Thursday, 7 July 2011

"Complaints" to Irish Language Commissioner continue, regardless of economic reality

Not long ago, plans to provide Dubliners with real-time signage indicating when buses were due had to be put on ice after complaints were made to An Coimisinéir Teanga (I think it means “The Language Kommissar”… there is no English translation of the title on the website).

This particular quango was set up to enforce Eamon O’Cuiv’s Official Languages Act, which stipulated that public signage and documentation must be in Gaelic as well as the spoken language of the country, English.  Gaelic must appear first of course.

As a result, crank complaints from Irish language careerists and hobbyists must now be taken seriously, and bus-using Dubliners must stand at stops in ignorance of when their transport will arrive.  The system, planned 10 years ago, would have used existing GPS data to inform those long-suffering customers of just how late their buses were running.

Now the HSE and the National Museum have also been reported as “being in breach of statutory language provisions” to the same quango (Irish Examiner, July 5th).  What the breaches are it does not say.  Maybe, in the HSE case, “Accident and Emergency Department”  signs being too prominent in our hospitals?

I am sick of this, I really am.

A few years back ASH, the anti-smoking body,  complained that forcing manufacturers to print health warnings in Gaelic and the vernacular would lessen their impact, as of necessity smaller point sizes would have to be used.

The Gaeliban – boosted by its very own Ayotollah O’Cuiv – is not interested in the practicality of signage as a means of communication though.  It is interested in using State legislation to increase bureaucracy so it can further bolster its own industry.

The same Examiner article also mentions that “a report outlining suggested amendments to a review on the official languages act has also been published”,  but no mention of what those amendments might be.

How about a complete repeal of the wasteful Official Languages Act, at a time when we can scarcely afford such an extravagance of Official Ireland nonsense? 

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Anonymous said...

Tuasal Gombeen,
I have good enough irish but i refuse to ever speak it ,its my own private protest against the gaelgoiri elites . What bugs me about the whole thing is that it would have been possible to revive the irish language if it had been done differently/better/fairer just not like this . P.S the baggage recalim are in dublin airport is plasterd with discover Northern Ireland billboards but all the way through the airport its fadas and failtes . This place makes no sense .

Is mise le meas,

Anonymous said...



anna said...

...puff...puff...GASP!!! ...

POSITION (1) : ..I k..n..o..w..' ...not that..

(FL) Polikas eteenpaintaivutus....Oh it's Finnish
(SE) Halv framatbojning... Swedish
(DK) Halv fremadbojning..Ok Understand the designation( Danish )
But is there No (IE) on this ?

(IE)... great!!...'Leath-chromadh chun cinn'!? No - me neither,

I thought a Lidl Yoga mat bought in Tallaght last week would have English on the A4 instruction page ?...
(Consults accompanying colour chart with ( thank the Lord Shiva) captioned Photos:
(GB)POSITION 1: "Half forward bend: Place the block in front of stretched out leg and draw it towards the body. Bend the other leg. Hold,. Then change legs."

1) NOW: This was no inconvenience to me once I realized that the Main instructions were under each photo in English- ( with 1 or 2 words from each of the 4 languages above under each pose ..and there was Also a typed white page –with fully expanded explanations of all the poses in the 4 languages above- grand- I am not missing out.

BUT I am curious as to why each of the colour photos ( which had the main English language captions under them, did not read ; (GB/ IE/ or IRL)" Half forward bend ...etc"
They could then have added, on the A4 Addendum sheet all the Cos and Lamh contortions they liked( both of the physical and linguistic kind ) under the prefix (IE/Gaelige).
BUT WHY is Lidl Also carrying on the pretence that Irish is not the major spoken language and mother tongue of more than 96% of our population?
And the 2nd language of our plentiful immigrant population?
Fear of offending someone? Or being fined?

2) DOES Pegeen Mike really unroll her Lidl yoga mat and be in grave danger of a Bhriste to her Cos if she does not read instructions in Irish? If answer to 2 is Sea! Then please can Pegeen translate 3 and forward it to this blog:

3) " Kapalabhati consists of alternating short explosive exhales and passive exhales. Here we use naval and diaphragm together. Muscles of thorax are kept contracted. Not recommended for pregnant women due to contractions of lower abdomen. You may safely practise Nadi Suddi ( alternate nostril breathing) instead. All the best!"

4) ( ...aside....) look I too oppose the Gaeliban- but its hard times for all Could I report Lidl for selling cornflakes, condoms etc As Bearla (+ 30,000 other products)? IS there a bounty being offered by the Komissionar? How much? Is there Airgead Mor in snitching on your fellow citizens??

anna said... (Irish Examiner site) - has 90 comments- some Gaelic nuts - mostly irate citizens: 'I couldn't care less if HSE can't give me a leaflet in Irish - if they give me a bed'...

