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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2024 12:59 pm 
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galaxyrocker wrote:
Just since we were talking status -- I've done a deep dive recently in the 2022 census: at the ED level there is not a signal Gaeltacht (80% daily speakers outside educational system) or even a Category A (67%+) left in the country. The highest two percentage wise are Leitir Mór and Dún Chaoin, both around 62%. There is no Category B left in Cork, Mayo, Waterford or Meath. The worse part is that, outside of the daily speakers, in the 21 electoral districts that meet Category B status the next biggest groups were, without fail, people who have no Irish or the kids who speak it daily inside school and never outside. The future of the Gaeltacht as an Irish-speaking area ain't looking bright at all.

That's a huge fall if there are no Category A's. The definition can be changed of course, but actually 62% counts as a Breac-Ghaeltacht only, as 62% isn't really a fully Irish-speaking area. I'm glad Dún Chaoin is hanging on in there. These figures call into question the status of Irish as an official language and the policy of teaching Irish in schools. Surely it's only a matter of time before Irish classes are replaced by tapdance in all the schools?


Last edited by djwebb2021 on Mon 19 Feb 2024 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2024 1:33 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
That's a huge fall if there are no Category A's. The definition can be changed of course, but actually 62% counts as a Breac-Ghaeltacht only, as 62% isn't really a fully Irish-speaking area. I'm glad Dún Chaoin is hanging on in there. These figures call into question the status of Irish as an official language and the policy of teaching Irish in schools. Surely it's a mater of time before Irish classes are replaced by tapdance in all the schools?



It is quite bad honestly. IF you go to the level of 'Small Area', there are a few true-Gaeltachtaí left, and some other Category As as well, but I think that level is too small to get a true vibe for the survival as a community language.

Personally, I think Irish should be made optional outside the Gaeltacht -- with quality teachers who can actually speak good Irish and not Gwaylga.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2024 2:54 pm 
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galaxyrocker wrote:
djwebb2021 wrote:
That's a huge fall if there are no Category A's. The definition can be changed of course, but actually 62% counts as a Breac-Ghaeltacht only, as 62% isn't really a fully Irish-speaking area. I'm glad Dún Chaoin is hanging on in there. These figures call into question the status of Irish as an official language and the policy of teaching Irish in schools. Surely it's a mater of time before Irish classes are replaced by tapdance in all the schools?



It is quite bad honestly. IF you go to the level of 'Small Area', there are a few true-Gaeltachtaí left, and some other Category As as well, but I think that level is too small to get a true vibe for the survival as a community language.

Personally, I think Irish should be made optional outside the Gaeltacht -- with quality teachers who can actually speak good Irish and not Gwaylga.

Well, at least there is Leitir Mór that you can go to.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb 2024 12:52 am 
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In many ways it is the teaching of Irish in schools that has done the most damage to it.
It has distorted the issues around the natural community of language into a institution with a false economy built up around it.

Take Gaeltacht stays for example. They should be a cultural experience which includes going into an immersion environment acquiring the authentic Gaelic of the locality. However the presence of state examinations and "official Irish" corrupts the system. So that it starts to become about "improving their Irish" or giving them "a leg up in the leaving cert" or some other such nonsense. Grants, funding etc. That is where the money goes. The system then starts to reflect the money. The goal becomes something other than acquiring language or culture. It becomes the reproduction of the institution and, intentionally or unintentionally, of a system to support a bureaucratic academic ecosystem.

Teaching in schools works the same way. The institute pushes for "Irish in schools" but in order to get that they need teachers. They don't have enough for a nationwide system. They want a nationwide system due in part to ignorance, hubris and institutional tendency to see expansion of the institution as the means to solve most problems. This then results in a glut of language incompetent teachers paid to teach something that they don't even know. How can you teach piano if you can't play piano?

As a result the students learn wrong, or learn not at all. They the become like badly handled horses, with their sensitivity to new language removed or heavily damaged. I have seen it outside the Irish context. It is prevalent in some other places too.

