https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonDunne2

East Leinster Irish

For those interested, I know one of the hot discussion points on Duolingo is the speakers' pronunciation and differences between the 3 major dialects of Connaught, Munster and Ulster. Having grown up in Co. Wicklow myself I was one of 10's of thousands of schoolboys who would have gone through school wondering why this archaic language was compulsory and dreading the classes. Only years later would I change my views.

I came across a fascinating document on Foireann Gaeilge uploaded by Cian Ó Finn Mac Oistigín titled Gaelic Dialects of Leinster, written by Don Piatt and dated Samhain 1933. In it he reconstructs the Leinster pronunciations based on Irish words such as amadán, girseach etc. as well as place names that survived and were used as cross overs in English. He interviews countless aged people, some born just after the famine and discusses the words they remember in their childhood or even the conversations that they had with their own grandparents - which brings those words back to the late 1700's.

What is shocking is the reminder of how brutally Irish was expunged from Leinster. The statistical survey of 1801 claims Irish a dead language by then and the last known native speakers in County Wicklow died in 1830.

August 10, 2018

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonDunne2

To AeosLovesOranges. The aggression and arrogance is mind boggling

"How you somehow concluded I'm intolerant of the French language after reading what I wrote is beyond me." Maybe because you wrote this? "I barely speak French myself and it's almost never spoken in the house. Why would I speak French at home when I have to put up with it all day long already? (makes no damn sense)" QED

"smaller countries like Greece or Italy" Really? These are the landmasses- Ireland 84,421 km sq. Greece 131,957 km sq. Italy 301338 km sq. Population Ireland 4.771 m Greece 10.75 m Italy 60.6m

'Irish.. is spoken in various communities stretching from Nova Scotia all the way down to Argentina." Sounds like it is really thriving, perhaps you should let the Irish government know of this historic success. Meanwhile we all thought the language had been in trouble.

"My family moved to Florida and North Carolina where there are communities that speak Irish/Scottish. There are also large communities that do so in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. Heck, NC also holds its own Highland Games."

Perhaps you could provide us with some stats about the size of these large communities. I'm sure no one doubts there are people that have learnt Irish in the various geographical regions but it would be great to know about the large communities that have retained and handed the language down. Oh by the way the Highland games isn't really an Irish thing.

"I know plenty of people with actual history/linguistic degrees I can chat about this with at work." Good idea, that is not a bad starting point. Irish history has already been badly distorted but to twist the distortion makes for fantasy.

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaztonsofU

Irish isn't spoken in nova scotia, that would be the related but different Scottish gaelic

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Have you tried uploading the Piatt PDF onto another site, e.g. imgur.com, like the chapter from Labhrann Laighnigh in dublin2001’s comment? That would allow it to be downloadable with a simple URL (and not require a Facebook login to be able to download it).

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duilinn

I uploaded it in full here.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Thank you.

If imgur.com only accepts image files for uploading, one way to preserve the original PDF is to create a ZIP archive to hold the PDF, and then append the ZIP archive to the end of a JPEG or GIF image, e.g. using copy /b in a Command Prompt on a Windows system or cat in a Terminal on a macOS system or in a shell on a Linux system, making sure that the combined image/archive file ends with the appropriate image filename extension. The combined image/archive file could then be uploaded, and it will still be viewable as an image; the benefit is that a ZIP unarchiver will be able to extract the contents of the archive from the combined image/archive file, so the original PDF can be recovered by someone with a copy of the combined image/archive file.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duilinn

I have actually talked to Cian Ó Finn Mac Oistigín myself. He has some interesting views, including the view that native speakers of Irish survived in Tallaght, Co. Dublin until the late 20th century (I cannot confirm if this is true). He also sent me a full PDF of Piatt's Gaelic Dialects of Leinster.

In addition to this, I myself have done some research on the dialect (I have posted some stuff on reddit, for example.

