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The Irish Language and the Irish Government

  • 03-10-2018 12:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭


    I feel like this needed its own thread because any searches I found for it ended up bringing me to the subject of whether Irish should be compulsory in schools, which Im not particularly interested in.

    Aaaaanyways, I am confused about the relationship between the relationship between the Irish language and the state.

    This all originated from a very minor incident in the Dáil in which Minister Harris was being question by Deputy Ó Cuív regarding the labelling of health warnings to be placed on alcohol labels.

    The labels will be placed on the bottles in English rather than in both English and Irish. Its been all over RnaG and tuairisc.ie

    The Minister said that this would "confuse" people.
    Of course this is nonsense. Bilingualism is public policy in Canada and a bilingual labelling system has been in use there for years without mass public confusion.

    Similarly, at a meeting of the Irish Committee in the Oireachtais, a representative of the Ministry for Public Expenditure spoke to the committee in English about the number of Irish speakers in the civil service. (The committee usually caries out its business in Irish)

    At a separate committee meeting a deputy was asked to speak in English because the translation service from Irish to English was broken.

    Now, I am not saying any of these things are national scandals, morally wrong or an outrage. I am saying that they are not consistent with a Government that purports to support national policy enshrined in the constitution that we are a bilingual state.

    I would have no problem if Fine Gael were elected with a mandate that says that they will not support bilingualism and that they will campaign on a platform that says that they will abolish the place of Irish in the constitution but they have not. This is a promise broken to the electorate and noone seems to care.


«13456716

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,020 ✭✭✭✭looksee


    I don't recall that they were elected on a mandate that particularly mentioned that they would support bilingualism either? So its not really a broken promise by this specific government.

    However, would it not be more useful to direct this query to the various relevant departments and other bodies in government, and your TD(s) and those of the opposition, and the various offending committees?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,798 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    In fairness, the only effective means of reviving a language is when community organisations take it upon themselves to promote interest in their localities, as has been seen with Welsh, Basque, Hebrew, Maori etc, or indeed the early years of Conradh in the 1890s-1910s. Yes, the Government can ensure official bilingualism, but unless people actively speak Gaeilge in the course of their daily lives, such labels are mere tokenism.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Both languages should appear. If the US population can handle Spanish and English, the Canadians French and English, I think we'll get by.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    looksee wrote: »
    I don't recall that they were elected on a mandate that particularly mentioned that they would support bilingualism either? So its not really a broken promise by this specific government.

    However, would it not be more useful to direct this query to the various relevant departments and other bodies in government, and your TD(s) and those of the opposition, and the various offending committees?

    This is their 2016 manifesto
    http://michaelpidgeon.com/manifestos/docs/fg/Fine%20Gael%20GE%202016.pdf
    It says that they support the 20 year plan for the Irish language and a number of other broad initiatives in political speak. The 20 year strategy is failing very very badly by any realistic measure.

    I was just wondering about people's opinions about this, thats why I posted. Im not trying to effect political change. Youve made an assumption that I think that the decline of Irish is an ill and that the Government are bad for allowing it to happen, thats not the point I am making. I am saying that if the Government doesnt want to support bilingualism in the state, why should it pretend like it does?
    In fairness, the only effective means of reviving a language is when community organisations take it upon themselves to promote interest in their localities, as has been seen with Welsh, Basque, Hebrew, Maori etc, or indeed the early years of Conradh in the 1890s-1910s. Yes, the Government can ensure official bilingualism, but unless people actively speak Gaeilge in the course of their daily lives, such labels are mere tokenism.

    I wouldnt say that what you said here is a fact. I don't agree that the state's role here is purely tokenistic at all. I mean you may be right that without Civic Groups a language revival is dead in the water but the State could tomorrow mandate that all primary schools in the country will be thought through Irish in ten years time. That would be a huge policy shift (whatever about whether it is possible or not, or even a good thing to do. Im not saying one way or the other). I think that the Government has a role.

    But here Im just arguing why an Irish political party wouldnt just be honest about not caring about the language revival. If you dont want to support legitimate bilingualism then you should probably say it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Both languages should appear. If the US population can handle Spanish and English, the Canadians French and English, I think we'll get by.


    Are all road signs in the US in Spanish and English?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    madbeanman wrote: »
    This is their 2016 manifesto
    http://michaelpidgeon.com/manifestos/docs/fg/Fine%20Gael%20GE%202016.pdf
    It says that they support the 20 year plan for the Irish language and a number of other broad initiatives in political speak. The 20 year strategy is failing very very badly by any realistic measure.

