Irish is mostly spoken along the west coast of Ireland and this region is called Gaeltachatai. You have to realise that Irish can be renamed also as Irish Gaelic or just Gaelic whereas in Connacht, Munster and Ulster it is also well-known as: Gaelainn, Gaedhlag, Gaeilig, Gaeilge, Gaedhealaing, Gaoluinn, Gaeddhilic. It seems that Irish is a really tricky Celtic language which is a fusion of Cornish, Welsh and Breton.
Gaelic is one of the minority languages which is declining nowadays. However, the state and law guarantee Gaeilig a status of the official language (apart from English). So, if you visit Ireland, do not be surprised at seeing Garda instead of Police, Dail stands for Parliament or Taoiseach replaces Prime Minister as the names of the public organizations and figures should always be written also in Irish. Sadly, the new report, which was made by the state agency, points out that Irish will not be existing in Gaeltach communities in ten years, even if it is still taught in schools and promoted by the state. The problem is deeply rooted in the electoral divisions in the Irish-speaking regions. As only 21 communities from 155 use Gaelic in everyday conversations. It is worth highlighting that the situation of this minority language is so dramatic, especially as less than 67% of the local population speaks Irish. If nothing changes, it is highly possible that Gaelic will not survive the language and generation shifts.
How to preserve Irish?
To solve this urgent problem, some recommendations for preserving the language were proposed. One of the key points was implementing an amendment to the Languages Act about conducting state’s business in Irish. Another suggestion made an emphasis on hiring only these employees who meet the main requirement, which is communicating in Gaelic, as now the local communities could not communicate with them in this minority language. Nonetheless, locals should be also encouraged by the state to protect own language heritage, for example by convincing children and teenagers to do the same. It seems that the state can also focus on some prospective actions which could be either easily adapted by local communities in order to pass the national heritage to the next generations. What is the best advice to keep Irish alive? Maybe just make people familiar with it. TermCoord encourages you to watch the following video which briefly explains the variety of Irish accents. So, if you want to acquire a new knowledge about the minority language, just check it here.
Written by Aleksandra Święcicka. Journalist, web editor and social media expert. Communication Trainee at TermCoord