A new survey of local secondary students by Derry City Council has found a fair degree of both use and support amongst pupils from both communities for the Irish language while providing scant evidence for the existence of the so-called Scots-Ulster language (the dialect of English invented by certain fringe elements from the British ethnic minority in Ireland which has contributed, amongst other things, this gem as the official term for children with intellectual special needs: “wee daftie weans”).
None of the children surveyed from either community could speak Ulster-Scots and only a handful of respondents said anyone in their family could speak it either. 88% stated that they had not heard or were unaware of hearing Ulster-Scots in relation to music, 62% said they hadn’t seen Ulster-Scots on road signs, 57 % said they hadn’t seen Ulster-Scots in place names and 56% said they hadn’t seen Ulster-Scots in use by politicians or in any publications. The majority, 55%, believed that Ulster-Scots should not be treated as a language in the same way Irish or English is.
In relation to the Irish language 72% of those who spoke and read Irish came from Irish-speaking families. Meanwhile 64% of all students believed the language was relevant for Roman Catholics and Protestants, another 64% had encountered the Irish language in classes, 46% said they had heard Irish in conversational use, 50% had seen it in use in publications and 35% had seen it on the internet. 84% of all pupils were aware of the influence of the Irish language on people’s names and place names.
I’m awaiting the details of the raw data from the survey and will publish them here when I can.
In the meantime a new website, Connect 3, has been launched by the city council in Derry based on the results of the poll to provide further resources for students and teachers engaging in language learning and training in the region.
- Gay Rights And Gael Rights. Facing Down The Bigots (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Surprise Results For New Irish Language Survey In The North (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Smells Like No-Irish Spirit (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Ireland – A Western Province Of The British Isles (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Words Of Wisdom (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Ulster-scots Dreams End As School to Close ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Minister rules out language signs (bbc.co.uk)