Speak English! Not Irish!
Speak English! Not Irish!

Are we really so enslaved to our post-colonial neuroses, so malformed by centuries of external domination, that even after ninety years of independence we are still unable to contemplate giving equal prominence to our own language on our own road signs alongside the language of our one-time masters? And what excuses do we cushion our own pathetic feelings of inferiority with? Risible concerns about road-safety and costs, concerns that the rest of multilingual Europe cast aside decades ago. Do we really believe that we are too stupid, too inadequate as a people that we would be incapable of reading genuine bilingual signs on a motorway, signs where the Irish language is featured alongside its Anglicised equivalents or – the horror! – entirely on its own?

From the Journal:

“MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Paschal Donohoe is to review a plan by his predecessor to give equal prominence to the Irish language on a number of new road signs.

News website Tuairisc.ie reported this morning that the plans, which were green lighted by Leo Varadkar last year, will now be referred to the National Roads Authority.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport confirmed in a statement this afternoon that Donohoe will seek a review for safety reasons…

Last year, former Transport Minister Leo Varakar lent his support to a Conradh Na Gaeilge campaign that sought to see Irish and English given equal prominence on road signage.”

Watch as Ireland’s legions of self-hating men and women line up to decry the very idea of cultural equality or of returning to the use of original Irish names for original Irish places. Instead the linguistic serfs will demand that we continue to ape the crude bastardizations imposed on our ancestors. We remain a nation of simian slaves and we excel in it.

Welcome to Ireland of the Apes!

28 comments on “Ireland Of The Apes

  1. This quote, a translation of the last address by Seán Ó Cuirreáin, charged by the Oireachtas and appointed by the President to protect the interests of the language, stated: “I believe that the language is continuously being edged aside, pushed towards the margins of society and that includes much of the public sector. I would not support the premise that the fault lies primarily with politicians but it appears to me, notwithstanding those within the State sector who support the language, that there are stronger and more widespread forces in place who have little or no concern for the future of our national language.” (His complete address in translation including the reasons for his consientious resignation may be found here: http://galltacht.blogspot.ie/2014/01/floccinaucinihilipilification-state.html

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    • Eoin, I would also add that the people who speak the language are likewise being edged aside, pushed towards the margins of society. Those forces who oppose the Irish language by extension oppose those who speak the Irish language.

      Whatever the description, linguicide, culturecide or simply ethnocide, the end result will be the same.

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  2. what really annoys me about the signs is the shortening of the Irish names – An Nás instead of Nás na Rí, An Móta instead of Móta Gráinneoga, an Cathair instead of Cathair Úrmhúmhan etc

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    • Oh yes, I’ve noticed that too, Eoin. The north Dublin town of Swords is a good example of a place-name changing its official form over time due to the indifference or hostile attitudes of public servants: “Sord Cholm Cille” > “Sord Cholmcille” > “Sord”. If they keep going like this in another decade or two it will simply be “S”.

      Anything to get the Irish off those precious signs saying “Swords”.

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  3. The problem here is not limited to the language, it spans all areas of Irish culture, which was infected long ago by all things English, with the direct connivance of allegedly “Irish” politicians who had far more in common with their “elite” friends across the sea than they did with the ordinary Irish citizens. Most of the global political establishment, especially in Western Europe and the USA, is dominated by psychopaths who are not really human in that they do not share the same emotional nature as normal human beings. Such types therefore are unable to truly feel a sense of national identity. The worship at the alter of unfettered greed only.

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    • The old aside that “the Irish are just Brits with a funny accent” hits home so much because there is more than a shred of truth in it.

      Ask any foreign visitor familiar with Ireland and Britain and they see little difference between both nations.

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  4. The Minister could save a lot of time and effort by simply catching the Sea Cat to Holyhead and then spend a day driving through Wales to Fishguard and back to Ireland.

    If he can manage our ‘stupid’ ‘gluttoral’, ‘no-vowels language’ on all the road signs and even go to the M4 motorway where warning signs can also in Welsh only (they alternate with English) and come home alive, then there’s no excuse.

    After all if people can get used to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwildrobwllllandysiliogogogoch then I’m sure he, and toursists, and native Irish people can get used to Irish place names!

