My least favourite myth....

Càil sam bith eile / Anything else
Níall Beag
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My least favourite myth....

Unread post by Níall Beag » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:06 pm

I'm saying a lot of this in English because I think it's too important to get mangled by mo chuid Gàidhlig ('s o chionn 's gu bheil e gu math nas fhasa fo-thiotalan ath-sgrìobhadh na voice-overs).

Tha mi as déidh coimhead air 'S Ann An Ìle tro iPlayer, agus anns a phrogram (mu 6 min) cho-fhreagair iad am miotas nas chunnartaiche sa th' ann chun a' Ghàidhlig:
voiceover wrote:The Gaelic unit is a vital resource...
Fior.
voiceover wrote:...for families in which only one parent speaks Gaelic.
Not especially.
interviewee wrote:Andy is learning Gaelic and when we are speaking to each other we speak English. But in order to ensure that Ailig and Maeve have Gaelic we'll have to speak it all the time.
Not true.
One Parent One Language.

A child can learn a language from one parent -- the trick is context and consistency.

In a basic nuclear family there are three main linguistic contexts, from the child's point of view: mother and child; father and child; both parents and child. Each of these can support it's own language, if the parents are both bilingual with only one shared language. If one parent is bilingual and the other monolingual, then you're naturally reduced to two languages, which means that one parent's language becomes also the family language. This is fine.
interviewee wrote:My parents speak Gaelic to them so they are hearing it but we need to make more effort to ensure that they are able to speak it as well as understand it.
The experience worldwide is that one-parent-one-language leads to kids producing in both languages, but delaying or reducing the use of one language will put it at constant disadvantage as kids will always chose the stronger language.

If you leave Gaelic out of the home to start off with, it rarely comes in later. No amount of schooling or TV or grandparents can ever make up for the lost opportunity of a parent who could speak it but doesn't.

The whole world seems to know this except us English speakers. Many old Gaelic speakers grew up in monolingual Gaelic households and went to monolingual English schools, and then being told that it was a choice of either/or brought their kids up in monolingual English households, because unlike most of the world they had never experienced a bilingual household.

All it takes is for people to be told this, but no-one does it. You've got Finlay's CNSA and half of Comann nam Pàrant telling people (including learners) to go monolingual in Gaelic, but you've got no-one willing to stand up and promote the bilingual household. Every parent is left believing the old myth of either/or and if you believe in either/or then anyone but a fanatic would raise their kid in English.

So if you know anyone preparing for a family in a couple where Gaelic is spoken, pleeeeease explain one-parent-one-language to them.

Tell them that kids don't get confused.
Tell them that it's not "leaving one parent out" any more than one of them having a conversation with the kid before the other gets home from work is "leaving one parent out", or having a conversation while the other's in a different room is "leaving one parent out". It does not distance a family.
Tell them that it seems like a difficult habit to develop at first, but if you stick at it from the day the child is born, it'll be automatic by the time the baby is a year old, and that's when language learning really starts to set in.

It's eeeeeeeeeeeasy, and the whole world seems to know it but us!
Last edited by Níall Beag on Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.



faoileag
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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by faoileag » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:34 pm

With you 100%, a Nèill!

Tha mi glè, glè sgìth den mhiotas seo cuideachd! :olc:

Tha uiread de litreachas eòlaiche mu dhèidhinn 'teaghlachan dà-chànanach' agus tha an darna leth den t-saoghal co-dhiù dà- no iomadh-chànanach, mar a tha mi an còmhnaidh ag ràdh! Agus tha e ag obrachadh!

Chan e ach an saoghal Beurla air a bheil an t-eagal seo ro chànanan 'cèin' - sin 'cànanan eile sam bith'.

Grrrrrr!° (Dander is thoroughly suas!) :spors:

GunChleoc
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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by GunChleoc » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:45 am

Tha seo ag obrachadh gu math anns an teaghlach agam. Tha am màthair dà-chànanach is an athair aona-chànanach. Tha an cuid cloinne ag ionnsachadh an dà chànan gun trioblaid sam bith ged a tha blas beag den chànan nas treasa aca.

