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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (July-September) » Archive through September 27, 2004 » Why english replaced irish as a language « Previous Next »

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rex manning (194.72.106.233 - 194.72.106.233)
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 02:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi,
I have a college project where part of it relates to why english established such a strong foothold in irish society. I remember something from school that the 3 main reasons were referred to as the 3 P's - pulpit, parliament but no idea what the 3rd one was - any ideas on this or suggestions as to why english replaced irish to such an extent would be greatly appreciated. also any ideas on pro's and cons of this happening would be helpful. apart from the general relegation of irish to a second language, it has stengthened its importance as part of the irish culture and heritage in certain parts of society - is this correct or very wide of the mark?

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Tomás (198.22.236.230 - 198.22.236.230)
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Oh, man, Rex! You light a bomb like that and just toss it out there?!! Go read some books, boy! You will get a million opinions from this website. I'll spare you the full brunt of mine. It's a complex issue. The third 'P' would be Potato Famine or Poverty in general. In the wake of the famine, speaking Irish was viewed as an economic liability. Find and read Brian Ó Cuív's "A History of the Irish Language". It's collection of essays by himself and others on the topic and is a good primer on the issue.

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rex manning (194.72.106.233 - 194.72.106.233)
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 06:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

cheers Tomas, not too sure if it was the potato famine, the changes were in the air before then - think it might be professionals as law and medicine for example were taught thru english (colleges such as UCG and UCC were set up about the 1850's).

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.101.200 - 159.134.101.200)
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 06:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ireland was at one time a non-co-operative part of Britain. As such, the language was forced upon the people. That's pretty much the jist of it.

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TJ (12.221.43.167 - 12.221.43.167)
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 12:16 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Fear na mBrog said it best. The biggest factor is that it was forced upon the people. For quite a long time Britain had truly no respect for any culture that was different than theirs, if fact they saw it as an indicator of being a lower life form. Britain tried to make life as terrible as possible for anyone who didn't adopt their society which went well beyond language and especially included religion(which included forbidding Irish Catholics from holding office and at one time swearing death or slavery to any Irish Catholic found east of the Shannon which is what is meant by the well known quote by Oliver Cromwell, "To hell or Connaught"). During British oppression of Ireland, it was virtually impossible to succeed without knowing english as one would never be given a job. Irish began to become known as the language of the poor and was associated with failure and so many families taught their children english since they believed it was the only way they could succeed. There's quite a bit written about the subject, even a quick Google search would turn up quite a bit of information.

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Celtoid (205.188.116.207 - 205.188.116.207)
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 07:22 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm sure their are a few people out there that think the Irish rejected their own "barbaric" ways and gleefully accepted the more highly "civilized" English ways with open arms. Har har, hardy har har.

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.109.127 - 159.134.109.127)
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 09:33 am:   Edit Post Print Post

And with that comes another deleted thread.

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Diarmuid (213.190.149.122 - 213.190.149.122)
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 09:42 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I am throwing the next bomb into the forum!

My history teacher use to tell us about the Czechs who used to speak German in the office and street and returned home to speak Czech in their houses.They feigned Germanisation I am trying to say while remianing Czech --this teacher said to usthe Irish were the only ones to give up their own language. (not forgetting the Welsh and Scottish) Contoversial his opinion but partly true??

Was it that the British so devauled Irish/scottish/Welsh national sentiment that people felt that to really succeed they would need to speak English???

I have a Romanian friend who says he would be ashamed to be oblidged to read subtitles in English (while looking at tg4)if he were Irish!

Shouldnt we feel ashamed that we dont speak it?????

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.109.127 - 159.134.109.127)
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 09:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

There's plenty of crap newsgroups out there for this sort of stuff, why not avail of them?

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Tomás (198.22.236.230 - 198.22.236.230)
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Rex, a chara, -- First let me say that I was thinking of "A View of the Irish Language" not "A History of..." Sorry for the bum steer.

Yes, there had been a steady erosion of the language, after the fall of the Gaelic aristocracy, for almost two centuries prior to the famine. It was well-noted by the poets like Ó Rathaille during the late 17th and early 18th century:

"Tá mo chroí-se réabtha ina míle céad cuid
'S gann balsam féin a d'fhóirfeadh dom phian
Nuair a chluinim an Ghaelige uilig a tréigheáil
'S caismirt Bhéarla i mbeol gach aoin..."

However, due to the population increase, there actually were more native Irish speakers living on the eve of the famine than at any time in history. Even subtracting those who died or emigrated between 1845-1851, after 1851 Irish disappeared faster than any language in recorded history. The Irish abandoned the language in the wake of the famine. Not only in Ireland. In America, the typical pattern for immigrant monoglot non-English speakers has been for the immigrants to speak the language in their home and the first American born generation also to be fluent in the language. Among larger immigrant groups (Germans, Latinos, Chinese), the fluency often extends to the second and third American-born generations. Not so with the Irish. It was and is a rare American-born child of Irish speakers that would have any Irish. True, among the Irish were many who had only English, or English along with Irish.
But in many cities, my hometown included, it is estimated that 60% of the 19th century Irish immigrants like my great-grandparents had only Irish. Yet there is absolutely no evidence that Irish was ever spoken or understood by their children. My family is pretty unusual in that a few words of Irish were passed on, and that every generation of my family has returned to Ireland and maintained the connection with the "rellies" in Ireland. Yes, the language was suppressed in Ireland, but ultimately it was a sad confluence of political, economic and social conditions that resulted in it being abandoned and reduced to where it is today.

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Liam Ó Briain (194.125.133.220 - 194.125.133.220)
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

After the famine in the year 1851 23% of the population spoke Irish, 1901 14% and 1921 independence 10%. This suggests that while the famine was a contributing factor it was not the only one. Even before the famine at the start of the 1800's English was the majority language and by the year 1870 Irish had receded roughly to the counties it's spoken in today. It's puzzling to me how eastern european countries like Poland,estonia etc were able to keep their language. Irish was abandoned by people in a single generation which is surely unique in a linguistic context. I have always believed in the superiority of the Irish speaker over the monolingual English speaker in this country for the simple reason that there has been an unbroken chain stretching back to the famine and beyond and the language was not abandoned by them. People who can only speak English are still colonised in their mind. The 100,000 or so fluent Irish speakers are truely free.

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An t-Albannacht (80.58.36.235 - 80.58.36.235)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 07:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post

just a quick footnote to this , there are friends of mine in the six counties who have been arrested for 'Obstructing Authorities in the Execution of their Duties'
Their crime? Refusing to anglicise their names for the police who stopped them, even though their names appear in Irish in their ID. So the repression of the language is not something that should be viewed as an historical matter.
Tir gan teanga tir gan anam.

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.109.59 - 159.134.109.59)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 08:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I wonder what they'd say to you if your name was "Mustafa Halimeka-tu".

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.109.59 - 159.134.109.59)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Forgot to mention. "Albannacht" would be feminine, and so:

An Albannacht

and if it were masculine:

An tIasc (uppercase, no hyphen)
an t-iasc

Posessive: madra na hAlbannachta

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Paul (66.152.218.225 - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 12:18 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A An t-Albannacht, a chara,
Re "refusing to anglisize their names," is that sort of stuff still happening in the north?

