https://www.duolingo.com/Oliviakins

Making Ireland more Irish Immersive

Oliviakins
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Hi guys so this is a bit random, but being a language learner who has mostly learned through immersion before I find that in Ireland we really lack this opportunity. Learning opportunities here, unless you're in a Gaeltacht are always something you need to seek out.

Anyway my idea was to try and convince big brands to use Irish on their packaging aswell as English. That way every day you could be exposed to some small but useful words like ubh, im, bainne etc. There would arguably be other benefits, maybe it would encourage more people to learn, help people identify with the language who maybe didn't before and hell tourists may like seeing a bit more culture about.

Anyway if you think it's a neat idea then tweet some of your favourite brands and ask them for #IrishLabels on their products too. :)

2 years ago

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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Loads of potential in your idea. :D :D :D

#1 Málaí Tae
How about messages on tea bags. One side English; one side Gaelige. Just flip over "You are unlimited" and find Tá tú gan teorainn (or whatever is correct).

Imgur

#2 Teachtaireachtaí Seacláide
How about taking personalized chocolate hearts (like the Áine below) and adding Gaelige messages.
An mbeidh tú i mo Valintín? Will you be my Valentine? might be a mouthful
but Mian Mo Chroí (it's the TG Lurgan translation of "One" by Ed Sheeran) is short and sweet.

Imgur

And since Áine is an Irish company maybe they would be willing to list their ingredients as Gaeilge.
Could be genius for their branding. :D

#3 Cáirióice sa Pháirc
Really nothing to do with #IrishLabels, but fun. How about karaoke in the park like Bearpit Karaoke in Mauerpark Berlin, except that all the songs would have to be as Gaeilge.

What if a performance at Cáirióice sa Pháirc was offered as an alternative to taking a tough final exam in Irish? It could catch on really quickly all over Ireland. :D

Imgur

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Oliviakins
Oliviakins
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Some very cute ideas there but more suited for an entrepreneurial venture or possibly a Guerilla Irish Language Activism/Marketing campaign! (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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Tá an ceart agat! :D Ach déanann seacláid gach rud níos fearr (tea and karaoke too, probably). An aontaíonn tú leis an tuairim?
Chocolate is always a winner. I thought of the tea bag because I'd seen one Yogi tea tag like it on Iarla Ó Lionáird's instagram. And the karaoke (totally random) occurred because of your Irish immersion theme; I'm always on the lookout for something using Irish that lots of people would get enthused about. Of course, knowing so little about Ireland I come up with more misses than hits. :D :D :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pablando
Pablando
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I love this idea. I've been thinking about the road signage and asking TDs about having the languages have equal status.

This is a new one I'll try on Twitter and I'll add it to my questions for the TDs. Think I've seen Someone doing this on Twitter today already maybe yourself?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Legally speaking, Irish actually has higher status than English - in the event of a conflict of meaning between the Irish and English version of a law, the Irish version takes precedence. Most road signs are already bi-lingual. But I don't think you could pass a law requiring private companies to label their products in Irish as well as English - even assuming it didn't infringe on some EU rules, I'm not sure you'd get widespread public support.

It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation - if more people spoke Irish in their day to day lives, there's be a lot more Irish on the packaging. If there was more Irish around people every day on the products that they use, they might use more Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Oliviakins
Oliviakins
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Yeah. Olivia - Olibhín (or at least that's the translation I went with)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pablando
Pablando
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I'm sure I saw a Tayto Mock up too!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Tayto have released Irish language packaging from time to time.

This isn't a mockup - while this isn't my photo, I did buy a bag of these last year.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

For those of you who can't/won't click on links, here's Alex's link:

More of this!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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It amuses me that the Irish packaging has a picture of the mascot holding the English packaging, which has a picture of him holding..old packaging, maybe? Missed a perfectly good opportunity for some further recursion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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They're at it again this year :)

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZ5ofXrWcAE6Kb3.jpg

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Interestingly, the new package refers to brioscáin rather than criospaí and the flavour is listed as cáise & oiniúin rather than cáis agus oinniúin because cáise & oiniúin are actually adjectives describing blas. (Though oiniúin is still spelled wrong and it should be prátaí after brioscáin).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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I love that idea :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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As a tourist, I’d be unlikely to look at dish soap labels as a way to immerse myself in the local culture. ;*)

Perhaps your idea would be better targeted at products manufactured by small Irish businesses, as a differentiator from competing products made by multinational conglomerates? I’d think that it would be easier to get “cáis” put on the label of a locally produced cheese that’s sold at a farmers’ market than it would be to convince Lactic Industries PLC to do so.