Re latest diktat: I found it on a Green Supremacist site : Viz :
( actually Should be in Viz comic ..anyway)

With this story

“An Chomhdháil welcomes the "practical and sensible (!) recommendations" of An Coimisinéir Teanga “

"Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge welcomes today’s report by An Coimisinéir, re a Review of the Official Language Act 2003. This is part of review of the public service, and is in Programme for Government 2011.
The Act is to ensure better availability and a higher standard of public services through Irish. Public bodies must put in place schemes to achieve this, which last 3 years and are renewable.
In 2009 an Chomhdháil highlighted difficulties with public bodies dragging their heels(!) in confirming schemes. Difficulties arose with starting schemes due to delay in their confirmation. It is necessary to examine new methods (!! ??WHAT methods- I’m a public servant- I'm quaking) of achieving this, including the Categorisation of public bodies as recommended by An Coimisinéir .
(WTF??? : Green stars for public servants who speak the lingo-
Union jack coloured stars for those like me who don't???)
An Chomhdháil welcomes news that parts of the Act, re communication through Irish, and using both official languages in stationery and in signage are being implemented effectively.
It is a cause of concern(!!) to An Chomhdháil that An Coimisinéir had to present 2 reports to the Oireachtas re public bodies who failed to implement recommendations proposed by An Coimisinéir after they had violated(!!) their obligations.
An Chomhdháil welcomes the recommendation by An Coimisinéir for civil service recruitment procedures which recognises*(* does this word translate as 'enforce'?) the benefits of fluency in both official languages.(!)
Kevin De Barra, of Comhdháil Náisiúnta said: "An Coimisinéir's proposals are practical and sensible to improve services through Irish, give value for citizen’s money (!) and in time save the State money.(!)We request an immediate Government review of the Act to ensure the development of Irish language services provided by Public Bodies".

Foilsithe ar 05 Iúil 2011 ( I think that’s 5th July ) doubt you will more of this Bull, sorry I mean Bo, on An Coimisinéir Teanga website

Dakota said...

"GPS data to inform those long-suffering customers of just how late their buses were running." Eh I could tell you that GM without the magic of GPS, at least 30 minutes late.
As for the bit of the Gaelic, sure won't that make the buses get there on time, don't you know. You know how the Irish like their symbols. Won't matter one way or the other if it's Irish you couldn't trust it anyway.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ LimerickAnon. You have my respect... and yes, I have to wonder how all the nonsense surrounding the "promotion" of Gaeilge has been completely counter productive in real terms.

@ Ralph4America. Bloody Hell..even I am amazed at that one.

@ Anna. It is only State/public/taxpayer funded bodies that have to comply with O'Cuiv's Act, so your yoga mat experience is a weird one alright.

If private sector companies were compelled to do so, the MNCs would be gone before you could say "slan", and what little there is of our indigenous industry would be bankrupt in no time.

Unlike the Irish State which... oh, hang on...

@ Dakota. Jasus... 30 mins late is dong well!

anna said...

Dear Gm man, as a public servant I see the Nonsense of this Act- eg, Annual reports by offices within my department now are also written in Irish - tho no one reads them etc.
My office had a stationery letter head ‘The XXX Office’ On the line directly below it also had ‘Le XXX Oifig’. Now we got new stationary- with those 2 lines transposed, Irish on top. These wastages are multiplied endlessly.
I am aware that Government, not private industry has to comply with the Act- BUT if we Were a genuinely bi-lingual country wouldn’t Lidl, Dunne’s , Centra produce goods bi-lingually due to Customer Demand? The many Eastern European grocery shops show our immigrants don’t just want home products- they like to read what’s in them.
BUT Nobody Really DEMANDS products/ services in Irish- it is an artificially created non- existent ‘demand’
My own office was snitched on ; our computer prints off automatic reminder letters to clients re a certain obligation they have every year and a client in the Gaeltacht was very traumatised on getting a letter in English. (I wonder , as he is close to Roscommon was he as incensed re Closing of major emergency services in the hospital there? )
BTW- I knew the Irish language lobby held up the imminent rolling out of post codes - but holding up the electronic bus timetable system? NO I did not know that!!!! I am Gobsmacked!!!!
As I said before Irish is Not THE language of the country - it is A language of the country- couldn’t these nuts even settle for bi lingualism - rather than Green Supremacy?

