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an béal bocht

Grrrr. In today's Grauniad, Manchán Magan (whom I have interviewed, and who is extremely nice) writes about his attempt to travel around our native land speaking only as Gaeilge, to the general confusion and, surprisingly, wrath of his (and my) compatriots. No, this isn't what has provoked my growling. What annoyed me was the subhead, in which, despite the fact that Magan refers to the language as 'Irish' throughout the piece, our supposed native language is refered to thus:
Gaelic is the first official language of Ireland, with 25% of the population claiming to speak it. But can that true? To put it to the test, Manchán Magan set off round the country with one self-imposed handicap - to never utter a word of English

Except of course Gaelic isn't the first official language - Irish is. God! I know that lots of people in Britain think that the language is called Gaelic, but they're not going to learn anything by being given inaccurate information.

Interesting piece, though. I was surprised by how hostile people apparently were to Magan's Irish-speaking - it seems very odd that people would get so aggressive when asked for a drink as Gaeilge, and I don't really think it's becasue they're so ashamed of their lack of Irish. But I have no idea whether these reactions are typical or not, as, like most of us, I've never spoken Irish to strangers outside of the Gaeltacht.

Comments

mollydot
Jan. 5th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Re: A Pain in the Erse
the utter hypocrisy of people insisting on getting married in church when neither of them have a shred of belief between them

Speaking as one of those hypocrites, I did it because there wasn't yet a non-religious option that's a proper ceremony. I've been to a registry office wedding, and it just wasn't the same. The registrar was giggly, it was over quickly, and you had to hang around almost queuing beforehand. I've also been to a non-religious ceremony in Scotland, and I would have like something like that. I believe we're getting the option of hotels and stately houses, or maybe it's already there, but as far as I'm aware, it wasn't possible two years ago.
I can't guarantee we would have taken that option had it been there, as his family is religious (his uncle said the Mass), but it would have been mooted by me.

My defense was "I'm a cultural Catholic" and also "I never said I wasn't a hypocrite".

Anyway, that's kind of getting off topic, so I'll shut up now.

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