mainoff.gif
lastdyoff.gif
lastwkoff.gif
treeoff.gif
searchoff.gif
helpoff.gif
contactoff.gif
creditsoff.gif
homeoff.gif


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 2005- » 2007 (March-April) » Archive through April 21, 2007 » 1,656,790 « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 914
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 11:38 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

That's how many people have some Irish according to the Irish Census 2006. That's 41.9%.

72,148 go laethúil

102,861 go seachtainiúil

581,574 níos lú ná uair sa tseachtain

412,846 riamh.

So although there's been a rise of 84,000 the % has actually fallen. The vast influx of immigrants from eastern europe is seen as the main factor.

The trends continue.. the Gaeltachtaí get still weaker, the galltachtaí stronger in numbers but overall percentages fall..

Tuairim ag éinne?

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 915
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 11:40 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Scéal le léamh anseo ; http://www.nuacht.com/home.tvt?_scope=La/Content/Nuacht&id=2669&psv=1

Eagarfhocal Lá Nua bunaithe ar seo freisin.

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 110
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 02:11 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I can see this being one of those topics that goes round and round, but in truth...that's exactly what is happening.

While it is true that Ireland has received a major influx of minorities from all over these past few years, they are not, and can not even be considered in my opinion, as part of the problem with the current status of the Irish language. Only Ireland can stand trial here...if Ireland and her people really wanted to bring the language back, no amount of immigrants could stop them. One has to remember that while immigrants usually have their voices heard, they are not the determining voice.

While the numbers of Irish speakers is increasing as the overall population increases...the number of native, fluent, or advanced speakers is actually falling because less and less people speaking it.

I have a hard time accepting the census and its numbers. This was brought up a few months ago in another thread, but I cannot help but agree with the original post that the numbers are not accurate and a new strategy must be found to get a better status of the language.

I emailed the CSO a week or two ago and received a reply from Aidan Punch who is the senior statistician for the population census section...this was his reply:

"In defense of the question on the Irish language, it should be borne in mind that all questions on a census of population form must of necessity be somewhat crude. The scope for refinement in a questionnaire completed
by members of the public is somewhat limited. In this regard a question on language competence (Can you speak Irish? Yes or No) is even more difficult. And yet the results obtained from such a question are remarkably stable over time when analyzed by age, sex, level of education etc. (see www.cso.ie for last week's release of 2006 census results).

Another point to be borne in mind in relation to question changes is that what appear to be small changes can sometimes cause major continuities. An example is the question on frequency of speaking the Irish language. The categories used in 1996 and 2002 (for those who answer Yes to the question on ability to speak Irish) were daily, weekly, less often and never. It was decided to change the daily category to daily within the education system and daily outside the education system. This gave rise to a discontinuity compared with the results of 1996 and 2002.

At present we have no plans to change the Irish language question further. We will be consulting with the public in relation to questionnaire content for Census 2011 in due course and will test any proposed question changes in a pilot study before deciding whether to adopt them or not. Any proposed question changes or additions will have to take account of pressure of space on the census form and the need to find a balance between changing a question wording and maintaining continuity with the results of previous censuses.

We would welcome you views as part of this consultative process..."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Riona
Member
Username: Riona

Post Number: 1091
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 05:09 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

This is depressing as usual, especially as these numbers are inflated due to inaccurate forms of questioning as Do Chinniuint points out. Are their ever questions about native speakers, learners etc.? GRMA anyway a Dhomhnail, even though its depressing we should know what is being said and what is being found.

Beir bua agus beannacht

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 111
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 11:05 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I think we must be fair to the people at the CSO...they have to do a pretty complicated thing.

However, I am not sure how I feel about them not wanting to make a change based off the concept of discontinuity. That's like saying..."we know there is a problem, but if we fix it...then everyone will be able to see there was a problem to begin with."

People both scholar and non have pretty much proven that the numbers are just not correct, yet the extremely high numbers found in the census are being used as a tool for both positive and negative PR.

Discontinuity aside for a second...the arguement that they can't make refinements because of the limitations doesn't hold up either. In terms of space and printing it would be more space efficient and cost advantageous to go from "Can you speak Irish?" to "Do you speak Irish?"

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Riona
Member
Username: Riona

Post Number: 1092
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 12:29 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Ta an ceart agat a Dho Chinniuint. They're just too lazy to fix it, a common problem for government officials around the world. The attitude that was displayed in the response to your e-mail was concerning. I think that they just don't care and those who do care don't have enough power to make it happen.

