Traolach Ó Ríordáin
The Irish Language – An Ghaeilge
“Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam. A country without a language is a country without a soul.”
- Pádraig Pearse
Irish is the native or ancestral language of Ireland. It has been spoken in Ireland for over 3,000 years, for as long as the Irish have occupied the island. This was the language that gave expression to the Irish mind; it was the language that mediated the cultural and intellectual life of the Irish and in which all the great works of literature down the 18th century were composed. It was spoken by the majority of the people until the time of the Great Famine, an event that saw the mass migration of Irish speakers to America. It was in America, however, that one finds the beginnings of the Gaelic Revival, a movement initiated to restore the Irish language and Irish Gaelic culture. Montana has been part of this movement from when the Irish first arrived here and remains so today through the Montana Gaelic Cultural Society and the Irish Studies program at the University of Montana.
Very few universities in the United States offer as comprehensive a curriculum of study in the Irish language as the University of Montana. The focus of instruction is on imparting a fluent command of the spoken language. Knowledge of spoken Irish opens the door to the literature and to the story of the Irish as told in their own language. The following is a list of the courses offered:
The University of Montana offers five three-credit courses in the Irish language, namely:
- Elementary Irish I, II and III [IRSH 101, 102, and 103]
- Intermediate Irish I and II [IRSH 201 and 202].
Students may also complete Elementary Irish III and Intermediate Irish II as a study abroad option
Is í an Ghaeilge teanga dhúchais na nGael. Táthar á labhairt in Éirinn le os cionn 3,000 bliain, chomh fada is atá na Gaeil ag cur futhu ar an oileán. Dob’í an Ghaeilge an teanga a chuir aigne na nGael in iúl; dob í an teanga a chothaigh saol culturtha agus intleachtúil na tíre; agus ba inti a ceapadh na mórshaothair litríochta anuas go dtí an t-ochtú haois déag. Dob’í teanga fhurmhór na ndaoine í go dtí aimsir an Ghorta Mhóir, an tubaist ba chionsiocair le mór-imirce Ghaeilgeoirí go Meiriceá. I Meiriceá, ámh, a faightear tosach na hathhbheochana, gluaiseacht a bunaíodh chun teanga is cultúr na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn athuair. Ba chuid den ghluaiseacht úd Montana ó tháinig na Gaeil ba thúisce anseo agus is cuid di fós tríd an Montana Gaelic Cultural Society agus tríd an gClár i Léann na hÉireann ag Ollscoil Montana.
Is beag ollscoil a chuireann ar fáil curriculum chomh cuimsitheach le hOllscoil Montana i staidéar na Gaeilge. Is ar ardchaighdeán líofachta i labhairt na Gaeilge a leagtar béim i múineadh na teangan abhus. Is tríd an dteanga labhartha a osclaítear doras don litríocht agus do scéal na nGael mar a ríomhadh ina dteanga féin é. Ag seo síos na cúrsaí uile ar fáil:
Tairgeann Ollscoil Montana cúig cinn de chursaí trí chreidiúint sa Ghaeilge, mar atá:
- BunGhaeilge I, II agus III [IRSH 101, 102 agus 103]
- MeánGhaeilge I agus II [IRSH 201 agus 202]
Is féidir BunGhaeilge III agus MeánGhaeilge II a dhéanamh mar chúrsa staidéir thar lear
The Friends of Irish Studies sponsored another very successful Irish language immersion course this summer in Butte, Montana. The course ran from July 23 to July 30 and attracted 18 students from all over the Northwest. You probably don’t know this, but Butte was considered one of the most Gaelic of all American cities; it was also one of the main contributors to summers schools back in Ireland in the early 1900s. The immersion course offered every summer in Butte is part of that tradition. If there one thing that Butte and Anaconda remind you of, it’s that past will always shape the present. Our thanks to Montana Tech., and to all the people of Butte, for supporting this program, and a special thanks to Tadhg Ó Súilleabháin who may a special trip from Cork to teach the advanced course. If you want to learn the Irish language or participate in this program, contact the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Friends of Irish Studies Website.