Gaeilge (Irish Language)

Danielle Ni Dhighe puget.irp at
Sun Feb 4 01:48:34 MST 2001

An acquaintance of mine who has a background in anthropology and
linguistics has described English as "the most imperial of imperial
languages, controlling all public discourse over such vast areas that those
within them can go through their whole lives without having to use another
language. As a result many English-speakers think of English as not just
one language among many, but as The Language: its particular way of
structuring the world is accepted as the absolute norm, from which other
languages deviate in more or less exotic or perverse ways."

I think this is important to keep in mind when discussing the Irish
language and the idea that Irish is irrelevant to modern Ireland.  I say
the Irish language is key to any meaningful form of Irish culture, past or
present.  The problems are a lingering mindset of a colonized nation and
that the language has been taught in Irish schools in such a way as to make
people dislike it.  Admittedly the people making the most noise about the
issue are pretty conservative, but I think there's a place for Gaeilge in
building a class-conscious working class movement.

Danielle Ni Dhighe
Puget Sound Chapter, Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
puget.irp at -
"Organize now, tomorrow may be too late." - Vol. Patsy O'Hara, INLA

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