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The Daltaí Boards » Comhrá Oscailte as Gaeilge (Irish Only) » Archive through December 26, 2008 » AN BHFUIL AN GAEILGE MARBH??? « Previous Next »

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Fog1990
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Username: Fog1990

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2007


Posted on Friday, March 02, 2007 - 12:18 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Léigí é seo. Tá sé go han-fada ach taispeánann sé roinnt áiteanna agus an méid Gaeilge atá iontu sna laethanta seo. Fág cad a cheapann sibh faoi, le bhur dtoil...

(Páirt 1)

Article from Irish Times 5/1/07

There is something absurd and rather tragic about setting out on a journey around a country, knowing that if you speak the language of that country you will not be understood. It is even more absurd when the country is your native one and you are speaking its native language.

Irish is the first official language of this country - in the last census a quarter of the population claimed they spoke it regularly. I've always suspected this figure, and to test its accuracy I decided to travel around the country speaking only Irish, to see how I'd get on.

I chose Dublin as a starting point, confident in the knowledge that in a city of 1.2 million people I was bound to find at least a few Irish speakers. I went first to the Ordnance Survey Office to get a map of the country. (As a semi-state organisation it has a duty to provide certain services through Irish.)

'Would you speak English maybe?' the sales assistant said to me.

I replied in Irish.

'Would you speak English?!' he repeated impatiently.

I tried explaining once again what I was looking for.

'Do you speak English?" he asked in a cold, threatening tone.

'Sea,' I said, nodding meekly.

'Well can you speak English to me now?'

I told him as simply as I could that I was trying to get by with Irish.

'I am not talking to you any more,' he said. 'Go away.'

I really needed a map; it would be hard enough to get by without having to ask for directions constantly. I thought by simply pointing at the map I could explain to people what I was up to. I tried addressing the man one last time, using the simplest schoolroom Irish, but he just blocked his ears and I had no choice but to leave. It wasnt a good start. Although it was still early I decided I needed a drink and headed to an elegant Victorian bar off Grafton Street.

I dont speak Irish mate, sorry,' replied the barman when I ordered a pint. I tried simplifying the order - although how much simpler can you make 'Id like a drink, please'?

'I dont speak Irish mate,' he said again.

I have managed to get drinks in bars from Cameroon to Kazakhstan without any problem; If I had been speaking any other language I doubt it would have been an issue. I tried pointing at what I wanted - the taps were lined up along the bar - but I made the mistake of talking as I pointed.

'Did you not hear me, no?' the barman said menacingly. I got scared then and thought it safer to get one of the customers to translate for me, but they stared resolutely into their pints when I turned to them. Looking around me helplessly, I realised I was alone. Eventually, one young lad, taking pity on me, said there was a cafe on Kildare Street.
'A cafe?' I said. 'I am looking for a drink.'

'Just go there,' he said, and so, following his directions, I found myself in a murky cellar beneath the offices of the Irish language development agency. They had no beer licence, but I got a cup of coffee and the owner told me in rich, mellifluous Irish how the place was normally teeming with Gaeilgeoirí but because it was a sunny day no one wanted to be skulking underground and so I was the only customer. The citys Victorian plumbing was struggling to cope with the July heat and the place stank of sewage. I couldnt help thinking it was a sort of ghetto, a sanctuary for a beleaguered minority.

I knew the journey was going to prove difficult, just not this difficult. Language experts claim that the figure of fluent Irish speakers is closer to 3 per cent than the aspirational 25 per cent who tick the language box on the census, and most of these are concentrated in the Gaeltacht - remote, inaccessible areas where one would not naturally find oneself. What I hadn't factored for was the animosity. Part of it, I felt, stemmed from guilt - we feel inadequate that we can't speak our own language.

I decided to contact a talk radio show in Dublin to ask the listeners what they thought. A few phoned to say they had no idea what I was talking about. 'Is the language dead?' I asked in Irish over and over again.

'Sorry'" most of them replied or 'What?' or 'You what? Are you speaking the Irish?'

'Sea,' Id reply.

'Oh, no, I dont speak that.'

Some of the callers wanted me and my bog language pulled off the airwaves; others talked of their shame at not being able to understand me and of how much they admired me for speaking out. This in turn made me feel guilty; for the only reason I spoke Irish was because my grandmother had gone to the trouble of learning it 90 years before as a weapon in the struggle for an Irish Republic. She had bribed me as a child with sweets and treats to go on speaking it when I realised that none of my friends did. In fact, I had almost discarded it, regarding it as a dead weight around my neck, until TG4 was set up in 1996 and I started making travel documentaries for them.

