Monolingual? September 13, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Years back I was at a conference where – of all things, road and place signs were being discussed. The point was made that given the numbers of people from the EU entering the state it would be necessary to reflect this in the signs, ushering in a new era of bilingualism. I had to point out that we are already a bilingual state.
And so we come to this story here, that of a bar man in Cork, from Kerry whose first language was Irish, apparently told he was not to speak in Irish because the place was ‘an English speaking business’. If an accurate account – and the rationale put forward by the business is entertainingly, to an extent, though tellingly, wrapped in HR speak – one would have to wonder. It doesn’t seem difficult to accommodate both languages and apply as appropriate.
The protests seen over the weekend are understandable, to me at least.
But it goes deeper than that in regard to how this state and society accommodates the reality of two languages that have an official status and – some of us might think – should have a broader usage.