Anonymous said...



Dakota said...

No GM I was being kind. To tell you the truth I haven't used a dublin bus in years. The most shocking, obnoxious service, certainly in Western Europe. It's a Quango on wheels. Though I have to say, if their was competition it would be fixed anyway (in that subtle irish way). Oh and the oirish language is the official language of the signage in hell.

The Gombeen Man said...

No... not the nicest of environments. The 39 late at night is hell on wheels. Can't imagine many Langauge Commissioner petitioners on it though... ;-)

John said...

there was never any intention to make Irish a univesal language in Ireland it was a tool to keep a certain clique in Goverment jobs, the First commissioner of the Gardai on a goverment report in the 1930's commented on the fact the recruits were not the best educated but had fluent Irish!! I had Irish beaten into me for 12 years and learned nothing , lived 10 years in Germany and speak fluent German. If the goverment are so in favour of the first language then they should it as the language of state business as in the Dail, then we would see who really speaks it.

Language apartheid said...

After reading the post I asked An Coimisinéir Teanga which is supposed to be about language equality why its title was not in Irish and English. THE ANSWER SAYS IT ALL.

My question.

Why is the title of your public service body not translated in English?

Their answer.

xxxx, a chara,

The Houses of the Oireachtas decided on this matter when they enacted the legislation. Section 20 (1) of the Official Languages Act 2003 says:

There is established an office to be known as Oifig Choimisinéir na dTeangacha Oifigiúla and the holder of the office shall be known as An Coimisinéir Teanga and is referred to in this Act as the Commissioner.

I trust this is the information you require.

Is mise, le meas,

Órla de Búrca

Bainisteoir Imscrúduithe

Investigations Manager

Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga

An Spidéal

Co. na Gaillimhe

Anonymous said...

what an aamzing multilingual little paradise in the bitter north atlantic if you didnt choke on the bullshit and paddywhackery ,little wonder the lads in brussels slammed holy oirland with high interest rates when they see this kind of shite not hard to understand the disrespect is it-BH

The Gombeen Man said...

John said "1930's commented on the fact the recruits were not the best educated but had fluent Irish!!"

It does not suprise me, John.. The same occured with teaching, where the main object was Gaelicisation. Probably why there are now so many thicks in the country.

@ BH. We are the joke of the world, mate.

Someone said earlier maybe it's time for a new Language Freedom Movement. Basically this group was set up in the sixties to prevent discrimation against non-Gaeilge speakers who were barred from public jobs and were denied their Leaving Certs (a fail - or not taking - Gaeilge meant you did not get your Leaving Cert, regardless of other results).

O'Cuiv's Act and An Coimisinéir Teanga (as highlighted by "Language Apartheid") is all about returning Ireland to this time. One of the "complaints" made to these jokers is the National Museum must consider proficiency in Gaeilge when appointing employees.

So, if you are an Irish person who does not speak Gaeilge - the majority of us - or Polish, Chinese, Nigerian, English or whatever, you will be effectively barred from employment with that taxpayer funded establishment.

Maybe it is time we got some official lobby group together?

Dakota said...

Gombeen man the joke is far from funny. The only sense I seem to really get is from individuals outside the BOG, not born here. You can have polite, friendly and meaningful conversations with people here but there is no real substance, or understanding of the reality of the situation. Just a cursory acceptance.
I really hate to be the one who constantly states the obvious but this is a land where the only cohesive and articulate group of individuals to organise a mass demonstration, were people on zimmer frames (no disrespect intended). This country is not only the butt of every joke (and it is) now the damage in certain circles is irreversible. Ireland is now and always will be for some, a PIG nation (Portugal, Ireland, Greece). There are not only bad times ahead but also dangerous ones as well. For those who just missed that, no matter how much you would want to sugar the pill there are serious grown up times ahead. Outside but especially inside of ireland. The outside part being little things such as, peak oil, commodity prices, water shortage and an over dependence by the West on China are just the tip of the iceberg. (Time to learn how to bake bread without heat).
The future is bleak for Ireland in the short to medium term. That's not a prediction just a statement of fact. That has to be said. The long term is in the lap of the Gods.

Here I go again stating the bloody obvious, but eh, at the moment in Ireland, it's the HOUSING MARKET STUPID, which is the problem, until that turns there will be no recovery of any substance. People should know that, they are not being told. There will still be just 450,000 people out of work (staggering to think that figure would be nearer to 700,000, if their was no emigration) there will be an increasing black economy, which will destroy the fabric of normality and civility - which are taken for granted in normal countries. There will be a new underclass, crime and violence will be ratcheted up to new norms and the irish people will become even more bovine (could that be possible?). Yes it's that simple and straightforward.

