Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!
"that's still only about a third of those that speak Irish (at over 100,000 people). Numbers based on census data."
Well, I had a look at that census data. Around 100k people claimed to be able to speak it to some degree, not that they are Irish speakers. I can speak German to some degree, but I am far from fluent. For that matter, I can also speak French, Spanish, Italian and Russian to some degree, having been taught in all of them at various stages.
Those for whom Irish is the main home language is around 4000, which is a much more believable number.
From a Belfast Telegraph article on the subject:
"Of those adults who said they understood Irish, 5% said they had a high level of comprehension of the language and could handle radio or television programmes delivered entirely in Irish.
Some 17% could understand directions, 32% could tell the time, and 46% knew a simple phrase such as “Cead mile failte” meant a hundred thousand welcomes."
Now, I can tell the time in half a dozen languages easily. And my question is who are the 68% of people who claimed they understood Irish but can't even tell the time in it?
The reality is that Irish, at a level that most people would consider a fair standard, i.e., conversational Irish, is barely existant north of the border, and rare south of the border.
I am a better Latin speaker than more than half of those claimed 100k Irish speakers. Arlene Foster is, on this particular issue anyway, right.