I was reluctant to approach another private business and so decided to visit the tourist office which, presumably, was used to dealing with different languages. The man at the counter looked at me quizzically when I inquired about a city tour.

'Huh?' he said, his eyes widening.

I repeated myself.

'You dont speak English, do you?' he asked coldly. I was beginning to hate this moment - the point at which the fear and frustration spread across their faces. They were just trying to get through the day after all. They didnt need to be confronted by an unbending foot soldier of the Irish Taliban.

I explained what I was trying to do.

'Well, I dont actually speak Irish, so . . .' he paused menacingly and I tried to smile encouragingly, 'so, if you speak English Ill be able to understand what you are saying.'

'Béarla only - English only,' said his supervisor, standing sternly behind him, repeating it a second time in case I was slow. I asked if there was any other language I could use and they pointed to a list of seven flags on the wall. To be honest, I could speak five of them but I had promised myself not to, not unless it was absolutely necessary. Eventually, they found a charming young girl who spoke perfect Irish and was able to tell me everything I needed to know, but she was terribly nervous, believing her vocabulary to be inadequate. It wasnt, it was wonderful. Its an odd tendency that people often have an erroneous view of their ability to speak the language - either over or under-estimating their ability.

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Fog1990
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Username: Fog1990

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2007


Posted on Friday, March 02, 2007 - 12:18 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

(Páirt 2)

I might have been tempted to give up the journey entirely had it not been for something that happened during the radio phone-in. I was rapidly approaching a point of despair when some mothers began to ring in. They had no Irish, but they had been asked by their children to phone. There was something they wanted to say and they were demanding their parents get in touch. When the children came on the line I found they spoke clear and fluent Irish in a new and modern urban dialect. They told me how they spoke the language all the time, as did all their friends. They loved it, and they were outraged that I could suggest it was dead. These were the children of the new Gaelscoileanna, and were burdened with none of the sense of inferiority that had been instilled in the rest of us.

The fact that the British may have labelled Irish as backward and barbaric centuries ago, or that it might have been associated with hardship and poverty was irrelevant to them. They were reared on Irish versions of SpongeBob SquarePants and Scooby-Doo on TG4. They have invented words for Xbox and hip-hop, for Jackass and blog. They were fluent in Irish text-speak and had moulded the ancient pronunciations and syntax in accordance with the latest styles of Buffy-speak and Londonstani slang. I realised it was they I should have turned to for help on the streets. These are the new generation.

It filled me with renewed confidence as I left Dublin and took to the road, boosted further by my first experience in a petrol station where a Polish attendant had no problem deciphering the complicated mechanical query I had about my borrowed vintage Jaguar. For him, every day involved a struggle to understand a foreign language, and whether I was speaking Irish or English made little difference. In fact, everyone I met over the course of the next 1,000 miles driving around the country was more approachable and considerate than those first few Dublin jobs-worths. Not that I am claiming they all had fluent Irish, far from it, but they were willing to engage with me, to string together the few stray words of school Irish that arose from the darkest recesses of their minds, or else to try and decipher my miming and mad gesticulation.

Nonetheless, the journey was still a strain. I got given the wrong directions, and served the wrong food, and given the wrong haircut, but I was rarely threatened or made to feel foolish again. Even on the staunchly loyalist Shankill Road in Belfast, I was treated with civility, though warned that if I persisted in speaking the language I was liable to end up in hospital. In a Donegal chemist I managed to dig myself into an embarrassing hole while trying to buy condoms; which in the end I didnt need as I failed completely to chat up a girl in any nightclub I visited. (Travelling through Irish becomes lonesome.)

IN GALWAY I went busking on the streets, singing the filthiest, most debauched lyrics I could think of to see if anyone would understand. No one did - old ladies smiled, tapping their feet merrily, as I serenaded them with filth. In Killarney I stood outside a bank promising passers-by huge sums of money if they helped me rob it, but again no one understood. I may as well have been speaking Klingon or some made-up gibberish.

Possibly the languages most significant moment of the past few centuries occurred last Monday, when Irish became an official working language of the EU. Its a huge vote of confidence by our European neighbours, and it seems appropriate that Irish people should decide at this time once and for all what we want to do with it - should we stick a do-not-resuscitate sign around her neck and unplug the machine, or else get over our silly inferiority complex and start using the bloody thing? As the Gaelscoileanna children might say, 'Athbhreith agus cuir diot é!' (Just rebirth and get over it!)

