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https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22

Should we accept English influence (words and phrases) into everyday Gaeilge, or keep Irish 'pure?'

Shanow22
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Is gan dabht gur é Béarla an 'lingua franca' sa domhan seo inniu. Is léir go bhfuil tionchar an Bhéarla ag éirí níos laidre i nGaeilge. Ach an rud dona é sin i ndáiríre? An gcoinníonn muid 'glan' ár dteanga? Nó béidir caithfimid glacadh go n-aithraíonn teangacha chun Gaeilge a choimeád beo agus ag fás? An bhfuil tuairim agatsa?

Translation : It's without a doubt that English is the 'lingua franca' of the world today.And it clear that the influence of the of the English language is growing stronger in Irish. But is this really a bad thing? Should we keep our language 'pure?' Or perhaps we should accept that languages adapt and change in order to keep Irish alive and growing. Any opinions?

Side note: I am a huge advocate for the Irish language, as well as a native speaker. And I am not suggesting by any means that English should replace Irish. I just notice that when native speakers around me are talking, and when I talk to family and friends in Irish, I use english words without thinking. Probably due to the amount of exposure. But there are those who want to keep the language as pure and as unanglicized as possible. I personally am not in favor of this purism, any, thoughts?

I am happy to see so many engaging in this discussion. I think it's an important topic we should address. I agree and disagree with many of the points made, but regardless, I was very interested in all of your opinions. All I can say is, to all those who already speak the language, continue to speak it as much as you possibly can and be proud of it and to those who are still learning, keep trying. It may appear difficult, but with conviction, you'll reach fluency some day. I know many who have, it's not impossible. Gaeilge abú :)

1 year ago

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Má tá siad á n-úsáid ag na cainteoirí dúchais, is cuma liom. Focla go háirid. Ach, má tá siad ann mar gheall nach mbíonn na foghlaimeoirí ag foghlaim na teanga i gceart, bheuil, is fadhb é sin! Mar sin, is cuma liom faoi "mo bhike" nó "tá mé ag tógáil shower", ach ní maith liom "tá sé fear" nó "tá mé ag déanamh é" agus /k/ in áit /x/, srl. Rudaí nach ndeireann cainteoir dúchais ar bith, ach a deireanns go leor foghlaimeoirí. Freisin, idioms. Ní maith liom "Inseoidh am", go háirid nuair atá leagan breá Gaelach ann (Is maith an scéalaí an aimsir), srl. Agus aistrúcháin díreach ón mBéarla.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Windsaw

I am not a fan of movements to keep a language clean. It is the natural course of languages to adapt foreign words into it. I mean, just look at English that adopted so many french words that it can almost pass as a romance language! It can be very useful if the foreign language equivalents are easier and faster to pronounce and there isn't a local word for a new phrase.

What I am allergic against is adopting english phrases (I am german BTW) just for the sake of sounding english. It happens quite a lot in business, advertizing and youth speech.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

English phrases aren't adopted into Irish for the sake of sounding English - in fact, if anything, it's the other way around, with Irish phrases being adopted into English in Ireland for the sake of sounding Irish.

English phrases are used in Irish for utility (temporarily - "Conas a deirtear "Artificial Intelligence" as Gaeilge?" or functionally - "Úsáidtear "blockchain" chun slándála a bhaint amach") but I don't think there's any antipathy to using Irish translations, where they're either obvious, or interesting enough to catch peoples attention.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

I agree with galaxyrocker - what native speakers do is their own business and doesn't bother me either way.

I do think stopping "English creep" is a losing battle on all fronts and in all languages, at least for now (who knows whether that will be the case in another 50-100 years... by then, maybe we'll be bemoaning "Mandarin creep" or "Globish creep," Globish being the variety of highly simplified English currently being promoted as a way to facilitate international business).

After all, ask The Académie française how well they're doing at getting their countrymen to say "courriel" instead of "e-mail."

The difference, though, is that if I'm learning French, I've got lots of options regarding how "proper" or "formal," or "non-English" I want my French to be, and I can find lots and lots of people to doublecheck that information with.

