When you leave out the politics, what does Irish have to offer?

<span class="s1">Young people enjoying the celebration fo the Indian festival </span><span style="font-family: &quot;ITC Franklin Gothic&quot;; ">Holi during one of the Irish language summer courses at Col&aacute;iste Lurgan in County Galway</span>&nbsp;
Young people enjoying the celebration fo the Indian festival Holi during one of the Irish language summer courses at Coláiste Lurgan in County Galway  Young people enjoying the celebration fo the Indian festival Holi during one of the Irish language summer courses at Coláiste Lurgan in County Galway 

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh Gael agus Gall, welcome  to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Now, today the Bluffer goes rogue and would like to get some things of his chest.

He is disappointed if not surprised by an t-aineolas - the ignorance that surrounds the Irish language.

Some people put a lot of it down to bíogóideacht - bigotry but bigotry, like ciníochas - racism and seicteachas - sectarianism and all the other ways in which we differentiate people is a by-product of ignorance. 

An tEolas has already featured articles about the historical creationist narrative of the “politicisation of the Irish language” and been told to stop harking back to the ancient past.

So, right, let’s look at the future. Rather than people using the Irish language to “hit unionists over the head” the Bluffer knows that the vast majority of Irish speakers are learning, teaching and promoting the language out of grá - love, not fuath - hate and certainly not to beat anyone over the head.

The opposite in fact, many find it spiritually uplifting. 

For a start, there are aontachaithe - unionists, Protastúnaigh - Protestants and even dílseoirí - loyalists who are learning Irish. They are doing it to learn more about the land in which they live.

But if you take out the Orange-Green aspect, why should you bother about Irish? Loads of reasons.

Just google “benefits of bilingualism” and you’ll find a whole range of advantages of learning a second language or more, especially while at school.

Dátheangachas is bilingualism and ilteangachas is multilingualism or being able to speak many languages like most of the world’s population do. 

The kids who go to Irish medium schools have been shown in a report by QUB to perform better than kids at English -only schools in mata - maths, léamh -reading, and scileanna anailíseacha -analytical skills.

And according to the BBC, taighdeoirí - researchers are finding a swathe of health benefits from speaking more than one language, including faster stroke recovery and delayed onset of néaltra - dementia, so it’s good for older people too.

And what about forbairt phearsanta - personal development? 

Learning a language can be a wonderfully sociable thing to do. You meet like-minded people who become your cairde - friends, you can go to coirmeacha - concerts, enjoy na healaíona Gaeilge - Itish language arts, go on siúlóidí - walks with the growing number of bilingual walking groups that are springing up and there is a myriad of  other activities related to the language.

Irish is fun. 

An Acht na Gaeilge - an Irish Language Act would underpin the rights of Irish speakers but revitalising the language and making it more visible would boost turasóireacht - tourism; energise the Irish arts scene; create employment for our young people and once people who were antagonistic see all the benefits, lessen conflict.

So if you hear someone speaking Irish, don’t be angry - be jealous!


an t-aineolas(un tanyoliss) - the ignorance 

bíogóideacht(beegoydgeakht) - bigotry

ciníochas(kineeahiss) - racism 

seicteachas(shektahiss) - sectarianism 

grá (graa) - love

fuath(fooah) - hate

aontachaithe(ayntakhteeha) - unionists

Protastúnaigh(protastoonee) - Protestants 

dílseoirí(jeelshoree) - loyalists

dátheangachas(dahangahiss) - bilingualism

ilteangachas(illchangahiss) - multilingualism

mata(mata) - maths

léamh(layoo) - reading

scileanna anailíseacha(skilana analeeshaha)  - analytical skills

taighdeoirí(tiejoree) - researchers 

néaltra(nyayltra) - dementia 

forbairt phearsanta (forabirch farsanta)  - personal development

coirmeacha(kirimaha) - concerts

cairde (carja) - friends 

na healaíona Gaeilge (he haleena gaylicka) - Irish language arts

siúlóidí(shooiloydgee) - walks 

Acht na Gaeilge(akht ne gaylicka) - an Irish Language Act

turasóireacht(turassorakht) - tourism