The future of the Celtic languages

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Declan » 2014-07-07, 21:53

Incidentally, I'm one of those who enjoyed Irish at school, but also at Irish college which was probably also beneficial to my liking of Irish. However, I do think there are some fundamental problems with teaching Irish in Ireland, the major one being that there is little communication between the primary and secondary schools, so if you don't have a reasonable standard from primary school you will be rapidly lost in secondary school. Add to this the insistence of not teaching grammar at any level and you get confusion even for those who like Irish. For example, it was when I was sixteen and out of personal interest that I learned the declensions and of masculine and feminine nouns!

I am from Clare, so I have always been partial to the CO as that was probably representative of the Gaeltacht that was originally established in my area when the state was founded, although nobody no longer speaks Irish natively in this area (at least, there are no families from the start of the 20th century who still speak Irish from Clare). Even that aside, I've always supported the CO for a few more reasons, firstly, it's reasonably close to the native dialects so that it is perfectly comprehensible for the Munster, Connemara and Donegal speakers with whom I do converse with in Irish. I also like it from a practical point of view, because it seems quite reasonable to me that non-natives would learn a dialect that is representative of Irish while not tied down to any particular location and native speakers maintain their dialects.

I know you strongly support native dialects only linguoboy, but how do you think that could work practically in school for example? Would you end up with the dialect favoured by your teacher/school, subject to changes etc.? Having the Caighdéan gives some consistency for me as a non-native speaker, while allowing easy communication with all native speakers. Traditional Irish remains a gold-standard for me (English words and all I suppose), insofar as I always want to be perfectly comprehensible to a native Irish speaker, but I think that having a standard "non-native" dialect helps achieve that goal while maintaining authenticity. I personally dislike non-traditional Irish (of the form that you often see in Gaelcholáistí in Dublin), I'm not remotely interested in speaking a language that native speakers can barely understand and that completely ignores the pronounciation of the still living language!
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2014-07-08, 8:07

Which pronunciation do you use Declan? Munster, Connacht, Ulster?

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Declan » 2014-07-08, 23:18

An Lon Dubh wrote:Which pronunciation do you use Declan? Munster, Connacht, Ulster?

Munster mainly, except for a few words like anseo, faoi, dearmud etc.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2014-07-09, 9:07

I think they would have had the Conamara pronunciation in Clare anyway.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Declan » 2014-07-09, 10:43

It was very transitional, if you go down into South Clare around Merriman's area, it's distinctly Munster, around Gort and Ballyvaughan it was Connemara with shades of Munster, and you got an eclectic mix in between based on the personal history and preference of the individual speaker. There were a number of studies including one in the 1940s as Irish was dying out.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2014-07-09, 15:11

I meant the words you listed would have had a Conamara pronunciation.

In general Southern Clare was essentially Déise Irish and Northern Clare was like the Irish of the Aran islands, but it was an eclectic mix as you say.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-09, 17:12

Declan wrote:I know you strongly support native dialects only linguoboy, but how do you think that could work practically in school for example? Would you end up with the dialect favoured by your teacher/school, subject to changes etc.?

Isn't this what happens now with pluricentric foreign languages? In Germany, for instance, both American English and British English are taught in schools. (IIRC, the Abitur--more or less a form of leaving cert--allows for a choice of which standard you'll be tested on.) When I taught English in Germany, the texts we had taught British English, but I didn't make any conscious effort to alter the way I spoke beyond making more extensive use of the present perfect and have got.

With any language, I find the standard language works fine for formal situations, but if you ever want to learn to express yourself colloquially, you have to make a decision to orient yourself toward one or more regional varieties. I learned Standard German in school, but to learn to actually speak it with any degree of fluency, I had to go to Germany, and then I learned the colloquial variety of the place where I was, Freiburg. (Albeit with considerable influence from other regiolects because it was a university town and my mates came from all over the German Sprachraum.)

Do they no longer send schoolchildren to the Gaeltacht in summer to mingle with native speakers?
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2014-07-09, 17:27

Yes, although you would have to keep in mind that some of the most popular colleges are situated in places like Uíbh Ráthach that haven't been a Gaeltacht for a generation.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Declan » 2014-07-09, 23:54

Oh sorry Lon Dubh, that makes sense now.

