Stad Nuacht Falsa!



This morning.

Smithfield, Dublin 7

Emma Ní Cheallacháin at the Mythbusting launch to mark the end of Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia.


Via Conradh na Gaeilge:

There are many myths surrounding the Irish language, some of which are centuries old, others which have only come to the fore in recent years, including the idea that Irish is somehow a “dead language” or that Gaelscoileanna are elitist.

Today, Conradh na Gaeilge is launching Mythbusting, an awareness campaign to challenge misinformation about the Irish language with a series of videos and nationwide talks with Colm Ó Broin. All details can be found here

Translation: Tá go leor miotas a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge, roinnt acu atá ar an bhfód leis na céadta bliain agus cinn eile ar cumadh iad as an nua le déanaí, an tuairim gur ‘teanga mharbh” í an Ghaeilge ina measc. Tá Conradh na Gaeilge ag obair le Colm Ó Broin chun na ‘fíricí ailtéirneacha’ is coitianta faoin teanga a bhréagnú le sraith d’fhíseáin i mBéarla agus de chainteanna ar fud na tíre. Tá gach eolas ar anseo.
Tá Emma Ní Cheallacháin ó Shligeach le feiceáil ag seoladh an fheachtais Mythbusting i Margadh na Feirme, Baile Átha Cliath inniu (Déardaoin, 16 Márta 2017) chun Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia a thabhairt chun críche.


Mythbusting (Conradh na Gaeilge)

Pic: Conor McCabe

46 thoughts on “Stad Nuacht Falsa!

    1. Kieran NYC

      No, it’s never Irish teachers’/curriculum writers’ fault.

      We’re all just thick, you see. Even when students seem to do well with other subjects.

      So lets keep the Irish curriculum the exact same and hey, maybe students will suddenly just ‘get’ it.

      1. classter

        There are reasons other than ‘being thick’ or poor teaching that explain why there is clearly a reasonably large proportion of students who haven’t made great use of the education time devoted to Irish. We also have a very poor standard of foreign languages compared to almost any non-Anglophone developed country.

        Each student is different but there are cultural factors which mitigate against Irish – cultural cringe, an embarrassment at not speaking one’s native language, a rebellion against a perceived sense of Irish as a ‘nationalistic’ language, ‘competing’ with the world’s most dominant & culturally significant language in English, a general attitude of indifference to language learning amongst Anglophone, a general utuilitarian stance towards education etc.

        Certainly my father ticks a couple of the boxes above and has no Irish whatsoever, whilst my mother received the same sort of education in a similar sort of school at the same time and has fluent Irish.

        I don’t disagree that teaching could be improved but it is also an easy get-out clause as well.

        1. ahjayzis

          The teaching and curriculum is diabolical.

          They KNOW most leave school with very little conversational skill, it’s blatantly obvious if you spend a day in Ireland – but still it’s all about themes in obscure poetry you wouldn’t read in your first language let alone a second.

          You’re shifting blame in a big way. People cringe at it because the woman on the tape talking to Pol about the disco is transparently a 93 year old woman. When you’re learning about food and travel in French class you’re memorising paragraphs of, literally, old folk sayings you can’t understand to recite in an Irish oral. People cringe because the subject matter and medium is cringeworthy and out of date – if you wanted to design a curriculum that turns kids and teenagers off, you’d call the DofE.

          1. classter

            Maybe I am shifting a blame.

            But actually few Irish people emerge with any level of fluency in any language.

            I accept that we typically learn Irish for longer.

          2. classter

            The irony of discussing fluency while having weird typos in my English is not lost on me.

    2. Increasing Displacement

      “Nearly 2 million people in Ireland have some knowledge of Irish”.


      If your selling point is ‘its not a dead language’ then its has old age and is suffering organ failure or a fatal disease. More than 2 million people have knowledge of religion and that’s about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. But I see you’re playing on the crowd mentality…

      You should talk to new Nokia, they seem to know how to revive dead things, if that’s your goal. Because this is just furthering my belief that the language is now on expensive life support, and has no real chance of recovery.

      Seriously does every road sign in the country need Irish on it? Is there enough people that don’t speak any English to warrant that kind of material and financial waste?

      1. classter

        I speak fluent English (or near enough!) but I want to see Irish on road signs. I would be very annoyed at any elected official who removed it or was complicit in its removal.

        Realistically, there are enough people who feel the same as me that road signs will remain bilingual for the forseeable future.

        1. Increasing Displacement

          What’s the purpose? To fulfil your/their wants? Just so you feel better about yourself? Joke of a comment, and that’s being fair. It’s rubbish beliefs like such that keep the church here.

          1. classter

            I like it, partly because I love Irish as a language. I like the direct link (usually) to the origin of the placename, often quite ancient. It also interests me when the English & Irish-language name are quite different. I like the slightly local flavour in a world which is increasingly homogenised. I like that native Irish speakers are being catered to in some small way.

            You may describe these sentiments as ‘rubbish beliefs’ if you want but personally, I think they make more sense as thinking there is any non-negligible saving to be made by removing Irish from road signs. Do you genuinely believe that?

            I don’t actually believe that you are as illogically utilitarian or pennypinching as you suggest. Instead you simply don’t like Irish. That’s fine but be honest.

