Talk:Irish language/Archive 7

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Falls Road

Is it not notable and deleted or is it just not written in? They are certainly claiming to have a Gaeltacht up there for some time and are often on TG4. ~ R.T.G 16:43, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

IIRC, no reliable sources have been found for it yet. —Angr 18:45, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. Gabrielle Maguire's book from Multilingual matters is not a reliable source?. AndrewCarnie (talk) 20:32, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
BBC Belfast Council UK Government UK parliament as far as 2004 books Quarter proposals document. These are good references for the Gaeltacht Quarter (an arts and development project) and the "books" appears to be a good reference for gaeltacht history in Belfast, but I myself don't have the books and a one sentence "There is a gealtacht in Belfast." is probably a bit short of requirements. ~ R.T.G 17:17, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Irish Radio - 100%

"14% of the population of the Republic of Ireland listen to Irish radio programming daily, 16% listen 2-5 times a week, while 24% listen to Irish programming once a week."

This does not add up to 100%. Why?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Em. Because you're fogetting about the people who don't listen to Irish programming at all. Or don't listen to the radio at all at all. (In any language) Guliolopez (talk) 18:09, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

That was one of the worst questions I have ever read.

Probably the only time in my life I've been tempted to write "lol" on Wikipedia Dylan (talk) 16:31, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Irish Language Classes

Let's create a section of Irish language courses near Dublin for those who wish to learn. Any buyers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:46, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that would be outside the scope of an encyclopedia article. Wikipedia isn't a directory. —Angr 07:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Hello, I changed the figure for estimated number of speakers as it had a lowest figure of 40,000. Whether one agrees with him or not Hindley has estimated the number of speakers at 10,000 so it is incorrect to state that estimates range from 40,000 to a higher figure. Estimates of 10,000 have been given by respectable sources so the article should state "estimates range from 10,000 to...". Any other approach is seeking to use wikipedia to deceive people and asserts facts that are demonstrably false (ie that the lowest estimate for native speakers is 40,000). Ronan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Numbers of Irish speakers

Hello everybody, I am a German called Alexander Dietz and very interested in the Irish language und have therefore learnt it. I think the information on the numbers of speakers should be more exactly. The statements lead to false images to readers who have until now no knowledge on matters concerning the Irish language. I propose the following changings: All including Northern Ireland! Real native speakers: Around 80.000 taking into account the Gaeltacht census plus a few native speakers outside the Gaeltacht areas. Daily speakers aged 3 years + outside the education system (active speakers): Between 100.000 and 150.000 ; 85.000 claim to speak Irish daily outside the education system within the Republic. In Northern Ireland there are around 30.000 daily speakers considering the Census of Northern Ireland and then the Falls Road and a few other cities there. Considering all, this makes around 120.000. But in order to consider unexact or lacking statements, I propose "between 100.000 and 150.000. Competent Irish speakers: 350.000 at the highest. A few phrases or words: Up to 1,5 Millions I think this gives a realistic image of the usage of Irish. I have myself been in Ireland this year and can state that these numbers are realistic. It is also my experience that there are some "hidden" competent speakers beneath daily speakers but who do answer in fluent Irish when you address them in Irish, for example in a shop. Furthermore the usage of Irish differs between the cities, not only between Gaeltacht and non-Gaeltacht areas. In the city of Galway you here Irish on the streets from time to time and you see Irish or bilingual signs on shops and pubs. In addition there is the organisation "Gallimh le Gaeilge" to encourage the usage of Irish in the private sector. Of course Galway city is surrounded by Gaeltacht areas. But I have also met fluent Irish speakers whose roots are not in a Gaeltacht area. But when I came to Cork this was nearly another world. There you here Irish on the streets nearly never and there are very few Irish or bilingual signs on shops and pubs. I have been understood very rarely when speaking Irish to people. In Dublin the situation is again better. There I was surprised how often I got an answer in Irish after having asked for the way. In any case I have been understood much more often than in the city of Cork when speaking Irish! In addition in the Dublin area there are many cultural events for active Irish speakers. In Cork there is very few for active Irish speakers! I have spoken with people from the southwest who stated that Irish is very rarely used there, too. In rural areas outside the Gaeltacht I have also met no fluent Irish speaker. I suggest to mention the regional differences in the article here according to experiences. I hope that my statement is not too long, but I want to help to give a realistic image as I have made my own experiences. Go n-éirí libh, meas, Alex —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I think your suggestions are very good; the problem will be finding reliable sources to back the statements up, since at Wikipedia we don't base articles on our personal experiences. —Angr 09:28, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

The source is the census of the Republic of Ireland and of Northern Ireland. One comes to the results stated above when studying them carefully. There are also dates seperated by cities and areas. In the city of Galway clearly more people stated to use Irish daily than in every other city. In manx rural areas outside the Gaeltacht the percentage of daily users is often lower than the average. The census of Northern Ireland says that there are a few cities and areas where there are very high percentages of Irish speakers compared to the whole of Northern Ireland. But around 500,000 speakers is utter nonsense which disleads readers. This number contains those who deal with Irish in education. Irish is a minority language and therefore the number of active users is important to give a realistic image. Therefore we have to look at the numbers of users outside the education system, in the everyday life and in free time. In Northern Ireland it is not an obligatory subject. Therefore many of those with the ability to read, write and speak Irish are also active users. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Number of Irish speakers (according to Census)

The article states that "1,656,790 (41.9% of the total population aged three years and over) regard themselves as competent Irish speakers" and "at least one in three people (~1.8 million) on the island of Ireland can understand Irish to some extent". Readers should be aware that the census simply asks people to rate themselves on their competency in Irish, and traditionally people vastly exaggerate this competency. In other words, if they can say ten words in Irish, they call themselves fluent. Rather than 2 out of 5 people being competent in Irish, I would say from personal experience (from Dublin, and regularly travelling around the country), that the figure is more like 1 in 10. --Attila the Pooh (talk) 21:22, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Frankly the census report asserting that over 40% of the ROI population claim to speak a competent level of Irish is laughable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Your anecdotal evidence is still anecdotal. Travelling around Ireland people may speak English but this does not reflect their competency at Irish. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:45, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Being Irish i can testify to the fact that the vast majority of people who have gone through irelands education system should be fluent in Irish. I was and still retain a good portion of it some twenty years after leaving home to live among the english :) mark nutley (talk) 15:55, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Persistent Fanatics

This Wikipedia entry is a depressing illustration of how persistent fanatics can whittle-away at the truth and replace it with lies. Earlier versions of the article were far more truthful. Restoring all the truth and removing all the lies would be a major job, and I just can’t be bothered. However, on the number of native speakers, it currently says:

“Estimates of fully native speakers range from 20,000 to 70,000 people.[2]” However, if you go to reference 2 “Endangered languages in Europe: report”, this actually dates from 1993 and states:

“total number of speakers, members of the ethnic group: 29,000 people in the four principal areas, plus less than a thousand in each of the pockets (1976); perhaps less than 20,000 today”

So the quoted source actually says the number of native speakers had declined from 37,000 to under 20,000 in the space of 19 years. You would expect a further substantial decline from the figure of 20,000 in the 16 years since that report. But its worse than that, because the report quotes only two “competent scholars”, Desmond Fennell, Reg Hindley. Hindley said the number was ‘perhaps as low as 10,000’ in 1990, and claimed Fennell (whom I haven’t read) had said the language was extinct!

How on earth can anyone use the “Endangered languages in Europe: report” to justify an estimate of “20,000 to 70,000” in 2008/9?!!!

See (talk) 20:47, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your misplaced outburst. The idea that the language would be "extinct" is ridiculous, I feel quite healthy today and all of my native speaking friends as well. One of them just got his second kid, thanks for asking, and is raising both kids in Irish, just like everybody else in the area. As for Hindley, he's not able to speak Irish and his estimate was based on him driving around the country and writing down what he observed. While entertaining, it's hardly rigorous research. And if you think that the link you posted satisfy Wikipedia's requirements for sources, well, think again. All I can see you doing is making a guess that the numbers here might be wrong because you've managed the find the homepage of some guy and a reference to two people who speak Irish as well as I speak Chinese and haven't done any quantitative study on the number of speakers. Others have, and I'm more confident using actual, verifiable sources than imaginary ones.JdeJ (talk) 20:55, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

There are a lot of unsubstantiated claims from JdeJ, but not one verifiable fact.

JdeJ talks about “actual, verifiable sources“ but doesn't mention any. The only source mentioned in the article is the “Endangered languages in Europe“ report, which does not support the figure of “20,000 to 70,0000” given in the article.

Contrary to what JdeJ says, Hindley does speak Irish. He is an internationally respected academic (now retired) who specialised in the geography of lesser spoken languages. He spent a whole year doing his field research. He also analysed data from the Census and Deontas grants. He published detailed figures for the numbers of native speakers in each area. These were accepted as accurate even by O Ciosain in his “Buried alive : a reply to Reg Hindley's The Death of the Irish Language“. Working for for Bord na Gaeilge, in 1990 Ó hEithir also reached an estimate of 10,000.

JdeJ claims that “everybody” in his area is raising their children with Irish as their first language. Where is the evidence to support his claim?

