Welsh is an official language in Wales and Irish is an official language of Ireland and of the European Union. Welsh is the only Celtic language not classified as endangered by UNESCO. The Cornish and Manx languages went extinct in modern times. They have been the object of revivals and now each has several hundred second-language speakers.
- What Is ‘The Gaeltacht’?
- A Source of Irish-Language Learning
- Culturally Enriching
- Once An Irish-Speaking Island
- Irish Outside of The Gaeltacht Regions
The term ‘Gaeltacht’ is used to denote those areas in Ireland where the Irish language is, or was until the recent past, the main language spoken by the majority of the local population. The Gaeltacht covers extensive parts of counties Donegal(external link opens in a new window / tab), Mayo(external link opens in a new window / tab), Galway (external link opens in a new window / tab)and Kerry (external link opens in a new window / tab)– all along the western seaboard – and also parts of counties Cork(external link opens in a new window / tab), Meath (external link opens in a new window / tab)and Waterford(external link opens in a new window / tab).The Donegal Gaeltacht is the most popular destination for learners of Ulster Irish, the closest link to the indigenous dialect once flourishing all over Ulster. The map below shows the locations of Gaeltacht colleges participating in the Líofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme;
The Gaeltacht has a central role to play in the learning of Irish. Learners of Irish flock to Gaeltacht regions year after year recognising it as a rich source in which to learn and practise Irish, as Irish can be heard in all aspects of daily life. Attending Gaeltacht courses allows learners and speakers to immerse themselves in Irish and to enrich and develop their vocabulary. There are a vast range of courses for adults, teenagers and families throughout Ireland.
Another central aspect of the Gaeltacht is the experience of being steeped in the living vibrancy of Irish on a daily basis and in rich Gaelic heritage and culture such as traditional song, literature, dance, folklore and history. Often this enriching context is the motivation for learners to become more fluent or ‘Líofa’ in Irish.
Although the official Gaeltacht regions are confined to various areas of the island today, the entire island of Ireland, north and south, was an Irish-speaking Gaeltacht for many centuries. It was only in the 17th century that English began to be spoken on a widespread basis. Although today Irish is not the first language spoken by the majority of people on this island, those early Irish speakers have left us a heritage that has survived and indeed is very much alive today in our townlands, place names and family names and there is a surge of growth in usage and learning Irish outside the Gaeltacht regions.
It should be pointed out that Irish or the learning of Irish is most certainly not confined to official Gaeltacht regions. Indeed there are lots of opportunities to use and learn Irish all over Ireland and further afield. Irish is taught in many schools and thousands of children and young people all over the island are educated through the medium of Irish. Irish is the language in the home of many families, north and south, beyond Gaeltacht regions. In the late 1960’s a group of Irish-speaking families set up an urban Gaeltacht on Shaw’s Road, Belfast. In recent years a Gaeltacht Quarter has been established in West Belfast, for example, where people can live, work and go to school through the medium of Irish.
People also ask
What is the name of the language spoken in Ireland?
Where does the history of the Irish language begin?
Where did the Celtic language of Gaelic come from?
Where can I learn the Irish language outside of Ireland?
- Where Did Gaelic Come from?
- Who Were The Gaels?
- What Is The Difference Between Scottish and Irish Gaelic?
- Translation Difficulties
To trace the roots of the Gaelic language, you have to look back to the “parent” language family: in this case, Celtic. We don’t know a lot about Gaels who brought the Gaelic language here, but we do know that they gradually spread southward towards what is now inland Ireland and Scotland, and they brought the early Celtic language with them. Gaelic itself came from a language spoken by people called the Gaels, who came from North Eastern Ulster(a northern province in Ireland) down to the islands of Caledonia and the northwestern coastlands of Ireland in the fifth century. Today, six Celtic languages remain, including Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Welsh, Breton, Cornish, and Manx.
We know that the Gaels’ power waxed and waned dramatically through the ages. In 390 BC, they were strong enough defeat Rome with its then-massive empire in full pomp. They travelled through Europe and left their mark on areas now known as France, England, Ireland and Scotland before they were eventually crushed by the Roman Empire. Relatively new archaeological evidence — a calendar in early Gaulic — suggests that the Gaels arrived in England as early as 3200 BC and 600 BC as historians previously thought. This suggests that the Celtic languages (of which Gaelic is one) has far deeper roots than previously thought.
Though both came from the same source, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are very distinct from each other. There’s some argument about whether they are different dialects of the same language or different languages altogether, but the fact is — they sound very different. Each nation has its own dialect and vocabulary. The spelling and pronunciation of many words differ between the two as well. Some northern Irish people can understand Scottish Gaelic and vice versa, but in other parts of the countries, the two Gaelics are not typically considered mutually intelligible. In Ireland, Gaelic (called Irish by those who live there) is recognized as the official language of the nation, and it is required to be taught in all government-funded schools. Meanwhile in Scotland, English is the official language and Gaelic is recognised as a minor language.
The future of the Celtic languages is unsure. Despite revitalisation efforts, English remains the overwhelmingly dominant language in many areas that once spoke primarily Celtic languages. Yet Gaelic translationtoday can be tricky, thanks to the varying dialects and the orthographic and pronunciation difficulties between Irish and Scottish Gaelic. English, the linguistic invader from the south, adds to the linguistic soup of the region. A skilled Gaelic translator is familiar with these variations and they’re the best resource when you’re working with other professionals on the other side of a linguistic divide. At Global Language Services, we offer interpretation and translation. We have offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness to support your translation needs. To find out if Global Language Services can help provide the Gaelic translation to meet your next business goal, secure a new partnership, or explore new connections, give us a call.
Since the late eighteenth century, English has been the predominant first language, displacing Irish. A large minority claims some ability to use Irish, and it is the first language for a small percentage of the population.
The languages that we refer to today as being of Celtic origin are Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Breton and Cornish. These six languages are known as the Insular Celtic languages because they originated in what are known as the British Isles.
It is believed that Irish remained the majority tongue as late as 1800 but became a minority language during the 19th century. It is an important part of Irish nationalist identity, marking a cultural distance between Irish people and the English.
Irish language, also called Erse or Gaelic, Irish Gaeilge, a member of the Goidelic group of Celtic languages, spoken in Ireland. As one of the national languages of the Republic of Ireland, Irish is taught in the public schools and is required for certain civil-service posts. …the 7th century onward in Irish and somewhat later in the British ...
Dec 15, 2012 · Occasionally, when people ask for “the Old Irish alphabet,” they’re referring to a truly ancient system of writing called Ogham (pronounced “OH-um”). Ogham is the closest thing to a truly “old” Irish alphabet. It was used to write “primative Irish,” which actually pre-dates “Old Irish.”
Irish is an official language of the country alongside English and was once the main language spoken in the country. By the start of the 20th century, English had become the vernacular language. As of 2016, 39.8% of the population speak Irish as a first or second language.
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