Friday, June 21, 2013

An tAmadán Gerard O'Regan / The Foolish Gerard O'Regan

The only evidence that Gerard O'Regan's weird attack on Irish speakers (Irish Independent, 15th June) was written in 2013 and not 1973 is his reference to Facebook (which, not uncoincidentally, is how I stay in touch with scores of my Irish speaking friends).
He's right to note that the Irish education system has often presented an artificial Irish, which Mr. O'Regan and many others consequently fold into a bizarre "Peig and Jigs and Turfsmoke and Grammar" image of traditional Ireland. But there's a bright side: the Department of Education has greatly improved the teaching of Irish, to such an extent that Mr. O'Regan's friend "Andrea", who has just done her Leaving Certificate, is now capable of holding basic conversations in Irish, even if it's "stilted and exam based". Had Andrea done her Leaving Cert in 1973, even an A in upper-level Irish would have been absolutely no guarantee of spoken ability.
Mr. O'Regan says that Andrea will have no use for her Irish. I'm going to be in Dublin this summer, and my two small Irish-speaking children need a babysitter. Andrea, with reasonable spoken Irish and a good education, sounds like a fantastic candidate. Perhaps Mr. O'Regan could put her in touch with me?
Now, please give poor old Peig a rest. She has as much to do with my Modern Irish as Wordsworth has to do with Modern English.

D'fhoilsigh an Irish Independent leagan den litir seo, ach níl teacht éasca uirthi ar a suíomh féin. Tá sé ar fáil trí Gaelport, ámh.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tvuítáil, Tweetáil, Tuítáil, nó Giolcadh?

Foilsíodh an litir seo leanas san Irish Times ar a 12ú Meitheamh. Freagra é ar alt amaideach a scríobh an boc seo Peter McGuire, ar saor-iriseoir agus (is cosúil) léachtóir le béaloideas é i UCD. Seo an nasc go dtí an bunleagan den litir:

A chara, – Peter McGuire (“G’tweet? G’wan ourra that, say students”, June 6th) will be glad to know that members of the Irish language community have been arguing about a good Irish version of “tweet” for several years now. The official recommendation is “tvuít”, which is in line with the Irish phonological system, but most of us have gone with the ungaelicised “tweet” (“Tá Peadar ag tweetáil arís”). A creative rearguard insist on “giolcach”, however, since that’s what a bird actually does!
This will all come as news to the Department of Education, which assumes we don’t exist and simply makes up words to suit its presentation of Irish as an unauthentic and artificial second language. Its presentation is, alas, grist to the mill of uninformed journalists, who tell us without evidence that “Irish has always struggled to fit in with the popular kids” and who apparently see the language as little more than Peig and a few seanfhocail.
In fact, Irish is spoken vigorously across the country and around the world. We have our own cool kids, thank you very much, and don’t feel the remotest need to “fit in” with speakers of other languages. – Is mise,
BRIAN Ó BROIN, PhD, Department of English,
William Paterson University,
New Jersey, US.

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Peter McGuire, an Ghaeilge, agus an Irish Times

A snide idiot by the name of Peter McGuire published a foolish attack on the Irish Language in the Irish Times several days ago. I responded with this letter.
Judging from this blog entry (an unpublished letter to the Irish Times several months ago), it seems to me that this Peter McGuire fellow is developing a track record. Worst of all, he appears to be a FOLKLORE lecturer at UCD! Given that he lectures in a university department that safeguards one of the biggest folklore collections in all of Europe, most of it in Irish, does he feels inadequate?
God help his students.

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