Having fine though the same experience with German myself, albeit with NRW accent, I think that sounds exactly like my Irish experience, no? For both, I learned the standard at school (with the added bonus that the standard is a real dialect rather than an artificial construct in the case of German) and that is clearly my baseline with some additions from certain dialects and personal experience. That being said, I don't know that I've ever found either standard particularly deficient in any way, but it's nice to use phrases and pronunciation like my friends while speaking to them. The same goes for my time at Irish college, my pronunciation in particular was heavily influenced.

For exam purposes, any dialect is acceptable as long as you are consistent and as someone mentioned earlier, probably preferred by any competent examiner. Regardless, for the level of school exams, the standard isn't particularly divorced from the dialects, I think that applies to the German situation as well, many of the important differences between American and British English aren't apparent or are just simple vocabulary swaps at that level.

Though thinking about it, my liking for a standard is probably due to my annoyance as a student first learning Irish. My criticism of Irish teaching is that it is not done formally enough (the rest of the country seems to disagree looking at the new curriculum) so grammatical differences between dialects seem to occur in seemingly free variation. I personally find it much easier to learn one consistent variety first and then the variations afterwards; however I do fully agree that the target is obviously native Irish, as I think I've said, in have absolutely no interest in speaking Irish if native speakers would find it like I find a lot of modern Dublin Irish. Though, you mention Magan, it's been a while since I've heard him, but his pronunciation is quite reasonable, no?
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby kevin » 2014-07-10, 7:58

Declan wrote:(with the added bonus that the standard is a real dialect rather than an artificial construct in the case of German)

That depends on what you call a "real dialect". The standard indeed hasn't been designed by a committee, and in the North people gave up their local dialect for the standard already quite a while ago. But it's not the original language there and true Standard German isn't spoken anywhere, even today. They say the "best" Hochdeutsch is spoken in Hannover, but there they have some non-standard grammar in their colloquial language.

In the South, Standard German only even started to exist as a spoken language in the past ~50 years (probably related to the rise of TV). Before that, it was only used in writing.

Which probably means that the CO (with whatever pronunciation the majority uses, even if it's not a native one) only needs a bit more time and speakers until you'll have to accept it as a "real dialect" as well if you keep the same standards.

For exam purposes, any dialect is acceptable as long as you are consistent and as someone mentioned earlier, probably preferred by any competent examiner. Regardless, for the level of school exams, the standard isn't particularly divorced from the dialects, I think that applies to the German situation as well

Not sure what "particularly divorced" is for but - but are you sure you had to deal with German dialects, rather than just Standard German with the accent of some dialect? Because dialects can be relatively far from the standard and in tests, the use of dialectal words counts as an error. I've had my share of them when I guessed wrong how the standard would say it. ;)

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-10, 14:59

kevin wrote:They say the "best" Hochdeutsch is spoken in Hannover, but there they have some non-standard grammar in their colloquial language.

Plus I have it on good authority that they "stolpern über den spitzen Stein".

kevin wrote:In the South, Standard German only even started to exist as a spoken language in the past ~50 years (probably related to the rise of TV).

I doubt it. The evidence for the homogenising effects of TV are weak at best. I'd wager it has much more to do with the fact that about 20% of the German-speaking population was uprooted during the War and resettled, often in strikingly different dialect areas. Freiburg, for instance, where I learned German ended up taking in thousands of East Prussians. You'd be hard pressed to find two dialects more different from each other than Südbadisch and Niederpreußisch. The only way native speakers of each variety could communicate was by means of Standarddeutsch, so it's not surprising to find it holds sway over the city today. In addition, Freiburg is a university town with students (16% of them from outside Germany) making up about 10% of the residents. Again, this is another sort of contact situation which favours the standard.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Car » 2014-07-10, 16:27

linguoboy wrote:
kevin wrote:They say the "best" Hochdeutsch is spoken in Hannover, but there they have some non-standard grammar in their colloquial language.

Plus I have it on good authority that they "stolpern über den spitzen Stein".

