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Irish language a relic of the past

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kelsey Robertson, in her Sept. 27 letter to the editor (“Irish language hardly dead”) contended that there are massive efforts to preserve the Irish language. After studying in Ireland for a year and living with three Irish women, I must respectfully disagree. Only one of my three roommates spoke Irish, and the one only because she was studying it in the University. Irish is a wonderful language, but it truly has become no more than a relic of the country’s history. Sure, the road signs are in Irish, but this is mostly for the large volume of tourists that visit the country every year. The Gaelscoileanna are few and far between, and the language is taught in school as a foreign language – it’s akin to learning Spanish in an American elementary school. Worst of all, young people in Ireland have no interest in the language. As the native speakers die out, who’s left to resurrect the language?While I did not attend O Tuathaigh’s lecture, as a recent resident of the country I do believe that the decline of the Irish language is so severe that it won’t be resurrected any time soon. I urge Ms. Robertson to immerse herself fully in the modern Irish culture – perhaps she’d agree with me.

Sarah FalveyjuniorLe Mans HallSept. 27