Recently, Galaxyrocker, whose name you probably see here a lot, sent me a scan of the chapter on Dublin in the book Labhrann Laighnigh by Dáithí Ó hÓgáin. The chapter contains several texts, some longer than others, and is 30 pages long in total. It is available in full here. The texts will hopefully give a good insight into the dialect, especially regarding grammar and verbs.

Also check out my somewhat serious subreddit about this topic, where I'll post any updates.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonDunne2

There is no reply option on the thread below but

"It is more than misleading to imply that Cromwell's campaign in Ireland was directed against Irish speakers"

The intention is not to mislead anyone in thinking that the sole purpose of Cromwells campaign was a language one. By virtue of definition however Irish language speakers were a subset of all that Cromwell despised and nothing short of total ethnic cleansing was on his agenda. Yes, of course Catholicism was abhorrent to him and priests and friars were bludgeoned to death or burnt in their churches regardless of language.

I think there was far more than just a campaign against Royalists involved. Revenge for the 1641 massacre of Protestants played a huge role in his psychopathic mania. Of course history is written by the victors and in many of his quotes he qualifies his behaviour and actions "by God's will". Despite his strong religious faith, personal, military and political achievements in England he still is the most appalling genocidal mass murdering lunatic ever to set foot on Irish soil.

Without going too far off track I started the discussion on East Leinster Irish. We all know the language as a whole nearly died and lots of suggestions as to why have been put forward, some laughable but most valid.

If I had to pick a single quote to explain the death of Irish in Leinster to a novice or indeed anyone interested in Irish history, this is the one I would use

''Under penalty of death, no Irish man, woman, or child, is to let himself, herself, itself be found east of the River Shannon.'' English Parliament 1654

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
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  • 1188

''Under penalty of death, no Irish man, woman, or child, is to let himself, herself, itself be found east of the River Shannon.'' English Parliament 1654

Again, you quote a law that singularly failed in it's stated effect, unless all the Kelly's, Murphy's, O'Briens, etc found east of the River Shannon today moved to Connacht and back again when Cromwell wasn't looking (forgetting how to speak Irish on the way).

There is no question that the Irish suffered greatly, and that vast amounts of wealth were taken from the country. But despite everything, and the laws that were targeted at the Irish and their religion, the Irish remained Irish and Catholic. But instead of being Irish and Catholic Irish speakers, they became Irish and Catholic English speakers.

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonDunne2

Haha. I'd hardly say it singularly failed, it was pretty effective at the time but thank goodness it did not work on a permanent basis. Thankfully most of the laws, decrees and acts are things of the past and were not 100% effective otherwise we would have a hard time trying to do Irish at all. Nonetheless , whilst not an outright success they made a strong impact. Cromwell was dead by 1658 so he would have only been looking from far below. Besides the Kelly's Murphy's and O Briens you forgot to mention the Dunne's who forgot Irish on the way, although the truth is I don't think we ever left Leinster.

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonDunne2

What happened to the long thread of discussion from yesterday? Was it moderated out for some reason? The last I checked there were about 45 comments and a dozen or so have disappeared

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoghRuith

i deleted some of my comments out of frustration (not with you). Still trying to sort out how to talk about some of these things. After I did it I felt a bit silly for deleting them. I have all the info handy. Tá brón orm.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonDunne2

Oh, too bad. I guess the whole thread is gone. I know I had about 3 or 4 replies but they have just vanished so I can't refer to what I said, I saw there were email notifications of replies but they aren't here either.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonDunne2

Sorry (TonnChliodhna) can't reply below. Not to worry, there is always some very good discussion on these pages. I only saw the replies via email not here.

I was obviously well aware that the 1901 census was completed in English and the 1911 one in Irish and that the signature was in English, after all he didn't change his name by deed poll, it was just in the vernacular. And you're right it was my great grandfather not grandfather but all of that would have made a long story which is more a of side line to the reason I started Duolingo in the first place which I think was the point of the story.

I could sense you were getting exasperated at the responses but from my side I can say this person has given me more help than anyone else on the course. I only wish my schoolteachers had the knowledge and engagement as the contributors do here.

