Fun Facts You Need To Know About The Irish Language


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If you are an avid viewer of a famous gaming Youtuber, Jackscepticeye, you would be familiar with his slightly heavy Irish accent during his English commentaries in his gameplay. A video of him speaking pure Irish language with another fellow Youtuber, Minx, has been making waves on the video platform. It is a rare sight to behold, and surely, you would get even a little curious about the language. 

The Irish language came originally from the island of Ireland and was the first spoken dialect for the population until the late 18th century. It is a Goidelic language of the Celtic and a part of the Indo-European language family. If you are planning to take a trip to Ireland after living within your homey confinement for a long time, you will notice there are two languages used on the island – English, and Irish. Although you may listen to more English than the latter, Irish is more prominent in rural areas. It may be no problem for you to communicate with the people there, but it would not hurt to be curious about how the language tastes on your own tongue.

Here are fun facts you need to know about the Irish language to make you work harder to learn like a bullock:

There Is No Gaelic Term For ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ In The Irish Language

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You heard it right, which makes you wonder, how the Irish speaker would answer if there is no ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to answer a question? The good thing, there is a way to express acceptance and decline, positively or negatively. In Irish, you answer by repeating the verb of the question. Pretty much, you are answering in a verb form. For instance; if your friend asks if your neighbor sells their house, you would say “they sold” or “they didn’t sell” rather than ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

The Word Order Is Verb-Subject-Object

When you’re researching the language with Windows VPS to store your bulk information, you would notice the vast difference about Irish. While English uses subject-verb-object structure, Irish is slightly altered by switching the position of the first two. This syntax may sound odd to English speakers, which is another distinguishing feature of the Celtic language. Say, if your sibling hit you for something you did, you would run to your mother and would usually say “He hit me!” In Irish, the sentence would be “Hit he me!”

This relatively rare sentence structure is used by 8-9% of the world’s languages.  

It Is An Endangered Language

Irish is a fascinating language with a long and illustrious past. It is Ireland’s “ethnic and first” language. In Irish schools, it is a compulsory subject. It’s still “definitely endangered,” according to UNESCO.

Irish And Gaelic Are Two Different Terms

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In Irish, the language is known as Gaeilge, and in English, it is known as Irish. People will often refer to it as Irish Gaelic to avoid being mistaken as “Irish English” as well as to differentiate it from Scottish Gaelic, which is a similar but distinct language. The adjective Gaelic is used to characterize the people and culture of Ireland. The word “Gaelic” as a language only refers to the Scottish language.

There Are Three Different Types Of Numbers In Irish

It may be confusing, so let’s break this down to three simple categories. The Irish language had three kinds of numbers; disjunctive cardinal numbers, nonhuman conjunctive numbers and human conjunctive numbers. 

Disjunctive cardinal numbers are for adding and subtracting, telling time or giving a phone number. Nonhuman conjunctive numbers are used to count things that are not people, whereas human conjunctive numbers are to count people. 

More Than 1 Million People In Ireland Speaks Irish Today

In a worldly sense, there are only 1.2 million Irish speakers, with only 12% of the number speaking it as a first language. In Ireland, only 30-40% of the population speak Irish, about 140000 of them are native to the language while the rest as a second. The region of Ireland with Irish as a first language is the Gaeltacht and other rural parts. 

There Are Three Different Irish Dialects

irishCertain regions have their own unique dialects, and Irish is no exception. There are Ulster, Connacht, and Munster. The Ulster dialect is more spoken in the northwest corner of the country near Donegal, Connacht is from the west side, most common areas are at Connemara and Mayo. While Munster is prominent in the southwest of Ireland. 

Irish Used To Be A Main Language In Canada

It all started in Newfoundland were Irish immigrants arrived in the late 1600s. The year 1815 was when there were more than 19000 Irish in the province, with the majority speaking Irish. The language died down by the 19th century, however, there are traces of the dialect left standing to this day