Could translation of government documents to Irish be crowdsourced?

Social networking site Facebook is being translated into Irish by enthusiastic volunteers.

Given a common objection to the translation of Government documents into Irish is cost, could such a system be used to harness the Irish language community itself to do much of the work? There would probably need to be systems put in place in order to make this possible, but large scale projects such as Wikipedia prove that crowdsourcing can be viable where there is an interest. There could be a number of side benefits too: it pushes the choice of which documents to translate onto the community itself, it could allow a place for feedback to be collected and as running such a scheme successfully would probably require a portal with easy access to the documents, it could help improve access for English language speakers too.

What do you think?

  • I think we need a thread on one Irish speaker’s attempts to get a parking ticket overturned on the grounds that the warden didn’t address her in irish.

  • Kensei

    I think you’ve got your own blog, Chekov.

  • runciter

    Its an interesting idea. Maybe worth contacting Foras na Gaeilge?

    http://www.gaeilge.ie/site/contact.asp

  • Glencoppagagh

    I like the sound of this. Irish language enthusiasts harnessing technology to expand use of the language organically.
    A much healthier option than asking the state to do it. We should all know by now that state dependency tends to stifle individual initiative.

  • I think the question is a very good one, but might lead to unexpected or unwanted outcoms.

    For instance, it may become clear that no-one wants most government documents in any language. Or it may become cear that the most that people want is a brief summary and conclusions. Being honest, I rarely read the entirety of the many government documents that I come across – at best I flick to the conclusions, or I scan the headlines and look for charts and graphs. So it may turn out that ‘the crowd’ does not want all 175 pages, but only 2 or 3 pages. In which case it may be better to leave the bulk of the documents in one of the national languages while ensuring that the key parts are in both.

    It may turn out that Irish speakers do not need government documents in Irish, but prefer to use the language in other settings – social, cultural, sporting, … Given the limited time and resources available, I think most people would prefer to write or translate documents relating to their area of interest, rather than to translate government documents that are overlong, underread, and possible irrelevant.

    Frequently used forms, FAQs, web-sites, etc are another thing – they could be translated quite easily and have a longer shelf life, but the general mass of administrative ephemera should probably not be written at all, in any language, and certainly not translated.

  • Mack

    Coming to an arrangement with commercial publishers to crowd source more interesting content would be much more valuable in my opinion.

    Chekov – She lost her court case. She now has to appeal for political intervention, and I think all that can happen here is that the county council insist all traffic wardens speak Irish. Don’t get ahead of yourself on this one, there is no real story here unless or until that becomes the case. I imagine it will be pragmatically thrown out – or – at most – perhaps some Irish language training will be provided.

  • Kensei

    Horseman

    It would be up to the community to translate the entire thing or the Executive summary, if they wanted.

    Mack

    Neat idea but I don’t see that as something the Assembly could do. There is a number of works out of copyright available ont he intyernet if someone wanted to demonstarte demand, though.

    SRR

    There would need to be some employment I think to make it work — both on the technical end and to sign off on completed documents as “official” but I’d gues the cost much reduced.

  • Given the limited time and resources available, I think most people would prefer to write or translate documents relating to their area of interest, rather than to translate government documents that are overlong, underread, and possible irrelevant.

    You have it in one Horseman. Still governments and organisations such as Foras na Gaeilge seem to think it’s preferable to expend vast resources on translating government documents that are overlong, underread and possibly[?] irrelevant than, say, investing it in literature people might want to read and derive pleasure from.

  • “Chekov – She lost her court case. She now has to appeal for political intervention, and I think all that can happen here is that the county council insist all traffic wardens speak Irish. Don’t get ahead of yourself on this one, there is no real story here unless or until that becomes the case. I imagine it will be pragmatically thrown out – or – at most – perhaps some Irish language training will be provided.”

    Whether it gets thrown out or not, there was room for a case to be brought.

  • Jer

    The Wikipedia model is interesting.

    There is a large body of students studying Irish across this island who are churning out essays on various random topics that never see the light of day.

    Why not have honours level senio cycle students write pieces for Wikipedia. One essay per week or even per month. Split the class in two and have them cover two different topics. Even junior cert(13-15 years) classes would be able to contribute.

    Across the island you would probably see a thousand articles a month being created.

    I think your idea on common sourcing is a very good one.

