republicans (no disrespect to either intended).

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Mary (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 09:49 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I have encountered disinterest or amusement about my speaking Irish but I've never encountered "vitriolic hatred."

I know from experience that friends of mine in Ireland have taken up again the Irish they learned in school because of the revived interest in the language.

An Gaeilge abú!

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Chris Dixon (194.247.95.130 - 194.247.95.130)
Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 10:38 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
Irish is very much on the increase in the Six Counties.
The establishment of Foras na Gaeilge in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement has both served to foster its development there - and, more importantly, to ensure that there has been greater public recognition of the work done by Irish language enthusiasts over recent (troubled) decades.
Kate, if you are interested in exploring this aspect for your study, you'll find a lot of info on the web - through the Foras website, through Queens University Belfast website, through BBC Northern Ireland website, through the website of the Belfast-based newspaper Lá... to name but four.
Slán beo!

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Catalan (158.109.0.88 - 158.109.0.88)
Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 12:30 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hello,
I know the question I am going to ask you is not really related with your section, but I nees some help. I am catalan (is situated in north-east of spain). I am doing a project for Authonomous University of Barcelona. I am studying how bilingual countries teach both languages, how do they incorporate in their curriculum, metholodogies, results, transfer in society... you know, all this staff.
Because of this at the moment I am focusing this project between my country: Catalonia and Ireland.
At the moment there is no problem, I found your National Curriculum in Primary Schools (because I am focusing the project in this level) but I can't find the section about Gaeilge Teanga in english, and I am so sorry but I can't speak Irish.
Do you know any place I could find this information?

Thank you very much.

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.100.99 - 159.134.100.99)
Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 01:53 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I would think Ireland was a bad choice. The average standard of Irish of the people is very low.


I think Germany or the Netherlands would be a good choice. They speak German (Deutsch) in Germany and they speak Dutch (Nederlands) in Holland/The Netherlands. Obviously, as these two countries are very developed 1st World countries, they want the people to be able to speak English to communicate with the rest of the word, eg. The UK, The USA, Australia. And thus, whenever I go on holidays to Spain and meet German or Dutch people, they always have a very good standard of English!

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 04:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hola Catalan,

I suggest sending an e-mail to the people who run the website where you found the curriculum. Information on Irish language teaching will generally only be available in Irish, but they can probably put you in touch with somebody who will answer specific questions.

There is a big difference in Irealnd between Gaelscoileanna (Irish medium schools) and standard schools.

You could also look at this website http://www.pcsp.ie which is a support site for the curriculum; but again, a lot of the material on Irish will be in Irish.

Good luck with the project.

A Fhirín na mBróg - ná bí chomh díultach. Ní tíortha dhá theangacha iad an Isiltír ná an Ghearmáin seachas codanna beaga den Ghearmáin áit a bhfuil pobail le Danmhairgís nó Sorbís.

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.240.104 - 213.94.240.104)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 06:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Agus ní tír dhá theanga í Éire freisin! Labhraítear "English" in Éirinn, ní labhraítear Gaeilge ach i gcodanna áirithe, ar a dtugtar "Gaeltachtaí".

Catalan, something I just thought of recently. A fella from South Africa moved in near me there a while back. He can speak and write 5 languages, including English, all of which are used in South Africa! He learned them growing up.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 06:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Níl conaí ormsa sa Ghaeltacht, agus labhraím Gaeilge ar bhonn laethiúl.

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alex finn (213.94.214.130 - 213.94.214.130)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 08:14 am:   Edit Post Print Post

deutsch gesproken(fear na mbróg)
for me(a german) its the reverse: visit an teach ósta scanrúil is a good choice. you will never forget these holidays in a sense you do not want to do so. if you translate german to egypts
language(it can be done, takes a while)
you will see how they speak. one example is:
'wie lautet ihre pin' -> (? (laute=little music intrument) person PIN). it means 'how sounds it?'. most germans do NOT know what they say.
if you ask 'koennen sie mir mal ihre PIN mitteilen'(teilen=share),you probably do not want.
another is: 'ich moechte einen vorschlag machen' (schlagen=to beat smb/smt). they beat each other all day, figuratively. i had my times making exact statements in german and would say that it can not be done.

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 08:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Casadh dom féin naonúr a labhraíonn Gaeilge go laethúil, inniu cheana féin. Ní as an nGaeltacht aon duine acu. Mic léinn is beirt acu. Aos acadúil agus lucht riaracháin is ea an seachtar eile.

