Monday, August 20, 2007

Learn Gaelic - The future of the Irish language


Do you want to learn Gaelic? Maybe you think that Irish Gaelic is a language wih no future. Well, think again.

Irish is the official language of the Republic of Ireland and while speakers are fewer than during the early 20th century, their number has risen significantly in the past twenty years. In 2003, a law was passed stating that this language could be used in official capacities and if they so chose, citizens could interact with governmental officials using this language. The Irish language is definitely on the rise as in 2006, the Irish government proposed a twenty year plan towards Ireland becoming a fully bilingual nation, speaking English while at the same time retaining their ancient language. In 2007, the government stated that the main focus would in fact be on spoken Irish in an attempt to bring the language up to full use by the students, rather than just having them learn it "academically." Also in 2007, Irish Gaelic became an officially recognized language in the European Union and is now regularly used by Irish governmental
ministers.

In terms of the language surviving, the numbers are promising. A full forty percent of the Republic of Ireland's citizens over the age of three consider themselves "competent" in the language, with about sixty percent of those speaking it on a daily basis. In Northern Ireland, about 10 percent of people polled had some knowledge of the language, which brings the total of people speaking Irish on the island of Ireland up to around 1.8 million people. With a third of the population speaking this language and more to come, it can be seen how important this language is to the people of Ireland!

We hope to become a premier resource on Irish Gaelic and (eventually) Irish culture and other Gaelic/Celtic languages in general. Meanwhile, here's a great Irish software course I found.
Stay tuned!