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    • Which is the correct name for the Irish language?

      • Names of the language. Irish is known as Irish Gaelic or Irish Gaelic in English. The official standard name in Irish is Gaeilge /ˈɡeːlʲɟə/. Before the 1948 spelling reform, this was spelled Gaedhilge. In Middle Irish the name was spelled Gaoidhealg, in Classical Irish it was Gaoidhealg [ˈɡeːʝəlˠɡ], and it was Goídelc in Old Irish.
  1. Aug 25, 2012 · Ogham is the earliest form of writing in Ireland, it dates to around 4th century A.D. and was in use for around 500 years. The Ogham alphabet is made up of a series of strokes along or across a line. Ogham is sometimes referred to as the "Celtic Tree Alphabet" as most of the letters are linked to old Irish names for certan trees.

    • Histor
  2. The Cathach is the oldest extant Irish manuscript of the Psalter and the earliest example of Irish writing. . . . It is traditionally ascribed to Saint Columba as the copy, made at night in haste by a miraculous light, of a Psalter lent to Columba by St. Finnian.

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    Which is the correct name for the Irish language?

    Which is the oldest surviving manuscript in Ireland?

    How are Irish names and surnames anglicised?

    Why do some Irish people write their names in Latin?

    • Doyle – The Dark Stranger
    • Fitzgerald – Son of Gerald
    • O’Connor – The Hound of Desire
    • O’Reilly – Descendants of Raghaillach
    • O’Brien – Eminent Person
    • Ryan – Little King
    • Kennedy – Fierce Head
    • O’Sullivan – Hawkeyed/One-Eyed
    • Kelly – Warlike
    • Murphy – The Sea Warrior

    Pronounced: “Doil” Doyle’s roots come from the south-east of Ireland – it issaid to be most common in County Carlow, Wexford, and Wicklow. It is derivedfrom the old Irish phrase “Dhubh-ghall”, which translates to “dark stranger”. This has since led to the traditional belief that the nameDoyle was born out of the settlers in Ireland a millennium ago – eitherAnglo-Saxon settlers from Britain or Danish Norsemen.

    Pronounced: “Fits-gerald” This name is of Anglo-Norman French origin, and Fitzgeraldtranslates as “son of Gerald.” The Gaelic version is MacGearailt. It is said that this name originally came from Maurice, son of Gerald, who came to Ireland with powerful archers during the Norman invasions. For his valiant efforts he was awarded land, and his family hence became powerful in County Kildare, although Fitzgerald families were also strong in what is today County Kerryand Limerick.

    Pronounced: “O-Conn-or” The O’Connor name has numerous variations and spellings,meaning it’s difficult to point out where exactly it derived from. We know thatit originated prominently in five areas of Ireland: Connacht, Kerry, Derry,Offaly, and Clare. The name was initially spelt O’Conchobhar – a name which goesback to Conchobhar, a 10th-century ruler of Connaught (a kingdom in the west ofIreland). It once meant something along the lines of “hound of desire”in Gaelic. Unusually for Irish names, the “O” prefix has remained, with moreO’Connors than Connors in both Ireland and America.

    Pronounced: “O-Ri-ley” Another Irish name which has kept its “O” – this name hasits roots in the old Gaelic kingdom of Breffny, where the O’Reilly family wasknown as one of the most powerful septs. Today, this area is known as County Cavan. The family name is derived from the Irish “O’Raghailligh,”meaning “descendants of Raghaillach”. Raghaillah is said to be born out ofcompounds ragh (race) and ceallach (sociable). Reilly, or the shortened Riley, is also a popular first nameacross the United States.

    Pronounced: “O-bri-en” This Irish surname you’ll hear in America comes from the O’Briandynasty, led by Brian Boru who was High King of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. He broughtMunster together in times of great unrest and fought for control over thesouthern half of the Emerald Isle. Boru’s descendants, the O’Briens, became one of thecountry’s most important dynasties and have since poured out across the worldand into the U.S.