According to a report in The Irish Independent (November 2005,

“The (Deontas) figures, compiled by the Dept of the Community, Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs, reveal that there are now just over 2,000 native Irish-speaking families left in the Gaeltacht who use Irish as their first language.” (talk) 00:04, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

"Contrary to what JdeJ says, Hindley does speak Irish." No, he doesn't. Not well enough to speak with people in Irish, at any rate.
"JdeJ claims that “everybody” in his area is raising their children with Irish as their first language. Where is the evidence to support his claim?" On the ground, in actual life, where the language is spoken. Not in the head of some goofs in their ivory-towers far away from Ireland and from any actual facts. All you've been able to dig up is a book by an Englishman who didn't speak Irish, didn't specialise in Irish and managed to get most of his facts wrong. It looks pretty much as if you're trolling, but I'll give you the benefit of doubt. If you want to be taken serious, perhaps you could reply in Irish next time? We see far too much of anonymous people who have managed to read a book by someone marginally more knowledgeable about Irish than they are coming here to lecture us. From your very first post, you've managed to be rude and impolite while not offering anything constructive at all. If you would have been interested in a genuine discussion, perhaps someone might have taken you seriously.JdeJ (talk) 23:12, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
JdeJ continues to contradict authoritative sources, and to make unsubstantiated and defamatory claims.
Hindley is an internationally respected academic (now retired) who specialised in the geography of lesser spoken languages. His published research indicated that in 1990 there might be as few as 10,000 native speakers left.
In 1990 Ó hEithir carried out independent research for Bord na Gaeilge, and also concluded there were only about 10,000 native speakers left.
In “Buried alive : a reply to Reg Hindley's The Death of the Irish Language“ O Ciosain agreed that Hindley's research was accurate. He even claimed that it was not original, because others had already published research reaching similar conclusions on the number of native speakers.
According to a report in The Irish Independent (November 2005,
“The (Deontas) figures, compiled by the Dept of the Community, Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs, reveal that there are now just over 2,000 native Irish-speaking families left in the Gaeltacht who use Irish as their first language.”
The claim of “20,000 – 70,000” native speakers cannot be justified. The article claims the “Endangered languages in Europe” report supports this estimate, but it doesn't. (talk) 16:34, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, whatever. I find it hard to take a guy who comes in here with a new IP each time seriously, especially when his every post is rude and uninformed. You've stated your case, you haven't been able to prove it and that's that. Untill you register and start to act in a serious way, I have no interest in pursuing a debate that looks far too much like trolling.JdeJ (talk) 21:38, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I am confident that no objective observer will agree with JdeJ. I've quoted three pieces of original research to support the figure of 10,000 or less, and he hasn't produced one to support a figure above that.
I notice that a higher estimate of 80,000 has now been inserted in the article, with the source being quoted as “ Pierce, David (2000). Irish Writing in the Twentieth Century. Cork University Press. p.1140”. The review on Amazon describes this as “A comprehensive anthology of Irish writing in the 20th century”. Its nothing to do with linguistics, and its frankly worthless as a reference for the number of native speakers.
Earlier, “ Christina Bratt Paulston. Linguistic Minorities in Multilingual Settings: Implications for Language Policies. J. Benjamins Pub.Co p.81” was quoted in support of an estimate of 70,000. This is reviewed at by Allen Koshewa of Indiana University. This indicates she is using Irish as just one example to illustrate her thesis. It doesn't appear that she would have carried out any original research into the numbers of native speakers, nor to have done an original analysis of accepted data to produce her own estimate. This is therefore also worthless as a reference for the number of native speakers.
I have proved what I said. This article contains lies because the content is determined by persistent fanatics. This reflects badly on Wikipedia as a whole. (talk) 02:41, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Having read the exchange above, I suggest that both JdeJ and the IP editor read over WP:CIVIL, WP:NPOV, WP:OR, WP:RS and WP:AGF. As regards Hindley and Ó hEithir's 1990 opinion that 10,000 people were native speakers using Irish as their main language, it is not the same thing as saying that there are 10,000 native speakers of Irish. The UNESCO estimate that there are 'perhaps less than 20,000' of them in the Gaeltacht looks more like a source for the number of native speaakers, which is why I've already added it as one of the estimates. Tameamseo (talk) 19:24, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I agree and apologise for sounding somewhat agitated. I have to admit that when someone comes here and immedieately starts yelling about "persistent fanatics" "whittle-away at the truth and replace it with lies" and " Restoring all the truth and removing all the lies would be a major job, and I just can’t be bothered.", then I may have problems assuming good faith on their part. I agree that we should treat even uncivil users with civility, but it can be hard at time. I'll try harder, though.JdeJ (talk) 19:59, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

I commend Tameamseo for the tone of his contribution. However, I can't see any facts to support an estimate much above 10,000 native speakers.
Estimates have to be based on actual data. If some one merely quotes (or misquotes) a figure they got from another source, they are NOT producing an estimate, and shouldn't be quoted. Instead, the source from which they got the figure (the primary source) should be quoted.
Hindley is a primary source. His research is published.
Ó hEithir is a primary source, although as far as I'm aware, his report was never published by Bord na Gaeilge. We only have unofficial leaks about his research.
The Dept of the Community, Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs is a primary source.
No one else has mentioned any other primary source for an estimate.
It was Tameamseo who increased the upper estimate to 80,000. I have already argued that there is no justification for this.
Tameamseo also seems to have misrepresented Ó hEithir's findings. According to Ó hEithir said that “only 10,000 native speakers of Irish now remain in the State”. said that he included “any community, urban or rural, where Irish is spoken”.

The validity of these estimates, and of the article as a whole, should be examined by some one who doesn't have any strong opinions on the Irish language. (talk) 12:12, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Firstly, I should point out that I did not misrepresent any findings; I believed that Ó hEithir's figure was for the number of speakers using it as their main language because that was what the R.A. McCartney link that you yourself originally posted in support of your argument stated;
In 1990 Hindley and Ó hEithir, working separately, both estimated the number using Irish as their main language at perhaps as low as 10,000.
Indeed, this had the effect of making it appear on checking your link and Hindley's 1990 The Death of the Irish Language: A Qualified Obituary that if anyone was misrepresenting the findings, it was you; I might well have suggested the possibility that you had done so rather than made an honest mistake if it were not for WP:AGF.
I am asking that both you and JdeJ try to respect WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF. JdeJ so far has not produced any sources. You have, but you should probably read over Wikipedia's policies on sources and what does and does not disallow a source from being used as a reliable source in an article. As regards 10,000, I have absolutely no problem with adding it at the lower end of the estimates if it is cited.Tameamseo (talk) 21:28, 15 January 2009 (UTC) says “reliable sources...are generally regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand”.
Tameamseo inserted an estimate of 80,000 native speakers, quoting as his source “ Pierce, David (2000). Irish Writing in the Twentieth Century. Cork University Press. p.1140”. The review on Amazon describes this as “A comprehensive anthology of Irish writing in the 20th century”. Its nothing to do with linguistics. It is clearly not a trustworthy or authoritative reference for the number of native speakers. Tameamseo's action here may have coloured my view of his other contributions.
Christina Bratt Paulston appears to be respected in the field of linguistics, but she's not an authority on the number of native speakers. The book review I quoted above indicates that the continuing decline in the number of native speakers is relevant to her arguments, but the precise numbers aren't. Her book is not a trustworthy or authoritative source in this context. Presumably her book would have a note of where she got that estimate, and that might be a reliable source according to Wikipedia rules.
I have already given my arguments against using the estimate from “Endangered languages in Europe” report. However, I concede that under Wikipedia's rules it is a reliable source.
The estimates of Hinley and Ó hEithir are definitely reliable under Wikipedia rules.
I've been thinking about the estimate of 2,000 native speaker families based on the Deontas figures. Assuming two parents and two children per family, that translates into 8,000 people. This does not include the native speaker families who's children have grown up, or are under age to apply for the deontas grant. It also excludes those who don't have children. It suggests to me the number of native speakers is somewhat above 10,000.
The R.A. McCartney web page says:
“In 1990 Hindley and Ó hEithir, working separately, both estimated the number using Irish as their main language at perhaps as low as 10,000”.
Tameamseo said:
“As regards Hindley and Ó hEithir's 1990 opinion that 10,000 people were native speakers using Irish as their main language”.
The reference I gave talked about the total number (native speakers and non-native speakers) using Irish as their main language. Both Tameamseo and I have confused this with native speakers using Irish as their main language. I therefore apologise for impugning his motives.

I think the dates for the estimates should be given. Thus the text should read:
“Estimates of fully native speakers range from as little as 10,000 (in 1990) [links to references for Hindley and Ó hEithir] to under 20,000 (in 1993) [link to reference for “Endangered languages in Europe” report].” (talk) 21:12, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

To be fair, I may have increased the upper limit of the original 20-70 thousand to 80, but I also decreased the lower end below 20,000. I gave links to policies as it seemed you might not be entirely familiar with our guidelines and policies; for instance in the light of what you said about relying on what you referred to as primary sources this might be helpful;
Secondary sources are at least one step removed from an event. They rely for their facts and opinions on primary sources, often to make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims.
Our policy: Wikipedia articles usually rely on material from secondary sources. Articles may include analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims so long as they have been published by a reliable secondary source.
Primary sources are sources very close to an event. For example, an account of a traffic accident written by a witness is a primary source of information about the accident. Other examples include archeological artifacts; photographs; historical documents such as diaries, census results, video or transcripts of surveillance, public hearings, trials, or interviews; tabulated results of surveys or questionnaires; original philosophical works; religious scripture; published notes of laboratory and field experiments or observations written by the person(s) who conducted or observed the experiments; and artistic and fictional works such as poems, scripts, screenplays, novels, motion pictures, videos, and television programs. The key point about a primary source is that it offers an insider's view to an event, a period of history, a work of art, a political decision, and so on.
Our policy: Primary sources that have been reliably published (for example, by a university press or mainstream newspaper) may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. Without a secondary source, a primary source may be used only to make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is verifiable by a reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages from the novel to describe the plot, but any interpretation of those passages needs a secondary source.
I understand that you didn't iontend that the deontas figures to be used for estimating the native speakers in the actual article, but it should be pointed out that apart from the obvious problems like native speakers living outside the Gaeltacht and abroad etc, any extrapolation based on them is unquestionably OR and cannot be allowed to influence our decision.
Again, Hindley's The Death of the Irish Language: A Qualified Obituary does not seem to support an assertion of only 10,000 native speakers. The 10,000 figure appears to be his upper limit for the number of native speakers using it as their habitual tongue (page 251). He suggests that a generous maxiumum for the 'partly habitual' number would be 30,000 (page 191).
The biggest problem with Ó hEithir is not being able to cite the report itself if it was never published. We need a good source for what his figure was and that it was his estimate of the number of native Irish speakers, and then it can be included.
Thanks for the apology (I think we did both misread the McCartney page) and I'm glad to see you beginning to follow civility and AGF. :) Tameamseo (talk) 22:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I never intended to enter into a long discussion about the number of native speakers. I need to devote my time to other matters, so I am really going to make this my final contribution for some time.
I think it is reasonable to conclude that Ó hEithir himself was the source of media stories about his report. If I put a lot of time and effort into producing an important report, on a subject about which I was passionate, and the report was being suppressed, I'd probably leak it to the media. Neither he nor anyone else ever denied that the media were accurately relaying the contents of his report.
I can't check what you say about Hindley for now, as I was relying on a library copy which has been stolen. However, I seem to remember him saying that native speakers who can speak Irish, but don't, are unlikely to pass it onto their children. His survey is now 20 years old. If your summary of what he said is correct (no more than 10,000 out of 30,000 native speakers habitually using Irish), then that shows the scale of language shift which had occurred. I don't think it would be right to include in the native speaker, total 20,000 people who no longer speak Irish; not without making that point clear.
It seems clear to me that including the figures obtained from books by David Pierce and Christina Bratt Paulston is contrary to Wikipedia guidelines, for the reasons I've already given.
I also repeat my point that the dates to which estimates apply should be included. I'm convinced that estimates of 70,000 or more native speakers date from the late 1970s, when people wrongly accepted that virtually the entire population of the official Gaeltacht were native speakers. (talk) 04:21, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Here is a reference. Donncha Ó hÉallaithe's research came up with a figure of 80,000. The research was published in the February 1999 issue of "Cuisle". A reputable scholarly source from research only about 10 years ago. SML-JKS (talk) 15:42, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Linguistics by Keith Johnson says "A small fraction (about 3%) of the population of the Irish Republic speaks Irish as a native language today" The Sociolinguistics of Society‎ by Fasold (who is apparently well-known in the field of the Irish language) "somewhere between 2 and 3 per cent of the population of the Republic speaks Irish as a native language" These certainly suggest a figure greater than ten thousand EU recognisses 40,000 native speakers and 260,000 fluent non-natives. It doesn't seem to qualify under Wikipedia:Reliable sources but it may be of interest to note 40,000 first-language speakers further attested here SML-JKS (talk) 15:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The Irish Examiner generally qualifies as a reliable source, but it should be noted that scholarly sources are usually regarded as stronger evidence than news organisations in a matter like this. Tameamseo (talk) 21:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I read that the Irish language isn't a real language at all but just gibberish made up to annoy perfidious Albion in Squeal Amach by Aogan O Rathaille?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:01, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

"Irish" confused with Hiberno-English?

