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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:17 am
by nessieq
Methica wrote:
nessieq wrote:
Methica wrote:I´m kind off in the middle... One thing is sure, it´s dying in Ireland, because the younger generations don´t really want to learn it...


I disagree- irish is rapidly becoming 'cool' again in some quarters- in fact i think it's undergone somewhat of a revolution recently, thanks largely to people like moya- I just hope it's enough to keep such a beautiful language alive.

Good, I stand corrected! Irish, It´s alive!!(screaming like Dr. frankenstein;))


Lol, I'm not trying to correct you, that's just how I see it. Certainly within Northern Ireland, a lot of school kids still learn Irish and see it as a symbol of their heritage and often a lot more than that. Unfortunately, sometimes it can lead to negative things, and i often wish people would study it for the love of the language rather than anything else, however- it's great that they learn it, regardless of the reason.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:02 pm
by Kerem
Ancient trees with strong roots can not die... 8)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:31 am
by nessieq
I heard the other day that irish has been given 15-20 years before becoming 'extinct' (I dont know what the proper term is.. i know the language isnt a dinosaur!). Very sad indeed. We may just hope that people like moya keep it going. they blamed the problem on people from gaeltachts marrying people whose first language is english and hence their children learn english as their first language as well. Mind you, i dont see how that will make the language completely extinct, as anyone who has been born and bred in a gaeltacht isnt going to not teach their kids any irish at all.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:03 pm
by A_S
Well that doesn't sound good, does it. But that doesn't make a ton of sense since kids are also learning it in school, so even if all the native Irish speakers did stop passing on the language (which, as Nessie said, seems unlikely) all the kids all over the country would still learn it in class. Or does that mean that Irish won't be used as a primary language by anyone? Because I don't know anything about that...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:10 pm
by nessieq
Ancient_Snowfall wrote: Or does that mean that Irish won't be used as a primary language by anyone? Because I don't know anything about that...


yeah i think that's probably what they meant. didn't phrase it very well tho. I can't imagine the gaeltachts dying out that quickly tho- surely there are still people there who are speaking gaelic as their first language? Could they really be wiped out in 15 years?? I doubt it...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:50 pm
by Methica
I highly doubt it too. I think it would at least take a generation before it's whiped out, sort of speak. I mean, how can a language die within 15 to 20 years?! Even as a first language, so...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:50 pm
by Ardens
It could maybe die out as a spoken language on day, but this does not mean that it will disappear entirely.
Look at ancient Greek or Latin - are they still spoken in any country? Nevertheless one cannot say that these languages are dead, since there are still people who learn them.
Unfortunately, there are not as many famous texts written in Gaelic as in Latin, but there is definitely still interest.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:08 am
by Roibeard Óg
Woah, so much to say :lol:

I'm certain that the language will never die. I've been speaking Irish before I spoke English, and use it at home, at work and when out with friends (and even abroad!). There are about 20 Irish medium primary schools in Belfast city alone. The language will always survive.

On the note of youth not wanting to speak it; it depends. In the south it's less likely that a teenager will use it, but in the north it's completley different (mostly). It's a massive, yet very close-knit community - there are thousands of Gaelic speakers across the north, and it's not that big!

As well as that, in New York and Texas there are three Irish Medium primary schools. There are 490 children in Bunscoil Phobal Feirste in the Belfast Gaeltacht of Bóthar Seoighe, where I lived and Irish is spoken at home and in the surrounding economy. It'll never die, and from how I see it with a hopeful upcoming Irish Language Act for the north and a secure future in the south, it'll only become much much stronger.

And on Irish becoming 'cool', that is definitely the case. In the north people have finally stopped using Irish and Ulster Scots (dialect/language?) as weapons, and many communities have joined the Irish-speaking community. One of the most prominent Irish-speakers in the media is quite high-up in the Church of Ireland (Protestant Church), and presents programmes on TG4 and Raidió na Gaeilge, and is also a well known musician! It's quite overwhelming (in a very joyous way), to think about! I forget his name, I'll leave it here asap!