The same isn't true for Irish, especially if you're learning Irish outside of a Gaeltacht area, and the problem is magnified a thousand times if you're trying to learn Irish outside of the ROI/bits of NI altogether... the single most frustrating thing about my Irish learning from day to day is the constant struggle to make sure I'm not learning wrong things like "tá sé fear," especially now that I'm well beyond "Is fear é" type material and into more complex grammatical structures. I'm constantly checking a variety of online sources, and trying to avoid the howling masses at either extreme of the spectrum - neither the chirpy "Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla cliste!" folks nor the "NO ENGLISH INFLUENCE EVER!!" crowd is useful to an A2-ish beginner who just wants to make sure they're learning correctly. But the problem is, in the middle, people start bickering about matters of degree, and that's often not helpful either.

Just as there's correct and incorrect English, and a learner should be taught the (or at least one of the) correct form(s), and leave the arguments for later, so too should an Irish learner concern themselves with correct Irish first, and worry about the arguments later... but avoiding the bickering, and sifting through all the opinions to figure out what is the correct form is often more difficult than perhaps it should/could be.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Just as there's correct and incorrect English, and a learner should be taught the (or at least one of the) correct form(s), and leave the arguments for later, so too should an Irish learner concern themselves with correct Irish first, and worry about the arguments later... but avoiding the bickering, and sifting through all the opinions to figure out what is the correct form is often more difficult than perhaps it should/could be.

I mostly agreed to here. And even here I don't really disagree, I just have a question: how do you determine what is 'correct'? Is it merely what is standard? What about native speakers, of any language, who don't really speak the standard in most contexts?

Like, I used to be wholeheartedly against the Caighdeán, though I have changed my views on that a lot. It's not the Caighdeán I dislike, but the learners and people who don't even use that correctly (such as leaving out cuid for instance!). Yes, I wish they'd go back and make a living, spoken dialect the Standard form instead, but I realize it isn't going to happen now. I also say we need the Caighdeán, outside the Gaeltachts. Inside them, it can be taught, be we should focus on the living language instead of telling native speakers they're wrong for not using it, and thus just encouraging them to use English more.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

I don't want to speak for anyone else, but for me, I think that's the whole problem - between the three major dialects (all of which are correct) and the Caighdeán, there are always at least four options - often more, if one has an opportunity to speak to older native speakers who have sometimes retained their own "microdialect" specific to their town/area.

That, in and of itself, is fine - god knows English has far more than 4+ perfectly valid options/dialects, and people learn English every day. The trouble (again, for me) arises when those more advanced than I are more interested in debating which one is more correct than in telling me, as a learner, whether what I've come out with is correct at all. In person, I can tell who's just posturing (or who isn't, but has a very strong opinion which is not to be confused with fact), and who is full of it, primarily because I know the persons involved... but on the internet, it's very difficult for me to make those same distinctions... I have little way to check their credibility, as it were.

The thing is, this happens in English, too - witness the debates on Duolingo every week when a non-native English speaker asks for the correct form of something... there's always an American carping about ROI/NI/UK/AU/NZ usage being "weird" or someone from the ROI/UK/NI/AU/NZ whining that American English sucks and should die in a fire. The difference is, there are many many more English speakers willing to speak up and say "Either is correct," or "That's not correct in any dialect I'm aware of, in my dialect we'd say it this way," so in the end, the signal to noise ratio is better.

In Irish, between those who learned at school to varying degrees, eager beginners who can't wait to "help," pedantic folks at all levels who are pushing an agenda... it's simply harder to figure out who's who, unless and until one gets to (at least) an intermediate level oneself.

I'm not sure there really is a workable solution to the issue for those of us who can't afford to go live in a Gaeltacht area for a while - most native speakers I know are very patient with learners as it is (and many of the ones I know donate quite a lot of time and effort to promoting the language), so it's not exactly fair to ask them to form an internet task force of Gaeilgeoirí who go around shutting down arguments. A lot of that is simply going to fall to people like yourself (to whatever extent those people have the time and energy), which doesn't feel fair, either. But it's a question of not enough native/advanced speakers to wrest the conversation from the overconfident learners, imo.