Not anymore, no. They used to do that, though. A friend of my father's who's originally from there had to "break that habit". I didn't hear anyone use it during my time there. But I don't find the Standard German any "better" than in much of Northern Germany. You have the same sort of non-standard pronunciation as you'd also find here in East Westphalia and "real Hannoversch" apparently sounds nothing like Standard German, but the imitations I've heard remind you of Braunschweig and already sounds a bit "Eastern".
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Declan » 2014-07-10, 21:40

kevin wrote:Not sure what "particularly divorced" is for but - but are you sure you had to deal with German dialects, rather than just Standard German with the accent of some dialect? Because dialects can be relatively far from the standard and in tests, the use of dialectal words counts as an error. I've had my share of them when I guessed wrong how the standard would say it. ;)

What in many was that for exams taken in Irish in Ireland, any dialect is acceptable provided is used consistently, admittedly, heavy slang is probably not only inappropriate but likely to be misunderstood. I then meant to compare that to the situation of English in Germany, I believe either major dialect is acceptable? In also meant that the Irish standard isn't hugely different in written form from the major dialects (pretty much by design) given the sorts of things you talk about in exams.

I hadn't known that Hochdeutsch replaced a native Hannoverian dialect, I assumed it just happened to be based on speech in that area based on prestige, then again, I've never really spoken much with someone from there, but when I have, the have spoken almost exactly like I would have learned at school.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby kevin » 2014-07-11, 8:32

linguoboy wrote:I'd wager it has much more to do with the fact that about 20% of the German-speaking population was uprooted during the War and resettled, often in strikingly different dialect areas.

That would be a good reason, but I think it happened only later. Of course, speaking "nach der Schrift" has probably existed for a long time for communication with foreigners (the result of which is, by the way, not something that I would call Hochdeutsch, but just something close enough to be mutually intelligible). But as far as I can tell, those who arrived after the war were expected to learn to understand the local dialect and their children were generally native dialect speakers again.

Declan wrote:I then meant to compare that to the situation of English in Germany, I believe either major dialect is acceptable?

[Edit: Whoops, you're not talking about English in England or German in Germany, but English in Germany. I think both British and American English are accepted, even though British is generally what is taught.]

By dialect you mean the national varieties of Standard German? Just note that they wouldn't be considered dialects by most Germans and have mostly just some minor differences in vocabulary. Not sure what would have happened if I had used an Austrian word in an essay (but I wouldn't be surprised if it had been corrected), but had I consistently used the Swiss orthography by replacing all ß by ss, that would for sure have been counted as wrong,

If you're talking about real regional dialects, their use isn't accepted in any case.

In also meant that the Irish standard isn't hugely different in written form from the major dialects (pretty much by design) given the sorts of things you talk about in exams.

Right, they seem to be close enough for this to work. In Germany, dialects aren't necessarily mutually intelligible. Maybe the right comparison wouldn't be dialects in Germany, but the varieties within one German dialect like Swabian. Just that there isn't a standard for such a dialect, so that comparison doesn't work either...

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Car » 2014-07-12, 9:24

Declan wrote:I hadn't known that Hochdeutsch replaced a native Hannoverian dialect, I assumed it just happened to be based on speech in that area based on prestige, then again, I've never really spoken much with someone from there, but when I have, the have spoken almost exactly like I would have learned at school.

No, they used to speak Low German there, too. I think they may just have lost it (and its substratum) earlier than elsewhere. The Low German substratum on Standard German changed the pronunciation. Standard German was originally based on several dialects, if I'm not mistaken.

kevin wrote:[Edit: Whoops, you're not talking about English in England or German in Germany, but English in Germany. I think both British and American English are accepted, even though British is generally what is taught.]

Up until 10th grade or so (not sure, but it was the year where we spent the entire year dealing with the US and US English) we were only allowed to use British English, from them on we were allowed to choose, but had to pick one (they based that one on the versions we used in the first lines of our exams).
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Saim » 2014-07-12, 14:41

I'd just like to say that I have nothing against Cornish or Cornwall. I can do nothing but applaud the minority of people that have learned the language and are trying to spread its knowledge and use in Cornwall. As someone who strongly identifies with another language (i.e. Punjabi) that was called a "patois of Urdu" by British colonists, I have nothing but solidarity and sympathy for people who want to avoid the spread and domination of English.