Beir bua agus beannacht

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 920
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 04:22 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I didn't say they were part of the problem!
I was just citing that it is immigrants who are pushing the population up and considering they can't speak Irish it is as a result of them that the % falls even though the number of Gaeilgeoirí rises. Sin an méid.

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 920
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 04:22 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I didn't say they were part of the problem!
I was just citing that it is immigrants who are pushing the population up and considering they can't speak Irish it is as a result of them that the % falls even though the number of Gaeilgeoirí rises. Sin an méid.

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 112
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 07:16 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Dhomhnall...

I wasn't implying that you did. I was just saying that it is not fair to point fingers at any external group for the current status of the language which is without question an internal matter.

As for the current influx of immigration to Ireland, I think it will taper down a bit in the next few years. The major increase was in my opinion, a direct result of the Celtic Tiger where the people were just following the money. Those coming from the Middle East are the most recent influx thanks to the recent hostilities, but they are not nearly as large a number as people may think.

Another thing I have noticed is that European, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures do try to assimiliate to a large degree into the areas they move to when it comes to language and the local customs. Granted they strive to maintain theirs, but they also learn to accept others. If Ireland decided to go "all Irish" so would they. They might speak their native tongues in the household, but they would learn Irish right beside any Irish person too.

But Domhnall is correct, the more people speaking something else in Ireland means that there are less people speaking Irish.

I would just like a little clarity on the numbers...I have a hard time accepting, and understanding how the educated masses accept, a range as big as 40,000-1,600,000 speakers.

Seriously now, in what other instances do we allow such ranges?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Suaimhneas
Member
Username: Suaimhneas

Post Number: 254
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 09:03 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Riona says "They're just too lazy to fix it, a common problem for government officials around the world."

We can't blame the CSO for the weakness of the Irish language - that's shooting the messenger.

I firmly believe that the problem lies in our own ambivalence towards tha language. For example, I am in habit of saying slán instead of goodbye, particularly on the telephone. If I wanted to, I could therefore claim that I use the langauage on a daily basis. This would be disingenuous - I don't use the language on a daily basis. In fact I only really use from time to time conversing with my wife and daughter - and then only in snatches.

I have some professional knowledge of statistics and questionnaire design. In the context of the Census we are never going to design questions that give an accurate picture - particularly if many respondents are going to be disingenuous if not dishonest in their response

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 113
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 09:41 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Suaimhneas,

I will agree that it is hard to design good questions, especially with a mass group where less than accurate answers are generally given...but if the purposes of the question is to find out how many people in Ireland speak Irish and to what frequency they speak it (which is the purpose of question 12)...is "can" the correct word to be using?

I have only a statistics course I took my first year at university...so I am in no way an expert on this, but I seem to remember our instructor stressing that the accuracy of our numbers are only going to be as good as the accuracy of the questions being asked in a survey which we did several of during the course.

In fact, there was a whole section in our book about ways of avoiding the word "can" because of its tendency to cause people to create both intentional and unintentional fallacies when answering.

Also if you look in the other sections of the Irish census, how many times do they use the word "can?" They don't!

I find this odd...not like conspiracy odd...but odd that people who are suppose to be experts on the gathering of statistical information would allow such a thing, or that they can't come up with a better question to get better answers, or that they are willing to admit that it is really vague but are not willing to do anything about it...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

gaillimhabu (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 83.70.38.114
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 09:53 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

These are the figures we should be concerned about.

People in the Gaeltacht who speak Irish daily outside the education system:

GaeilgeEnglish
Gaillimh7,78227,94936.9%
Dún na nGall5,85116,90941.5%
Ciarraí 1,8106,17039.4%
Maigh Eo 1,0315,82222.9%
Corcaigh 6222,86031.2%
Port Láirge3041,24236.8%
21397635.6%
TOTAL17,61361,92836.8%


http://www.cso.ie/census/documents/PDR%202006%20Tables%2031-40.pdf

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 923
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 12:06 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

17,613 - Scary.

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Riona
Member
Username: Riona

Post Number: 1093
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 07:52 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Shuaimhneais a chara

I meant that the census people were being lazy about changing the questions, not that they were in some way responsible for the over-all lack of Irish in the population.

The above figures are indeed very concerning.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

BRN (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.134.220.108
Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 05:36 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

How about: an labhraíonn tú/sibh /labhraítear i nGaeilc (go laethúil, go seachtainiúil srl)

You might cut down on the numbers if it were asked in Gaelic alone

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 926
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 10:51 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

That would be next to nothing...

