August 23, 2012 at 12:17 am #36346August 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm #42451
There are some of my generation and older who listen to Irish as it is spoken by the coming generation and they feel pain; it is so unlike the rich poetic language they spoke themselves. But this is Irish for a new age and a new generation. It’s a modern language of communication, and preservation as if it were in a museum isn’t compatible with that and is not an option.
quite sad to read that from a Gaeltacht native speaker. The “bad-Irish is cool” and “bad Irish is the future of the language so why would we bother with grammar and pronunciation and vocabulary?” -propaganda has contaminated Gaeltacht speakers too (not only lazy learners). *osna*
Why don’t we hear/read the opinions of people who really like Irish, anywhere outside Irish forums?August 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm #42452
It’s a tough pill to swallow – the idea that the language is evolving (or devolving, depending on how you look at it) and there’s almost nothing to be done about it. I myself don’t relish the idea of the natural poetry and grammatical intricacy of the language declining. I think that entertainment media are the key to the solution. The proliferation of English throughout the world, for instance, has a lot to do with how popular American entertainment is throughout the world. Regardless of how good or bad they are from a critics perspective, America makes movies that the whole world watches. The same cannot be said of most other countries. I credit things like TG4 and its more modern programs with the increased number of younger Irish speakers. The language needs more Irish Spongebob and Irish South Park. It’s somewhat revealing that a movie like “Apocalypto”, with a script entirely in Yucatec Maya, probably was viewed by more people around the world than all Irish language feature productions combined (of which there are relatively few anyways).August 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm #42453
The proliferation of English throughout the world, for instance, has a lot to do with how popular American entertainment is throughout the world. Regardless of how good or bad they are from a critics perspective, America makes movies that the whole world watches.
true but people don’t always see these films in the original version ; and even when they do, there are subtitles so that you can watch the film without trying to learn English from it.
I credit things like TG4 and its more modern programs with the increased number of younger Irish speakers. The language needs more Irish Spongebob and Irish South Park.
yeah, and what should be done, is to have voiceovers who speak perfect Irish, so that children learn from these and improve their Irish. It doesn’t cost more money, actually, but it would be a very good thing for the future of Irish – if we don’t want it to become a gibberish within a few decades.August 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm #42454Wee_Falorie_ManParticipant
I think that anyone who cares about the Irish language should read
Feargal Ó Béarra’s “Late Modern Irish and the Dynamics of Language Change and Language Death”
Here’s the link (for anyone who hasn’t read it yet):August 24, 2012 at 12:09 am #42455CúnlaParticipant
Wee_Falorie_Man, I was actually about to post the same thing.August 24, 2012 at 12:15 am #42456
Glad to see that other people also want Irish to survive instead of being replaced by cacamas…
O Béarra’s speech is a bit more “kind” than mine, he politely says “Non-Traditional Late Modern Irish” when I say “bad Irish” or “cacamas” LOLAugust 24, 2012 at 12:23 am #42457Wee_Falorie_ManParticipant
Yeah, what is happening to the Irish language is not gradual change that is initiated by native speakers themselves, but rather the supplanting of a traditional native language by a dominant language.
The final irony is that “Irish” media like TG4 and learners of “standard” Irish are contributing to the destruction of the language.August 24, 2012 at 1:20 am #42458
Yes, while there are plenty of native speakers (or native-like, because there are non-native speakers who speak very good Irish) who could work for TG4 etc. I mean, on the BBC or whatever, are there people who don’t speak English properly? People would be shocked. But with Irish, it’s ok… I wonder whyAugust 24, 2012 at 1:37 am #42459
I didn’t clarify one of my points very well, in retrospect. It isn’t that American films have to be watched in English, and in many other countries there are probably dubbed versions of these movies. But most of them are subtitled and the person is still hearing English dialog. It really depends on the movie though. But the point I failed to make is really that it doesn’t matter which language they are hearing the movie in at the time – they are still partaking in American culture, not their own. When you participate in a culture on its level, you end up wanting to learn the language or at least having more knowledge of it than someone who doesn’t care about the culture.
Thus things like dubbed Spongebob in fluent Irish are way better than other means of teaching kids Irish, but it would be 100 times more powerful if there were a show for kids that was uniquely Irish, in Irish, and also had the mass appeal that something like Spongebob does. Can you imagine how much more people would want to speak Irish if the official version of “The Dark Knight Rises” were in native Irish? People connect linguistically with the cultures they connect the most with emotionally, I think. What I took from this article is that people are beginning to feel connected to the language but the culture from which they draw knowledge of that language is something they may have very little interest in. Consequently you have a lot of people who want to speak Irish every day but none of them are fluent, so what happens then? Well they speak to each other and new rules are formed, old rules thrown away. There needs to be either a resurgence of interest in older Irish culture (to some extent this is happening, but in the end we can’t count on that, because it’s going to be the minority) or upgrade the culture to include Irish things that appeal to peoples’ actual interests.August 24, 2012 at 8:12 am #42462aonghusParticipant
what should be done, is to have voiceovers who speak perfect Irish, so that children learn from these and improve their Irish. It doesn’t cost more money, actually, but it would be a very good thing for the future of Irish – if we don’t want it to become a gibberish within a few decades.