(Edited to add): And the issue of not enough native/advanced speakers to control the conversation is also (imo) the root of such travesties as native speakers being told they're wrong for speaking their own native dialect, as well - and I agree, that's both ridiculous and damaging to the future of Irish as a whole.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

English words or even the odd translated idioms are fine, e.g. "Tá mé ag tógáil shower".

What's not fine is when basic syntax is altered affecting the entire language.

To be honest very few people argue for purity in the former sense, even fairly strict seanachaí that I have met. It is much more in the later sense.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I think the discussion would benefit greatly from some clear examples of the type of introductions/modifications that people are concerned about, as I think some people are probably talking at cross purposes here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

Speaking only for myself, I think there are two main issues - vocabulary (loan words, direct translations from English, etc), and grammar/structure of the language. It's not my place to pass judgment on any advanced speaker of the language, whether they're from/living in a Gaeltacht area or not.

But from my position as a learner, I want to know what's a loanword (or a reverse-engineered word from the English) and what's not... where that information exists. Purely because it's helpful to know what my options are.

And vis-a-vis grammar, I need to know whether the grammar I learn is correct (in terms of whether it's something a native or advanced speaker would actually say) or whether it's a bunch of Irish words thrown into an English structure by someone who didn't know the difference.

That's my personal take on it... some fluent speakers (again, Gaeltacht or not - but regardless of locale, those who, as you say, have made the conscious choice to live some or all of their lives through Irish) are saying "mo bhike" instead of "mo rothar"? Fine, good to know, so that I recognise it when/if I hear it.

Similarly, if there's some particular phrase for which the grammar is more English than Irish, but it's actually being used in an Irish speaking community - in Galway or Long Island or Canberra or an internet-based community of Irish speakers, I don't care which - then it would be helpful to know that (and to know what the "correct" grammar would be, in the same way that it's helpful to know that "ain't" is commonly used but is not formal speech.)

The issue (again, for me) arises when certain people learn constructs that aren't actually used by those who live all/some of their lives through Irish, and those people who learnt Irish that is incorrect (in that it's not used/said in that way) then go on to confidently assert to learners that their way is a perfectly valid option (the whole "broken Irish is better than clever English" philosophy).

In an ideal world, I'd love for Irish to have undergone as little English influence as possible, but a) we don't live in an ideal world, b) that ship has sailed, c) the rise of the internet and dominance of English therein has ensured that "English creep" is an issue for all languages, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, and d) any language that is seen to have "less utility," particularly vis-a-vis commerce and economics, is by nature going to see encroachment from another, "more useful" language.

All of that being the case, I just want to know what my alternatives are, and that if I do speak to someone more advanced in the language than I, I'm not going to sound like an idiot.

The morality of English encroachment... that's not something I'm qualified to have an opinion on. Maybe someday I'll be fluent enough in the language to feel like I have a right to comment on such matters, but it's definitely not my place at the moment.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Coming from a linguistic perspective, I agree, to a point. I draw the line at stuff native speakers use, however. If a native of traditional Irish is saying it, then it's perfect. So, things like mo bhike are fine. But if it's stuff that's only among learners, then I take an issue with it. So things like using /k/ instead of /x/. Or tá mé ag déanamh é instead of tá mé á dhéanamh, etc. So, really, what doesn't bother me is loan words, which natives use a lot of but learners don't.

What does bother me is sounds, grammar, and idiomatic constructions that are translated directly from English, things learners use a lot of, but natives don't.

I think this actually stresses a lot of what one study found when they said that kids in the Gaelscoils often viewed Irish not as a separate language but as "English without English words". They believe that using a more "Irish" term, that no native speaker would understand, is better than using a loan word, but, at the same time, they don't have a problem with idiomatic structures and directly translated idioms, etc.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

But if it's stuff that's only among learners, then I take an issue with it. So things like using /k/ instead of /x/. Or tá mé ag déanamh é instead of tá mé á dhéanamh, etc. (....) What does bother me is sounds, grammar, and idiomatic constructions that are translated directly from English, things learners use a lot of, but natives don't.

Yes, I agree completely. And that's where vetting one's sources comes in, especially in situations where you don't have a personal relationship with those giving advice.