  • Kensei

    CC, Horseman

    I think you are both missing the point. This si somethign that comes up in the political arena for time to time and would probably form part of an ILA. This would provide some resources and support for the community to translate what they want themselves. If there is no interest, then it doesn’t get done.

  • Kensei

    Jer

    I don’t know about using Wikipedia, but a system that would put University thesis and dissertations online island (or islands) wide, accessible and searchable rather than on a shelf somewhere is a very good idea.

  • Jer

    Hi Kensei,

    I strayed a bit from your original idea into a more general discussion on creating a broader online Irish community.

    The creation of an online irish language resource of theses and dissertations would to my mind be a sign that the Irish language had achieved parity as the organic creation of such a body would require high levels of fluency in the population.

    Wikipedia is indeed a step down but maybe thats where we are at right now.

  • Jer

    I suppose as well Kensei that having ordinary students doing Wiki work would at least “train” the Irish language community in the translation of such documents. Also it would allow the Irish language community to use Irish in a much more technical sense.

  • DC

    Interestingly re Chekov’s point, technology is moving fast these days, if the traffic ticketer had a hand-held mobile internet device a written translation could be provided, perhaps even printed off on the spot.

    So you could use 3G technology to access a fairly decent translation site with the communications barrier being overcome there and then.

    Or an all-Ireland translation service that someone, perhaps a joint-government or gov-owned company could run, small scale that offered translation services to all public authorities such as traffic wardens etc that as and when requried to interpret information between member of public and public authorities.

    But even using an accessible online translation service basic instructions could be passed on / exchanged so as not to reduce one’s respect of the Irish language and use in such situations.

    It should be officially recognised that Irish is in use in NI but not necessarily an official language in terms of actual primacy on par with English given that usage varies based on the very segregated nature of life here.

    In trying to make it an official primacy language belies the nature of usage and is pumping up the importance of it using the state. Therefore acts driven by excessiveness should be avoided with ones focused on necessity instead.

  • Kensei

    Jer

    I didn’t even mean in terms of Irish, even an English language repository would be a highly useful thing.

    I suppose I should add there is Wikepedia in Irish, though it has < 10,000 articles: http://ga.wikipedia.org/wiki/Príomhleathanach

  • Mack

    Chekov

    Not any more – the precedent has been set.

    Irish is an (the) official language of the state. The court came to a pragmatic decesion. Given that, and your progressive take on the Irish language – do you think there is a way to pragmatically formulate official status for Irish in Northern Ireland that could be supported by the Unionist community?

  • I think this is one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen concerning the Irish language.

  • Mack,

    I support generosity towards the Irish language in terms of support (within the arts and culture sphere). I want to see it supported in terms of broadcasting, education, media, literature and the like. I’m yet to be convinced that an act or official status is needed. Although for what its worth I did intimate what I thought reasonable proposals might consist in here.

  • A lot of supports there. Dear me.

  • Micilín Muc

    In practice, crowdsourcing would definitely not be a suitable option to translate official Government documents.

    Facebook’s Irish translation was done efficiently but unfortunately the standard is not high enough for Government documents. A proof-reader would need to be employed.

  • In practice, crowdsourcing would definitely not be a suitable option to translate official Government documents.

    Facebook’s Irish translation was done efficiently but unfortunately the standard is not high enough for Government documents. A proof-reader would need to be employed.

    Then there would be at least one reader of these unreadable documents….

    As it stands most government documents which are translated into Irish by professional translation companies, replete with PHds and all, are unreadable. Whether or not they’ve been read by a proofreader is open to question.

  • ulsterfan

    I don’t think this will get much political support.
    The language is to be used as a tool to gain advantage for Irish speakers over others by creating employment providing social housing etc, and in order to do so Irish speakers must all be employed by the state and paid by the tax payer no matter how trivial and unnecessary the job may be.
    This policy strengthens the language and gives users a huge economic advantage over non speakers.
    Take away the economic benefits and the options become more interesting.

  • Kensei

    MM

    As I stated above, some siupport would need to be provided, and you’d nee dpeople to lead th eprocess and provide proof reading. I imagine at least some fo thos epeople would need employed. But in theory you’d still get a lot for free.

    uf

    The language is to be used as a tool to gain advantage for Irish speakers over others by creating employment providing social housing

    How you get from language to housing, I don’t know.