Beir bua,
Paul

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An Albannacht (80.58.36.235 - 80.58.36.235)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 04:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

The more things change the more they stay the same.
Voltaire ( I believe)

I think the language has always been part of the
consciousness raising proccess of Irish youth in the North , that is why Irish speakers have been viewed with suspicion , in fact I would say IMHO that their is more activity in the North these days concerning the home-grown promotion of the langauge than of the south. Let me qualify that , Im not talking about numbers of the total talking IrishI mean fresh numbers not coming from the sons and daughters of Irish speakers who would be more naturally inclined to speak it and continue the linguistic tradition. There are many young people coming to Gaeilge almost as a personal political act , in order to strengthen their self-identity and stake a claim to their cultural heritage. Thats why Im learning it.

Can I just say to people who are rude and churlish with people that it does no one any favours and Im puzzled as to why you would take that atttitude with people . I know the board is about the language but I think it can also withstand the odd conversation about other aspects of the language , especially when the subjects are so intertwined.
If you love the Irish language you will encourage at every opportunity those who come to invest energy and time in its continuance.


Ps thanks for the name advice

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Emer (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 08:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

An tAlbanach is masculine, a Fhir Oig.

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.242.139 - 213.94.242.139)
Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 06:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Emer, you're absolutely correct.

Totally unrelatedly: "Albannacht", what gender would that be?

I'm not fluent in Gaeilge, but I can easily tell the gender of a noun. When I saw "Albannacht", I looked it up in 3 dictionaries, none of which gave a definition. Many English dictionaries don't have "calisthenics" in them, but doesn't mean it's not a word. So if "A Scottish Person" was intended, then by all means:

An tAlbanach

But if some other word, "Albannacht", which I've never seen before, is intended, then:

An Albannacht


Congratulations on your demeanor, Emer.

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Emer (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Easy dear! Easy!

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.244.48 - 213.94.244.48)
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 08:16 am:   Edit Post Print Post

É seo ag teacht ón duine a sheol orm mar "a Fhir Óig"! :)

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OCG (82.69.43.131 - 82.69.43.131)
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

The difference between the German/Czech experience is that use of Irish had been banned/discouraged by the authorities since at least 1367, a much longer process, which accelerated in the 19th century.

A sad, depressing story. As Celtoid pointed out, there were many Irish who had no difficulty rejecting their language and traditions and imitating the customs of the colonists in order to gain social advantage.

I often wonder how the Spanish and Portugues managed to spread their languages all over S. America...

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Aztec (213.94.237.176 - 213.94.237.176)
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 03:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

leis a gcuid lanna !!!

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TSJ (216.120.118.108 - 216.120.118.108)
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 01:02 am:   Edit Post Print Post

OCG writes " I wonder how the Spanish and Portuguese managed to spread their languages all over S. America..."
To which AZTEC replies "lena gcuid lanna"- "with their swords". Why no! The original inhabitants of Latin America decided that the language of their conquerors would be much more useful to them than their own autochthonous languages with their limited usefulness. How far can you go in to-day's world with a knowledge of Nahuatl, Quechua or Tupi-Guarani? After all, Spanish is now a world language with more native speakers than English, or so I'm told. Didn't The Irish People make this same decision or did the conquerors of Ireland influence that decision "lena gcuid lanna"?

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poppy (195.194.178.251 - 195.194.178.251)
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 06:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

just as in so many countries English is a prestige language. That is that people see better futures for themselves by learning it. When the world was carved up by the Colonial powers, which began in the 16th Century and continued into the 20th England had power over many small countries including Ireland. Partly the language was suppressed by the British for political reasons and partly its decline was approved by political leaders like Daniel O'Connell - the Great Liberator! - who urged Home Rule at the same time as urging the Irish to abandon the language. As part of a colonial Empire any small nation would be ruled through English so those within that nation who wanted to 'get ahead' would be eager to learn the language of the dominant nation. Languages are being lost to English on an ongoing basis now that it is THE world language. it's a killer language.
poppy

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.240.233 - 213.94.240.233)
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 08:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

If I could only ever know one language, it sure wouldn't be Gaeilge in anyway! Most likely English, Spanish or Japanese.

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Liam Ó Briain (194.125.133.220 - 194.125.133.220)
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 06:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Fear na mBróg,
Truely amazed at your statement.That's strange coming from someone who supposes to like the Irish language. Are you also saying you will not raise Irish speaking kids or you do not see Irish as being your daily language now or in the future. I think the post colonial inferiority complex is well and truely alive!

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.103.242 - 159.134.103.242)
Posted on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Read my post again. Here, I'll even write it again for you, marking the pertenant words:

If I could only ever know one language, it sure wouldn't be Gaeilge in anyway! Most likely English, Spanish or Japanese.

This is no way suggests that I would or would not raise Irish speaking kids nor that I would or would not see Irish as being my daily language now or in the future.

If the post colonial inferiority complex is well and truely alive, I wouldn't know, as I wasn't around in those times.

I'll give you an analogy to try explain it to you:

While I absolutely love to swim, if I was given the choice of only being capable of one of the following:

A) Walking, Running

B) Swimming

I would immediately pick A, even though I find B much more fun, exciting, enjoyful.

So, on planet Earth today, among the population of humans; if I could only know one language, it sure as hell wouldn't be Gaeilge, I'd choose English, Spanish or Japanese. Or maybe even Mandarin or Arabic.

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TSJ (216.120.4.120 - 216.120.4.120)
Posted on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:30 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Fear na mBrog

You said "If the post colonial inferiority complex is well and truly alive, I wouldn't know, as I wasn't around in those times". Obviously you were not around in COLONIAL times but you are at this moment in POST COLONIAL TIMES and if you have any powers of observation you must surely be aware that the inferiority complex inherited from colonial times is well and truly alive in these post colonial times.

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.241.60 - 213.94.241.60)
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 05:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

If it is, I haven't noticed it.

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TSJ (216.120.4.127 - 216.120.4.127)
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's the problem with most Irish people.They don't notice it. But it's there nonetheless. And in my opinion it is the biggest obstacle to reviving the Irish Language.

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IHS (82.69.43.128 - 82.69.43.128)
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 09:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's right TSJ, In their minds they're still colonised and they fail to see it.

As Elizabeth I said, "we will give them our tongue, then we will have their hearts".

It is THE obstacle to revival of Irish as the language of hearth and home - we may still need English for communication purposes.

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Rómán (213.197.173.4 - 213.197.173.4)
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 06:57 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Common ppl!

I find some arguments over here completely ridiculuos. If every nation in Europe would apply this logic ("useful and bla bla bla"), so by now only 3 languages would be left in Europe: French, German and English. Nonetheless super-proficient in English Dutch still have their (in my opinion dreadfully sounding) language. Or Scandinavians - the same story. I am Lithuanian, so my country was close to losing its tongue in the end of XIX century due to constant polonisation and russification. But we revived it, and while having only 3 mln of native speakers (out of 3.44 population) nobody really contemplates in the categories, that there are so few of us, and there are 40 million of Poles. Now even in the capital, Vilnius, more than 55% of inhabitants are Lithuanian native speakers. In the beginning of XX century there were some 7% of them. I take it as a matter of principle to speak Lithuanian to anybody on the street, in the shops and so on. Although I know Polish and Russian too well, but still - it is a matter of will and choice.

Wake up, Irish!

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IHS (82.69.43.131 - 82.69.43.131)
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 08:49 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's interesting Rómán. The Irish did try (somewhat) to revive their language from the 1920's onwards but most Irish people ended up hating it.

Do you have any ideas on where we went wrong in Ireland, compared to the outstanding success in Lithuania?