If you’re feeling ambitious, look into Québec’s Loi 101, and compare and contrast Irish language rights in Ireland to French language rights in Québec. (The linked article mentions how Welsh language policy in Wales was influenced by this law.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Oliviakins
Oliviakins
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I meant more that as a tourist you would be exposed to some of the language coincidentally and it might be a talking point, not that you would look for it there. Lots of tourists don't even know Irish is a thing. :(

You're right we could probably get local producers to change their ideas easier, but if we really want to be bilingual imo that should mean everywhere. Even just a basic translation of what the product is like a sticker saying 'Bainne' would be a step forward. I also think it would potentially go viral if a multinational did it. They love that free advertising stuff. ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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For tourists who are unfamiliar with Irish orthography, its likeliest talking point would be how Irish words would be pronounced, e.g. “Stobhach caoireola ? It looks like ‘stob hatch ca ower ee ola’ to me.”

If you really want it everywhere, then there’s no substitute for the hard slog of pursuing a legal mandate, which is where the Welsh experience might be of use (since French is the majority language of Québec, but Welsh is a minority language of Wales). Anything done voluntarily by industry could just as readily be undone at a future date without a law preventing it from being undone. Examples of multinational localizations can be found in Québec, e.g. KFC (once upon a time “Kentucky Fried Chicken”) becoming PFK (« Poulet frit kentuckien ») there; such happenings rarely reach viral levels of attention.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Oliviakins
Oliviakins
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You make a good point. I think we could approach this from both sides. :D Just let me finish my January exams and I'll get my claws into the legalities :P GRMA

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Perhaps your idea would be better targeted at products manufactured by small Irish businesses, as a differentiator from competing products made by multinational conglomerates? I’d think that it would be easier to get “cáis” put on the label of a locally produced cheese that’s sold at a farmers’ market than it would be to convince Lactic Industries PLC to do so.

As it happens, Lactic Industries PLC is an Irish company! At least the vast majority of butter, milk and cheese products consumed in Ireland are produced by Irish companies. The locally produced cheese in the farmers market is quite often made by someone who has moved to Ireland from elsewhere in Europe, who doesn't have any Irish!

It is also the case that even though a wide range of the products in our supermarkets come from British companies, they are often packaged separately for the Irish market - so you'll get special offer packaging with € symbols rather than £, so producing bi-lingual packaging is technically possible even for those products.

The bottom line though, is that companies will only follow through with an idea like this if they feel it will benefit them - that it generates more sales. Unless customers are more likely to pick up the product with the Irish language packaging, then it's a potentially risky move (any change in packaging is risky) without any clear benefits. I'm not sure how many people will change the type of bread they buy based on Irish on the label. But where a company is updating their labelling anyway, adding some Irish to the label should certainly be a consideration.

It would certainly be interesting to get feedback from the likes of Tayto about how their Irish language packaging was received (albeit that packaging was a bit plainer than their regular packaging - it looked a bit old fashioned to me).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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The locally produced cheese in the farmers’ market is quite often made by someone who has moved to Ireland from elsewhere in Europe, who doesn't have any Irish!

I’d think that such a circumstance would make an emigrant cheesemaker more willing to consider adding Irish to the label, to emphasize “made in Ireland” over “made by a non-Irish EU citizen in Ireland”.

The bottom line though, is that companies will only follow through with an idea like this if they feel it will benefit them — that it generates more sales.

I completely agree — and a small producer is typically more willing to experiment with things like labeling changes, since it would be easier for a small producer to revert a particular change if it didn’t work out than it would be for a large producer to do so.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Actually, small producers, once they go beyond the "hand made" stage, have to invest significant capital in their packaging and labelling, and often have to purchase many months worth of labels or containers at a time to get bulk pricing, which might make them less likely to experiment.