I love that the growth of the internet has made learning minority languages easier, but man would I still be in the weeds if I didn't have local family friends from Gaeltacht areas who still speak Irish on a regular basis (albeit only within the ex-pat community - but as two of them are pub owners, the Irish speakers in my area know where to go in order to have contact with at least a few Irish speakers pretty much daily, if they so wish). Getting a better instinct for "this way, or that way?" took a lot of heading to the pub with a list!

Taking said list to the internet all too often ran me into that whole signal-to-noise ratio issue, and I hate complaining about it because none of it is malicious... it's usually a case of learners wanting to help other learners, but (often) not wanting to disclose that their own knowledge is shaky. I've come to appreciate "I think such and so is correct, but I'm still learning/haven't spoken Irish since school/I'd advise you to wait for someone more knowledgeable to confirm this first before you go using it" more than words can say.

Interesting study re: the kids in Gaelscoils. Makes one wonder what the daily language will look like in another 20 years.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

I love that the growth of the internet has made learning minority languages easier, but man would I still be in the weeds if I didn't have local family friends from Gaeltacht areas who still speak Irish on a regular basis (albeit only within the ex-pat community - but as two of them are pub owners, the Irish speakers in my area know where to go in order to have contact with at least a few Irish speakers pretty much daily, if they so wish). Getting a better instinct for "this way, or that way?" took a lot of heading to the pub with a list!

Are you in America? If so, can I ask where this is?

But I completely agree. I honestly dislike the phrase Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla cliste, because I feel it justifies the mistakes, and convinces people to stop improving their Irish, because, well, at least they're not speaking English! I much prefer Labhair cibé Gaeilge atá agat in the same vein. Encourages them to speak Irish, but doesn't make an encourage poor Irish, imo.

But, yeah. I think we agree on a lot. I can point you to more Gaelscoil studies when I'm on a different computer (or go to ILF and search for 'Gaelscoil'). And I just wish signal-to-noise was higher for Irish.

And, just to be clear, it's not even really the Caighdeán that I have a problem with (tho I do wish they had picked a living dialect when they decided to standardize everything, instead of making something up that doesn't really reflect any of them), but moreso the people who can't/don't speak it properly even.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I honestly dislike the phrase Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla cliste, because I feel it justifies the mistakes, and convinces people to stop improving their Irish, because, well, at least they're not speaking English!

I have to point out that this issue needs to be approached differently in Ireland than in more removed emigrant communities. I've never encountered anyone in Ireland who used Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla cliste as an excuse not to improve their Irish - they use it as an excuse to use whatever little bit of Irish that had drummed into them in school, and have no particular interest in learning any more. They generally aren't hostile to the Irish language (as some people in Ireland are), and will happily use "the cúpla focal", because they can, but have no real interest in going beyond that. If they learn a bit more, because other people speak Irish around them, or they are reminded of a phrase they haven't used in years, they're OK with that, if there's a program on TG4 about a topic that is of particular interest to them, they'll watch it with the subtitles.

There's no point in berating these people for using their Gaeilge briste (because they don't know that you need a séimhiú after a feminine noun, and even if they did, they wouldn't know that Gaeilge is a feminine noun!), because you won't be encouraging them to learn more, better Irish, you'll be discouraging them from using what they've got. They don't think in terms of " I have enough Irish that I don't need to learn any more", they are English speakers who have a little bit more Irish than they actually need, and if it's useful they'll use it, if it's not, they won't. In many cases, these people have a lot more almost forgotten Irish than they realize, and if and when they decide to try using more Irish, allowing them to use their Gaeilge bhriste as a foundation to build on is a good thing.

Maybe you have some parents who overestimate their own abilities when it comes to helping their kids with the Irish homework, doing more harm than good, but I don't think that's a widespread problem!