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TSJ (216.120.4.218 - 216.120.4.218)
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 09:30 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Romain, What do think it would take to wake the Irish up? Suggestions from someone not directly involved could be helpful.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

We didn't try. We assumed that teaching it to kids in school would solve all our problems, but neglected to take into account that most teachers were not fluent.

Only a few weirdos and fanatics (like me) actually try to spend any kind of life in Irish.

Remember we inherited our civil service and legal system lock, stock and barrel from the empire. And that the gombeen establishment was busy aping our alleged betters. (Closer to Berlin or Boston, anyone)

The language act will help, since it will give people in the gaeltacht and outside, whose first language is irish, proper rights to services in Irish for the first time, instead of platitudes in the constitution and reliance on the goodwill of the few civil servants who are fluent and did extra work to provide services to the few cranks (again like me) who had the neck to continue to insist on the right to services in Irish rather than going the line of least resistance and dealing with them in english.

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Rómán (213.197.173.4 - 213.197.173.4)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 08:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ok, let's put it in perspective. Our both countries (I mean Ireland and Lithuania, I am aware of the fact that majority of people here are actually Americans) have extremely similar history. We reconquered our independence in 1920s in bloody war with Russian bolsheviks, "the whites" and the Poles. Prior to to that independence was lost in 1795(more or less) in Tripartions of Respublic (Common State of Poles and Lithuanians) between Russia, Prussia and Austria. So from XIV century when Lithuania was finally christianised (the last pagan nation in Europe :)) the Polish language was the language of nobility, of the church and of the king's court (as English in Ireland at some point). So it was all too natural that by the end of XIX when national Awakening took place all urban inhabitants were Polish speakers. Only peasants in the north of the country still spoke the "pagan" (as it was preached by the ministers) language. Lithuanians are devoted Catholics, even more so before, thus when they were indoctrinated that good Catholic speaks Polish they made their conclusions. After uprising of 1863 against tsar (remember after Tripartitions Lithuania was part of Russian empire at that time) the Vilnius university was closed, all schooling and books in Lithuanian were banned. All the schools were teaching in Russian or Polish. So 1870-1905 was period of illegal village schools where the children of peasants learned to read Lithuanian. That is why actually the peasantry kept the language.

Then comes XX century, WWI and struggle for renewal of independence. By that time it is clear, that if Russians let us go (as there was a domesctic war between "the reds" (Lenin's bunch) nad "the whites" (royalists), then Poland has the vision of renewing the Union. This time around we have been cleverer not to join any common thing with Polish. So they tried to incorporate Lithuania by brutal force. There was a war, which resulted in us losing the capital, Vilnius, for 20 years (till WWII broke out).

Coming back to your question, after the war with Poland 1920-1922 it was all too natural that people in Free Lithuania (cf with Free State of Ireland) even those who have lost their mother tongue, were disgusted by the behaviour of Poland and the children were given exclusively to Lithuanian-medium schools, so in one generation you would never tell that some regions in modern Lithuania were almost 100% Polish speaking (Kedainiai region e.g.). Next thing: the language act was enacted which proclaimed that the SOLE and ONLY state language is Lithuania. Yes it hurts but in 20 years time, again when new generation comes everybody considers it NORMAL to speak in the language of your ancestors and not in that of your occupiers. In Vilnius of course the situation was much more complicated. Everything related to Lithuanian culture was destroyed during 1920-1939. So when we finally got the town after WWII there was almost nothing there. There was an exchange of people after the war, so many Poles left for Poland, we got some Lithuanians from there. But in general as the city was rebuild a lot of people (Lithuanian speakers) moved to the town from the countryside as the industry has developed. And of course as we have been annexed by Soviet Union a wave of Russian immigrants came. So by the time of restoration of independence (1990) less that half of inhabitants spoke Lithuanian. So again, the Language Act. Very unpopular with people who came 30 years ago, donno anything in Lithuanian but "Laba diena" (Dia dhuit). But the attitudes are shifting. Myself I moved to Vilnius 3 month ago, before I lived in the second biggest city (Kaunas - that used to be temporary capital of Free Lithuania when Vilnius was occupied in 1920-1939). I must admit I never heard so many people speaking with foreign accent (as Russians and Poles do over here) - but, guys, :) they ARE speaking. No doubt. The Russian and Polish schools (we have such!) are in decline as more and more parents give children to Lithuanian-medium schools. Why? The reason is simple: you can study at university only in Lithuanian. So if u wanna be somebody and be a well-paid employee you make choices. The only way to make Irish vivid language - make it economically attractive. First step would be that state servants ALL must be fluent in Gaelainn. Give them 3 years to comply. Then expand categories of professions. Tertiary education must be as Gaelainn. Courts, public administration. Just teaching Irish as a museum relic doesn't give motivation to study. It must pay to speak Irish. As it is in Lithuania: you can stuck with Polish only - but you won't get even the job of waiter. make the language a prerequisite of success.

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Sassanach (159.134.99.38 - 159.134.99.38)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 09:00 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Then why are you writing here in English?

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Sassanach 2 (159.134.99.38 - 159.134.99.38)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 09:05 am:   Edit Post Print Post

The why are you writing in English, Aonghus? (not Rómán)

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:06 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I dtreo is go mbeidh seoníní, sasanaigh agus poncáin in ann an rud a scríobh mé a leamh.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Rómán

Irelands history is somewhat different. In particular, where Lithunia had three or four powerful neighbours who fought over her, Ireland has been subject to England only.

From the 16th Century on, the power of the Gaelic speaking chiefs was broken, and only the peasantry spoke Irish and maintained the culture.

There were large scale settlements of parts of Ireland by English, Lowland Scots and other protestant refugees from religious war on the continent.

The East coast of Ireland, where all power and administration has been concentrated for a long time, has been English speaking for centuries, apart from Wicklow. So have most cities and towns.

I agree that we could do a better job of revival, and I believe the new language act and some other positive steps like TG4 are a small start.

But there is not the political will among the people of Ireland to revive the langauge - because most people are so immersed in the anglophone world that they do not realise that the monoglots are the exception, not the rule, when the total population of the world is taken into account.

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Yankee Doodle Gaeilgeoir (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 01:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Is féidir leis an bponcán seo do chuid Gaeilge a thuiscint, a chara.

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IHS (82.69.43.128 - 82.69.43.128)
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Very interesting Rómán, go raibh maith agat.

It sounds like a very painful experience for a lot of people, I don't think the Irish people would stand for that sort of Top-Down imposition of language, there just isn't enough people willing to go through that pain.

One other factor is that Lithuanian was competing against Polish. Irish is up against English, the language of Hollywood. In these days of TV and cinema it makes revival all the more difficult.

We can never force the Irish people to speak Irish, the only way forward is with gentle coaxing.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:38 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Is maith is eol dom go bhfuil poncáin atá liofa, agus, gan dabht sasanaigh, lochlannaigh, géarmáinigh, daoine as gach aicme seachas séoníní na hÉireann. Ach bhí an cuir is cuiteamh seo i mBéarla. Agus ní hiad lucht labhartha na Gaeilge a chaithfear a mhealladh chun an teanga a athbheochan, ach lucht an Bhéarla - a chreideann gur déanadh iarracht agus gur theip air. Sí fírinne an scéal nár deanadh iarracht taobh amuigh de dhornán beag díograiseoirí a chuir gaelscoileanna, Radio na Gaeltachta, TnaG, Lá 7 rl ar bun. Is ón bpobal a tháinig chuile iarracht a raibh ráth ar go dtí seo. Ach tá teorainn le fuinneamh dornán beag daoine.

