Silent letters and consonant pairs in Irish

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I’ve had a fascination with Gaeilge, the Irish language, for a long time. Its long words and complicated writing, which together allow for such fun things as fheicfeadh [ɛcətʲ]. Oh! And its consonant mutation, one of the coolest features I think a language can have. Initial consonants changing based on prepositions, adverbs, gender, tenses, and so on. It’s so amazing and interconnected! Add to that, Irish’s long literary history and the modern attempts to save the language from extinction, and I just can’t help but love the language.

But I’m not here to write about any of that. I’m here to write about the Irish consonants, more precisely, the leathana and caola pairs, the two categories that most Irish …

Irish Travellers and their Language

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Now I must begin with a confession: I have never been to Ireland and I do not personally know any Irish Travellers, but I have always been fascinated by their language. I know that there are some every year in my hometown in Denmark, and most often they are heading north with their caravans. I once saw, on my way to work, a group at Tangkrogen in Aarhus, but when I came back they were gone. As far as I understood, they were sent away by the police.

Irish Travellers are a minority ethnic group.  This status was recognised by the Irish State on 1st March 2017.  The Equal Status Act refers to Irish Travellers in the following way: “Traveller …