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 Post subject: Q: What is the CO?
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 7:58 pm 
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I've seen reference to something known as the CO, but what is it? I'm guessing that it's some sort of Irish language reference text.


[edited to remove accidental edit]


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 Post subject: Re: Q: What is the CO?
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:38 am 
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Heehee, looks like Red pressed the Edit button instead of Reply. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Q: What is the CO?
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:39 am 
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Aha! So, there indeed is a "standard" Irish language reference, albeit one to be kept at a distance, apparently. No wonder it's simply referred to as the CO, with no further explanation.

BTW, I've seen some discussion about a standard Irish language, also including differences between northern, western, and southern dialects, along with a perpetual question mark over the Irish as used in the Province of Leinster. The "pro" side says that a standard language is a good thing, in that it could help to more widely promote Irish and the general use of Irish. Yet, the "con" side says that it could help to further weaken the existing dialects, as fragile as some of them apparently could be. And, so far, the "con" side appears to be winning.

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 Post subject: Re: Q: What is the CO?
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:21 am 
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avanutria wrote:
Heehee, looks like Red pressed the Edit button instead of Reply. :D


Oh damn...I hate it when I do that! Sorry Cork...I'll fix it.

Here's what I meant to say in reply to the head message of this thread, and instead accidentaly inserted into the message:

Quote:
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil: The Official Standard. It's basically a homogenized, standardized, blend of the dialects that is the official standard for written Irish (though no one really adheres to it).


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 Post subject: Re: Q: What is the CO?
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:35 am 
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The problem with the CO is it doesn't really reflect how anyone SPEAKS Irish. Usually, when a language is standardized, the people doing the standardization draw upon the forms most widely used by educated people in their part of the world (and even those is subject to change when, as inevitably happens, popular usage shifts). The Caighdeán is an artificial construct that attempted to meld the dialects together, creating a form of the language that no one actually uses in day to day life.

What it has done, among other things, is simplify and standardize spellings used in schools and official documents. Dialect forms, however, are considered equally valid...unlike in English, where use of a dialect form can get you a slap on the wrist and an admonishment to "use correct English."

If Irish were more widely used as a daily language, it would probably make sense to have an official standard, but as it is, learners of the language ultimately tend to gravitate toward one dialect or another, and native speakers, of course, continue to speak and write in the dialect with which they grew up. Even Irish television caters to this...if you watch TG4, you'll begin to notice that the weather broadcasts alternate dialects...you might have Ulster at 6:00, Connacht at 11, etc.

Whether or not the Caighdeán is truly useful at this juncture is open to debate....and as with everything with this language, tends to get debated a lot!

The Leinster dialect is generally acknowledged to be extinct. While there are some Irish speakers in Leinster, they are mostly transplants (sometimes second generation transplants) from other Gaeltachtaí, and there aren't enough of them for their dialect to have merged into a "New Leinster" dialect.

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