    We had this nonsense about 15 years ago. Even after 30 odd years of bilingual signs some idiot said they were a danger to motorists. The Welsh Govt commissioned a report which repudated it.

    Of course, we could all save the hassle by having everytihing monolingually in Irish or Welsh. After all if toursists in foreign countries can get along well enough and learn the words after a few days then what’s to stop people who live there all year round?

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    • Very good points, Macsen. This is an old debate elsewhere in Europe that was over decades ago. No one seriously discusses this any more. Only idiots like our present political classes could really claim that bilingual signs are a health and safety hazard.

      It is discrimination hiding behind other concerns. Bigotry to assuage the bigoted.

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    • Spot on Macsen (Wledig?) Bilingual signs are much more recent in Scotland but have the advantage over Wales in that the languages are colour coded, making it easier to ‘filter out’ the one you’re not interested in. When they first came in the usual suspects complained about the safety aspect, studies were duly carried out and no ill effects found. It seems that some drivers might slow down to read the signs but this actually made accidents less likely (or likely to be less serious maybe?) I can’t see there being a problem in Ireland where the population does at least have some familiarity with Gaelige from school, the media etc. and the new signs have largely copied the Scottish model (apart from a bastardised typeface).

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  5. If Canada, which is more than 100 times the size of Ireland, can accomplish it than I think Ireland handle it.

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    • Exactly, CBC. This has little to do with real concerns about costs or safety issues. It is a crazy form of self-hating racism. Irish people hating their own language and culture because they have been conditioned to think like that after centuries of colonial rule. Even when the colonial rulers are gone.

      It is almost a text book definition of madness.

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  6. What’s the point in having place names in 2 languages at all?
    In Latvia even Russians are no longer using Russian place names. (They say Daugavpils instead of Dvinsk)

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    • Agreed. They should be only their original Irish form where the meaning is preserved.

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    • Jānis, I agree. 85% of place-names in Ireland are based upon anglicisations of original and existing Irish names.

      Tamhlacht = Tallaght

      Droichead Átha = Drogheda

      Corcaigh = Cork

      And so on. It literally makes no sense continuing with bastardised English versions of existing Irish names.

      We should use the Irish versions only and would do so but for ideological bigotry and poisonous colonial legacies.

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      • That would make sense…

        But looks like that most people would prefer the English versions of place names instead.
        Like in Northern Ireland where street signs are in English only.

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        • Jānis, that last point, ouch, but a fair one. Why people prefer anglicised versions of Irish names is beyond me. It’s like the parents who name their child Kean instead of Cian or Neeve instead of Niamh. To be honest it is more than a little bit mad. But then so are the Irish as a whole. 800 years of abuse tends to do things to people – or a people. Culturally and nationally traumatised? Definitely.

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          • You said that Irish is “our own language”.
            Can’t really agree to that.

            For most Irish people English is “their own language”.
            You can call a language “your own” only if you speak it yourself fluently.

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            • And that’s why people prefer to name things in a language that’s really “their own”.

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            • Ok, Jānis. Then, the indigenous language of this island nation which a majority of people living on the island spoke up to the 19th century and which was the major or only tongue on this island for the previous three thousand years. And which a minority still speaks and which remains the sole national and first official language of the nation.

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            • English is the language of the anglo saxon tribes who migrated to Britain. The English we know today is the current form of the development of that language.

              Irish, on the contrary, evolved and develoed through the Gaelic people of the Island of Ireland. In that sense, we can only really claim ownership of the Irish language in this country, as it developed of, and through the people of this Island. We cannot rightly claim ownership of English – we can of course, and do, speak it very fluently in nearly all cases.

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  7. A chairde, can anyone recommend good historical sources for Crown policy on the Irish language during the occupancy of the 32 counties?

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    • …or books on same topic?

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    • IIRC the Ordnance Survey when to great lengths to record the correct versions of place names throughout Ireland. What then always surprised me were the totally anglicised spellings on the maps, even of small hills, streams etc. which probably never really had English names. In Scotland, in the Highlands and Islands at least, most physical features are given the Gaelic forms of their names (there are a few blunders apparently, but most are correct) while settlements and major features have their names anglicised.

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