    Pronounced: “Ry-an” The meaning of the Irish name Ryan comes from the old Gaelicword “righ” and the old Irish diminutive of “an,” which together roughlytranslate as “little king” in English. The O’Riains were most famous in Counties Carlow and Wexfordfor their authoritative power, and even today continue to frequent the southernhalf of Ireland more than in the north.

    Pronounced: “Kenn-edy” Known best around the globe as the surname of the U.S.President John F. Kennedy, this ancient Gaelic name was originally spelt “Ceannéidigh”,translating roughly as “fierce head”. JFK’s family originated from County Wexford, but the name isheld most strongly in County Tipperary where the medieval O’Kennedys once inhabited. Although it is both an Irish and Scottish name, it is theIrish Kennedys who more vehemently flocked to the United States.

    Pronounced: “O-Sull-i-van” In Irish, O’Sullivan is spelt O’Suilleabhin. It is widelyaccepted that this word derives from súl (eye), though whether it is to be translatedas “one-eyed” or “hawkeyed” is still in dispute among scholars. Originally lords in the area of Cahir, County Tipperary, inthe 12th century, the O’Sullivans migrated to what is now West Cork and SouthKerry, and have since travelled further afield to populate the United States.

    Pronounced: “Kell-y” Kelly, the second most popular Irish surname in the States,is the anglicised form of Gaelic Ó Ceallaigh, or “descendant of Ceallach.” Thisis an ancient personal name that loosely translates as “bright-headed” or“warlike.” The name originates from around ten unrelated families andsepts across Ireland. These include O’Kelly septs from Meath, Derry, Antrim,Laois, Sligo, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Galway, and Roscommon. Although seen more commonly as a surname, it is also aparticularly popular first name for women in the United States.

    Pronounced: “Mur-fy” The most common of all Irish surnames you’ll hear in America is Murphy. This highly popular surname means “sea warrior”, a personalname that was once particularly popular in County Tyrone. In Irish ittranslates as MacMurchadh, a derivation of the first name of Murchadh orMurragh. O’Murchadh families were known to live in County Wexford,Roscommon, and Cork – where it is now most common, with the MacMurchadhs of theCounty Sligo and Tyrone areas responsible for most of the Murphys in modern-dayUlster. The name became anglicised first to MacMurphy and then shorteneddown to Murphy in the early 19thcentury. Recognise a lot of these names? The Irish have a hugehistory of migrating to the United States and make up one of its biggesthistorical migrant demographics. Since then, Irish Americans have gone on toshape American culture and even changethe world. Check out a list of other Irish surnames you’ll hear in America and elsewhere using our guide.

  4. Most Irish surnames were anglicised during the second half of the 16th century (1550-1600), and appear for the first time in in an English dress in the State documents of that period. The anglicisation seems to have been the work of Anglo-Irish government officials possessing, in some instances at least, a knowledge of the Irish language.

  5. AT this stage it may be well to give for the reader's information the following Irish proper names and adfixes:— Aodh [ee], anglicised Hugh, was one of the most frequent names of Kings and Chiefs among the Irish; the word signifies fire, the Vesta of the Pagan Irish, and was probably derived from the religious worship of the Druids.

    • Names of The Language
    • Relationship to Other Languages
    • Dialects
    • The Official Standard
    • Decline and Revival
    • Origin of Writing in Ireland
    • The Ogham Alphabet
    • Gaelic Script
    • Modern Irish Alphabet
    • Irish Pronunciation

    Irish is known as Irish, Gaelic or Irish Gaelic in English. The official standard name in Irish is Gaeilge /ˈɡeːlʲɟə/. Before the 1948 spelling reform, this was spelled Gaedhilge. In Middle Irish the name was spelled Gaoidhealg, in Classical Irish it was Gaoidhealg [ˈɡeːʝəlˠɡ], and it was Goídelcin Old Irish. In Ulster and northern Connacht, Irish is known as Gaedhilic/Gaeilic/Gaeilig [ˈɡeːlʲɪc] or Gaedhlag [ˈɡeːl̪ˠəɡ], In Munster it is known as Gaedhealaing/Gaoluinn/Gaelainn[ˈɡeːl̪ˠɪŋʲ/ˈɡeːl̪ˠɪnʲ]. When a distinction needs to be made between Irish (Gaeilge), Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and/or Manx (Gaelg), Irish is referred to as Gaeilge na hÉireann(Irish Gaelic).

