Fáilte to Glór the language planning website of the Gaeltacht Láir community. You are probably wondering why a language planning site, targeting an Ghaeilge (Irish) is being introduced in English. If you bear in mind that 95% approximately of Ireland’s population uses English as a main or secondary language, on a daily basis, you will understand better why this initial introduction is targeting daily users of English. The fact of the matter is that people speaking exclusively in English today may be the saviours of an Ghaeilge tomorrow by initially coming to the language through bi-lingualism and hopefully, some day, using it as an equal language or their primary language, on occasion, in day-to-day usage.
Glór is about hope! it concerns itself with avoiding what UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.)calls “threatened languages”. The criteria that UNESCO uses to determine whether a language is in a threatened state are as follows:
- Intergenerational language transmission
- Absolute number of speakers
- Proportion of speakers existing within the total (global) population
- Language use within existing contexts and domains
- Response to language use in new domains and media
- Availability of materials for language education and literacy
- Government and institutional language policies
- Community attitudes toward their language
- Amount and quality of documentation
(source: UNESCO 2003 Language vitality and endangerment).
Note number 8 – that’s you! By any measurement, an Ghaeilge can be cited in several of the criteria mentioned here. That is why the language planning group (LPT na Gaeltachta Láir) are preparing a language plan for Údarás na Gaeltachta and there will be a role for everyone in this community, whether a user or not of an Ghaeilge in bringing about the plan and, indeed, its implementation.
So, accordingly, we would be delighted to hear from you in Irish or English. A general contact email address clann@glór.ie *or the email smaoineamh@glór.ie *collect your thoughts, suggestions, views, whether good, bad or indifferent because any observation or opinion will be of significant help in directing the thrust of the proposed plan.
For this to work, we need in the coming months to associate the talents and the skills of this community in some way with bringing an Ghaeilge into daily use. Your skill might be in technology, gardening, old traditions, writing or art, there is a place for everything we are attempting to do and we want to to hear from you! There is an old Irish idiom “ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” (we live in each other’s shadow). Our goal is bring people out of the shadow and into the sunlight of dialogue, planning, innovation and particularly, of participation. In that way we will achieve our goals and hopefully fulfil a positive outcome for the combined efforts.
Finally, do not allow a poor knowledge of Irish to prevent your engagement and participation. As already mentioned we want to hear all viewpoints because it will give focus to the work ahead, be inclusive and to involve everyone interested whether expert or learner or just interested in getting things done on behalf of the community. At all times, correspondence, phonecalls, will be welcomed in Irish or English.
Bígí linn ar an aistear seo / Be with us on this journey!
- Note! glór= the síneadh fada / accent is important!