Tha e cudromach cuideachd co-dhiù gum bi cothroman ann an cànan a chleachdadh taobh a-muigh an teaghlach no is dòcha nach bi an cànan inntinneach don clann nuair a dh'fhàsas iad nas aosta agus clann acasan.
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

AlasdairBochd
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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by AlasdairBochd » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:44 am

Bha mi aig sgoil Gàidhlig 's Gaeilge a bhon uiridh ann an Sydney. Bha caileag bheag ann a' bruidhinn Gaeilge ri a h-athair, Beurla ris na coigrich a bh' ann, agus Olaindsis (Nederlands) ri a màthair. Tha mi cinnteach nach robh i ach ceithir bliadhna a dh'aois.

Thuirt a h-athair nach robh i a' bruidhinn ach Gaeilge ris agus nach robh i a' bruidhinn ach Olaindsis ri a màthair. Ged a bha cuid a' bruidhinn rithe anns a Ghaeilge, fhreagair a' chaileag anns a Bheurla leis gur b'e coigrich a bh' annta.

Cuiridh sin breug air an dearbhann "It might confuse the little darlings".

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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by Thrissel » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:36 pm

AlasdairBochd wrote:Ged a bha cuid a' bruidhinn rithe anns a Ghaeilge, fhreagair a' chaileag anns a Bheurla leis gur b'e coigrich a bh' annta.

Cuiridh sin breug air an dearbhann "It might confuse the little darlings".
Tha mi duilich ach chan eil mi a' tuigsinn sin. Nuair a bhios cudeigin a' bruidhinn ri cuideigin eile agus an dàrna tè a' freagairt ann an cànan eadar-dhealaichte (oir 's e còigreach a tha anns a' chiad neach), nach e tro-chèile a tha ann?

AlasdairBochd
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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by AlasdairBochd » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:45 am

Tha mi duilich, mìnichidh mi anns a' Bheurla. My Gàidhlig isn't quite good enough. Although some people would speak to the girl 'sa Ghaeilge, she would only reply to them in English because this was the separation in her mind, Dad speaks Irish, Mum speaks Dutch and everyone else speaks English. Don't forget that she was only four.

I'll tr*nsl*t* what I (think) that I wrote in case I made a mess of it and someone will help me out. :)
Ged a bha cuid a' bruidhinn rithe anns a Ghaeilge, fhreagair a' chaileag anns a Bheurla leis gur b'e coigrich a bh' annta.
Though some were speaking to her in Irish, the girl answered in English because they were strangers.

Thrissel
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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by Thrissel » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:47 pm

Hmm. No, your Gaelic is good, this is how I read it. It's the separation which makes the child use Beurla to everyone except her parents, no matter what language iadsan speak, which appears to me as a "mental confusion" - but then, I've no idea how a child's brain works. And the more I think about it, the more I can see a kind of logic behind it, only a logic different from mine.

Happy Easter, btw!

Níall Beag
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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by Níall Beag » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:04 pm

I see what you mean, but the main point is that the kid produces distinct grammatical utterances in the two languages -- the two languages are not noticeably damaging to each other.

Thrissel
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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by Thrissel » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:20 pm

Oh I see - it didn't occur to me to look at this aspect of it. Tapadh leat airson a' mhìneachdadh!

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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by Tearlach61 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:17 am

I'll add this. Our family language situation similar to that described by Alasdair. I speak Gàighlig to my youngest. She would be quite content to let me speak Gàidhlig to her and her respond in English. Simple stuff she responds in Gàidhlig, but anything beyond that she'd rather use English. Because she knows I understand it! (there so clever!) But she's resistent to me using English with her. A while ago, I was helping with homework from school and I thought it would be simpler to just read the instructions written in English and work with her in English. Well, she didn't like that. She insisted that I use Gàidhlig. So instead of reading her the instructions in English, I had tr*nsl*t* them.

But here's the point. I find it tremendously beneficial to be able to (in a ceannairc sort of way) to be able to tap into BBC Alba. She really likes some of the programs and they help create this (shall I say it) illusion that there's this world out there where everybody speaks nothing but Gàidhlig. But in any case, I have never seen a kid willing to watch a program in a language. I think she is drawing tremendous benefit from watching them, language wise.

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Re: My least favourite myth....

Unread post by akerbeltz » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:36 pm

This reminds me of the funny situation in the Rioja. This Spanish speaking area has spillover signal from the Basque ETB channel and because (at least up until fairly recently) the cartoons on ETB were so much better than what the Spanish national channels had to offer, it was a known phenomenon for young Riojans to tune into ETB and watch cartoons in Basque! No, it didn't lead to fluency but they did pick up bits and pieces here and there 8-)

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