    I was just wondering about people's opinions about this, thats why I posted. Im not trying to effect political change. Youve made an assumption that I think that the decline of Irish is an ill and that the Government are bad for allowing it to happen, thats not the point I am making. I am saying that if the Government doesnt want to support bilingualism in the state, why should it pretend like it does?



    I wouldnt say that what you said here is a fact. I don't agree that the state's role here is purely tokenistic at all. I mean you may be right that without Civic Groups a language revival is dead in the water but the State could tomorrow mandate that all primary schools in the country will be thought through Irish in ten years time. That would be a huge policy shift (whatever about whether it is possible or not, or even a good thing to do. Im not saying one way or the other). I think that the Government has a role.

    But here Im just arguing why an Irish political party wouldnt just be honest about not caring about the language revival. If you dont want to support legitimate bilingualism then you should probably say it.


    Political support for bilingualism is meaningless unless people want to speak and learn the language.

    It is nearly impossible to get qualified Irish teachers for second-level schools. The EU Commission can't get Irish language interpreters to work in Brussels or Strasbourg. Irish Government Departments (not Ministries by the way, that is a British term, I think) cannot get Irish speakers.

    Without people who can speak Irish, an official policy of bilingualism doesn't work as there is nobody to implement it. The Government can't cure that, as it can't force people to get Irish language qualifications and work in Irish language jobs.

    It is the people who don't care about bilingualism, apart from the handful of diehards around the place. Even at my local Gaeilscoil, around 40% of the pupils opt to their Leaving Certificate through English.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Political support for bilingualism is meaningless unless people want to speak and learn the language.

    It is nearly impossible to get qualified Irish teachers for second-level schools. The EU Commission can't get Irish language interpreters to work in Brussels or Strasbourg. Irish Government Departments (not Ministries by the way, that is a British term, I think) cannot get Irish speakers.

    Without people who can speak Irish, an official policy of bilingualism doesn't work as there is nobody to implement it. The Government can't cure that, as it can't force people to get Irish language qualifications and work in Irish language jobs.

    It is the people who don't care about bilingualism, apart from the handful of diehards around the place. Even at my local Gaeilscoil, around 40% of the pupils opt to their Leaving Certificate through English.

    I’m not talking about any of that, that is all true. Im talking about forcing a deputy to speak English in a Dáil committee. I’m talking about not getting labels translated into Irish even though they obviously havet her people and power to do it (it’s just a few lines of text). I’m talking about the disrespect (whether warranted or otherwise) of the Department of Public Expenditure not sending an Irish speaking representative to the Irish language committee of the Dail.

    Also, to go waaaaay off topic, the assertion that Irish language speakers are diehards is factually incorrect and a weird narrative that gets bandied around the place. The people the Gaeltacht are people, many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language. They are no more diehard than you or I. They are just people. Also there are many more people outside the Gaeltacht raised with Irish. Again, just people, not diehards.

    The point is that when the Government shows disrespect to the language in the ways I showed in the first post that is toooooootallly fine by me. 100% go for it, as long as you don’t have a section in your manifesto where you pledge to support the 20 year strategy and you let the public know that you will in fact not be supporting it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,798 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Both languages should appear. If the US population can handle Spanish and English, the Canadians French and English, I think we'll get by.


    Are all road signs in the US in Spanish and English?

    I believe it's up to each individual state to regulate language policy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    I believe it's up to each individual state to regulate language policy.

    Yeah, the US is rare in having no official language


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 498 ✭✭zapitastas


    madbeanman wrote: »
    I’m not talking about any of that, that is all true. Im talking about forcing a deputy to speak English in a Dáil committee. I’m talking about not getting labels translated into Irish even though they obviously havet her people and power to do it (it’s just a few lines of text). I’m talking about the disrespect (whether warranted or otherwise) of the Department of Public Expenditure not sending an Irish speaking representative to the Irish language committee of the Dail.

    Also, to go waaaaay off topic, the assertion that Irish language speakers are diehards is factually incorrect and a weird narrative that gets bandied around the place. The people the Gaeltacht are people, many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language. They are no more diehard than you or I. They are just people. Also there are many more people outside the Gaeltacht raised with Irish. Again, just people, not diehards.