          2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            It’s like that play I saw by yer man about Irish place names. You know the one. Very interesting.
            I hope this aids the discussion.

          3. Increasing Displacement

            Hate is a strong word. I dislike it due to school and the disgruntled aggressive teachers who taught it to me.

            Do I think that removing 30% of the materials needed to make something would decrease the cost? Yes.

          4. classter

            The materials are a small part of the cost of road-signs and road-signs are a small part of the cost of the road network and the difference in size between Irish signs and monolingual signs are small.

            When you put it together the potential saving is miniscule

            And that’s ignoring the costs of re-designing the current standard signs.

          5. classter

            In fact, do you even have any evidence that bilingual road signs are cheaper to procure than monolingual ones?

            Do road signs installed at the edge of Quebec cost more than those just over the border in New Brunswick?

          6. Increasing Displacement

            Do I have any evidence that a decrease in required materials would decrease costs? You are kidding right?
            I just made that as a single point, as an example of the 1000s of other places Irish is unnessessarily used…be it sign, print, internet, schools. And all that requires money and time and resources.

            But let’s go on this one. And this is Ireland not Canada. We have no raw material and little to no manufacturing.

            The footprint of a sign is roughly 30% larger due to the extra text. More metal, more coatings, more print. It will also require a larger post to accommodate the higher wind load. Which would require a larger foundation. This is just basic, more material = more cost. We are talking about signs not the general cost of building roads.

            Now…Would a it have been cheaper to produce 10s of 1000s of smaller signs if we had gone with the logic that people only need them in English? 100%

            But according to you small savings don’t add up.

            It’s a dying language. It ain’t on it’s way back, I’d tell yourself that in Irish, maybe you’d listen to it in dying language.

    3. Odockatee

      Over the course of whenever Irish being compulsorily taught, I reckon that must be millions no? The state is 90 odd years old with a population of 3-4 million over that time. That’s what I base the calculation on.

      1. Rob_G

        Billions, at this stage. It must account for at least 15% of the education budget each year.

    4. ahjayzis

      “Just to be clear, I am in favour of Irish but I disagree with its propping up by the state”

      I’m opposed to it being sabotaged by the state. The teaching of Irish, after the guts of a century, has not brought Irish back, and has instilled a fairly widespread disdain and even hatred for the language.

      There’s no joy in it, it’s a struggle. Drumming a poem about a dead seagull in a second language into a child isn’t conducive to liking the subject.

      1. Nigel

        I’m becoming more and more convinced that it has less to do with the way it was or is taught than with some deeply embedded post-colonial hangup in our psyche. Lots of people who go back to Irish later in life discover they have way more than they supposed, and achieve fluency quite quickly.

        1. ahjayzis

          Sure. Seanfhocals, geriatrics voicing teenagers on aural tapes, and obscure poetry has nothing to do with it. Kids fupping love that.

          They’re all just self-loathing West Brits.

          1. Nigel

            This has been going for a long time, long enough for an ingrained resistance to keep the language from being properly modern and a part of modern culture, which it badly needs. I’m not saying it couldn’t have been taught better by any means, but the same people who taught Irish taught all the other subjects as well, and in general people manged to get through school without acquiring an allergy to them.

        2. ahjayzis

          Apportioning blame to absolutely everyone but the system responsible for promoting the thing that’s failing. I may be self-loathing when I say this, but that’s the most Irish thing ever.


          Health system,
          Industrial Schools.
          Language revival.

          Sure we’re all in it so no one’s/thing’s responsible. Unfixable.

          1. Nigel

            I can see the importnce in apportioning blame to institutions for the laundries and industrial schools, and the importance of systemic reform for health care, I can see the importance of having a long hard look at how effective educational approaches have been to keeping the language alive, I don’t see why any of that would preclude examining Irish attitudes to the language in the years since Independence without having a hissy fit.

          2. classter

            One might equally argue in general terms that blaming ‘the system’ instead of taking personal responsibility is ‘the most Irish thing ever’.

  1. Sam

    Sure how could it be a dead language when those hip up to date folks at the Church of Scientology are hiring a translator to produce their waffle in Irish?

  2. Fully Keen

    I love Irish.

    I don’t speak it. Or want to speak it. Or force my children to speak it.

    I love Irish.

  3. Mahoney

    past and current curriculum’s have failed to produce any level of fluency among the populace, this boondoggle wont change this. also, Irish is a crude and inexpressive language, the failure to revive it during the founding of the state has left it lagging behind, and therefore it has failed to evolve into a practical language to adopt.

    1. classter

      I don’t think that the Irish state or public were ever sufficiently committed to the revival of Irish to support the sort of compulsion necessary – think Hebrew in the early days of Israel and French in Quebec.

      But saying that ‘Irish is a crude and inexpressive language’ is patently false. I am fluent in Irish but am a native English speaker and I still can often express a subtlety in Irish which is more difficult in English.

      This might partially be the consequence of having a relatively smaller number of speakers. The large numbers of widely distributed, English speakers means that words often lose their associated specific sub-meanings. Think of the debate on these threads recently about the meaning of ‘to refute’ or the way that ‘literally’ no longer always means ‘literally’, a fact that a number of dictionaries have accepted.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          Maybe you should pay more attention to your (mis)use of the English language instead of bashing Irish.

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