Some individuals will still not see the wood for the trees but any nation that still finds it hard to get off first base will be shagged (I could but it in the venacular but my upbringing prevents me from doing so). Read between the lines, it's the only place anybody who gives a toss on this forlorn isle will see the truth. Either that or get out and stay out.

No amount of THUGGERY, PADDYWACKERY, CRAP and mindless servitute to the CRAIC (that could almost be CRACK aswell) will change the fundamentals of investment. In other words there will be false dawns but the writing is on the wall.

To get back to your post GM are their neurons not connected? Perhaps their synapses not firing? Why would intellignet (lets be kind) individuals want to promote the gaelic language in such a way, at a time of economic depression? Why? Well it's obvious because they can. (Our friends in the UK SHOULD be an example at the moment, you may think you can do whatever the hell you want to whomever but in a real functioning democracy you will always get what you deserve. But this is Ireland.......)

anna said...

From Green Supremacist Site Gaelport, March 2011

“Dublin City Council is launching a Bus Arrival Information Service on behalf of the NTA. The signs beside bus stops let passengerswhen a bus is expected. The service is available in English.
However the public may provide feedback, and a chance to recommend an Irish language version by clicking this link link.
( takes you to National Transport authority- all blog users click it – IN FAVOUR OF ENGLISH SIGNS *** Below is what I posted on the link )
It is of utmost importance that a bilingualism is available(!!!!) and feedback from the public recommending this could achieve it.
This is not the first time that the Irish language has been omitted from electronic signs.
An investigation(!!!) by An Coimisinéir Teanga showed that Dublin City Council had not contravened its statutory language duty re new signs erected in English indicating priority for transport at College Green.(!!!) An Coimisinéir Teanga reported in its finding(!!!) of the case that 'It appeared interesting to the investigation that a decision had been made by one government department (Transport) to restrict the use of Irish on traffic signs while another government department (Community, Rural& GaeltachtAffairs) was bringing into effect new Regulations (Official Language's Act) to extend the use of Irish on general public signage .'
The report highlighted that a hint could be deduced from the communication from the City Council that the omission of Irish was a result of "safety problems which may be caused by bilingual signs"(!!!!) However this safety issue seems to concern Ireland only as electronic bilingual sings are widely used in Wales and Canada.
© 04 Márta 2011 “

** Suggested feedback-
"IGNORE IRISH LANGUAGE LOBBY !!They may want electronic signs also in Irish citing the examples,of Canada and Wales- those countries, are in places, genuinely bilingual- Ireland is NOT – least of all Dublin, a city never in the Gaeltacht.
Keep Dublin bus signs, electronic and others, in English, the language of Dublin citizens.
Enough waste of public money AND disseminating useless information."

...or to be succinct just get on the link , and post " No Irish Electronic bus info!!"

anna said...

‘DUBLIN'S real-time bus signs may have to be redesigned after Outraged Gaeilgeoiri complained .’(Evening Herald March 2011)

Is it not enough millions are spent on Irish IN the Gaeltacht- and on ensuring a good quality of life IN the Gaeltacht- without language Nazis playing havoc with the English speaking part of the nation? Please tell me when Viking founded Dublin Was Ever, in 1000 years, a majority Irish speaking city?
West Brits/Normans/ Norsemen lie down, is that it??
There’s a jackboot terminology on posts lifted from Language Commissioner and Gaelport: Ma Stor, the outrage, the horror of it all! And By Dia they are Determined they will hunt malefactors- you’d think it was a worthy campaign to get after, say, the kidnappers, false imprisoners and torturers of the illegal Magdalene laundry prisons.
A poster under the ‘Breaking News’ article says this comes from Irish language careerists. He knew a bunch of Gaeltacht school kids, native speakers, who did not get One A1 in Leaving Cert Irish as their pronunciation of some words was not ‘refined’ enough for Irish language careerists in Dublin! What kind of made up blend is the ’official’ language version?: In Reality Connemara and Donegal find it hard to understand each other: There’s also a south Armagh version and I gather in the 60’s Leinster Irish was also disregarded in favour of Connemara
My guess is there must have been 4+ versions so a unifying ‘Irish ‘ never even covered the country.
Do we need a unifying language now? Yes - instead of favouring 1 version of Irish over another- or even forcing a Dublin 4 ‘Irish Esperanto’ on the nation, we’ll stick with the national language we have- ENGLISH.
BTW I am a one time editor and had to slash and burn through material by the Kommisioner /Gaelport. Despite my 50% cuts they need More editing to be Brief/ Readable:
padded out as they were with redundant words , repeated phrases, needless pompous long-windedness etc….
It is clear with such sloppy writing these bodies serve little useful function- as who is going to read badly written garbage?
Yet the Komissioner has More Powers than our million Euro tribunals. When the Mahon Tribunal Finally reports it won’t have power to Even fine Bertie Ahern One cent.
But these bodies have powers to fine, AND Order public bodies to waste, possibly millions, on ‘correcting’ these ‘outrageous’ omissions of Irish

