Tionchar an Bhéarla

Tá an chuid is mó den Eoraip faoi chosa na nGearmánach ón taobh eacnamaíochta de.

Ní shílim go mbeidh Angela Merkel ag fáil a lán cártaí Nollag ón tír seo i mbliana. Ach de réir cosúlachta tá na Gearmánaigh faoi ionsaí i dtreo eile: tá an Béarla ag déanamh ionraidh ar a dteanga.

Deir Eoin Mac Aodha Bhuí san eagrán reatha de beo.ie go mbaintear úsáid as focail Bhéarla sa Ghearmáinis go minic anois- mar shampla: jobs, manager, cash, meetings. Tugtar Denglisch ar an ‘teanga nua’ seo. Tá an rud céanna ag tarlú sa Fhraincis: le weekend, le shopping etc. Tarlaíonn seo i ngach teanga leoga: fuair muidne a lán focal ón Laidin, focail a bhaineann leis an reiligiún go háirithe: Aifreann, sagart, beannacht, soiscéal srl.

Thug muidne cúpla focal don Bhéarla fosta: brogue, galore, smithereens, whiskey (iontas na n-iontas). Dála an scéil, dúirt duine éigin ar an raidió an lá faoi dheireadh go bhfuil fadhb ag na hÉireannaigh maidir leis an ól- nach bhfuilimid ábalta go leor a fháil! Ach ag teacht ar ais chuig tionchar teangacha eile: is féidir le teanga cur in aghaidh na teanga níos láidre go dtí pointe ach thig le teanga bás a fháil taobh istigh de thrí ghlúin.

Tharla sin in Inis Eoghain. Léirítear seo i leasainm mo chlainne féin. John Uilliam Eoghain an leasainm a bhí ar m’athair. (As Gleann Gad é.) Eoghan an t-ainm a bhí ar a sheanathair- ainm Gaeilge céad faoin chéad; Uilliam an t-ainm a bhí ar a athair - ainm Béarla agus Gaeilge; ansin John – ainm Béarla. Bhí mo shinseanathair ina chainteoir dúchais; nuair a rugadh m’athair bhí an Ghaeilge chor a bheith ar shiúl ón cheantar. Bhí cos leis an Ghaeilge san uaigh céad bliain ó shin ach tháinig sí slán.

Is féidir teanga na ndaoine a chuaigh romhainn a choinneáil beo, ach an bhfuil an toil ann?

Most of Europe is suffering economic oppression at the hands of Germany. I don’t think Angela Merkel will be getting many Christmas cards from this country this year.

But apparently the Germans are under attack from another direction: English is attacking their language. Eoin Mac Aodha Bhuí says in the current edition of beo.ie that a lot of English words are being used in German now, for instance: jobs, manager, cash, meetings.

This ‘new language’ is called Denglisch. The same thing is happening in French: le weekend, le shopping etc. This happens in every language indeed: we got a lot of words from Latin, words connected with religion in particular: Aifreann, sagart, beannacht, soiscéal etc.

We also gave a few words to English: brogue, galore, smithereens, whiskey (what a surprise!) By the way someone said on the radio the other day that the Irish have a problem regarding drink- we can’t get enough of it!

But to get back to the influence of other languages: a language can resist the stronger language up to a certain point but a language can die in three generations.

This happened in Inis Eoghain. This can be demonstrated by my own family’s nickname. John Uilliam Eoghain was my father’s nickname. (He was from Glengad.) His grandfather was called Eoghan - a purely Irish name; his father’s name was Uilliam- -an Irish and English name; and then John- an English name.

My great-grandfather was a native Irish speaker; when my father was born, Irish had almost disappeared from the area.

The Irish language had one foot in the grave one hundred years ago, but it survived. We can keep our ancestral language alive, but do we have the will?