By the end of the trip I was feeling pretty battered, but I had seen some signs of hope. In parts of Northern Ireland, where Irish was effectively banned until the early 1990s, there was a tremendous resurgence taking place. The Good Friday Agreement recognised its status and now the North has its own daily Irish language newspaper, a daily BBC Radio programme and a brand new local radio station. In Galway I met Irish-speaking immigrants who have formed a lobby group to promote the language. I met publishers who are churning out ever more Irish novels, biographies and poetry each year.

And, wherever I went, people talked highly of TG4; the quality of its documentaries and its cool and vibrant image - although, that said, when I showed them pictures of the principal presenters, most failed to recognise them. From a purely regulatory perspective the language has recently won some important (though possibly pyrrhic) victories - the Official Languages Act guarantees the right to communicate in Irish with all state and semi-state organisations - although whenever I tried sending Irish e-mails to government bodies during the journey they were ignored.

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Fog1990
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Username: Fog1990

Post Number: 7
Registered: 03-2007


Posted on Friday, March 02, 2007 - 12:19 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Cad a cheapann sibh faoi?

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Dennis
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Username: Dennis

Post Number: 2763
Registered: 02-2005


Posted on Friday, March 02, 2007 - 02:18 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Phléigh muid Manchán anseo tamall ó shin.

http://www.daltai.com/discus/messages/21/21591.html

Dála an scéil, ní mór an fháilte a fheartar roimh an mBéarla sa chuid seo den chlár plé.

"An seanchas gearr,
an seanchas is fearr."


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Caoimhín
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Username: Caoimhín

Post Number: 217
Registered: 01-1999


Posted on Friday, March 02, 2007 - 07:41 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

From our terms of service.

quote:

External copyrighted content may be linked to and, if necessary, accompanied by a brief excerpt for purposes of explanation.



Please observe this in the future.

Caoimhín

Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.

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Eoin
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Username: Eoin

Post Number: 171
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2007 - 03:49 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Da mba ru é gur imigh sé isteach i dTí Pheadair Mhór, Tí Kitt nó aon cheann de na tithe tabhairne anseo seans nach mbeadh trioblóid ar bith ag Manchán bocht..

Dála an scéal níl Gaeilge aige ar a shuíomh "No Béarla"

Scríobh mé chuige á rá san agus seo mar a scríobh sé thar n-ais!

"....Tá an ceart agat go bhfuil sé beagán fimíneach go bhfuil suíomh No Béarla as Béarla. D'fhéadfainn na cúiseanna a mhiniú duit ach tá sé ró-dhéanamh san oíche anois.
beir bua agus beannacht
Manchán"

Is dócha gur "déanach.." a bhí i gceist aige in ionad "déanamh"....

Nuacht Ghaeltacht na Gaillimhe agus Deisceart Mhuigheó http://anghaeltacht.net/ce

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Fog1990
Member
Username: Fog1990

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2007


Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 07:03 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Brón orm faoi sin a Chaoimhín, agus Dennis...

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Fog1990
Member
Username: Fog1990

Post Number: 13
Registered: 03-2007


Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 07:16 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

"Da mba ru é gur imigh sé isteach i dTí Pheadair Mhór, Tí Kitt nó aon cheann de na tithe tabhairne anseo seans nach mbeadh trioblóid ar bith ag Manchán bocht.."

Eoin, an bhfuil Tí Kitt insan gCeathrú Rua???
Conaíonn mo dheirfiúr ann, in aice loch mór atá trasna an bhóthair.

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Eoin
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Username: Eoin

Post Number: 174
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 08:09 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Tá Tí Kitt i gCasla timpeall 3 nó 4 míle as an Ceathrú Rua.

Glaotar Loch an Mhuileann ar an Loch ar an gCeathrú Rua.

Tí Pheadair Mór in aice liom fhéin ar an mBaintreach (Baile na hAbhann - bóthar na fairrige chuig Ros a'Mhíl

Nuacht Ghaeltacht na Gaillimhe agus Deisceart Mhuigheó http://anghaeltacht.net/ce

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Fog1990
Member
Username: Fog1990

Post Number: 15
Registered: 03-2007


Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 02:24 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Cad é ainm an teach tabhairne sin, leis an ainm an-fada arís??? Tá sé go h-an greanúir ar fad!!! XD

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Eoin
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Username: Eoin

Post Number: 177
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 09:40 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Níl eolas agam ar theach tabhairne le ainm an-fhada...

Seans gio bhfuilo tú ag smaoineamh ar áit - ó thuaidh ón gCeathrú Rua -

Muiceaneach idir Dhá Sháile -

Beir bua!