Sad but true.

Caithfidh muid bheith dóchasach agus gníomhach agus muid i mbun athbheochan!

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 931
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 08:05 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

An raibh freagra ag O'Cuív mar gheall ar seo?

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fionnskie
Member
Username: Fionnskie

Post Number: 11
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 04:57 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Those statistics are still falling. The new ones were in the foinse last week and are now in the the thread about Tory Island.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 937
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 05:26 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

An cheist atá ann ná - an féidir athrú a chur ar an scéal?

Más féidir, conas is féidir é a dhéanamh?
Agus cé a dhéanfaidh é?


Mo thuairim féin ná gur féidir athrú a chur ar an scéal..
Is féidir é a dhéanamh trí - cur chun cinn na gaelscolaíocht
- Ollscoil Gaeilge a bhunú i gceann des na Gaeltachtaí
- Tuilleadh cabhair a chur ar fáil d'fhiontraithe ag cur gnólachtaí/seirbhísí ar bun sna Gaeltachtaí..

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 1469
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 08:55 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

These surveys always have and always will be bullshit because people lie when they're ashamed or embarassed. How many households do you think sit down with their census form a think "hmm... I'm not putting down that I don't know Irish". They might know that a table is a "mord" (ha!) and that a dog is a "madra", but they may aswell be listening to Japanese when they turn on TG4.

-- Fáilte Roimh Cheartú --
Mura mbíonn téarma Gaeilge agaibh ar rud éigin, bígí cruthaitheach! Ná téigí i muinín focail Bhéarla a úsáid, údar truaillithe é sin dod chuid cainte.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Tríona (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 75.82.133.105
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 10:07 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Tá sé mar an gcéanna domsa ☺

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Antaine
Member
Username: Antaine

Post Number: 1044
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 10:16 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

perhaps the questions should be:

How well do you understand the Irish spoken on TG4
a) not at all b) a few words and phrases
c)most of what is said d) I understand all/almost all of it



Outside of the classroom setting, how frequently do you use Irish in conversation for more than occasional words or phrases (conversing in Irish)
a) I have a conversation in Irish at least once each day
b) I have a conversation in Irish every couple days on average
c) I have a conversation in Irish about once per week on average
d) I converse in Irish less than once per week on average


I don't mean that facetiously, I personally use RnaG and TG4 as a benchmark for judging my own competence. Perhaps the radio would be better in the question, no chance of catching a subtitled show and saying, "yeah, well, i sorta knew that"

Then once we've determined who CAN speak irish, we need to figure out how often they DO

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 942
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 12:04 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

That 1st question is good, but not specifically related to tg4..

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 116
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 12:33 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Also, I don't think the people are lying when they say they can speak Irish on the census...

"Can" equates to "ability" in most cases...and if a person is able to retain only a fraction of the education they received in school, then it is not a lie to say that they have some ability with Irish.

If the goal of the census is to find out how many people are speaking Irish in Ireland (which I have been told is the intent of that question by the Senior Statistician for the Population Census Section at the CSO), then they have to ask a "frequency of use" type of question.

I think people might be suprised at the honesty of people if they are given the chance to be:

Do you speak Irish? Yes or No.

If yes, how often do you speak it?

A) Daily.
B) Weekly.
C) Once in a while.
D) Not very often.
E) Never.

Or something like this...

I think that right now it would help if three levels of information were addressed:

Ability
Frequency
Setting of Usages

Maybe something like:

Can you speak Irish? Yes or No.

Do you speak Irish? Yes or No.

Mark the situations you use Irish/have used Irish?

A) Educational
B) Occupational
C) Social
D) Home Usage

Or something along those lines...

Does anyone else here think these areas should be addressed?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

BRN (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.134.220.1
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 01:28 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

In questionaires, indirect questions are oft used to by-pass ostensible beliefs, and get to what really is the target; instead of "Can you speak Irish", a number of question will ask "Do you speak Irish to X Y and Z" say (teacher, boss, business person).

The real atitude would then come out, eadhon, a negligable number, even most from Gaelscoileanna, as the mercury test is in actual frequency plus who you are speaking to

See: www.dur.ac.uk/dwp.linguistics/resources/DWPVOL8/DWP8Antonini.pdf

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 946
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 04:50 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

One thing about this is that if we make the questions so specific etc then the number will dramatically fall..