I have had a lot of questions on the lessons, specifically when I struggle with grammar and he has been incredibly helpful. There are one or two others that come up with pretty acerbic comments which I think is more harmful than helpful but it looks like they have not been active for a while.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoghRuith

My apologies. It's almost as if when people go around trying without due consideration to erase the past, there are unforeseen consequences.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoghRuith

When our friend started telling you about your own grandfather via government documents he found online and you were speaking of your great grandfather, I got a bit exasperated at his mode of "inquiry".

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
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To avoid any misinterpretation "brutally expunged" doesn't mean soldiers going door to door bayonetting Irish speakers, it means Irish speakers and Irish speaking communities deliberately discarding the use of Irish so quickly that practically monolingual English speaking grandchildren could barely communicate with monolingual Irish speaking grandparents.

August 10, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Ho boy. LOL.

    The reason why my father didn't speak his grandfather's Munster Irish was because his grandfather was forced by the British to leave Ireland for being a young, unemployed Catholic Irish speaker who didn't know English. Not exactly as graphic as bayonets, but it is a trauma that was dealt on many families like mine. Maybe you didn't get to be a little kid during the last years of the Troubles, hearing the news and being too young to make sense of it, only to have your father tell you that this was somehow related to why you didn't get to grow up speaking Irish or have Irish citizenship, but my family is far from the only ones who have this history. While we aren't always able to articulate it, that loss and that trauma does get handed down. It's intergenerational, and no amount of whitewashing the decline of Irish as something apolitical that "just happened" or by the free choice of Irish speakers will change that.

    August 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/torowan

    @SimonDunne2, is there a link to that document you could share with the curious? I quickly and lazily consulted The Google, but only found other indirect references.

    August 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
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    • 1188

    There's some information about this topic on http://dublingaelic.blogspot.ie/

    August 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duilinn

    https://old.reddit.com/r/GaeiligLaighean/ is where I hope to compile all the information on the dialect, specifically on the subreddit wiki.

    August 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AeosLovesOranges

    SORRY OP! I KNOW THIS IS ALL CRAZY OFF TOPIC!! ;n;

    Oi. I don't know what it is with y'all, but I just want to point out that you can make ANYTHING someone says sound terrible if you remove the context surrounding it and present it in a light that suits your argument. I don't know why y'all feel the need to keep doing that, aside from masking a weak argument, but I'm honestly getting pretty sick of it. (as would anyone) This will be my last post towards this entire discussion, not just one or two people, because it's become a circle jerk of guys calling anything they don't like/understand "mythos" without putting in any legitimate research or providing credible sources. I'll be making this a separate post, sorry OP, because y'all keep randomly deleting things (sketchy) and I don't want to risk this somehow being deleted in the process. I don't use duolingo for much so I'm not really sure how comments work on this site. My "aggression" stems from things like being called intolerant when I have shown NO actual signs of intolerance, unless you purposefully skew the argument to, or having people, who clearly know very little about North America, claim my family's history (really the history of many in the US) is "mythology" just because none of y'all personally experienced it. That and dealing with people who can only counter arguments through trivial whataboutism, arguing about useless semantics, and generalized historical statements that appear to be loosely based off of quick google searches or from some rando's blog. You guys need to be pickier with your sources because a lot of what I'm seeing looks incredibly sketchy to say the least. I'm a PaleoArchaeolgist and I can definitely say that a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of written sources turn out to be false because someone's either trying to make themselves look better or someone else look worse. I will say that y'all can find most of the language/population information on State/University/Government run sites because if you want me to provide numbers and sources for EVERY community that speaks Irish around the globe than this post'll be impossibly long. I'll provide a few though.

