The history of Irish
Irish in modern times
Michael from Donegal, Ireland
Aidan from New Zealand, Erse is an antiquated term, and I would hazard a guess that the majority of Irish people might never even have heard of the term. The language is universally called Irish here in Ireland. Interestingly amongst speakers of Irish, although Scots Gaelic in Irish is known as "Gaeilge na hAlban" (Gaeilge of Scotland) there is a tendency to use the Scots Gaelic word for itself - Gàidhlig - to differentiate between the two. So you might hear "Is feidir liom roinnt Gàidhlig a thuiscint" - I can understand some Scots Gaelic - in place of "Is feidir liom roinnt Gaeilge na hAlban a thuiscint".
Aidan Work from Wellington,New Zealand.
Isn't the Irish-Gaelic language still commonly known as 'Erse' to distinguish it from the Scots-Gaelic language? One of the most well-known words that is derived from the Erse language is 'Shellaligh',which is a type of club.I am familiar with Punt (or more correctly,Punt Eireannach),which is the Erse for the Irish Pound,which has now been replaced by the Euro.
Celeste Sjölin, Malmö (Sweden)
I'd just like to comment on Ray Fagan's comment there, about the board/bord: In both Swedish and Norwegian (maybe the other Scandinavian languages as well, I'm not sure), "Bord" still means table(but is pronounced slightly differently). Smörgåsbord, for example, means "table of sandwiches". This all has to do with the Vikings going to Ireland and so on, so it's actually Old Norse to begin with... And vikings went to England as well, so I'm not sure Irish had very much to do with that. That being said, Irish is a very facinating language, and I hope I get to learn it someday.
i love that the irish language is alive and well in my country. Its deterioration at the hands of uncultured pillagers for centuries, shows that when a national identity comes up against adversity it wins, agus sin an doigh go bhfuil se!!
Baile Átha Cliath in the Netherlands
It is wonderful to see more and more enthusiasm in a language like Gaelic.. even if you're roots don't lie in Ireland.
Both parents were taught Irish as their first language. After migrating to England in the 50's Mum's experience at the hands of nuns meant that she had painful memories of how Irish was literally beaten into her. Dad generally spoke in Irish when he'd had a few, or when he shouted at the five of us kids. Trying to assimilate to English culture during the anti Irish 70's meant we were never taught any Irish language. A pity.
Sarah from Australia
How I wish I had been taught Irish in Northern Ireland back in the 1950's. I regretted it then and even more today. Thank God for your Irish lessons on the net. I love it all. Keep up the good work. More power to you.
Gareth Mackle, Tír Eoghain
The urbanisation of the Irish language in conjunction with the thriving Irish medium school system and the success of TG4 and RnaG have ensured the survival of Irish as a living language for many more generations to come. An Ghaeilge abú!
peter hannaway from London
As a young London child in the early 1950's I spent my holidays in the south Armagh countryside.But I could detect the different accents of my dad's "mountainy" neighbours to my mothers'neighbours. Only 5 miles south near the border but with a slower Louth/Meath accent. I taped my late dad 20 years ago, he like many of his generation in Ireland possessed the art of the oral tradition;of making the most banal incident intersting. I'm looking forward to spotting all the familiar (and unfamiliar)words and sayings.
Ray Fagan, Dublin
Ever sit at a 'board' meeting and wonder where that word originated? it comes from the Irish word for 'table' (bord[pronounced the same]). It dates back to the time of when Hugh D'Lacy was the chief at Trim Castle Co.Meath; the high level meetings there took place at the 'bord'.
Partick Begley, Dublin
there are a lot of Irish sayings in every day use in Britain, just some example's are 'great craic' craic is the gaelic word for fun, this can be heard in London and elsewhere in the UK regularly, 'fair play to 'im' is another, the Father Ted swear word 'feck' has been around for a long time and was traditionally used by old women in the past who did not want to blaspheme by using the u sound, so it was replaced with the e sound. (more genteel) there are many more.
Mary from London
"Slogan" would have been a better example than "hooligan" which is much more recent and was the surname of a particularly troublesome family living in England.