    The point is that when the Government shows disrespect to the language in the ways I showed in the first post that is toooooootallly fine by me. 100% go for it, as long as you don’t have a section in your manifesto where you pledge to support the 20 year strategy and you let the public know that you will in fact not be supporting it.

    This is not a new issue with FG as the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht actually used Google Translate to translate English into Irish on a Government site in the buildup to the 1916 commemorations. Now that is disrespectful and given the Department concerned it was pretty ironic


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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,020 ✭✭✭✭looksee


    I am not really all that clear what you want from this discussion. I'd say there are probably a number of things listed in any government's manifesto that quietly slip out of sight, not always with intention, just the way things go. So if you are not especially concerned about the Irish language, why pick on that one to query? What do you want us to argue - we can agree that a political party should follow through with their manifestos, then what?


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    madbeanman wrote: »
    I’m not talking about any of that, that is all true. Im talking about forcing a deputy to speak English in a Dáil committee. I’m talking about not getting labels translated into Irish even though they obviously havet her people and power to do it (it’s just a few lines of text). I’m talking about the disrespect (whether warranted or otherwise) of the Department of Public Expenditure not sending an Irish speaking representative to the Irish language committee of the Dail.

    Also, to go waaaaay off topic, the assertion that Irish language speakers are diehards is factually incorrect and a weird narrative that gets bandied around the place. The people the Gaeltacht are people, many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language. They are no more diehard than you or I. They are just people. Also there are many more people outside the Gaeltacht raised with Irish. Again, just people, not diehards.

    The point is that when the Government shows disrespect to the language in the ways I showed in the first post that is toooooootallly fine by me. 100% go for it, as long as you don’t have a section in your manifesto where you pledge to support the 20 year strategy and you let the public know that you will in fact not be supporting it.


    The examples you give are exactly the things I was talking about.

    TDs don't understand Irish and there aren't any translaters in the Dail - not the Government's fault.

    Not enough translaters of labels because not enough people study Irish - not the Government's fault.

    D/PER can't hire enough Irish speakers because there aren't enough qualified - not the Government's fault.

    As for "many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language"? What do the facts show?

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp10esil/p10esil/ilg/

    "Of those who indicated they could speak Irish, 20,586 spoke it daily, representing 21.4 per cent of all persons aged 3 or over in these regions."

    So 20,586 speak Irish daily in the Gaeltacht, not all of them will have been "raised with Irish as their first language". Where you get your many tens of thousands from I don't know.

    For all the talk (apologies for the pun), there are very few people willing to put their money where their mouth is and actually speak the language. Most people are only willing to play lip service to it - I mean have you seen how dead the Irish language forum is on here?

    So, nothing to do with the Government or FG, though there are some that blame them for the weather, but people just don't care in large enough numbers about the Irish language.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »
    So 20,586 speak Irish daily in the Gaeltacht, not all of them will have been "raised with Irish as their first language". Where you get your many tens of thousands from I don't know
    Of the 1,761,420 persons who answered yes to being able to speak Irish, 418,420 indicated they never spoke it, while a further 558,608 indicated they only spoke it within the education system. Of the remaining group, 586,535 persons indicated they spoke Irish less often than weekly, 111,473 spoke weekly while just 73,803 persons spoke Irish daily
    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp10esil/p10esil/ilg/


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152



    Eh, nope. Those are the figures for the country as a whole. The poster referenced many tens of thousands in the Gaeltacht.
    madbeanman wrote: »
    The people the Gaeltacht are people, many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language. They are no more diehard than you or I. They are just people..

    And that is what I was responding to:
    blanch152 wrote: »

    As for "many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language"? What do the facts show?

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp10esil/p10esil/ilg/

    "Of those who indicated they could speak Irish, 20,586 spoke it daily, representing 21.4 per cent of all persons aged 3 or over in these regions."

    So 20,586 speak Irish daily in the Gaeltacht, not all of them will have been "raised with Irish as their first language". Where you get your many tens of thousands from I don't know.

    Yes, there are people outside the Gaeltacht who speak Irish daily at home to their very young kids or who use it in work, but the numbers and usage aren't such as to do anything for the language.