For the Sake of sanity and to save our Last Euros, Please ALL READERS GET ON THAT LINK TO National Transport authority.
Just post:

“ Enough humouring Amadans/ Sleveens/ Gaelic nuts.
We waited long enough for these English electronic signs. Don’t waste any more money. NO ELECTRONIC IRISH LANGUAGE SIGNS !!!”

DON’T publish them - and be dammed.
Pay the fines instead - No Don’t pay them!!- to hell with it
Let us join our Brethren in Alabama:
Remember Rosa Parkes who bravely stood up to segregationists in the 60’s? When blacks - the majority of Mongomery’s bus passengers- were discriminated against.?
Can Dublin Bus bravely join the citizens of Dublin in their battle against Green Supremacists and Irish Language Kommissioner, in boycotting nonsense Irish signs?
Could the Dublin Bus boycott join the Montgomery Bus Boycott as one of the stirring seminal points in modern civil rights movements?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am a learner of Irish and have been for a long while now. I dont believe the government have any interest in reviving the language at all. And i have to look long and hard at why this is the case. some of the comments above make alot of sense.

But I won't apologize for loving the Irish Language (even with the shocking way it was taught in school). And I have no problem with signage being in irish and english, in fact, it shouldnt be a big deal really, they do it in wales and other countries without much difficulty.

Limerickanon, it is a shame you decide not to speak Irish because of the elitism that exists withhin the Irish language organisations. And I know there is a section that look down upon particular us Dubs who dont speak as others do in the country. Ive actually had someone correct me. It annoys me to hear this, if you have good irish and can speak it, its just proof how the government is making errors with theri "strategy". If you notice the gov. ministers are well able to speak Irish no problem to them they have been lucky i believe to get the opportunity. But there is a section of irish speakers that want to keep the language to themselves they donot wish to share it at all. Why i do not know.

anna said...

To last poster: I don't have any problem with anyone loving the irish langauge and I don't want to see it die out BUT :
* Irish should Never have been made 1st langauge- it is NOT The langauge of the country it is A langauge- English is the langauge of 96% .
Sign posts should ONLY be bilingual in Gaeltacht areas - you can't compare this to other countries who have bi lingual signs in GENUIENLY BI -LINGUAL AREAS.
* Why do soem Government ministers speak good Irish? Many went to private elite schools- elites can afford to jump hurdles like this.My internal phone directory of my Government job also shows langauge skills_ clerks are twice as likely to speak French than Irish BUT far more of the Higher better educated grades can speak Irish than at clerks grade.- and/ or another language

The Gombeen Man said...

Anon. I do not doubt the establishment's sincerity in trying to transform Ireland into Gaelic-speaking country... it was a key plank of the new Irish political elite's policy after it acquired independence.

Indeed, "Gaelicisation" took priority over education itself - a policy which saw children leaving school with hardly an eduation at all in the 50s and 60s.

This cultural nationalist policy - a key underpinning of the State - ran in tandem with the overbearing influence of the Catholiic Church in civil affairs. To be honest, I'd like to see the cultural nationalists and their cupla focal (for that's all many of them have) and their whole doctrine of Gaelicism being synonomous with "Irishness" go the same way as the priests.

As far as bi-lingual signage goes - I think it is a waste of money... especially when they deliberately want to make the spoken langauge of our country - Hiberno English - secondary (a part of the odious O'Cuiv's Official Language Act). There is not one - not one - mononglot Gaelic speaker in the country.

Furthermore, we do not have bi-lingual signage at present. Gaeltacht signs are in Gaelic only. Local councils actually go and paint out the English placenames on old signage! This is true and is documented elsewhere on the blog. All, of course, in sharp contrast to Anna's example of bi-lingual signage in Wales existing in parts of that country where the two languages are widely spoken.

For my part, I'm off to push for parity of esteem for Old Norse in the Viking city of Dublin. And then Norman French. And then Old and Middle English. But then let us not forget the Britons, who where here before the Celts (they spoke Brittonic, a P-Celtic langauge, not Gaelic).

