My knowledge of Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic) is very limited, but I understand that the language is not in very good health even though there are many laws in the republic that are supposed to proctect it and guarantee peoples rights to use it, especially in the public sector. By reading many blogs, including Slugger O'Toole
, I get the impression that there are more 'language haters
' in Ireland than we have in Wales. The situation of Gaeilge
is often used here as an excuse aginst creating laws top safeguard welsh speakers' rights to use Welsh in Wales.Eurolang
points out that there are going to be changes, where it will no longer be required that applicants who wish to join an Garda Síochána
(police force) are able to spaek Gaeilge. The reasoning given is that this is to increase the number of police officers from the ethnic community. This is basically implying that people form ethnic minoraties are not able to learn the language for some reason. In Wales, some language haters
use the presence of an ethnic population as a reason against a bilingualism (English/Welsh) even though many of these people are multi-lingual. It's no wonder then that one of the groups who have voiced their unhappiness with the changes are iMeasc, which is a group of Irish speakers that are immigrants or that come from an ethnic background.
I'm really intrigued by the existence of such a group as iMeasc, but can't find much about them on the web, any links would be greatly welcomed. Here in Wales the nearest we would have is CYD
, but this organisation aimed at all learners regardless of nationality or ethnicity, but is more of an umbarella for local socialising groups rather than a lobby/pressure group. Although I don't have any statistic to hand at the moment, 25% of the population of Wales were born outside Wales. Roughly 20% of the whole population is able to speak Welsh, and 7% of resident who are born outside Wales can speak Welsh (17% of immigrants can speak Welsh in Gwynedd in the north west where 64% of the whole population can speak Welsh).
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