The "West brits" will have a field day, declaring the language dead, like they've been doing for 200 years, and it will make life a lot harder for those of us trying to reverse the curve..

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 117
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 01:46 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I will agree that if we put the language under a microscope...we probably are not going to like what we see. However, I honestly feel that unless this happens the language will die and then what will it all have been for?

I am beginning to think that it is going to take such shocking numbers to force action out of people.

Let's say we find out that there are only 10,000 people who speak Irish as a fist language daily. Do the math, that is less than a 1% of the population who are using a language claimed to be the first official language of the country!!!

On the contrary to modern belief, languages like animals, can reach a point of no return. It would be a shame if Irish hits this point because we thought that padding the numbers looked good.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Alun (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 156.63.68.191
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 02:57 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Chairde,
I found something on the web that said Dutch researchers studying endangered languages stated that a language would require at least 100,000 speakers to survive. The book "Rebuilding the Celtic Languages.." by Diarmuid Ó Néill( 2005) cited the following numbers for the Celtic languages:
659,213 Welsh speakers
339,541 Irish speakers
304,000 Breton speakers
75,125 Irish speakers (N. Ireland)
58,652 Scottish Gaelic
1,698 Manx
500 Cornish
415 Scottish Gaelic (Canada)
This thread is very unsettling for those who have invested time, money and emotion in the Irish language but as some have stated previously we cannot ignore the probability of the loss of the language. Compare the rosy numbers for Irish above with the realistic numbers which are probably around 17,000. The uncomfortable fact is that the Irish do not feel that the language is a requisite part of the Irish identity. This is particularly the case with the young, who seem fascinated with the Anglophone "fun" culture of American youth. If someone cops an attitude about my opinion, perhaps they should direct it to the Irish themselves. Don't kill the messenger - take it up with the Irish people who have rejected their own native language. (For the record, I consider myself pro-Gaeilge - just disillusioned.)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 118
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 04:37 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Alun...I will have to look for that book, it sounds like something I would like to read.

As an American, I am not able to place myself into the shoes of the Irish people when it comes to the language. Actually, to be quite honest...I consider myself a loony in the sense that I am taking great pains to try and learn a language I will probably never use because the majority of the Irish themselves do not care to speak the language.

But every Irish person I have encountered so far identifies the language with the Irish identity. Which brings us to a very strange situation.

If people generally agree that the language is major aspect of the Irish identity and they are not speaking it...does that mean that these people seperate themselves from being Irish?

While this may be off topic, it raises issues that are interesting to me because if it is true, then out of a population of 4.2 million people in Ireland, 3.3 million are separating themselves from one of the key factors that defines the Irish culture.

And that is a very scary thought.

I often talk about this very subject with a good friend in Dublin who absolutely hates the language. She didn't like in school, and she hates how not speaking it makes her less Irish in the eyes of people. Something that I have noticed about her when she speaks about Irish is the use of the past tense, and the word "tradition."

And I think she is hitting the problem square in the face. People are not associating Irish with the modern world. This is one thing I think the Welsh have managed to do very nicely...look at the modern Welsh "pop" culture. Do you see "traditional"? No, they have embraced the modern world. Look at their media and entertainment scene. They have taken Welsh into the 21st century when Ireland is trying to bring back an age long gone...

Again, these are just my thoughts at the moment. Tomorrow I may think completely differently, but for right now I do not see a positive outlook for the Irish language if we continue to allow ourselves to be fooled by incorrect infromation and numbers.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

BRN (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.134.220.204
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 07:06 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Worse than that, Gaeilc is associated with the redundant 'Celtic revival' images that were drempt up by native english speakers, which is divorced from either the strong vibrant Gaelic past or the current modern professionalism.

For me, there is neither passion nor purpose to weaving auld chiches into Gaelic. As for your Dublin friend, those people who say she is less Irish, how often do they learn or speak it. Never.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 959
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 07:15 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

According to experts the language is safe for at least 100 years as it has both
a, over 100,000 who can speak the language
b, Govt support

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation.A nation should guard its language more than its territories, 'tis a surer barrier and a more important frontier than mountain or river

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Danny (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 66.183.212.185
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 08:55 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

So people in the Gaeltacht who speak Irish daily outside the education system...about 18,000.

But then you add those who speak it daily outside the education system and who live in the Galltacht.

And then there are those who are fluent but who mostly speak it within the education system.