On the subject of emphasizing the made in Ireland aspect of labelling, there was a recent radio campaign to remind consumers that just because the brand sounds Irish, doesn't mean that it is - something about "Kilballyoganwater sausages - remind me again where that is?". It's quite possible that some Irish consumers would react badly to a product that they know to be imported using a Irish language label, either because they feel it is deceptive, or in some cases, because they feel it is condescending.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Yes, I was using “small producer” in reference to my original example of a local cheese sold at a farmers’ market.

That same aspect of potentially misleading packaging occurs here also — we don’t have as extensive a system of protected geographical indications as the EU does, so one can buy, say, domestically produced Havarti cheese here that couldn’t be sold as Havarti in the EU, since only Havarti made in Denmark can be sold as Havarti there. But Oliviakins’ idea was to add Irish descriptions of the products in question, not to apply Irish branding to them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I understand that, but the same principle applies - adding Irish text to the label of an imported product might make some consumers feel that someone was trying to con them. It has to be obvious enough that the consumer sees it without poring over the fine print, to serve Oliviakins suggested purpose of making Irish more ubiquituous.

I'm just pointing out that there's already a perception about that Irish consumers are being tricked into thinking that certain products are Irish because of the labelling.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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It has to be obvious enough that the consumer sees it without poring over the fine print, to serve Oliviakin’s suggested purpose of making Irish more ubiquituous.

I’m not sure what the seen “it” refers to here — in the case of the word cáis added to a label, which fine print is being considered? Or are you contemplating the possibility of the word cáis itself being only in the fine print?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

The Irish text, obviously. You objected that you were talking about adding Irish text to the labels, not applying Irish branding. But any text large enough to do the job that Oliviakins is suggesting ("Making Ireland more Irish Immersive") would have to be similar in prominence to the actual branding. You also suggested that Irish text on the labelling might help to suggest "Made in Ireland" to the consumer. I'm just pointing out that Irish terms (placenames) are already being used for that purpose, and there is a perception that this is sometimes being done in a misleading way.

As an obvious example, it seems perfectly reasonable for Tayto to provide the Irish packaging displayed above. But I'd find it a little weird to find Walkers crisps (an English brand) with Irish packaging. And if I found Irish language packaging on the Tesco "own label" crisps, the first thing I'd do would be to check where they were made, to see if they were trying to pull a fast one.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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But any text large enough to do the job that Oliviakins is suggesting ("Making Ireland more Irish Immersive") would have to be similar in prominence to the actual branding.

Agreed.

You also suggested that Irish text on the labelling might help to suggest "Made in Ireland" to the consumer. I'm just pointing out that Irish terms (placenames) are already being used for that purpose, and there is a perception that this is sometimes being done in a misleading way.

I’d suggested Irish text as a differentiator; if all manufacturers provided Irish labeling, then it would no longer be a differentiator. Note that terms such as placenames are used as a brand, not as a description. I’m not suggesting branding — I’m not suggesting “Eogart Poirt Láirge” for yoghurt that isn’t made in Waterford — I agree that that would be misleading. (I’m presuming that there isn’t a style of yoghurt that’s particular to Waterford.)

As an obvious example, it seems perfectly reasonable for Tayto to provide the Irish packaging displayed above. But I'd find it a little weird to find Walkers crisps (an English brand) with Irish packaging.

I’d expect any major manufacturer to sell in the languages of a particular market — that is, since Ireland has two official languages, I’d expect crisps to be sold in Ireland (no matter which firm manufactured them, whether domestic or foreign) with both English and Irish text, like how in Finland labeling is required in both Finnish and Swedish, even though Swedish speakers are only about 5.3% of the population. Exclusively Irish packaging would be unusual, given the market share of native Irish speakers within Ireland, but I wouldn’t find the lack of English text misleading unless false claims were being made (e.g. “Déanta in Éirinn” without actually being manufactured there, “Brioscáin Prátaí ” formed from shaped potato flour dough, etc.).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

The point of the misleading sausages is they don't use the name of a real place - it's a fictional place name, but sounds so "obviously Irish" that the consumer assumes it's Irish. But the manufacturer hasn't actually made an untrue claim - it's a fictional placename.

