The difference between tokenism and policy when it comes to language revival. In Ireland the state has always pursued the former and ignored the latter
In order to plan for anything you must have contextual information on what you’re planning for. So today I’ll look at how to gather information about the situation of a ‘minority’ language using examples from other countries.
Firstly, the main source of information for Irish language planners is the information gathered from our 5-yearly census. In the census, which can be accessed at Central Statistics Office website, there is a small section on the Irish language. This section gathers what can only be described as meagre and absolutely insufficient information on the Irish language in Ireland.
So what do we find out? Basically, we can find out the total number of Irish speakers classified by frequency, area, marital status, economic status and by age. Thus, we can handily find out how often a 25 year old woman, living in Cavan, who is a teacher speaks Irish. Great.
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