Irish language

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The Irish language (Gaeilge), also referred to as the Gaelic or the Irish Gaelic language, is a Goidelic language (Gaelic) of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language by a small minority of Irish people and as a second language by a larger group of non-native speakers.

Irish has been the predominant language of the Irish people for most of their recorded history, and they brought it with them to other regions, notably Scotland and the Isle of Man, where Middle Irish gave rise to Scottish Gaelic and Manx respectively. It has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe.

Irish has constitutional status as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland and is an officially recognised minority language in Northern Ireland. It is also among the official languages of the European Union. The public body Foras na Gaeilge is responsible for the promotion of the language throughout the island of Ireland.

In An Caighdeán Oifigiúil (the official written standard) the name of the language is Gaeilge (Irish pronunciation: ). Before the spelling reform of 1948, this form was spelled Gaedhilge; originally this was the genitive of Gaedhealg, the form used in Classical Irish. Older spellings of this include Gaoidhealg in Classical Irish and Goídelc in Old Irish. The modern spelling results from the deletion of the silent dh in the middle of Gaedhilge, whereas Goidelic, used to refer to the language family including Irish, is derived from the Old Irish term.

Other forms of the name found in the various modern Irish dialects (in addition to south Connacht Gaeilge above) include Gaedhilic/Gaeilic/Gaeilig () or Gaedhlag () in Ulster Irish and northern Connacht Irish and Gaedhealaing/Gaoluinn/Gaelainn () in Munster Irish.

In Europe the language is usually referred to as Irish, with Gaelic or Irish Gaelic used in some instances elsewhere. The term Irish Gaelic is often used when English speakers discuss the relationship between the three Goidelic languages (Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx).

This page was last edited on 10 June 2018, at 15:30 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_language under CC BY-SA license.

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