Outside Ireland, where you're talking about people who didn't learn any Irish in school, "Gaeilge Bhriste" probably means something else - phonetic transcriptions of catchphrases they heard as kids, or google-translate level translations. If those people are genuinely interested in learning, though, they'll move past "Gaeilge Bhriste" very quickly

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo
TseDanylo
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I mo bhárúil féin, is iad na daoine ag dúirt "nil cead ag aon focail Béarla a bheith i nGaeilge" ag máru an theanga. Is próiseas nadúrtha é, tá muinn in aice leis an mBreatain s bhí said i gceannas orainn ar feadh céad mblianta. Ní bhaith leis daoine laibhairt as gaela már nuair a osclaíonn muinn ár mbéil cuirtear mhuinn as ár gcinn cé a deir ba cheart do popcorn agus bike a bheith "arbhar fríochta" agus "rothar". Siur, feic ar mo Ghaeilge, is creole é ach is an rud ceanna é. Laibhairt mar ba mhaith leat ach cuimhnígí, ní féidir leat labhairt gan teanga ;)


Má nach bhfuil Gaeilge agat:

In my opinion, Irish is being killed by the people who say that Irish can't have English in it. It's a natural process, we are beside Britain, they controlled us for centuries. People don't want to speak Irish because every time we open our mouths we are shunned by people who say that "popcorn" and "bike" should be "arbhar fríochta" and "rothar". Sure, look at my Irish, it's a creole sure but it's all Irish all the same. Speak as you wish but just remember, you can't speak with no tongue ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stephen__B
Stephen__B
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As a beginner, I would say it depends on who 'we' are. The bodies responsible for the study and promotion of the Irish language should obviously be well connected with Irish speakers in Ireland (and to a lesser extent abroad). If Irish speakers in Ireland today are overwhelmingly happy to use some neologism that's come from abroad, then that would be the word that learners like myself should be introduced to if we are wanting to be understood. If Irish speakers in Ireland today have their own word for something then that's what I would like to be taught. Great question. My apologies in advance for an overly simplistic answer.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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No, that was a very good response for a beginner. And I agree with you. I think the makers of the Irish program here have done an excellent job. They changed the narrator who speaks with a genuine native accent. But one thing that possibly learners should be aware of, is that the official Irish taught here on duolingo 'an caighdeán' uses a lot of words that that are the official words of the language, but if you ever get the chance to visit a gaeltacht, a lot of those words are not used by the natives.

This is both due to the fact that words are different in different dialects and to a greater extent, English vocabulary has snuck into the language, even into the tongue of the the natives far west into the Gaeltacts. Many of these new English words have replaced some of the former Irish vocabulary due to constant English exposure by internet, media etc. That in mind, it's still always best to learn the standard Irish regardless.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dquedenfeld16

I personally think that we have to accept an anglicized Irish to some degree. While I think the more pure version is more beautiful, beauty can develop in and of itself with new words.

I also think that if this "impure" Irish causes more people to speak the language, it is worth every anglicized word.

Further I feel that if this resulted in more people speaking the language, if the language grew and became healthier, many of these words would over time become slang and rooted out on their own.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

This "impure" Irish won't "cause more people to speak the language". The "impurity" only occurs if people are actually speaking the language in the first place. "Impure" Irish might be less challenging for learners in some cases, but that will only happen after the existing language community has decided that these changes work for the existing language community.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dquedenfeld16

That is true. I kinda more meant garnering more of an interest in the language, ie: if Irish kids are using mo bhike as slang (i suppose?) its a big step over just saying my bike.

Hence my point was that its better for people to be saying mo bhike over my bike because even if it's anglicized Irish, it's still Irish

I'm not sure if that's what you meant

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

No, English speaking Irish kids aren't using mo bhike instead of "my bike". That's an example that's often used to illustrate the fact that people in the Gaeltacht often adopt terms from English that wouldn't be acceptable to the purists if non-native speakers did the same thing, and (in this particular case), that these "Gaeltacht neologisms" often aren't adopted outside the particular Gaeltacht where they crop up.

(Apparently, before rothar became the generally accepted term, some people suggested gearrán iarainn as an appropriate name in Irish for that particular contraption!)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MySecrecy
MySecrecy
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<I do not know enough to post a good researched statement like others did.> If you want to preserve Irish as a language the Celts spoke then I would try to "keep Irish pure". (if one can say so) If you want to preserve the existance of Irish and don't care about keeping it purely celtic, then why shouldn't one adapt .......

