More Irish Vocabulary.

We’ve learned a few Gaeilge words in Irish Firebrands, and now we’ll put together some phrases, found on the Irish Vocabulary menu, above. To hear the pronunciation, copy the bold words and paste them into the box at abair.ie, and push the “Synthesise” button. The page will re-load, and then it will speak.

Ireland is officially a bilingual country, but the Irish language is struggling to survive. It lacks the kind of comprehensive vocabulary that would enable it to be used easily in science, industry and world trade, and the three regional dialects compete with the recently standardized version that is taught in school. The maps below illustrate the decline of the Gaeltachts (Gaeilge-speaking areas) since the early 20th Century.

Gaeltacht_1926

1926

Gaeltacht_1956

1956

Gaeltacht_2007

2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish is compulsory for most schoolchildren, government websites and documents are offered in Gaeilge and English, road signage is usually bilingual, and there is some amount of Irish-language TV programming (with English subtitles). Remedial Irish summer schools are held in the Gaeltachts for all ages. But there are no major newspapers or magazines published in Gaeilge, and more people seem to be interested in preserving Irish music and dance – after all, that’s what tourists will pay to see.

ndmark400Irish is taught in the USA at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, which offers it in Undergraduate majors and minors, as well as Graduate degrees.

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10 Comments

Filed under Language, Uncategorized, What I write about

10 responses to “More Irish Vocabulary.

  1. It’s sad to see the changes. I hope they can find a way to revitalize the learning of the language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A really interesting post, it is sad to see languages that are slowly dying 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, and especially in a place like Ireland, which had an ancient history of bouncing back from depopulating events, and successfully assimilating foreigners, who became “more Irish than the Irish.” After looking at earlier maps, I came to the conclusion that the beginning of the end was in the mid-19th Century, when Irishwomen began to emigrate in large numbers, and many remaining Irishmen were not marrying. The hand that rocked the cradle belonged to the voice that taught the child to speak, but the number of monolingual Gaeilge-speaking mothers dropped to a linguistically unsustainable level.

      Like

  3. That’s very interesting. I had no idea the language was dying. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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