That may be a uniquely Irish concern - essentially an English speaking country where the placenames are typically derived from the Irish language, but it plays back into the issue of getting more Irish language packaging. The dynamics of consumer reaction to such changes may have aspects that people outside Ireland wouldn't expect.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RabbitsRabbits

"It is also the case that even though a wide range of the products in our supermarkets come from British companies, they are often packaged separately for the Irish market - so you'll get special offer packaging with € symbols rather than £, so producing bi-lingual packaging is technically possible even for those products. "

Are you sure about that? For one thing, I very rarely see prices printed on things. What things are you talking about? When I do, it's usually clothes or books, and the pound is next to the euro, and I assume most cases the euro is there for the European market, not the (tiny) Irish one. I assume this because 1. You only see this in companies (american apperal, Pennys, etc.) that trade in Europe 2. Back when we had the £ instead of sharing a currency with Europe all information about price came from the shop. If you saw a pound sign it was a British pound and you ignored it because it always made things look cheaper than they ended up being. For example a book might say £5 on the back but cost £9 in Irish pounds.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Pretty sure that was in Club Conradh na Gaeilge, though.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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Founded in 1893. That's pretty amazing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conradh_na_Gaeilge
Even their own magazine. I'm glad to learn about it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I'm not sure where you're based, but there are Conradh na Gaeilge/Gaelic League branches in various cities in the US. The Irish CnaG site doesn't list any overseas branches, but a quick search turns up:

Conradh na Gaeilge Shasana Nua/The Gaelic League of New England
DFW Gaelic League
Conradh na Gaeilge Craobh Curtin (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Gaelic League of Detroit
Gaelic League of Austin

I have no connection with any of these groups, and no idea how active any of them are, I'm just providing the links in case they're of use to anyone.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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Thank you for the links. Really a wealth of resources all across the US! This summer, by hook or by crook, I'm going to find a way to develop some spoken fluency. :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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Didn't even think we might have a CnaG here, but I decided to look it up, and there is in fact a Conradh na Gaeilge Craobh Bhaile Phitt...or was. That they had an AOL home page should tell you how long it's been defunct!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mac266

I think one method to give this idea some traction is through the stock market. If you own shares in an Irish company, you can propose directives such as this to be voted upon by shareholders. If the proposal passes the vote, the Board of Directors is forced to carry it out.

This method is not available to you if you own shares in a mutual fund or similar investment vehicle, however. You have to own stock in the company directly.

Unfortunately, my brokerage account only trades on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange (I am an American). I have a lot of overseas stocks in my mutual funds, but of the investments I manage on my own, all of them are in the US. Ireland has its own stock market exchange, so you could take this upon yourself!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Nowadays, you're far more likely to get traction for an proposal like this by using the companies twitter handle, and trying to get a bit of a campaign going. Aside from the fact that it's extremely unlikely that you'd ever get significant support from other stockholders (traditionally, the banks were the only significant companies in Ireland that had meaningful numbers of "non-professional" shareholders, and they were wiped out during the banking crisis), it's the kind of initiative that you don't want to alienate the management on.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RabbitsRabbits

It would cost too much for any brands selling outside of Ireland to bother to put Irish on their packaging. I used to live in Catalonia, there are about FIVE MILLION NATIVE speakers of Catalan, as opposed to about 70,000 people who claim to be able to speak Irish in Ireland. No big company bothered to put Catalan on their products. The idea was you would learn Spanish or Portuguese from your shampoo bottle if you hadn't already learned it in school (Spanish is obligatory in Catalan schools). If you wanted to see Catalan you had to buy something made in Catalonia and only sold within Catalonia, and that is despite the fact they had a huge market of 5 million people.

So don't write to any brand that intends to sell internationally, the cost of translation, while high, is miniscule compared to the cost of printing different labels for different countries. I think you'd have more luck asking Irish companies with no intention of going internationally (utility companies, for example) who don't already do this if they will do it. And as someone said, whenever you make something, and whatever you go on to do in life, try to have it in Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RabbitsRabbits

This is probably a generational thing.. but if a local business, say a yoga teaching start up, advertised their classes in Irish as well as English I would assume they were super Catholic and were going to hit me if I made a mistake, lecture me about abortion, and insist on speaking Irish even if half the class were Brazilian and didn't understand what was being said. Anything that could reduce the massive stigma attached to Irish by a lot of people would be good.

2 years ago
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