You see... where does it all end?

Anonymous said...

Gombeen man I am clearly not educated to your level so cannot comment on all your writing, many of the words I just dont understand and dont have time to go to the dictionary, but donto know why use the word Gaelic each time you refer to the Irish Language?

Anna Good points there about the political elite. But you feel "Irish should Never have been made 1st langauge- it is NOT The langauge of the country it is A langauge- English is the langauge of 96%" .

I disagree completely. Is it not the case that the majority of people speak English to to a process of colonization? we spoke this language before we were anglicized and forced to give to give up our native language, leaving many of us (presumably some here) with a hatred of the language, and some like myself with a lack of confidence in speaking it particularly around those with that awful pin they wear.

You and others have the choice to continue to speak in English and those that choose like me to learn or those that wish to speak it have to be given that right as well. Even the unionists agree to that.

In a world of sameness I think The Irish would do well economically as well to promote language and culture on this island.

Well I will continue to learn the language that I love, the words the sounds etc.

Good reading the posts and great learning for me here. Slan

Ella said...

@ANON 11H39 fair play to you for wishing to increase your knowledge of Irish. In fact it was one of my favourite subject in school. The problem was that I was one of about 3 pupils who actually wanted to learn and the majority won out. Myself, nowadays I prefer to concentrate on FR and DE, as I feel they are more useful to me. By the time I left school I had a far superior knowledge of both FR and DE than I did of Irish, even though I'd been learning that since the age of 4 and the other 2 since the age of 12.
My objection to Irish nowadays is the industry created around it which the rest of us will never have a chance to partipate in but will be expected to fund.

Anthony said...

@Anonymous: I'm tired of the bullshit about "we spoke this language before we were anglicized and forced to give to give up our native language...".

I was born in Ireland in the 1950s and grew up speaking English. That's my native language, not Gaeilge. Gaeilge is a language that was forced down my throat when I was at school, along with its ugly sisters, Anglophobia and the Irish Catholicism. That was the holy trinity of Irish education. It sucked then, it sucks now, and I give the finger to the lot of them and anyone who wants to tell me what my native language is or should be.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ella, this will be last post dont want to be butting in too much but find it all very interesting. we had a brilliant Irish teacher in secondary school, she used to bring us to the theatre in Ballymun for drama in Irish and students learnt more through it than sitting in the classroom. I love French as well i have to say but get no use out of it at all. Yes the industry that has grown up has jobs for a very small click of people, i am presently making a complaint about a particular Irish language organisation funded by government which has its website translated to English bar one particular document that they wont translate because they dont want English speakers or those not fluent in irish to get this particlar info, and they have told me this in an e mail. it is shocking and they have been allowed to become an ellite. I also complaned to their funding bodies.

Hi Anthony, I dont believe what i have said was bullshit, its not even an opinion but the truth. I am not talking about you just you and thats fine you speak Englisha and nobody will force you to speak nothing more than what you sayis your first language. So that should go for the other people on the island of ireland Anthony they too should be able to use or strive to use their firt language. The good friday agreement was signed by 98% of the population and it deems both languages equal. Just noticed a pseudonym is required. Bree

The Gombeen Man said...

Bree. The legislation pertinent in relation to the promotion of Gaeilge down here is Dev's 1937 Constitution which made Gaeilge the "First Language" and later O'Cuiv's Official Languages Act, not the GFA. O'Cuiv told a select group of Gaeilgeori in Spiddal that "English speakers would not allow it (his Official Languages Act) if they know about it", so your experience with regard to documentation does not surprise me.

I am with Anthony on this one. My view - and it is expounded throughout the blog - is that the promotion of Gaeilge as a badge of authentic Irishness is a legacy of cultural nationalists such as Pearse, de Valera and all the rest.

English has been Dublin's administrative and spoken language since Henry II's Royal Charter. Before that it was a Viking city. So How far do cultural nationalists want to turn back the clock?

I have already pointed out that Brittonic was the language of Ireland (and Britain) before Gaelic. As a Dubliner, English is my language. It has been spoken for hundreds of years in this country, and there is nothing to suggest my ancestors are not Normans, Vikings, English settlers, Scottish Settlers, Picts, or any of the rest. Not necessarily the mythical Gael of Dev, Paddy Pee and all the rest.

You speak of "language equality". How come then, that Dublin City Council - inspired by an FF and Shinner proposal - have banned the use of English for future buildings and streets in Dublin? There is more about this on the blog.

O'Cuiv's Act, incidentally, was originally planned as the Languages Equality Act, until they realised it was about giving Gaeilge precedence over the spoken language of the country.

