I'm so excited for Irish to be released in beta form! Our native language is taught so poorly in schools throughout the country, no emphasis on its importance at all! Time to finally get it under my belt!
I think it's kind of tragic that Ireland has almost lost it's language. Irish Gaelic is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful languages in the world.
Yes, it's very mystical sounding. I love hearing it sung. I imagine when it's spoken it sounds "sung" also.
One of my best friends is a native speaker from Galway and she is a Sean-nós singer... Magic!
i agree that we have almost lost our language but it is in revival surely but slowly it's coming back. A great amount of credit has to be given to some Irish Celebrities for showing interest in the language. Des bishop (stand up comedian) and Bernard Dunne (former world boxing champion) are the two that spring to mind and yes i agree again it sounds beautiful.
I always hear the Irish complain how horribly the language is taught in school but I've never seen an explanation or elaboration on how they teach it & why it's so bad.....so why is it considered to be taught so poorly?
Ok good question although this is more a personal opinion than fact. I think there are two reason. 1. It is taught in a very grammar based (espically in secondary schools) way and bores the children making them lose interest. 2. THE BIG SIMPLE ANSWER IS : there is a lot of pressure to perform well in both junior and leaving certificate and the child ends up focusing on what they need to know to pass an exam rather than what they need to know to communicate with others.
My in-depth research on the subject (i.e. searching for "Irish" on Twitter) suggests that teenagers prefer to learn French and think Irish sounds like you're constantly choking. :/
I've also heard that the way it's taught is bad, but I honestly can't even imagine it being that bad to be solely responsible for the decline of the language. I had Italian for 4 years, the teacher didn't believe in silly things like "explaining" and "dictionary", but I still learned at least the basics of the language. From what I understand, Irish is taught for a lot longer than 4 years, but so many people don't even know the basics. I don't believe you can be exposed to the language that long and not retain anything, unless you're actively resisting it - which is the impression I got from my Twitter research...
One thing you may not be gleaning from your twitter search is that Irish, last I looked, is actually not in decline. It fell in to disuse after the famine and because of laws put in place by the ruling powers in England that school could only be taught in English. Combine that with extreme poverty and mass emigration, it made sense for people to start speaking English. They primarily left to England, the US and Australia.
I think the number of Irish speakers is somewhat stable at the moment, but I'm happy to be told I'm wrong on that point. In any case, the state of teaching Irish in schools is certainly not the thing that caused the decline in the first place!
It's also due to the fact that many basics of Irish are taught when you are 4 or 5 years old, and if you don't pick them up at that point any gaps will compound themselves as you progress through school. By the time they're 9 or 10, many children already feel too far behind to catch up and begin to resent the classes. I know so many people who love the language but hated learning it in school. Students often have a much easier time learning French, German or Spanish because they begin them in secondary school, when they're 11 or 12, and are ready to understand the grammar points.
Of course there are many ways of successfully teaching a language to young children, and there are schools in Ireland that do. But there were also many that didn't.
We should also remember that Irish is in fact on the rise. It does depend on the part of the country you visit, but things are beginning to change. The way it is taught in schools is changing, there are more resources outside of school, and so children are actually enjoying learning it now. Hopefully the Duo course will be helpful for all the adults who want to go back to it, too.
It could be a cultural thing I guess. I've heard that the Irish language & older customs that you'd find out in the country are just considered ridiculous, outdated, almost primitive among Irish youth, or some Irish youth anyway....I guess the combination of it being taught not so well in school, it being a difficult language to begin with for English speakers & the idea of it being backwards makes it unbearable for most students over time.
Again, mostly based on hearsay from limited sources.
Attitudes towards more traditional customs and culture is more positive outside of Dublin. When I moved there it was kind of odd at how un-Irish people seemed, because I think they want to be this big modern city and see traditional culture as how you described above. Other cities, smaller towns and rural areas, however, I feel embrace traditional culture a bit more, and that goes for Irish too.
I don't think Irish is taught badly in schools but its implementation could be improved. I think there needs to be two or three courses in the language, one for Anglophone schools to teach it as a second language and one for Irish-medium schools to teach it as a first language, with maybe another that focuses on literature that could be available in both schools. Right now they try to do everything in one national course and it doesn't really work. The teachers try really hard and those I've spoken to are frustrated with the structure of the course, wishing they could focus on language ability but are tied down to covering the syllabus for exams.
Another factor to consider is the only monolingual Irish speakers are very very young children and very very old people who live almost exclusively in the remote Irish speaking areas. This means that people with only OK Irish tend to just use English with Irish speakers as they are never in a situation in which they have no other choice but to use Irish. I think people greatly underestimate the amount of Irish they know and if they were in a situation where they had to use Irish to be understood I think most people would get by.
I think the main thing that is causing the decline of Irish is attitude. While most people you meet, even young people, will say they wish they could speak the language I guess they just don't see ample opportunity or reason to use it and people are just a bit lazy towards it. Hopefully Duolingo will contribute a small bit to changing this and getting people more interested in learning the language and we can start changing the perception that it's a difficult language because in essence it's really not.
Kinda realised I'm starting to rant so I'll stop now and I hope that gave you an alternative view to the usual crowd.
Ok so declaring how awfully it's taught was rash and for Irish teachers out there I apologise but it's a frustrating topic. I agree that it is an attitude that has prevented a lot of people from learning it but it is not necessarily promoted as much as it could be. We need to revive interest before we can revive the language itself which could be difficult but nonetheless it must be done! I too think it is tragic that we could lose our native tongue and the recent appointment of the junior Gaeltacht Minister infuriated me (he's not an Irish speaker) and it shows the complete nonchalance our OWN government have for our language... This is what we have to overcome... It's sad!
although i do not wish to disclose my age i am among youth and you're spot on! A lot of youth teens often say stuff like "why do we have to do Irish it's not like we will ever use it" or "it's too boring or too hard." And although i know i shouldn't i tend to say ya i know when i totally disagree and i love it! Luckily this year i have a superb teacher who is passionate about the language and he is such an inspireation to me ( and has even wrote a book for the junior and leaving certificate courses)
I have a feeling that it will be released today, with it being a milestone for Alex (I think it was his 200th day on here or something), and Alex saying that it will be released very soon. Itch was also talking about a joint release, or releasing them around the same time. I hope it's released today!