    Like it or not, Irish is dying slowly, and no amount of TG4 or government subsidy is going to change that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭FreudianSlippers


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Are all road signs in the US in Spanish and English?
    No; to my knowledge, Spanish is not an official language in any State in the US


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭FreudianSlippers


    madbeanman wrote: »
    Yeah, the US is rare in having no official language
    The United States is a federal republic, official languages are up to the States as they are to the Member States of the EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,468 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    madbeanman wrote: »
    This all originated from a very minor incident in the Dáil in which Minister Harris was being question by Deputy Ó Cuív regarding the labelling of health warnings to be placed on alcohol labels.

    The labels will be placed on the bottles in English rather than in both English and Irish. Its been all over RnaG and tuairisc.ie

    So? It's not like there is any mandate to replicate the English list of ingredients or nutritional info, both of which are required by law as well. Why would this be any different?


  • Registered Users Posts: 632 ✭✭✭Rhineshark


    blanch152 wrote: »
    The examples you give are exactly the things I was talking about.

    TDs don't understand Irish and there aren't any translaters in the Dail - not the Government's fault.

    Not enough translaters of labels because not enough people study Irish - not the Government's fault.

    D/PER can't hire enough Irish speakers because there aren't enough qualified - not the Government's fault.

    As for "many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language"? What do the facts show?

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp10esil/p10esil/ilg/

    "Of those who indicated they could speak Irish, 20,586 spoke it daily, representing 21.4 per cent of all persons aged 3 or over in these regions."

    So 20,586 speak Irish daily in the Gaeltacht, not all of them will have been "raised with Irish as their first language". Where you get your many tens of thousands from I don't know.

    You get that number when you don't decide that "lives in Gaeltacht + speaks Irish daily" = the Irish-speaking population.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Eh, nope. Those are the figures for the country as a whole. The poster referenced many tens of thousands in the Gaeltacht.



    And that is what I was responding to:



    Yes, there are people outside the Gaeltacht who speak Irish daily at home to their very young kids or who use it in work, but the numbers and usage aren't such as to do anything for the language.

    Like it or not, Irish is dying slowly, and no amount of TG4 or government subsidy is going to change that.

    It's fairly disingenuous to discount the vast majority of Irish speakers. They are the majority of Irish speaker who you have decided to dismiss with the wave of your hand. How do you know they only speak it to their young kids or in work?

    Urban Gaeltachta are the future of the language. Urbanization is an on going process and it would be silly. We've been hearing Irish is slowly dying for 100 years. If it is in fact slowly dying is an extremely slow death.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    It's fairly disingenuous to discount the vast majority of Irish speakers. They are the majority of Irish speaker who you have decided to dismiss with the wave of your hand. How do you know they only speak it to their young kids or in work?

    Urban Gaeltachta are the future of the language. Urbanization is an on going process and it would be silly. We've been hearing Irish is slowly dying for 100 years. If it is in fact slowly dying is an extremely slow death.

    A poster made a statement that there were many tens of thousands in the Gaeltachts speaking Irish every day. I didn't introduce that restriction - they did. All I did was point to the facts from the census which dispute the statement.

    If you want to move the goalposts and make a different factual statement, please do, and we can explore that one, but any new statement about Irish speakers nationwide doesn't change the fact that the original statement about "many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language" in the Gaeltacht was factually wrong.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »
    A poster made a statement that there were many tens of thousands in the Gaeltachts speaking Irish every day. I didn't introduce that restriction - they did. All I did was point to the facts from the census which dispute the statement.

    If you want to move the goalposts and make a different factual statement, please do, and we can explore that one, but any new statement about Irish speakers nationwide doesn't change the fact that the original statement about "many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language" in the Gaeltacht was factually wrong.

    20,000 is 10's of thousands


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    20,000 is 10's of thousands

    The statement was "many tens of thousands", which isn't two.

    Look, I am happy to discuss the decline in Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht any time, but the issue here is the accuracy of the statement. That is all I was pointing out and I am correct on that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »
    The statement was "many tens of thousands", which isn't two.

    Look, I am happy to discuss the decline in Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht any time, but the issue here is the accuracy of the statement. That is all I was pointing out and I am correct on that.

    Here's the full quote
    madbeanman wrote: »
    The people the Gaeltacht are people, many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language.


    Says nothing about speaking it daily , perhaps there are many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language who no longer use it daily.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    There was a vote in 1794 in the USA as to whether federal laws would also be translated and given in German, which was defeated by one vote. If the federal laws are only in English, and all federal business is, then that makes English the de facto only official language of federal govt. in the USA. Even though individual citizens and states are free to use whatever language they want.