The article currently says "when discussion of Irish is confused to mean Hiberno-English, the form of English as spoken in Ireland". I am Irish and have never heard anyone refer to Hiberno-English as "Irish". Maybe someone, somewhere once did in 1963 in a pub after 12 pints of beer - but that is hardly worthy of mention here, is it? Can't we just delete this silly sentence?Jorge1986 (talk) 18:05, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

I think the confusion is more likely outside of Ireland than within it. I wouldn't be in the least surprised to hear an American refer to someone speaking with an Irish accent as "speaking Irish" - especially the kind of American who invariably calls every kind of Irish and Scottish accent a "brogue". —Angr 19:48, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Angr, over here in the US, people often think that "Irish" means speaking with an Irish accent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AndrewCarnie (talkcontribs) 14:34, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
For Scottish, OK. But as a certified Gringo, I'd definitely understand that "speaking Irish" is a separate language. (And I had no idea that "brogue" was not the correct word for any Irish or Scottish accent, even though my name's Jameson Quinn and I have Scotch and Irish ancestry on both my American and Australian sides.) So I vote to revise "is confused with" to just say "is distinct from". I'd vote to remove the reference, too, except it's a good place to put a useful wiki-link. Homunq (talk) 19:28, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I live in the US. My wife teaches Irish and we are constantly dealing with the issue of people not realizing there is an "Irish" language other than English with an Irish accent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CaseDillon (talkcontribs) 09:23, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Separate the "how many speakers" into separate section?

I don't want to come and aggressively rearrange an article where I know nothing about the subject, but I think that there is plenty of data on "x% of y% of n people speak it z% of the time" to merit a new section, separate from the header. You should distill that down to "Spoken at with varying frequency and skill by between 20,000 and 2,000,000 people" in the first paragraph, and then add a "number of speakers" section. (Those numbers are just examples, you should find the lowest and highest numbers from the section and put them in. I know that's two orders of magnitude difference, that's OK, if someone's curious they can read the section, but don't let it overburden the header section.) Homunq (talk) 19:28, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Name of language

In English, I thought that this language was called "Gaelic." I was in a U.S. goverment-sponsored geography bee (I'm in middle school), where somebody got a question that was something like "On a sign in Ireland, you can find the message written in English and what other language?" The correct answer was revealed to be Gaelic (but the answer given was "pass"). Is the language called Irish or Gaelic? ~Muzekal Mike (talk) 11:09, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

In Ireland itself, the language is almost always called "Irish", though older people call sometimes call it "Gaelic". Outside Ireland, it's frequently called "Gaelic", especially by non-linguists, but that term is ambiguous because Scottish Gaelic is also often called simply "Gaelic". I hope that those administering the geography bee would also have accepted "Irish" or "Irish Gaelic" as correct answers to that question. +Angr 11:31, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
My 2 euro cents are that there should be a little more emphasis put on "Gaelic" as a name (e.g. should be bolded somewhere in the intro). It is a very common name for the language even if it is not common in Ireland (anymore?). --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 11:28, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed: the name for the language in the language itself is Gaeilge, which translates as Gaelic. Mooretwin (talk) 10:47, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
To the extent that "Gaeilge" in Irish and "Gaelic" in English have different ranges of application, "Gaeilge" cannot be said to "translate as Gaelic". For example, Scottish Gaelic is almost never referred to as "Gaeilge" in Irish, but it is very frequently referred to as "Gaelic" in Englsh. +Angr 11:02, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
It does translate literally as "Gaelic" - see for example Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic League). The word for "Irish" is Eireann, e.g. Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail). Mooretwin (talk) 11:11, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Gaelic should be included in the lede, despite the recent revert. Here is a source: Omniglot "Irish is known as Irish, Gaelic or Irish Gaelic in English." Mooretwin (talk) 11:11, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The discussion under "Names of the language > In English" is sufficient. Whatever Omniglot may think, Irish is very rarely called simply "Gaelic" unadorned in English, especially not in scholarly writing such as encyclopedias. +Angr 11:19, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
It may be your view that the current text is sufficient, but others may disagree. Do you have a reliable source that says Irish is "very rarely" called Gaelic? Do you have a source that says Irish is often called "Modern Irish"? On what basis is "Modern Irish" listed as an alternative name, but "Gaelic is not? Mooretwin (talk) 11:25, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Taking a second look, I see the possibility of "Gaelic" unadorned isn't mentioned in the "Names of the language > In English" section after all. If I remember correctly, it used to be there, but was challenged and later removed for being unsourced. I'm not sure that Omniglot (being really a website about writing systems, not languages) is a reliable enough source that it can be used to support the argument that Irish is sometimes called simply "Gaelic". It certainly isn't strong enough evidence to warrant adding "Gaelic" as an alternative name to the opening sentence. +Angr 11:24, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
There are no sources, reliable or otherwise, for any of the names. Omniglot is the only source we have at present. Mooretwin (talk) 11:27, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Given all of the above, I will restore "Gaelic" to the "Names of the language" section, but not in the lede. Mooretwin (talk) 09:18, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Mooretwin, the idea with sources is to find valid sources, not just any Internet page. Omniglot is not a reliable and valid source.JdeJ (talk) 10:55, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

It's more reliable and more valid than the sources for the other names (i.e. no sources). No valid reason has been offered to exclude "Gaelic" from the list of other names. Mooretwin (talk) 11:56, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
The point is, the claim that it's called "Gaelic" (unmodified by the word "Irish" before it) is the controversial claim. No one seriously disputes that the language is called "Irish" and "Irish Gaelic". But asserting that it is (present tense, today in the 21st century) commonly called simply "Gaelic" is a disputed claim and so needs to be backed up by a reliable, up-to-date source. And Omniglot isn't one. +Angr 12:06, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Who says the "claim" is controversial? Who disputes that Irish is sometimes called Gaelic? Where is the source that it is called "Modern Irish"?
Is the New York Times a good enough source for you? Mooretwin (talk) 12:20, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with stating that Irish sometimes is called Gaelic, as long as it is made clear that this is primarily the case outside Ireland (mostly in the US). As for demanding sources for Irish being called Irish Gaelic, are you being serious or a you just trying to make a WP:POINT?JdeJ (talk) 12:40, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
It says "sometimes" in the article. Mooretwin (talk) 13:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Or rather, it SAID "sometimes". Unfortunately Angr has reverted the changes without addressing any points made in the discussion. Mooretwin (talk) 13:53, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
It still says "sometimes"; JdeJ just moved it to the second sentence from the first. +Angr 14:07, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I have heard Irish speakers from Belfast call the language "Gaelic" in English. In general, however, "Gaelic" is only used (by people who know what they are talking about) when it's important to make clear (often to people who don't know) that it is the Celtic language, and not the dialect of English spoken in Ireland, that is the topic of conversation. -- Evertype· 14:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, context matters a lot. I've even heard Scottish Gaelic referred to as "Scottish" where it was appropriate to the context, e.g. in discussions comparing Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Saying "Irish does it this way, Scottish Gaelic does it that way" gets tedious when many comparisons are made, and "Irish does it this way, Gaelic does it that way" can be confusing, so once it's clear that only Goidelic languages are being discussed, it's common enough to say "Irish does it this way, Scottish does it that way". But I would still never dream of adding "sometimes called Scottish" to our article Scottish Gaelic. +Angr 14:26, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Nor would I, but then "Scottish" is rarely, if ever used to refer to Scots Gaelic, whereas "Gaelic" is regularly used to refer to Irish Gaelic. Mooretwin (talk) 14:33, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Searching on, we find:

