Speaking in Tongue: Multiple Identities

Speaking in Tongue: Multiple Identities

Friday 3rd May 2013
Language really matters. As lawyers know, dispute about meaning of a sentence in a law or a contract can cost millions. For Ireland identity language is also vital. Many of us grew up in an Ireland where we were aware of English, Irish and to a lesser extent Shelta/Gamon/Cant. At the height of the boom, the Irish Times reported 208 languages spoken in Ireland. Recently it was reported that 46 languages are in daily use at the Google headquarters in Dublin. In reading from my work I’m thinking of this contemporary situation. My book Tongues shows how the multiple languages of our world are not a threat but a fascinating enrichment. Through the diversity of languages, histories and worldviews that come together, a new genetic code for Ireland is in the making. If we shape it wisely, we bring the best of the past into the future and we enhanced our identity through our global involvement. Micheal O’Siadhail www.osiadhail.com


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Burren Law School, Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, Ireland.
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