And then there are those who are fluent (both in the Gaeltacht and outside of it) but don't use it daily...but weekly.

And the few who live outside Ireland but are fluent etc etc...

Add it all up. What sort of numbers are we looking at here when it comes to native and fluent speakers?

It's certainly not 1.6 million but I don't think it's under 50,000 either.

Somewhere in the 50,000 - 100,000 range ?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Alun USA (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 156.63.68.231
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:10 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Chairde,
Well, you aren't killing the messenger, just the message. Any language under 100,000 is in trouble and any language under 50,000 is moribund. Instead of the numbers game can someone on this forum address the problem of attitudes within Ireland that range from apathy to outright hatred of the language? That's the crux of the matter: the Irish could care less. As do_chinniúnt mentioned the Welsh situation is much more favorable for their language. What are they doing right while Ireland with 85 years of nationhood has failed?
Are the Irish language enthusiasts overseas going to ignore the facts as the Irish government does? The Irish would like to see the language survive by anyone (but themselves personally) using Irish. It's time for those who support the language anywhere to take the Irish people themselves to task for their failure and lack of will. I'd like to hear from someone IN or FROM Ireland on this one. Fimínteacht go leor.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ceolmhar
Member
Username: Ceolmhar

Post Number: 163
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 11:28 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The majority of Irish people want to be able to speak Irish. The problem is the education system - children don't want to be learning old Gaelic poems and writing lengthy essays, they just want to speak it in modern Ireland.

So it's the education system that is killing the language, not the people. The government have done nothing to change it.

No roads were elevated during the composition of this message.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

BRN (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.134.221.173
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 11:37 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The nationhood argument never holds water, as the new elites of the post 1922 era, were the very sectors that were powerful prior to independance (Catholic landowners, lenders, banks, church, education, civil service etc)

They were never going to re-Gaelicise Ireland, as the very idea was althogether outside their cultural zeitgeist. It's a ruse often played, that the only rich were Protestant and pro-British and that everyone was poor Catholic and republican afterwards. While only fictonal, the scene in 'Wind that Shakes the Barley' where the Sinn Féin civil court is undermined by the IRB gives a whiff of the ingrained deference to the status quo (which is not to say that keeping the money vine sweet was irrational)

Any sort of regaelicisation would have levelled the field or even gave advantage to those who would have then stepped into new positions of leadership. Previlage does not undermine itself, in my opinion/experience

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 119
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 12:47 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I know we like to take shots at the education system of Ireland and how it is handles Irish, but why is it the target?

Is it fair to expect a single, while very powerful institution, to save a language? Even if Ireland perfected the teaching of Irish, that wouldn't make people speak the language. Or for that matter can we really expect for a government to help? In all fairness, if they are really doing their job then they should be concentrating on more important things. I see these two institutions as "steps not the ladder."

I think the only way to increase the number people speaking Irish is to increase the need and desire to speak the language. It was the need to speak English because people desired not to be punished that broke Irish in the first place. We don't have to be extreme or negative, but the same tactic has been working with languages since the beginning of civilizations...so why can't we try something along these lines again.

And how can this be done? Where are the people going to need to be able to understand Irish...television, film, radio, books, magazines, signs, the office, the home, the beach...

The point is the more you increase their need to know it, the more Irish they will know out of necessity. And as history has shown us that once a language is in place out of habit...it just sort of takes over. If you doubt this, just look at what happened to Irish.

And that will drive the numbers through the roof...Irish is unique compared to most of the endangered languages because the majority of the people have the foundation already in place thanks to even the poorest of education in it.

It's like a wildfire waiting for the spark to set it off...or at least, I hope it is like a wildfire waiting for the spark!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mac_léinn
Member
Username: Mac_léinn

Post Number: 438
Registered: 01-2007


Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 05:49 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Do Chinniúint,

You've made some excellent points in your posting above, especially when you talk of increasing the need and desire to speak the language. I think those two aspects of us humans, which are often viewed together in sales and marketing, are the key to, as you've said above, driving the numbers through the roof.

