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  #61  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:05 PM
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Yeah, Aisling said there's still a region where Gaelic dominates and always has, officially or not, but for the rest of the island, it's long gone.

She said you can choose Gaelic at ATMs in Dublin, but wonders if anyone ever has.
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  #62  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
language gives us our vocabulary and idiomatic structure, as well as the symbols available to express our worldview. it is not a mere "plug-in" that can be applied or removed, with no effect, from the legal and cultural outline (20th century liberal/capitalist individualism) that you have outlined above.

instead, the legal and cultural outline is the specific product of specific places and cultural interactions and thinkers and historical events. were it to change languages overnight, as you correctly point out, it would not change form overnight... but give it a century or two. even individual people are often amused to discover the slight differences in their outward (possibly inward?) character that occur when they speak other languages for extended periods.

slight differences, expressed over time and masses of people, become large ones.

the great divide of the early 21st century is between civilization-as-contract and more traditional models which hold civilizations to be the specific creations of cultures.

if the former proves ascendant, i suppose we will unite under some accomodating and consensual structure and fly thusward to the stars. if it does not, our future selves may laugh at how, for a period lasting from the french revolution until the mid-21st century, we allowed ourselves to forget everything.
I love when SSP becomes philosophical. Well said.
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  #63  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:09 PM
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And another example of change, as opposed to loss. Her name. It's spawned two names in Newfoundland. In Ireland, it's written Aisling and pronounced Ash-ling.

Here, we have the name Aisling, but it's pronounced Ains-lee. We also have the name Ashling.
On the topic of Irish, did you know that the girls name 'Caitlin' (and all other related spellings), one of the most popular for Anglo-Canadian women born in the early 1990s, actually originates from a mispronounciation of the Irish spelling of Kathleen? In proper Irish, 'Caitlin' is pronounced the same way we pronounce 'Kathleen'.

That's also where the odd prounciations of the names 'Seamus' and 'Sean' come from--in the case of those names, anglophones pronounce them correctly (or at least close to correctly) as one would in Irish.
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  #64  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:13 PM
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I didn't know. We still have a few Irish names that perfectly well-preserved. Siobhan, for example, is a common woman's name here. Pronounced She-vonne. But most of them have been bastardized quite a bit. Alistair still exists here, but is more commonly Alister, etc.

One I'm always curious about... if you wander around old cemeteries here where the dead were buried in the mid-to-late 1800s (yes, this is a thing I do), the dominance of the name Mercedes for women really stands out. I assume it's a German name? Why would it be so popular here at that time?
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  #65  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Yeah, Aisling said there's still a region where Gaelic dominates and always has, officially or not, but for the rest of the island, it's long gone.

She said you can choose Gaelic at ATMs in Dublin, but wonders if anyone ever has.
I noticed that most public signage everywhere in Ireland is now in Gaelic first with English below in smaller letters. Public institutions often have Gaelic on their letterhead and Gaelic names printed first. But everything below that (and one can assume all of the work) takes place in English.

I know they've been teaching it in school for a few generations now and so the number of people who *can* speak at least a bit of Gaelic has risen considerably. But the number of people who actually use it as their everyday language remains extremely low I think. In the 2-3% range.

Irish friends have told me the only time they really use Gaelic is often on youth trips to continental Europe as a way of asserting their uniqueness. So Irish kids will speak Gaelic (what they refer to as the Irish language) amongst themselves when visting Paris or Rome, etc.

I believe Welsh in Wales is actually faring better than the Irish language in Ireland.
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  #66  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:15 PM
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It's kinda hard to order, though, if the menu is all in Chinese characters that you can't read.
Is it the language than matters or just the alphabet? If you go into an Italian restaurant should it say "long, medium-thick noodles with meat and tomato sauce" or can you say "spaghetti bolognese" (if that's even what that is)? Where do you draw the line?

Here are a few choices:
1- order something you know the name of
2- ask what's good
3- point to a picture or another dish
4- go somewhere else

Haven't you ever eaten somewhere with no English menus? Does it really matter it the "Lucky Dragon" sign is in English?

If they are refusing service of certain people, that's an entirely different problem.
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  #67  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:17 PM
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Welsh is doing way better, I believe the percentage of the population that speaks Welsh at home is actually growing in Wales.

One thing I've found in Ireland is that some Irish get offended if you refer to the Irish language as Gaelic. Not sure why.
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  #68  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:18 PM
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I'm not sure. But we've always called it Irish.
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  #69  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RyLucky View Post
Is it the language than matters or just the alphabet? If you go into an Italian restaurant should it say "long, medium-thick noodles with meat and tomato sauce" or can you say "spaghetti bolognese" (if that's even what that is)? Where do you draw the line?

Here are a few choices:
1- order something you know the name of
2- ask what's good
3- point to a picture or another dish
4- go somewhere else

Haven't you ever eaten somewhere with no English menus? Does it really matter it the "Lucky Dragon" sign is in English?