    And if people are going to run with the “its about the jobs” line, then I want to see figure. yes, it creates some jobs. they do not necessarily have to be in the public sector, and could be outsourced. I don’t see it ever being more than a niche, regardless of how it is done. A few, or even few tens of millions spent on Irish does not an economic advantage make.

    So, anyone got any numbers to prove me wrong?

  • OC

    If English language was banned in NI, and Gaelic made the official language, how many/what percentage of Irish nationalists/republicans could get anything done whilst totally immersed in Irish?

  • blinding

    Kensi

    It certainly would be interesting to run trials of this to see how successfull it would be.

  • ulsterfan

    Kensai

    Gaeltachts could easily be created within our cities and housing given only to Irish speakers as is the case in Galway.
    Non speakers need not apply.
    Cultural discrimination at its worst.

  • Mack

    Ulsterfan –

    Non-Irish speakers weren’t denied social housing (or the planning process for new housing), just social housing & planning in a Gaeltacht area that was fast becoming a non-Irish speaking zone.

    It was a fairly pragmatic act in defence of the language.

  • ulsterfan

    Mack

    Some housing was set aside for Irish speakers only in the public sector.
    An interview to assess ability to speak the language was carried out to determine acceptability .
    While it helped the language it was nevertheless discriminatory.
    Can you imagine the harm that would do in NI.

  • Kensei

    ulsterfan

    Gaeltachts could easily be created within our cities and housing given only to Irish speakers as is the case in Galway.
    Non speakers need not apply.
    Cultural discrimination at its worst.

    Where people denied social housing options elsewhere? Then perhaps you have a point.

    But discrimination is not automatically negative. People discriminate all the time. You will discriminate in your choice of beer. Interview for a job and the employer will discriminate between candidates. The question is there a good basis for that dscrimination. Encouraging use of the Irish language would be judged a worthwhile political goal by many. If there was money invested in that goal, even for housing to create distinct areas to facilitate people using the language on a daily basis that to me is fair game, provided it garner the requisite political support. Similarly for protecting current gaeltacht areas.

    I don’t know the details but my gut says reactive and not thought through.

  • Mack

    Ulsterfan –

    That’s why I used the word pragmatic. It was a one-off solution especially tailored to the cirumstances. It’s not a generalisable solution, thus it wouldn’t happen in NI.

  • Billyo

    Great idea. More jobs for the boyos. I suppose all the ‘Community Worker’ and ‘Poltical Adviser’ work is already allocated.

  • Kensei

    Billyo

    The point being that it reduces ht eamount of funding required.

    Again can anyone back up the jobs argument with figures?

  • DC

    “But discrimination is not automatically negative. People discriminate all the time. You will discriminate in your choice of beer. Interview for a job and the employer will discriminate between candidates. The question is there a good basis for that dscrimination. Encouraging use of the Irish language would be judged a worthwhile political goal by many.”

    That’s what the unionists thought too back in the formative years of little Ulster.

    It is unlawful to discriminate in the provision of services, i.e. public housing regardless of ethnicity and should not be considered worthwhile; unless there is a leaving of the EU altogether then this proposal is a complete non-runner.

  • GGN

    Kensei,

    You do realise that there is not one single person employed by the Northern Ireland Civil Service whose job it is to translate things into Irish.

    I will attempt to establish if Hansard employ someone to translate from irish to English in the assembly.

  • Kensei

    DC

    The point being, DC, that the criteria on which Unionists discriminated was not justifiable.

    Second, the proposal is not one on ethnicity; it is that one should be able to speak the language to be able to get housing in a language protected area you need to be able to speak the langugae. You can be black, white, yellow or purple and meet that criteria. It is not clear to me that should be instantly ruled as out of orde,r particularly if there are alternatives elsewhere.

    But I’m not defending it, simply making the point that crying “Discrimination!” is not actually enough on its own.

    GGN

    No, I did not realise that. My suggestion would probably require a few people emplyed, but nothing like what would be required if you wanted a dedicated team.

  • DC

    Sorry Kensei but what you have proposed is discrimination as it treats others less favourably and debars access to public housing. Even if private housing too, it still reads as unlawful discrimination!

    Think of it as characteristic driven rather than a need for a home in an area to be close to work or whatever.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Ulsterfan

    “Cultural discrimination at its worst”

    You don’t understand the issue.

    These are bilingual Irish speaking communities. As more monoglot English speakers move in Irish speakers have no choice but to adjust and speak English because monoglot English speakers can’t adapt to Irish speakers. This would eventually have the effect of killing off Irish in these few remaining and linguistically fragile areas. Hence the insistence that new people moving in have some ability to speak Irish.