    For those who want alcohol labeling in Irish why stop at the cancer warning? Why not make the manufacturers translate the entire label into Irish, and give it equal prominence?
    If you're going to be make silly laws, you may as well go the whole hog.
    Is there one single person in this country who can understand the Irish label but not the English one? Because I'd hate to leave them at a risk of inadvertently getting cancer, after downing a bottle of vodka which was lacking a cancer warning as gaeilge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    blanch152 wrote: »
    The examples you give are exactly the things I was talking about.

    TDs don't understand Irish and there aren't any translaters in the Dail - not the Government's fault.

    Not enough translaters of labels because not enough people study Irish - not the Government's fault.

    D/PER can't hire enough Irish speakers because there aren't enough qualified - not the Government's fault.

    As for "many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language"? What do the facts show?

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp10esil/p10esil/ilg/

    "Of those who indicated they could speak Irish, 20,586 spoke it daily, representing 21.4 per cent of all persons aged 3 or over in these regions."

    So 20,586 speak Irish daily in the Gaeltacht, not all of them will have been "raised with Irish as their first language". Where you get your many tens of thousands from I don't know.

    For all the talk (apologies for the pun), there are very few people willing to put their money where their mouth is and actually speak the language. Most people are only willing to play lip service to it - I mean have you seen how dead the Irish language forum is on here?

    So, nothing to do with the Government or FG, though there are some that blame them for the weather, but people just don't care in large enough numbers about the Irish language.

    So my mis statement has resulted in a big shift off topic.

    I thank you for the introduction of the facts regarding my misstatement.

    However, I would also alert you to the fact that it was a rebuttal to your use of the term diehards. I still think 20,000 people is more than a few diehards. (This is ignoring urban Irish speakers and those who speak it less than daily which is many more thousands). The point was that using terms like diehards ignores the fact that for thousands of people Irish is a tool of communication and that is a fact.

    Also I totally agree that there is a reluctance for monolingual English speakers (Or more accurately, those who have little to no Irish) to engage with the Irish language.That is their prerogative and it does hurt the Irish language revival movement. But as Ive said many many times at this stage my issue is not to support the Irish language revival movement here. Its not to say that Fine Gael is wrong in not supporting the Irish language and a policy of bilingualism. Its just saying that if nobody cares about it and they are let keep on doing it, why not campaign against supports for the language?

    Also I wouldnt say that the death of the Irish language forums here is any indication whatsoever of the strength of the language online. Youll find plenty of Irish on Twitter if you go looking, I promise.

    Aaaaaanyways to revert back to your points rebutting my rebuttal of your original point (lol), I think that you may be misunderstanding some key issues so lets take your points one by one. I have nothing particularly against Fine Gael btw except on some other issues which are not worth derailing the thread for.

    TDs don't understand Irish and there aren't any translators in the Dail - not the Government's fault.

    The Government has a policy of providing simultaneous translation services in some of the Dáil committee rooms. This has since been extended to all committee rooms btw (So much for a shortage of interpreters) On this particular occasion the TD was asked to speak in English because of a technical problem with the service, not a lack of an interpreter. The disrespect here is that the TD was told that his contribution was not allowed in the first language of the state (I understand its not the primary lingua franca in the state. I understand its a minority language. I understand everyone in the room spoke English but I would love someone to tell a French speaker in the Canadian house to speak English so everyone could understand them). The issue is not that Irish should be the first language of the state (Whatever that means). The issue is that as long as the constitution says it is, it should be treated as such and if the Government doesnt like it, they should call a referendum.

    D/PER can't hire enough Irish speakers because there aren't enough qualified - not the Government's fault.

    The committee meeting in question was in front of the a committee which works though Irish. They were discussing a report on the number of Irish speakers in the state service. The person who was in charge of the report didnt have Irish, the person speaking before the committee didnt have Irish. FYI the number of posts mandating a requirement of Irish outside the Department of Arts, Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is 29. Thats 29 of 19,795. There are no posts mandating Irish language proficiency in 7 government departments. I find it hard to believe that a brain drain in Irish speakers (a real thing, I admit) would lead to 7 Government Departments with zero posts that require Irish.

    https://tuairisc.ie/19795-post-29-post-gaeilge-an-statseirbhis-aonteangach/

    Not enough translaters [sic] of labels because not enough people study Irish - not the Government's fault.