Seems to me that the use of "Gaelic" alone is quite common enough in Ireland to refer to it that way.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:22, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Also, the CIA World Factbook 2008, on page 308, states:
English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gailge) (official) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard.
Around here, the Factbook is considered a RS for all practical purposes.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:26, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that, Sarek. Can we amend the article accordingly. It does not appear accurate to restrict the reference to Gaelic as an alternative name to usage outside Ireland. I don't know why the simple suggestion of adding Gaelic to the list of other names has prompted such resistance. It is a very common term in my experience: much moreso than Irish Gaelic, which would only be used when distinguishing between Scots and Irish Gaelic. Mooretwin (talk) 14:33, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Of those links you give, some aren't modern (in the 19th and early 20th century, it was indeed quite common to call it "Gaelic"); one is referring to the Gaelic Revival (which is always called that); and one is using "Gaelic Language" quite specifically to mean Irish and Scottish Gaelic considered as a unit. +Angr 14:34, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I've always been struck by the number of people outside of Ireland that call it Gaelic. Likewise, it's striking the number of people in Ireland who reject Gaelic as a name. It should be noted however that, in the English language, to call the language "Gaelic" is relatively new. Indeed, even in Scotland Gaelic was known as "Scots" (originally, meaning Irish) until the 18th century and "Erse" (with all of its derogatory slurs) for far longer than that. I have a photo in a book of a "crib sheet" used by Elisabeth I on her visit to Ireland. In it, she has common phrases in translated into "Englische", "Lattinne", and "Irische". I'll scan it in and we could use it on the page somewhere.
All that said, "Gaelic" is a very common name for the language and removing it smacks of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 17:05, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Nobody has removed it, it is still mentioned as a name sometimes used to describe the language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JdeJ (talkcontribs)
Uploaded that image.
Word "Irish" used to denote the language in 16th century phrase book compiled for Elizabeth I of England.
--rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 19:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I have been studying early modern Irish history for ten years now and I'm still looking for a single reference in the English language which refers to the Irish language as "Gaelic". It is always referred to as Irish. Referring to it as "Gaelic" in the English language is a relatively new, and politically-motivated, phenomenon. I have also never heard an English speaker in Ireland refer to it as anything other than "Irish". This is a non-issue. (talk) 02:42, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
"...I'm still looking for a single reference in the English language which refers to the Irish language as "Gaelic"." Agree with everthing else, but really: ten years, not one reference?. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 12:26, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, the only reference I can find to the Irish language being described as "Gaelic" in late medieval or early modern Ireland in the past ten years is the personal opinion of a British nationalist historian who also likes to talk about something he calls the "British Isles" in late medieval and early modern Ireland. Yes, the historian in question needs no introduction (you can still see the bruises Kenneth Nicholls left on him in 1999). But I'm still waiting for him to reference the word "Gaelic" as used by English speakers in that period to describe what they all, without exception, called Irish in real history. He has failed even more abysmally in providing this evidence than he has in showing that the term "British Isles" was in use in the same period - and that's saying something. But it does fit into his prejudices very neatly hence his use of the word. PS: None of those references referring to the Irish language as "gaelic" are from early modern or medieval Ireland, or even from Irish people. (talk) 01:27, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
" late medieval or early modern Ireland..." Apologies, I thought you mean at all. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 07:44, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Of what relevance is Early Modern usage? If Gaelic is a modern usage, all the more reason to mention it in the article, surely? Incidentally, it is interesting how individual experiences differ. says that he or she has never heard an English-speaker in Ireland refer to Irish/Gaelic as anything other than Irish, yet my own experience at school was that it was more often called Gaelic than it was Irish. My own feeling is that Irish has supplanted Gaelic as the common term only in the past 20 or so years. Mooretwin (talk) 08:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm also interested in's suggestion that referring to the language as Gaelic is a political-motivated phenomenon. What particular political motivation is behind it? Presumably nationalist, given that the Gaelic revival referred to it as Gaelic? On the other hand, I had thought it may have been a nationalist motivation to start calling it Irish, implying as it does a stronger connection between the language and the island, and by implication emphasising English as "foreign" to the island. Mooretwin (talk) 08:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Finally, given that the name for the language in the language itself is Gaeilge and not Éireann, it seems that etymologically, Gaelic is the more accurate translation. Mooretwin (talk) 08:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
That last point is specious. ;-) Etymology is not the means by which one selects translations. The correct translation of German Sprachwissenschaft is linguistics, not speechwittingship. -- Evertype· 09:16, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I hate to intrude, but > 80% of people in the Republic of Ireland call it "Irish". The name in Irish is "Gaelige", but alot of English, American and Northern Irish, (and others who are not forced to learn it for more than six hours a week) call it "Gaelic" in an attempt to be savvy to other peoples heritage. P.S. Ive been learning "Irish" for 17 years now. Thomas (talk) 18:27, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

I grew up in the Gaeltacht, and lived there for 24 years, and the language was (and still is) always called Irish. The only time people ever use Gaelic when referring to the language is when they're pandering to foreigners. At school, we are taught Irish, not Gaelic. Our constitution states that the official language of the country is Irish. Gaelic is not mentioned. I remember watching an episode of Mock The Week, where someone mentioned something about something being written on a headstone in Gaelic, to which Dara O'Briain responded "...or Irish as we call it at home". Nearly every native speaker calls it Irish when they are speaking in English. I find that a lot of people who call it Gaelic, are the same kind of people who will ask you what tartan your clan wears or some other nonsense in a bid to prove their authentic knowledge of Ireland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 23 May 2011 (UTC)


I intend to make a change. Hopefully there is no objection. A concern about the UNESCO reference being used for native speakers. The total number of speakers section there saying "29,000 people in the four principal areas, plus less than a thousand in each of the pockets (1976); perhaps less than 20,000 today" would appear to refer only to the Gaeltacht. This thus excludes the significant percentage of the total native number who would be either Gaeltacht people that have moved elsewhere or emigrated or people who were brought up with it outside of the Gaeltacht. Therefore the reference for the lower end of what would be claimed as a number of native speakers to be changed to one actually more unambiguously and less problematically referring to an actual claim by a reputable source regarding what is the total number of native speakers. SML-JKS (talk) 13:14, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

"Irish Gaelic" is not the usual name; "an" is just the definite article and not part of the name (cf. Infobox at French language, which says "français", not "le français"

You ignore the fact that Gaelic speakers (L1) tended to use the definite article 'an' ( 'the' when speaking in English) before the word Gaelic ( An Ghaeilge or The Gaelic). I doubt if this is a feature of the French language! Eog1916 (talk) 21:30, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

This is certainly a feature of the French language. French speakers, when referring to their own language, generally call it "le français". garik (talk) 12:15, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
In 'Gráiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Críostaí' ( URL:
/documents/irish/christian_brothers_irish_grammar.pdf ) it is stated in 7.14 ( page 47) "Úsáidtear an t-alt ::freisin sna cásanna seo a leanas; le hainmneacha teangacha nuair atá a mbrí forleathan: 'is í an Ghaeilge teanga ::ár sinsear'; 'tháinig an Béarla isteach'; 'Bhí an Ghearmáinis go maith aige'.
Ligtear an t-alt ar lár mura bhfuil an bhrí forleathan: abair i mBéarla é; cuireadh Fraincis ar an mBíobla; tá
Gréigis aige; leabhar Spáinnise." This rule would appear somewhat similar to the French language. In
CliffsNotes - The Fastest Way to Learn ( SEE URL:
/Definite-Articles.topicArticleId-25559,articleId-25478.html) it states; "Use the definite article as follows: ::With names of languages, except directly after parler, en, and de, 'Le français est facile'. (French is easy., but 'J'adore le français'. (I love French.)"Eog1916 (talk) 01:23, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Reverted section "Number of speakers"

I recently reverted a section from the article which dealt with "number of speakers". For several reasons. Putting the informal tone asside completely, the section was misplaced (Analysis on the "number of speakers" should not come before basic concepts like the language name, pronunciation, dialect, etc). Secondly the section was full of "analysis" and came to conclusions on the readers behalf. (This is inappropriate under the most basic tenets of the project. Namely that editors state the facts as clearly and concisely as possible and avoid coming to conclusions.) And thirdly, the "stats" listed were both uncited and contradicted other (cited) stats in the article. ("20,000 native speakers"?, "1.2m with some measure of fluency"?, etc) Guliolopez (talk) 17:18, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

This is being reverted between "small minority" and "minority" (and optional word only) for daily speakers. I think words like small and only are judgements rather than fact – how do you quantify a small minority? Think effort here should focus on actually getting figures for the claim – how many daily speakers of Irish are there? – Why not put in the figure? Dave (talk) 13:44, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
The figures were in the article until very recently but it seems that large portions of the page including the figures were deleted from it and put in articles like Status of the Irish language. I agree some mention should be made of number of speakers etc here and I've added a bit to the article.
The way you put it makes it sound like there's a whole edit war going on. In actuality it was a single revert of an IP who inserted "Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of the Irish population, and as a second language by many more" in place of the current sentence. By the way "daily speakers" is not the same thing is "native speakers". There are second-language daily speakers and there are first-language speakers who aren't using it daily.
I don't see how anyone could reasonably argue that native speakers aren't a small minority of the population. Not really a big deal though so feel free to remove the word if you think it's a problem.

Tameamseo (talk) 22:49, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Oh sorry, didn't mean to be confrontational about it – I'd just noticed the page showing up in my watch list a couple of times, but wasn't keeping a track of what was going on fully – think I wrote that when I was tired & irritable! =) It's a real pain to try & quantify too, between speakers in Rep, NI, abroad, daily speakers, native speakers, etc ,etc… No offence meant! Dave (talk) 23:10, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
None taken :) Tameamseo (talk) 13:34, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Example of use of copula

I find the section on "copula" baffling. Does anyone have an example? --Doradus (talk) 17:22, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

The copula is used when the predicate of a sentence is a noun, as in "John is a teacher". It isn't used when the predicate is an adjective (as in "John is happy") or adverb (as in "John is here"). This is a greatly simplified explanation though; real life is much more complicated. +Angr 20:14, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

UNESCO status

I can't find any reputable source to say that Irish language has been reclassified as "vulnerable" by UNESCO. The UNESCO website still classifies it (sadly) as "definitely endangered". --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 17:04, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Adds: the website shows data from the 2009 UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, which would appear to flatly contradict the Fianna Fáil press release (not particularly surprising). --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 17:08, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Problems with recently merged content

Maybe I'm missing something, but the recently merged "language speakers by county" section is problematic in a few areas. Not least the "rank" column (which isn't ordered by "rank" at all. But alpha ordered by province by county), and the image (which isn't in anyway associated with the table. One might assume a graduation/colouring by percentage speakers. But it's just a map with no relationship to the table). Any thoughts before I just cull these two irrelevant/incorrect/misleading elements? Guliolopez (talk) 12:24, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

The Word "Craic"

The word "craic" is actually an Irish word. It is mostly used as "fun" but can mean "company" as well, an example of use, "Tá craic mhaith leis" means "He is good fun", or could mean "He is in good company", the latter being where the phrase was derived from.

The spelling (and indeed the phrasing) of "crack" was made popular by lack of knowledge of predictive dictionary used to send SMSs and an inability to add new words to it.

Since most mobile manufacturers now let the user add words to this dictionary this is no longer a problem so the correct spelling "craic" has prevailed as the norm.

There was also a saying "Whats the craic?", to inquire about the enjoyment of the person. A positive answer would be "The craic is ninety!" (which is most likely to do with speed limits or something?)

Thomas (talk) 18:27, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Apparently not - and suggest otherwise. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 16:27, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Is "craic" not the Gaelic version of the English (or Scots) word "crack", which (for whatever reason) has been misappropriated into the English language? Mooretwin (talk) 11:46, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I believe it is of Scottish/Northern English descent, particularly from the 15th/16th/17th centuries, introduced into Ireland by Scotch/Scottish and English planters, subsequently adopted by the Irish language as "craic", and then re-introduced to the English language in Ireland, and further afield (Liverpool in particular). Not sure of its etymology prior to the 15th century though. --MacTire02 (talk) 13:01, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, the word never originated from Irish. However for some odd reason, the Irish spelling has become the norm, even in English. CodeCat (talk) 23:34, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Recent commentary, NPOV, promo

Unless there are any objections, I'm going to remove this newly added section. It has far too many uncited assertions ("created two very successful radio programmes"), reads incredibly like promotion ("a new phenomenon", "infamous Ceol '08 albums", etc), and is full of OR, POV and commentary ("too much focus was placed on the importance of Irish traditional music to the detriment of the younger generation, who became disillusioned and felt disenfranchised from the Irish language movement"). Guliolopez (talk) 11:52, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Exactly the same wording is found on the "Gaelic Revival" page.

