Thursday, September 13, 2012
Interesting video here:
It's an interview in Irish with Benny Lewis who speaks the language fairly proficiently, and the interview touches on two important areas in particular:
1) How to use Irish without going to the Gaeltacht, and
2) The role of the radio station in being an island of Irish in a city where it is not necessarily understood by all.
One of the tips in point 1) is to wear a shirt in the language. Those that understand it will notice it and may strike up a conversation. I've often thought about something similar for IALs (Ido, Esperanto, etc.) that could be used on a more permanent basis because we can't all wear such shirts every day: a symbol that can be worn as a ring, amulet, small logo on a shirt, etc. For Esperanto a green star would be easy.
The radio station as an island within a larger community is also interesting. Walking on the streets of Dublin one is never sure who is bilingual and who is not, but enter such a radio station and the chances increase to nearly 100%. I've written a bit on the idea of reviving Latin before by choosing a place where it is already well studied (in this case in a certain part of New York State) and turning that place into an island of Latin: city council agrees to turn the area into a tourist district and allocates funds to make bilingual signage, menus, etc., and in exchange the region would see students from abroad coming to the only place in the world where they can walk down the street and stand a good chance of finding a Latin speaker. A radio station is similar to this, but the scale is smaller and the chance of finding a fluent speaker is greater.