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GhostTypeGuy
GhostTypeGuy
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I'm not well versed in Irish history, but I don't see why people would want English influence. In the US native languages were oppressed in much the same way Irish was, the determining factor for language survival (and revival) is young people learning the language, not directly because it was more or less pure. Many tribes here reviving their languages do go the route of least influence possible from English, which is completely understandable to me. Their languages were taken from them and replaced with the language of their oppressors. I can't imagine anyone wanting that to be a part of their language's or people's legacy. When reviving or revitalizing a language utility is the last thing people think about, because reviving a language is an inherently impractical thing to do. The motivation to do it, as I see it, is entirely emotional and cultural. Letting English words through when nelogisms would work seems to defeat the purpose.

The polls I've seen show widespread support for the language,and gaelscoileanna are in high demand. Its largely because of that the language is growing. The divide I've read about is between urban and rural Irish speakers. Rural speaker numbers are declining and urban speakers numbers are growing. I don't see why you'd want the influence of English, but I don't think loans words alone will be the end of Irish. Policing what people say might discourage them from speaking, but your approach to it should depend on how you view their speech. I guess what people really need to decide is that is what urban speakers are learning really Irish? Is it a new dialect, bad Irish, or a new type of pidgin? The simplified grammar is a signature trait of pidgins. I'm not an advanced learner so I cant analyze the differences. With bad Irish you should try to teach people, with a new dialect you should respect the way they talk, and with a pidgin, I have no idea.

It's not my place to decide, but that's just my perspective. It's ultimately up to Irish people to decide what they want for the future of their/your language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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Good response, I'm sorry I do not cover the whole Irish language history detail but you seem to know quite a lot already. And yes, it is slightly declining in rural areas where once only Irish was spoken but now are mostly bilingual while growing in the more urban areas which have not spoken Irish as a main language since a long time.

I am not so much referring to the grammar, although that I agree is another issue. For example, to say to someone to sit down, before people would only say 'Suigh (sig)' which just means 'sit' but now many people from non Irish speaking parts of the country would say 'Suigh síos (sig shee-us)' meaning sit down, this is an example of English grammar creeping in. But apart from small things like that, the grammar is not becoming less complicated and become a pidgin.

What is happening however, with the huge influence of English, considering we are surrounded by the English language. A lot of words, even for native speakers, feel more natural in English than Irish. Especially modern words. I speak Irish with my friends from my hometown, but we would usually use the word 'computer' in oppose to the Irish word 'riomhaire' or 'Malaysia' instead of 'An Mhalaesia' because we would hear about such countries in English language newspapers. So despite the fact we are speaking in Irish, there are loads of other examples of this where it just feels more normal to use the English for some thing without even thinking about it.

So yah, as you said it might be up to us to decide what will happen with our language, or possibly we won't decide, whatever feels most natural may be the best way to keep the language growing.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

"Sit" and "Sit down" are distinct phrases in English, I'm not sure why you think they wouldn't both exist in Irish.

If anything, I would have thought that "bí i do shuí", would be the more traditional invitation to take a seat, rather than just "suigh" on it's own, whereas "suigh síos" specifically emphasises the movement "down" from a standing position.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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Yah, you're right. Bí i do shuigh(shuí) is common too. 'Not sure why you think they both wouldn't exist in Irish.' Well, my grandparents who are very much native speakers with very little English influence in their lives, never use 'siugh síos'.. While I have often heard them use just 'Suigh.' It was just an example from what I'm familiar with. Also, easier for 'ColinMaho' to translate for, as perhaps his understanding of Irish might not be as high as yours or mine.

This is a discussion. Not a debate or argument. Would you mind being less defensive

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

You presented "suigh" versus "suigh síos" as a fact, rather than an anecdote - I think that's a pretty important distinction in a "discussion" like this. It is misleading to suggest that "suigh síos" should be considered béarlachas if your only evidence is that you don't remember hearing your grandparents say "suigh síos".

