Should the Irish Language be compulsory in schools?

Eire1976

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(Topic shamelessly lifted from Adrian Kennedy phone show, I only caught the last few mins of what sounded like an interesting debate though)

Should Irish be a compulsory or optional subject in school(like French or German)? Bearing in mind that school prepares us for the big bad world should people who dont see a place in their life for Gaeilge be forced to learn it?
It shouldn't even be an issue and should raise the disdain from good citizens that anyone would disrespect our national language but this is Ireland, where disloyalty and cynicism is the national character trait just below greed.
 


BrightDay

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... how or never, weighbridge will do me fine on its own, and nobody much cares about the translation anyway.
I'm not so sure that mea is a phonetic copy of weigh - I think it is a shortened form of "meáchan". I see that "droichead meáite" is the term suggested in focail.ie. Sometimes words are "fabricated" to suit the size of traffic signs.

I agree with your view that "weighbridge" would be fine. There are lots items which native irish speakers saw for the first time when they emigrated to the UK and US and for which they always used the english form of the name. Examples are bicycle, range (stove), aeroplane. Older native irish speakers would never use rothar, sorn or eitleán for these. Weighbridge would fit into the same category.
 

Riadach

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"Mea" is just a phonetic copy of weigh. I would have used tromáin.

Sigh

med ā, f., medh, IGT Dec. § 39.17 . Occas. masc. in late lang.
(a) a balance for weighing: gl. libra, Sg. 100 a 1 ; lanx, 20 a 3 .
m.¤ brithemnachtae Dae ( = libra judicii), Ml. 57 d 8 . i mmeid,
80 gl. in stateram, 79 b 4 . m.¤, airmed, forrach, Triads 138. m.¤
tomais indile a balance for weighing cattle , Corm. Y 1053.
screbul meidi imbiche, 1050 . cen meid mesra, LL 5 b 11 . ro
curthea i mmeid. nicon rabi méit friged i nnachæ díb sech
araile, 281 b 18 . an screpal do chor a meidh thomuis, Fl. Earls
85 164.27 . do thomhais mé an t-airgiod annsa meadh, Jerem.
xxxii 10. maor na meidhe (of Archangel Michael), A. Ó
Letter M, Column 77

Dálaigh xxxv 15 , cf. xxxiii 8 , PBocht 82 § 5. ag tomhas
meidhe an mheasa the scales of judgement , PBocht 70 § 31.
pl. Lucius Luculus . . . meda . . . do thuscurnud (i.e. L. in-
vented balances), LL 143 b 17 . ? Midir na med, 209 a 30 .
5 ardruri Mide na mmed, 184 b 37 = Arch. ii 83 § 10 `of Meath
of the balances '. Maedóc na mmed :) Lagen), LL 300 b 16 ( SG
371 ). meadha an tomhais, Ezek. v 1. Fig. of a judge: meadh
ós míltibh, Hackett xxxix 96.
(b) a weight, measure: medh lán-glaice [sic leg. ] d'iaronn
10 aithleagtha, RC xxix 136 § 53. dá mheidh do ghrán cruith-
nechta two measures , BNnÉ 26 § 19. do bleith an da meidhe sin,
ib. trí meadha do mhin phlúir, Gen. xviii 6. In abstr. sense:
trí céad . . . muc go meadh `heavy swine ', Content. xviii 62.
(c) a counterpoise and hence fig. an equal, match, with gen.
15 or DO: bar medh ga héin-eng 'na bfuigbinn? what single nook
is there in which I could find your match? O'Gr. Cat. 507.8.
ni fuighte med Maghnusa, Ir. Texts ii 56 § 48. terc a medh
righ do rígaib, 63 § 3 . medh comtrom Cormaic . . . ar ceart-
breathaib, ALC i 352.30 , cf. 486.18 . níor mheadh Murchadh
20 dho [leg . do Mh.?] mar chuing | 's níor mheadh do Bhrian
Maoilsheachluinn `he was not Murchadh's equal as warrior, as
Maolsheachluinn was not Brain's ', Content. xviii 142. ní
raibhe i Mucroimhe | lámh ba meadh do láimh Lugaidh, v 172 .
ní chuala go bhfuair ollamh | meadh don aisgidh fhuaramar,
25 Studies 1921, 257 § 2 (cf. TD 14.27 ). meadh chosmhail don
Traoi an teagh-soin, TD 6.7 . a gcompánaigh is a gcaraid | do
chách nír chomhthrom an mheadh their comrades and friends
were no match for the world (against them ), PBocht 121 § 22.
nír fhás meadh na mná-sa the like of this woman , 14 § 8 . Cf.
30 co Commar . . . na tteora n-abh a n-oínmhedh (.i. . . . na ttri
n-abhann ccoimhionand i n-aoin ionadh), Leb. Gab. i 128.12 .
(d) measure, means, expedient (late use): ar an modh ┐ leis
an meadh as fearr le Dia, Luc. Fid. 209.10 . gan fhios an
mheadha le ttig neach ar shlighe a slainte, 353.12 : cf. 352.11 .
35 (e) doubtful: med n-ercc .i. gort, Anecd. iii 44.18 = Auraic.
5641 (a kenning for the letter g, = cow-balance? but seems
neut.).
Compd. medtosṅgachtigtheid, gl. libripens, Sg. 114 a 1 .
When will people learn? And why one earth would they use tromáin, meaning weights, for a weighbridge?
 