    For starters, there's a huge difference between being intolerant of a language and just wanting a break after struggling with said language all day. I'm the later. French is totally fine with me. It's not my favorite language, but I don't mind speaking/reading/writing it at all. I don't speak French home because I have to actively think about it which is exhausting after an entire work day, and then some, with it. I thoroughly enjoy being able to go home and speak something I don't have to think about for once. That's not being intolerant, although you could easily skew it that way if you tried hard enough. My point, when you look at the entire original posting, was that a lot of people still speak their native languages at home BECAUSE it's easier and, in many cases, is a good way to comfort yourself in a foreign place. And all this while pointing out that said foreigners, myself included, have no influence on the home country's spoken language. So, again, HOW you got that I was being intolerant is beyond me. Furthermore, and it's depressing I even have to explain this at all, if I say something like "smaller creatures, like mice, are common household pests" the only implication is that they are smaller than other, larger household pests. There's no specific larger pest here. So when I said "smaller countries" I was implying, I thought rather obviously, that Greece/Ireland/Scotland/Italy are smaller than other countries with sizable immigrant populations in the US such as China or Russia. They're actually decently close in size although the populations tend to fluctuate.

    I'm just going to touch on the whataboutism thrown in here by whatshisface because it's honestly irrelevant to the discussion at hand, but still needs to be addressed. All land is stolen land. The other side of my family is Native American (Seminole and Cherokee) and I'm actively part of the tribes as a blood card holder for both. If you wanna get into a debate about colonization we TOTALLY can, but preferably in an appropriate setting where it's actually constructive/related to the conversation at hand... or literally ANY point previously made. The influx of Irish/Scottish immigrants didn't show up until the 1800's where the "New World", not to be confused with Newfoundland, was colonized starting in the late 1600's and into the 1700's. Apples and oranges. I'd like to point out that there are also more places than just Raleigh, Florida, and Newfoundland. I'm not entirely sure why you focused on Newfoundland (it's one word btw) when I mentioned Nova Scotia specifically, but I'm guessing it's for the same reason you focused on Raleigh, which wasn't founded until 1792 after New Bern was taken over, and the individual it was named after. I guess it was to point out that Newfoundland was founded by his half-brother (who cares?) as if that makes ANY difference to ANYTHING I was saying. It looks like you glanced over the Wikipedia page and... nothing else. (lol why) I'd like to throw in that New England and the 3 states I had mentioned are not the same thing. New England actually includes places like New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island... which are not known for having particularly large Irish populations, let alone for speaking the language. Also not sure why one of y'all felt the need to mention the Highland games isn't Irish when I literally never said it was? Although thanks for the useless blurb on the Irish games/wiki link that anyone could've just googled themselves. (already know about all that because my degree focuses on ancient history yay) That section of my post very CLEARLY included Scotland, as evidenced by the Irish/Scottish label I used, since they're part of the same language family and contain sizable speaking populations in North America. AKA: none of y'all can actually read or double check what was actually being said BEFORE posting a response. Proofread guys! It's not that freaking hard.

