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Brexit

Will Brexit change Ireland's dependancy on the English language?

Last Updated: 30 Jun 2019

RTé - Updated / Monday, 11 Mar 2019 16:20 - By Ken Ó Donnchú UCC

"Like everything else right now, Brexit inevitably lurks in the background of language question" Photo: iStock

Opinion: after Brexit, Ireland will be the only member state where English is spoken as its first language which has both advantages and challenges

When was the last time you had a conversation that wasn’t entirely in English? By conversation, I don’t mean proclaiming "J’habite à Galway" and then parking your French or "Me llamo Ciara" and ploughing on in English.

While most Irish people claim some fluency in the Irish language as census figures show, we’re not renowned for our facility in European languages. The Carslberg ad is funny because it’s true: Irish people actually do go on like this when out foreign! So what does this say about us as individuals and as a nation? Where does the Irish language fit into all this? And what might Brexit mean for our language struggles?

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