Eoin

Nuacht Ghaeltacht na Gaillimhe agus Deisceart Mhuigheó http://anghaeltacht.net/ce

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Caoimh ín MacE óin (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 203.218.103.216
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:44 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Tá leath chéad bhliain ón rang deireanach in ar thriall na mBráithre Chríostaí rialacha an tuiseal ghineadaigh a chur im' cheann, agus cúig bhliain níos lú o bhailigh mé liom thar lear - agus, ceal líofacht, is docha nach bhfuil aon cheart agam mo ladair a shá isteach san cláriomrá (focal nua é sin!) seo. Ach, caithfidh mé a rá (gan cheist dlisteanacht ath-fhoilsiu an aiste a chur san áireamh) gur thaithnigh sé go mór liom, agus roinnt díomá orm ar an chaoi ina ndeachaidh an sgéal i bhfeidhm ar roinnt de lucht a léite. Léiriu é, im' thuairim, ar shlí sotalach ata ró flúirseach i measg 'lucht an teangaidh'.

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Séamas_Ó_neachtain
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Username: Séamas_Ó_neachtain

Post Number: 537
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 11:32 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Níl sí marbh, ach tá sí baininscneach.

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Cathal Mac (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 89.100.139.251
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 11:28 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Bhuaileas le Manchán cúpla sheachtain ó shin sa Chonradh agus caithfidh mé rá go bhfuil sé i bhfad níos cáirdiúil nuair nach bhfuil an ceamara ar siúl. Ach is léir go bhfúil sórt No Béarla pearsanta ag tárlúint ina cheann an t-am ar fad - an-cosúil le agallamh a bhí ar gcómhrá. Fear deas, in aon chaoi.

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Joselito (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 67.72.98.89
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 05:31 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Re: Fog1990-Ní labhraitear Gaeilge in Éirinn-Cad a cheapann sibh faoi?

Bhuel-Is mór an trua é, cinnte!...ach ar an gcuma chéanna, má thugann tú cuairt ar M(h)iami/Miami Beach,Florida, USA, agus tusa atá ag labhairt Béarla, gheobhaidh tú fios ruda go tapaidh-abair-Tá Españglish acu mar theanga oifigiúil ansin…faoi mar a bhí tú i gCúba!!

Tír nach gcosníonn a teanga oifigiúil, Tír a chailleann a féiniúlacht/oidhreacht chultúrtha!!

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Séamas_Ó_neachtain
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Username: Séamas_Ó_neachtain

Post Number: 541
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 05:56 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

quote:

Tír a chailleann a féiniúlacht/oidhreacht chultúrtha!!



Agus a hinscne? ;-) Aye carumba!

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Domhnall
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Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 938
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 05:45 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Cinnte Joselito - Ní Tír gan teanga!

Ach is féidir an ráiteas atá aige thuas a chaitheamh sa bhruscar..

Féach anseo, sa chuid áirithe seo AMHÁIN tá daoine ó gach cúinne den domhan

Mé féin i mBéal Feirste..
Joselito i San Francisco
Cathal Mac i mBÁC
Caoimhín i Hong Kong

Mar sin, más teanga marbh í an ghaeilge, teanga a labhraítear ar fud an domhain ar bun laethúil le go leor acmhainní agus na mílte daoine á labhairt, níl's agam céard is teanga beo ann!

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

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Séamas_Ó_neachtain
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Username: Séamas_Ó_neachtain

Post Number: 542
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 09:19 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Agus mise i Nua-Eabhrac!
Nach bhfuil Joselito i bhFlorida? Dá mbeadh próifíl ag gach éinne...
Agus tá Dennis i stát Washington.

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Domhnall
Member
Username: Domhnall

Post Number: 944
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 12:08 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Maith thú! Deirtear anseo go bhfuil sé i SanF http://whois.domaintools.com/67.72.98.89

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

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Joselito (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 67.72.98.89
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 04:14 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit PostPrint Post

Mar eolas duit a Dhomhnaill-Is ‘cág i measc péacóg’ mise anseo en La Habana del Norte!…agus bím ag labhairt castellano níos minice ná Béarla…ach cé nach bhfuil seans ar bith agam leis mo chuid Gaeilge a chleachtadh, níl aon údar casaoide agam! Bíonn an aimsir go deas, la comida criolla go blasta, agus las señoritas latinas!?!?...!Coño!...is é sin le rá…níor chas mé ar a leithéidí in Éirinn!!

Ó Dhia trócaire ormsa!! Is Gael mise…an-guth na Gaeilge san fhásach trópaiceach! Grian! Gaineamh! Gnéas! i rith an lae go léir! Is mór an t-ualach é ormsa, nach ea!!?

Scig!Scig!

(Ceartúcháin led’thoil)



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