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 Post subject: Gaenglish?
PostPosted: Sat 10 Jul 2021 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat 26 Jun 2021 2:05 pm
Posts: 7
Hi guys :)

Stupid question, but that's a specialty of mine: especially for those of you who are more native speakers, is Gaenglish a thing? Since this feature is present in most areas with multiple spoken mother languages, I was curious if it's done over in Ireland, too, with English and Gaelic?
If it is done in some way, is it usually just with nouns, or is it done with verbs or participle phrases and such as well?

(And to toss in another question, is using the word Gaolainn preferred in lieu of calling it Irish Gaelic?)

Thank you all!


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 Post subject: Re: Gaenglish?
PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul 2021 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu 22 Dec 2011 6:28 am
Posts: 176
Location: Corcaigh
LJCesco wrote:
Hi guys :)

Stupid question, but that's a specialty of mine: especially for those of you who are more native speakers, is Gaenglish a thing? Since this feature is present in most areas with multiple spoken mother languages, I was curious if it's done over in Ireland, too, with English and Gaelic?
If it is done in some way, is it usually just with nouns, or is it done with verbs or participle phrases and such as well?

(And to toss in another question, is using the word Gaolainn preferred in lieu of calling it Irish Gaelic?)

Thank you all!


I suspect by this you mean to draw comparisons to the cross between Spanish and English commonly referred to using the portmanteau, "Spanglish". The term, Spanglish, encompasses a large number of phenomena, such as code-switching and blending the grammar of Spanish and English, as well as simply speaking Spanish but relying on a lot of English loanwords.

To start with, nobody says "Gaenglish", however, some comparable phenomena occur. For example, when Irish is spoken with heavy usage of English loanwords, it is often referred to as "Béarlachas". People often use the term béarlachas in a derogatory way, with the implication being that using English loanwords when speaking Irish should be avoided, at least, if an Irish term with the same meaning already exists. "Béarlachas" can be used in a benign way also, though, just to refer to the phenomenon. This is not limited to nouns, as you suggest, as adjectives and verbs are regularly borrowed into Irish also. Because English is so widely used in Ireland, Irish speakers tend to code-switch regularly, however, people don't generally consider this to constitute some kind of new dialect, pidgin or creole.

It should be noted, too, that a variety of English is well documented in Ireland, called Hiberno-English, which has resulted from Irish speakers learning to speak English as a first language in the last few centuries. As generations go by this variety of English spoken in Ireland is losing a lot of its unique traits, and coming closer to English dialects spoken elsewhere. Some terms, like "galore", "banshee", "shamrock", "leprechaun", "claymore", "phoney" and "whiskey" have made their way from Irish into common English usage, though, and can hardly be considered Hiberno-English anymore.

Finally, Gaolainn is an Irish word for the Irish language. It's a dialectal form found in Munster, but is generally understood by Irish speakers. The Standard term taught to Irish learners is Gaeilge, which means the same thing and comes from Connemara. In any case, neither of these terms are typically used in English, though the English word, "Gaelic", is derived from them. As such, neither are "preferred in lieu of calling it Irish Gaelic". Most Irish people who learned Irish in school will just refer to it as Irish. Some native speakers will refer to it simply as Gaelic, which is akin to what the Scottish do with regards to Scottish Gaelic. In that sense, neither is incorrect, however, when someone without an Irish accent refers to it simply as Gaelic, it may raise some eyebrows. Using the full term "Irish Gaelic" is not incorrect either, but it does seem oddly specific, as it implies you're speaking about Irish Gaelic only (as opposed to Scottish or Manx Gaelic). Its a bit like saying Columbian Spanish instead of just Spanish.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaenglish?
PostPosted: Wed 28 Jul 2021 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat 26 Jun 2021 2:05 pm
Posts: 7
[/quote]I suspect by this you mean to draw comparisons to the cross between Spanish and English commonly referred to using the portmanteau, "Spanglish". The term, Spanglish, encompasses a large number of phenomena, such as code-switching and blending the grammar of Spanish and English, as well as simply speaking Spanish but relying on a lot of English loanwords.

To start with, nobody says "Gaenglish", however, some comparable phenomena occur. For example, when Irish is spoken with heavy usage of English loanwords, it is often referred to as "Béarlachas". People often use the term béarlachas in a derogatory way, with the implication being that using English loanwords when speaking Irish should be avoided, at least, if an Irish term with the same meaning already exists. "Béarlachas" can be used in a benign way also, though, just to refer to the phenomenon. This is not limited to nouns, as you suggest, as adjectives and verbs are regularly borrowed into Irish also. Because English is so widely used in Ireland, Irish speakers tend to code-switch regularly, however, people don't generally consider this to constitute some kind of new dialect, pidgin or creole.

It should be noted, too, that a variety of English is well documented in Ireland, called Hiberno-English, which has resulted from Irish speakers learning to speak English as a first language in the last few centuries. As generations go by this variety of English spoken in Ireland is losing a lot of its unique traits, and coming closer to English dialects spoken elsewhere. Some terms, like "galore", "banshee", "shamrock", "leprechaun", "claymore", "phoney" and "whiskey" have made their way from Irish into common English usage, though, and can hardly be considered Hiberno-English anymore.

Finally, Gaolainn is an Irish word for the Irish language. It's a dialectal form found in Munster, but is generally understood by Irish speakers. The Standard term taught to Irish learners is Gaeilge, which means the same thing and comes from Connemara. In any case, neither of these terms are typically used in English, though the English word, "Gaelic", is derived from them. As such, neither are "preferred in lieu of calling it Irish Gaelic". Most Irish people who learned Irish in school will just refer to it as Irish. Some native speakers will refer to it simply as Gaelic, which is akin to what the Scottish do with regards to Scottish Gaelic. In that sense, neither is incorrect, however, when someone without an Irish accent refers to it simply as Gaelic, it may raise some eyebrows. Using the full term "Irish Gaelic" is not incorrect either, but it does seem oddly specific, as it implies you're speaking about Irish Gaelic only (as opposed to Scottish or Manx Gaelic). Its a bit like saying Columbian Spanish instead of just Spanish.[/quote]

Thank you Ade, your response was so thorough!


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