Can you tell me, Bree, why you insist on considering a language, that by your own admission you don't properly speak (despite compulsory Gaeilge at school) your "first language"?

Anthony said...

Bree, it's not "the truth". My parents spoke English, my grandparents spoke English. If earlier generations spoke Gaeilge, I simply don't care. Hundreds of years from now my descendents may speak Chinese. Why should I worry about this? I have to live my life in my times, not dwell on cultural changes that took place in different generations.

As to the "colonization" complaint, again, so what? Does the average person in Britain fret that the Romans came and left things like roads and baths? Of course not.

But if one is to be a real "Gael", then according to the bullshit from whacked-out, anti-British bigots and tootie-fruities like Pearse and de Valera, one has to forever carry a grudge against the people who built roads, railways, universities, a legal system, hospitals, and so on, in Ireland. Moreover, one has to buy into their comical language doctrines that to this day force school children to learn an utterly useless language that was spoken in rural areas hundreds of years ago.

Like Gombeen Man, I grew up in an Irish city. The Irish I was forced to learn consisted of such useful vocabulary for an urban dweller as "capall", "muc", and "spéirbhean". I long ago lost all patience with this buffoonery, and I'm now bitter and resentful of the waste of my time caused by the jackasses of the Gaelic Revival movement, Gaelgeoirs, etc. If you want to speak Irish then fine. But please don't expect the majority of people to take any interest in your hobby, or pay for it, or be inconvenienced by it.

anna said...

Bree I am a 50 yr old from NI- No compulsory Irish when I started school-
A number of catholic schools did teach it but it is STILL not compulsory.
I did 3 years Irish at catholic grammar school, then dropped it – junior Cert level- as the school didn't make it compulsory after. (Should be done here)
Tho I am not fluent- I know far more than workmates who did 12 yrs here.
I am now developing fluency in other languages...(someday I may learn more Irish.)
BTW a NI relative of mine, qualified in a no of languages-and now works in Irish language media- There IS more enthusiasm for Irish in NI-as it is Not compulsory.
It's not even due to bad teaching here – it's many people here correctly suss the con job it is- it's not their mother language, it is only 1 strand of Irish culture etc. like Hitler telling Germans they were a superior race of Aryans etc.
An Anon poster (maybe you) talks about how" he /she is forced to speak a language that is not your own, and that you hate etc!!"
How is it I NEVER EVER HEAR THIS Nonsense from NI Catholics- or Scots or welsh??
ONLY Southern Irish Catholics!! (And hatred of the British- I met a young girl with 1 southern Irish parent in NI who told an English friend how Funny the Warrenpoint bomb was (18 British soldiers died in 1979) The girl replied – that 1 had been her brother. I Never saw this Hatred in NI born and bred Catholics)
Brainwashing is part of the bad education that once flourished down here. People in NI, Scotland and Wales Don't have culturally inculcated hatred of the large part of their identities that was/ is shaped by Mainland Britain—over many centuries.
And people in All these regions are comfortable with English as their mother tongue: it's my language, my parents, grandparents, great grandparents...probably well beyond great grandparents.... how can I regard any other language as my mother tongue? Did Irish Ever have blanket coverage of this country?? My red and blonde haired parents may have been Vikings- we grew up close to a small Viking town: If my genes were identified as ½ Irish/ ½
Viking, what language should I speak?
Keep Irish alive in areas where it still is spoken- give student grants to anyone else who wants to learn it at special centres, in their own free time;
BUT it isn't Even 'Bi' lingual- Bi = half = 50%.
HOW can a language spoken by Four (4%) arrogantly even disdain the Bilingual status that Could be claimed IF spoken by Fifty (50%) - in favour of being the "National" Language!!! (I.e. 100% coverage!!!) ENOUGH Green Supremacist Cultural Brainwashing!!!

Anonymous said...


3) " Kapalabhati consists of alternating short explosive exhales and passive exhales. Here we use naval and diaphragm together. Muscles of thorax are kept contracted. Not recommended for pregnant women due to contractions of lower abdomen. You may safely practise Nadi Suddi ( alternate nostril breathing) instead. All the best!"

"Ailtéarnú idir asanálaithe gearra pléascacha agus íon-análaithe éighníomhacha atá ann i gcleachta "Kapalabhati". Úsáidtear an t-imleacán agus an spiara le chéile. Coimeádtar matáin an tóracs craipithe. De bharr na gcrapthaí sa bholg íochtair, ní mholtar é seo do mná atá torrach. Is féidir leat "Naddi Sudi" (análú trí phoill sróine ailtéarnacha)a chleachta ina ionad. Go n-éirí leat!"