I know at least one Ceol album, Ceol 08, made it to number one in Ireland. I uggest replacing "Infamous" with "highly successful" and a citation of the charts. Only citation I could find online was on the Bernardo's website - the charity the album aided.

Also on the Mundy Wikipedia page it claims Ceol 06 made it into the top 10, but no citation. Hotpress magazine wrote very positive reviews about these abbums, perhaps these could found quoted and cited. Bad news is the official IRMA Irish chart site only allows searches for singles, not albums, so is hard to get info from for albums. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Official status of Irish in the infobox

I suggest removing the Permanent North American Gaeltacht from the infobox. This is more of a cultural organisation than anything else. There are no permanent inhabitants there. The infobox should be reserved for supranational organisations such as the EU, UN etc. but not for cultural organisations - otherwise we should include the Celtic League, the Celtic Congress, Conradh na Gaeilge etc. Of course the PNAG should be mentioned in the article, just not in the infobox. --MacTire02 (talk) 16:12, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree--Jordan353 (talk) 20:59, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the offical language section in the infobox, I am also looking dubiously at the listing of Northern Ireland in that section. Can someone please enlighten me - is the Irish language an official language of Northern Ireland, is it an officially recognised language, or is it just a recognised minority or regional language? The article here as well as the article on the Irish language in Northern Ireland both state that the language has been officially recognised as per the Good Friday Agreement. But it does not say what form of recognition this entails - full official status, partial, or limited? Maybe someone can expand upon this? --MacTire02 (talk) 11:13, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
What does "recognition" or "full recognition" mean? It is recognised as a "regional or minority language" for the purposes of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. I think that's about as "official" as it gets in a country that doesn't have any official languages (other than by custom and practice). Mooretwin (talk) 13:18, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
My point exactly Mooretwin. I think perhaps it might not be such a bad thing to remove NI from the infobox as a location where Irish is an official language then? What does everyone else think? --MacTire02 (talk) 13:39, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi MacTire02. I'm not sure if the definitions you list above have any specific legal or de facto variance, but, taking them in turn:
  • Q: "is the Irish language a recognised minority or regional language in NI". A: Yes. Per UK's ratification (with territorial application) of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. See: COE site (FYI - Republic of Ireland not signatories to charter as would conflict with status of Irish as first official lang.)
  • Q: "is the Irish language an officially recognised language in NI". A: Yes. Per ratification (by referendum?) of the Belfast Agreement. See: Text of agreement, pg 21
  • Q: "is the Irish language an official language of Northern Ireland". A: Am not 100% sure of the legal (or de facto) difference between this definition and the two above. However, if you mean, "does it have the same status as English", then the answer is no. In the Republic of Ireland the constitution holds that "The Irish language as the national language is the first official language" and "The English language is recognised as a second official language". But I don't think similar constitutional status is afforded in NI. See: BBC article
Because of the indistinct boundaries between the above definitions however I personally think that (for the purposes of the infobox) the NI listing should remain. Guliolopez (talk) 14:10, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying that Gulioplopez. Basically what I'm trying to get at is that the infobox holds a further section that is invisible unless specifically called for in its execution relating to Regional or minority language (as opposed to official language). Basically I am of the opinion that NI should be removed from the official languages section as Irish is not an official language of that entity. It has official status which basically means is tolerated and may or may not be promoted by government agencies. An official langauge however has the status of a language which is used by one or more government agencies in dealings between themselves and with the general public and where this relationship is described or outlined in an official edict, legislative piece, constitution, etc. Perhaps placing NI into the Regional or minority languages section under the term UK and then mentioning in brackets NI? Again only a thought and my own view, and I'm sure there are others with more knowledge of this particular situation. --MacTire02 (talk) 14:21, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I would agree with MacTire. I think it would be misleading to say that Irish is an official language in NI. Certainly the Belfast Agreement doesn't say that - it only says that signatories recognise the importance of respecting, understanding and tolerating it. It is not used officially. It is not "official" in the way that it is in the Republic of Ireland, or even that Welsh is in Wales. Mooretwin (talk) 14:53, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

[DE-INDENT] So basically the proposal is to change the infobox as per right? (sections not impacted by proposed change removed for simplicity) Guliolopez (talk) 19:40, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation [ˈɡeːlʲɟə]
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by Foras na Gaeilge
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ga
ISO 639-2 gle
ISO 639-3 gle
That's precisely what I'm thinking of. But I don't want to be bold about it and just change the infobox without any consensus. Do you think the infobox (right) would be more appropriate in your opinion, or do any other editors have any views on it? --MacTire02 (talk) 20:21, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Looks good. Per IMOS, though, it would be better to specify Republic of Ireland, to avoid confusion. Mooretwin (talk) 21:47, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
There would be no confusion if Northern Ireland is staying in the infobox, albeit as minority rather than official - so Ireland should stay rather than use RoI. And Permanent North American Gaeltacht should definitely be removed - it's really just an organisation. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 16:12, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Disagree about keeping "Ireland" - many readers will not realise that this refers only to part of the island, notwithstanding the reference to NI. Agree that the North American thing has to go. Mooretwin (talk) 11:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe let's park the IMOS debate and stick with one discussion/decision at a time. On the "original proposal", I'm happy to support a change to the infobox to "move" NI to the "recognised minority" field. I'm also happy to support removing PNAG from the box entirely. (Whlie the group's aspirations are laudable, per Bastun it's a small organisation and don't think it falls under the same category as the other countries/entities in the box. Not least because I don't think the area is pretty clearly not "permanent" - and possibly not strictly a Gaeltacht.) Guliolopez (talk) 13:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
OK. So NI moved to recognised minority status, and PNAG out altogether. That sounds fair to me. Regarding the Ireland - ROI question. I have my own views on this one but I'm not entirely sure I would like to get involved in that one as it can get quite heated. So If everyone is ok with it, I'll change the infobox to that to the right, and then if people wish to discuss the name of the entity in which Irish is an official language for the purposes of the infobox go ahead and do that. --MacTire02 (talk) 13:15, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Argentina Irish Speakers

I am just wondering why the relatively large Irish population and current speakers living in Argentina are not mentioned in the Outside Ireland section of the article. I do not have the resources or knowledge to make the addition myself, but I am aware of their existence and hope someone takes the initiative here. There is a article briefly explaining how the Irish arrived in Argentina and their impact here, (talk) 09:37, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

The reason is that we can only enter in information that we as a (wikipedia) community know about. Until such a time as someone who is interested in the Argentine Irish-speaking community or knows something about it comes along and enters in the information then I'm afraid it will remain absent. For instance, I know nothing about that community and it is not of interest to me, but I do have other interests in the project and that is where I direct my attention. Perhaps you could try searching some users through the Irish portal and find some there with a knowledge of the topic, or perhaps even better still do a search on the Irish language wikipedia for Spanish-speaking wikipedians there or go to the Spanish wikipedia and try search for Irish-speaking wikipedians there. I'm sure someone will be able to help you there in entering information regarding the Irish language in Argentina. I am, however, aware that as per the Argentine national censuses and as per Ethnologue, there are no official acknowledgements of Irish speakers in Argentina. One of the requirements of this project is that we identify and provide citations for such claims, and if there are none to be found (either because none exist or because they are too hard to find) this does have a tendency to discourage some editors from contributing such sections (i.e. a section on the Irish language in Argentina). I hope this helps somewhat. --MacTire02 (talk) 10:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

There is now a section on Argentina in Irish language outside Ireland. Additions and corrections are welcome. Colin Ryan (talk) 09:01, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Problem of length

The article as it stands is becoming unwieldy. I would suggest that the portion dealing with dialects and linguistic structure be converted into a separate article, especially as additions may be made to the remainder. I have just added a brief section on the Irish language in New Zealand, for example, and there is a need for a similar section on Britain. Argentina (as suggested above) is another area that needs to be looked at. Colin Ryan (talk) 12:27, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

I was just about to suggest something similar. My main problem with this article is that, unlike the articles about other languages on Wikipedia, this one deals primarily with the status and history (just look at it, it's over 2/3 of the page!) and says very little about the actual language itself. Most language articles (say, Dutch language or Finnish language) dedicate separate sections to phonology, grammar, syntax and such. This article barely has anything to say about it at all, lumping it all into one tiny section. I realise that the social and political aspects of Irish are important, but those should never be the mainstay of any language article. I suggest we create a separate Status of the Irish language or something like that. CodeCat (talk) 10:31, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree - particularly since I am at the point of adding a section on Argentina. The separate linguistic article should, as you say, be longer than the section that now exists, and properly referenced. The remainder could be called 'History and status of the Irish language'. There is also a case for an article called, perhaps, Irish language outside Ireland. That would neatly remove North America, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and any other relevant entity. Colin Ryan (talk) 05:12, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Seems fine to me. We could provide short sections on those two topics and provide a link to the main article. And that would leave room to expand more on the linguistic aspects. CodeCat (talk) 11:27, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I have created two new articles: Grammar and phonology of Irish and Irish language outside Ireland. Irish language has been reduced accordingly, although a little more trimming might be in order. Grammar and phonology of Irish still needs more work - it has simply been transferred wholesale from its parent. I looked at the layout of Dutch grammar, which was helpful. Colin Ryan (talk) 08:57, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

The grammar and phonology article seems a bit superfluous, because there are already Irish phonology, Irish morphology and Irish orthography. I think the morphology article could simply be renamed to Irish grammar, since almost all languages have such an article, so people will expect it to exist. Then most of the content from Grammar and phonology of Irish can be split between those three articles. CodeCat (talk) 11:06, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I've now split off the parts about the status of the language to Status of the Irish language, which included most of the lead section. I've also created a preliminary 'Phonology' section. Looking a lot better now. CodeCat (talk) 11:28, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
With the status parts moved out, there was now plenty of room for more grammatical information, so I've moved some parts of Grammar and phonology of Irish back to the main article. I hope you don't mind. The phonology section still needs content, but the Irish phonology article is very good (it's a featured article) so it should be easy to copy some parts to the main article for a short summary. I've moved Irish morphology to Irish grammar, but it still needs some expansion, especially its verb and noun sections. CodeCat (talk) 12:35, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

That looks good - very logical. Colin Ryan (talk) 00:08, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Is this vandalism on the Irish section of the Future tense page?

