[lg policy] Irish language 'ghettoised' as Glider reverts to English in east Belfast

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 11:11:10 EDT 2018


 Irish language 'ghettoised' as Glider reverts to English in east Belfast The
Glider service will have bilingual signs in west Belfast. Picture by Hugh
Russell

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18 September, 2018 01:00
<https://www.irishnews.com/picturesarchive/irishnews/irishnews/2018/09/18/112702150-16b40c26-c8d5-4a27-a19a-ac64406f05ab.jpg>
Pobal's Janet Muller said the Glider service reverting to English signs in
east Belfast would 'ghettoise' the Irish language

TRANSLINK has "ghettoised " the Irish language by its decision to revert to
English-only signs on the new Glider service when it leaves west Belfast,
it has been claimed.

The high-profile cross-city service, which launched earlier this month
<http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2018/09/09/news/translink-boss-chris-conway-says-glider-service-a-success-1428526/>,
will have bilingual signs added to vehicles in the coming months.

However, Translink is to ensure the information signs switch to English
only before travelling to predominantly unionist east Belfast.

Irish language activist Linda Ervine, who runs hugely popular Irish classes
at the Skainos centre in the heart of east Belfast, has branded the policy
"bizarre".

Linda Ervine

However, east Belfast DUP councillor Tom Haire said there was no need for
bi-lingual signage as people in the east of the city had "no more interest
in Irish than the man on the moon".

Janet Muller, director of Irish language advocacy group Pobal, welcomed
Glider's bilingual policy but criticised Translink for discontinuing the
signs in east Belfast.

"We regret the decision to restrict bilingual signage to certain areas of
the city – it is counterproductive and ineffective, and creates the
impression that the language only belongs in some parts of Belfast," she
said.

Pobal's Janet Muller said the Glider service reverting to English signs in
east Belfast would 'ghettoise' the Irish language

"The name of the entire city - Belfast from Béal Feirste - and many of its
best known areas come from Irish. The language belongs to all and should
not be ghettoised."

A Translink spokesman said information at Glider halts in west Belfast were
already displayed in dual English/Irish language and that this would be
extended to Metro feeder services in the future.

"Irish language destination screen signage for the west Belfast section of
the G1 route is planned to be in place in the coming months," he said.

The spokesman said computer software would be developed to switch the signs
to solely English as the Glider crosses into the east of the city.

In July, DUP South Belfast MP Emma Little-Pengelly raised concerns that a
Glider halt on the Albertbridge Road had been named Short Strand
<http://www.irishnews.com/news/2018/09/01/news/emails-show-dup-mp-emma-little-pengelly-s-lobbying-over-glider-bus-stop-1421877/>
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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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