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Rómán (213.197.173.4 - 213.197.173.4)
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

It sounds like a very painful experience for a lot of people


So maybe you should have stayed in the happy family of British Empire, as freedom fights surely have "traumatised" and "were inconvenient" for a lot of people. What are you talking about?!


Quote:

Irish is up against English, the language of Hollywood


Get real! The chance to change everything was in 1920 when you just acquired your independence and people WERE willing to up with some inconveniences in the name of Free State. There was NO Hollywood to speak of at that time!


Quote:

only way forward is with gentle coaxing



The result of this approach is visible in Ireland - the number of native speakers is declining and Gaéultachtaí are shrinking. Keep on "gently" coaxing and your grand-children will see the last native speaker die.

I have some question that bother me for some time already. There is NO daily newspaper in Irish still? Why?! How can you promote language if it is supported only by grass-root movement? The Teleflis na Gaeilge (sorry for spelling, for sure I made mistake) started in 1996, when you have TVE since 1950s. Why? Isn't it the DUTY and OBLIGATION of the state to support (subsidise if needed) Irish-medium schools, newspapers, radio and television? In my opinion, all films at cinemas should be dubbed in Irish (with English subtitles of course) - as it is Germany or France. And you will see: the language will come much sooner than you expect.

Aongus: I appreciate your effort to speak your langauge, but would you mind to put a short summary of what you said in English (German, French, Russian) for those who are not fluent in Gaelainn yet? This part of forum is rather bilingual. Thanx in advance

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Chris Dixon (194.247.95.130 - 194.247.95.130)
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:10 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
This is a very interesting discussion thread - not least because it reveals the depth of passion which accompanies issues of language when associated with national identity.
This is an area on which their is a vast literature within the discipline of Sociolinguistcs - an area in which I work, although in a professional capacity in relation to the languages of the Iberian peninsular rather than Gaeilge, the language of my grandparents.
I'll keep this post as brief as I can (I could easily write thousands of words about this topic) and will avoid academic references (although if anyone is interested in doing a bit of more in depth reading and taking a more academic approach they can e-mail me at chrisd233@hotmail.com and I'll gladly supply some references).
I would like to offer an analogy with the situation of Catalan, which I think is relevant to the current discussion. In the 1980s, the Catalans purusued a policy of "linguistic normalisation" as a reaction against the Francoist attempt to eliminate their language in the period 1936-75. Ireland as a whole could benefit from that type of approach, out of which has grown the current vogue in Catalonia for the idea that "triar no és trair" (choosing is not a betrayal) and a very positive societal attitude to Catalan/Castilian bilingualism has developed. It would be good to reach a situation in Ireland in which a similar proportion of the population (over 90%) are (happily) bilingual in both the historic language of their ancestors and one of the major world languages: Gaeilge agus Béarla.
A key point in support of this approach is that Gaeilge is currently on the increase in the island as a whole, particularly in the Six Counties, with the historic decline having been recently arrested and to a small extent reversed.
Taking forward this sort of approach would require at least one radical step however; the redefinition of the concept of the Gaelteacht. A policy of linguistic normalisation would effectively define the entire island as Gaelteacht. (I like to see the recent Language Act, underpinned by Ireland's subscription to the European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages as the first small steps on this particular road).
I appreciate that this would potentially appear to be a costly solution, and until Ireland's recent economic boom may have seemed like a less than viable consideration. Nevertheless, the economic benefits of such an approach should not be underestimated. Reaching a situation of positive bilingualism would have to be sold to the "powers that be" in economic terms, but there is plenty of evidence to support that sort of approach from elsewhere in the world.
I'll stop now before I start ranting.
Beir bua agus beannacht!
Chris

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Poncán a Dó (159.134.108.60 - 159.134.108.60)
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Aonghus, your diatribe dovetails beautifully with your recent apology for insulting "na Poncáin" re July 4th. A leopard never changes its spots. Apology number two will not suffice. And while I'm at it, it is obvious you are far from líofa sa Ghaeilge. Get off your high horse before you disgrace yourself again.

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Poncán a hAon (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ó a Phoncáin a 2,

Ná bí chomh iogair sin, le d'thoil! Ní bhíonn Aonghus ach ina fhear uasal agus tá sé soléir go bhfuil grá aige don teanga. Táimíd go léir mar a gceanna sa slí sin.

Síochán linn!

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TSJ (216.120.4.2 - 216.120.4.2)
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

There are many Americans who are genuinely interested in The Irish Language and have a positive attitude towards it.They do not subscribe to the defeatist attitude which, unforntunately is so prevalent among many Irish people. Let's not sell the "poncain" short. They may turn out to be our salvation in the long run.

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Caoimhín O'Cléirigh-Tech Inquiries (Kevin) (141.153.166.141 - 141.153.166.141)
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Judging from the IP addresses of the posts above, I would wager that some posters are taking to using multiple pseudonyms on this board (or at least during this discussion).

While this certainly isn't prohibited, it is bad form.

And while I'm on the subject, "...polite and related to the Irish language." 159.134.108.60, your post fails the first requirement. Further name calling will result in deletion with no further explanation.

Caoimhín

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 04:20 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Rómán
There is a daily languaga Irish newspaper - Lá
see www.nuacht.com

As for what I wrote in Irish, here it is in English in deference to those americans who are not fluent, and who appear to think I have insulted them


Quote:

Is maith is eol dom go bhfuil poncáin atá liofa, agus, gan dabht sasanaigh, lochlannaigh, géarmáinigh, daoine as gach aicme seachas séoníní na hÉireann. Ach bhí an cuir is cuiteamh seo i mBéarla. Agus ní hiad lucht labhartha na Gaeilge a chaithfear a mhealladh chun an teanga a athbheochan, ach lucht an Bhéarla - a chreideann gur déanadh iarracht agus gur theip air. Sí fírinne an scéal nár deanadh iarracht taobh amuigh de dhornán beag díograiseoirí a chuir gaelscoileanna, Radio na Gaeltachta, TnaG, Lá 7 rl ar bun. Is ón bpobal a tháinig chuile iarracht a raibh ráth ar go dtí seo. Ach tá teorainn le fuinneamh dornán beag daoine.




I am well aware that there are americans who are fluent, as well as English, Scandanavians, Germans, people from every type except the West Britons of Ireland. But this discussion was in English. And it is not the speakers of Irish who need to be convinced to revive the language, but the speaker of English, who believe we tried and failed. The truth is that no real attempt was made except by a small group of enthusiasts who founded gaelscoileanna, RnaG, Lá, TG4 etc. Any move which was successful came from the people up to now. But a small group of people has only so much strength.

PS I have no attention for apologising for anything in the above text. And anybody who sees anything insulting in it to anybody other than the West Britons of Ireland is mistaken.

PPS I am well aware that non citizens of Ireland have an important role to play in Revival. Without foreigners like Robin Flower, Carl Marstrander, Thurneysen, Pokonory and so on, there might have been no movement for revival in the last century. And only last night I was at a fortnightly discussion group in Irish in Dublin, the motive force behind which is a Czech who learnt Irish within the last few years.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

PPPS: In case it isn't obvious, I am deeply grateful to anybody who advances or learns Irish, and I don't give a damn where they're from, except out of mild curiosity.