    Consider how the British government insists that prospective immigrants are required to possess a degree of proficiency in English if they want to come to live and work, and integrate with life in the UK:

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/general/eligibility/pointsassessment/englishlanguage/

    It’s the same thing on a bigger scale.

  • GGN

    Ken,

    Irish Language organisations have consistently said that translation would cost alot less if it was carried out inhouse by a dedicated translation unit OR and cheaper still if half a dozen people were employed in various places.

    As it stands, in order to avoid employing someone in an ‘Irish language’ role in the civil service, which unionists would naturally object too, the Civil Service employs private translators, normally working through an agency.

    That said, there are a couple of small scale coop style firms who do this sort of thing.

    Clearly however, if the Civil Service employed people directly the costs would be radically cut.

    The reason they dont is political.

    Remember always, that the vast majority of translations are not done at the request of the Irish language community but rather are attempts to placate it.

    I.e. They really want road-signage, but lets see if a bilingual website satisfies them. There want recongition for a school, but it would be cheaper to translate doc. no 123/aDnb/23/

    It all politics old chap.

  • Kensei

    DC

    I haven’t proposed anything. I have merely questioned that the suggestion is either immoral or unlawful, given the correct circumstance. The government has set up an area of special status. With that conceded, I fail to see how it can be argued that it has not the right to protect that area. With questions of moralityout of the way, the question is whether it’s unlawful and that would be pertinent only to EU Law. I’m no lawyer, but if there was an alernative offered, I’d guess not.

    I’ll give you another example of discimination. Many coutnries enforce a points system to decide which immigrants are allowed in. That is most definitely discrimination. If done on job skills people have few problems. If it was done on race, they would be up in arms. Yet both are discrimination.

    Do you see?

  • Kensei

    GGN

    What do you think of my suggestion?

  • Billyo

    All together now;

    We discriminate Good,
    Themuns discriminate Bad!

    Bye, oops sorry, slán

  • Ulster McNulty

    DC

    “Think of it as characteristic driven rather than a need for a home in an area to be close to work or whatever.”

    If it’s wrong to insist that someone seeking to live in an Irish speaking community has the linguistic ability to integrate with that community – can it be right for a government to insist that immigrants seeking to live in a country have the linguistic ability which will allow them integrate?

    (see my post above)

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/general/eligibility/pointsassessment/englishlanguage/

  • kensei

    Billyo

    Engage brain, try again.

  • GGN

    It should be pointed out that only a small proportion of houses in any new development in thew Gaeltacht are set aside for Irish speakers, effectively for ‘locals’. It also depends on the amount of Irish spoken in the area.

    Effectively, it is pretty symbolic.

    Ken,

    I dont fully understand your idea. I think that this kind of translation happens anyway.

    Whilst I am a support of the Official Languages Act and a fan of An tAire Ó Cuív, I like Cnocubhar have my doubts about superfulious translation.

  • DC

    EU nationals folks. Try telling a German or French person that they cannot buy a house in Belfast or Dublin because they do not speak English or Irish and let’s see what happens.

    It is discrimination whethet even legal or not it is discrimination.

  • Billyo

    Hey if brain engagement was required this thread would not exist.

    If you enjoy speaking, Irish fill your boots. If you want to read government papers in Irish then translate them at home after they are published in the language, English, that EVERY single Irish speaker understands.

    Form Facebook groups, have house parties, do whatever the hell you want just don’t ask to spend my tax pounds on what is an unnecessary indulgence; and before you mention it, it may be that you too are a tax payer and would be happy to see tax revenues spent foolishly but, happily, in what is left of this democracy most prople disagree with you.

    Now off to bed you silly boy.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Yo Billyo

    “…do whatever the hell you want just don’t ask to spend my tax pounds on what is an unnecessary indulgence…”

    Any activity that enhances the life of some people is an unneccessary indulgence for other people. Should all funding be scrapped?

  • The Irish-language Wikipedia is crucial. Putting aside the issue of official documents for a moment, a large Irish language Wikipedia would be of massive practical use for everyone, particularly in schools.

    It does appear to be growing at a reasonable pace, but we should try to catch up with the Welsh. The Welsh Wikipedia is more than twice as big! Don’t wait for some bloated Irish language government body!

