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 The People with the Saddest History in Europe

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PostSubject: Re: The People with the Saddest History in Europe   Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:40 pm

905 wrote:
Hedge schools taught on demand, and that often meant English. The Catholic church had a lot of influence over national schools, so it's no wonder they opposed the private alternative. Maybe they also thought a qualified teacher was better.

The Catholic church has quite a bad repuatation when considering the language. Gaelic was associated with Protestantism for one thing (all that emphasis on vernacular languages). Maynooth taught very little Irish through most of the nineteenth century.

The Church is often linked with schools and Daniel O'Connell as the villains in the demise of the language. The people are often forgotten.

Post famine, the need for English as the language of emigration to the US and Britain was a factor. Friends from Gaeltacht areas say this is still an issue.
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PostSubject: Re: The People with the Saddest History in Europe   Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:56 pm

There's a historian who's name I forget (it could be Joseph Lee) made the point once that learning English in order to better one's economic chances doesn't explain the abandonment of the Irish language, which is a different matter. Did the Italian language die out; is Spannish dying out in Latin America? It's not even dying out in the States.

I very much doubt that there are any monolingual Irish-speakers left, for whom this would be an issue. People from the Gaeltacht that I know are far more likely to speak of shame and embarrasment at publicly speaking a peasant or 'freak' language (which is a little ironic considering the language is the poster-child of both mainstream Irish identity itself and modern,urban Ireland).
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PostSubject: Re: The People with the Saddest History in Europe   Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:59 pm

You are correct, it was JJ Lee. Think it was in his seminal work, Ireland 1912 - 1985: Politics and Society, a good text.
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PostSubject: Re: The People with the Saddest History in Europe   Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:07 pm

905 wrote:
There's a historian who's name I forget (it could be Joseph Lee) made the point once that learning English in order to better one's economic chances doesn't explain the abandonment of the Irish language, which is a different matter. Did the Italian language die out; is Spannish dying out in Latin America? It's not even dying out in the States.

I very much doubt that there are any monolingual Irish-speakers left, for whom this would be an issue. People from the Gaeltacht that I know are far more likely to speak of shame and embarrasment at publicly speaking a peasant or 'freak' language (which is a little ironic considering the language is the poster-child of both mainstream Irish identity itself and modern,urban Ireland).

The official use of a language for official business and the prevailing language of trade is likely to predominate.

Spanish is the most (or second most?) widely spoken language on the planet (shortly expected to become the most widely spoken language in the USA), and can't really be compared with the languages of peripheral mainly agricultural countries like Wales, Brittany and Ireland.
Anyone see the programme on the US last night: an old native american was grieving over the loss of his language, that he perceived as central to his identity and the identity of his people. Some young people were learning the language though.
Welsh was written off in the last century and now is a robust language widely used for official purposes as well as in the community.
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PostSubject: Re: The People with the Saddest History in Europe   Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:58 pm

cactus flower wrote:
905 wrote:
There's a historian who's name I forget (it could be Joseph Lee) made the point once that learning English in order to better one's economic chances doesn't explain the abandonment of the Irish language, which is a different matter. Did the Italian language die out; is Spannish dying out in Latin America? It's not even dying out in the States.

I very much doubt that there are any monolingual Irish-speakers left, for whom this would be an issue. People from the Gaeltacht that I know are far more likely to speak of shame and embarrasment at publicly speaking a peasant or 'freak' language (which is a little ironic considering the language is the poster-child of both mainstream Irish identity itself and modern,urban Ireland).

The official use of a language for official business and the prevailing language of trade is likely to predominate.

Spanish is the most (or second most?) widely spoken language on the planet (shortly expected to become the most widely spoken language in the USA), and can't really be compared with the languages of peripheral mainly agricultural countries like Wales, Brittany and Ireland.
And yet Spannish isn't a language of official business or prevailing trade in the States. Irish was the most widely spoken language in Ireland well into the nineteenth century but a fat lot of good that did it.
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PostSubject: Re: The People with the Saddest History in Europe   Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:11 pm

I'm sorry, you really can't get sadder a history than the Jews.
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PostSubject: Re: The People with the Saddest History in Europe   Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:12 pm

The saddest history - bit of a misnomer don't you think?
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