Hebrew Revival & Irish

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Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby rdearman » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:57 pm

Someone sent me a link today. Interesting.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/book ... -1.3827179
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:35 pm

See also the programme for Polyglot Gathering 2019:
Language Planning in Ireland – lessons from the Hebrew Revival? -Seán Ó Riain
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:17 pm

The biggest difference I see is that the Israelis then were willing to walk away from Yiddish. Today nobody is going to abandon English. That said, I’m sure there are still interesting and important comparisons to be made.
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby David1917 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:43 pm

Lawyer&Mom wrote:The biggest difference I see is that the Israelis then were willing to walk away from Yiddish. Today nobody is going to abandon English. That said, I’m sure there are still interesting and important comparisons to be made.


Well, maybe the government was willing to walk away by banning Yiddish-based institutions in the interest of privileging the new Hebrew language, but that doesn't mean the people were willing to or that they abandoned it altogether.

Ukraine has a similar issue going on - they are trying to stamp out use of Russian to grow the Ukrainian language. But, Russian is still ubiquitous on the streets of Kiev so, it might be a fool's errand, considering Russian is still a lingua franca of the region.

As it comes to Irish, I don't think anyone on either side of the wall are keen on the idea of abandoning/outlawing English. There are plenty of successful language policies around the world (Bashkortostan in Russia is my go-to example) where the local language is considered a vital aspect of cultural preservation in a multi-ethnic society, but there is the simultaneous importance of mobility and extended communication. Obviously, if people in Bashkortostan tried to avoid Russian altogether, they would be effectively stuck in their ethnic enclave, unable to take their skills to Moscow, Kiev, Groznyi, Dushanbe, or Vladivostok. The same would be true of Irish - even in the case of unification, England is still the primary trading partner and closest geographical neighbor. Making Irish a prestige language at home doesn't have to come at the cost of English.
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby aokoye » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:43 pm

There's also the significance of Hebrew with regards to Judaism. Biblical Hebrew never completely went away in terms of a language that people pray in (and it definitely won't in our lifetimes). Irish doesnt have that relationship to any of the major religions in Ireland.
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby vonPeterhof » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:51 pm

In the past I've also made the "Jewish colonists needed a common tongue" argument described in the beginning of the article, so this was a very enlightening read. Still, the odds are somewhat different when your main competition is the global language of business, politics and culture, as opposed to a stateless community language.

David1917 wrote:There are plenty of successful language policies around the world (Bashkortostan in Russia is my go-to example) where the local language is considered a vital aspect of cultural preservation in a multi-ethnic society, but there is the simultaneous importance of mobility and extended communication.

At the risk of derailing the thread, do you happen to have some reading materials about this? Not that I'm doubting it, it's just that I'm very interested in the Bashkir language both as a Turkic geek and someone with possible ancestry in the area, and this is the first time I'm hearing anything about Bashkortostan's language policy being successful compared to other regions in Russia, let alone the world. Although to be fair, considering the developments in Russia's language policy in the past few years, these days it's hard to come across any sort of positive information on the situation with Russia's minority languages..
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby David1917 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:34 pm

vonPeterhof wrote:At the risk of derailing the thread, do you happen to have some reading materials about this? Not that I'm doubting it, it's just that I'm very interested in the Bashkir language both as a Turkic geek and someone with possible ancestry in the area, and this is the first time I'm hearing anything about Bashkortostan's language policy being successful compared to other regions in Russia, let alone the world. Although to be fair, considering the developments in Russia's language policy in the past few years, these days it's hard to come across any sort of positive information on the situation with Russia's minority languages..


Sure, I'll have to dig through my e-mail to find the stuff I read. But, as far as I understand it, whereas Tatar and Chuvash are taught in their respective regions, and people more or less understand these languages, Bashkir is a compulsory subject and street signs, etc. are in both Bashkir and Russian.
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby Chung » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:47 pm

David1917 wrote:
vonPeterhof wrote:At the risk of derailing the thread, do you happen to have some reading materials about this? Not that I'm doubting it, it's just that I'm very interested in the Bashkir language both as a Turkic geek and someone with possible ancestry in the area, and this is the first time I'm hearing anything about Bashkortostan's language policy being successful compared to other regions in Russia, let alone the world. Although to be fair, considering the developments in Russia's language policy in the past few years, these days it's hard to come across any sort of positive information on the situation with Russia's minority languages..


Sure, I'll have to dig through my e-mail to find the stuff I read. But, as far as I understand it, whereas Tatar and Chuvash are taught in their respective regions, and people more or less understand these languages, Bashkir is a compulsory subject and street signs, etc. are in both Bashkir and Russian.


I'm also interested in this as I've picked up mixed messages on the subject overall. An acquaintance told me that after doing linguistic field work in Udmurtia for her degree, the prospects for Udmurt were murky at best despite the Udmurt speech community being relatively large (~ 400,000 native speakers) and a majority of it in its own administrative divsion (i.e. Udmurtia). I also got to know a Bashkir from Ufa who told me of attending classes in Bashkir for several years as a child alongside the usual ones in Russian - so pretty much bilingual, although Tatar was another language used at home because of some Tatar relatives.
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby vonPeterhof » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:11 pm

David1917 wrote:But, as far as I understand it, whereas Tatar and Chuvash are taught in their respective regions, and people more or less understand these languages, Bashkir is a compulsory subject and street signs, etc. are in both Bashkir and Russian.

Compulsory teaching of the local languages used to be more common, even in places like the Komi Republic, where the "titular nation" is in the minority. The tide apparently turned when in 2017 Putin sided with the Russian-speaking parents in ethnic republics against "the imposition of non-native languages on children" and laws were passed prohibiting the mandatory teaching of languages other than Russian. While there was pushback against this (most notably in Tatarstan, but to varying degrees in pretty much all republics) and the actual realization of policies may vary from place to place (for example, Tatarstan still hasn't complied with the 2010 federal law prohibiting regions from using "President" as a title for the regional head), the overall battle to retain mandatory teaching of local languages is largely seen as having been lost.
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Re: Hebrew Revival & Irish

Postby David1917 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:13 am

vonPeterhof wrote:
David1917 wrote:But, as far as I understand it, whereas Tatar and Chuvash are taught in their respective regions, and people more or less understand these languages, Bashkir is a compulsory subject and street signs, etc. are in both Bashkir and Russian.

Compulsory teaching of the local languages used to be more common, even in places like the Komi Republic, where the "titular nation" is in the minority. The tide apparently turned when in 2017 Putin sided with the Russian-speaking parents in ethnic republics against "the imposition of non-native languages on children" and laws were passed prohibiting the mandatory teaching of languages other than Russian. While there was pushback against this (most notably in Tatarstan, but to varying degrees in pretty much all republics) and the actual realization of policies may vary from place to place (for example, Tatarstan still hasn't complied with the 2010 federal law prohibiting regions from using "President" as a title for the regional head), the overall battle to retain mandatory teaching of local languages is largely seen as having been lost.


That's interesting. My last reading on the subject predates 2017, so that could be a need for revision on my part. I did some quick googling earlier and also saw that Bashkortostan had some large protests against this law too. It is an interesting topic to consider under federalization in general, and a self-proclaimed multi-ethnic federation in particular. Anyway, I'll have to do some more digging.
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