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Thread: Can the Historical English takeover of Gaeilge be a future lesson to all the little languages across the Planet ?

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    Default Can the Historical English takeover of Gaeilge be a future lesson to all the little languages across the Planet ?

    Ireland's struggle to revive the dead auld teanga are well documented. Tons of money, thousands of hours of schooltime, official sanction etc etc all culminating in an Ireland where the Irish language is little more than a minor hobby. Who cares Irish is gone ? Maybe we benefit from now speaking the 'world language'.
    .
    Looking forward into the twenty-first Century, lets think of the little languages. Languages not strong enough to have a big movie industry. Languages that increasingly import English words for all new technologies and whatever else is new ( civil partnerships maybe). Latvian, Albanian, Danish, Greek, Africaans, Nepalese...... will they all get polluted and eventually consigned to the dustbin of history ?
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    So, what lessons can all these little nations learn from the Irish experience ? Please keep the discussion polite and respectful at all times.
    Irish language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    How about gender-balance in immigration into ireland ? Is it currently 40 blokes arriving for every 1 woman arriving on these shores ?

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    I think that once a language gets associated with wealth, power and status then the battle is no longer external, it's internal.
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    Other than causing many linguists , translators etc to be employed....what good are many languages ?
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    Politics.ie Member Campion's Avatar
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    Look at Israel and the revival of Hebrew. Hebrew was a classical language by the time of Christ-- it was no longer spoken, but was a liturgical and scriptural language exclusively. Yet Israel revived the language and made it a living national language in a generation, a remarkable feat. In part the revival was facilitated by the fact that those immigrating to Israel did not have a common language-- they spoke many languages when they arrived in Israel, so Hebrew represented a new language that virtually everyone could read but which no one spoke.
    The revival of Irish is different. English IS a common language spoken universally across the country, so there wasn't the need to create a common language in order to sort out the Babel, as it were. But most importantly, the failure to resuscitate Irish seems due to social and economic issues that the language revival could never surmount. The fact that generation after generation of Irish people knew from childhood that they were most likely going to emigrate to English speaking countries placed a premium on English. Children knew that you didn't need Irish in Liverpool or New York. There was also no socio-economic incentive in Irish-- the Irish economic system has spoken English for hundreds of years now. no matter how many years of compulsory Irish there were, Irish work was and is done in English.

    If not for the Gaeltacht subsidies Connemara would have moved en masse to Boston by 1990.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post
    Other than causing many linguists , translators etc to be employed....what good are many languages ?
    Other languages show us that our first language prejudices our thought processes, and that our linguistic world view is just one possible interpretation.
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Of Newgrange View Post
    Ireland's struggle to revive the dead auld teanga are well documented.
    Ireland's struggle or attempts by a minority of the Irish people?

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riadach View Post
    Other languages show us that our first language prejudices our thought processes, and that our linguistic world view is just one possible interpretation.
    very wittgensteiny ...but in practice , what benefit ?
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    I believe the Irish experience was unique. No matter how globalised we are today,or influenced by immigration,other cultures etc; I can't see any other minor language being decimated in the way that Irish was.

    Post-Famine, and with the introduction of the National Schools and mass emigration, the economic conditions made the obliteration of the language a doddle.

    I knew older people who remember hearing of their grandparents being beaten and mocked for their use of Irish in school. It was seen as backward and regressive.

    Astonishingly this was all accomplished in a very short time.

    To illustrate, there is a (true) story of a young Connemara boy in the late 19th Century, taken to hospital in Galway where he died. Among his last words were :

    "Deoch Uisce, Deoch Uisce"

    .....and nobody there knew what he was saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post
    very wittgensteiny ...but in practice , what benefit ?
    Are you talking just about financial benefit?

    If not, knowing other languages, other literatures, etc allows you to reconsider reality and removes barriers to the truth.
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post
    Other than causing many linguists , translators etc to be employed....what good are many languages ?
    Cohesiveness, Culture, Identity?

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