If they are refusing service of certain people, that's an entirely different problem.
I am not saying it's an indignity, and not taking sides on the issue. Just saying it can be seen as a barrier for some people.

BTW I can read menus in about five or six languages, so thanks!
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  #70  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
Welsh is doing way better, I believe the percentage of the population that speaks Welsh at home is actually growing in Wales.

One thing I've found in Ireland is that some Irish get offended if you refer to the Irish language as Gaelic. Not sure why.
I think I've read that Welsh at home may be about 20-25% of the population. If so that's way more than Irish in Ireland.
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  #71  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:22 PM
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I'm fine with the signage being in Chinese as long as anything important relating to health or safety is in English (or both).

I don't think there should be any fear of the Chinese language taking over, or any other language taking over from English. I'm of Chinese descent, and can speak a bit of Cantonese, but for Chinese Canadians of my generation English is what we all speak as a first language. Those businesses in Richmond, (and there are some here in Calgary) that are all Chinese signage are catering to older people or fresh immigrants. They aren't the future. Also remember that Canada is full of immigrants from all kinds of countries, and everybody will need to speak English to have any kind of a life in English Canada. Yes, you can survive on speaking only Chinese in Richmond and other pockets around Vancouver, but it's a trap and most immigrants know this.
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  #72  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:24 PM
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I read an article in a Vancouver paper where a lawyer was saying that banning Chinese only signs would be unconstitutional. I am not sure that this is correct. First of all, they would not be banning Chinese, but only making English mandatory. So there is no restriction on the right to use Chinese, only a requirement to have English there as well.

I believe the case of Quebec and also the cases of Clarence-Rockland and Russell in Ontario and Dieppe, NB show that such a prescription is not unconstitutional in Canada.
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  #73  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
Welsh is doing way better, I believe the percentage of the population that speaks Welsh at home is actually growing in Wales.

One thing I've found in Ireland is that some Irish get offended if you refer to the Irish language as Gaelic. Not sure why.
I'm not sure why, but it's true: I have several Irish friends and all refer to the language as Irish. Perhaps it's simply to distinguish it from other forms of Gaelic (Scots Gaelic, for example).
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  #74  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:26 PM
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I'm not sure why, but it's true: I have several Irish friends and all refer to the language as Irish. Perhaps it's simply to distinguish it from other forms of Gaelic (Scots Gaelic, for example).
Wouldn't Gaelic be like a language group? So saying someone speaks Gaelic would be like saying someone speaks Germanic instead of saying German or Dutch, or Romance instead of French or Italian.
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  #75  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:26 PM
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Those businesses in Richmond, (and there are some here in Calgary) that are all Chinese signage are catering to older people or fresh immigrants. They aren't the future.
Exactly. This is the way that immigrant neighbourhoods have been since forever. I'm pretty sure that if you dig way back in the SSP archives to approximately 1915, you will see people griping about all the Hebrew and Ukrainian language signs in Winnipeg's North End. It's always the same old crap... it's just the language in question that changes.
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  #76  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:27 PM
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Your best bet is to pronounce it the way it would be pronounced in Irish Gaeilge The words 'Irish' and 'Gaelic' are English words to describe their language.

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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
I'm not sure. But we've always called it Irish.
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
Welsh is doing way better, I believe the percentage of the population that speaks Welsh at home is actually growing in Wales.

One thing I've found in Ireland is that some Irish get offended if you refer to the Irish language as Gaelic. Not sure why.
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  #77  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:33 PM
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I don't think there should be any fear of the Chinese language taking over, or any other language taking over from English.
That's an important part of the question that has been rarely discussed.

Just how big a threat is all of this? Really?

If you look at the debate in Quebec from the 60s and 70s to today, you had and have concrete evidence all over Canada of places that used to be francophone but where now basically everything takes place in English.

Is there evidence of places in Canada where everything used to be in English and now everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) is in Chinese? Is this even something that is within the realm of possibility? Or is what is happening in Richmond (and also Markham and some other places) simply a transitional phase because the immigration from China is still fairly recent and even ongoing, and quite concentrated there?
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  #78  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:33 PM
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I was watching Global News last night and they did a report on this. About 97% of the signs they showed had some form of English on them. Surely, they were looking for Chinese-only signs. So, is this really a problem? I am Asian but not Chinese and I have no problem wading around the city.
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  #79  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:37 PM
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Signs should definitely have english on them, this is Canada not China.
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  #80  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:42 PM
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I'm not sure why, but it's true: I have several Irish friends and all refer to the language as Irish. Perhaps it's simply to distinguish it from other forms of Gaelic (Scots Gaelic, for example).
It never made sense to me to refer to Irish as Gaelic. It's Irish. Scots Gaelic is Scottish. (Scots Leid is. . . well, Scots Leid.)
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