That said, there is something irretrievably lost in the death of every language, that simply cannot be revived. Perhaps the use of the term "relexified English" was hyperbolic of me, but this break in continuity does indeed create pretty deep changes in a language. Just look at all the strong substrate influences you can identify on dominant "national" languages (Berber on Maghrebi Arabic, Galician on Galician Spanish, Occitan on Midi French, etc.) and you'll see part of why this influence would be so difficult to avoid in any language revival effort. Furthermore, even in the final phases of language shift, before the language is even dead, the influence of the invasive language is palpable - lexical distinctions that are not present in the dominant language are lost, the number of styles and registers are limited, structures and idioms are massively calqued, and phonemes are lost as several sounds appear in free variation. You don't need to go to Cornwall to know this, this is covered in scholarship on language death.

Despite that, I need to emphasis the fact that that doesn't mean I don't think that Cornish revival is worthwhile. I just want to point out that a lot more is lost in language death that most people think, that even if a language is recorded when we revive it it can only ever be an approximation. We should be very alarmed indeed if the current trends regarding most of the world's remaining languages, because they all indicate the total devestation of language diversity throughout the world.

Now this brings me to another point that Ciarán made, that I'm a pessimist. I'd like to challenge that label - I'm quite hopeful in that I think that a lot of the language shift we've been experiencing in the last couple of generations especially can be reversed. But we have to actively reverse it, we have to actually change our language ideologies and language politics to be able to achieve this. In that case ringing the alarm and pointing out to people who much is on the verge of being lost is part of this kind of consciousness-raising, it helps bring an international perspective on language shift that is unfortunately usually missing in the mostly localized discussions on minoritized or endangered languages.

To bring this back to the discussion on Celtic languages, it's the kind of attitude expressed in this quotation that bothers me:

Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws said the findings came as a shock.

"Perhaps there has been a danger for everyone to be lulled into a false sense of security 10 years ago, believing everything would be alright, and that the growth in some areas would make up for the decrease in other areas," she said.


From that it becomes pretty apparent to me that any new policy would need to make Welsh compulsory and English not as important in those areas where Welsh is still used as a daily language. It cannot be retained if it's just some young people learning it but not using it in Cardiff and Newport - but do the Welsh have the will to break from this dependence on English? That's my main worry.

Ciarán12 wrote:
Saim wrote:- in this case the English influence on Cornish is much deeper than the Yiddish influence on Hebrew.


I don't see how that is relevant. Are you suggesting that Cornish is necessarily more influenced in all areas by English than Hebrew is by Yiddish? Can you back that up in anyway?


Israeli Hebrew has also been adopted by a whole bunch of speakers of Ladino, Amharic, Russian, Arabic, Aramaic, Hungarian, French, English, Spanish and Persian, among others, but the level of the earliest adopters who were mostly (but not exclusively) Yiddish-speaking was unaivoidable. In the case of Cornish practically all of the new adopters are native English-speakers, it is impossible in that sort of environment for there not to be a lot of crossover from English.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-07-12, 15:55

Saim wrote:That said, there is something irretrievably lost in the death of every language, that simply cannot be revived. Perhaps the use of the term "relexified English" was hyperbolic of me, but this break in continuity does indeed create pretty deep changes in a language.


I don't think anyone is suggesting otherwise, but given that it the death of the language has already taken place, there's nothing anyone can do about it. It can't be a criticism of the revival, only perhaps a retrospective criticism of the people who let it die out the first time.

Saim wrote:Just look at all the strong substrate influences you can identify on dominant "national" languages (Berber on Maghrebi Arabic, Galician on Galician Spanish, Occitan on Midi French, etc.) and you'll see part of why this influence would be so difficult to avoid in any language revival effort.


Again, if this is unavoidable then there's nothing to discuss, we just have to live with it. Also, whilst these local/national varieties of a superstrate language are distinctive because of the substrate influence, they are a) clearly dialects of the superstrate and b) mostly in the process of decreolisation. If decreolisation is possible for these languages, perhaps there is hope for applying the same effect to the revived languages (i.e. the first generation of L2 speakers having heavily-anglicised Cornish, with progressive generations refining and "re-Cornishifying" their Cornish). I'm not sure if there are examples of this, but I could see it working.

Saim wrote:Furthermore, even in the final phases of language shift, before the language is even dead, the influence of the invasive language is palpable - lexical distinctions that are not present in the dominant language are lost, the number of styles and registers are limited, structures and idioms are massively calqued, and phonemes are lost as several sounds appear in free variation. You don't need to go to Cornwall to know this, this is covered in scholarship on language death.