On the note of ancient texts, Gaelic is the oldest European literary language, and the traditional music archive and INL have thousand upon thousands of famous Irish texts stored. Much of the common Roman Catholic mass texts come from Ireland, the country which altered and worked on it most.

It's now even used in the EU meetings in Brussels and is an official EU modern language. I'll raise a pint (of water) to the future! :]

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:43 pm
by eadgyth
I just hope that the language never dies, so much would be lost if it did. Any language that dies is a loss. It really seems as if Irish got back on its feet and I'm happy about that.

Concerning Latin, to me that language is definitely dead. I never liked my Latin classes and was tortured by them for six years. It's not that I'm not interested in it, but I hate translating and that's all we ever did. You don't learn Latin as a living language, you aren't supposed to speak it and that is reflected in the way it is taught. I just hope that Irish never goes that way.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:48 pm
by Luned
So good to hear all that, Roibeard Óg! :D

Roibeard Óg wrote:On the note of ancient texts, Gaelic is the oldest European literary language, and the traditional music archive and INL have thousand upon thousands of famous Irish texts stored. Much of the common Roman Catholic mass texts come from Ireland, the country which altered and worked on it most.

I must have read it somewhere that it was Irish monks who saved the cultural heritage of the Western Europe when times got unstable in the Middle Ages, but I wasn't sure whether they had been writing in Gaelic or in Latin.

Here, in Poland, there is one city where you can actually do Celtic Studies at university. They even published a coursebook in Polish for Polish students learning Irish Gaelic and some other books on Irish phonology, syntax, etc.

As for the response to Irish Gaelic among Irish people I've come across two completely different attitudes. One was that since it's compulsory at school, no one really wants to learn it, let alone use it outside school.
The other was from one of my university teachers. One day I found an Irish Gaelic coursebook in the library and when I showed it to a friend of mine who had just come back from holidays in Ireland we decided that we would show it to that teacher, an Irishman, and ask whether we could find someone to teach us Gaelic. It was completely crazy, since we didn't even have any classes with that teacher at the time, so we didn't know one another. But when we came to him during his duty hours, he simply opened the book and started reading aloud! :shock: :D He claimed that Irish pronunciation is much more regular and thus easier than the English one, though I still cannot agree with that :roll: For the time being, I'm trying to learn some phrases from Giota Beag at BBC Northern Ireland. I know it really is very little, but I hope in time I'll be able to learn more of that beautiful language...

Btw, have you heard of this 'experiment'?:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/nort ... 254947.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1983434,00.html
those articles aren't very optimistic :roll: :(

And one more thing, I was so happy when I heard the President of Ireland speaking Gaelic at the beginning of the UE enlargement ceremony in Dublin on 1 May 2004! :D

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:42 pm
by eadgyth
Very interesting articles, Luned, and kind of sad as well. I could never understand why people would be ashamed of speaking a language (I'd be ashamed if I spoke only one, though). I never thought that there would be hostility towards an Irish speaker in Dublin, unless of course the people thought he was just making fun of them....

I agree with the dreaming...when I lived in Paris, I started dreaming in French after a couple of weeks. It happens to me easily, I also already dreamt in Russian, although I'm really bad in that language.

Luned wrote:Roibeard Óg wrote:
On the note of ancient texts, Gaelic is the oldest European literary language, and the traditional music archive and INL have thousand upon thousands of famous Irish texts stored. Much of the common Roman Catholic mass texts come from Ireland, the country which altered and worked on it most.

I must have read it somewhere that it was Irish monks who saved the cultural heritage of the Western Europe when times got unstable in the Middle Ages, but I wasn't sure whether they were writing in Gaelic or in Latin.