And I apologise to the shade of Julius Pokorny for misspelling his name above.

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BT (216.16.15.66 - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:49 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Aonghus, do keep in mind that at least one of the supposed "poncán" that posted above almost certainly isn't. It appears, based on IP addresses, that "Poncán a Dó" is likely the same individual that posts as "Fear na mBróg". I could be wrong, but based on what I see that's likely the case. That IP certainly doesn't originate out of the US regardless.

I (and I'm sure many others) appreciate your willingness to freely share your knowledge of Irish. Thank you for all you do.

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.242.78 - 213.94.242.78)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post Print Post

LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES

You most certainly are wrong.

Check my IP Address, it originates from Dublin Ireland.

Who the hell are you to accuse me?

According to IP2Location.com:

Poncán a dó: 159.134.108.60 : Ireland : Eircom LTD
Poncán a haon: 24.185.210.123) : USA : OPTIMUM ONLINE

Let's play the game of probability. This site is to do with Gaeilge, the Irish Language. As such, it's very likely that you'll find a lot of people from Ireland at this site. Based upon that, your suggestion that I posted as "Poncán a Dó" is absolutely illfounded.

An American murdered some-one yesterday - it was you.

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.242.78 - 213.94.242.78)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Actually, I have proof that I did not post as "Poncán a Dó". If you look up my IP address, it actually originates from:

NEW YORK NEW YORK UNITED STATES

But then quite oddly, my ISP is listed as EIRCOM LTD.

Eircom is an Irish company, it's name used to be "Telecom Éireann". I have broadband and it's routed through the US somehow, as such my IP Address registers as USA, while my ISP registers as Eircom.

"Poncán a Dó"'s data does not coincide with mine.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

People, please

Assigning the IP address as it appears on the board to an individual is extremely risky, and is best left to the technical people like Caoimhín who have the full server info.

I regret reacting to the probable flame bait from 159.134.108.38 and the follow up about diatribe from 159.134.108.60:

Quote:

Then why are you writing in English, Aonghus? (not Rómán)




Since both of those posts came from the same subnet, they may be the same person. But that is not certain. ISPs assign IP addresses differently to dial up lines, and so on.

It really doesn't matter who posted those comments, they were flame bait, and I'm a sucker for answering them.

Now, if we could get back to discussing the language most of us here love....

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Poncán a Dó (83.71.24.154 - 83.71.24.154)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 12:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"In the context of discussing the language [Gaeilge] most of us here love" could Aonghus please expand upon his following two quotes:

"I dtreo is go mbeidh seoníní, sasanaigh agus poncáin in ann an rud a scríobh mé a leamh".

This is clearly sectarian, offensive and inflammatory language. I see no rebuke from the technical / editorial team posted here.

". . . anybody who sees anything insulting in it to anybody other than the West Britons of Ireland is mistaken."

The term "West Briton" (see above) is a deeply offensive and sectarian term of abuse here in Ireland.

I am interested in whether you can disabuse me of this perception.

In the context of promoting the respect, love, use and spread of the Irish language (Gaeilge), I want to ask the editorial board of this site the following questions:

(1) Are the use of such terms as "seoníní," "sasanaigh agus poncáin," and "West Britons" acceptable in postings where they are clearly meant to offend?

(2) Are American citizens offended by the use of the term "poncán," meaning Yankee?

(3) Are Irish citizens offended by the use of the term "West Briton"? The implication here is that you are deemed to be (by the speaker) somehow less Irish than someone who attempts to speak Gaeilge.

You are incorrect to assume that I have used a previous pseudonym. Have you heard of couples who share the same computer?

I have no problem with you deleting this or my previous posting if you deem it to be irrelevant or offensive to the promotion of the respect, love, use and spread of Gaeilge.

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BT (216.16.15.66 - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 01:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

** Sigh ** It seems the atmosphere around here has turned poisonous recently, and I've now found myself even getting sucked into it. I am at fault as much, or more than, the next person in contributing to it by my earlier posting today.

FnB, I got those looking at the posts here, doing some IP tracing and so on. The correlation between your IP and the IP of the original "Poncán a Dó" posting seemed to me very suspicious. But you're right, I shouldn't have said what I did without 100% certainty, which is almost impossible in most cases. Even then I should have just kept my mouth shut. I sincerely apoligize to you, and to everyone else here, for that. It was unnecessary and I profoundly regret it. This sort of sniping doesn't forward the Irish language cause at all. Again, I apoligize and I hope you will accept it.

I think perhaps some of us (mostly me, but maybe some others too) need to sit back, take a deep breath, and ask ourselves if what we post is "polite and related to the Irish language". My hope is that if we can all follow that, things will get more pleasant here in the very near future.

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Fear na mBróg (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 213.94.244.10
Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 05:19 am:   Edit Post Print Post

BT, while I do believe that your allegation was way way way out of order, nonetheless thank you for the apology. All is well.

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 1
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 04:28 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I do not use Poncán as a term of abuse. I have not seen it used as a term of abuse in most Irish writing. I use it as short hand for american. If there is consensus among americans that it is a term of abuse, I will cease using it. I apologise if I have insulted any american.

Sasanaigh, English people is a statement of fact, not a term of abuse.

I admit seoníní is a term of abuse. I do not use it to refer to non Irish speaking English speakers. It (and West Briton) refers to a minority of vocal Irish citizens who are actively hostile to the Irish language, and Irish culture. In particular, it does not refer to Unionists. It is not a sectarian term. I believe I used it in a fair way in the discussion; however I have already admitted to overreacting to flame bait, and I will try to avoid doing so again.

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post

By the way, many Irish speakers consider the use of "Gaeilge" or "Gaelic", referring to the Irish language when writing in English, to be deeply offensive. They see it as an attempt to suggest that the language is not the original native language of Ireland.

It is a fact that there is a continual, sometimes acrimonious discussion about Irish in both jurisdictions on this island, and that therefore it is almost impossible to express strongly held views (which I admit to having) without apparently or actually offending somebody.

However, I have never written anything to denigrate the efforts of anyone, regardless where they are from, who makes an attempt to learn or advance the Irish language.

And no amount of ad hominem or straw man arguments is going to make me stop expressing my opinion on the revival of Irish.

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 6
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

BTW, to get back to the original discussion, I don't think anybody mentioned the role of emigration in the abandoning of Irish. Up to very recently, a significant number of Irish people were emigrating, usually to english speaking countries.

Therefore many parents believed it was in the best interests of their children to abandon Irish, and speak only english to the children in order to ease their inevitable transition into english speaking societies abroad.

It is only now that we are beginning to see, in Ireland, people actively embrace the kind of bilingualism (or even multilingualism) that has been standard for centuries in Scandanavia.

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Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 12:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I agree. Immigration was probably the reasone English almost completely replaced Irish. Before the immigration wave started Irish held its own quite well, as did both Welsh and Gaelic. Only after the immigration to the US or to England started were these three Celtic languages rapidly replaced by English in most of their former areas.

When discussing Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh it is sometimes said that Welsh has been succesfull. I couldn't disagree more strongly, I find that idea absurd put into a European perspective. Compared to other European languages in similar situations, Welsh has fared slightly worse than the average while Irish and Scottish Gaelic are to be found very near the bottom of the list.