The existence of a institute of Irish and system of 'teachers at any cost', state exams and boards of academics and discussers drowns out the small but real Gaelic community. If the community is smaller than the institution then the institution will consume the community. These academics and bureaucrats come in 2 flavours. They are are either well meaning but wholly ignorant and incompetent or they are possessed of a hubris so massive and ungainly that they think their job is to "Save the Irish Language" positioning themselves as an outside force, external to the language and the Gaelic people that must come in like a savior and protect the people from their only ignorance. Rather than humble themselves and join the community by bowing their head as they enter the door of another (in this case the Gaeltacht) they instead proclaim asinine things such as "Native speakers aren't the best speakers", "Native speakers aren't really necessary" or "People in the Gaeltacht don't want to spread the language" They categorically refuse to bow to the native speakers historical or otherwise. They refuse to pay their dues and proper respect before joining, instead because they are primarily an abstracted institution they are driven to subvert the Gaeltacht, the Gaels and the language.

That is the reality if the institution of Irish in Ireland. Is the primary cause of the difficulties of the language outside of the normal pressures of modernity.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb 2024 3:13 am 
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Bungus mac, you are right in all you say. Peadar Ua Laoghaire in his day expected someone with his knowledge would be welcomed with open arms by the Irish language movement, and found to his disgust and dismay that this was not the case at all. The non-native speakers - Irishmen, not Englishmen - treated him with contempt. His books were driven off the curriculum. His acolytes were forced to start their own publishing company and set up their own Irish language collage. Another thing is that it is Irish people themselves - in particular those who claim to be in charge of the Irish language "movement" - who have done the most to destroy the language. Nearly all Irish people claim the English did it. If I had a penny for each time an Irishman told me the English forbade the Irish to speak English - er... no they didn't - I would be rich. The whole thing is driven by an SF-tinged hatred and warped historical narratives. And if you speak out against the CO, you are accused, in a kind of confected outrage, of condemning new learners.... when in fact you want to help new learners learn the good stuff....


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb 2024 8:14 am 
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I will say, I don't mind the English people. They are generally grand. Most of us Irish people are completely unaware of what is happening or by what method it happens. They don't know how languages work so they can't make an intelligible or useful understanding about what is happening in regards the language.

Blaming the English definitely serves multiple purposes though. All of which protect the gravy train of self important learners.

1. It protects the priestly class of educated "gaeilgoirí" by deflecting blame onto the fellas next door. Attacks against the English are a mascarade of national work. They do it to protect themselves and excuse themselves from the common people.

2. It obfuscates the living reality of the present and has done so for some time. Put simply, by blaming the English we can push the problem and the requirement for action into the past where nothing can be done about it. Instead of recognizing it as it exists in the present. Gaelic is still around, it has been around for a long auld while. The modern blaming of the English is and always has been a cover for inaction in the relevant present.

3. By blaming the English as an orthodoxy, anyone who doesn't submit to that element of the narrative can be outed as anti-national. "Oh you don't hate the English? You must be a traitor." this protects the anti-Gaelic Institutes.

All of these serve as cover to bunch of people who have appointed themselves the authority on Gaelic, granting themselves power, salaries and state benefits. They all the while looking down their noses at the real people in the Gaeltacht who are carrying on as best the can despite the harm being done to them and their culture. The bad always frames itself as the good.
The accomplished salaried bureaucrats really can't stand the idea that despite all their years of study and practice they are unable to lord it over the natives. Is Ireland colonising Ireland? Hah because it sure seems like it.


Now on a more positive note. My "humble" suggestions to move forward for Gaelic is this.
1. Dismantle all of those Irish language institutions and authorities like An Coiste Téarmaíochta etc. That includes all CO, tests everything. Bin it all because we have seen it fruits: nothing.
2. Then let the Gaeltacht govern themselves and give them some money. (Tell an bórd pleanála to fuck off)
3. Print all the old Gaelic literature from the last century and turn-of-the-century in it's original seanchló and give copies of those books to every Gaeltacht family. Hand them out like confetti.
4. Let the Gaeltacht figure out a teacher training program. Then start with Native speakers, educated in Gaelic let them make teachers first and build it up from there. Voluntary conversational programs first. Nationwide is impossible for now. Let people pay to get it.
5. Let the Gaeltacht people educate themselves in written Irish and language teaching. Let them teach those who will learn.
No one wants or needs pre-packaged partially hydrogenated Gaelic.
and maybe kick every non Irish speaking family out of the Gaeltacht after 10 years or something just for good measure. :darklaugh:


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb 2024 4:57 pm 
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Well, a series of textbooks for Gaeltacht schools needs to be devised to teach Munster Irish in Munstser, Connaught Irish in Connaught etc. And Gaeltacht schoolteachers should be punished e.g by a fine if the children leave school with strong English accents in their Irish. Barra is not pronounced like the English word "borough", because there should be a flapped r in there (like the r in the Spanish 'pero'). Amach is not pronounced amac etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb 2024 11:16 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Well, a series of textbooks for Gaeltacht schools needs to be devised to teach Munster Irish in Munstser, Connaught Irish in Connaught etc. And Gaeltacht schoolteachers should be punished e.g by a fine if the children leave school with strong English accents in their Irish. Barra is not pronounced like the English word "borough", because there should be a flapped r in there (like the r in the Spanish 'pero'). Amach is not pronounced amac etc.


This made me laugh. I presume it is a joke. You cannot simply 'blame' the teachers. Teachers should not carry the sole responsibility for the survival of the language in the first place IMO. Many teachers alike, especially in the primary setting, don't give two damns about the language. Their knowledge is acquired simply to tick a box and to enable their registration with the Teaching Council.

Teaching native (dialectical) Irish to the population is unlikely to ever be the 'key goal' of government, unfortunately. Even if it were, I can't imagine vast swathes of people would eagerly embrace it.

I feel Ireland does very bad at:

1) Conversion courses: It doesn't offer conversion courses: i.e. covert your pre-existing knowledge into dialectical/native like Irish whereby specific courses to correct pronunciation, align with dialects etc. is promoted. There would be a cohort of people who would embrace this, IMO.

2) Adults: It focuses almost exclusively to children & teachers alike. If there were more programmes tailored to adults learning the language, promoting the adoption of the language in their homes/relationships/as a element (albeit 10/20%) of their daily lives, then Irish would be more widely spoken by children as a result (i.e. their parents using it, the ability to converse with others outside the education system, it'd make it a 'living language' for those in non-Irish speaking localities), it'd become a language that is used in the community as opposed to ending when a child leaves school. For instance, if there was a drive to promote Irish to adults, then groups of solid adult speakers would bring the presence of the language into daily affairs (not just school!) e.g. supermarkets, chit chat on the street, use in bars/cafes etc.

3) It creates Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí, but those institutions do nothing to drive Irish amongst the parents of the pupils. I'd love to see programmes for families with children in Irish medium schools to become (partially) Irish speaking families.

IMO the availability of quality courses for adults, distance learning via third level institutions to accommodate working adults etc. is non-existent as far as I can see.

I also believe that adults are possibly more likely to show an interest in dialectical Irish and converting their pre-existing knowledge than any child/teenager is likely to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb 2024 11:44 pm 
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Maolra wrote:
djwebb2021 wrote:
Well, a series of textbooks for Gaeltacht schools needs to be devised to teach Munster Irish in Munstser, Connaught Irish in Connaught etc. And Gaeltacht schoolteachers should be punished e.g by a fine if the children leave school with strong English accents in their Irish. Barra is not pronounced like the English word "borough", because there should be a flapped r in there (like the r in the Spanish 'pero'). Amach is not pronounced amac etc.


This made me laugh. I presume it is a joke. You cannot simply 'blame' the teachers. Teachers should not carry the sole responsibility for the survival of the language in the first place IMO. Many teachers alike, especially in the primary setting, don't give two damns about the language. Their knowledge is acquired simply to tick a box and to enable their registration with the Teaching Council.

Teaching native (dialectical) Irish to the population is unlikely to ever be the 'key goal' of government, unfortunately. Even if it were, I can't imagine vast swathes of people would eagerly embrace it.

I feel Ireland does very bad at:

1) Conversion courses: It doesn't offer conversion courses: i.e. covert your pre-existing knowledge into dialectical/native like Irish whereby specific courses to correct pronunciation, align with dialects etc. is promoted. There would be a cohort of people who would embrace this, IMO.

2) Adults: It focuses almost exclusively to children & teachers alike. If there were more programmes tailored to adults learning the language, promoting the adoption of the language in their homes/relationships/as a element (albeit 10/20%) of their daily lives, then Irish would be more widely spoken by children as a result (i.e. their parents using it, the ability to converse with others outside the education system, it'd make it a 'living language' for those in non-Irish speaking localities), it'd become a language that is used in the community as opposed to ending when a child leaves school. For instance, if there was a drive to promote Irish to adults, then groups of solid adult speakers would bring the presence of the language into daily affairs (not just school!) e.g. supermarkets, chit chat on the street, use in bars/cafes etc.

