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> Languages Disappearing, Irish Gaelic
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Rindy 
Posted: 17-Mar-2009, 04:08 PM
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I wasn't real sure where to put this. I hope you don't mind it here Wizard. Forgive me if this was discussed before. Please feel free to remove it or place it where it belongs. I think it'ss so sad how much the old languages are disappearing.

Slainte

The traditional Irish language is everywhere this time of year, emblazoned on green T-shirts and echoing through pubs. But Irish, often called Gaelic in the United States, is one of thousands of “endangered languages” worldwide. Though it is Ireland’s official tongue, there are only about 30,000 fluent speakers left, down from 250,000 when the country was founded in 1922.

Irish schools teach the language as a core subject, but outside a few enclaves in western Ireland, it is relatively rare for families to speak it at home.

“There’s the gap between being able to speak Irish and actually speaking it on a daily basis,” said Brian O’Conchubhair, an assistant professor of Irish studies at the University of Notre Dame who grew up learning Irish in school. “It’s very hard to find it in the cities; it’s like a hidden culture.”

Irish is expected to survive at least through this century, but half of the world’s almost 7,000 remaining languages may disappear by 2100, experts say.

A language is considered extinct when the last person who learned it as his or her primary tongue dies. Last month, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched an online atlas of endangered languages, labeling more than 2,400 at risk of extinction.

Many of world’s languages on the endangered list

Language extinction has been a phenomenon for at least 10,000 years, since the dawn of agriculture.

“In the pre-agricultural state, the norm was to have lots and lots of little languages,” said Gregory Anderson, director of the Living Tongues Institute. “As humans developed with agriculture, larger population groups were able to aggregate together, and you got larger languages developing.”

Languages typically die when speakers of a small language group come in contact with a more dominant population. That happened first when hunter-gatherers transitioned to agriculture, then during periods of European colonial expansion, and more recently with global migration and urbanization. The spread of English, Spanish and Russian wiped out many small languages.

“As long as people feel embarrassed, restrained or openly criticized for using a particular language, it’s only natural for them to want to avoid continuing to do what’s causing a negative response, whether it’s something overt like having your mouth washed out or more subtle like discrimination,” Anderson said.

In the United States and Australia in past decades, the government forced native peoples to abandon their languages through vehicles such as boarding schools that punished youth for speaking a traditional tongue. Many Native American and aboriginal Australian languages never recovered. The United States has lost 115 languages in the past 500 years, by UNESCO’s count, 53 of them since the 1950s. Last year, the Alaskan language Eyak disappeared with the death of the last speaker.

Extinct languages can be revived, especially when they have been recorded.

“But when you skip a generation, it’s hard to pick a language back up again,” said Douglas Whalen, president of the Endangered Language Fund, which gives grants to language-preservation projects.

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Antwn 
Posted: 17-Mar-2009, 05:41 PM
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Thanks for posting this. Its a problem for all the remaining Celtic languages. Welsh is pretty healthy by comparison with between 500,000 and 700,000 speakers, but not everyone uses it daily and English is encroaching in Welsh speaking strongholds as people from England move there and don't learn Welsh.


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Yr hen Gymraeg i mi,
Hon ydyw iaith teimladau,
Ac adlais i guriadau
Fy nghalon ydyw hi
--- Mynyddog
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Rindy 
Posted: 21-Mar-2009, 11:59 PM
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Your welcome Antwn. I really hope that schools realize what a loss this would be to generations from all erras. If any you come up on anynews do infrom us please. Thank you for posting this.

Slainte
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GaliciaCelta 
Posted: 22-Mar-2009, 08:02 AM
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The Irish are direct descendents of Galicians and Basques who settled in Ireland thousands of years ago, hence the similarities in culture.


Take a look at this article from the Irish Times:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/irelan...3867938492.html
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Antwn 
Posted: 22-Mar-2009, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE (Rindy @ 21-Mar-2009, 11:59 PM)
Your welcome Antwn. I really hope that schools realize what a loss this would be to generations from all erras. If any you come up on anynews do infrom us please. Thank you for posting this.

Rindy, here's a good website where you can keep up with minority languages all over Europe. At least Irish made it as an official EU language.

http://www.eurolang.net/
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Rindy 
Posted: 22-Mar-2009, 11:01 PM
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Hey Antw this is a great site. I booked marked and will look at it oftern I know that around here the Shoshoni and Arapahoe Native American languages are droping severely. They are hoping to get funding to help with this. I think Scottish and Irish Gaelic sounds a lot like Native American, only more beautiful.

I noticed it's getting harder to fing the teaching books. One of mine for Irish/Scottish gaelic is so worn out. Anyhow let hope poople will keep it up the teaching.

This will be a interesting read. Thanks again Antw.

Slainte
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Antwn 
Posted: 07-Apr-2009, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE (Rindy @ 22-Mar-2009, 11:01 PM)
I noticed it's getting harder to fing the teaching books. One of mine for Irish/Scottish gaelic is so worn out. Anyhow let hope poople will keep it up the teaching.


A great site I forgot to mention is

www.booksforscholars.com

its a treasure trove of books in and about Celtic languages and literature. As the name suggests, its mostly scholarly books, but there are novels and poetry as well as grammar books. Its here in the US so you don't have to worry about money changing in ordering books from the UK or Ireland. I've ordered several books in Welsh from them and they're easy to work with. Tell Ned what books you want and he'll give you a price with S + H and tax included. Check it out!!

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Rindy 
Posted: 10-Apr-2009, 12:11 PM
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Antwn thank you so very much for this link. I feel like a kid in a candy store. I haven't had time to check out the entire site yet but I bookmarked it and as soon as I can I will be looking. I really appreciate this.

Slainte
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Antwn 
Posted: 10-Apr-2009, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (Rindy @ 10-Apr-2009, 12:11 PM)
Antwn thank you so very much for this link. I feel like a kid in a candy store. I haven't had time to check out the entire site yet but I bookmarked it and as soon as I can I will be looking. I really appreciate this.

Slainte

No problem Rindy. I think you'll like it. Good browsing!
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