"All the best!", was included as I doubt that a "one time editor" would misplace a quotation mark. I did, however, translate "navel" in place of "naval".

To answer your confusion, Lidl sometimes throws in a cúpla focail on products and catalogs as it thinks it is good PR for the company with people who have more positive feelings about the Irish language than most readers of this blog would.

Other companies that offer limited services in Irish for PR purposes include Facebook, Google and possibly Tesco if you count signs in aisles.

Disclaimer: I work as a translator yes, but translate only German-> English professionally (ie. for money). I frequent between Ireland and Germany a lot, I feel quite at home in the Germany and at home with the German language and culture. I am an Irish-speaker (obviously), I consider the languages I speak all to be of equal worth and I also have many German friends.

Therefore, I would like to add that I find your comment comparing supporters of the Irish language to "Hitler telling Germans they were a superior race of Aryans etc." both insane and offensive on so many levels that I do not know where to begin. I find it hard to believe that such a comment would be allowed on a moderated forum.

Mise le Meas,
Herr Übersetzer

The Gombeen Man said...

Well, Herr Übersetzer , I must admit to being a bit überrascht by it all. All the more so considering Lidl's claim to fame as a no-nonsense, cost-cutting retailer. But I suppose it does create a bit of Überstunden for translators.

What worries me, is how many Germans might think that Gaelic is the spoken language of Ireland, based on the evidence of the trilcoloured text before them?

Ironic, as much of the inward investment to Ireland is based on the fact that we are an English-speaking country. That and the tax breaks, of course.

I think Anna's reference is based on the late Ninteenth/early Twentieth cultural revivalists who tried to promote the spurious idea of a Gaelic race. Every bit as spurious as an Aryan one. Such nation-building ideas, based on myth, religion and cultural nationalism, were prevalent in Europe at that time.

As for misplaced quotation marks, I would not get too hung up on that. If you don't mind me saying, I think it is a bit of a cheap shot.

Anyone can make a typo or a mistake - Typos do not invalidate arguments. What's more, once you post, that is it. There is no editing.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the typos, I wouldn't have pointed it out had it not been for the complaints about "badly written garbage" and the "I am a one time editor and had to slash and burn through material by the Kommisioner /Gaelport" remark made by Anna. I certainly do not make a habit of pointing such things out, unless of course someone is complaining about the standard of someone else's writing.

Secondly, I think you'll find that the phrasing of "It's not even due to bad teaching here – it's many people here correctly suss the con job it is- it's not their mother language, it is only 1 strand of Irish culture etc. like Hitler telling Germans they were a superior race of Aryans etc" most probably refers to the present day rather than to Ireland one hundred years ago.

And thirdly, comparing either the bilingualism pushers of today or even the most radical language zealots of yesteryear to Hitler, someone who was responsible for at least 60,000,000 deaths in Europe, in order to make a rhetorical point is distasteful to say the very least. I stand by my "insane and offensive" remark.

Closing on a lighter note, yes, the deep irony of only large multinational companies having the resources to spare to provide basic services in Irish, companies that are attracted here as a result Ireland's historical language shift to English, does bring a very wry smile to my face. Amusing stuff indeed. But then again, how many times is the word "Lidl" visible on this page? Think of the "product awareness" this might be giving Lidl amongst your readership.

Friendly Mom and Pop company Microsoft is yet another one for the "Seirbhísí as Gaeilge" list. Perhaps Gombeen Man and his readers could organise a boycott, switching to Apple OS, ditching Facebook for MySpace, shopping only in Aldi and searching the net with good old Yahoo based on this shocking intel.

The Gombeen Man said...

I think people go to Lidl because it is cheaper, pure and simple. Certainly not to see a bit of token Gaeilge on their Yoga mat instructions.

Maybe some people might be influenced by suchlike - be it a Tescos "failte" or the departed Waterstones having a bit of Gaeilge above bookshelves containing English-language books (ironically, the best bookstore I know, Chapters - an Irish one - doesn't bother with the charade).

It depends on what you see as worthwhile, but if some people are so easily pleased, what can I say? That's marketing for the margins, I suppose.

As far as businesses in general and "resources" go, it's simply a case of there not being a demand for products or media as Gaeilge - outside the artificial "market" created by the State, and subsidised by the taxpayer. Take away those, and see what happens.

And that's after 89 years of failed revivalist policies, which served - and serve - only to alienate people from the ideals (such as they were) of the State's founding fathers.