Hi, could someone who knows Irish check to see if this[edit] to the Irish section of Future tense is vandalism or is valid? Thanks. Duoduoduo (talk) 21:58, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

The go mbí/nach bí construct is the correct one. --MacTire02 (talk) 22:04, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

The Indo-European language family...

...originated somewhere around modern-day Georgia in the Caucasus. That Irish Gaelic could have originated in Ireland and simultaneously be a member of the Indo-European language family makes zero sense. Zip. Zilch. (talk) 09:43, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Given that this is the English language wiki, Gaelic ought to be listed in the first line. But Indo-European as the super-family? No. That's just out. It's unprovable because it's simply not true. (talk) 09:54, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi. A couple of things.
Firstly, Irish is most certainly classified as an Indo-European language. See any book or reference on language classification, and you will note that the Celtic languages are classified under the Indo-European family, and Irish is a sub-class of the Celtic branch. Your rationale for removing this classification seems to be based on an opinion that it "doesn't make sense". Changing content based on a "doesn't make sense to me" opinion (while ignoring the academic research and reliable resources which classify Irish as an Indo-European language) is classic "Original Research" behaviour.
Secondly, the suggestion that Irish "borrows heavily from English" again is an OR "opinion". While modern Irish speakers might include English "loan words" occasionally, that does NOT mean that the language itself inherits from English. In fact, Irish and English do not have the same language root at all.
Finally, the assertion that "Gaelic ought to be listed" is based on (yet another) personal opinion that "Gaelic is the name of the language". Gaelic is NOT the name of the language. Gaelic can apply to multiple Celtic languages, and so using "Gaelic" to refer specifically to the Irish language is - frankly - a misnomer. Some people may refer to Irish as "Gaelic", but that doesn't make it correct or appropriate to include in the intro.
Cheers. Guliolopez (talk) 10:31, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not so much that it "doesn't make sense." It just prima facie doesn't hold together as a linguistic argument.
Just think it through: can a language simultaneously "originate" in Ireland and be a member of a language family that "originated" in the modern-day Caucasus? No. That just doesn't hold together logically.
Let's at least invite other comments on the reworked intro. (talk) 11:04, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I should also add that I'm trying to avoid cite flags here, which is often easy to do by adding a single adverb. A lot of people are "partly fluent" in Irish in the U.S. and U.K. because it's a heritage language for so many people. (talk) 11:10, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
"can a language simultaneously "originate" in Ireland and be a member of a language family that "originated" in the modern-day Caucasus?" - HUH??? Of course it can. The IE languages evolved about 7,000 years ago in a small pocket around the Caucasus. From there the language spread across Europe and Asia and eventually evolved to become the various languages we now know. Irish is one of those languages having evolved c. 2,000 years ago. In other words, Irish is geographically from Ireland while linguistically speaking is an IE language. This is not in any way disputed by the linguistic community. --MacTire02 (talk) 11:15, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Also, the sentence "A lot of people are fluent in Irish..." requires the same amount of citations as the sentence "A lot of people are partly fluent in Irish..." The addition of an adverb does not change the requirement for citations. The information behind the sentence is what needs the citation. --MacTire02 (talk) 11:22, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm a member of the linguistic community. A lot of good faith disputes arise in the linguistic community and the status of Irish Gaelic is one of them.
A lot of other members of the linguistic community have told me to avoid Wikipedia because of a lack of patience amongst its editors. They appear to have been right. Can we leave the reworked intro up for 24 hours to invite other comments?
Pretty please? (talk) 11:36, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
No. Wikipedia does not work like that. You should perhaps try reading Wikipedia policies such as how to edit, Edit warring, how to citate articles, etc. What you have done is changed a stable version of the article without prior discussion or agreement. I understand you may be knowledgeable on the topic, but then so am I. I am also a linguist, with a particular interest in historical linguistics. Perhaps you could try logging in, as that way we will know who you are and therefore make discussion easier (after all you will more than likely have a different IP address again tomorrow). --MacTire02 (talk) 11:50, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Of corse originated in Ireland doesn't mean that it originated out of thin air, but from pre-existing languages. Anyway, AFAICT there's no standardized definition of family, stock, clade, phylum etc. the way there is in biology, so both Indo-European and Goidelic can be called families. (Of course, the latter is more useful for the same reason we say that Edinburgh is in Scotland rather than it's in the Milky Way.) As for "Gaelic" or "Celtic" are often used as an eponym for the entire Goidelic language family, I can't recall anyone using Celtic as explicitly excluding Brythonic languages. A. di M.plédréachtaí 11:54, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
"Indo-European and Goidelic can be called families." Bingo. Irish Gaelic is not an isolate. Goidelic is a language family. That's not disputed amongst linguists. Bits of Irish Gaelic are spoken from Nova Scotia to poor, urban Boston. It's daughter languages are spoken all over the Irish and British isles. Calling it Indo-European is wrong-headed, linguistically ridiculous, and culturally insulting.
As for how Wikipedia works, I can't create an account from where I am. MacTire02: you seem to be intent on reversing my addition of the adverb "partly" to qualify the adjective "fluent." That's just silly. (talk) 13:24, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I am not simply just randomly determined to reverse the addition of "partly". The fact remains that with or without that word it still needs citations. Inserting that word in and then removing the citation tag goes against both wikipedia policies and common sense. The use of the word "partly" to qualify the sentence counts as the insertion of weasel words to get around inserting citations. Regarding Irish as an isolate - no one ever said it was an isolate. "Calling it Indo-European is wrong-headed, linguistically ridiculous, and culturally insulting. " - one so? Mac Tíre Cowag 13:36, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Goidelic is a subfamily of Insular Celtic which is a subfamily of Celtic which is a subfamily of Indo-European; nothing ridiculous with that. Have a read of those articles if you're not familiar with the idea. (Also, as an Italian native speaker that helped me quite a lot with learning Irish, as a great many words are very similar. A few – e.g. scríobh, léigh, leabhar – might well be Latin borrowings, but I don't buy that e.g. , and the numbers are.) A. di M.plédréachtaí 13:42, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Folks: what you need to bear in mind about linguists is its circularity in naming. Alpha taxonomy (biology) actually takes its naming structure from linguistics and not the other way around. But the biologists have extant animals to study. Linguists just have spoken and written words.

"Goidelic is a subfamily of Insular Celtic which is a subfamily of Celtic which is a subfamily of Indo-European; nothing ridiculous with that."

It's completely ridiculous. It subsumes families into sub-families and then reifies them as super-families. (talk) 14:00, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