When you mention a wildfire waiting for the spark to set it off, I couldn't help thinking of one of my favorite topics related to issues like the revival of the Irish language, which is the theme of a recently published book called the Tipping Point. In fact, the cover of the book is simply a picture of a match, and is shown so as to give the reader the impression of a spark waiting to set something afire. If you get a chance, read the book. It's available at:

http://www.amazon.com/Tipping-Point-Little-Things-Difference/dp/0316346624

or perhaps your local library may have a copy. I think that you would really enjoy the book because it covers the issues of how things can really take off once the correct "spark" is given to them.

http://ga.wikipedia.org - check it out!
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/teachyourselfirish
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/irishlinguistics

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

liam ó briain (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 195.7.55.146
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 08:39 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The amount of people who speak Irish daily outside the education system in the Irish Republic is 53,500.I would say there are that much again are fluent speakers. Of course there are thousands of native speakers who moved to the Galltacht who may rarely have the opportunity now to speak Irish, thousands of native speakers born and bred in the Galltacht who have moved away from family to other Galltacht parts and thousands of fluent Irish speakers who also don't know of other Irish speakers in their area in the Galltacht. Personally I have come to the view that preserving Gaeltacht area's along with official Gaeltacht recognition of the likes of West Belfast and part of Clondalkin is the way to go. The majority of people don't want to speak Irish as their first or even second language and I accept their right to do that in a democratic society even if I don't think that choice is correct.I suppose I would like to see a truly bilingual Ireland where speakers have a genuine choice which language to use.I just think whatever political persuasion you are unionist,sinn féin, labour, Fine Gael etc religion hindu.muslim. christian etc that if you live in Ireland Irish should be the language like Danish in Denmark.This has nothing to do with regaelicisation and an Irish Ireland in my view .All I require as the common bond of people in Ireland is Irish as principle language What are ye're views on this?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Liam ó Briain (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 195.7.55.146
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 10:07 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Apologies 71,148 is indeed the correct figure for daily Irish speakers in Irish Republic.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jean (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 90.30.20.251
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 02:26 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I've been on your forums many times since a little time and I find it very interesting!If you don't mind I'd like to intervene about this question of speaking Irish or not.
As I've already said in a previous mail,I'm a Frenchman.In my family, there are Irish, English, French and Dutch people. My mother was Irish. My father was French and his brother married a Dutchwoman. To finish with, my mother had some English cousins. So that ,I heard English, French and Irish since my very childhood, and Dutch when I was a bit older.I've got 3 sisters,and now (forgive me: the presentation is a bit long) only 2 of us children do speak English & French. One of my sisters doesn't even want to speak English & another one remembers the Irish my mother used to speak but hardly speaks English. My cousins speak Dutch and so do I , but not my sisters... What I mean is: the motivation and the attraction towards languages is needed to speak another language than the usual one. I have had the same education as my sisters but the result is not the same . I don't think there is a difference of intelligence between us children of course but just a difference of interests. For 2 of my sisters, speaking another language was just uninteresting (and I bet you they are rather the brainy type !). On another hand, Irish was always considered in my family as a "funny" "ancient" language which was spoken only in certain conditions. My mother used to speak it but that was just "for fun" (I loved it though!)
Well I end up here. Forgive me for this long talk. What I meant was that (I think) you can't oblige people to speak another language (if they don't feel like it ) but for a question of life and death as was the case in Ireland 2 centuries ago.
I go back to my Irish lessons . Slàn agaibh! Jean

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Daithí (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 83.131.177.135
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 04:14 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Jean is right, you can't force a person to speak a language if he/she doesn't want to. There are numerous reasons for wanting or not wanting to speak a language, in the case of Irish there are at least two - 1. they can't speak it fluently (remember that language is primarily an effective means of communication, and for the society it's extremely important HOW one speaks, not just what one says), and 2. they are fluent but most of people who they talk to aren't (and feel bored waiting for ages for the other person to say something, often rather simple). Furthermore, lots of people (especially the younger ones) consider English to be 'cool' etc. etc.

Here's an example of a small-scale language loss, not connected with Irish but in some way similar to its situation. I'm Croatian and my mother-in-law is Czech. However, none of her children, including my wife, can speak Czech. They all have a very positive attitude towards this language, but they are not interested in learning languages in general so they never try to learn it (they also think it wouldn't be of use to them in Croatia!). Besides that, they think that they would never learn how to speak it as their mother tongue - they wouldn't like to speak it as they speak English or Italian, like foreigners - they'd like to have learnt it as small children, as their other mother tongue; to have been brought up through it, to feel that this is THEIR language, which contains all their memories, their whole life... They wouldn't like to speak it like foreigners, to feel uncomfortable with it. An above all - they are lazy to learn it.
Now, why didn't my mother-in-law teach them to speak it when they were three years old? Well, she felt uncomfortable speaking a foreign language in front of other people, including her husband (because she speaks Croatian as her mother tongue too) etc.; and above all - she didn't think they'll ever need this language.
She always used to say she regretted not having taught her children Czech. And I used to say - well, you just had to talk to them in Czech and that's all.
Now, my sister-in-law has two small children (a one-year old, and a four years old one). Her mother spends quite a lot of time with them - alone! But she never speaks Czech to them - she is not accustomed to speak this language except to real Czech people etc.; and she simply thinks that - they're never going to need it.
That's the end of the story, and I'm quite sure there are loads of similar stories in Ireland as well.
Beirigí bua,
Daithí

