An Náire vs. An Grá — Shame vs. Love

Tá muid i nGaillimh le chóir a bheith seachtaine anuas, agus de réir a chéile, tá muid ag éirí cleachta leis an tsaol anseo. Tá ár n-árasán níos compordaí anois, tá muid ag foghlaim cá háit a bhfuil na siopaí maithe, agus (buíochas le Dia!) tá an ghrian amuigh inniu!

In éindí leis sin, tá muid ag cruthú ár “ngréasán Gaeilge” go mall. Bhuail muid le cúpla fear ag an ollscoil a bhfuil Gaeilge acu, ó Éirinn agus ó Meiriceá fosta.  Bhí comhrá suimiúil againn inniu, agus muid ag caint fán Ghaeilge sa chathair seo le Gaeilgeoir amháin as Meiriceá. Dúirt sé gur fearr leis rud éigin a rá i nGaeilge ar dtús le daoine, agus is cuma leis an bhfuil Gaeilge acu nó nach bhfuil. Ní mhothaíonn sé go dona fán míchompord a chuireann sé seo ar dhaoine… i ndáiríre, is maith leis an míchompord a chur ar dhaoine maidir leis an Ghaeilge mar, dar leis, ba chóir dóibh a bheith meabhrach go bhfuil daoine ann a bhfuil an Ghaeilge iontach tábhachtach dóibh, agus ba chóir beagán náire a bheith orthu nach bhfuil Gaeilge rómhaith acu, mar is Éireannaigh siad.

Tá an dearcadh seo iontach suimiúil domh, mar mothaímse go bhfuil stádas na Gaeilge iontach tábhachtach agus go gcaithfidh sé a bheith labhartha ag daoine le maireachtáil. Agus, caithfidh mé a rá, tá sé sáraitheach domh nach bhfuil níos mó fonn ag na hÉireannaigh an teanga a choinneáil beo. Níl ann ach teanga a bheith labhartha ag pobal mór le bheith cinnte go maireann sé, ach ní labhraítear an teanga seo rómhinic, faraor.  Cad chuige? Bhuel, teoiric amháin atá ann ná ní bhíonn daoine ag labhairt na teanga mar tá náire orthu nach bhfuil a gcuid Gaeilge rómhaith, cé go raibh blianta caite acu á foghlaim. Agus mar gheall ar sin, níl fonn ar bith orthu í a labhairt, mar tá droch-chaidreamh acu léi, agus níl an teanga go maith acu. Dá bhrí sin, cén mhaith atá ar náire a chur ar dhaoine faoina gcumas leis an teanga, chun an teanga a chur chun cinn?

Níl an náire chomh chumhachtach ná an grá, dar liom. Má tá náire ort fá rud éigin, seans go mbeidh fonn ort rud a dhéanamh chun do chas a athrú, ach ní bheith mórán fonn ort do chroí a chur isteach ann. Tá sé cosúil leis an aclaíocht… má tá náire ort faoi do chorp, b’fhéidir tosóidh tú ag rith chun meáchan a chailleadh, ach ní bheadh tú ag iarraidh a bheith ag rith rómhinic. Ach má tá grá agat ar rud, déanfaidh tú é chomh mhinic agus is féidir leat, agus déanfaidh tú do dhícheall ar son an rud sin. Arís, leis an rith… má tá grá agat a bheith a rith, rithfidh tú, agus molfaidh tú do dhaoine gur chóir dóibh triail a bhaint as, fosta.

Cad é mar a bhaineann an t-ábhar seo leis an Ghaeilge? Tá barraíocht náire ar dhaoine in Éirinn fán Ghaeilge, dar liom, agus dá bharr sin, níl mórán fonn orthu í a fhoghlaim nó í a mhúineadh do dhaoine eile. Tá stáir iontach fada a bhaineann leis seo, ach go bunúsach, ba theanga na boicht í an Ghaeilge, agus phionósaítí daoine a d’úsáideadh an teanga… agus fanann an steiréitíopa sin leis an phobal go dtí an lá atá inniu ann. Fáth eile atá ann ná tá an teanga riachtanach sna scoileanna mar ábhar scoile, ach ní múintear rómhaith í. Mura mbeadh an Ghaeilge riachtanach sna scoileanna, cad é a tharlódh? Níl a fhios agam, ach tá rud iontach suimiúil ar siúl anois sa Tuaisceart agus tá slua mór daoine ag foghlaim na Gaeilge (agus níl siad á foghlaim ar scoil). Cad é a deir sin? Thiocfadh leat a rá go ndeir sé go bhfuil daoine sa Tuaisceart ag baint níos mó suilt as an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim (gan an droch-chaidreamh atá ag daoine sa Deisceart leis an teanga). Tá siad á foghlaim mar tá grá agus suim acu ar an teanga, agus b’fhéidir go mairfidh an teanga níos fearr sa Tuaisceart i gceann tríocha nó ceathracha bliain, dá bhrí sin?