The Slovenes spent more years under Austrian rule than did Ireland under English. The Slovenian language were never so strong as the Irish was, neither in number of speakers nor in literature, untill the very end of the 19th century. Yet Slovenian survived splendidly, today it is the sole national language of Slovenia and an official EU-language. Most importantly, it is the language of all Slovenes.

Finland came under Sweden and Russia about the same time as Ireland under England. Finland and Ireland also became independent about the same time. Finnish is spoken by almost 5.500.000 people, is the language of 95% of all Finns and a national EU language.

The list could be much longer: Bulgarian, Rumanian, Albanian and Greece under Turkey; Czech, Slovak and Hungarian under Austria.

Unfortunately Irish fared worse than most and - as Aonghus says - the importance of English in the countris to which the Irish immigrated is probably the most crucial factor.

By the way: Aonghus, would you tell this Scandinavian what kind of bilingualism has been standard for centuries in Scandinavia?

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 7
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I thought that most scandanavians have been able to speak at least one of the other scandanavian languages as well as there own for centuries. I realise this is an oversimplification, since the languages whose root is Norse are all very similar anyway; I was thinking more of the Finns, who generally speak (today) at least Swedish and Finnish.

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Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 10
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 05:33 am:   Edit Post Print Post

If only it was true!! But no, you think too highly of us, a chara. Almost no native speaker of Swedish, Danish or Norweigian can speak any of the two other languages. The reason is that we don't need to know them. I can talk with someone speaking Norweigian or Danish without any problem; I understand them and they understand me. For that reason we never learn each others' languages.

In theory, everyone in Finland should be able to speak Finnish and Swedish. Just like everyone in Ireland should speak Irish and English. The situation is almost identical; all Finnish-speakers learn Swedish in school - some learn it very well indeed but the overwhelming majority could speak a sentence five years after leaving school. Just as in Ireland. Almost all Swedish-speaking Finns speak Finnish though.
(Note that a Swedish-speaking Finn does not denote someone who speaks Swedish - it denotes Finns whose native language is Swedish.)

These days most Scandinavians speak English but that is a rather recent development. My grandparents don't speak a single word of English. I'd say that you're right that Scandinavia is amongst the most bilingual countries in Europe in the sense that almost everyone under 50 speak their native language and English (at least) but this trend only started some 30 years ago.

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 10
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 07:50 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Oh well. Perhaps I should have picked Africa or India. The point I was trying to make is that bi- or even multilingualism is the norm in most of the world; and that people who come from a country which is mostly monoglot are really the exception.

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James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 03:02 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Oh, what a difference the context makes!

I take no offense at the term "Yank" when delivered by someone from Ireland, england or any other European country. But, if you're from the U.S. and you call me a Yank, well....them's fightin' words!

Europeans use it to denote American and it is most assuredly a hold-over term from WWI or WWII.

In the southern U.S. it's a term reserved for a particularly annoying, obnoxious and otherwise aggravating person from the northeastern states!

Now...having said that and before the American version of sectarianism begins to fly about...I married a girl from "up there" and she's anything but a "Yankee!"

Now, with regards to monoglotism...I couldn't agree more with Aonghus. I was amazed at how many "backwards" (that word is in quotations for a reason) third world Africans speak two, three and even four languages. In Kenya, for example it is not uncommon for a child to speak his mother tongue (Kikuyiu, Masai, or Somali to name just a few), Swahili and English and even some Arabic. And then, here we sit in what is perhaps the most terminally monoglotic nation (America) and our school kids graduate high school and can't even speak english!!!!

It causes me to question who is actually the "backwards" one in the bunch!!

I have found in my travels that just the attempt to speak the native language will open many doors that would otherwise be closed. It can gain you entry and give you a glimpse of the real culture of a people rather than that view only reserved for tourists.

Oddly though, I've found the Irish to be less receptive to my attempts to speak as gaeilge. Perhaps it has to do with the previous (and perhaps persistent) status of Irish as a second class language...then again perhaps not. Perhaps it is more personal. I remember a couple of years back we had a young lady who looked at Irish as "her" language and took some offense to those of us "non-Irish" who were attempting to learn it. She has since re-posted and changed her view but it gives me pause to ponder if there isn't just such and attitude lying below the surface amongst not just a few Irish speakers.

For example, just a month or so ago I was in Rhode Island and met a young man working in a pub who was unmistakably from Ireland. When I attempted to engage him in an Irish conversation the only response I got was "was that supposed to be Irish?" Now, I know my pronunciation is bad, but it's not THAT bad! I've had the same reaction more than once from Irish born whom I've encountered here in America.

It actually has me a bit reluctant to try on my next trip to Ireland. One must understand that attempting to speak a language that is not your native tongue is an initimidating venture. One sure way to guarantee that it won't be tried atgain is to rebuke or otherwise intimidate the novice in his or her attempts.

One could probably argue rather successfully that this is a significant contributing factor to the current state of Irish. When the poor school kid tried to speak it in school the inevitable mistake was met with a harsh rebuke (if we are to believe all we've heard about the Nun's and Christian Brothers). When the poor child tried to speak it on the street he/she was ridiculed for speaking the "poor man's language". What incentive was there to learn? And, what incentive is there to learn today other than the pure academic advancement of a dying language?

Don't get me wrong...I love the language and I love my visits to Ireland. I harbor no illusions of ever being accepted by the gaeilgoiri (check that spelling) as anything other than a "yank" who has taken up a study. But, it would be nice to get some positive feedback for my efforts from the native crowd (those on this site being the exceptions!).

I guess what I'm asking is, genrally speaking...."is there an acceptance among the native speakers for those of us non-Irish born who are making the attempt and if so, ....is that acceptance equal to the acceptance of an Irish born non-native speaker who is making the same attempt?


These are academic questions, really...I'm just curious as to how "we" are perceived by the Irish and what the general attitude is toward our efforts.

I'm also interested in how this might change across age groups.

Fear na mBrog and his friends may have a different view from that of Aonghus and his friends....

Sorry for the long post...my mind just kind of ran away with me!

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OCG (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 82.69.43.131
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 08:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James,

the churl you met in the Rhode Island bar probably only knew a liitle bit of school Irish and didn't want to be showed up as being ignorant of what is supposed to be his native tongue.

You'll get a lot of that in Ireland, people would ather be rude than admit they cannot speak Irish.

We really are a screwed up race.

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TSJ (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 216.120.4.128
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 02:02 am:   Edit Post Print Post

James and OCG: I am a non-native Irish speaker born and reared in Ireland who is familiar with the experiences which you both describe in your very interesting posts. I have no idea how this situation can be remedied. Any suggestions?

On the subject of the word "Yank", I saw a program on television some years ago where an American was being interviewed about a trip he had recently made to Ireland. He said he liked the country but that there was one thing that puzzled him. Why, he asked, did everyone in Ireland refer to him as a "Yank"? He then stated very firmly but politely that he was not a "Yankee" but a catholic. Does this mean that in Boston only protestants are considered "Yankees" and catholics are not? Are they not all northerners?

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TSJ (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 216.120.4.128
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 02:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

OOps! I ommited to mention that the American who was being interviewed on television was an Irish-American from Boston. Sorry!!!

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 12
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 04:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

James, take heart

If you go to a strong Gaeltacht area - west of Dingle town, Inis Méain or Inis Óir of the Aran Islands etc. you will most likely be welcomed.

In borderline areas, and outside the gaeltacht things may be different. Even among Irish speakers there will be different reactions - those you will feel the need to jump in and correct every error, those who will bear with a learner, etc..