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Riona
Member
Username: Riona

Post Number: 1111
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 04:57 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

As our unregistered guest was saying I think that the ideal, at least in my opinion, would be to have a bilingual Ireland where everyone could choose to live through Irish, to borrow an expression from Aonghus, if they liked or people could choose to do some things in each language or, people could do things through English if they wished.

Beir bua agus beannacht

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

FRC on tour (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 87.198.196.90
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 08:12 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"She always used to say she regretted not having taught her children Czech

"two small children...But she never speaks Czech to them

Why do people regret something, and then 5 minutes later turn around and do it again, even when it is a simple thing? Codsballs I hear the same thing all the time

Lord...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 120
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 11:35 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I can already see this being a mistake...

But on the comment of "not being able to make someone speak a language if they don't want to"...well to be frank, that's just not true. People have been doing it for thousands of years...in fact, I can't think of a single group that hasn't during their expansion periods.

Fortunately, we now live in a time were the extreme measures needed to enforce such a change would be stopped by a more humane global society.

Just look at Irish...while there is no way of proving this, had England not taken over Ireland and taken such aggressive strides to stop the speaking of Irish, Ireland may still be a very Irish speaking nation.

One could argue that if Ireland took the same measures against English that England took against Irish...we could very much bring the language back in full swing. However, who would want to go that extreme even if it worked?

I think when we look at the numbers a funny truth emerges...the majority speaks for the few. The individual may say they speak Irish, or they want to speak Irish, or they wish they could speak more Irish...but the numbers say the majority of Ireland says otherwise. I don't think there are many in Ireland who will openly speak out against their culture when called on the spot, however, if given the chance to do so without anyone knowing about it...well the numbers tell a very different story.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Antaine
Member
Username: Antaine

Post Number: 1047
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 12:14 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"One could argue that if Ireland took the same measures against English that England took against Irish...we could very much bring the language back in full swing. However, who would want to go that extreme even if it worked?"

Oh, I think that goes without question. You know, it was once said that the definition of insanity was to do the same thing that had always been done but expecting different results. I think the inverse of that is true...by virtue of the status of Irish today, the programs used against it are a proven method.

Now, how to "give english a dose of its own medicine" (so to speak - and no pun intended there) without engendering resentment is the key.

Well, take only the positive reinforcement aspects of what had been done. You want people to raise their children and conduct their business through Irish? Then reward them handsomely for doing so. One doesn't have to punish english speakers, but make the benefits (mainly economic...money talks, after all) of using Irish (not just possessing proficiency) sooooooo very attractive that people will *want* to use it.

Have a business that deals with the printed or spoken word (print, tv, radio, theatre)? conduct 75% of your business in Irish and you get a nice tax break. 95% or greater? Here's a stipend on top of it. Companies having a certain percentage of their advertizing in Irish could get something as well.

Have "secret shoppers" roaming the country on behalf of the gov't...it doesn't have to be many, perhaps ten at any given time travelling around outside the Gaeltacht. Hear two people having a conversation in Irish at the coffeeshop or on a bus? The agent presents both a cheque for €300 on the spot. That'll get those tongues wagging. Live in the Gaeltacht? Something similar could be arranged for those areas with both a little higher expectations as well as a bit more compensation to make up for it. Or, just run the program nationwide for fairness. If the Ricola cough drop company in the US can do it, why can't the government of a prosperous european country?

Add in deference for college admission for those scoring a certain proficiency in Irish and you have an even greater benefit. the list of possibilities goes on.

