Methinks the lady doth protest too much…

Somehow you can’t help think that Declan is missing the heady days of the Tiger, badly… Prós corcra, and then some… Con gives it more attention (ag a bhlag iGaeilge) than I suspect it deserves….

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  • Guest

    Good article.
    I would just like say that my Irish has improved in my late twenties.And that the most instructive and best irish grammar book if ever came across was in a tiny bookshop in Marseille within which the base language was French.Gaeilge is an extremely difficult language to learn but through french I found it a lot easier than through english.

  • Guest

    As for Ulster-scots, well I’d reckon it t’would be easier through Ulster-scots.But each to their own.

  • I believe it’s important for those in the Irish language community to engage with those who oppose the promotion of Irish, particularly those in the English language media. Sure, it feeds the monster but it has to be done.

    Engagement doesn’t mean naked opposition. It means listening to what the person says and seeing what are the points of agreement and disagreement. In my response to Lynch’s argument, which is a pretty facile and infantile argument it has to be said, I say that there is a nub of truth in the contention that there has been, despite all our years of Irish in school, a section of the population which has an inability or unwillingness to learn Irish.

    That’s something which those promoting the Irish language have to confront and overcome.

    At the same time, it’s not necessarily the Irish language those people oppose but education for education’s sake. We hear stories, for instance, of the amount of students who seek exemptions from Irish for the Leaving Cert because an expensive education psychologist says they’re dyslexic or have some other educational handicap. This was taken to ridiculous levels recently when a Leaving Cert student complained that she was refused a place on her desired university course because she had neglected to inform the CAO of her exemption from Irish on the grounds of dyslexia and a late start at an Irish primary school.

    She had nonetheless taken honours Italian and Japanese to Leaving Cert level and planned to study philosophy and a language at university.

    In the days of the Celtic Tiger, certain parents could easily cough up the €650 needed to purchase the exemption. Now,it may not be so easy which may explain the increase in attacks on Irish from certain quarters.

    Declan Lynch has consistently opposed Irish and ‘everything associated with it’ – ie GAA, traditional music and such like – and his attacks are both intemperate and infantile. They also expose a malaise at the heart of affluent Irish society – the get rich quick syndrome which conditions people to buy a quick resolution to every problem.

    That doesn’t mean he doesn’t occasionally stumble over a nub of truth as he did on this occasion….

  • Mack

    I’m not sure Mandarin Chinese is particularly dificult for an English speaker to learn – at least if they master the tones. Not that I’ve tried, but the Michel Thomas Method Mandarin is supposed to be pretty good in that regard. It (Mandarin) has the same SVO structure as English, apparently, at least taking the word of those who have tried Japanese is much harder..

    By the way, did you know that translate.google.com can make a stab at Irish translations? I’m pretty sure they use machine learning techniques (prob. Bayesian based statistical inferences) – so helping improve poor translations should incremently improve the quality of all translations. I thought it did a reasonable job of one or two posts I’ve seen on Slugger, but I’m sure Concubhar will think it’s mangling of his post pretty poor!

    http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=hp&hl=en&js=y&u=http://igaeilge.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/d-ar-son-duraman/&sl=ga&tl=en&history;_state0=

  • Mack