3) It creates Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí, but those institutions do nothing to drive Irish amongst the parents of the pupils. I'd love to see programmes for families with children in Irish medium schools to become (partially) Irish speaking families.

IMO the availability of quality courses for adults, distance learning via third level institutions to accommodate working adults etc. is non-existent as far as I can see.

I also believe that adults are possibly more likely to show an interest in dialectical Irish and converting their pre-existing knowledge than any child/teenager is likely to be.

Maolra, you're right. Courses to convert to dialectal Irish would be great, and also courses for adults. All the Gaeltacht courses are for schoolchildren in the main. But there are these courses in Corca Dhuíbhne for adults: https://www.oidhreacht.ie/irish-courses/


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 Post subject: Re: Gaeltacht na nDéise
PostPosted: Wed 28 Feb 2024 1:02 am 
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Languages reproduce themselves through families intergenerationally. That is how they work.
Failure states exist in these forms:
1. You fail to pass on your language to your children.
2. You or fail to have children.
3. You pass on a severely weakened version of the language to your children.

Barring these, a language will survive and continue. Teachers and education systems cannot replace this. They can be a tool to supplement this or assist natives and aspiring learners in some way. However they cannot function with the loss of the intergenerational transmission of authentic language. That is source and wellspring of any language.

Now with that said, I want to address and elaborate on some of your points.

Yes incompetent teachers should be punished or drummed out of the business. (In my view they shouldn't be there in the first place) Should an incompetent carpenter be allowed to do more harm than good through his crippled students? No. We can see the effects of incapable and inauthentic teaching in a language. It honestly hamstrings learners for most of the rest of their life.

Conversion courses are an idea but it holds to an unspoken premise. That one has learned bad Gaelic first. Why teach bad Gaelic first and then try to convert it into good Gaelic? I would agree though that a type of 'béarlachas busting' course would be handy to slap the bad habits out of people willing to get better. Something that all language learners must go through at points. L1 interference is a significant issue that is addressed by correction. That correction is usually specific to the learners original language background. Something like this https://www3.smo.uhi.ac.uk/oduibhin/cruinneas/index.htm but more comprehensive and in an easy to follow book form.


Adults Adults are obviously the most motivated group and their involvement in voluntary programs and businesses should be encouraged. However in regards language inheritance. Only very high level learners can pass the language onto their children. Children under the age of 3 are the prime age for acquisition within the family. There is serious problem with this group. Children automatically and unconsciously refuse to acquire language from people who are not sufficiently proficient in it. I have observed this many times in many families. In essence this prevents a bit-by-bit gradualist approach to introducing a language through the parents into the home. Young children are too pragmatic and won't engage with poor language capabilities unless forced.
When forced they produce useless pidgin. Personally I believe the childhood aversion to acquiring language from a poor language model is a correct and natural process. It is to prevent the child wasting massive amounts of energy on learning something wrong and dysfunctional.
Language acquisition not complicated. It is not easy but is not complicated. If it is, it is being done wrong.


Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí

They should be good. They should be great. It works in other places but not here. Now why is that?

This is purely a matter of incompetence and lack of respect on the part of schools, teachers and managers. Of course he parents are almost always very well meaning. They send the kids to the Gaelic school to learn Gaelic. However it is essentially a scam in most cases. They are not being taught Gaelic or immersed in Gaelic because their is no respect or dedication to the natives and the native form. There is far too much acceptance of failure, incorrectness and pidginry.

To me is seems like this: If I sent my son to a welding school and they taught him wrongly. Left him with terrible habits and incorrect techniques, his work littered with elementary mistakes. So much so that he essentially can't weld. I then I go to the school and see that the teachers themselves can't weld.
It think it would be safe to say that I got scammed. I was sold a bill of goods that were not delivered specially because those selling it knew they couldn't deliver it. They may be well intentioned but incompetence is incompetence regardless of intention.
In regard specifically I believe the Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí are a scam.

Ceterum (autem) censeo An Caighdeán Oifigiúil esse delendam. :prof:


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