Aontaím go láidir leis sin! Agus tá cuid mhaith de na comhlachtaí neamhspleácha ar aon fhocal leat.August 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm #42465
I know many may not agree with me, but I can definately see two sides to this coin…
On one side you have the fact that the rich older language is seen as declining, becoming badly spoken or broken Irish instead of the rich language it should be, but this may be a result of the growth of Gaeilge popularity, and the detailed learning of properly spoken Irish may be lagging behind the enthusiasm and spread of “cupla focal”. An increase in the popularity of the language in any way is a positive thing right now at this critical time, at least in my opinion, and I do think as it spreads, the people who have a cupla focal or have some broken Irish may increase in their want to learn the correct ways of speaking and seek to learn more.
I also agree that more videos, movies, cartoons, and popular books, etc. that can be translated or dubbed in good Gaeilge the better off we are of turning the popularity explosion and the rampant “bad Irish” into good Irish learning and usage before long. It may never again be as colorful as it once was, but it may end up better than what we initially see today. I kind of see it like with Old English or Middle English…compared to those, the English of today is bland, technical, or just full of slang, but it is surviving and thriving, so it isn’t all bad in that respect.August 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm #42467
Séril, I actually agree with most of what you said. It’s important for us to recognize that native language is not LEARNED, it is ACQUIRED. The process of language acquisition is rather different from language learning. If you think about how you learned English (or whatever your mother tongue is), rules of grammar are never or very rarely explained. You pick up the rules through natural acquisition being surrounded by other native speakers. The challenge is having enough native speakers so that other people have a good source from which to acquire the language. But more people speaking really shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing, despite the fact that it may be decreasing the apparent richness of the language at this time.September 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm #42560
The process of language acquisition is rather different from language learning. If you think about how you learned English (or whatever your mother tongue is), rules of grammar are never or very rarely explained. You pick up the rules through natural acquisition being surrounded by other native speakers. The challenge is having enough native speakers so that other people have a good source from which to acquire the language.
I think this is the reason I both like and get frustrated with Rosetta Stone Irish. They don’t really teach you grammar, they just speak things to you and write them out for you to see them with pictures. It’s frustrating not knowing the “why” of the things they do at the time, but it also is a more natural way of learning it, through repitition and usage rather than just doing a grammar workbook or something. I guess I just need to relax and quit thinking about learning in terms of how I was taught some Spanish in High School and College…September 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm #42565
My Irish education started probably 10 years ago. I haven’t been studying consistently throughout that time though. There were some periods of several years where I didn’t put in any work on it. The first thing I used was this old program which I think was by Transparent. I actually credit some of my early success internalizing the language to using this program. Basically it had a window with lesson text and several buttons at the bottom and another window that would display basic grammatical information about whatever was highlighted in the main lesson window. The other buttons were to have a native speaker speak either the whole sentence or just the word you had selected. So from the very beginning I was trying to replicate the sounds I was hearing instead of trying to guess at what it should really sound like. There also seemed to be a good mix of different dialects represented by the speakers. This was confusing at first, because it took me a while to realize why sometimes “agat” sounded like “at” and sometimes like “ugut”. But the other great thing about it was that I had easy access to the basic grammar component. It wasn’t very detailed – usually just a single line. But it was enough to start piecing together the logical part of the language without actually reading a traditional lesson style analysis of it.
I haven’t actually used the Pimsleur method, but this video is a good introduction to some basic concepts of learning a language efficiently and effectively.
[url=http://www.youtube.com/user/PimsleurApproach?v=eTEaDyTxgIQ&feature=pyv&ad=10429929665&kw=pimsleur approach]http://www.youtube.com/user/PimsleurApproach?v=eTEaDyTxgIQ&feature=pyv&ad=10429929665&kw=pimsleur approach[/url]
Overall I think it is best to try not to overthink things too much. But there are certain ways in which thinking about it can definitely benefit you. I would encourage anyone learning a language to read the following page in its entirity:
A lot of information in there is stuff I wish I knew back when I started learning languages. Know when to approach language learning as a child would and when to approach it as an adult. You can learn a lot of the workings of a language much faster as an adult than you could as a child, but the fluency and speed that come with innateness – not having to think about it consciously as you’re doing it – are where your childish side will have the edge.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.