    Here is where I think you fall down the most because translating a label is not a big job. Its done once and reused over and over again. The Government does have translators working for it. Its not a big job. Also Minister Harris literally disagrees with you. He didn't say it couldn't be translated because of lack of translators, he literally said it would cause people confusion to have Irish there.

    https://tuairisc.ie/chuirfeadh-rabhadh-slainte-gaeilge-ar-dheochanna-alcoil-mearbhall-ar-dhaoine-an-taire-slainte/

    (Sorry that the two links are in Irish but the English language media doesnt cover this stuff. Again, that isnt a complaint, its just that I search for similar articles in English and I could find them. Apologies)


  • Registered Users Posts: 375 ✭✭breatheme


    recedite wrote: »
    There was a vote in 1794 in the USA as to whether federal laws would also be translated and given in German, which was defeated by one vote. If the federal laws are only in English, and all federal business is, then that makes English the de facto only official language of federal govt. in the USA. Even though individual citizens and states are free to use whatever language they want.

    That is actually an urban legend.
    For those who want alcohol labeling in Irish why stop at the cancer warning? Why not make the manufacturers translate the entire label into Irish, and give it equal prominence?
    If you're going to be make silly laws, you may as well go the whole hog.
    Is there one single person in this country who can understand the Irish label but not the English one? Because I'd hate to leave them at a risk of inadvertently getting cancer, after downing a bottle of vodka which was lacking a cancer warning as gaeilge.

    When I think about things I'm missing in Irish, I don't think about cancer warnings or bottle labels. I think about the Harry Potter series (only the first book has been translated), video games getting localised into Irish, and so on. Which I guess is more about the private sector, but what could government do to aid this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Here's the full quote



    Says nothing about speaking it daily , perhaps there are many tens of thousands of whom were raised with Irish as their first language who no longer use it daily.


    That may well be true, but then that points to the decline in the Irish language by reason of people stopping speaking it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    breatheme wrote: »
    That is actually an urban legend.



    When I think about things I'm missing in Irish, I don't think about cancer warnings or bottle labels. I think about the Harry Potter series (only the first book has been translated), video games getting localised into Irish, and so on. Which I guess is more about the private sector, but what could government do to aid this?


    You are better off not having the Harry Potter series translated.

    At a time when people are lying on trolleys in hospitals and sleeping on the streets, are you proposing that the government should spend money on translating Minecraft into Irish?


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,157 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    madbeanman wrote: »
    Its not to say that Fine Gael is wrong in not supporting the Irish language and a policy of bilingualism. Its just saying that if nobody cares about it and they are let keep on doing it, why not campaign against supports for the language?

    If you want to essentialise your argument to that single point, then the opposite of campaigning for something is not always campaigning against it, it can be apathy, indifference or mild tolerance, among many other options.

    For myself, while I would not support new supports for the Irish language, and I think the money spent on TG4 is a complete waste of money, and while I will post arguments against them on here, I wouldn't go out campaigning against them and neither would it sway my vote one way or another in an election campaign.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    blanch152 wrote: »
    If you want to essentialise your argument to that single point, then the opposite of campaigning for something is not always campaigning against it, it can be apathy, indifference or mild tolerance, among many other options.

    For myself, while I would not support new supports for the Irish language, and I think the money spent on TG4 is a complete waste of money, and while I will post arguments against them on here, I wouldn't go out campaigning against them and neither would it sway my vote one way or another in an election campaign.

    Ok all of that makes sense to me and I would imagine that language rights would be a minority voting issue at the best of times (of course there are countless historical political injustices perpetuated against minorities by majorities at the ballot box and that is important to realise and factor into this debate if one was to feel that Irish speakers are such a minority) but I presume you would also agree with the assessments I made in the rest of my previous post, that the actions of the Government are not consistent with a party that supports the Irish languages status as the first official language of the country (again, whatever that means)?

    Also consider that our last two ministers for art culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht have not been Irish speakers. I also know Heather Humphreys refused to meet with Irish language lobbyists throughout her time in the office. Doesn't seem like the actions of someone who would support the language, right?

    Anyways, what I am getting at is that if the Government was to campaign on a platform of cutting funding for TG4 completely for example you wouldnt care. Im pretty sure that is a reasonable inference to make. So obviously in a free democracy that is a perfectly legitimate position, so all Im saying is would there not be a market out there for that type of vote? You prove that there is, therefore why not campaign on it?


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