    Irish speakers should spend some time reading, and improving, it if they can. They can always check the English language version of an article. Hopefully, some day I’ll be able to contribute. But for now, I’m going to check out the Irish language Wikipedia and Facebook and hope to pick up another cupla focal.

  • kensei

    GGN

    Do you how Wikipedia works? It would run a lot like that.

    Billyo

    What “most” people believe in a representative democracy is actually not directly relevant. What matter is what their representatives agree. And thankfully, they’ve already agreed a number of things regarding Irish whether you like them or not.

    But this isn’t actually a thread for standard ranting, so either engage brain or shut mouth.

    DC

    EU nationals folks. Try telling a German or French person that they cannot buy a house in Belfast or Dublin because they do not speak English or Irish and let’s see what happens.

    You are generalising without justification. We are talking about a pretty limited area, the status of which has been been in existence for a long time and political decision was made to protect it. I don’t know if France or Germany have any areas with special protection on them for reason x but I’d guess there is a few.

    It is discrimination whethet even legal or not it is discrimination.

    Yes. Did you read anything I have said?

  • DC

    It’s discrimination. I’m not arguing for or againts but telling you that if you set aside houses for Irish speakers only means that you are unlawfully discriminating in favour of Irish speakers.

    Say Germany did protect houses for german speakers only imagine how you would feel if you had a business idea for a particular area and wanted to live near by but were told no. Say even your wife speaks German but you as the owner and main occupier do not. Even if you say it’s not ethnicity arguably it is indirect discrimination that applies a criteria that affects others non german speakers and favours in reality ethnic germans. Personally it seems to me direct discrimination with ethnic undertones.

    Tough luck then for me well next time don’t knock the unionists for their protectionism in the past!

  • kensei

    DC

    It’s discrimination. I’m not arguing for or againts but telling you that if you set aside houses for Irish speakers only means that you are unlawfully discriminating in favour of Irish speakers.

    Pay attention. It is discrimination. That is agreed, numbnuts. The question is whether or not it is justified discrimination or not.

    How do you know it is unlawful? You are asserting. Bear in mind this is the Republic where there are less political issues with parts of the population having an intense hate of the language.

    Say Germany did protect houses for german speakers.. .yaddda yaddda yadda

    Still not good enough. Irish is a minority language in danger of dying out. German is not. This is not about buying “a house”. It is about buying a house in a very small geographic area that has been acknowledges with a certain special status for a very long time. Please tell me we;’re aren’t going down the German line for obvious reasons.

    It is also not an ethnic criteria however you cut it. Anyone can learn the language. And if you don’t want to learn the language, why the fuck do you want to live in a Gaeltacht.

    Tough luck then for me well next time don’t knock the unionists for their protectionism in the past!

    This is not the same thing at all. There is no political or cultural supremacy involved here. It might even cost votes. It’s a move taken in order to protect an indigenous language form dying out in a particular area. You may not believe this is a worthwhile political goal, but I have yet to see any evidence it is either immoral or illegal.

    And I have no particular opposition to similar moves for Scottish or Welsh (or even, if we must Ulster Scots) provide they are proportionate and appropriately limited to designated areas. Would you prefer to see languages die out?

    Can you justify your position, or are you going to keep repeating yourself?

  • DC

    Well okay then..there isn’t much more I can say.

    I take it you would be ticker if people in the Shankill refused Irish travellers so as to maintain English speaking loyalist cohesion in a largely nationalist area?

    Anyway if you want to discriminate that’s fine just don’t knock the minority Protestants on this isle when they ran housing protectionism, that’s all really.

  • Glencoppagagh

    I see no harm in trying to maintain the linguistic integrity of an established Gaeltacht especially if it’s an area that would attract second home owners as I suspect most of them are. However, I doubt that such a policy will do much to stem the tide.
    What would be intolerable is the creation of new contrived linguistic ghettos sustained by discriminatory practices.

  • ulsterfan

    “A contrived linguistic ghetto” would be a possibility and would reinforce a form of apartheid which already exists in this part of the world.
    Communities living apart divided by politics, religion, sport ,culture, and a new obstacle Language.
    Will Ireland/ Britain ever produce a leader who can be respected by both traditions.

  • Jeremy

    hmm, we seem to have drifted into a boring discussion on language and politics.

