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Should Irish be made optional at schools.

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Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,136 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    We had An Triail. An interesting and morbid window into the old Ireland of yore.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭RetroEncabulator


    It did happen in other countries. Most of the French regional languages were entirely erased. They even had signs and posters up in the 1950s and 1960s in Alsace with "C'est chic de parler français" and banned the teaching of Alsatian in schools. Basque and Breton were fairly heavily discouraged until the 1970s and 80s and the southern languages like Occitan were basically wiped out entirely and have only recently been somewhat revived.

    Also Belgium was a very extreme example, where there was a long standing governmental policy to effectively try to erase Flemish / Dutch, even though that's what more than half the population spoke. It didn't work, largely because there was a very significant population that spoke Flemish as their first language, but there was a long period of trying to exclude it from officialdom entirely and making French the language of academia and so on. The economics of Belgium flipped towards Flanders and away from the French speaking Wallonia, which had a lot of traditional industrial era industries - it's been a bit of a shoe now on the other foot type situation - but it's that language divide and attempt to wipe out Flemish that has been an ever present divide in Belgium that frequently gets close to causing it to split in half.

    You find similar stores all over Europe where language was used as a cultural thing.

    Even look at Ukraine now. Russia spent a LONG time trying to wipe out the Ukrainian language and culture - forcing all interaction with the state, officialdom and academia to be exclusively in Russian during the USSR period.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997



    It wasn't a matter of convenience to learn English. I'm not sure you're getting people weren't allowed to speak Irish in many official situations, like Education, Court, certain jobs. Where previously Irish would have been used. It was effectively banned. Once banned for long enough it was doomed. The famine was made far worse as a result of govt policy as was emigration.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    Seems your point is what's the point of culture.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    So they don't speak French or Dutch. News to me.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭RetroEncabulator


    Flemish is the dialect (cluster of dialects) of Dutch spoken in Belgium - it's mutually intelligible but it's significantly different enough to Dutch to warrant it having its own name.

    French is spoken in roughly less than half of Belgium, and is the primary language in officially bilingual Brussels, which is surrounded by Flemish speaking suburbs on all sides. There's also a small bit of Belgium that speaks German.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,015 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    My point is: the individual gets to choose what's culturally important to them, and at some point if enough people decide something is cultrually unimportant it will fall into decline.

    Force won't change that.

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    Half of the population, or area would be still be millions.

    Neither sound anything like the demise of Irish.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    Well if you had no access to education, jobs, religion, food, land, unless you stopped speaking English spoke Chinese would that "force" change anything.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,136 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    Do you have a source for this? It doesn't equate to a ban on Irish even if this is true. There's no way to effectively ban a language and people can easily learn to speak two.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭RetroEncabulator


    It's not the same as the situation with Irish. There are about 5.5 million Flemish speakers in Belgium and it's their first language. It's just an illustration though that language erasure attempts happened. It wasn't likely to ever work in Belgium because of the scale of Flemish and also because it's effectively Dutch, and there's another 17 million+ Dutch speakers a short distance away...

    However, there are loads of examples of small languages in Europe being pushed into extinction by official policy (mostly in the past). It's just not accurate though to assume that Europe has always been a welcome place for small languages - particularly where they were perceived to be linked to separatism and so on. Similar politics played out in a lot of places in less enlightened times. In a lot of countries supporting regional and smaller languages has been a relatively modern phenomenon.

    Irish had a mixture of factors.

    1. English became the language of officialdom, law and administration from the Pale outwards and in the bigger cities centuries ago. It's not a recent thing.
    2. Policy discouraged it / punished its use or saw it as something to be sneered at. There's plenty of evidence of that from the 18th and 19th centuries in particular.
    3. English became (largely due to the United States) a much more useful language and became less about the English and really grew its own life that's quite seperate from England and English politics / culture. It's also grown into a world interchange language in modern times, which is extremely useful to speak.
    4. Irish wasn't universally spoken in Ireland. It was widely spoken, but it genuinely didn't really have much of a foothold in the Pale, certainly didn't in Dublin and there were other languages around too - various from of older English (Yola etc) and before that old Norse and even versions of Norman influenced stuff around in what are now the big cities. Cork City for example would have had a mixture of a lot of languages going on over the centuries, but didn't ever primarily speak Irish in modern times, even if there was loads of Irish spoken very close by.

    The history is more complicated than sometimes it gets presented. It's not to say that Irish wasn't oppressed (it certainly was) or that Irish speakers weren't treated abysmally (they were). But the history of language on this island is not just we all spoke Irish and then we all spoke English due to being beaten into submission. There was an element of that, but it's not at all the whole story. The history certainly isn't pretty but they did coexist and the reason English became dominant aren't benign, but they are more complex than simply it was forced in. There was a bit element of regional variation and just practical utility to it too.

    Post edited by RetroEncabulator on


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,015 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    Are you suggesting undertaking a project whereby a society decides to take away peoples freedoms in order to force a language on them...? Or that forcing culture on people IS acdtually a good idea?

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    Someone said it can't be done by force. It definitely can. Romans go home.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,015 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    My point being: if the ONLY way to do it is with force - if you ave to take away people's freedoms away in order to do it - are you still telling me that's a positive aspect of the culture you're esposing?

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,240 ✭✭✭MayoSalmon


    Primary school NO (also find a better way to teach...probably the worst failure in Irish education)

    Secondary school YES



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    You seem to be equating a foreign invaders oppression, for example being hung because you can't defend yourself innocent in an occupiers sham court.

    With an independent countries policy of trying to prevent that same language from extinction because it's an unpopular school subject.

    There's a bit of Stockholm syndrome at play if you think they are in any way similar.

    Not that I think it should be mandatory.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,015 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    You started off saying it's our culture and then saying , "Well if you had no access to education, jobs, religion, food, land, unless you stopped speaking English spoke Chinese would that "force" change anything" so if anyone is equating something to foreign invasion, it's you.

    Beyond that - again - I'm saying if you have to force something on someone using the excuse of "it's our culture" then you need to look at your definition of the words "culture" and "our".

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,378 ✭✭✭Riddle101


    I'd be in favor for making it optional after junior cert. Also for more emphasis on the oral aspect of the language in primary school.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,502 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    How Irish declined originally

    Is not the same reason as why it's unpopularity today.



    Two different subjects though you are trying to conflate them.

    Culture is not only what's popular today.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,015 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    1 - not really relevant to my argument

    2 - I agree with your last line.

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,138 ✭✭✭realitykeeper




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