What is wrong with English language extremists?

Joeyjoejoe

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Does anyone have an explanation for the strange opinions that English language extremists come out with about the Irish language?

Like the utterly weird statement from the man who wrote to the Indo lately who wants our Irish language TV station closed because the Irish language is 'dead.' (How can a dead language have a TV station?). Gaelport.com - Gearrthóga Laethúla.

Or colunmnist Sarah Carey who attacks Irish language schools because not many children of immigrants attend them and then attacks Gaelscoileannna Teo because the brochures they produce for Polish parents are written in Polish and not Irish.

Then we have hate-filled diatribes against Irish speakers like this Xenophobic Irish 'lovers' a turn-off in any language - Analysis - Independent.ie

Similiar attitudes are also found in Scotland, directed at that county's native language (Gaelic Station Is A Turn Off For Viewers - The Daily Record) even though Gaelic is barely taught in schools there, never mind being compulsory.

Seriously, what is wrong with these people?
 


clontarfblue

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What about all the Irish language extremists (muppets) with stupid ideas like making Cigarette warning illegible and want Churchill-esque Eire signs on cars?

I am all for the Irish language on a practical basis, but fighting pointless battles for pointless dual warning etc where maybe 1 in 100 would read the Irish is pointless.
 

Ceilteach

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What about all the Irish language extremists (muppets) with stupid ideas like making Cigarette warning illegible and want Churchill-esque Eire signs on cars?

I am all for the Irish language on a practical basis, but fighting pointless battles for pointless dual warning etc where maybe 1 in 100 would read the Irish is pointless.
It does no harm spreading/promoting the language a wee bit.
 

theObserver@hotmail.com

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Irish is a foreign language to the majority of people on this island and as such, some get annoyed when its shoved into their face by the Irish language hobbyists.
 

drbob1972

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just goes to prove there are idiots, zealots and extremists on both sides of just about every argument, esp when it comes to languages
 

Green eyed monster

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Irish is a foreign language to the majority of people on this island and as such, some get annoyed when its shoved into their face by the Irish language hobbyists.
Arguably one of the most stupid statements i have ever read on these fora. If it is a 'foreign' language then where are these 'foreigners'? Where is the foreign country were the language comes from? But that statement reveals much in itself...

Similiar attitudes are also found in Scotland, directed at that county's native language (Gaelic Station Is A Turn Off For Viewers - The Daily Record) even though Gaelic is barely taught in schools there, never mind being compulsory.
The proliferation of that kind of attitude (an attitude of cultural surrender) is indeed very similiar to what happened in Scotland, a place were the Scottish Gaelic language is now regarded as foreign and not really Scottish despite the many centuries when it was ubiquitously spoken there by all including the Scottish monarchy.

And yes, there has got to be some zeal behind those who agitate in favor of the extinction of the language, if they were merely indifferent to it they would simply sidestep the debate altogether, but they are eager to go on the offensive.

Does anyone have an explanation for the strange opinions that English language extremists come out with about the Irish language?
I think myself that it comes from feelings of inadequacy and insecurity in one's own nationhood, they are aware of the language but they never learned it, they feel while it exists it serves to remind them of what they lost - that their 'Irishness' is somehow incomplete. So they would seek actively to have it erased completely - everywhere. I think a wounded unrestored Irish language is in the psyche of Irish people a symbol of colonial degradation and shame/anger, a constant reminder of the reality of colonialism here, the rape of Irish culture over the centuries, as non-speakers it's existence makes them feel part of that rape, that failure to preserve. The only way to make them welcome the language is to take it away from those associations, to develop an appreciation of the language for it's own merits, it's beautiful melodic structure and to develop pride in it - not make it obligatory, enforced (the idea of the enforcement of the language has widened people's separation from it and evolved hatred towards it). It's true value is probably infinite from a cultural point of view and when it is finally gone, i hope future generations are civilised enough to recognise what was lost - who knows - if the reactionary hatred towards it dies with it, it might even be brought back from the dead.
 
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diy01

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Irish people who don't speak Irish are no less Irish than English people who don't speak English. Or Germans who don't speak German. It's not the be all and end all. Although I'm not sure how many Germans or English people would agree with that.

I too get annoyed with people who like have a go at the language. Because that's what it's about. Everyone knows Irish is not dead. It's merely a minority language. But some people can't resist having a dump anyway. Where that comes from...I still haven't been able to figure it out. A language under severe pressure. There's plenty of 'room' for both official languages. But some people won't be satisfied until it's pushed off the cliff completely.

Fortunately, those who respect and value Irish outnumber the extremists. That leaves those who are indifferent.
 

diy01

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What about all the Irish language extremists (muppets) with stupid ideas like making Cigarette warning illegible and want Churchill-esque Eire[sic] signs on cars?

I am all for the Irish language on a practical basis, but fighting pointless battles for pointless dual warning etc where maybe 1 in 100 would read the Irish is pointless.
The name of your country in Irish is Éire. You should be able to spell it correctly. 'Eire' means burden.

You seem to oppose having ÉIR on car registration plates. Does that mean you're also opposed to the reg. plates which display each county name using the Irish form?