    Would it not be nice if we could focus on the topic of whether grass roots activism employing technology can circumvent incompetent or disinterested govt.s

    Certainly the web allows groups who share a common interest to build critical mass without requiring geographical proximity. Its clear that at this stage in the language’s development that this is necessary and probably a stepping stone to actually seeing critical mass develop in a social context offline.

    Using the group of language enthusiasts to translate the documents into irish is a fantastic idea but maybe , as some have commented, it is at too high a level to have a meaningful impact and more critically at too high a level to susstain the interest of thoes who would volunteer their time into such an effort, Practically speaking how man times would a person translate a 100 page document on rural development having just translated an 80 page doc on sustainable energy etc.

    Can I suggest that maybe there is consensus that the idea has merit but that a lower, more immediate, type of document would be suitable? What would that be I wonder.

    I would like to see a group of volunteers writing Irish web pages for companies who could easily upload them into their sites using their standard content management system. Ideally some independent and trusted 3rd group could accredit the accuracy of the translation. Gets Irish into the biz world and online in a productive way. Lets see companies offering Irish language content even if its only the about page. Conmpanies would like the diferent angle it provides them for free.

    Also commercial products like OS Commerce, a common web shop and free source application availabale in many languages but not Irish.
    Ireland has a strong IT community. Can they not be put to work.

  • Ulster McNulty

    ulstefan

    ““A contrived linguistic ghetto” would be a possibility and would reinforce a form of apartheid which already exists in this part of the world”

    Apartheid is a terrible thing, maybe you also want a ban on the use of Scottish Gaelic and Welsh in those parts of the British isles?

    DC

    “Say Germany did protect houses for german speakers only imagine how you would feel if you had a business idea for a particular area and wanted to live near by but were told no”

    Learn German, they’ll give you the go-ahead, all the locals will be rootin for you in your new enterprise – everyone’s a winner.

  • DC

    Yes but what if the Germans can speak basic english too where I am going to create Euros, why can’t I move in?

  • kensei

    Jeremy

    In the first instance you make an erroneous assumption. It is unlikely to be a single person translating a whole document; rather it is likely to be several people contributing what they can. That is how these system tend to work.

    Second, there is, at least by some people, claimed demand for this sort of thing. This would test it.

    Third, they could do whatever they saw fit — if that is translating only Executive Summaries or websites there is a variety of tasks they could take on. The choice is really up to them.

  • DC

    Yes you are right Kensei the special status is justifiable in the republic due to the lack of litigious comparators such as a lack of a significant minority of Protestants to run cases to challenge this.

    The reason why it wasn’t and isn’t justifiable in NI is the massive amount of contrasting identities and ethnicities which would make such a stance incompatible here as the overwhelming comparators would highlight favourable treatment to Irish speakers. Any exemption rung out from the EU would collapse due to its own incompetence what with such blatant preferential treatment.

    The principle is still discrimination as you agree. You seem indifferent to it which is strange as I thought SF leaning republicans were all for equality. Seemingly not so as discriminatory practice is okay if you want to keep up Irish so as not to go the way of Old Norse. Some Irish are more equal than other Irish, but then the Equality Authority’s budget hasn’t fared too well recently in the republic not to mention the winding up of the race body.

  • Ulster McNulty

    DC,

    “The reason why it wasn’t and isn’t justifiable in NI..”

    I’ve never heard anybody advocate this for Northern Ireland – it doesn’t have a gaeltacht. It is (or it should be) about language, it isn’t about Irish Catholics most of whom, in common with most protestants, don’t speak Irish.

    Otherwise, why don’t you get onto your local westminster representative to stamp out this sort of thing where it does occur in the UK – http://www.chcymru.org.uk/news/7895.html

  • Danny

    This thread once again proves that many people up da north know sfa about Irish language issues.

    There’s nothing unreasonable about setting aside a certain percentage of new homes in a gaeltacht for fluent Irish speakers, for example. This is not the same as banning non-Irish speakers outright.

  • Dewi
  • DC

    Would you like houses set aside for English speakers only? It’s that simple. Yes or no?

  • kensei

    DC

    The reason why it wasn’t and isn’t justifiable in NI is the massive amount of contrasting identities and ethnicities which would make such a stance incompatible here as the overwhelming comparators would highlight favourable treatment to Irish speakers. Any exemption rung out from the EU would collapse due to its own incompetence what with such blatant preferential treatment.

    So — to sum. This wouldn’t fly in the North (if it had a Gaeltacht, or one created) because Prods hate the Irish language and would unreasonably kick stink obver this, even if they had access to comparable public housing elsewhere.