I'll leave it for others to decide who is being "defensive".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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I believe the regularity to which suigh síos is used in oppose to just 'suigh' has risen due to béarlachas. And tbh, i have never heard of 'bí i do shuigh.' I have heard of 'bí i do shíu' so I dont know if you are confused or this is a dialect I am not familiar with. And it's not anecdotal. I come from an Irish speaking family in Kerry and we always use 'bí i do shuí' or 'suigh.' Never 'suigh síos' which is a perfect example of béarlachas. I am an Irish language and culture lecturer in a university in France so I know a thing or two of what I am talking about. So how is that for being 'anecdotal?'

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

I believe the regularity to which suigh síos is used in oppose to just 'suigh' has risen due to béarlachas.

I have no problem with your use of "I believe" in this instance - but that's not how you first introduced this idea.

And tbh, i have never heard of 'bí i do shuigh.' I have heard of 'bí i do shíu' so I dont know if you are confused or this is a dialect I am not familiar with.

No, as you obviously surmised in your first reply, I forgot that the spelling reforms affected the noun and verb forms differently, and I should have written "bí i do shuí", even though "shuigh" and "shuí" are pronounced the same (in Connacht Irish).

And it's not anecdotal. I come from an Irish speaking family in Kerry and we always use 'bí i do shuí' or 'suigh.' Never 'suigh síos' which is a perfect example of béarlachas. I am an Irish language and culture lecturer in a university in France so I know a thing or two of what I am talking about. So how is that for being 'anecdotal?'

I have never questioned your credentials. But "my granny said" is practically the definition of "anecdotal", and, if you don't really understand what "anecdotal" means, then you should stop being so defensive about it. The fact that your own family never said "suigh síos" is neither here nor there, unless you can also present evidence that it was never used by anyone else in Kerry or Connemara or Donegal either.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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I'm not going to go digging for evidence as I have no way of doing that. But I just know that as a native speaker, growing up surrounded by native speakers and then going on to become immersed in other dialects in other university, that suigh síos really just stinks of Béarlachas and same with Seas suas. How do I know that they were never used? I don't. But I can assure you that it does not sound right to the ears of a native. And I gave the example of my grandparents, in oppose to myself, friends, family, former professors, was because although I was also brought up with Irish as were my parents and friends etc, but we had huge exposure to the English language unlike my grandparents who are very unique in this day and age. And since both of them are alive and have never fully grasped English, I often see their Irish as far purer than my own. And yes, that may be the definition of anecdotal, but monolinugal Irish speakers are hard to come by these days, so forgive me if I sometimes look to them to see how Irish may have been spoken before Béarlachas.

My main point is that, as a native speaker, it simply does not sound right, and nor does it for any other native speaker I know. I know this because we often hear suig síos and seas suas and say how that sounds off, in the way, 'be in your seat,' sounds off in English to a native English speaker like yourself.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
wombatua
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Is it even possible to keep Irish (or any language) "pure"? All languages evolve over time. I don't see how Irish, especially, can be thought to be protected by some bubble that will keep out English influences. With English dominant in Ireland itself and with the UK as a neighbor, keeping English influences at bay seems like a fool's errand. Better to work with those influences to build a living language than to try to keep something pure that winds up dying because most people aren't so dogmatic.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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Interesting discussion. I decided to study Welsh and Irish at the same time. One of the things that struck me is how much Welsh seems to have borrowed from English as compared to Irish. (The spelling also seems a lot more regular). I'm also studying Guarani (Jopara dialect) which seems to have a vocabulary that is 50% Spanish mas o menos. Turkish actually had as many borrowings from English and French as Irish does, or maybe more (my perception, anyway) I really think that in general, trying to keep a language "pure" of foreign influences is a way to kill it, particularly one that is teetering on the brink anyway. Especially when it comes to new terms, when the item itself is foreign to the culture, forcing the term for it into the original lexical framework just doesn't make sense. Pronunciation, yah, but that will happen anyway,.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Turkish makes for an interesting comparison. Ottoman Turkish had an extremely large number of loanwords from Arabic and Farsi, but the Atatürk-era reforms included “purifying” the language to replace loanwords with neologisms of Turkish origin. (A famous speech of Atatürk’s from 1927 has been translated into modern Turkish more than once because later generations have had trouble understanding it!) The TDK, something of a Turkish analogue to the Académie Française, also aims to replace more recent loanwords of e.g. English and French origins with words of purely Turkish origin.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