As far as I'm aware, Revived Cornish is based more on the less anglicised Middle Cornish than on Late Cornish, I think Morlader even said that if he were to have a conversation with a Late Cornish native speaker he would likely have to adjust his Cornish to make it more anglicised as Revived Cornish is actually more conservative.

Saim wrote:Despite that, I need to emphasis the fact that that doesn't mean I don't think that Cornish revival is worthwhile. I just want to point out that a lot more is lost in language death that most people think, that even if a language is recorded when we revive it it can only ever be an approximation. We should be very alarmed indeed if the current trends regarding most of the world's remaining languages, because they all indicate the total devestation of language diversity throughout the world.


I don't think we're not alarmed. I'm not sure where you get this idea that language revivalists are complacent or unconcerned about the state of their revival movements, that certainly hasn't been my experience.

Saim wrote:Now this brings me to another point that Ciarán made, that I'm a pessimist. I'd like to challenge that label - I'm quite hopeful in that I think that a lot of the language shift we've been experiencing in the last couple of generations especially can be reversed. But we have to actively reverse it, we have to actually change our language ideologies and language politics to be able to achieve this. In that case ringing the alarm and pointing out to people who much is on the verge of being lost is part of this kind of consciousness-raising, it helps bring an international perspective on language shift that is unfortunately usually missing in the mostly localized discussions on minoritized or endangered languages.


Perhaps I was projecting a little bit when I said you were a pessimist, but IME the kinds of arguments you were making come from people who either think that it's pointless to revive a language when it is as weak as these ones are because you'll probably fail anyway or don't actually want it to be revived in the first place. I think that if they fail, it will likely be because of people like that constantly telling everyone how hopeless it is and that they shouldn't bother. I think a bit of reflective optimism at progress that has been made is a good thin, it inspires confidence. I mean, Cornish is not getting any deader, it's not like every second that passes that Cornish isn't the mother-tongue of everyone in Cornwall we are losing more of it or the situation is getting graver - Cornish is doing a lot better now than it has for a century, that's something to take as a sign that it is possible to revive it and that bigger goals can now be set for it.

Saim wrote:To bring this back to the discussion on Celtic languages, it's the kind of attitude expressed in this quotation that bothers me:

Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws said the findings came as a shock.

"Perhaps there has been a danger for everyone to be lulled into a false sense of security 10 years ago, believing everything would be alright, and that the growth in some areas would make up for the decrease in other areas," she said.


From that it becomes pretty apparent to me that any new policy would need to make Welsh compulsory and English not as important in those areas where Welsh is still used as a daily language.


Maybe that should be the next step, but if you cut people down for being "complacent" every time they express a positive emotion based on success they may lose the will to go on. I don't want to spend my whole life learning Irish, raising my children to speak it and fighting for improved circumstances for it only to be told that it was all pointless because it's going to die anyway.

Saim wrote:It cannot be retained if it's just some young people learning it but not using it in Cardiff and Newport - but do the Welsh have the will to break from this dependence on English? That's my main worry.

That's a different matter. I think at the moment, if reviving the Celtic languages means eschewing English/French entirely, it's not going to happen. I have to believe it's possible to revive it without giving up the dominant language.


Saim wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:
Saim wrote:- in this case the English influence on Cornish is much deeper than the Yiddish influence on Hebrew.


I don't see how that is relevant. Are you suggesting that Cornish is necessarily more influenced in all areas by English than Hebrew is by Yiddish? Can you back that up in anyway?


Israeli Hebrew has also been adopted by a whole bunch of speakers of Ladino, Amharic, Russian, Arabic, Aramaic, Hungarian, French, English, Spanish and Persian, among others, but the level of the earliest adopters who were mostly (but not exclusively) Yiddish-speaking was unaivoidable. In the case of Cornish practically all of the new adopters are native English-speakers, it is impossible in that sort of environment for there not to be a lot of crossover from English.


