hlysnan wrote:Self-preservation with regards to a culture? Scotland is becoming more and more Anglicised. There is no question that the number of Scottish Gaelic speakers is falling, not only as a proportion of the total population, which is an indicator of the influence of the language, but also in nominal figures, an indicator of vulnerability of the language. The question is, how can this be reversed? Well, one way is to improve the prestige of the language by granting official status, but is that enough? If people in the Lowlands have no attachment to Scottish Gaelic or the Highlands, that's going to present a problem for the cultural revival.
But you're not talking about self-preservation, you're talking about expansion.
Gaelic was once spoken all over Scotland. It's no expansion, it's reclamation.
Set wrote:It seems to me you think that the right of a language (a non-tangible, almost abstract idea) has more rights than humans, i.e. Scottish people should have to learn Gaelic to protect the language.
Well, the language has existed for hundreds of years, and is the embodiment of an entire culture and the mental operating system of a whole civilization. So yeah, I think it's a bit more important that a person.
Set wrote:But nobody has the right to tell anyone what language they have to speak, especially not if it's in order to boost support for some small political party based on out-dated ideas of nationalism and the nation state.
I don't know what kind of world your living in, but in mine there's nothing outdated about nationalism. People in the past were told what language to speak, that's how this situation has come about, all I'm saying is reverse it the same way.
Set wrote: Gaelic isn't being oppressed by Scotland being in the UK, so this really is a non-issue when it comes to the independence debate.
More's the pity. Unfortunately, I agree that it seems that the language has little to do with the independence debate. I think a lot of the people who want independence want it for reasons other than saving the Gaelic language and culture, which leads me to believe that it may not be much more of a priority in a new Scottish state than it is now. But at least the advocates of said language/culture will have a louder voice in a Scottish state than they do currently.
Set wrote: And only 1.6% of the population speak Gaelic to some degree, so to push the linguistic argument shows a lack of care for the human side of the issue.
To make that argument shows a lack of concern for the language side of the issue. You seem to have a very utilitarian perspective on language. It's not something that's there just as a method of communication to serve your purposes. If anything, you should be there to serve it. Like I said already, it's been around a lot longer than you have, and to be honest, the world will miss it a lot more than you.
Set wrote:As for ciaran, you seem to think people should learn and be proud of the language which generations ago people spoke in the bit of land they were randomly born on. Why?
If the Scottish people don't assume responsibility for it, who will?
Set wrote: On the one hand you say that you support the Scottish right to determination, but on the other hand you ignore the fact that most people don't actually want independence, and even less want to speak Gaelic.
I'm not forcing anyone to have independence. I do however reserve the right to think that if the Scots are willing to allow themselves to be come completely anglicized, and allow their culture to die, that that is a despicable thing to do. It is a great shame if their not proud of their culture and language.
Set wrote:You also seem to think that the fact that you're celtic means you have more authority on this issue than I do, someone who actually lives in Scotland
Yes, I do. Clearly, I have more of an attachment to the Gaelic culture than you do, and I don't want to see it die.
Set wrote:(and I'm half Irish anyway...although that means nothing).
You're right, that does mean absolutely nothing.
Set wrote: I think you're just a bigot thought and get too agitated by things you havn't properly read for a reasonable conversation, so that might be why I don't reply to you.
Haven't read properly? I have yet to hear you dazzle me with a history lesson that proves me wrong.
kalemiye wrote:According to your own profile you are apparently able to speak Japanese and Spanish better than Irish Gaelic. I think definitely you should try a bit harder.
You have no idea what the circumstances of my life are, so keep your criticism of me personally to yourself thanks. I didn't have the luxury of growing up with Irish, I didn't study it at school, and I have taken it up within the last few years. I also have to manage many other commitments. But I will be fluent, and more over my children (should I have any) will grow up as native speakers.
Set wrote:And as I said, people want to learn the most useful language, that's a normal human thing to do, to find the most efficient way of succeeding in life. Gaelic provides almost no benefit and trying to impose benefits, by making certain jobs require it would be a dreadful idea.
Again, showing your utilitarian view of language. The language needs to be saved. If the best way to do that is to give people an incentive by making the language one of official business, then so be it. That's how English became dominant, so we know it works.
Set wrote:I had a Scottish friend who used to be pretty extremely patriotic/nationalist, so he played shinty and said he could speak Gaelic and hated the English. Turns out he couldn't speak Gaelic, he had studied it for a couple of years at school and then got a Gaelic tattoo. That kinda sums it up for me. Theres quite a few people who want to feel proud about being Scottish for whatever reason, but the language isn't a great part of it.
I see, so because your friend was like that, that now means that the language is pointless and you'd be happy to see it die? Because of one nationalist who couldn't be bothered to learn the language? If anything I think it's sad that he didn't speak it. You said he was taught it in school, yet didn't speak it: people shouldn't have to learn their native language as a second language in school.
hlysnan wrote:Governments are forcing people to learn English. It's the same thing. The benefits are only there now because of the suppression of Scottish Gaelic that occurred over the centuries.
Yes and a lot of bad things have happened in the past. I'm not excusing them, but you can't try and re-wind and bring things back to the way they were, and where would you stop anyway? Would we have to back to Middle English, or Proto-Germanic, or Proto-Indo-European?
If I could re-wind time and save the myriad number of language that have been lost, I would. Each one is a different perspective on the world and something that enriches us all. Many have been lost permanently. Gaelic is not one of those. Your argument is like saying, "Why should we help that dying guy? You can bring back the dead, so why bother?
hlysnan wrote:There is always an "us" and a "them". My family against the rest. My people against the rest. It's human nature, and everyone is a part of a number of groups unless they're living in hermitude. People care about the people closest to them, and the closer a group is against another, they will care more about the first.
You don't have to think like that though. And saying something is natural for humans is invalid because there are plenty things we now do which aren't natural. And many 'natural' things that we may no longer do since we are part of an advanced society.
Sorry, weren't you just talking about how it is "natural" that people would want to learn the most useful language at the expense of others?