They did, they were a lot more advanced in those times than the people living on the mainland. Saint Columba for example, played an important part in the Christianization of Middle Europe, he even managed to get as far as Western Austria. There are a couple more of them, but I forgot their names, I'd have to ask my dad, but I have the feeling that one of our patron saints of a federal province was one of the monks coming from Iona (now technically that's already Scotland, but the monks there came from Ireland originally). Never mind names, they were there and they were important. I guess that by the time they came, they might have found an easier reception by the locals than the Romans, because at least the area where I live used to be Celtic and even though that era had long passed, there might have been more similarities in the way of thinking than there were with the Romans (but that's just speculation on my part).

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:15 pm
by A_S
eadgyth wrote:
Luned wrote:Roibeard Óg wrote:
On the note of ancient texts, Gaelic is the oldest European literary language, and the traditional music archive and INL have thousand upon thousands of famous Irish texts stored. Much of the common Roman Catholic mass texts come from Ireland, the country which altered and worked on it most.

I must have read it somewhere that it was Irish monks who saved the cultural heritage of the Western Europe when times got unstable in the Middle Ages, but I wasn't sure whether they were writing in Gaelic or in Latin.


They did, they were a lot more advanced in those times than the people living on the mainland. Saint Columba for example, played an important part in the Christianization of Middle Europe, he even managed to get as far as Western Austria. There are a couple more of them, but I forgot their names, I'd have to ask my dad, but I have the feeling that one of our patron saints of a federal province was one of the monks coming from Iona (now technically that's already Scotland, but the monks there came from Ireland originally). Never mind names, they were there and they were important. I guess that by the time they came, they might have found an easier reception by the locals than the Romans, because at least the area where I live used to be Celtic and even though that era had long passed, there might have been more similarities in the way of thinking than there were with the Romans (but that's just speculation on my part).

Has anyone here read How the Irish Saved Civilization? I just read it a few weeks ago and found it really interesting. It essentially argued that without Ireland, the majority of Western civilization's accomplishments would have been lost in the fall of Rome, but that the Irish preserved the learning while the rest of the continent floundered in the Dark Ages. Later, the Irish were the ones to bring learining back to the mainland. Obviously, the book gives more specific examples. (Columba, etc.) But it was a really interesting read and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes that sort of thing (and all of you do or you wouldn't have brought it up. :wink: ).

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:59 pm
by Luned
The title sounds familiar to me and as far as I remember, it was my Latin teacher at secondary school who told my class about this book :)
I learnt Latin for two years and I think, I know what you mean, Eadgyth - it would be a pity, indeed, if Gaelic were perceived in the same way as Latin is now - but I must say, I enjoyed Latin lessons quite a lot and even though I have forgotten grammar I can see that sometimes Latin still comes back to me in the shape of some words I once knew from Latin that have made their way into other foreign languages.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:21 pm
by Ardens
I read "How the Irish saved civilization" and I liked the book very much. Reading it was interesting and it was a lot of fun. It is impressive what the Irish have obviously done for the survival of our culture.

I did not like Latin lessons very much, but I am glad that I that I took them. Knowing Latin helps to learn other languages, because so many German/ English/ French/ Spanish...words are based on Latin words. By translating Latin texts, one also learns a lot about European history, culture and Roman and Greek mythology.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:34 am
by eadgyth
Ardens wrote:By translating Latin texts, one also learns a lot about European history, culture and Roman and Greek mythology


I never learned much by translating the texts myself, they were complete gobbledygook!!! I did understand the originals though (at least to a reasonable extent) because I always managed to write one of the best interpretations in the class, even though I dismally failed the exams. My teacher could never understand how I did it :lol:
I think the only time where Latin really helped me was when I started learning Russian, because at least to me a system with six cases wasn't completely foreign. But normally it went the other way round, because the reason I finally got the hang of the Latin Conjunctive was when we got to the subjuntivo in Spanish. The vowel change that takes place is the same in both languages. My Latin teacher actually once asked why I suddenly seemed to understand - I could tell that she was surprised at the answer!

Okay, back on topic:

I must get hold of "How the Irish saved civilization" though, sounds like a very interesting read