The notion that Irish is being killed off because the rest of us won't follow the natives and start saying mo bhike is so ludicrous that you'd almost have pity for those trying to make that case, never mind the idea that it's the Irish language mafia in Dublin that is chasing people down to stop them introducing new words. The purpose of language is communication. And on that front mo bhike works for some people, but just about everyone will recognize mo rothar, and dialect differences are losing out as the ability, and the need, to communicate beyond your immediate geographic vicinity becomes the norm. That means that native speakers are increasing adopting forms that work for everyone., breaking down the barriers that have bedeviled Irish for generations.

On one level, it doesn't matter whether teenagers in the Gaeltacht talk about "heavy metal" or miotal trom - it's just a label that doesn't mean anything to anyone who hasn't been introduced to the concept. And once you understand what "heavy metal" means, miotal trom makes perfect sense if you can speak Irish. The only thing that matters is what the other people you are talking to call it. Perhaps a better example is "selfie", which suggests the nicely alliterative féinphic, but the diminutive féinín is also a strong contender. Which, if either, will win out, or will "selfie" end up as a loan word in Irish?

And yes, idiomatic usage is important, but idioms are only useful because everyone has a shared understanding of what they mean. English is full of idioms that only make sense to those who understand them ("giving out", anyone?). As the population of Irish speakers grows, some idiomatic usage will be lost, because the idiom isn't relevant to new speakers, and in many cases, existing idioms from English will take their place. Unless you want to prevent new people adopting the language, that type of change is inevitable (maybe that's the real reason why the Irish curriculum in Irish schools is so ineffective! :-))

The bottom line is that for Irish to survive, never mind thrive, it has to move from being an essentially rural language, into a language that is fit for the needs of people in 21st century Ireland. Some people want to pickle it in aspic, keeping it forever stuck in a late 19th century milieu, others want it to change, but only the way that suits people living in the remoter regions of the west coast, and some of us want to see Irish be adopted as a functional second language that people can make a practical choice to use in their daily lives.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsakNygren1
IsakNygren1
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It depends. It can be charming with a language that tries to be pure. But have influences from other languages will surely making it easier to learn. I am not an Irish speaker.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

This isn't a question about making Irish easier to learn, or even easier for learners. The key point is that there are no mono-lingual Irish speakers, unless you count very young children who haven't been exposed to English yet (which is practically impossible to do). As even native Irish speakers are fluent English speakers, there is very little barrier to the adoption of English language structures within Irish - it's not difficult for a native speaker to figure out the meaning if they encounter a "literal" translation from English to Irish, even if there's an existing idiomatic structure already in use in Irish that says the same thing.

So to what extent should there be "push-back" against this type of inward migration into the language? Under normal circumstances, idioms and even grammar change over time - In English constructions from 30 or 40 years ago, never mind 100 years ago, can seem "quaint", or have fallen out of use entirely because they are obsolete, catch-phrases from old TV shows don't mean anything to a younger generation, etc. But Irish doesn't exist "under normal circumstances". On the one hand, it can only grow and thrive as a living language if fluent English speakers choose to speak it (and not just "learners", even native-speakers brought up in the Gaeltacht have to make an active choice to speak Irish, because English will work for them everywhere that Irish does). On the other hand, if you insist that all change is bad, and refuse to accept any using that isn't recorded in dictionaries that were written 60 or 80 or 100 years ago, you'll slowly but surely suffocate the language. Then there's the "change is bad, unless it comes from the Gaeltacht" approach, which essentially denies the existence of fluent speakers outside the Gaeltacht.

Because that's the real rub - change is a perfectly normal process for a language, and it happens because change works for the people who speak the language. All of the people who speak the language. And as the number of fluent Irish speakers is finally beginning to grow after decades of decline, that growth comes from people who aren't from the Gaeltacht. Should they be excluded from the process of contributing to the way the language will change over time?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swaggercoolboi

my name is ava scarllet and immadlyinvlovewith boys

1 year ago