Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ireland language map

A blog I really enjoy is Strange Maps. It does exactly what it says on the tin, in that it posts strange maps and stuff. Sometimes they are old maps, sometimes they are cartoons, sometimes maps depicting demographical information... all sorts really.

Last week they put one up that I wanted to share with you because I thought it gave a really nice insight into Ireland's language landscape. Having had a conversation with the boy recently about languages spoken in the UK and Ireland - and how related (or otherwise) they are, this gives some nice takeaway facts on how the Irish language is faring.

I am not sure that the key will be legible. Basically it says:

Ireland as 100 people:
55 would speak only English
39 would speak mainly English, occasionally Irish
2 would speak only Irish
1 would speak Polish
3 would speak other languages

For those who don't know about the EU politics... a couple of years ago Poland was accepted into the EU, bringing an influx of Poles to the UK and Ireland. They have turned out to be short term migrants, returning home after a couple of years of money making, but their numbers have still had a big impact on the demographics of Western Europe. In the UK their arrival has made Catholicism the largest religion for the first time since the reformation yoyo changes.


sydneysider said...

7daysinSydney traveller Dearbhla is in the west of Ireland at this very moment, learning the traditional Irish language. As a school teacher to be, it's mandatory to know and then teach.

Looking forward to learning a few words off her when she's here!

Smoph said...

It's really strange how indigenous languages are failing all over the place.

Sad to know so few can speak it though.

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