So let's just step through it step-by-step...
  1. Goidelic is a language family. This is not disputed.
  2. Irish Gaelic is the eponymous member of Goidelic. This is not disputed either. All it means in the practical sense is that other languages tend to be named after it. Manx Gaelic, for example, is a daughter of Irish Gaelic. Further, there's nothing politically controversial about the statement: a northern loyalist and a southern republican are going to agree that Irish Gaelic is the eponymous member of the Gaelic languages. In fact, they'll both take some pride in the fact, which is why it's culturally insulting to suggest that Irish is an Indo-European language.
  3. In cultural contexts outside of Ireland, "Gaelic" and "Celtic" are indeed often used epynoms for all things Irish amongst diaspora communities. See Boston Celtics for the obvious. (talk) 14:07, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
First off. Can you please stick to the correct format for adding in comments. Indent your comments as per the previous commentor so we can more easily follow the discussion. You can do this by placing the : symbol at the start of your comment and simply add one each time. i.e. if I have started my comment with 2 colons then you start yours with 3 colons etc.
Secondly, what you wrote above makes no sense. Linguistically speaking we "know" there was a common Celtic language (Proto-Celtic) which gave rise to the modern descendants of that language (i.e. Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton). Now ScG and Mx Gaelic evolved from OIr together with MIr. Therefore, ScG, Mx and MIr are the "children" of "Goidelic" (so called because the OIr name for Irish is Goídelc) which in turn is the child of Common Celtic, which in turn is derived from the parent of all Romance, Germanic, Slavic, Armenian, Greek, Indic languages - i.e. Indo-European. You're not really making your point clear at all, because all I'm getting from what you want to do is to avoid using citations, ignore established linguistic ideas without justification, and suggest that Irish is simply Irish and that there is no such thing as comparitive linguistics - that all languages evolved separately (because you seem to reject the idea of the Proto-Indo-European language). Finally, what do you mean by "reify"?? Mac Tíre Cowag 14:12, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
You still haven't explained how it's insulting? You're just saying it's insulting but not explaining how. Mac Tíre Cowag 14:14, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
We do NOT know WHEN proto-Celtic was spoken. Proto-Celtic was most likely spoken ten thousand years ago not two thousand years ago. The best comparison on this is Basque, which is an isolate. People have been trying to link Basque with everything from Finnish to Japanese. Over the last thirty years a linguistic consensus has emerged: Basque probably dates back to the late stone age. We're not going to nail it down much further because once you go back that far you're only five to eight thousand years past a glacial event. During glacial events the main language of Europe and the Irish and British isles is proto-Polar Bear...
I don't deny a proto-Indo-European at all. It was spoken in the area of modern-day Georgia about two thousand years ago. The Indo-Europeans conquered a lot of territory really quickly but to suggest they managed to conquer Britian, let alone Ireland, in the span of a couple of centuries is ludicrous.
As for being insulted just consider some cultural symbol of where you're from. I'm sure Australians don't like being told that Australian rules football was invented in Germany. I'm sure Canadians don't like being told the Montreal Canadians are an American-based hockey team. (talk) 14:40, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)By the way: the vast majority of the world's leading academics and institutions as well as the general populace view the Irish language as Indo-European. Here are a few examples:
--Mac Tíre Cowag 14:43, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
What you're showing me here is one good academic source that's Anglo-American. The University of Texas is not the best place to research the Irish language.
The Irish links are playing politically nice for tourist reasons. Irish Gaelic is a politically loaded language at the moment because terrorists have conversed in it over the last forty years. Celtic was not introduced to Ireland in the sixth century B.C. That's a joke. A complete and total joke. (talk) 14:52, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
You obviously have not got a clue about us Irish over here in Ireland. You are telling me that Irish is a descendant of Proto-Celtic and that that was around 10,000 years ago...when Ireland was covered by an ice sheet one mile thick??? Irish is not related to Basque in any way shape or form so leave that out. Linguists have also been trying to link Basque with Arabic, Navajo and Korean... Secondly, you have to remember that "The Stone Age" is dependent on geography. E.g. the Stone Age did not end in Australia until the 1600s AD with that continent's discovery. i.e. the Stone Age happened at different time across the World. The proto-Celtic language has indeed been dated to c. 1000 BCE - that's 3,000 years ago, at the most. If you are saying that PIE developed 2,000 years ago, and Latin is an IE language, then you are saying that the child was born before the parent. Latin is a sister language to Greek, also an IE language which is attested even further back, and Greek is a sister of Sanskrit which goes back yet further. So how, please tell me, do you propose to suggest that these languages were around prior to their ancestor??? Finally, where there is debate about PIE is the method of conveyance of the language. In other words, there are those who say that the language was brought by colonisers to the various parts of Europe, India, etc. while there are others who suggest it was adopted and transferred in that way. I count myself as one of the latter. You can see it in action in Ireland - in the Republic of Ireland we are 95% English speakers at the least. To take the coloniser theory would be to suggest that 95% of the population of Ireland are not Irish and came to Ireland from England in the last 200 years. To use the second theory would be to suggest the populace simply adopted the language - a far speedier method of language conveyance.
Secondly, at least I have shown you links. You have not provided any. Also, please provide proof that terrorists conversed in it for over forty years. I'm not proud to admit it but I have had relatives serve time in the H blocs and I can tell you - none of them could even ask to go to the toilet in Irish, never mind orchestrate any terrorist activites.
Finally, I am Irish, born in Ireland, native language is (although I have lost some of my ability) Irish. I do not regard Irish being classified as Indo-European as any sort of insult. In fact, I consider it as much an insult as someone telling me they have 3 cats and a dog and watched a good film last night.
As an addendum to the list above:
You may also want to check these links out too:
--Mac Tíre Cowag 15:40, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
"That Irish Gaelic could have originated in Ireland and simultaneously be a member of the Indo-European language family makes zero sense. Zip. Zilch"
"Calling it [Irish] Indo-European is wrong-headed, linguistically ridiculous, and culturally insulting."
Anyone else starting to think we have a troll on our hands? Either way, it's not worth our while wasting time and electronic ink on explaining scientific and historical fact to someone who seems completely unprepared to listen. garik (talk) 15:44, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm reading. There's no need for listening on Wikipedia, which appears to be the one good thing about the place. (talk) 15:48, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
OK Mac. You're misunderstanding me completely. In fact, you're inverting a lot of what I'm trying to say.
I realize Basque has no relationship with Gaelic/Celtic. That was my point. Part of the usefulness of language isolates is what can be disproven through their study. As I've said, the status of Irish Gaelic is disputed. The fact that it does NOT appear to relate to Basque eliminates the most logical link Irish Gaelic has to the Eurasian land mass.
What does that usually suggests to linguists? If you're talking about an island language it suggests the language developed in situ. Right there on the spot. On balance, Irish Gaelic developed right there on the spot in modern-day Ireland. And when would that have occurred? When ever the last ice sheets left modern-day Ireland. (talk) 15:46, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
“[T]he status of Irish Gaelic is disputed” by whom? A. di M.plédréachtaí 16:06, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
"The fact that it does NOT appear to relate to Basque eliminates the most logical link Irish Gaelic has to the Eurasian land mass" - incorrect. The most logical link Irish Gaelic has to the Eurasian land mass is via its closest link to that landmass - i.e. via Britain and France (wherein existed another Celtic language - Gaulish, as well as other Celtic languages such as Celtiberian (Iberia), Lepontic, Noric, etc.) It is hypothesized and indeed highly likely that there were non-Indo-European languages present in Ireland prior to the arrival of Proto-Celtic (some even speculate that Pictish was indeed one of the last remnants of the true native languages spoken in the British Isles, although that is a theory rapidly decreasing in favour). Irish did indeed develop in Ireland, but it developed from Common Celtic (there are two theories here, one is the Insular vs Continental theory, the second is the P vs Q theory - although the P/Q distinction in the modern languages can also fit into the Continental/Insular theory). Common Celtic however did not develop in Ireland - it developed on the European mainland. To suggest such an idea is to suggest that the same language developed independently in Ireland, Scotland, IoM, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, France, Italy, etc. which is just preposterous. Even in Lebor Gabala Érenn there is mention of how the Gaels arrived in Ireland and replaced the original inhabitants and their language with their own. I'm not sure of the source but I'm sure I could find it if I tried hard enough but there is also stories of a pre-existing Brythonic language being spoken in North Cork, Tipperary known as the "Iron tongue". Again, please find sources to suggest that 1) Irish has no connection with Indo-European, that 2) Irish developed in Ireland alone when the last ice sheets left, and that 3) ...[i]f you're talking about an island language it suggests the language developed in situ." Mac Tíre Cowag 16:19, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Alright Mac: now we seem to be on the same page. You yourself are elaborating some of the points of contention over the status of Irish Gaelic.
What were those Celtic languages of the Eurasian mainland? They were daughter languages of the "core Gaelic" of Ireland itself. A good source? Read Aristotle on the Celts. He was writing in the 4th century B.C. and was clearly describing a group of related peoples that still occupied much of northern Europe. The idea that Indo-Europeans had conquered Ireland two centuries earlier makes absolutely no historical sense. And it's actually quite an insult to the Irish people -- in or outside of Ireland.
"2) Irish developed in Ireland alone when the last ice sheets left." That can't be sourced. That's what makes things frustrating but also makes linguistics so tantalizing. Once there's broad agreement a language has developed in situ what you are left with, basically, is your imagination. What did Ireland look like fifteen thousand years ago? We don't know but Irish Gaelic still has much to teach us. So it has gone with Basque and the Basque country. (talk) 17:12, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
No those Celtic languages of the Eurasian mainland came from an area in modern Switzerland/Austria/France/Northern Italy. From that core area they spread into the remainder of France, into Spain and Portugal, south into Italy and as far East as central Turkey (Galatian). They also spread northwest into the British Isles. But those Celts in the first place were the descendants of the original Indo-Europeans who migrated from the Southern Russian steppe in an area slightly to the north of the Caucasus. Your idea that Indo-Europeans conquering Ireland is an insult is just preposterous. I really don't see how it's an insult. That's like saying man originated in the rift valley of Africa is an insult. These are not vague ideas about the Celtic languages - they are recognised as the most likely theory. Regarding your source in Aristotle - where's the link? Where's the book? Title? Where is it available? Simply giving a name is not providing a source. I'm not going to just sit down and spend hours trawling the internet to find some vague reference Aristotle may or may not have said that backs up an idea that only you seem to hold. Regarding what Ireland looked like 15,000 years ago - white is one word for it. Ice is another word for it. Ireland only became ice-free c. 10,000 BCE. The arrival of Gaelic speaking people in Ireland occurred around 400 BCE with Old Irish dated to the 4th century AD. This is not a vague idea. This is established scientific, historical, archaeological and linguistic consensus. Aristotle was around at a time before linguistics was even invented. Most writers of his time hardly even differentiated between peoples outside of the Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, etc. They simply labeled them all as barbarians. So I would hardly trust that source even if you did present it to me. Mac Tíre Cowag 17:31, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
There is no dispute of the sort our anonymous contributor is suggesting, except possibly in the minds of people who have no idea what they're talking about. Irish is a member of the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family. No worthwhile evidence or sensible argument has been raised to the contrary (here or elsewhere). We don't need to waste time over this. garik (talk) 18:38, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed! Mac Tíre Cowag 18:40, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, folks, I'll leave you with a question: who was Aristotle talking about if not people of linguistic and culture relation to unconquered Celts in Ireland? And who, exactly, managed to conquer Eire itself while there were still Celts all over northern Europe? A handful of Norse longboatmen?
My God, Wikipedia. (talk) 20:49, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Gaelic and Irish Gaelic

I understand this is a annoyane for some coontibutors to this article, but, for better or worse, Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are common names for the language (outsde of Ireland, anyway). I've added them to the lead with references.

--RA (talk) 18:47, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

I know some don't like this and I fully understand why, but we have WP:NPOV and to this political ideology takes a back seat. Just like "Irish", "Gaelic" is neither a "correct" nor an "incorrect" name; just like "Irish", it's a name popularly used in English to refer to the language. That's the NPOV stance, though I personally prefer the term "Irish" and agree that it should be preferred usage. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:00, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi guys. I'm no longer engaging in the IE "denial" discussion above, because the blunt refusal to acknowledge accepted linguistic categorisation convention smacks of "I didn't hear that" tendentious editing. With regard however to the "we should reference fact that (rightly or wrongly) people call it Gaelic" argument. This is probably fair enough. However, I'm not sure it needs to (or should) go in the lead section. We already have a section which covers the "alternate names for the language", and I think this should be dealt with there. (As it kind of already is). Guliolopez (talk) 19:42, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
C'mon, it's just seven more words (and if it said “also known as Irish Gaelic” it would be just five more words), and I guess for many readers outside Ireland it helps a great deal in realizing what the article is about. I can't see any strong reason to exclude it from the lead. A. di M.plédréachtaí 20:47, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
The blunt refusal to even engage the point on Aristotle smacks of... I don't know... head in the sandism or something. (talk) 20:52, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
And it's not political ideology, Deacon of Pndapetzim. It's actually an attempt to depoliticize a politicized language. A lot of people outside of Ireland would love to learn Irish Gaelic from actual Irish Gaelic speakers without having to worry about the troubles or the British monarchy or any of the political rubbish. (talk) 20:55, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
What the hell does British monarchy have to do with whatever happened in the first millennium BC? A. di M.plédréachtaí 00:16, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps I was wrong about the University of Texas. Aristotle on the Celts.[1] As for Aristotle himself, the primary sources are in just about every library in the world. (talk) 21:07, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't see anything in it stating or suggesting that the Celts moved from Ireland to the mainland rather than vice versa. A. di M.plédréachtaí 00:16, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Alright genuis: who the fuck was living in Ireland at the time of Aristotle's writing 2400 hundred years ago if not Celts? Lilliputians and Blefuscuians? Jesus. I don't care about your politics, man. I honestly don't. But at least use common sense in replying. Everyone on Wikipedia hounds people for goddamned web links and when professionals provide good ones they're harassed and sneered at. (talk) 21:18, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

How do you count to ten?

I don't mind having my edits challenged on Wikipedia. I really don't. I do mind having my professional accreditations and professional experience insulted.

How do you count to ten? What words do you use? Is the following Gaelic "correct"?

