Thursday, March 17, 2016

Understanding Irish language of Gaelic (audio)

The World in Words (PRI, March 17, 2016); Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
The reigning "SoCal Rose of Tralee" Lauren Waller crowned in 2015 (

Rebellion against British colonialism for liberation, Irish nationalist poster from 1913.
Gaelic or Irish like the music of the famous poem "Finnegan's Awake" (
GAELIC: It's easier to get people to stop speaking their language than to start speaking it again, just ask the Irish
For centuries invaders, colonizers, church leaders, and colonial educators "discouraged" Irish people from using their own native tongue. When Ireland won independence, its leaders had no idea just how difficult it would be to bring the language back. Despite that, there's hope for Irish (Gaelic) today.

The Irish language, like its people, has suffered.
It has been used and abused by many: British colonialists engaged in a genocide of "pagans/heathens," by the Catholic Church engaged in total domination, and by Irish revolutionaries.
The first two invading forces discouraged the use of Gaelic, associating it with primitive wildness and poverty. The latter co-opted the language as the primary symbol of nationhood and a struggle against British and Christian oppression.
When Ireland finally gained a degree of independence in 1922, its new government brought Irish (Gaelic) back into the schoolrooms.

This episode talks to three people who studied Irish in the years since independence...
(The World in Words: Patrick Cox/Nina Porzucki's weekly stories on languages and people)

Linguist UCSC, UC Dublin (Doug McKnight)
"There were expressions that I picked up [from Irish speakers] that I found hilarious. They're all sexual....

"Just hearing how the lads from Connemara, when they would see a good-looking woman on the street, how they would describe it... It was hearing laddish banter that made me realize that the language could be a bit more than I thought it was" [remembers Iarla O'Halloran].

The World in Words also reports on a research project at University of California Santa Cruz that is documenting the brain during Irish pronunciation with the help of ultrasound imagery. More
Big Irish Fair & Musicfest, June 18-19, 2016 at Eldorado Regional Park, Long Beach

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