What is the ancient Irish language?
- March 14, 2019. Irish is derived from Celtic, an ancient language spoken by an Indo-European people who flourished in central Europe between the 2nd millennium BC and the 1st century BC. They were said to be intrepid warriors, and by the 1st century BC, they had moved south into Italy; eastward, toward Turkey; and westward, into the British Isles .
Its literary form, Classical Gaelic, was used by writers in both Ireland and Scotland until the 18th century, in the course of which slowly but surely writers began writing in the vernacular dialects, Ulster Irish, Connacht Irish, Munster Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
In fact almost the only Old Irish documents that were written down at the time they were composed, and thus reached us in their original form, are Irish glosses to Latin religious or grammatical texts that were copied and used by Irish monks in Continental European monasteries: such are e.g. the Würzburg and Milan glosses and, respectively ...
The Irish language has often been used as a bargaining chip during government formation in Northern Ireland, prompting protests from organisations and groups such as An Dream Dearg. There is currently an ongoing debate in relation to the status of the language in the form of an Irish Language Act.
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- The Irish Gaelic Alphabet in Print
- The Gaelic Written Alphabet Today
- Note on The Ogham Alphabet
- Pages Related to Gaelic Alphabet
The traditional Irish alphabet is basically an adaptation of the Latin alphabet and was used commonly in Ireland until the middle of the last century. You can still see it on some signs and public notices in Ireland and on shop signs. It really consists of 18 letters, similar to the Scottish Gaelic alphabet. The Gaelcló font that is used below includes the other 8 letters, so I have included them in parentheses or brackets.
Today people write and type Irish Gaelic with the standard Latin alphabet. The Irish alphabet uses 24 of the 26 letters of the English alphabet, as opposed to the original number of 18. That said, there are few words with j, k, v, x, y or z, and the ones which do exist are generally words incorporated from English. Examples include zú (zoo), vóta (vote), yóyó (yo-yo). While I am open to correction, there are no examples of words with the letter 'q' as they are generally handled by using the hard Irish 'c'. The letter 'c' in Gaelic is pronounced as the English 'k'. So, for example, the country 'Qatar' is translated as 'Catar' and pronounced similarly. There is also no real need for 'w' either but the sound exists, you may be surprised to read, in the combination of consonants 'bh' or 'mh'. For example 'an-mhaith' which is pronounced 'an-wah' means 'very good'. Most of the Gaelic letters are pronounced somewhat similarly to their English equivalent. However, one influence from Gaelic...
When the the Latin based Gaelic written alphabet was introduced towards the end of the 5th century, it existed for some time alongside the archaic Ogham alphabet, the earliest written Gaelic alphabet. The Ogham alphabet was a basic system of writing consisting mainly of a series of lines to denote a letter. Ogham writing was often carved into sticks or trees but the surviving examples are in stone- see photo. The Latin alphabet gradually replaced the Ogham alphabet in the 6th and 7th century.
Compare the Irish Gaelic Alphabet with the Scottish Alphabet Learn more about the Gaelic Language and Celtic Languagesby visiting the links.
The World's Oldest Writing . ... which could in turn be put together to form words. Cuneiform as a robust writing tradition endured 3,000 years. The script—not itself a language—was used by ...