The mini-revival of the Irish language
Sometimes, we Irish tend to view the survival of Gaeilge in apocalyptic terms, so good to get an international perspective:
Fiontar shares some similarities with the Flagship programs here in the US. Achieving proficiency in a language, often in conjunction with a non-language major -- business, law, technology, medicine, communications, whatever. http://www.thelanguageflagship.org/
Different catalysts but a similar pedagogy.
Lovely to see Duolingo front and center in The Irish Times. That led me off to another article (may have already shown up on the Discussion)
Fascinating article and great how new technology, and Duolingo in particular, has boosted Irish. Hopefully it can do the same for Welsh.
Incidentally, it seems a beta version of twitter as Gaeilge has been released, so you can go into settings, agus bain triail as!
I’m surprised that the editors of The Irish Times considered the phrase ab initio to be so alien to their readers that they decided to translate it within the article.
It's a good read.
I've read other articles as well, that claim to see an up tick in the trend lines of people claiming to speak Irish on a weekly basis.
Once I finish the Irish tree, I plan on working with the Connemara dialect through Mícheál Ó Siadhail's book learning Irish. This seems to be both a very impressive way to get to know the dialect and to review and improve grammar with a great deal of included audio support.
The problem with this 'revival' is that it focuses on quantity over quality, so as to speak. That is, sure, more people speak Irish now, but they mostly don't even bother with correct pronunciation (vast majority of Irish speakers I've heard has a strong English accent), and they tend to use simplified Official Standard forms wherever such distinction exists. Also you can hear English idioms translated into Irish, word-for-word, way too often.
Every time a language gets a large influx of new non-native speakers, it will change that language. I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing though.
While conformity to the native style is certainly something to strive for, the fact that the language is undergoing change is also a sign that it's alive still. To me, the changes in the language are a sign that the revival is making an impact. Even if it's not bringing it back from the edge, it's certainly extending the life of the language.