Beidh le feiceáil, cinnte, ach anois, cad é a dhéanfaidh mise ar son na Gaeilge? Labhróidh mé í le achan duine agus is féidir liom, cinnte, ach sílim go ndéanfaidh mé iarracht gan náire a chur ar dhaoine, agus déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall grá a thabhairt do dhaoine ar an teanga ina áit. Cén tslí a úsáidfidh mé leis sin a dhéanamh?  Barúil ar bith… sin an fáth a bhfuil mé anseo!

Le meas,

Amanda

______________________________________________________________________________________

We’ve now been in Galway for almost a week and bit by bit we’re getting used to life here. Our apartment is more comfortable now, we’re learning where the good shops are, and (thank goodness!) the sun is out today!

Along with that, we’re slowly  creating our “Irish language network.” We’ve met with a couple of guys at the university who speak Irish, both from Ireland and from America. We had an interesting conversation today with an Irish speaker from America about Irish in this city. He said that he prefers to say something in Irish first off with people, and he doesn’t care if they speak Irish or don’t. He doesn’t feel that the discomfort this puts people in is a bad thing… in fact, he likes to make people uncomfortable with regards to Irish because, according to him, people should be aware that there are people out there for whom Irish is very important, and they should be ashamed that their Irish isn’t very good, since they ARE Irish, after all.

This outlook is very interesting to me, since I feel that the status of Irish is very important and that it has to be spoken by people to survive. And, I have to say, it’s frustrating to me that the Irish don’t have much drive to keep the language alive. A language just has to be spoken by a large population to be certain that it survives, but this language isn’t spoken all that often, unfortunately. Why? Well, one theory is that people don’t speak the language because they are ashamed that they don’t speak it very well, even though they had years of it in school. And with regards to that, there’s no wish to speak it, because they have a bad relationship with it, and they don’t speak it very well. With this in mind, what good is it to make people ashamed of their ability in the language, in order to progress the language?

Shame is not as powerful as love, I think. If you are ashamed of something, maybe you’ll do something to change your lot, but you won’t really want to put your heart into it. It’s like with exercise… if you’re ashamed of your body, you might start to run in order to lose weight, but you won’t really want to be running all that often. But if you love something, you’ll do it as often as possible, and you’ll do your utmost on behalf of that thing. Again, with running… if you love running, you will run, and you’ll suggest to other people that perhaps they should try it as well.

How does this concern Irish?  The Irish are too ashamed of Irish language, I think, and because of that they don’t really want to learn it or teach it to others. There’s a very long history with this subject but basically, Irish was the language of the poor, and people use to be punished who used the language… and this stereotype stays with people still. Another reason is that the language is mandatory in schools as a school subject, but it isn’t taught all that well. If it weren’t mandatory in the schools, what would happen? I don’t know, but something very interesting is happening in Northern Ireland right now and a great many  people are learning Irish (and they’re not learning it in school). What does that say? You could say that it says people in the North are enjoying learning Irish more (without the bad relationship that people in the South have with the language). They’re learning it because they love it and have an interest in it, and perhaps the language will survive better in Northern Ireland in 30 or 40 years, because of that ?

We will see, certainly, but for now, what will I do on behalf of Irish? I will speak it with every person I can, certainly, but I think that I will try to not make people feel ashamed, but I’ll do my best to create and spread love for the language in the place of shame. What way will I use to do this? No clue… that’s why I’m here!

All the best,

Amanda

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “An Náire vs. An Grá — Shame vs. Love

  1. markbodah says:

    Sin póst blag iontach, a Amanda. Is maith lion do meoin máidir leis an teanga, agus an slí gurbh fhearr let í a úsáid. (Agus tá bród agam oraibh beirt go bhfuil bhur gcuid Gaeilge an méid sin níos fearr ná mo chudse anois!)

    • jhohlkennedy says:

      Aw, tá sé sin iontach a chluinstin a chara, go raibh míle maith agat!

      Dúirt Maitiú rud suimiúil ar fad… dúirt sé “bheadh sé i bhfad níos fearr gan an t-ainm “Irish” a bheith ar an teanga i mBéarla, mar tá féiniúlacht náisiúnta ceangailte leis an ainm sin, agus cuireann sé sin náire níos mó ar na hÉireannaigh nach bhfuil Gaeilge rómhaith acu.” Caidé do bharúil faoi sin, a chara?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s