The good news for mourners of dead tongues is that in Northern Ireland they’re inventing new languages, dialects and other officially authenticated and subsidised cultural goods at such a rate that the province will soon be exporting the surplus to the Amazon delta. As Jason Walsh points out:
In Northern Ireland during the 1980s the paramilitaries engaged in tit-for-tat shootings, these days the guns are largely silent but these self-imposed community representatives are engaged in tit-for-tat culture-making, and culture is all the worse for it. “The taigs get a couple of grand for basket-weaving in Irish? We want cash for women’s mural-painting in Ulster Scots.”
Although Ethnologue hasn’t yet got round to recognising Ullans‘s separate identity, it’s good to know in retrospect that one was born into a trendy hotbed of cultural diversity rather than a tepid swamp dominated by men united in a stolid determination to deconstruct one another’s anatomy in a strategic sense. I think, however, that Mr Walsh may be being slightly over-optimistic in assuming that Ciarín Ó Duibhín and other Ulster Irish enthusiasts will be content in having it declared an official dialect for the purposes of cultural subsidy when Maltese, with only 300,000 speakers, is already an official EU language.
- Language use survey
While nationalist politicians continue to exaggerate hugely the number of Catalan speakers (think: lobbying, EU official languages), the new Idescat figures
- Catalan speakers the 15th most productive Wikipedists
Congratulations on Catalan users for hitting 50,000 articles on Wikipedia. Although quantity isn’t everything–articles in English are almost invariably far better
- Irish: it’s official! Well, almost…
The Taoiseachracy got sick of being hassled during the Irish presidency of the EU by lobbyists for various unloved languages, so
- Suggestion for EU official language policy
Irish opposition parties are trying to stir up the nationalist vote with a proposal to get Irish (ca 0.2M fluent speakers)
- Raphael tortures Aquarius, Matt Monro destroys Libre (subtitled)
Do Spanish speakers get more excited about “defective” accents than English speakers?