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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (October-December) » Archive through October 13, 2004 » How widely spoken is Irish... « Previous Next »

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Robert A. Campbell (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 62.252.64.13
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 05:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

As I will be working in (Co Clare) Ireland by next year. When in a foreign country I have found it a polite gesture to make an effort and be able to speak at least some of the local language. To this end I am starting to learn.
However, I am wondering how widely spoken the Irish language is and will anyone understand me. Should I just stick with English.
Any feedback on this is welcome. Thanks...

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Aonghus
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Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 249
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

There is no Gaeltacht (Irish speaking community) in Clare. However, there are speakers of Irish, who will welcome your efforts.

But you will be able to do business anywhere in Ireland only speaking English (which is all many Irish people can speak)

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 168
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:56 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Here's a few phrases for you:

Thank you = Go raibh maith agat
Please = Le do thoil
Goodbye = Slán (or... if you're leaving, "slán agat", and if they're leaving, "slán leat".) "Slán" is grand by itself though.
Excuse me = Gabh mo leithscéal


If there were an Irish for "Hello", it would be "Dia dhuit", which would translate as "God be with you". I myself don't use this phrase as I'm ambivalent to religion, I prefer to just say "Hello"... some people even go as far as to spell it "Heileo"!

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Lúcas
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Username: Lúcas

Post Number: 18
Registered: 01-2004


Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

You could also hear some basic Irish phrases at http://www.daltai.com/phrases.htm spoken by a native speaker.

Mise le meas,

Lúcas

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 480
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Actually, County Clare is the Irish county with the highest percentage of people reporthing themselves as being able to speak Irish - well over 50%. In practice, due to the lack of a Gaeltacht area in Clare (though there used to be one), there are many counties in which Irish is more widely spoken. In most places in Clare you are unlikely to hear much Irish.

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Tomás (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 198.22.236.230
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 04:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Jonas is correct. Certainly there are the Gaeltacht areas where one stands a far better chance of encountering Irish than in Clare, but the coastal area of Clare, particularly to the north of Lahinch is thick with closet fluent Irish speakers, particularly among the older people. The demise of parts of Clare as Gaeltachtai, as with parts of Tippperary, was a fairly recent phenomenon. Within the last 50 years or so. There was and is a great deal of commerce and interaction along the Clare coast with people from Cois Fharraige and the Aran Islands. A short while before he died in that car crash, I heard Micho Russell talking about how they always spoke Irish while working in the fields, cutting turf and when fishing -- particularly fishing, but the minute they hit the road home from the fields or the bogs or came ashore, they would switch back to English. I have heard and participated in many a conversation with locals 'as Gaeilge' on visits to Doolin, Liosdoonvarna, Spanish Point and elsewhere in Clare. Here in the States, I have a friend from Clare for whom Irish was the first language of her household. She is in her forties and maintains that in her area there were several Irish-speaking families when she was growing up, remnants of the Gaeltacht that was.

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Pádraig
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Username: Pádraig

Post Number: 31
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I heard Liam ó Cuinneagáin tell this story when he spoke at Young Harris College in Georgia:

"I was standing by the roadside in Glenn Cholmcille watching two men approach along the road. They we speaking in Irish. When they noticed me, one said to the other in Irish, 'we had better stop speaking Irish and change to English.'" Liam had no explanation other than to say he believes this happens a lot.

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Ciaran
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Username: Ciaran

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 08:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Uair amháin, léigh mé nó chuala mé áit éigin go raibh an teanga gaeilge 'regarded as at some stage of our history as' teanga abhí á usaid ag daoine bocht sa tir seo agus b’fhéidir go bhfuil sé seo an fath a tharlíonn an rud sin,

Some time ago,I read or saw somewhere that the irish language was regarded as a language spoken only by poor people, maybe this is why this happens or happened..as in people didn't like to be heard speaking it. I can't imagine or at least hope that this is no longer the case. I feel somewhat ashamed that I can't speak or write the language fluently but I'm working on it,
Ciarán

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Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 171
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 08:03 am:   Edit Post Print Post

"a bhí" = 2 words, unlike "atá". . . although maybe that was just a typo by you?

b'fhéidir gurb é seo an fath...

You're defining something, use "is".

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Ciaran
Member
Username: Ciaran

Post Number: 8
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 09:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agat a fhear_na_mbróg,

Ciarán



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