As regards the "ownership" of Irish, I don't believe any native speaker, and most fluent speakers would have the view that "the Irish language is for Irish people only".

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Aonghus
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Post Number: 16
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 07:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

BTW James, should you be on the East coast of Ireland on one of your trips, do let me know! Perhaps we could meet, and I could introduce you to some Gaeilgeoirí! (But otherwise, I'd recommend staying west of the Shannon)

PS: "Gaeilgeoirí", in the Gaeltacht, is generally used to refer to people who have come to the area to learn Irish! And the title of a sarcastic and funny play by (Forgotten the man's name)

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So Confused! (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 24.185.210.123
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 08:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm a NY'er. In the US I'm not considered a Yankee except to people from the South. They consider anyone North of the Mason Dixon line to be Yankees.


A Yankee in the New England states refers to one of the old stock (which certainly did not include Irish Catholics). Mark Twain wrote "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."

But in Ireland we are all Yanks.

Talk about an identity crisis.

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Aonghus
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Post Number: 20
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Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 04:10 am:   Edit Post Print Post

From Ambrose Bierce, The Devils Dictionary


quote:

YANKEE, n.
In Europe, an American. In the Northern States of our Union, a New Englander. In the Southern States the word is unknown. (See DAMNYANK.)




Not a new problem, then.

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Pádraig (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 168.9.250.3
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:24 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Aonghus, a chara,


quote:
YANKEE, n.
In Europe, an American. In the Northern States of our Union, a New Englander. In the Southern States the word is unknown. (See DAMNYANK.)

Mr. Bierce's humor might be lost outside the U.S. as regards the use of Yankee south of the Mason-Dixon. He's alluding to the supposition that a southerner cannot refer to a northerner (Yankee) without attaching the prefix, damn.

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Aonghus
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Post Number: 23
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Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Not lost on this European....

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Jonas
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Post Number: 378
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Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

This European too is rather sure very few Europeans would fail to understand it.

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James
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Post Number: 3
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Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 07:31 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

To be more specific, in the southern U.S. a Yankee is someone from above the Mason Dixon line who has ventured south....a Damn Yankeee is one who has chosen to stay!

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Aonghus
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Post Number: 29
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Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 06:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post

From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company, via http://www.dictionary.com


quote:

Word History: The origin of Yankee has been the subject of much debate, but the most likely source is the Dutch name Janke, meaning “little Jan” or “little John,” a nickname that dates back to the 1680s. Perhaps because it was used as the name of pirates, the name Yankee came to be used as a term of contempt. It was used this way in the 1750s by General James Wolfe, the British general who secured British domination of North America by defeating the French at Quebec. The name may have been applied to New Englanders as an extension of an original use referring to Dutch settlers living along the Hudson River. Whatever the reason, Yankee is first recorded in 1765 as a name for an inhabitant of New England. The first recorded use of the term by the British to refer to Americans in general appears in the 1780s, in a letter by Lord Horatio Nelson, no less. Around the same time it began to be abbreviated to Yank. During the American Revolution, American soldiers adopted this term of derision as a term of national pride. The derisive use nonetheless remained alive and even intensified in the South during the Civil War, when it referred not to all Americans but to those loyal to the Union. Now the term carries less emotion - except of course for baseball fans.



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Gearóid Ó Ceallaigh (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 24.188.115.178
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi Rex,
Back to your question of why/how the English language established itself so predominantly in Ireland. A very good book which examines this issue carefully is THE GREAT SILENCE by Seán de Fréine (Mercier Press, Dublin/Cork, 1965, 1978, etc.) Not only does it examine exactly how Irish was replaced by English to the extent it has but, I personally think, it offers the same roadmap for how to replace English with Irish. For example, one of the book's insights is that an important/essential language is used for important/essential things. Conversely, an unimportant/non-essential language is not used for important/essential things. In other words, like any other tool, no language in and of itself is important or non-important. It depends solely upon what it's used for. If you don't use it, it's useless. If you do use it, it's useful at least to some degree. If you use it for the most important functions, it's important/essential. If you can prevent a language from being used for important/essential things (like Church, Parliament, Courts, Trade, etc.), then you can make it unimportant, non-essential, dispensable. I.E., you can get rid of it. You can even convince the People themselves to get rid of it, which is what happend in "The Great Silence", the generation following The Great Hunger. But if you can force a language back into an essential role in the seats of importance/power like the courts, government, and commerce, as the Irish are doing now with their recent Equality Of Language Act (I think that's the right name for it - friends, correct me please), then you can re-establish that language and its usefulness/importance while weakening the grip of the alternative language.

We use this theory (i.e., the language is important if it's used for important things) in our advanced workshops at Scoil Ghaeilge Ghearóid Tóibín. For example, one of our research areas is an examination of how the Irish language and Irish literature has been essential in shaping European and world history. An exaggeration? Not really. For example, would the 15th and 16th century "Age Of Discovery" have occurred when and how it did without the medieval Irish Imráma ('Voyage') genre and its tales of Tír Bhreasail, or as the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and English called it, Brazil?

Hope that's helpful. - Gearóid

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Dáithí
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Username: Dáithí

Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 08:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James a chara,

You seem to be forgetting your Southern manners. I don't think it's fair for you to display your antipathy for people from the Northeast by referring to them as "damn" simply because they move to the South. The U.S. has unfortunately had its share of hateful persons applying vulgar and demeaning terms to our fellow countrymen, but it doesn't make it right! I think you owe the Yankees who participate in this board an apology.
You talk about marrying a girl from "up there," and how she's anything but a Yankee. I assume you mean she's nice and that she's not obnoxious as you contend Yankees to be. Well, I'm glad you're happily married, but I'm offended by your stereotyping of Yankees as obnoxious! Sounds like you've got some deeply entrenched prejudices that you need to get rid of.

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James
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Post Number: 10
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Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Dhaiti:

Tá brón orm, mo chara agus mo chairde. It was not my intent to offend. Quite the contrary, I was poking a bit of fun at the way we Southerners tend to get "riled" up over an issue that has long since been put to bed! There is an old standing joke in the deep south about the difference between a Yankee and a "damn" Yankee....you already know the punch-line. As I said, my intent was not to offend but to engage in a bit of self deprecation.

Not to belabor the point, but I DID marry a most amazing girl from "up there." (Of course she was born in the "Holy City" of Charleston, SC but we won't open that can of worms!) I have no issue with the north or northerners (American or Irish, for that matter).

Please accept my apology for any fautly communication on my part. I was attempting to illustrate the importance of context. When a European calls me a Yank, it's actually kind of neat. It calls back to the WWI and WWII era. When a fellow southerner calls me a Yankee, it's a pretty good bet he's just kidding around and wants to deliver a thinly veiled but good natured "insult". An insult that really isn't, if you will.

Again, I offer my most sincere apologies to any and all who may have taken offense.

Le meas,

James

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(Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 64.12.116.142
Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 02:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James a chara,

Your apology is accepted. It's good to know that your earlier remarks were just poking fun.

Le meas,

Dáithí

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shay (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 136.206.1.17
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:33 am:   Edit Post Print Post

dia dhuit rex
I havent read all the posting above cause alot seem to have gone off the point
some of the main reason that english replaced irish are as follows:
stanley education bill in 1831(not 100% sure thats the exact year) put a ban on irish being thought in schools
the famine was one of the main reasons, many fluent speakers left ireland and irish became associated with poverty and suffering and people began to speak english instead
Polictics were now through english, u needed english to get most jobs and people began to learn that instead of irish
magizines,books etc in irish became hard to find
and daniel o connell played a role too - when fighting for catholic emancipation he encouraged his followers to speak english and not irish (even tho he was a fluent irish speaker)

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Pádraig (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 168.9.250.3
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I believe the "James" of the damyankee interchange is the same James from the Carolina Piedmont who has been a part of this board for several years now with several ups and downs and a few comings and goings.