Tá níos mó de chainteoirí laethúla na Gaeilge ina gcónaí lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht faoin am seo. Sin, nó is breac-Ghaeltacht cuid den Ghalltacht anois. D'fhéadfaí 'an Débhéascnacht' a thabhairt uirthi, is dóigh. D'fhéadfaí arís ar ais, 'Éire' a thabhairt uirthi freisin.

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.240.104 - 213.94.240.104)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 09:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Nuair a smaoiníonn tú air, b'an-éasca Gaeilge a athneartú in Éirinn dá dteastódh sé sin ón rialtas. Tá Éire bídeach i gcomparáid le tíortha eile. Tá sí alán níos lú ná an chuid is mó de na Stáit i Meiriceá! Agus tá caoga Stát ann!


Ceapaim go mbeidh "Turas Teanga" mar an-chéim go hathfhás na Gaeilge in Éirinn. Chonac an seó aréir agus thaitin sé liom (go háirithe an léiritheoir :)! Tá sí an-éasca ar na súile!). 'Seisean an chlár amháin atá feicte agam a dhéanann dea-jhab de mhúineadh na Gaeilge do dhaoine óna theastaíonn í a fhoglaim.


Bhfuel, in aon chaoi, táimse ag déanamh mo pháirtese, táim ag foghlaim na hard-teanga, Gaeilge.


Má thiocfaidh Gaeilge chun tosaigh, ceapaim gurb í a chéad rud atá le déanamh leis an teanga féin ná an litir "h" a chaitheamh amach mar tháscaire séimhithe! Tabhair ar ais an ponc ar bharr na litreach, nó fág amuigh é ar fad, ní gá é. Go cosúil leis an urú.


Mo thuairimíse.

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post Print Post

'Má thiocfaidh Gaeilge chun tosaigh, ceapaim ...'

A Fhear na mBróg, níl 'má' ná 'dá' ann a thuilleadh i dtaca le teacht chun tosaigh na Gaeilge. Tá sí tagtha chun tosaigh i ngan 'fhios do mhórán daoine go fóill. Beannaím do strainséirí i nGaeilge. Beirt a bheannaigh dom i nGaeilge le cúpla bliain anuas SULAR bheannaigh mé dóibh.
Seanbhean i mbaile an Aonaigh, Tiobraid Árann breis is bliain ó shin agus bean óg fiche rud éigin bliain d'aois Dé Domhnaigh seo caite tuairim is 2,000 troigh os cionn na farraige ar Shliabh Coimeálta. Bhí caipín de chuid Oideas Gael orm Dé Domhnaigh, dom' chumhdach ón ngréin. (B'fhéidir gur aithin sí an caipín, a bhfuil 'Oideas Gael' scríofa air.)

Comharthaíonn t-léine de chuid An Spailpín Fánach go bhfuil Gaeilge agat. http://www.spailpin.com/Gaeilge/index.htm?UID=98302482 Is fearr í ná fáinne mar go dtarraingíonn sé machnamh an strainséara ar an teanga. Ceannaím roinnt gach bliain agus is iomaí píosa cainte a tharraing siad.
Is é an rud céanna nuair a iompraíonn duine an leagan Gaeilge dá ainm ar gach cáipéis agus in gach comhrá. (Beidh deacracht san áit ar tógadh tú, murar mharaigh tú an seanleagan cainte den ainm/sloinne ar mhodh cliste éigin.)

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 12:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Buíochas le Dia, is mo sheanathair a chuir deireadh leis an leagan Gallda dá ainm! Agus a athair siúd a ghlac an leagan atá ann anois.

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Patrick Murphy (204.34.240.201 - 204.34.240.201)
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 04:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hello Kate,

I can only talk of my personal experience on this matter, which is an american perspective. Both my Grandparants were native speakers of Irish from the island of Innishskea north off the coast of the mullet. In fact, Gaelic was the only language they spoke before arriving to america. Although, Irish was spoken in the home when I was child, my siblings and myself could only speak in phrases or singular words. We had no understanding of the grammatical structure of the language. Generally speaking, the irish language is limited to the immigrant population coming primarilly from county Mayo and Kerry. Native speakers of Irish in america typically don't teach their children the language. But this an historical trend among most ethnic groups in america. However, Irish is taught at a few of the colleges in the area where I am from and there are enough native speakers within the community to sustain the Irish language for maybe the next 20 years.

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.103.148 - 159.134.103.148)
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 07:53 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

However, Irish is taught at a few of the colleges in the area where I am from and there are enough native speakers within the community to sustain the Irish language for maybe the next 20 years.




Would good ol' reproduction not keep it going indefinitely?!

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