What does the future hold for it?

Do you have a what-not at home? (a small stand with shelves). What do you have in the garage - a car or a motor? Have you ever driven on a motor-road? Do you say: ‘To whom is he married?’ What about: ‘Here is Mr. Walsh, than whom nobody could advise you better?’ Could you unshackle a horse or a prisoner? Do you feel undisheartened today? All these examples are to be found in De Bhaldraithe’s Dictionary, the official English –Irish dictionary published by the Irish Stationery Office. The department should be called the Irish Stationary Office: the dictionary was published in 1959 and it has not been revised since. ‘Television’ is in it, but ‘computer’ isn’t; ‘dish water‘ is in it, but not ‘dish-washer’. They put a nice blue cover on a reprint and the book looks very modern as a result. Smart move. These examples show that a language is constantly changing, because life is constantly changing. New words come into a language and other words disappear all the time. You learn the new words through direct communication with other people and through the linguistic environment: television, radio, newspapers, the social media, the business world, the education system. If a language does not have a linguistic environment, it eventually dies. Irish is now on life support. The Irish language environment is being eroded: a language needs a minimum number of speakers and the number of proficient native speakers is falling. Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, who did a study recently of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht, has written that the education system does not provide the support required to create competent speakers, that the State is focussing on heritage and on managing an endangered culture for the benefit of learners, instead of creating and strengthening a community in which hundreds of thousands of people will speak and develop the Irish language in a unique way in everyday life.

Do you have a what-not at home? (a small stand with shelves). What do you have in the garage - a car or a motor? Have you ever driven on a motor-road? Do you say: ‘To whom is he married?’ What about: ‘Here is Mr. Walsh, than whom nobody could advise you better?’ Could you unshackle a horse or a prisoner? Do you feel undisheartened today? All these examples are to be found in De Bhaldraithe’s Dictionary, the official English –Irish dictionary published by the Irish Stationery Office. The department should be called the Irish Stationary Office: the dictionary was published in 1959 and it has not been revised since. ‘Television’ is in it, but ‘computer’ isn’t; ‘dish water‘ is in it, but not ‘dish-washer’. They put a nice blue cover on a reprint and the book looks very modern as a result. Smart move. These examples show that a language is constantly changing, because life is constantly changing. New words come into a language and other words disappear all the time. You learn the new words through direct communication with other people and through the linguistic environment: television, radio, newspapers, the social media, the business world, the education system. If a language does not have a linguistic environment, it eventually dies. Irish is now on life support. The Irish language environment is being eroded: a language needs a minimum number of speakers and the number of proficient native speakers is falling. Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, who did a study recently of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht, has written that the education system does not provide the support required to create competent speakers, that the State is focussing on heritage and on managing an endangered culture for the benefit of learners, instead of creating and strengthening a community in which hundreds of thousands of people will speak and develop the Irish language in a unique way in everyday life.