You say you are all for the Irish language on a practical basis. There is a line that's trotted out a lot. Alright. Tell us, what constitutes using Irish on a practical basis, in your opinion? Does it involve making Irish visible to the general public beyond road signs?
 

diy01

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Ireland makes for a fascinating study of linguistic colonialism. It's been one of the most 'successful' undertakings in history in terms of language shift and acquisition. From 4,000,000 native speakers to 40,000 in 170 years.

Officials during the reign of Elizabeth I (and even earlier) realised that the Irish language was the greatest impediment to absorbing the country fully and completely into the Empire. This could only be accomplished if the bulk of the native aristocracy acquired English. If they eventually made English their first language and dropped Irish altogether, all the better. They would soon be followed by the professional, merchant classes and all along down the line. Needless to say, the language of the administration would need to be English throughout the land, not just in the east and urban areas. This was accomplished by the mid-seventeenth century.

Irish was regarded as subversive. It was regarded with suspicion. The suspicion and outright hostility we see today from certain quarters is merely a more mild form of that mindset carried on.

"they do for the most part send their children to schools, especially to learn the English language; so as we may conceive an hope that the next generation will in tongue and heart and every way else become English, so as there will be no difference or distinction but the Irish Sea betwixt us."

"For heretofore the neglect of the law made the English degenerate and became Irish; and now, on the other side, the execution of the law doth make the Irish grow civil and become English."

- Sir John Davies, Attorney General of Ireland, 1612
"For it hath ever been the use of the conqueror to despise the language of the conquered and to force him by all means to learn his."

- Edmund Spenser, A View of the Present State of Ireland, written 1596, published in 1633
On both counts, the outcome was partially successful.
 
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badboy2

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Just goes to show extremists on any side of an argument are equally annoying

I like my week in the Gaelteach every year, but I don't consider my self an Irish speaker.

I find work conversations that have to be done in Irish extremely difficult, however I find social interaction in Irish brilliant, because of my limited grasp of the language I am a far better listener in Irish so I get to know people better as Gaelige.

That said it the number of people who have reccomended the local Gael Scoil because "there won't be any blacks there" is truly scarey.

However you can't blame the Gael Scoileanna for providing first class education that appeals to midde class snobs.

All scholls should aspire to appeal to middle class snobs as they are quite discerning.
 

diddleydoo

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Arguably one of the most stupid statements i have ever read on these fora. If it is a 'foreign' language then where are these 'foreigners'? Where is the foreign country were the language comes from? But that statement reveals much in itself...
Well here's a thought for ya. What do people generally understand as a "Foreign language"? When it's being spoken in front of you and you don't have the foggiest what's being said, or can barely understand it, it's often referred to as a "foreign language". Not accurate, but that's people for ya. Whatcha gonna do?

In Switzerland they have FOUR (4) Official state languages, German, French, Italian and Reto-Roman. You don't hear any french-speaking Swiss referring to the German-speaking Swiss as "not Swiss". Of the Italian-speaking Swiss referring to the French-speaking as "not Swiss".

Language and country and citizenship are not as tightly interwoven as you may currently believe.

And yes, French is taught in the German part of Switzerland as a "foreign language".

Shane.
 

dunno

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I don't think Scots Gaelic is entirely equivalent to Irish in that the lowlands were Anglicised by royal sponsored Anglo-Norman settlement. Earlier that part of Scotland spoke some form of Brythonic, akin to Welsh. Still a revival is worthwhile. I don't think arsewipe papers like the Independent or Sunday Times have any opinion on Irish that matters. Anyhow Enda Kenny will be Taoiseach soon enough. He is good at the Irish I believe.
 

dunno

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At least he can speak it. That proposal will die a death soon enough, I think.
 

bradán feasa

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This is a very valid argument, I had not thought about ‘English language extremists’ in this light before. These are people who are calling for the extinguishing support for the Irish language.

It would be like if Irish speakers called for no money to be given to English language television, radio, government publications etc.
 

theObserver@hotmail.com

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Arguably one of the most stupid statements i have ever read on these fora. If it is a 'foreign' language then where are these 'foreigners'? Where is the foreign country were the language comes from? But that statement reveals much in itself...
They come from a country called Gaelteach.
 

diy01

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And if you could actually spell it correctly, your argument would be even stronger. Not too Observant are you, Observer? :D

I sympathise with those who are in favour of removing the compulsory status for Irish.

At the same time, what does it say about a country when a significant chunk of the population (you can debate amongst yerselves whether it's the majority or a large minority) want the first official language of their own State to be removed from the curriculum after a certain amount of years of schooling.

Maybe it calls into question the whole idea of compulsory status in the first place or the position of Irish as the first official language. Maybe it's about a nation which is still coming to terms with its significant anglicisation. I'm not sure.
 

diy01

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W You don't hear any french-speaking Swiss referring to the German-speaking Swiss as "not Swiss". Of the Italian-speaking Swiss referring to the French-speaking as "not Swiss".
Do you have any examples of Gaeilgeoirí saying Irish people who don't speak the language are "not Irish". I've never heard of that and I'd be one with almost no Irish. Never heard anyone accused of such. Just wondering if it's a myth that people bring up when it suits in an attempt to bolster their arguments against compulsory Irish or anything else to do with the language.

I don't doubt that some people have felt uncomfortable in the presence of Irish speakers, but that may have nothing to do with the speakers actions or attitudes themselves and more to do with that persons own feelings of inadequacy, lack of comprehension, whatever else...
 
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