I just wanted to note that that particular Seamus has the tenacity of a pit bull and that over time his Irtish has steadily improved. I note this to affirm that this forum works, especially if you work it.

Fáilte, a chara.

PAT

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James
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Username: James

Post Number: 11
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 09:49 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Phadraig:

Ceart go leor, is mise. Táim anseo, fós!

You are correct, though. It has been with ups and downs but I find your assessement/advice regarding this site to be quite sound. It is equally applicable to any difficult, stressful or emotionally charged situation...work the problem, don't let the problem work you.

Work this site, don't let this site work you! This remains, beyond comparison, the best asset I have found for learning this language. If it weren't for the stalwarts such as yourself, Aonghus, Caoimhín and many others, I would have given up on this grammatical conundrum called Irish a long, long time ago.

It is good to be back!

Le meas,

James

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Des (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 64.119.36.219
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 02:34 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Paul,

Getting back to your earlier post...

20 yrs ago my uncle, a priest of Armagh, was arrested and spent a night in jail for not providing an English translation of his name as shown on his UK license (Pol McSean). Don't know what it's like there today.

Des Johnston
(PS - sorry this is so far out of sync with all the previous)

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Roy (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 156.153.255.134
Posted on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 09:26 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Regarding being monogloth,
as far as I can see, is in many parts of Europe, being the exception rather then the rule. I work in a multinational environment, and we have bilingual Swedish/Finnish-speakers, Belgian French/Flamish-speakers, Swiss French/German-speakers, and i.e. I, who is a native Norwegianspeaker, and due to that able to speak Swedish as well. And, as some mentioned, the Czechues who can understand German if necessary, the Lithuanians who can understand Russian and also Polish if needed.
Especially in Russia are there good examples to follow in the Nortwest regions, where the Finnish-Ugrian nationalities like the Carelians and the Komis, have retained their native languages during the Soviet era.

So, being a monogloth is in most parts of Europe rather a rear exception rather then the rule, and I think the success of the revival attempts of the Irish language is more dependant on the attitudes and the genuine interest of those wishing to learn it to themselves and their children, than official measures taken, although not of insignificant value to the support of the language.

regards
Roy

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 423
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 04:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Roy, the Soviet era nearly killed off the Carelian language altogether - in 1917 Carelia was almost completely Carelian-speaking but today it is only spoken by a minority of the Carelians. I don't wish the Carelian's fate upon any nation...

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Roy (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 156.153.255.134
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:06 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well,
due to this statistics, is the language rate among natives at 68%, but of course statistics can be misleading:

http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=KRL

However, during the Soviet era was things a little complicated: At least in theory, every nationality was entitled right to get education and training in their native tongue, but this was very fluctuating in real life. In post-Soviet, however, have i.e. Carelia both Carelian newspapers and radiostations, so I slighty believe that these languages are slowly recovering.

However, since this is an Irish board, let's stick to the Irish issue:
much of the discussion reminds me about the language policy at home, where the goverment has decided that all pupils have to learn two forms of Norwegian language: One main standard form, and one side standard form of the written language. Those who live in the areas where the main standard form is most popular, have no interest in the side form, they only do it because it is compulsory, and after exam, they stick to the main written form.

That resembles to me much to the situation in the English-speaking parts of Ireland, the pupils study it only because they must, without genuine interest, and does not use it at all outside classrom.
So, imposing it on people is maybe not a good ide, as this creates a reluctance against it.
Wouldn't it be wiser to let those who wish it, receive classes in the subject, while those who isn't interested, are allowed to let go?

regards
Roy

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 63
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:26 am:   Edit Post Print Post

...some-one misunderstands youth.

Back when I was 13, if some-one said to me that I didn't have to go to class, I would'nt have gone to ANY of them!

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Diarmo
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Username: Diarmo

Post Number: 27
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:58 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Why doesnt that surprise us! ;)

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 65
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 09:37 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I don't know, why doesn't it?

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Natalie
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Username: Natalie

Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 06:56 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Do you mean like immersion because though I agree with Fear na mbróg about nobody going to classes if they don't have to (I know, I'm 16! Today was the first day back to school and I'm already sick of it!), some kids would be interested in taking immersion (if they do it the way they do it here in Canada which is tell us we'll need it later in life anyway!). Just, because I don't live in Ireland, I'm going to make the venture of asking how those types of classes are run anyway. Do students only need to take one class of Irish Language a day if they're in English Schools or are they given the oppurtunity of Immersion? How exactly do classes work over there?

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 69
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 04:11 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well when I was in secondary school (the equivalent of America's High School), I had one 40 minute class of Irish each day, Monday to Friday. Then in my last two years of secondary school, one of those classes became a double class = 80 mins. There's no talk of immersion whatsoever.

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Natalie
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Username: Natalie

Post Number: 6
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Oh. We have Core French which is like that sort of and they understand no french whatsoever so thats a waste of their time (or at least the kids from my school don't). I'm in a immersion which can start in first grade or sixth grade (the one I took) where every one of our classes are in french except English of course. The French classes slowly disappear (now I'm in math and sciences and such, and they're all in english). There really should be immersion in Ireland because I learnt more french in that first year of immersion than I ever did in 5 years of elementary school.

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Natalie
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Username: Natalie

Post Number: 7
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:53 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

By the way, I got the oppurtunity to speak a little bit of Irish in school today. I only said what my name was and where I lived but we were doing a treasure hunt in groups where you had to be or have something within the group to complete it and one of the things was having someone who could say those things in another language. Lol, I was very proud. :)

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 76
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 04:34 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well we have "Gaelscoileanna" in Ireland, (singular: Gaelscoil). In these schools everything is done through Irish, you're actually not allowed speak English on the school grounds, except for in English class. There's teachers in there of all dialects, as is there students. So in the one day you'll hear "níor chuaigh", "ar an bhord", "go ndeachaigh", "go dtáinig", "dhúnas".

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Natalie
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Username: Natalie

Post Number: 8
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 04:49 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Well that's good but not if you don't know Irish, I guess. Still, it's better than nothing.

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 86
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 02:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

You're allowed join into 1st year without Irish, I believe. At that stage they'll let you use english words if you don't know the Irish ones, like:

D'fhág mé mo... superficial anterior damage stipulator... sa bhaile.

But then once you get past 1st year it's Gaeilge amháin!

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Diarmuid (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 220.253.29.37
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 05:30 am:   Edit Post Print Post

(Completely off the topic) I havent been at this site for that long but i reckon this thread must be some sort of record. 99 posts is the most ive ever seen for a single topic. sorry just thought id let u know what i thought!

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 432
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:22 am:   Edit Post Print Post

(Equally off the topic) No, there are quite a lot of discussions with well over 100 posts in the archive.

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Fóidín (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 82.69.43.128
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dá fháda an snáth, tagann an focal deireanach.

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Aonghus
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Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 141
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 04:18 am:   Edit Post Print Post

go deas. Ach an fíor?

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Fóidín (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 82.69.43.128
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 01:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

N'fheadar.



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