Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Journey of the Irish Language 

It is very clear to see that the Irish language is very important to the Irish culture. Irish was spoken as early as the 3rd century, making it one of the oldest languages in Europe. Along with Scottish Gaelic and Manx, Irish belong to one branch of the Insular Celtic group. Although Irish was spoken as early as the 3rd century, it lacked written form until the 5th Century. Spoken Irish was fused with Latin and it produces the written version. 

Henry VIII proclaimed himself the "King of Ireland" in 1541 and declared that the inhabitants only use English tongue, banning Irish. However in 1558 Anglican clergy were required to learn Irish during the reign of Elizabeth I. She ordered the Bible to be translated into Irish and had it published in 1602. During this time, Trinity College was established and was chosen to house many of the finest Irish transcripts in the Long Room.

Long Room at Trinity College 

In 1831 the language of the classroom was switched to English. 14 years later the Great Famine hit Ireland, it took many Irish speakers lives. Irish was not longer spoken by the government and was vastly declining. Only 680,000 Irish speakers were left by 1891 and most of them lived in small remote areas. 

After the Irish language took a hard hit, the Conradh na Gaeilge was founded in 1893 with the goal of preserving the Irish language. They promoted Irish in spoken means of communication and literature. The Irish language was starting to rise. Numbers were raised and it was time to let the Irish language revive itself throughout Ireland. Today, the Irish language is taught in schools and is continuing to grow, 

The wearing of a Fainne pin links a person to the Irish language. This pin shows that you are able and willing to speak Irish. This pin comes in two different colors that relates to how well you speak the language. A silver Fainne is worn by a person who is a beginner in learning Irish. The gold or Seafhainne Fainne is worn by people who speak fluent Irish. The Fainne is worn by Irish speakers all around the world. It shows the pride that they take in the Irish language. 

Irish is very important to literature. Many great readings have came from the Irish language. We got the chance to read a few Irish folktales and if it wasn't for the manuscript of Irish language, we wouldn't have gotten this opportunity. I feel like the Irish language is very important to the culture because it shows the struggles they went through to be able to speak their native tongue. 

1 comment:

  1. Overall, i thought it was really interesting that the Irish language was completely banned in order to try and make the Irish "more English". Stealing the language from one is definitely a way to rob the identity of specific culture. During the lecture in Derry, i found it interesting that the use of the Irish language is still forbidden in the courts. And that this law is the only penal law still in effect. Its cool to now know people who are fighting for those rights to get this law changed, showing that this language is still very important to the people of Ireland, like you said!