But alas, will any of it ever be done? Of course not. There's more money and power to be had in "reviving" the language than in having a revived language.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Daithí (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 89.172.129.254
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 10:44 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The point is that English is the mother tongue of the majority, and even if they say they wish their first language was Irish, it's only SF. They'd like it to be, but it isn't so. English is rooted deeply in their lives. Some of them can speak Irish, and they can talk to their, say, grandparents in Irish but they never do. They just wish they could speak Irish better...
Something very important must happen to make you want to change your language in everyday life - something really really important. And we all know it's not just sort of nostalgy for the language of your (great-)grandparents.

As for my mother-in-law, she regrets not having taught her children her language maybe because they told her off for it a lot of times. Her grandchildren haven't yet...

Daithí

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Antaine
Member
Username: Antaine

Post Number: 1050
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 11:34 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"The point is that English is the mother tongue of the majority, and even if they say they wish their first language was Irish, it's only SF. They'd like it to be, but it isn't so. English is rooted deeply in their lives."

All of this was true in the reverse at one time.

Nothing proves that Irish and english trading places is possible as much as the fact that they already have once before.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Domhnall_Ó_h_aireachtaigh
Member
Username: Domhnall_Ó_h_aireachtaigh

Post Number: 155
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 12:03 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Well said, Antaine. And, as has been observed before, there is always the very appropriate example of Modern Hebrew. The situation can be turned around if there is determination to do so.

I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to keep my mouth shut on this topic because I don't have first-hand knowledge of the pedagogy employed in the Irish educational system. I would dearly love elucidation on that point.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Do_chinniúint
Member
Username: Do_chinniúint

Post Number: 122
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 01:21 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Domhnall...

I know how you feel. While I know better than to get into such a topic, I find that I can't stay out of them even when I know they're not going to go anywhere but in circles. Actually, that's probably why I do it :0)

The Hebrew situation is a very good example of how a language can be brought back, however, we must always remember that the Hebrew situation is not the Irish situation. Speaking on terms of numbers, the people of Israel had, and continue to have, a serious advantage that Ireland lacks...and that's the language's tie to their religion.

One of the reasons they were able to bring the language back was due to the majority of the people already knowing and speaking the language to a large scale in the private sector.

Given the current status of religion in Ireland, I think Ireland has a better shot if they rely on the schools and government :0(

I have to agree with those right now who say that Irish is never going to be Ireland's language of choice any time soon, if ever again...rather I would invest in a more reasonable goal of trying to help maintain the numbers of it being a strong secondary language.

In theory, an equally bilingual Ireland would be the best outcome we could ever hope to achieve, however, first we need to work on getting an steady increase of Irish speakers who don't just know how to do it...but actually do it when the cameras aren't on them!

One day I would like to go the CSO's webpage, bring up Vol. 11, and see there the majority of the percentiles passing the 75% outside of the Gaeltachts and 90% inside the Gaeltachts.

Then I can come back to this forum and say once again the census is not accurate...it says 1.6 million people when it should say 3.4 million !!!!!

I know a crazy dream, but one I have ;0)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Daithí (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 83.131.179.33
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 10:42 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The most important thing about Hebrew is that people in Israel (a large number of whom were immigrants speaking different languages) hadn't already had a common language so they had to choose. They could have chosen English or German, or Arabic, but in any case there'd have been a lot of people that would have to learn it as a foreign language. So they chose Hebrew, and that's it.

The Irish already have a common language that they all speak and understand, and that's English. As I've already said, something very important would have to happen in the lives of these people to make them start to speak Irish in their everyday life. Remember the situation in Ireland in the 1840's etc.

Even in the Gaeltacht there are a lot of people that don't speak Irish every day though they are fluent in it. I don't think education or the Government have anything to do about it.

To make Ireland a truly bilingual country (or monolingual in Irish), you have to convince people that Irish is somehow useful to them, not only talk about losing their tradition. (a lot of traditonal things, and not only languages, are being lost currently all over the Globe, including Europe and the US, but few seem to care.)

You certainly can't take the same measures against English, not nowadays. The situation in the 19. century was totally different than it's now.

Of course, I'd also like to hear Irish spoken by (almost) everybody all over the country, but according to the present state of affairs, it doesn't seem likely to happen, not anywhere in the near future at least...

Daithí

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Antaine
Member
Username: Antaine

Post Number: 1052
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 12:01 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

true, you can't do the same thing that had been done, but you can find effective ways to positively encourage.

And also true, Hebrew is a poor example when comparing to Irish for the above stated reasons. It makes a big difference. The most analogous situation I've found for comparison (and one which gives alot of hope) is the Basque language. The Welsh situation seems to be a good second-best comparison.



©Daltaí na Gaeilge