Red_93

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Sigh



When will people learn? And why one earth would they use tromáin, meaning weights, for a weighbridge?
Someone recently told me that the word "cár" has been in existence in Irish for centuries, and meant chariot, predating the word "car" in English. That, if true, is most interesting given that car versus gluaisteán is often used as an example of béarlachas and how terrible it is.

No idea whether it's true or not though...
 

Mercurial

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It shouldn't even be an issue and should raise the disdain from good citizens that anyone would disrespect our national language but this is Ireland, where disloyalty and cynicism is the national character trait just below greed.
It's not exactly respectful to learn a language only because the state is forcing you to.
 

Riadach

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Someone recently told me that the word "cár" has been in existence in Irish for centuries, and meant chariot, predating the word "car" in English. That, if true, is most interesting given that car versus gluaisteán is often used as an example of béarlachas and how terrible it is.

No idea whether it's true or not though...
It is. Carr as a word goes back to the 7th century at least.
 

Carl Claudius

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should English be compulsory in Irish schools? I mean what is the point? We all speak it and can more or less write it so why waste out time doing it at second level?
 

jwallz96

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Yes, the Irish LANGUAGE should be compulsory in schools, however that is currently not the case. The curriculum as it stands is full of poetry, stories, and just literature in general, that most students find utterly boring and more importantly from a learning perspective, downright impossible to understand. This is probably the main reason that many students take Irish at a lower level than they are capable of, simply because of the disproportionate amount of work required for what are pretty measly marks at the end of it all. As an example, the filíocht (poetry) and prós (short stories/prose) together are worth 10% of a students overall grade, and yet the time spent studying these parts if the course is usually massive, and takes up a large part of the senior cycle. On the other hand, more marks are awarded for léamhthuiscint (reading comprehension) than both poetry and prose combined, yet students may only practice these a relatively small number of times compared to the amount of time spent on literature.

This is what turns students off Irish, poetry and stories that are I interesting, overly difficult, and just plain boring! It can be hard enough to teach literature through English, let alone through Irish. The workload that Irish demands is simply not worth it for most students and even those capable of doing quite well at higher level (in many cases a B grade or higher) may prefer to drop down a level and focus in their other subjects. Could you blame them really?

Irish shouldn't be a subject that's seen as boring or as overly complicated and difficult, it can be easy enough to grasp the labguage when it's taught as a language, the problem is that it isn't. Basically to get a good grade in Irish you have to be already fluent in Irish by about third year, because the course is too wide ranging to allow for grammar and language aspects to be studied at leaving cert. level.

Irish should be taught as a foreign language is taught, it may not be foreign per se, but it's certainly not the everyday language if the vast majority of people, and it shouldn't be treated as such. Irish is not English, and it shouldn't be taught as if it is. Assumed fluency and ability is the wrong way to go about teaching any subject, surely someone in the Department of Education can see this? I mean lets give them some credit!

It's all very well giving out about Irish and using the usual argument of "I never use it", but then again, how often do you speak German or French in your daily life, for a lot of people the answer is probably not much more than you speak Irish.

Irish language should be a compulsory subject, and Irish literature (the part most people find hard and don't like) should be optional. This means that more class time can be dedicated to gaining a command of the language that you might use in the future, rather than rote learning notes about stories and poems that you definitely won't use. That is the flaw in the system, and the problem with the teaching of Irish and it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
 

Schuhart

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should English be compulsory in Irish schools? I mean what is the point? We all speak it and can more or less write it so why waste out time doing it at second level?
English isn't compulsory for the Leaving Certificate. In fact, as pointed out on another thread.
Irish is the only compulsory subject at Leaving Cert level.
 

Schuhart

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Irish should be taught as a foreign language is taught, it may not be foreign per se, but it's certainly not the everyday language if the vast majority of people, and it shouldn't be treated as such. Irish is not English, and it shouldn't be taught as if it is. Assumed fluency and ability is the wrong way to go about teaching any subject, surely someone in the Department of Education can see this? I mean lets give them some credit!
I think this point is crucial. The way Irish is taught has never recognised the fact that it is not the native language of most Irish people. It's as if the Irish language lobby actually wants to exclude the broad mass of people, the better to secure privileges for itself like having an undue grip over general access to the teaching profession.
 

Fun with Irish

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The Revival of irish is politics, not culture

I think this point is crucial. (That Irish is not the native language here.) The way Irish is taught has never recognised the fact that it is not the native language of most Irish people. It's as if the Irish language lobby actually wants to exclude the broad mass of people, the better to secure privileges for itself like having an undue grip over general access to the teaching profession.
The Revival of Irish is an expression of a political ideology. That ideology has utility for the state elite and they can't afford to admit that Irish is not the langugae of the people and that it never will be. The state elite are the priesthood of the ideology and use their power to impose it. This is in contrast to an educational or cultural process which would centre on the personal development of the individual through voluntary engagement with the process of learning. A basic technique of the state elite in relation to the Revival is to maintain a political project under the guise of an educational one. This is a deception.

It is no surprise that the Revival of Irish is riddled with both intellectual dishonesty and governmental rackets. It's in the nature of the thing.
 


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