Almost a week after the pupils, teachers and supporters of Gaelscoil Aogáin covered themselves in glory As Gaeilge ar TG4, comes more good news for an teanga áitiúil.
This time it is in the form of an article in The Culture Trip on the 10 oldest, surviving languages in the world.
The Culture Trip is a weekly, online, global newsletter dealing with matters of food and travel and of course culture.
The article traces the origins and history of a range of languages within the chosen ten and they include: Hebrew, Tamil, Lithuanian, Farsi, Icelandic, Macedonian, Basque, Finnish, Georgian and our own.
Through the link below you’ll be able to see the stories behind them all. In the meantime here’s a look at what they said about Irish.
The Ten Oldest Languages Still Spoken in the World Today By Lani Seelinger
Although Irish Gaelic is only spoken as a native language by a small majority of Irish people nowadays, it has a long history behind it. It is a member of the Celtic branch of Indo-European languages, and it existed on the islands that are now Great Britain and Ireland well before the Germanic influences arrived. Irish Gaelic was the language from which Scottish Gaelic and Manx (which used to be spoken on the Isle of Man) arose, but the fact that really lands it on this list is that it has the oldest vernacular literature of any language in Western Europe. While the rest of Europe was speaking their own languages and writing in Latin, the Irish decided that they wanted to write in their own language instead.
You can catch up on the TG4 Cleas Act with a click on the link here: http://www.tg4.ie/en/programmes/cleasact