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Public attitudes to Welsh & Irish - why the difference?


Trefor1.1

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Oct 25, 2008
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A poll released today indicates that 47% of respondents would like to strengthen Welsh language legislation, 29% would not & 25% don't know.

Now Welsh language legislation is already strong compared to Irish language legislation. For example it would be illegal to put up a road sign just in English, everyone has the right to be tried in a court of law in the language of his choice, the whole of the public sector is obliged to demonstrate a commitment to the 'equality of treatement principle'.

The legislation that is being discussed at the moment would, among other thing, force large chunks of the private sector in Wales to provide bilingual services.

Why are public attitudes so different?

Or is it just my imagination?
 


DJP

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Joined
Aug 2, 2006
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12,441
A poll released today indicates that 47% of respondents would like to strengthen Welsh language legislation, 29% would not & 25% don't know.

Now Welsh language legislation is already strong compared to Irish language legislation. For example it would be illegal to put up a road sign just in English, everyone has the right to be tried in a court of law in the language of his choice, the whole of the public sector is obliged to demonstrate a commitment to the 'equality of treatement principle'.

The legislation that is being discussed at the moment would, among other thing, force large chunks of the private sector in Wales to provide bilingual services.

Why are public attitudes so different?

Or is it just my imagination?
Unless the 20 year plan for Irish to be announced soon (it should have been last December, then January) is good Irish will have been consigned by the Government as a token language outside of the Gaeltacht. Even Fáilte Ireland don't have a bilingual website.
 

White Horse

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Jun 13, 2006
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A poll released today indicates that 47% of respondents would like to strengthen Welsh language legislation, 29% would not & 25% don't know.

Now Welsh language legislation is already strong compared to Irish language legislation. For example it would be illegal to put up a road sign just in English, everyone has the right to be tried in a court of law in the language of his choice, the whole of the public sector is obliged to demonstrate a commitment to the 'equality of treatement principle'.

The legislation that is being discussed at the moment would, among other thing, force large chunks of the private sector in Wales to provide bilingual services.

Why are public attitudes so different?

Or is it just my imagination?
Is Welsh rammed down the throat of Welsh school children for their entire first and second level education?

I think a large part of the antipathy towards Gaelic derives from the education system.
 

Trefor1.1

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Is Welsh rammed down the throat of Welsh school children for their entire first and second level education?

I think a large part of the antipathy towards Gaelic derives from the education system.
Welsh is compulsory up to 16.

I wouldn't argue that the compulsion is effective, but it causes very little ill will.
 

Trefor1.1

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Unless the 20 year plan for Irish to be announced soon (it should have been last December, then January) is good Irish will have been consigned by the Government as a token language outside of the Gaeltacht. Even Fáilte Ireland don't have a bilingual website.
The interesting question is why attitudes differ?

Here, people who have not one word of Welsh are as likely as not to support more legislation.
 
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Yes, there is a marked difference in attitude between the Irish and the Welsh with regard to their native languages.
Welsh nationalism evolves around Language, culture, tradition and a real pride in their country and being Welsh. i.e. real nationalism.
Irish nationalism on the other hand is fake, it just merely evolves around a profound hatred of anything British or Anglican. It has little to do with Irish culture or language issues, indeed I've encountered several supposedly nationalistic individuals , and their loathing of the Irish language is equally matched by their animosity towards the British.
If we were like the Welsh, i.e. imbued with a real sense of nationalism, the Irish language would not be in the sorry state it's in today.
 

DJP

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Yes, there is a marked difference in attitude between the Irish and the Welsh with regard to their native languages.
Welsh nationalism evolves around Language, culture, tradition and a real pride in their country and being Welsh. i.e. real nationalism.
Irish nationalism on the other hand is fake, it just merely evolves around a profound hatred of anything British or Anglican. It has little to do with the Irish culture or language issues, indeed I've encountered several supposedly nationalistic individuals , and their loathing of the Irish language is equally matched by their animosity towards the British.
If we were like the Welsh, i.e. imbued with a real sense of nationalism, the Irish language would not be in the sorry state it's in today.
Nationalism and patriotism to most people is childish- they have a childish outlook on it.

Trefor1.1, we've debated the state of Irish in comparison to Welsh on this site in depth many times.
 