    ONTO THE STATISTICS! yay... It's hard to conclusively monitor who spoke what. Even today that's difficult. Census information is only useful when people answer truthfully, it can be done in a timely manner, and when questions don't focus on select answers. Also when people actually care to keep a record of it because Argentina doesn't keep an active paper record of it's Irish speaking population even though classes are offered. (yay for laziness) I don't like relying on the "Gaeltacht" label because many of them haven't been updated... ever in some cases. I wasn't raised in a Gaeltacht region, my family never lived in one, and yet we all speak Irish/Scottish so they're not particularly reliable as your primary source of speakers across the globe and that's something Ireland is well aware of. The Irish Times actually covered that pretty nicely here: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/census-shows-we-must-rethink-our-approach-to-irish-and-the-gaeltacht-1.3040392 That being said, in a survey conducted by the US Census Bureau from 2009-2013 it was estimated that roughly 20,590 US citizens spoke Irish at home with an estimated 2,500 of that population claiming they didn't speak English well. I also say estimated because "the data are a sample of the total population, there may be languages spoken that are not reported, either because the ACS did not sample the households where those languages are spoken, or because the person filling out the survey did not report the language or reported another language instead." It's thought that the number of Irish speakers in the US is currently is around 25,000 or higher (close to where it was in 2000 when 25,661 recorded speaking Irish at home) since there's a growing interest in learning the language and the internet has given many people sources in places where traditional classes are not available. Unfortunately the only number I could find for the Scottish speakers was a 2000 Census which estimated roughly 2,000 speakers. Again, these numbers are often samples of the population too. They don't ask everyone the same questions. I know my Census sheet didn't ask what languages, aside from the most common assumptions like Spanish/French/Dutch/Russian/Chinese, were spoken at home. So these numbers are thought to be much higher than listed. sources: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2017/cb17-ff05.html and https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2013/demo/2009-2013-lang-tables.html There's virtually nothing concrete in Florida these days, but when my family originally emigrated from Ireland to the US there was a sizable population around Orlando... and then Disney happened. I know my family stuck around Orlando after Disney because the Seminole tribe tends to live near the Everglades. (there's a chunk around the panhandle tho) According to a 2006 Census done in Canada there were roughly 8,000 "Gaelic language" speakers (this includes Breton and Scottish) and that number has definitely increased according to the government, though I can't say by how much exactly because I can't find the government provided source, due to growing interest in the language and an influx of Irish migrants in 2011. Since the establishment of the Office of Gaelic Affairs in 2006 the population of Gaelic speakers has sloooooowly been growing. The bigger hubs in Canada for the languages are Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. I know there are a few others, but I can't remember them all. I think Toronto is also one? idk source: the census information for Canada isn't letting me link it for some reason. I'll try to remember to link it later, but you can also google this yourselves. Argentina is... weird and doesn't actually take count on how many people speak the Irish language, nor is there any organized attempt to keep up with preserving it aside from classes offered in certain places. I wish I had solid numbers, but I unfortunately don't. I really don't have many numbers for any South/Central American country so I have to go via word of mouth. There are populations with several thousand speakers scattered throughout these regions, but it's not as numerous as in the states. Barbados supposedly has a sizable population of Irish speakers, but I can't find any credible numbers. (sorry) If I manage to find any solid numbers as I'm reading through the various Census informations I will update with what I can find (gotta translate a lot of it from Spanish) if I remember to do so. I know these numbers don't sound like a lot compared to other languages, but as far as the Irish language is concerned... they are. And most of these numbers are just loose estimates too unfortunately, there's supposedly going to be more thorough studies conducted via the Irish/Scottish govs in the next several years so we'll have to wait and see. I wish I could link to certain sources, but I'm in France so certain US/Canadian sources are no longer available due to geo-blocking. (it takes a lot of VPN fuckery and GPS spoofing just to see half of these ugh) I'm sorry about all that. I didn't think it would be such a pain when I started this thing. I may have messed up too because I'm doing all of this around work so double the apologies here.

    There are a lot of recognized groups via the Irish Republic. They actually fund a lot of the schools here which teach Irish and even send over teachers. It's just hard to find the information online in some cases. (because ❤❤❤❤ all of us who want to know I guess lol) They are there though and sadly that's really all I can say... mostly because I don't have the energy to make this any longer. North Carolina is an example I'm familiar with because I lived there. I know Raleigh has programs for Irish, a decent expat population, and a lot of people with Irish ancestry, but I never lived there and neither did any of my family. I've only ever been to Raleigh in passing for the airport, embassies, and various museums. My family personally lived closer to the coast, around the barrier islands, and we traveled into the mountains a lot. (that's actually where they hold the Highland games) I want to find more sources, but I've been writing this for a few hours now and just... no thanks... I'm tired. Sorry. I gotta leave this where it is and get on with work because I gotta archive things and write a thesis. (this totally wasn't procrastination)

    Learn how to actually read things guys and it'll be chill. Please don't comment with things that are irrelevant already answered, or if you're gonna sit around and argue the semantics of my post like a petty jerk. (also no whataboutism pls) Thanks.

    August 21, 2018

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