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Posted by Tuars on November 16, 2003 at 12:54:53:
In Reply to: Re: Why did we fail to revive the language? posted by Mike on November 16, 2003 at 11:49:05:
I think the idea that we abandoned the language in order to learn English is a bit of a myth.
Learning a new language doesn't necessarily mean you have to abandon your current one, unless Irish brains are smaller than those of Swedes, Germans, Italians, Poles, etc. etc. who also emigrated to English speaking countries in huge numbers but who didn't find it necessary to abandon their own languages in the process.
I do agree that it has been an unspoken policy of sucessive Irish governments to maintain the stability of the country by grooming the youth for emigration.
Also, my experience of learning Irish at school in the 70's and 80's does not correspond to your description (maybe that was the case in earlier years). Despite having to endure Paraic Pearse and Peig and the incomprehensible grammar books I had a reasonably positive experience of Irish at school (i.e. it was no worse than any other subject). It was when I left school that my Irish was lost through lack o use.