Trefor1.1

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Oct 25, 2008
Messages
76
Yes, there is a marked difference in attitude between the Irish and the Welsh with regard to their native languages.
Welsh nationalism evolves around Language, culture, tradition and a real pride in their country and being Welsh. i.e. real nationalism.
Irish nationalism on the other hand is fake, it just merely evolves around a profound hatred of anything British or Anglican. It has little to do with Irish culture or language issues, indeed I've encountered several supposedly nationalistic individuals , and their loathing of the Irish language is equally matched by their animosity towards the British.
If we were like the Welsh, i.e. imbued with a real sense of nationalism, the Irish language would not be in the sorry state it's in today.
Welsh nationalism has a number of strands - cultural nationalism would be one, but there are others.
 

Trefor1.1

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Nationalism and patriotism to most people is childish- they have a childish outlook on it.

Trefor1.1, we've debated the state of Irish in comparison to Welsh on this site in depth many times.
Give us a one sentence synopsis then - why?
 

diy01

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Trefor,

What percentage of Wales was Welsh speaking in 1900? What about 1950?

In Ireland it was about 18% in 1900 (32 Counties) and in 1950...hard to say. The figures get skewed somewhat from 1926 on due to compulsory status. Probably 5-8% for Irish as a first language.

Anyway, I think the language shift and the severity of the decline was more severe and started much earlier in Ireland than in Wales. Well, clearly the decline was more severe. That's a given.

Believe it or not, I think independence in the 26 counties also has something to do with it. Look at the fervour with which some Irish speakers in Northern Ireland promote the language. What many see as occupation and nationhood denied is fuelling the resurgence of the language there, imo.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Cultural nationalism ought to be promoted and fostered. Deviode of our own native Language we can only be classified as amongst the English main stream and not a Nation in the true sense. The Welsh in my opinion has got it right.
 
Last edited:

Trefor1.1

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Trefor,

What percentage of Wales was Welsh speaking in 1900? What about 1950?

In Ireland it was about 18% in 1900 (32 Counties) and in 1950...hard to say. The figures get skewed somewhat from 1926 on due to compulsory status. Probably 5-8% for Irish as a first language.

Anyway, I think the language shift and the severity of the decline was more severe and started much earlier in Ireland than in Wales.

Believe it or not, I think independence in the 26 counties also has something to do with it. Look at the fervour with which some Irish speakers in Northern Ireland promote the language. What many see as occupation and nationhood denied is fuelling the resurgence of the language there, imo.
On my way out - no time to look it up - I'd guess 50% in 1900, 30% in 1950, 20.8% in 2001, 18.9% in 1991. It's probably between 22% & 23% now.
 

diddleydoo

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Jun 17, 2008
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On my way out - no time to look it up - I'd guess 50% in 1900, 30% in 1950, 20.8% in 2001, 18.9% in 1991. It's probably between 22% & 23% now.
over 20%, well there's your difference explained right there.

There are members of these forums who'd cum in their pants at the idea of 20% of the Irish being able to speak Irish.......

Shane
 

Lao-Tse

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What about Scots Gaelic? It's supposed to be on its last legs
compared to Irish and Welsh. Don't know much about SG,but it's
sad to see a language in such serious decline. :(
 

diy01

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The difference between Irish and Scots Gaelic is that the vast majority of those returned as speakers in the Census in Scotland are in fact fluent speakers. Unlike Ireland where most put themselves down as having the ability to speak Irish because of school. Only about 10% of self-described Irish speakers in the Census actively speak the language on a regular basis.

Indeed, there are probably more native speakes of Gàidhlig now than Gaeilge. I think about 50,000 or so.
 

Trefor1.1

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Oct 25, 2008
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Because the Welsh went for cultural independence and we went for political independence.

I stand for both but most Irish people don't.
The problem that I have with this thesis is that it doesn't really make sense.

Why would any movement have to make a stark choice between political & cultural independence.

One would have thought that one complemented the other. No?
 

joel

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May 3, 2007
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810
The interesting question is why attitudes differ?

Here, people who have not one word of Welsh are as likely as not to support more legislation.

I think its because the Irish are ashamed of it. Why I don't know - I guess its self-hatred. Again, I don't know why.
 

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