Again, if it's impossible, it's impossible, so no point in dwelling on it. In the case of Israeli Hebrew, I was under the impression that it had been purposely designed in such a way as to make it more European and less Semitic, which isn't the case for Cornish.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-07-14, 21:40

All the infighting in the revival movements is one thing, but the major battle is not the one between this faction and another - it is the problem of making the silent majority care. What reason is there for someone (uninterested) to keep the ancestral language alive, when there is no advantage with it, and no use for it, and you have to learn the outside language (English/French) anyway to be able to function in society?
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby morlader » 2014-07-15, 16:11

If we were reviving Cornish while it was close to death, then yes there would be a huge amount of English influence. But Cornish already died, and has been revived using Middle Cornish texts (Late Cornish was never popular due to the English influence). Cornish may be Celtic but in terms of the language's revived situation, its closest relative could be said to be Modern Hebrew, which of course was influenced by those who learnt it. But so what? The Hebrew revivalists were nation builders, it wasn't an exercise in historical authenticity.

Yes it is true that L2 speakers can find their Cornish being influenced by their native English, particularly in idiom and pronunciation. This is something that can perhaps be addressed as the revival grows into more domains and more people achieve fluency. But because of linguistic nationalism, the grammar and lexicon of modern Cornish (including the neologisms) are Celtic, even more so than Late Cornish. Most revivalists take great pains to make both as non-English as possible, even if they do overlook their use of English-based idioms and prepositions due to it being harder to recognise.

Some linguists may scoff at this, but I prefer to see it as a version of Cornish with definite and real links to its past, identifiably the same language, but one that fits with the needs and aims of its speakers in the 21st century, looking to what can be in the future.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby whyigotta » 2015-08-22, 21:00

A language not spoken by communities is a dead language anyway, even if, as in Ireland, more than a million people claim to be able to speak it. The aim should be, as identified in the 2020 plan to revive Irish, to create and strengthen communities that speak Irish. I heard a radio segment about a GAA club in Dublin where everything is run through Irish. If Irish is to spread as a daily language, this is the kind of thing we need more of. We need painting classes, yoga, fitness groups, hillwalking clubs all through Irish, creating groups and communities who communicate through Irish. Only then can you claim that Irish is a living language outside the Gaeltacht. When people meet in a language, they're more likely to continue speaking in that language and then bring their children up through that language, spreading its use to the next generation. The best thing is, this can be done without the Government who have not helped Irish in over 80 years and are not going to start now.

Of course, the fact that it's being allowed to die in the Gaeltacht is criminal also and drastic action needs to be taken there, but it has to be taken by the Government, so this will not happen. The voluntary sector must take a chunk of the blame too, there was two huge marches in Dublin and Belfast for Irish fairly recently, showing a lot of goodwill and popular support for the language, but there has been a failure to use that support to force the government to take radical action to save the language, such as the civil rights movement in the 60s which at least got Raidio na Gaeltachta. There should be protests at holiday homes or non-Gaelscoileanna in the Gaeltacht, or a popular movement to use Irish first when talking to strangers, such as the 'encomana el catala' in Catalunya.

This is where the question of priorities comes up, as Saim mentions. Radical action is needed, not just giving a couple of thousand euro to an Irish language body or putting it on a signpost for everyone to ignore, I'm talking changing planning laws to ensure any new arrivals to the Gaeltacht are fluent in Irish, forcing all schools in the area to be Gaelscoil and testing them to ensure that teaching is of a sufficient standard, creating (by government mandate if necessary) opportunities for Irish-speakers to converse and socialise in Irish outside of school, a network of free naíonraí (Irish-language creches) around the country, ensuring that every district in the country has the option of a Gaelscoil. These actions go against the government's laissez-faire philosophy and might lead to some opposition from the general public who are happy enough to have Irish on signposts but might not be so keen if it actually impacts them in anyway.

The pure Irish debate is nonsense too, this is a 'debate' which will continue regardless of the number of speakers and is almost irrelevant to language revival. If 5 english speakers come together, one each from Yorkshire, Galway, New York and Karachi, they will all find a way to understand each other because they're familiar with each others dialects. If Irish speakers are exposed to other dialects (through the media or through meeting people from different areas, as in English), they will understand them and find a way to understand each other, because languages are tools of communication, not ceremonial display pieces to be showcased, they're for swearing, flirting, awkwardly conversing with family, etc in situations where 99% of the time, no one cares if you're speaking 'good' or not.


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