    Irish is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages, also known as Q-Celtic. It is closely related to Manx (Gaelg/Gailck) and Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig), the other Goidelic languages. There is some degree of mutual intelligibility between them, particular between the Scottish Gaelic of Islay and Argyll, Ulster Irish, and Manx. The grammar and vocabulary of these languages are quite similar, but the spelling and pronunciation are different, especially Manx spelling. Irish is distantly related to Welsh (Cymraeg), Cornish (Kernewek) and Breton (Brezhoneg), which form the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages, also known as P-Celtic. The Celtic languages all have a similar grammatical structure, but have relatively little vocabulary in common. 1. A comparison of the six modern Celtic languages 2. Celtic cognates - words that are similar in the Celtic languages 3. Celtiadur - a dictionary of Celtic cognates

    There are three main dialects of Irish: Munster (An Mhumhain), Connacht (Connachta) and Ulster (Ulaidh). The Munster dialect is spoken mainly in Kerry (Ciarraí) and Muskerry (Múscraí) in the western part of County Cork (Contae Chorcaí). The Connacht dialect is spoken mainly in Connemara (Conamara), the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árann) and Tourmakeady (Tuar Mhic Éadaigh) in County Mayo (Maigh Eo). The main area where the Ulster dialect is spoken is the Rosses (na Rosa). The dialect of Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair) is essentially the same as the Ulster dialect.

    During the 1950s and 1960s a standardised form of Irish, known the An Caighdeán Oifigiúil(The Official Standard) was developed. It combines elements from the three major dialects and its pronunciation is based on the Connacht dialect. This is the form of the language taught in most schools.

    Between the 17th and early 20th centuries, the Irish language was gradually replaced by English in most parts of Ireland. Famine and migration in the 19th and 20th centuries led to its further decline. However when the Republic of Ireland came into being in 1922, Irish was adopted as an official language, along with English, and the government and civil service become, in theory at least, officially bilingual. Irish terms were also adopted for the titles of public figures and organisations - Garda (Police), Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Dáil(Parliament). Recently the Irish language has experienced a revival with the foundation of new publications, a radio service, a television station and the growth of Irish-medium education. Irish is also increasingly being used on independent radio stations in Ireland.

    Irish first began to appear in writing in Ogham inscriptions between the 4th and 6th centuries AD. When St Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century, Irish writers began to write in Latin, and at the same time Irish literature written in the Latin alphabet began to appear. The Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries led to the destruction of many early manuscripts, so most surviving manuscripts were written after that time.

    The Ogham alphabet was used to write Archaic Irish, Old Welsh and Latin and Ogham inscriptions have been found in various parts of Ireland and the British Isles. More information about Ogham

    The Gaelic Script originated in medieval manuscripts as a variant of the Latin alphabet. It was used for printing Irish until quite recently and is still used on road signs and public notices throughout Ireland. More information about the Gaelic Script

    Today Irish is usually written with a version of the Latin alphabet similar to the one used for Scottish Gaelic, though a spelling reform in 1957 eliminated some of the silent letters which are still used in Scottish Gaelic. Hear the Irish alphabet: The letters j (jé), k (ká), q (cú), v (vé), w (wae), x (ex), y (yé) and z (zae) do not occur in native Irish words, but do appear in some English loanwords, for example jab (job) and veain(van). You can hear the names of the letters at:


    1. Consonants are broad when preceded and/or followed by a, o or u, and slender when preceded and/or followed by e or i. 2. Lenition (séimhiú) is a change in soundthat occurs to the beginning of words caused by a preceding word,such as a preposition. Lenition is indicated by adding an h afterthe initial consonant. For example, the Irish for shoe isbróg, [brok] but my shoe is mo bhróg[mɔ vrok]. 3. Eclipsis (urú) happens after certain words, suchas i, which means "in". Eclipsis in indicated bya...

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