1. a h-aon (a hayun)
2. a do (a though)
3. a tri (a three)
4. ceathair (a kahir - soft 'a')
5. chuig (a kooig)
6. se (a shay)
7. seacht (a shockt)
8. h-ocht (a huckt)
9. naoi (a nay)
10. deich (a de -soft 'e')

Although you may have heard differently, the simplest and most direct method that linguists continue to use for language comparison is counting to ten.

Without consulting a book I can count to ten in three languages. One of those languages is (Indo-European) Germanic (English) and thus I can learn to count to ten in any Germanic language in an afternoon. One of those languages is (Indo-European) Latinate (French) and thus I can learn to count to ten in any Latinate language in an afternoon.

If a language does not match a spoken language in another language family on the counting to ten test there are two basic conclusions a linguist can draw: that it is not related to that family and/or that it is a language isolate.

Irish Gaelic is not an Indo-European language. It's the eponym of its own language family. (talk) 21:27, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Really can't you see any similarity between aon do trí ceathair cúig sé seacht ocht naoi deich and, say, unus duo tres quattuor quinque sex septem octo novem decem? Are you f***in' kidding? (Also, words causing eclipsis are most likely the ones which used to end with a nasal, such as /m/.) A. di M.plédréachtaí 23:51, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I see greater similarities between all European languages and Arabic, a Semetic language in which I'm modestly fluent: wahad, (a)'thnain, (al)thalatha, arba'a, humsa, seba, seta, themanya, ashra, tesa.
Excepting the first digit (which is naturally going to be distinct in any language) and four, five, and nine, English and Arabic show greater similarities than do Irish Gaelic and English on the count to ten test.
Shall we reclassify this a Semetic language? (talk) 21:12, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
No we shan't. Because to do so is to go against ALL evidence, against ALL common sense, and is just plain Ridiculous with a capital R. You have Zero, ZIP, ZILCH linguistic skills and have NO understanding of linguistic classification. Please leave this project alone to those that actually know what they are talking about. How in the name of God is Arabic two (a)'thnain closer than Irish to English two? Irish trí you suggest is further from English three than Arabic (al)thalatha? Your own list displays even better the similarities between Irish and English. How about this list:
Numberal Irish Welsh English Gothic Latin Russian Arabic
1 aon un one ains unus один, odin وَاحٍدْ , wahid
2 dau two twai duo два, dva إِثْنَيْن , ithnain
3 trí tri three þreis tres три, tri ثَلاَثَة , thalatha
4 ceathair pedwar four fidwor quattuor четыре, chetyre أَرْبَعة , arbaa
5 cúig pump five fimf quinque пять, pyat′ خَمْسَة , khamsa
6 chwech six saihs sex шесть, shest′ سِتَّة , sitta
7 seacht saith seven sibun septem семь, sem′ سَبْعَة , sabaa
8 ocht wyth eight ahtau octo восемь, vosem′ ثَمَانِيَه , thamaniah
9 naoi naw nine niun novem девять, devjat′ تِسْعَة , tisaa
10 deich deg ten taihun decem десять, desjat′ عَشْرَة , ashra
In that list there are only two arabic numerals which bear any resemblance to Irish (sitta and sabaa) whereas, using the kw / ɸ, f theory of Celtic vs. Germanic we can see that Irish ceathair may be reconstructed as /ˈfa.hər/ which is close to Modern English "four". Irish cúig would be rendered as /fuːɪv/, again close to English five. These are established theories. So please stop spouting gibberish. There is a large difference between someone who likes languages and a linguist. Mac Tíre Cowag 21:45, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

And the person who seemed to be triggering off this debate did not even spell "Semitic" correctly.ACEOREVIVED (talk) 00:06, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Mhic Tíre... nach bhfuil tú ag tabhairt bia do throll? -- Evertype· 08:01, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
B'fhéidir go bhfuil, ach nuair atá an troll sin ag déanamh athruithe ar an alt féin gan chomhaontú, gan chomhdhearcadh, caithfidh orm rud éigint a rá in aghaidh na tuairimí mar atá ann thuas agus in aghaidh na hathruithe atá á stiúradh agus á dhéanamh aige ar an alt. Mac Tíre Cowag 08:27, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
D'éiri sé as amaidí a scríob faoi Ind-Eorpais ar an alt, agus má déanfaidh sé é sin aris, tá WP:AN/I ann. (Is cuma cen acu a dheireann an t-alt, fluentpartially fluent, mar theastóinn tagairt ón mbeirt acu, agus is dóigh liom go bhfuil larger minority éiginnte go leor, mar sin tá an dhá rud fíor.) A. di M.plédréachtaí 11:23, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
What makes languages related is not the superficial similarity between words but regular sound correspondences between them. Not only do all Celtic languages have regular sound correspondences with other Indo-European languages, but Irish has regular sound correspondences with other Celtic languages. I've added Gothic (Germanic) and Latin (Italic) to the table above. Now look at the regular correspondences. In all words where Germanic languages have initial t-, Latin, Welsh, Irish and Russian have d-. And where Germanic has th-/þ-, Latin, Welsh, Irish and Russian have t-. The initial consonants of the other numbers correspond similarly. The numbers 4 and 5 may be more difficult, but there is also an explanation for this. In some languages 4 and 5 begin with the same consonant, in Russian and in Greek (tessares, pente) they differ. It is reasonable to assume there could be some kind of rhythmic analogy in these words, which would have replaced k(w)- with f- in Germanic so that both began with the same consonant, and p- with k(w)- in Latin, Irish and Welsh. The same reasoning can explain 9 and 10 in Russian. Here, Welsh p regularly corresponds to qu in Latin, and Germanic f corresponds to p, so again this is not an exception. Furthermore, Irish c corresponds to qu in some Latin words but to c in others. The explanation is that kw became k, a fact which is actually attested since the oldest Irish inscriptions in Ogham still use Q in those places. All the other differences in the numbers can be explained in the same way, as regular sound changes originating from a common origin. CodeCat (talk) 12:30, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I think we can let this rest now. garik (talk) 15:55, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Ethnologue number of speakers

I've removed the 391,470 given in the infobox as "number of fluent or native speakers". The source, Ethnologue, says nothing about these being fluent or native. It also states that there are 537,870 Welsh speakers, which is around the number of Welsh speakers regardless of ability, so we can only assume the same is true of their figure for Irish. I would have just removed the bit about "fluent or native", but then this figure contradicts other figures in the Wikipedia article. If there 1.6 million speakers in Ireland alone, then 391,470 can't be right worldwide. Something's got to give. garik (talk) 23:52, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

1.6 million is the number of people who answer “Yes” to the question “Can you speak Irish?” on the census form (including myself), many of which can have basic conversations but are nowhere near proficiency (again, including myself). (By that standard, the figure for the number of English speakers would include a supermajority of people in northern Europe.) I agree with your removal, but if anything the number was too high, not too low. A. di M.plédréachtaí 00:03, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I won't dispute that. 1.6 million sounds ridiculously high to me as the number of proficient speakers. You're almost certainly right that it reflects the number of people who at least know a little Irish, but not necessarily very much. I don't know what question elicited the 391,470 figure. garik (talk) 00:48, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
You could remove the infobox. Crazier ideas have achieved good results on Wikipedia. (talk) 21:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I changed it to 72000 as that is the figure given by the department for people who speak it every day. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mtmoore321 (talkcontribs) 19:04, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Irish and the French language

There is nothing in the article about how similar Irish is to French - although they are in different language families (Goidelic Gaelic versus Romance) they appear to be quite similar. For example, the Irish for "How are you?" is quite similar to the French "Comment allez vous?" Then, many of us were probably taught at school how similar the French for John (Jean) is to the Irish for John (Sean). Does any one wish to add anything to the article on Irish-French similarities? There is an invite! ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:05, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

We work via citing Reliable Sources, not because someone thinks Irish and French sound "similar." While the Celtic Gaul-ancestors no doubt settled the British Isles as far as Britons, Welsh, Picts, Scots, et al are concerned, the development of French via the Frankish language interacting with Gallo-Roman Latin left the original Celtic tongues long ago, and would have been separate from the Celtic tongues in Ireland by centuries. While they may share some root-words here and there, they are very different. A linguist can chime in here with better facts than a historian on this topic. HammerFilmFan (talk) 12:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC) HammerFilmFan

Pat Carey; and the Gaeltacht(s)

I've removed the following quote from Pat Carey as being, with all due respect to Mr Carey, inappropriate to the lead paragraph of an encyclopaedic article about the Irish language:

In February 2011, Pat Carey, then Ireland's Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, stated: "The Irish language is an important part of who we are. It is an important part of where we have come from and where we are going".(ref)"Launch of Fianna Fáil's policy on the Irish language and the Gaeltacht". Official website of Fianna Fáil. )/ref)

I don't see any problem with it going in somewhere else more appropriate, if the article develops a longer section about current political issues regarding the Irish language; but as it stands, I don't see such a place.

I've also changed the text from saying that Irish-speaking areas are "referred to collectively as Gaeltachtaí" to saying that they're referred to collectively as the Gaeltacht. This is more accurate (Gaeltacht is, after all, an abstract noun), and also in line with official usage as in, for example, "Raidió na Gaeltachta" and "Údarás na Gaeltachta". The plural "gaeltachtaí" can of course be used to refer to several distinct Gaeltacht areas, for example. ComhairleContaeThirnanOg (talk) 22:48, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm also in doubt about this line: "A speaker of the language may be called a Gaeilgeoir both in Irish and in English." As far as I know, this term is really only ever used to refer to Irish learners and enthusiasts, and hardly ever (perhaps never?) to native speakers for whom speaking Irish is just a fact of their upbringing and everyday life, especially in the Gaeltacht. I am strongly minded to delete it too - but any comments? ComhairleContaeThirnanOg (talk) 22:56, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I've also removed the following material from the article, where it was stuck at the bottom of the section on dialectology:
A good example is the greeting "How are you?". Just as this greeting varies from region to region, and between social classes, among English speakers, this greeting varies among Irish speakers:
  • Ulster: Cad é mar atá tú? ("What is it as you are?" Note: caidé or goidé and sometimes are alternative renderings of cad é)
  • Connacht: Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú? ("What way [is it] that you are?")
  • Munster: Conas taoi? or Conas tánn tú? ("How are you?" – conas was originally cia nós "what custom/way")
  • "Standard" Irish: Conas atá tú? ("How are you?")
In fact this is not a good example, it's a bad example. While it's kind of cute, and is a popular talking-point in discussing Irish dialects, it misrepresents the real nature of the distinctions between the dialects, which is much more thoroughly and scientifically discussed in the immediately preceding sections.ComhairleContaeThirnanOg (talk) 23:07, 16 December 2011 (UTC)