    O look! I can do the rsarcastic reduce argument down thing too!

    You seem indifferent to it which is strange as I thought SF leaning republicans were all for equality

    Are you fucking braindead? Read what I and others have written repeatedly.

    For reference, I am also happy to support the 50-50 rule in policing. That is also discriminatory, but it can be justified, on a limited basis, as necessary for developing a properly functioning society here. When people yell “discriminaton” what they mean is “Unjustifiable discrimination”. I am certainly against that. I am simply asking why you believe this is unjustifiable. As yet, you got nothing.

  • kensei

    DC

    Would you like houses set aside for English speakers only? It’s that simple. Yes or no?

    No, DC, it is not that simple. It would be that simple if English was a minority language and had areas marked as specifically English and protected. In which case, yes, I would be happy to support it. You cannot generalise in this fashion, and it is dishonest to do so.

  • GGN

    POI.

    There is a Gaeltacht in the North, in Belfast in fact. Home to around thirty families.

  • DC

    Kensei stop making excuses for discrimination, albeit linguistic as you would wish to put it.

    It’s land protectionism. I dont really know how to put this other than saying that I really doubt it would fly here in NI if someone set aside houses for Irish speakers.

    It’s like the boss in a firm saying he only wants people who can work 8-6, it’s a criteria that rules out females with young families.

    But there might be a really unique reason for such a pattern the boss could justify I suppose, other employees, sure fight for it but some might think otherwise.

    Sorry it’s still the psychology of discriminatory practice to protect something such as this is doing; one thing it’s not is equality by a long shot.

    As to why you are having problems registering that and making a fuss over it is beyond me.

    Why should language be okay as a criteria and not religion then?

  • DC

    “For reference, I am also happy to support the 50-50 rule in policing. That is also discriminatory, but it can be justified, on a limited basis, as necessary for developing a properly functioning society here.”

    The PSNI is another mess. Properly functioning society, did you not go red after writing that.

  • kensei

    DC

    Kensei stop making excuses for discrimination, albeit linguistic as you would wish to put it.

    Why?

    It’s land protectionism. I dont really know how to put this other than saying that I really doubt it would fly here in NI if someone set aside houses for Irish speakers.

    It is linguistic protectionism. Ireland, even the North is sparsely populated. I fail to see why if this was appropriately budgeted and an alternative offered elsewhere, why it is a great evil. You’ve spectacularly failed to demonstrate it.

    It’s like the boss in a firm saying he only wants people who can work 8-6, it’s a criteria that rules out females with young families.

    Excellent example. Because an 8-6 shift are perfectly legal working hours, as far as I know. It maybe that the employer is doing it to rule out people with young families. Or maybe there is a perfectly good reason for it. In one case it can be justified, in one case it can’t.

    Sorry it’s still the psychology of discriminatory practice to protect something such as this is doing; one thing it’s not is equality by a long shot.

    You’re first sentence does not make sense and the second is tautology given I have accept that on some level this is discriminatory. There is things that could be done to limit impact. however. Alternative accomodation could be offered elsewhere. Money could come out of the budget for language promotion and not general housing funds. Excetera.

    As to why you are having problems registering that and making a fuss over it is beyond me.

    Because you do not appear to be listening and ignoring the argument and just repeating “discrimination2 endlessly without thought.

    Why should language be okay as a criteria and not religion then?

    Protecting an indigneous language from dying out is a valid policy for a secular democratic Government, assuming requisite political support. Can everyone agree on that? Now ask yourself is protecting a particular religion also a valid goal for a secular democratic government. You could probably come up with a few circumstances, but I’d guess you’d lean towards no. So there is some inherent difference there.

  • kensei

    DC

    Read what I actually said.

    I should add: what is happening with the PSNI is not really about religion. Thjat just happens to correlate on what we want. It is about ensuring all sections of society have acceptance of the police, and that the police is representative of the people it serves. We are moving from a situatiion where neither of those is the case, and allowing things to happen naturally could be too slow and risk gains made. It is on those grounds it is justified, and not religion and be be done on those grounds only for a limited period.

  • DC

    Well you’ve made your points but I don’t think it’s something I’d like to experience to be excluded over others who speak only Irish.

    Certainly it’s something that in power I would not be supporting by a long shot for the reasons of it being distorted and extrapolated out into other areas.