Saturday, December 25, 2010

Civil Unions for Gays and Lesbians Coming to Ireland

Ireland moves forward a bit! Civil unions is at least a good start.
Tugaigí píosa beag Gaeilge faoi dheara ann freisin!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Word play as Gaeilge: Irish Scrabble now available

Word play as Gaeilge: Irish Scrabble now available (November 27, 2010)

“Droch-bhainc” sounds much more enigmatic than “bad bank”, while “taosc” is a pretty neat Irish word for “bailout”.

Such was the observation of one Scrabble addict in the west yesterday, as the world’s first version of the game as Gaeilge reached the market.

A licence for the Irish version was secured by Glór na nGael, the Irish language development organisation, along with An Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelaíochtas (COGG), the organisation supporting Irish teaching in schools.

Earlier this year, the two groups had been approved to produce Junior Scrabble (Puzal Ollmhór Urláir do Leanaí ).

“We hope people with a little less fluency will play this with their dictionary to hand,” said Eoghan MacCormaic, Glór na nGael development officer.

A “huge step forward in normalisation of the language” is how Lorcán Mac Gabhann, Glór na nGael chief executive, describes the new version of the popular game.

“We have developed this game as part of our strategy of creating and supporting opportunities for people to use Irish in everyday settings. We analysed the letter frequencies for Irish, and have produced this game after plenty of field-testing with different formats, some with consonants with the séimhiú (h) combined, some without, and of course there was much debate about fadas and úrú,” he said.

“We believe this game will now give learners, and fluent Irish speakers the same chance to score doubles, and triples and reach the same high scores as in any other versions of the game,” he said.

Scrabble was first invented as “Lexiko” in 1938 by architect Alfred Mosher Butts, who drew on the New York Times among other publications for a frequency analysis of letters. The game is now available in almost 30 languages. Glór na nGael’s next plan is to produce an Irish language version of Monopoly.

Scrabble is available in Irish language bookshops and online from Glór na nGael hopes it will reach toyshops by Christmas.

By Lorna Siggins